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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Benin and Zambia play out 2-2 friendly draw in Cotonou

Les Écureuils of Benin and Zambia’s Chipolopolo played to an entertaining 2-2 friendly draw in Benin on Tuesday that featured plenty of opportunities and open play. Early on the hosts had the better of play with Jodel Dossou executing some slick dribbling moves to open up a crossing lane from the right flank but Mickaël Poté put his first-time attempted finish high over the bar. Soon after Benin would find the opener by turning a Zambian midfield giveaway into a rapid counter attack, resulting in Arminia Bielefeld player Cebio Soukou dribbling into the Chipolopolo penalty area before putting a low finish past Cyril Chibwe.

Seven minutes after Soukou’s 12th minute opener, Zambia reversed the situation that led to the first goal. A strong win in the midfield from Paul Katema sent the Chipolopolo marching forward where Salulani Phiri drove a shot past Dijon keeper Saturnin Allagbe. Just when it seemed like both teams would head into halftime all square, a far post corner kick was directed back into the middle of the Beninese area for Mwape Tandi to head past a retreating Allagbe.

Zambia looked to be on their way to a road victory but Benin found their response in the 80th minute to restore parity. A free kick was floated into the box and nodded over to Marcellin Koukpo, whose header was saved by Chibwe. However, the rebound came back to Yohan Roche, who dribbled a weak effort past Chibwe that trickled off the post and just over the goal line.

Highlights from the match are below.