• Friday July 5, 2019
  • Al Salam stadium, Cairo K.O 6pm (7pm EAT)

Herve Renard says it’s too early to speak about winning the Africa Cup of Nations title ahead of Morocco’s round of 16 clash with lowly ranked Benin at Al Salam stadium.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Morocco XI

Morocco are among favourites for this year’s title but must negotiate past Benin who are into the knock round stage for the first time.

The Atlas Lions, whose only championship came in 1976 won all their Group D matches (1-0 vs Namibia, 1-0 Vs Cote d’Ivoire and 1-0 vs RSA).

“It’s too early to speak about who will be crowned at the end,” said Renard, an Afcon winner with Zambia and Ivory Coast before.

Courtesy Morocco Coach Herve Renard

There might be surprises and we have to prepare more.

Herve Renard, Morocco coach

Benin qualified for the stage as one of the four best third-placed teams, having finished third in Group F and are also unbeaten in the tournament despite winning no game.

They drew 2-2 draw with Ghana on day one, before goalless stalemates against Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon.

Their coach Michel Dussuyer says the target is to go as far as possible and targets to upset Morocco on Friday.

“It’s a great feat to end the group undefeated. It’s a great feeling of pride,” Dussuyer said.

Courtesy Michel Dussuyer

There is a saying that appetite comes with eating. If we can get home as late as possible, it will be fine

Michel Dussayer, Benin coach

Morocco will hope their key player Hakim Ziyech comes to the party after a paltry show in the group stages while Benin will look to midfielder Stephane Sessegnon and striker Steve Mounie to inspire the team.

Morocco are undefeated in the previous five meetings against Benin and neither have they drawn before.

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