Sunday Mar 28, 2021. 14:00
DR Congo will aim to salvage some pride when they close out their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a clash at home to the Gambia at Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Monday 29 March, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
The Leopards suffered a 3-0 loss away to Gabon on Thursday, a result which saw them mathematically eliminated from qualification and miss out on the chance for a fifth successive AFCON appearance.
“We need to put that defeat behind us and focus on beating the Gambia,” said DRC coach Christian Nsengi-Biembe. “There are lessons we can learn, and our focus must shift towards the 2022 World Cup. We can use this match to already begin preparations for that campaign.”
The Gambia, meanwhile, will be in a celebratory mood. Their 1-0 win over Angola on Thursday – courtesy of a goal from Assan Ceesay – secured a first-ever qualification for the AFCON. Claiming a positive result in Kinshasa would be the cherry on top for coach Tom Saintfiet and his team.
“In the five years before my arrival, the Gambia won exactly one international match. Without a doubt this is the biggest achievement of my coaching career,” said the Belgian.
In head-to-head stats, DRC and the Gambia have met in three previous international matches, dating back to 2011. The Scorpions have an unbeaten record, with a 3-0 win in a friendly 10 years ago and a 2-2 draw between the teams in their meeting in Bakau in November 2019.