Full-time: Cameroon 0-0 Benin; Ghana 2-0 Guinea Bissau
Benin’s supporters welcome the final whistle with cheers, and their manager wears a gleaming smile. By holding the holders they have given themselves a chance of reaching the last 16 - they will have to wait to see what happens in Group E later today. Meanwhile, Cameroon have dropped to second place in Group F, meaning they will face Nigeria in the next round. Ghana have topped the group and will take on a third-placed side.
90+1 min: Oyongo booked for pulling down Poté.
90 min: Allagbé rushes off his line to cut out an overhit pass towards Choupo-Moting, then takes his time about punting it downfield.
88 min: It’s getting increasingly scrappy. There’s no sign of Cameroon being able to break the deadlock, nor of Benin wanting to.
86 min: Cameroon have delivered some nice crosses during this game - especially in the first half - but apart from that, they’ve been very blunt in attack. A real lack of imagination from them.
84 min: Bassogog hurtles down the right but Adenon beats him to the ball and the forwards then clips, giving Benin a chance to relieve the pressure. They’re tantalisingly close to the draw they seem to have set their sights on. Then they will have to watch tonight’s games in Group E to find out whether their three points will be enough to reach the next round.
Cameroon substitution: Bassogog on, Toko off.
82 min: Kunde Malong floats over a fine corner. Banana peels away from his marker and heads against the bar!
79 min: Another foul by Zambo-Anguissa. It’s not in shooting range but does give Benin a chance to loft in a cross. Which they do. but Onana surges from his goal to catch it. Quality goalkeeping.
77 min: Sessegnon takes a mighty run-up ... and thrashes the freekick to the right of the wall ... but Oyongo sticks out a foot to block it.
76 min: Seconds after coming on, Poté wins a freekick right the edge of the Cameroonian box. Zambo-Anguissa pulled him down and gets a booking. What a chance this is for Benin to take the lead and demote Cameroon to third spot in the group!
Benin substitution: Poté on, Djigla off.
74 min: Kunde Malong stands over another freekick, this time nearly 30 yards out and a little to the left. He chips it towards several runners at the back post. But one of those runners is offside.
GOAL! Ghana 2-0 Guinea Bissau (Partey 69) That means Ghana will top the group if scores stay the same, leaving Cameroon to face Nigeria in the last 16. Benin, meanwhile, look to have decided to bank on a draw here in the hope that that will send them through as one of the best third-placed teams.
Benin substitution: Soukou on, Dossou off.
67 min: Superb crossfield pass by Kunde Malong. Njie takes it nicely on his chest as he runs into the left-hand side of the box ... but he then thwacks his shot several yards wide of the near post.
Cameroon substitution: Boumal on, Djoum off.
65 min: Choupo-Moting nips the ball through to Oyongo, who has not been as dangerous in this half as he was in the first. His latest cross is a stinker.
63 min: Toko wriggles past two players and then had a pop from 25 yards. He hits it had and true, but Allagbé saves with no ado.
61 min: Guinea Bissau have just hit the bar against Ghana. The twists might not be finished yet in this group!
60 min: Bahoken takes out Sessegnon near the centre circle. The hitherto fussy ref gives him a sympathetic smile rather than a yellow card.
58 min: Onana spreads calm among his defenders by coming to claim a corner. But Cameroon will be a tad fretful, all the same, but the way Benin have come on strong in the last few minutes.
55 min: Better from Benin. Nice interplay as they approach the Cameroonian box, but Sessegnon’s flipped pass towards Mounié doesn’t come off at the end.
53 min: Barazé booked. Benin are not exactly hanging on but they’re certainly under pressure. If Cameroon could summon a bit more sharpness up front, the breakthrough would surely follow. Njie hasn’t made much of an impact yet.
52 min: Zambo-Anguissa wins the ball deep inside his own half and takes Benin into opposing territory for the first time in this half. The man in yellow is then taken down by Banana. The ref doesn’t deem that worthy of a booking but it’s certainly notable.
50 min: Kunde Malong opts for the shot, and wishes he hadn’t. Because it was a dreadful effort that wobbled way over the bar.
49 min: Choupo-Moting is cut down by Barazé just outside the area, wide on the left. It’s a freekick in a good position. Not an easy angle but a shot is possible, as is a cross.
47 min: Bahoken barges his way into the box down the left and tries to pull it back for a teammates, but Tako didn’t make himself available so Benin are able to scramble clear.
46 min: GOAL! Ghana 1-0 Guinea Bissau. Jordan Ayew has fired the Black Stars into the lead, so Benin can forget about sneaking through via a long straw.
Cameroon substitution: Njie on, Fai off.
“One might expect Indomitable Lions to devour the Squirrels but squirrels are a tenacious lot,” write Ruth D. “In fact, according to the Brookings Institution here in the States, ‘squirrels have taken down the power grid more times than the zero times that hackers have.’” Benin actually toyed with the idea of changing their nickname last year - Mounié, for instance, recommended The Pythons - but eventually they decided to stick with tradition.
Half-time: Benin 0-0 Cameroon; Ghana 0-0 Guinea Bissau
Every tournament has a group of death, and Group F appears to be it at Afcon 2019, in the sense that it’s the pool where entertainment goes to die. Having said that, if the scores remains the same, then Ghana and Benin may have to draw lots to decide who finishes second and third. Benin’s manager, Michel Dussuyer, benefitted from just such a lottery in 2015, when his Guinea team went through at the expense of the unlucky Mali. But Benin have a lot of work to do before we get to that point, because Cameroon were much the better team in that half. The Squirrels’ goalkeeper, Allagbé, made some key saves, while his team only hinted at a threat from setpieces. And the Black Stars aren’t actually going to be shut out by Guinean Bissau, are they?
44 min: Mounié becomes the latest player to be booked by a pernickety ref. He’ll miss Benin’s next game if they go through.
42 min: Sessegnon pings the freekick towards the far post, but with too much power. No teammates had a chance of getting on the end of it.
41 min: Kiki knocks the ball past Fai down the left and then runs around him to retrieve. The defender’s not having that, so he shoves him to the ground and cops a booking, which, again, is quite harsh. Benin meanwhile, have a freekick in a useful crossing position.
37 min: Benin clear a couple of dangerous cross before Oyongo tries to crack a shot into the net from over 20 yards. He strikes it ferociously but can’t keep it down.
35 min: Corner for Benin, their first of the game. Sessegnon delivers an outswinger. Mounié peels off his man to meet it on the volley but miscues from 10 yards.
32 min: Mounié does well to win the ball near halfway and then turn and spread the play to the right, from where Djigla begins scampering towards the box. Just as it looks like he might spank in a decent cross, he slips.
30 min: IT’s still zip-all between Ghana and Guinea Bissau, notably because Jordan Ayew has just mis-headed from eight yards out.
29 min: The way it’s looking so far, Benin’s only hope of nicking a goal is through a setpiece. Handily, they have a freekick wide on the right now. He bends a canny low one towards the near post. Choupo-Moting fails to cut it out, but Oyongo dives between two attacks and manages to get a critical touch just yards from goal. The keeper pounces on it to complete the clean-up job. Tantalisingly close for the Squirrels!
27 min: Zamba-Anguissa unlocks the Beninois defence with a splendid diagonal pass. Toko’s volley from beyond the back post is woeful.
25 min: A patient, expansive move by Cameroon leads to a promising opportunity, as Choupo-Moting lifts the ball cleverly over the Benin defence into the path of Bahoken. But the striker’s control is not up to the standard of the rest of the move.
22 min: Zambo-Anguissa plays a nice pass to Choupo-Moting, who lopes towards the box before letting fly with a low fizzer. Allagbe plunges to his left to tip it behind. The keeper’s had a solid game so far, justifying the manager’s personnel change.
20 min: Djoum gets the game’s first yellow card for clunking into Adénon in midfield. Rather harsh by the Tunisian ref.
19 min: The other game also remains 0-0 but Ofori has just had to make a difficult save to prevent Brito e Silva from giving Guinea Bissau a shock lead from 20 yards.
17 min: Kunde Malong rolls the freekick sideways to Oyongo, who rasps a fierce low drive just behind the post. The keeper actually got a fingertip to it, which was crucial but undetected by the officials. So no corner.
16 min: A dinky turn by Toko on the edge of the box leads to the striker being fouled by Kiki. Freekick to Cameroon in prime shooting territory just to the right of the D...
14 min: Bahoken runs beyond the centrebacks on to a well-aimed pass from deep. He’s wrongly called back for offside.
13 min: Sessegnon wastes a freekick for Benin, for whom poor old Mounié remains isolated up front.
11 min: Cameroon are well on top. Fai and Oyongo are continually making gains down the wings, and Kunde Malong is running the show in midfield.
9 min: Fai feeds Kunde Malong, who cracks over a delightful cross. Allagbé takes no chances and palms it behind for a corner.
7 min: Cameroon cut Benin open again. This time the cross comes from the left courtesy off Oynogo. Toko gets a touch on it at the near post but not a useful one: the ball runs through to Bahoken, who is so surprised that he can’t adjust in time to poke into the net from six yards. Instead the ball ricochets off him to safety.
5 min: Cameroon find their flow for the first time - and very nearly grab a goal. Kunde Malong spun the ball wide to Fai, who raced down the right wing and send over a fine delivery. Toko, having crept between the two centrebacks, rises high but powers his header over the bar.
3 min: Benin have been the brighter so far. Cameroon have yet to cobble together even three passes in succession.
1 min: Benin show their attacking intent by firing off a shot within the first minute. Djigla’s effort from the right-hand corner of the box is deflected out for a corner.
1 min: We have kickoff! And at exactly the same time, Ghana and Guinea Bissau get under way in Suez
The teams enter the Ismaila arena, welcomed by the few thousand fans who have their pick of the seats in the stadium. The Squirrels are dressed all in yellow, while the Indomitable Lions are in their famous green jersey with that majestic crest.
Seedorf trumpeted his determination to win this group but he has decided to change his his team, all the same. Particuly notable among the newcomers are the Hearts midfield Arnaud Djoum and the strikers Eric_Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG!) and Stéphane Bahoken. Benin have also made a raft of changes too following their drab 0-0 draw with Guinea Bissau. They’ve switched goalkeepers, for start, with Saturnin Allagbé making his first start of the tournament here. They’ve also decided to try to give Steve Mounié some company up front, in the person of David Djigla. It looks like the Squirrels are going for it against the holders. The last round of matches in this group yielded precisely no goals, here’s hoping for radical improvement today.
Benin: Allagbé; Kiki, Adenon, Verdon, Barazé; Adeoti, Sessegnon, Dossou, Mama Seibou; Djigla, Mounié
Subs: Farnolle, Tidjani, Salomon, Poté, Imorou, Adilehou, Soukou, D’Almeida, Azankpo, Kossi, Fassinou, Kakpo
Cameroon: Onana; Collins FAi, Banana, Ngadeu, Oyongo Bitolo; Zambo-Anguissa, Kunde Malong, Adjoum; Toko, Bahoken, Choupo-Moting
Subs: Bong, Njie, Bassogog, Tchakonte, Ondoa, Tagueu, Daogari, Moumal, Kaptoum, Kana-Biyik, Kameni
Referee: S Selmi (Tunisia)
Hello and welcome to do-or-die day in finals days in Group F, where all four countries still have a chance of progressing. Benin came into this tournament hoping mainly to win a match for the first time at the Afcon; they have not yet fulfilled that mission but find themselves in the position of knowing that a third successive draw would probably be enough to clinch a spot in the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams. But it would be risky indeed to set out for just a share of the points against Cameroon. Something similar could said about the Indomitable Lions even though they are already guaranteed a place in the next stage: Clarence Seedorf’s side need three points to ensure they advance as group winners - which would mean a last 16 tie against runner-up in Group F (either Mali, Tunisia, Mauritania or Guinea Bissau), whereas finishing second in this group would set up a clash Nigeria – which is best avoided even if the Super Eagles are spluttering under Gernot Rohr – and sneaking in third place would likely mean facing Morocco, who’ve looked the strongest team in the tournament so far, if you want my opinion.
In the game’s other group, Guinea Bissau will be aiming to stay alive in the tournament by pulling off a shock victory over Ghana, who’ll be hoping to win by a hat-full so they can leap to the top of the group in the event of Cameroon dropping points to Benin. Meanwhile, Kenya are very interested onlookers here: they need Benin to lose so that the Harambee Stars might still squeeze into the next round as one of the best third-placed teams.
So those are the permutations. Action ahoy!