Benin optimistic of ‘win’ against Ghana in U20 Afcon qualifying

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The Young Squirrels have not given up hopes of reaching the final tournament despite a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of final round of qualifying

Benin coach Valere Houndinou is confident of turning things around when they host Ghana in the return leg of the 2019 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations third round qualifying. 

The Young Squirrels have their job cut out for this week's decider following a 3-1 away loss to the Black Satellites on Saturday. 

Allagbani Saliou interestingly put the visitors ahead early in the game but Richard Danso's double and captain Isshaku Konda's effort ensured a comeback win for the hosts. 

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"I will say that Ghana is a good team and they played well throughout the game especially in second half," Houndinou said reported by Cafonline

"My players have done well despite the scoreline and I believe that when we go back and correct our mistakes we can record a good win against Ghana in the second leg."

After gaining automatic passage to the second round of qualifying following the withdrawal of Liberia, Benin edged Gambia 3-2 on aggregate to make the third and final phase. 

"We are sad at the scoreline and believe we deserved a bit more," Young Squirrels star Ibrahim Oguolola lamented. 

"But we take consolation in the fact that it wasn't a flawless victory by Ghana as we managed to get an away goal, one that we believe will help us in the second leg.

"Ghana has a good team and they played well, so we are going back home to prepare very well for them."

The winners over both legs join seven already qualified teams for the final tournament set for Niger next year. 

Benin's only previous participation at the championship was in 2005 when they qualified as hosts.