Afcon 2017: Ivory Coast Rally to Hold DRC in Thriller

DRC defender Bokadi and Wilfred Bony rise for an aerial challenge during the game.

Defending champions, visit this Ivory Coast, page came from behind twice to collect a vital 2-2 draw against DR Congo in a pulsating end to end clash staged in Oyem on Friday.

The match got off in an explosive fashion with three goals already registered by the half hour mark.

DR Congo drew the first blood nine minutes into the game. Mubele picked a pass and rushed down his left wing but his attempt was directed out for a corner kick. Wilfred Bony cleared the resultant kick.

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The Leopards recollected in a jiffy with Kabananga picking up a throw in and set up Neeskens Kebano for a powerful low drive.

Bony came closer to a leveller in the 22nd. Serge Aurier curled a swift cross to pick out the former Manchester City star who was unmarked. His lofted header looped over Matampi but spanned wide.

The striker finally unlocked the codes a minute later after brushing in Max Gradel’s corner kick.

Tisserand initiated a move minutes later which snaked through to Mubele in the right lane. The winger drove past a defender and Mbokani cross to find Kabananga who was unusually unmarked at the back end of the post. Kabananga didn’t waste time to restore the lead.

The Elephants’ skipper Serey Die pulled the team back in the 66th. Die bursted into DRC’s final third and powered in a low shot which got a big deflection on a defender leaving Matampi helpless in goal.

Coach Dussuyer later introduced Solomon Kalou for Max Gradel. The striker was unfortunate when his last minute stunning nonstop volley was flagged off.

The draw leaves Ivory Coast in the third spot with two points while DRC maintain lead with four.


Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, this site Aurier, Bailly, Kanon, Traore (45′ Deli), Doukoure, Serey Die, Kessie, Zaha, Bony, Gradel (76′ Kalou)

DRC: Matampi, Ikoko (72′ Mulumbu), Bokadi, Tisserand, Mpeko, Mbemba, Maghoma (72′ Mulumba, Kabananga (79′ Bolingi), Kebano, Mubele, Mbokani


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