It was an intriguing scene at the Al Salam Stadium as Benin snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they beat Morocco 4-1 on penalties after 120 minutes of action had ended 1-1.
The Squirrels took the lead in the 53rd minute through Moise Adilehou before the Atlas Lions equalized in the 76th minute through Youssef En-Nesyri. The North African side had a 94th minute penalty to win the game but Ziyach’s kick graced the woodwork to send the game to extra time.
In the 97th minute, Khaled Adenon was sent off for inexplicable reasons but Morocco could not capitalise on the numerical advantage as Benin defended gallantly and played their normal game.
Benin converted all their first four penalties to win the game whilst Morocco scored only one of theirs.
In the other Round of 16 game at the Cairo International Stadium, a Sadio Mane strike in the 15th minute won the game for Senegal against a well-drilled Ugandan side. Mane could have netted a brace but missed a penalty in the 61st minute.
Madagascar will entertain DR Congo in the first match on Saturday whilst the Desert Foxes of Algeria battle the Syli Nationale of Guinea in the second encounter.
By Edmund Okai Gyimah, Daily Mail GH