DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre is hoping that cooler heads will prevail in their final Group F match against Tanzania at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Wednesday, January 24.
Kick-off is at 10pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
A scuffle broke out between the Leopards and Moroccan camps after the final whistle following their 1-1 draw at the Laurent Pokou Stadium on January 21.
The incident kicked off when Atlas Lions head coach Walid Regragui and DR Congo defender Chancel Mbemba got into a heated argument at the end of the game, with Desabre blaming the heat for the flared tempers.
Desabre’s side had also played out to a 1-1 draw with Zambia in their group opener four days earlier and they trail Morocco by two points in second place.
The Taifa Stars only have one point to show for their efforts after Chipolopolo scored an 88th-minute equaliser on January 21 to deny them a first victory at the continental showpiece.
Hemed Suleiman’s side had suffered a 3-0 defeat to the North Africans first up in Ivory Coast and they are bottom of the group, desperately needing a win to stay in the tournament.
Novatus Miroshi is available for selection for Suleiman after serving a one-match suspension against Zambia following his sending off in the opening game with the Atlas Lions. Desabre also has a fully-fit squad at his disposal for this crunch clash.
What was said:
DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre
On the altercation with Morocco: “It’s the heat. It’s a big match between two big nations. It’s very hot. Very, very hot. There was a bit of frustration on both sides. These are men’s matches, so it’s normal. That’s the beauty of it.”
Tanzania interim coach Hemed Suleiman
“We were going for three points but we are going to take the point. It’s football. We have a young team that continues to learn and progress game after game.
“Some players fell physically today but we will work on that. And certainly in the next match, we will be even better.”
Players to watch:
Tanzania – Simon Msuva has scored his country’s only goal at the African spectacle to date after lashing a shot into the top right corner of the net against Chipolopolo in the first half to open the scoring. The 30-year-old striker moved level with Mbwana Samatta in the all-time leading scorers’ list with 22 goals and the duo are just three shy of equalling Mrisho Ngassa’s record of 25.
DR Congo – Silas Katompa Mvumpa made quite the impact against Morocco following his introduction as a substitute in the 64th minute, scoring the equaliser from the penalty spot 12 minutes later and earned the Man-of-the-Match award. The 25-year-old will be hoping to get his first start at Afcon 2023 after coming on for the final few minutes against the Copper Bullets.
Matches – 6
Tanzania wins – 2
DR Congo wins – 2
Draws – 2