DR Congo hope to tame Morocco's Lions

DR Congo hope to tame Morocco's Lions
Diedonnei Mbokani of DR Congo and Iban Randy Iyanga of Equatorial Guinea during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations 3rd Place football match between DR Congo and Equatorial Guinea at the Malabo Stadium in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 7 February 2015

by BackPageTXT

Monday Jan 16, 2017. 15:00

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are hoping to overcome Morocco in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C game at the Stade d'Oyem in Gabon on Monday.

Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

The Leopards are keen to end their 43-year wait for another AFCON title. They won the 1968 and 1974 titles in Ethiopia and Egypt respectively.

DR Congo head coach Florent Ibenge has built a strong team in the last few years and they managed to do well in the last AFCON finals.

Eventual champions Ivory Coast beat the Leopards 3-1 in an action-packed semi-final encounter and ultimately, they finished third in Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, Morocco are another team looking to end their long wait for an AFCON trophy - having won it once in 1976 in Ethiopia.

The Lions of the Atlas missed the last AFCON finals as they were suspended by CAF after refusing to host the prestigious tournament due to an Ebola virus epidemic.

Herve Renard, the Morocco coach, is hoping to win his second AFCON title in the last five years having won it with Zambia and Ivory Coast in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

However, Renard's men will face a stubborn DR Congo side under the guidance of Ibenge, who won the 2016 CHAN tournament with the Leopards, in their first Group C game.

Key players

Cedric Bakambu - DR Congo

The 25-year-old forward established himself as a key player for the Leopards during the 2017 AFCON qualifying campaign netting three goals. The French-born striker represented France at the 2010 UEFA European Championship for the Under-19s. He only began playing for DR Congo in 2015.

Youssef El-Arabi - Morocco

The experienced Morocco international was the top goalscorer in their 2017 AFCON qualifying group with four goals. The 29-year-old forward was born in France, but he never played for the European nation. He has been representing the Lions of the Atlas since 2010.

Head-to-head - DR Congo v Morocco

DR Congo FIFA ranking: 49
Morocco FIFA ranking: 57
Matches played: 12
DR Congo Wins: 2
Morocco Wins: 4
Draws: 6
DR Congo goals scored: 9
Morocco goals scored: 16
Last match: 09 January 2006 in Rabat - Morocco 3-0 DR Congo

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