Ten Men Congo Hold Out For Unlikely Win

17 January 2017

Africa Cup of Nations – Monday 16th January Group C

The DR Congo held on to record an unlikely victory after having a man sent off against Morocco in the second game of Group C.

Their one nil win was courtesy of a Kabananga goal after 55 minutes of the match but when substitute Lomalisa was booked for time wasting after only coming on after 65 minutes incredibly he received a second yellow card in the 82nd minute to leave the team down to ten men. From his entrance to his exit he lasted a dismal 16 minutes and things were to get worse when they were down to nine men after an injury to their centre back but with the Gods on their side the DR Congo held on for a famous victory.

This was the fifth match between the two teams in the African Cup of Nations Finals and Morocco have still never beaten DR Congo under their current name or when they were formerly known as Zaire. Those with longer memories may remember Zaire reaching the World Cup Finals in 1974 where they lost to Scotland in the days when Scotland had a decent football team by 2 goals to nil and their 9-0 humiliation at the hands of the former Yugoslavia.

This was the only time Zaire had reached the World Cup Finals but they did excellently last time out in the African Cup of Nations where they made it to the Semi-final stages.

Morocco had started the match well with a good overall shape, decent possession and looked the more likely to score. Their best moment came as early as the second minute when a Bassoufa shot from just outside the box came crashing off the crossbar and safely into the arms of a perplexed Matampi with the DR Congo well beaten.

Playing an exciting or so it appeared 3-5-2 formation the Morrocans continued to make inroads into the Congo DR defense with centre back Da Costa a strong prescence in the oppositions box although his headers were wide or over the bar. Morocco were dominating the opening exchanges but slowly Congo DR were getting back into it and their first proper chance was in the 27th minute when a snapshot from Bokadi from 18 yards out found the inviting hands of Moroccan keeper Munir.

A minute later and Mbembe rifled a shot from 20 yards out but the ball went whizzing past the post and the last chance before half time fell to Mendyl the Moroccan right back in uncharted waters in the Congo DR area but his run to the ball was beaten by some super Congo DR defending.

The second half started slowly and the first real action was the goal by Kabananga scoring from ten yards out with Munir in goal grabbing hold of thin air.

Carcela-Gonzales fired a shot well over with a free kick in the 66th minute as Morocco had a seemingly endless succession of free kicks and set pieces. Another chance for the Green jerseys in the 69th minute but Matampi saved with his legs to deny them an equalizing goal.

Carcela- Gozales made way for the industrious El Arabi and within a few minutes he had a header that went wide when he would have done better to have scored.

Congo DR centre back Zakuani went down injured in the 83rd minute and for a couple of minutes the team were playing with just 9 men and hanging on for dear life. Morocco just weren’t good enough to put Congo DR to the sword though.

Matampi had the save of the day with just 3 minutes to go as El Arabi bought out a magnificent save from the Congalese stopper sprawling to his right to push away the substitutes effort.

Despite 6 minutes of stoppage time playing with only 9 and a half men Congo DR clung on to a famous victory and lead the group after the first set of matches.

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