A goal from Charbel Gomez handed Benin a shock 1-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire in a Group B, 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Friday, September 15.
The first scoring opportunity came in the 15th minute when Ivorian Inza Diabate brilliantly controlled a cross from the right on his chest and volleyed goal wards, but the Benin keeper made a spectacular close range save to deny.
Six minutes later Fulgenc Aka Essis met a cross from the right at the back post, but his eight-yard header was acrobatically stopped by the Benin keeper once again.
Despite being on the back foot for the most part, Benin took the lead in the 40th minute, very much against the run of play.
A shot from Marcellin Koupo was saved into the path of Charbel Gomez who duly tapped into the net from only a couple of yards out, 1-0.
Ivory Coast tried to find an equaliser before the break, but entered the tunnel at half time trailing by a goal.
The Elephants continued to dictate terms in the second half, but they struggled to break down a resolute Benin defence.
The first significant attempt of the second half came in the 65th minute when Kouame-Noel N’Guessan fired inches over the Benin goal from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later the Squirrels mounted only their second attack of the game, but were thwarted by the outstretched hand of Jean Malic Ble Zadi who turned a low 22-yard shot from Charbel Gomez around the post.
In the 76th minute Charbel Gomez caused another headache for Ivory Coast as he dribbled his way past three defenders before being denied by the goalkeeper from close range.
The Elephants threw numbers forward in the final ten minutes of the match in search of an equaliser, but Benin held on for a famous 1-0 win.