DR Congo look to bounce back against Tunisia

DR Congo look to bounce back against Tunisia
Paul Mpoku of DR Congo celebrates goal with Yousuf Mulumbu of DR Congo (r) 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 Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 16:00

DR Congo will look to revive their 2018 World Cup qualifying hopes when they host Tunisia at Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Tuesday evening, kick-off at 19h30 CAT.

The North Africans have a full haul of nine points from three matches in Group A following a 2-1 victory over the Leopards in Rades on Friday night, with goals from Yassine Meriah and Ghailene Chaalali securing the win.

A victory in Kinshasa could be enough for the Carthage Eagles to secure qualification, depending on the result in the other group match between Libya and Guinea on Monday night.

Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul insists he is not thinking too far ahead, more intent on focusing on the task at hand.

"It is true that we created a lot of opportunities during this game,” he told a post-match press conference after Friday’s win.

“We scored two goals and that's the bottom line. The most important thing was the three points.

“Now we are first, we have to manage our return game well,” the coach said in regards to the match in Kinshasa.

As for his counterpart Florent Ibenge, all is not lost. The DRC tactician has emphasised that his side still has their own fate in their own hands.

They are placed second on six points and will be looking to level up with the Tunisians by winning their home clash, making it a sprint for the top spot in the final two rounds of the qualification campaign.

“The return match will be approached with the firm intention to take the three points,” explained Ibenge.

“The main thing is to finish first of this group. For now we are second, there are three matches to play. Nothing is lost. We still have our destiny in our hands.

“That is to say that one does not depend on the results of the others, one depends on our own results. So if we beat Tunisia on Tuesday, we take again the head of the group.”

South African referee Daniel Bennett will take charge of the match in Kinshasa on Tuesday evening.

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