Benin vs Nigeria: Rohr announces 25-man Benin squad for crunch World Cup qualifier

Gernot Rohr, the head coach of Benin Republic, has selected a 25-player squad for the Benin vs Nigeria 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, as well as their clash with Rwanda.

The Squirrels will play host to Group C leaders Amavubi of Rwanda at the Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny in Abidjan on Thursday 6 June. They will also host their neighbours Nigeria at the same venue four days later.

The squad includes 19 players based abroad and six local stars. Rohr has also given three players their first call-up to the Benin team: 18-year-old Karim Rahman, 23-year-old Romaric Amoussou, and 24-year-old Samson Akinyoola.

Benin are at the bottom of the group with 1 point, having drawn one game and lost one. The Super Eagles occupy the third position with two points, having drawn their first two games.

Rohr announces squad for Benin vs Nigeria
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The Cheetahs have won only once under Rohr's guidance, losing four and drawing five out of 10 games.

The 70-year-old German trainer, as many will recall, served as the manager of the Nigeria senior national team from 2016 to 2021. He was dismissed just before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) began.

Nigeria stumbled at the AFCON three weeks after Rohr was let go, bowing out of the tournament in the Round of 16 with a defeat to Tunisia.

Few months later, the Super Eagles suffered a setback by failing to secure qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, allowing Ghana to claim the spot for Qatar instead.

Benin's 25-man squad

Goalkeepers: Saturnin Allagbé (Dijon FCO, France), Marcel Dandjinou ( JDR Stars FC, South Africa), Karim Rahman (Dadje FC, Benin).

Defenders: Cédric Hountondji (Angers, France), David Kiki (FCV Farul Constanța, Romania), Rodrigue Fassinou ( Loto-Popo FC, Benin), Rachid Moumini (Ayema FC, Benin), Yohan Roche ( Quevilly – Rouen Métropole, France), Rabiou Sankamao (ASPAC Cotonou FC, Benin), Mohammed Tijani ( Yverdon-Sport FC, Switzerland), Olivier Verdon (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, Bulgaria).

Rohr announces squad for Benin vs Nigeria
Photo by Icon Sport

Midfielders: Sessi D'Almeida ( Pau FC, France), Dokou Dodo ( Smouha SC, Egypt), Prince Ricardo Dossou ( ASVO Benin, Benin), Hassane Imourane ( Modern Future FC, Egypt), Mariano Ahouangbo ( AS Soliman, Tunisia), Mattéo Ahlinvi ( Arcachon, France), Junior Olaitan ( Troyes, France).

Attackers: Steve Mounié ( Brest, France), Andréas Hountondji ( Rodez, France), Jodel Dossou ( Sochaux, France), David Tchétchao ( Chicago Fire FC II, USA), Tosin Aiyegun ( FC Lorient, France), Samson Akinyoola ( Zamalek, Egypt), Romaric Amoussou ( Ismaily SC, Egypt).

Three Benin players to watch out for

The Super Eagles' clash with the Cheetahs promises to be very important for both countries, as it could determine their fate in the qualifiers.

Rohr's squad includes players capable of causing real problems for a Nigerian side who are only just getting themselves going with a new manager.

Here's a run-through of who to keep an eye on in the Benin setup.

Steve Mounié

With 16 international goals in 51 games for Benin, Mounie is still heavily relied upon by the Cheetahs despite being 29 years old and in the twilight of his career.

Mounie in the just-ended Ligue 1 season made 32 appearances, starting 20 of them, and scored six goals while providing two assists.

The Stade Brestois forward is a distinctive figure on any football pitch. His athletic frame—upright in posture, defined in shape, rangy in length—is his distinguishing feature.

Steven Mounie @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

Not only does it differentiate, it disrupts and dominates too. Athleticism is the one truly extraordinary attribute the striker boasts, and it is dificult to overstate just how effective it is in the Benin setup.

Tosin Aiyegun

Aiyegun, born in Nigeria to a Nigerian father and a Beninese mother, received his first call-up to the Benin national team for a series of friendly matches in March 2022.

He made his debut in Benin's 4–0 friendly victory over Liberia on 24 March 2022, marking his first appearance with a goal.

The 25-year-old has had difficulty adapting to life in France after joining Lorient from FC Zurich, where he made headlines with his explosive play.

In 19 Ligue 1 games, Aiyegun can only boast of 2 goals, which is a poor return for a striker of his calibre.

Tosin Aiyegun @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

Aiyegun doesn't offer much in terms of a passing threat, but he knows how to get into good positions inside the box.

His intelligence with space and eye for a pass also makes him an attractive option playing behind a striker.

Since making his Benin debut in 2022, Aiyegun has scored three goals in nine games for the Cheetahs.

David Tchétchao

This player is going to be the subject of many post-match discussions at pubs and football gatherings if he is able to replicate his form with ASVO FC before his move to Chicago Fire in March this year.

Tchetchao made his senior national team debut for Benin on 9 September 2023, coming in as a substitute in the 3-2 loss against Mozambique in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game just 20 days before his 20th birthday.

With a mix of deft passing ability and technical attacking acumen, Tchetchao is an incredible talent on the flanks, with his doggedly dribbling and fierce ball striking rendering him a dual threat wide man.

Tchetchao can beat a marker on the inside and out with aplomb. He often creates chances for himself thanks to his work-rate and defensive efforts. He is so direct in possession and excels in Rohr's transition-heavy system.

Additionally, he is brilliant when given space to attack, but also boasts the technique to combine and create in tight spaces.

Benin vs Nigeria H2H

Nigeria have faced Benin a total of 16 times, with their first encounter occurring on 17 February 1977 in an international friendly.

The Super Eagles cruised through a comfortable 7-0 victory in that clash. The most recent meeting between these sides was on 21 March 2021 at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, where the Super Eagles emerged victorious by a lone goal.

In all 16 games played, Nigeria have won 13, lost 1, and drawn 2.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
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Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.