Congo-Brazzaville and DR Congo renew rivalry

Congo-Brazzaville and DR Congo renew rivalry
Junior Kalonji of DR Congo celebrates goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 10, 2017. 18:00

Congo-Brazzaville will welcome their neighbours Democratic Republic of Congo in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier on Friday.

Kick-off is at 16h30 CAT.

The Central Zone first-leg encounter is scheduled to take place at the Stade Municipal de Kintele in the city of Brazzaville.

Nicknamed the Red Devils, Congo-Brazzaville have qualified for the CHAN finals once. They participated in the 2014 finals in South Africa and they could not reach the knockout stage.

Red Devils coach Barthelemy Gatsono has called two new faces Ondongo Julfin and Botamba Matheus ahead of the clash with DR Congo

The midfield trio of Hermann Kakolo, Gandze Cesair and Harris Tchilimbou, who are all on the books of Congo-Brazzaville club Leopards, are also part of the squad.

Meanwhile, DR Congo, who are nicknamed, the Leopards, have participated in all four finals of the CHAN tournament and they have won the title twice in 2009 and 2016.

Mwinyi Zahera, the Leopards coach, has called up DR Congo giants TP Mazembe's two deadly attackers Meschak Elia and Deo Kanda-A-Mukok.

Bompunga Botuli Padua, Bangala Litombo Yannick and Ngonda Muzinga Glody, who are AS Vita Club defenders, have also been named in the DR Congo squad.

Referee Jean Marc Ganamandji, who hails from Central African Republic (CAR), will be in charge of the encounter between Congo-Brazzaville and DR Congo.

The second-leg clash will be played in Kinshasa, DR Congo next weekend. The winner on aggregate will advance to the finals which will be hosted by Kenya.

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