Ngoma: Leopards not ticking smoothly yet

Ngoma: Leopards not ticking smoothly yet
Democratic Republic of the Congo coach Otis Ngoma during the 2022 CAF African Nations Championship press conference for Democratic Republic of the Congo at 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba, Algeria on 17 January 2023 © BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Jan 19, 2023. 14:22

DR Congo head coach Otis Ngoma admits his side have yet to find their rhythm at the 2022 African Nations Championships (CHAN) after playing out to a 0-0 draw with 10-man Ivory Coast on Wednesday.

The Leopards struggled to break down the Elephants at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba and were unable to take advantage of the extra man following Mohamed Zougrana’s dismissal in the 87th minute.

The two-time CHAN champions trail Group B leaders Uganda by two points in third place, having also shared the spoils in a goalless draw with the Cranes in their tournament opener on Saturday.

While Ngoma has seen some progress in their performance against the Ivorians, he still feels the players haven’t quite clicked yet on the pitch and is hoping it will all come together in the final group tie with Senegal on Sunday.

“We made changes today and there was net progress in the performance from the last game against Uganda,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“We only played two warm-up matches. We have players who are still getting to know each other. The center-backs for example played together for the first time this evening. We hope to get our rhythm in the next game.

“We have a problem of ball retention, if we resolve this, the team will surely tick better. We added two center forwards in the final 10 minutes because we were hoping to take advantage of the crosses. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

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