Benin Republic closed in on 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualification as they won 1-0 against Lesotho at the Stade Charles de Gaulle.
Jodel Dossou’s 24th-minute effort thanks to an assist from Khaled Adenon was all Michel Dussuyer’s men needed to secure the maximum points at stake against Thabo Senong’s Crocodiles.
Having crumbled 4-2 at home against Nigeria in their last time out, the Southern African country went to Porto-Novo with the ambition of reviving their fading Afcon hopes, but the hosts had a different idea.
A second successive win for Benin Republic leave them in Group L’s second spot with five points – a point below Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles and four points above Sierra Leone who are ranked third with two points.
Lesotho sit at the base of that group after picking up just one point from three outings.
Dussuyer will lead his team to Maseru’s Setsoto Stadium for the return leg on Tuesday, and victory will see them place one leg in Cameroon regardless of the outcome between Sierra Leone and Nigeria in Freetown.
Since their maiden appearance at the 2004 edition staged in Tunisia, Benin have appeared four times at the biennial African football showpiece.
Their last appearance at Egypt 2019 saw them crash out in the quarter-finals – losing to eventual runners-up Senegal after a 1-0 loss. The Squirrels’ biggest highlight in that outing saw them defeat pre-tournament favourites Morocco on penalties after the score stood at 1-1 after extra time.