DR Congo, Zambia share spoils

2015-01-18 22:40
Diedonnei Mbokani (Backpagepix)

Ebebiyin - Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie equalised as Democratic Republic of Congo fought back to draw 1-1 with Zambia Sunday in the Africa Cup of Nations Group B opener.

Given Singuluma stunned the Leopards by giving the Zambian Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) a second-minute lead in a match where the Congolese had a territorial edge.

Bolasie levelled midway through the second half in a game that featured two other English Premier League players -- Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu.

A near-capacity crowd in the 5,000-seat Estadio de Ebebiyin and a smooth pitch set the scene for a dramatic start to a mini-league that also includes Cape Verde and Tunisia.

Just 62 seconds had gone when Zambia had the ball in the net through striker Singuluma, who plays for leading DR Congo club Tout Puissant Mazembe.

A cross forced Congolese goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba into action, but his weak punched clearance reached only the edge of the penalty area.

One Zambian controlled the ball, allowing in-rushing Singuluma to unleash a low shot that found the corner of the net to the astonishment of the disorganised Congolese.

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, one of seven survivors from the 2012 Cup of Nations-winning team in the starting line-up, almost gifted DR Congo an equaliser on eight minutes.

The veteran spilled a seemingly harmless cross, but burly Ukraine-based Congolese striker Dieumerci Mbokani squandered a good chance by blazing over.

Two-time champions DR Congo had more possession and Bolasie, one of three English Premier League players on view, forced Mweene to block a low shot with an outstretched leg.

Mweene was busier than Kidiaba and did well to hold a looping header as Mbokani soared to nod a Joel Kimwaki free-kick goalwards.

Bolasie had the last chance of the opening half just before the break from a free-kick just outside the box.

His curling attempt came off the head of Zambian Nathan Sinkala and deflected narrowly wide of the far post with Mweene stranded.

Dusk set over the north-eastern town as the second half kicked off and the persistent pressure of the Congolese finally paid off on 66 minutes when Bolasie levelled.

A Zambian was dispossessed just outside his penalty area and a run and cut-back offered the France-born midfielder a chance to shoot wide of Mweene into the corner of the net.

Shock 2013 quarter-finalists Cape Verde and former champions Tunisia meet at 1900 GMT in the second match of a double-header.

Read more on:    dr congo  |  zambia  |  afcon 2015  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.