Leopards finish third

Leopards finish third

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Feb 07, 2015. 20:51

DR Congo claimed the bronze medals at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after defeating hosts Equatorial Guinea 4-2 on penalties in the third place playoff in Malabo on Saturday. The match ended goalless after 90 minutes and went straight to a shootout.

The match started on a rather boring footing at the empty Malabo stadium in what was seen as a match similar to a training session, however, the hosts attacked first and the experienced keeper Robert Kidiaba hurt his ribs in the process, trying to save the ball from a corner as early as the fourth minute.

Again in the ninth minute, the TP Mazembe keeper was called into action when Emilio Nsue attempted a right-footed shot from a tight angle. The hosts continued to probe for an opener after dominating in the first 10 minutes.

It took Felipe Ovono 14 minutes to make a save as he turned away a long range shot by Gabriel Zakuani. However, the first 20 minutes was dominated by action away from the penalty area.

Although the Leopards were the most threatening side towards the interval, Yannick Bolasie made a shocking miss after receiving a beautiful pass from Issama Mpeko, firing across the face of goal with his right foot after beating Randy Iyanga.

Both sides went to the tunnel with no goals to show for it and Florent Ibenge’s men continued where they left off in the second stanza and put Nzalang Nacional under pressure.

Florent Ibenge’s men put the hosts under pressure and Ovono was called into action when he saved Chancel Mangulu’s header from a corner. DRC came out of the tunnel with pace and put the hosts on their back foot as Ovono saved Mbokani’s attempt following a pass by Cedric Mabwati.

In the 66th minute, Bolasie fired a beautiful shot but the keeper parried for a corner. The hosts, in retaliation through Ruben Belima, missed from outside the box when his attempt went wide to the left.

In the last 10 minutes, both sides probed for a winner but Kidiaba was alert to save Ellong’s shot and it was evident that both sides settled for a penalty shootout.

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