Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse warned his side against falling into a ‘trap’ when they look to see of minnows Benin in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash.
The Squirrels saw Morocco miss a stoppage-time penalty before they then produced a shock victory in the shoot-out to book a place in the last eight for the first time.
Michel Dussuyer’s side had only progressed from the group stages as one of the best third-placed teams.
With hosts Egypt and defending champions Cameroon also not making it through to the quarter-finals, the Lions of Teranga, driven on by Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, are being touted as potential tournament winners.
Cisse, though, is not about to dismiss Benin, with Senegal looking to go one better than when he was captain of the side in the 2002 final which lost on penalties against Cameroon.
“We should give every team its right and respect Benin,” he said at a press conference.
“There are no small teams in Africa, the quality is very similar. The game will not be easy.
“Yes, on the paper we are one of the favourites to win (the competition), but papers do not decide anything. Benin’s match might be a trap.”
Dussuyer, meanwhile, feels his squad – led by captain Stephane Sessegnon, have earned their place in the last eight.
“Our presence in this stage is not out of luck, we worked hard and I believe in my players,” he said.
“Senegal will be a huge challenge for us, because they are one of the great teams in Africa.” Soka25East