DR Congo threw away a two-goal lead to be held 2-2 in their 2018 World Cup qualifying clash with Tunisia in Kinshasa on Tuesday night.
The result sees the Carthage Eagles take firm control of Group A, as they hold a three point lead over the Leopards at the top of the log and look very much on course to reach Russia 2018.
The draw followed on from Tunisia’s 2-1 win over DRC in Rades on Friday and the four points taken from the two matches could be decisive for the North African side.
DR Congo settled the quicker of the two teams and needed just nine minutes to take the lead. Gael Kakuta played an in-swinging free kick into the heart of the Tunisia penalty area and Chancel Mbemba scored with a header back across the face of goal.
The Leopards held their lead up to half time and Tunisia responded by introducing midfielder Anice Badri at the start of the second stanza. However, it was the hosts who made the first major play after the restart, with Paul-Jose M’Poku doubling their lead in the 47th minute.
DR Congo were seemingly in complete control of the match, but their concentration slipped in the latter stages and they conceded two goals in the space of two minutes: Badri twice took advantage of some sloppy defending to bring the Carthage Eagles level at 2-2 with 10 minutes to play.
His first effort deflected off a DRC defender to wrong-foot goalkeeper Ley Matampi, while the second was a superb finish on the volley after meeting a clever lobbed cross into the middle of the penalty area.
DR Congo (1) 2 (Mbemba 9’, M’Poku 47’)
Tunisia (0) 2 (Badri 77’ 79’)
DRC: Matampi, Issama Mpeko, Maghoma, Bokadi, Ngonda, Mubele (Akolo 67’), Mbemba (Mulumba 59’), Moke, M’Poku, Kakuta (Bolingi 82’), Bakambu
Tunisia: Mathlouthi, Bedoui, Ben Yousseff, Meriah, Maaloul, Sassi, Ben Amor, Chalali, Nagguez (Badri 46’), Touzghar, Msakni (Touzghar 78’)