Zimbabwe 0-4 DR Congo
Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Democratic Republic of Congo saw off Zimbabwe 4-0 to get off the mark with their first victory in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and remain in the hunt for a place in the last 16.
Following defeats by the same 2-0 scoreline to Uganda and tournament hosts Egypt in their first two matches, only victory would do for Florent Ibenge’s side in Cairo if they were to finish above their opponents in Group A.
And they got the job done in emphatic fashion in Sunday’s clash as Jonathan Bolingi and Britt Assombalonga scored either side of Bakambu’s brace.
DR Congo claimed third place and a possible spot in the knockout stages, depending on results elsewhere over the next two days, while eliminating their opponents in the process.
Zimbabwe, heading back home without a win from their three matches, gifted DR Congo their opener as goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze parried Jacques Maghoma’s fourth-minute free-kick onto the crossbar and Bolingi converted the headed rebound.
Bakambu gave his side some breathing space half an hour later by flicking the ball past Chipezeze with the outside of his boot after being played through on goal by a simple pass in behind from Issama Djos.
Chadrac Akolo should have put the game out of Zimbabwe’s reach before half-time, only to fire his volley from 12 yards right at Chipezeze once picked out by Djos.
But Zimbabwe were unable to take the rare chances that fell their way, with Nyasha Mushekwi being denied by Matampi Ngumbi with a flicked finish from the best of them just short of an hour in, and Bakambu soon added a third.
The Beijing Guoan striker was brought down by Chipezeze when attempting to round the keeper to win a penalty, which he took himself and converted.
Assombalonga came off the bench to add a fourth 12 minutes from time with a close-range finish after yet more questionable goalkeeping from Chipezeze.