DR Congo storm semis in style

DR Congo storm semis in style
Jean Kilitsho Kasusula of DR Congo (l) and Fode Dore of Congo

by Andrew Oryada

Saturday Jan 31, 2015. 20:06

The Democratic Republic of Congo showed lots of hunger and determination to become the first team to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Saturday.

Coach Florent Ibenge’s team fought from two goals down to beat Congo Brazzaville 4-2 at the Bata Stadium.

Delvin Ndinga and the Thievy Bifouma scored two quick second half goals to silence the DR Congo team. After a scrappy first half which only had DR Congo’s Cedric Makiadi cautioned, the two teams returned strongly after the interval.

It was DR Congo’s Loteteka Bokila who rattled the upright with a volley in the 53rd minute. Two minutes later Ndinga got his name on the score sheet when he got behind the defenders and shot past the DR Congo veteran goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba. After 62 minutes the DR Congo defenders were caught off guard again giving Thievy Bifouma chance to make it 2-0.

But the two time champions did not give up and pushed forward in numbers. Yannick Yala Bolasie who plies his trade for Crystal Palace in the English Premier League later outpaced his marker and placed the ball for Dieudonne Mbokani to pull back a goal for DR Congo.

Loteteka Bokila finally got his shot on target and restored parity, putting the ball into the roof of the net after a brilliant turn in the box to make it 2-2 for DR Congo after 76 minutes. It was all a-one way traffic affair as the DR Congo run at the Congo Brazzaville defenders with ease. They got a free kick on 81 minutes and substitute Joel Kimuaki Mpela who replaced injured Gabriel Zakuani made it 3-2 when he nodded the ball past an advancing Congo Brazzaville goalkeeper Christoffer Henri Mafoumbi.

Mbokani later netted his second goal of the day when he followed up his shot which had been blocked and finished in an empty net on 90 minutes for DR Congo to win 4-2.

It was all celebrations for the DR Congo players after the final whistle.

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