World Cup Qualifiers: Benin Suffers Setback as Star Forward Ruled Out of Due to Injury

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~ Andreas Hountondji ruled out

~ Star Forward hit 14 goals in 34 league games

~ Rohr opts for a replacement

~ Benin to host home games in Cote d’Ivoire

~ #UgSportsNow

Benin has been dealt a significant blow as they gear up for their World Cup 2026 qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria, with inform forward Andreas Hountondji ruled out of the crucial matches. The Rodez AF attacker withdrew from the Benin squad after failing to recover from an injury sustained during the Ligue 1 qualification playoff game against AS Saint-Etienne on May 24.

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Star Forward hit 14 goals in 34 league games

Hountondji, a 21-year-old rising star, was in scintillating form in the French Ligue 2 during the recently concluded season, scoring an impressive 14 goals in 34 second-tier games. His absence will undoubtedly be felt by the Benin national team as they look to make a statement in the upcoming qualifiers.

Rohr opts for a replacement

Benin’s technical team, under the guidance of veteran coach Gernot Rohr, has opted not to call up a replacement for Hountondji, placing their trust in the existing squad to step up and deliver in his absence. With Benin currently languishing at the bottom of Group C with just one point from their previous fixtures, the upcoming matches against Rwanda and Nigeria are crucial for their World Cup aspirations.

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Benin to host home games in Cote d’Ivoire

The decision to host both matches at the Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, comes after the Stade de l’Amitie in Cotonou was deemed unsuitable by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) due to failing to meet the required standards for hosting World Cup qualifiers.

As Benin navigates through this setback and prepares to face formidable opponents without one of their key players, the team will need to rally together, show resilience, and demonstrate their capabilities on the field. The absence of Hountondji presents an opportunity for other players to step up and make their mark, showcasing the depth and strength of the squad.

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With their World Cup dream on the line, Benin will need to regroup, strategize effectively, and deliver standout performances in the upcoming qualifiers to keep their hopes alive and overcome the adversity posed by the injury to Hountondji.

Born in France, Hountondji was born to a Beninese father and French mother and holds both nationalities. He debuted for the Benin national team in a 1–1 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification tie with Senegal on 17 June 2023.

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