Afcon 2017: DR Congo Take on Unpredictable Morocco

Congo squad comes with less morale due to unpaid allowances

African Cup of Nations 2017
Group C
DR Congo vs Morocco
Stade de Oyem, health 10pm

Democratic Republic of Congo start to the 2017 African cup of Nations has been marred by the news of players striking over unpaid bonuses.

The players on Friday agreed in unison not to train until their wages are paid which prompted Minister for Sports Wily Bakonga to fly to Gabon and meet the team.

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The Leopards will now try to put their disarray aside as they kickoff the campaign against Morocco in a group C fixture on Monday at Stade de Oyem.

Florent Ibenge, the Congo head coach has built a strong side over the years since taking the role in 2014.

DR Congo will aim at bettering their performance at the last AFCON edition in 2015 where they finished third and the objective this time around is to win the coveted prize they last won in 1974.

The triumph at last year’s Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in Rwanda could be a factor to spur Congo in Gabon.

Despite missing Yannick Bolaise through injury and Bennick Adobe who turned down the call, Congo still has a star studded side across all the departments.

TP Mazembe’s shot stopper Vuni Ley Matampi, Norwich midfielder Youssuf Mulumbu, Jonathan Bolingi, Mobele Ndombe and Cedric Bakambu are some of the key players that will play for Congo.

Morocco on the other hand do not have as many stars as DR Congo but have the motivational factor in head coach Havre Renard.

The French tactician comes to Gabon with the lofty ambition of guiding a third different nation to winning the title.

Renard helped Zambia win in 2012 before guiding defending champions Ivory Coast in 2015.

Morocco come into the tournament with a seemingly depleted side after midfielder Younes Belhanda was ruled out with an injury.

Soufian Boufal and Nordin Amrabat who plays with Southampton and Watford respectively also declined national team calls.

Head to head

The two sides have met 12 times with the last coming on 09th January in a friendly game. Morocco won 3-0 in Rabat.

Played- 12 games

Congo – 2 wins

Morocco- 4 wins

Draws – 6

Key players

Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo)
The 25-year old striker who plies his trade with Spanish LA liga side Villarreal will lead Congo’s line of attack.

Bakambu was influential as Congo picked 5 wins in the qualifying campaign scoring 3 goals in the process.

Youseff El Arabi (Morocco)
Without midfielder Younes Belhanda, El Arabi will carry the task of leading Morocco in the forward positions.

El Arabi netted four goals during the qualifying campaign.


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