Mounie hat-trick spurs Benin to Africa Cup warm-up win

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Huddersfield Town forward Steve Mounie scored a hat-trick as Benin defeated fellow qualifiers Mauritania 3-1 Tuesday in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match.

Mounie, whose club were relegated from the English Premier League last season, gave the Squirrels a 1-0 half-time lead in Moroccan city Marrakech.

Moctar el Hacen levelled just after the break from a penalty only for Mounie to score twice more in the final warm-up match for both countries.

Benin are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau while Mauritania face Angola, Mali and Tunisia in Group E.

On Monday, a stoppage-time goal from Naim Sliti earned Tunisia a 2-1 win over Burundi near Tunis in another friendly between qualifiers.

All the goals came in the second half with Taha Yassine Khenissi giving the home team a 66th-minute lead that Cedric Amissi cancelled.

It was the third Tunisian warm-up success after victories over Iraq and 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia.

Angola play South Africa and the Ivory Coast meet non-qualifiers Zambia Wednesday in the final warm-up fixtures.

The Cup of Nations kicks off Friday in Cairo with a Group A match between hosts and title favourites Egypt and Zimbabwe.