Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has warned his side against ‘underestimating’ Benin when they meet in the quarter-final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.
The Squirrels will be competing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time in their history after surprisingly ousting one of the tournaments’ favourites Morocco in the Round of 16.
Cisse believes Michel Dussuyer’s men will be difficult to play and has urged his side to show respect to the Squirrels to avoid being stunned.
“It’s a quarterfinal match of Afcon, the best are there. There is no underestimating a team. If Benin is here, it’s because they worked,” Cisse said in a pre-match press conference.
“It will be wrong to underestimate them. In Africa, there are no more small teams and this Afcon shows us. The quality is very similar, the game will not be easy and no one can predict what will happen.
“Benin have a good team, organized and they have [Stephane] Sessegnon who is a leader, a player of qualities. So, Benin has progressed a lot. To underestimate Benin would be the biggest mistake, humility is the most important thing. I call my players to do as I do.”
The Teranga Lions have been tipped to win the trophy, given the in-depth of talent in their squad.
“Yes on the paper we are one of the favourites to win the cup but papers do not decide anything. As long as we have not won, nothing is done,” he added.
A win over Benin will see Senegal qualify for the semi-final of the tournament for the first time in 13 years, after their fourth-placed finish in 2006.