Oyem - Defending
champions the Ivory Coast twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with the
Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday in a lively Africa Cup of Nations
The result in the northern Gabonese town of Oyem kept the
vibrant Congolese top of Group C with four points from two matches
followed by the Ivorians with two.
Togo have one point and Morocco, their opponents later Friday in the second match of a double-header, are pointless.
defeat for Morocco, guided by twice Cup of Nations-winning coach Herve
Renard, and they will be eliminated having gone down by a lone goal to
DR Congo four days ago.
Neeskens Kebano and Junior Kabananga
scored for the Congolese while Wilfried Bony and captain Geoffrey Serey
Die got the Ivorian goals.
"I think we conceded easy goals," admitted Serey Die, successor to retired midfielder Yaya Toure as skipper of the Elephants.
have to concentrate more as we had the match in our hands. It's a shame
that we woke up too late, but these lessons will serve us well in our
Coach Michel Dussuyer said: "They gave us lots of problems and we suffered physically.
"We weren't attentive enough on the two goals conceded. Now we have our destiny in our hands."
fixture has a history of goals with four previous Cup of Nations
meetings delivering 13, including four when the Ivory Coast won a
semi-final 3-1 two years ago.
It was no surprise, then, that a first half in which both sides were committed to attack ended 2-1 in favour of the Congolese.
put twice champions DR Congo ahead on nine minutes with a sizzling shot
across goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo into the far corner.
stemmed from a throw-in to Kabananga, who pushed it back to Kebano,
whose first name stems from the respect his father had for former Dutch
star Johan Neeskens.
DR Congo looked sharper than the
title-holders until recalled Bony began to make an impact from midway
through the half through his aerial strength.
He nodded his first
chance narrowly wide and equalised on 25 minutes with a powerful
glancing header past goalkeeper Ley Matampi following a corner.
teams remained level for only three minutes, though, before Kabananga
put the Congolese ahead again with his second goal of the group phase.
unmarked at the far post, he soared to powerfully nod a cross past
Gbohouo, who plays his club football in DR Congo with six-time African
champions TP Mazembe.
Ivory Coast equalised again midway through the second half with a deflected shot from Serey Die leaving Matampi stranded.
Salomon Kalou thought he had snatched a stoppage-time winner for the
Ivorians with a close-range shot, but was correctly ruled offside.