World Cup qualifiers

Benin Republic grab first win, shock Rwanda in World Cup Qualifier

Benin secured a surprising 1-0 victory against Rwanda in their CAF 2026 World Cup qualifying match at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on Thursday evening.

The result means that Benin and Rwanda are now tied with four points at the top of their group, with three matches played.

As the match got underway in the Ivory Coast, Rwanda’s main mission was to grab a win to retain the top spot in Group C, but Benin had other plans and brought their A-game, securing their first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

In the beginning, it appeared as though both nations were evenly matched in terms of possession, but over time, Benin looked the more dangerous team going forward.

The scoreline was goalless in the first 15 minutes, but it was a highly physical game, and Rwanda’s Emmanuel Imanishimwe was booked for a dangerous challenge. A free kick in a dangerous position was awarded to Benin, but goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari dealt with it easily.

The Cheetahs found their breakthrough in the 37th minute through Dodo Dokou, whose powerful strike made it into the corner of the net, beating Ntwari. Benin continued to attack, keeping Ntwari busy towards the end of the first half.

The Wasps went into the half-time break a goal behind and entered the second half determined to get back into the game. However, they could hardly find a way through the solid Cheetahs defense well into the second half.

Benin continued to defend their lead, and with six minutes of stoppage time added, they held their ground. Rwanda continued to push for the equalizer, but it was not to be on a frustrating outing.

As the final whistle blew, the West African team walked away with all three points and are now tied with Rwanda on four points, with their opponents having a superior goal difference.

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