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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Senegal were not surprised by Benin’s achievement – Kalidou Koulibaly

10:22 GMT+3 08/07/2019
Kalidou Koulibaly - Senegal
The Squirrels qualified for the quarter-final of the biennial tournament for the first time in their history

Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly admits the Teranga Lions are not surprised by the performance of Benin in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Squirrels played out a 2-2 stalemate with Ghana before forcing Guinea-Bissau and reigning champions Cameroon to goalless draws to qualifying for the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed teams.

Michel Dussuyer’s men then knocked out North African giants Morocco to reach the quarter-final stage of the continental tournament for the first time in their history.

“People see Benin as a surprise package, no. We have been observing them since the group stage,” Koulibaly told Goal.

“They have a compact team and play very well. They have been able to upset top teams including Morocco.”

Senegal will slug it out with Benin in the last eight of the tournament at the 30 June Stadium on Wednesday.

“We will do our best to be able to overcome them in our next game,” he continued.

“We will remain calm as always. We will prepare for the game against Benin mentally and physically and give our best to win and put smile on the faces of Senegalese.”

Senegal have never won the Africa Cup of Nations title. They came close to winning the trophy in 2002, where they finished as runners-up behind Cameroon.