Junior Kabananga strike sees DR Congo hold off Morocco – Africa Cup of Nations 2017
DR Congo 1-0 Morocco
A howler from Morocco goalkeeper Munir Mohand gifted DR Congo victory in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Junior Kabananga was on hand to slot home after the stopper strangely used his feet instead of his hands to stop a cross early in the second half.
Morocco were given a ray of hope when Joyce Lomalisa was sent off for a second bookable offence just 16 minutes after coming on as a substitute, but were unable to capitalise.
The Atlas Lions’ coach Herve Renard has won two of the last three tournaments, and is looking to become first coach to win three Nations Cups with three different nations. He has been tasked with reaching at the quarter-finals at least this time around, but his new side will have to improve markedly if the Frenchman is to have any chance of achieving that after this opener.
Mbark Boussoufa looked like he had set the tone for the match early on, curling an effort from distance against the crossbar as Renard’s men dominated the opening exchanges.
The goal didn’t come, however, and Morocco were punished for their lack of potency, as Kabananga finished superbly ten minutes into the second half, with the chance stemming from a woeful piece of goalkeeping from Munir.
Lomalisa’s late red card and an injury to Congo captain Gabriel Zakuani effectively meant Morocco only had to find a way past nine men in the dying moments, but they offered little threat even then, and prop up Group C after the opening round of matches as a result, with the Leopards sitting top of the pile.