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Benin-Nigeria World Cup Qualifier Moved to Abidjan

The Benin Football Federation had initially planned to host the Super Eagles at their national stadium, the 35,000-seat Stade de l’Amitie in Cotonou, for the Group L encounter. However, due to the federation’s inability to convince the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of the stadium’s capacity to host a match of such significance, the game has been relocated to neighboring Cote d’Ivoire.

The Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, where Nigeria will face Benin, holds positive memories for the Super Eagles, as they played three of their seven games at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at this venue, winning all three while maintaining a clean sheet and scoring four goals.

The Super Eagles’ first game at the stadium was a 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau in their final group match on January 22, followed by a 2-0 triumph over Cameroon in the first knockout round five days later. The same venue also hosted the quarterfinals encounter between Nigeria and Angola, where the Super Eagles emerged victorious by the narrowest of margins.

Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman has been instrumental in Nigeria’s success at this stadium, scoring three of Nigeria’s four goals there. Prior to their encounter with Benin, the Super Eagles will face South Africa, the AFCON bronze medalist, in June.

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