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Inaugural CHAN winners DR Congo return to the tournament for a third successive time.
However, DR Congos passage to the 2014 final was not as rosy as in the last two editions.
DR Congo qualification was secured in a losers third round play-off against Cameroon whom they beat 1-0 away before drawing 1-1 at home in Lubumbashi.
The teams core consists of players from perennial CAF club competition campaigners TP Mazembe who also consistently formed DR Congos composition in last two editions of the tournament.
Meanwhile, DR Congo head to South Africa with some interesting milestones awaiting them.
They are the only team heading to the January tournament to have never failed to advance from the group stage.
Secondly, Mazembe goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba is expected to set a new CHAN record for the most tournament appearances clocked by a player.
Furthermore, coach Santos Mutubile too is set for a CHAN milestone when he returns for third successive final on the bench.
2009 champions DR Congo blew hot and cold throughout their 2014 CHAN campaign that began with stuttering 1-0 win over debutants Mauritania.
Their lackluster form was punished by Gabon who beat them by the same margin in their penultimate group game as they stared the prospect of a first-ever preliminary round elimination from the competition.
But DR Congo defied the odds in their last group game to sneak into the last eight in some style after rallying from 1-0 down to beat Burundi 3-2.
However, that convincing performance proved to be another flash in the pan as Makusu Mundele who had scored a brace against Burundi failed to spark in the quarterfinals against a well-organized Ghana who silenced The Leopards 1-0 from the penalty spot to see them exit at the last eight for a second successive CHAN tournament.
|DR Congo||vs||Congo||18 Aug 17|
|Congo||vs||DR Congo||11 Aug 17|
|Click here for Standings||Click here to see the full table|
|2018 CHAN QUALIFIERS TEAM RECORD|
|LAST 10 HOME:||5||4||0||1||13||4||9||4||1||12|
|LAST 10 AWAY:||5||2||1||2||7||5||0||1||0||7|