ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP / Getty
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s journey at the Africa Cup of Nations is heading in the right direction.
On Monday, at an empty Stade d’Oyem, DR Congo held off Morocco for a 1-0 victory and went top of Group C at the Africa Cup of Nations. The fixture’s lone goal came in the 55th minute, when Munir Mohamedi misjudged a cross from Firmin Mubele, allowing Junior Kabananga to strike the ball into the back of the net with his left foot.
Kabananga’s celebration was pretty spectacular.
DR Congo, whose players boycotted training Friday over reduced bonus payments, was forced to play the last nine minutes of the second half with 10 players. Joyce Lomalisa, a substitute, received two yellow cards in 16 minutes, and there was even a period where the Leopards had only nine players on the pitch, as Gabriel Zakuani suffered an injury. Their disadvantage was nearly exploited. Morocco was denied an equaliser in the final minutes when Ley Matampi made a point-back save, blocking a header by Youssef El Arabi.
Among those who watched DR Congo’s triumph was Yannick Bolasie, who missed out on the tournament because of a serious ligament injury.
Romelu Lukaku, whose father played for Zaire, also celebrated the result on Twitter, writing: “What a beautiful victory. Congratulations to the Leopards!”