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AFCON U-20: Benin and Tunisia fail to inspire in scoreless draw

Group C continues to be very competitive and hard fought at the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations with a 0-0 draw between Benin and Tunisia kicking off Friday’s second slate of fixtures in the group. Both teams struggled to create opportunities in a stalemate that was not pleasing to the eyes of viewers. However both teams have everything to play for when the group finishes on Monday with Tunisia facing Zambia and Benin taking on Gambia.

Tunisia did well to make it difficult for the opposition attack and got off to the brighter start. Mohamed Abid broke down the left wing into the penalty area and went down under a sliding challenge in the fifth minute but the tackle was not deemed a foul by the referee. Close to halftime Abid got free on the left wing again to receive a long switch of play but after finding room for a shot his effort was handled with little trouble by Benin goalkeeper Rahman Karim, drafted into the team after a mistake by Dava Agossa in the opening match.

The theme of attacking struggles continued into the second half but the Beninese team were more dangerous. In the 54th minute high pressure won the ball deep in Tunisian territory and Olatoundji Tessilimi had plenty of time to shoot but dribbled too much and allowed a scrambling Tunisian defense to thwart his opportunity.

Benin continued to win the ball high but failed to take advantage of a poor second half from Tunisia. A few minutes after Tessilimi’s missed chance another turnover from the Tunisian defense allowed Samidou Bawa to set up playmaker Rodolfo Aloko for a shot that forced Tunisia goalkeeper Raed Gezzah to tip over. There was little to take from the match in the end and the Beninese team will be a bit worried moving forward after Aloko was stretchered off near full time.

Highlights of the match are below.

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