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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Benin hoping to finish third in the group - Sessegnon

16:24 GMT+3 25/06/2019
Stephane Sessegnon
The 35-year-old Genclerbirligi player shares his thoughts on the Squirrels' match-up against the Black Stars and their tournament ambitions

Benin ace Stephane Sessegnon believes his team will cope without him in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) opening game against Ghana on Tuesday. 

On their return to the continental gathering (since 2010), the Squirrels will face the Black Stars without the former PSG and West Bromwich Albion attacker who is under suspension. 

"Benin are doing very fine," Sessegnon told Canal.

"We are eager to face Ghana. Every player in the team wants to play the game.

"It's unfortunate that I will not be playing because of my cards. But the team has quality players to do the job without me.

"We are not favourites against Ghana but we will go out there and play our game. We know what we will do."

Not only are Benin hoping to record their first ever win at the Afcon but to also secure a historic qualification from the group stage. 

The Squirrels are currently without a win in nine matches played across three appearances at the tournament in the past, their best result remaining a 2-2 draw with Mozambique in 2010.

"It's going to be difficult for us, but we are hoping to be picked as one of the best third-placed teams after the group stage," Sessegnon added.

"Our team is young. Most of the players are playing in the Afcon for the first time. So there is some enthusiasm to play. We saw that during our friendly matches.

"We will continue with that and see what happens at the Afcon."

Michel Dussuyer's outfit will face Guinea-Bissau on June 29 before playing Cup holders Cameroon on July 2 to wrap up the first round.