Senegal's Idrissa Gana Gueye celebrates after he scored during what would be the only goal of the game in their win over Benin. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP Photo

CAIRO - Senegal's Idrissa Gana Gueye scored 20 minutes from time to take them through as expected to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals but their 1-0 victory over minnows Benin was a largely laboured affair.

Gana Gueye’s goal was one of the few highlights at Cairo’s 30 June Stadium with the midfielder setting up the move and then finishing much to the relief to Africa’s top-ranked team as they struggled to break down their determined opponents.

Gana Gueye, who had possession just outside the centre circle, passed the ball directly forward to Sadio Mane and then sprinted upfield to virtually steal the ball off his team mate and tuck away a neat finish.

Senegal must wait until Thursday to find out whether they meet either Madagascar or Tunisia in Sunday's semi-final. 

Reuters