Cedric Bakambu of DR Congo celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals game between Zimbabwe and DR Congo at 30 June Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on 30 June 2019 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Sunday Jun 30, 2019. 23:05
DR Congo hammered Zimbabwe 4-0 in their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group A match at the 30 June Stadium in Egypt on Sunday night.
The result saw the Leopards and Warriors finish their group stage campaign third, and fourth respectively.
The Leopards got off to a flying start as they broke the deadlock as early as the fourth minute through their targetman Jonathan Bolingi.
The Belgium-based striker pounced and scored with a header from close range to make it 1-0 to DR Congo after Zimbabwe goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze failed to hold Cedric Bakambu's free-kick.
The Warriors grew in confidence as the match progressed, but Sunday Chidzambwa's men were struggling to create clear-cut chances for their strikers Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat.
DR Congo, who have won two AFCON titles, looked dangerous every time they pushed forward and they managed to double their lead five minutes after the half-hour mark.
China-based striker Bakambu raced clear and fired past Baroka FC shot-stopper Chipezeze to make it 2-0 to DR Congo with the Zimbabwe defence exposed.
Bolingi, who had opened the scoring, picked up an injury and he was replaced by Middlesbrough FC frontman Britt Assombalonga on the stroke of half-time.
DR Congo were deservedly leading 2-0 at the interval after taking their chances in the first-half.
Chidzambwa introduced Nyasha Mushekwi, who is a striker by trade, seven minutes after the restart as Zimbabwe looked to pull one back.
However, the Leopards continued to attack in search of more goals and they were awarded a penalty after Bakambu was fouled by Chipezeze in the box.
Bakambu then stepped up and fired past Chipezeze, who had replaced injured George Chigova in the starting line-up, to make it 3-1 to DR Congo five minutes after the hour-mark.
It was 4-0 to DR Congo following a mistake by Chipezeze as the goal-minder fumbled the ball and Assombalonga hit the back of the net with 12 minutes left.
Zimbabwe pushed for a late consolation goal, but Tino Kadewere was brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Ley Matampi to ensure that DR Congo recorded a 4-0 victory on the night.
Zimbabwe (0) 0
DR Congo (2) 4 (Bolingi 4, Bakambu 35', 65', Assombalonga 78')
Zimbabwe: Chipezeze, Darikwa, Mhlanga, Hadebe, Pfumbidzal, Munetsi (Kadewere 70'), Phiri, Karuru, Chawapiwa (Mushekwi 52'), Musona (Mahachi 80'), Billiat.
DR Congo: Matampi, Issama, Mbemba, Tisserand, Ngonda, Akolo (Luyindama 83'), Mulumbu (Elia 76'), Moke, Maghoma, Bakambu, Bolingi (Assombalonga 45').