Youssouf Mulumbu (L) with Florent Ibenge (R)
Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 15:00
DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge insists that his side’s fate in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers is still in their own hands.
The Leopards succumbed to a 2-1 defeat away to Group A leaders Tunisia on Friday night, leaving them three points adrift of the North Africans in the race for top spot.
However, Ibenge explains that a win in the teams’ return game at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Tuesday evening will put them back in the running for a place in Russia 2018.
“The return match will be approached with the firm intention to take the three points,” Ibenge told a post-match press conference.
“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.”
Ibenge regretted the poor start his team made to both halves in the match in Rades and has promised that they will be on the ball from the first whistle in the return game.
“We had a bad start in the game, we had a better finish,” added the DRC mentor.
“At the half time I insisted that we could start this second half in the same concentration that we finished the first.
“There is a goal, similar to the first. This is where there is a bit of anger. But we must go back, correct, so that on Tuesday it does not happen anymore.”