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DR Congo 3-1 Guinea: Leopards come from behind to secure semi-final spot

The Leopards of DR Congo are within two games of a first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1974 after a 3-1 win over Guinea.

Mohamed Bayo followed up his 98th minute winner against Equatorial Guinea with a well-taken penalty to open the scoring, but Chancel Mbemba levelled the scores soon after. A Yoane Wissa spot-kick then gave the Leopards a second-half lead before Arthur Masuaku’s speculative free-kick secured the victory.

Fresh off their first win at this tournament, DR Congo now advance to face either Mali or Ivory Coast in the semi-finals.

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Having had an appeal waved away in the opening minutes, Guinea were awarded a penalty in the 17th minute when Mbemba brought down Bayo, who then converted from 12 yards with a cushioned finish high into the Congolese net.

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However, The Leopards levelled the scores on 27 minutes as Mbemba atoned for his earlier error.

The centre-back could easily have been mistaken for a seasoned striker as he pounced on a loose ball and angled his effort into the roof of the net.

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A cagey remainder of the half followed, and the subdued tone continued into the second-half until DR Congo brought on Silas Wamangituka in the 59th minute.

Bringing pace and power to the DRC attack, the substitute made his impact felt just three minutes after his introduction, carrying the ball into the Guinean box and winning a penalty.

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Wissa then showed poise from the penalty-spot, striking the ball confidently into the bottom-left corner for a 65th minute lead.

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A set-piece of a less routine variety then put the game beyond doubt.

Standing over a free-kick on the left-flank, Masuaku took aim at Ibrahim Koné’s goal instead of the Congolese crowd in the middle and beat the Guinean keeper at his near post.

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What next for DR Congo?

The Leopards now progress to face either Mali or Ivory Coast in the semi-finals on the 7th February.

Fearsome as these sides are, DR Congo are yet to face defeat at the tournament so far and have proven themselves a stubborn opponent.

Featured image credit: Ben Sutherland


  • Jonny Coffey

    Jonny Coffey, 21, is a London-based sports journalist focusing on football. Fascinated by tactics, Coffey is famed for his introduction of inverted full backs to the second division of Cambridge college football, and his admiration for Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrows. A lifelong Arsenal fan, his interest in analysing wing play is a thinly-veiled ploy to rave about Bukayo Saka.