Breaking News: Congo DR defeat Mali for second CHAN trophy

Breaking News: Congo DR defeat Mali for second CHAN trophy

Sunday, February 7, 2016 7:32 pm

DR Congo players: champions again

DR Congo players: champions again

Taiwo Adelu

Congo DR Leopards have  won their second African Nations Championship trophy  after defeating Mali 3-0 at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Congolese won the maiden edition in Ivory Coast in 2009.

Elia Meschak scored twice for the well-experienced Congolese side, in the 29th and 62nd minute, while Jonathan Bolingi added the third in the 73rd minute.

Despite the rain, DR Congo were at their best to showcase  their supremacy over the Malians.

The grudge encounter started with the Malian Eagles putting pressure on the Leopards   through Mamadou Coulibaly who in the 8th minute made effort to put his side in the lead as he sent a long range shot at goal but it was off the target.

In the 10th minute, the same Coulibaly got another chance and this time it went inches above the cross bar.

Meschak: won both the Orange Man of the Match and Orange Man of the Competition

Meschak: won both the Orange Man of the Match and Orange Man of the Competition

At 20th minute of play,  the Malians were asserting themselves already, breaking up play and counter attacking on the other end. But the defenders of Mali were to pay dearly for giving Meschak Elia of DR Congo too much space to hold the ball at their goal area. Very quick, intelligent and skillful, Elia picked up a long ball down the left, cut inside and fired a rocket past goalkeeper Djigui Diarra from a tight angle to score a 29th minute goal for DR Congo and the stadium erupted with wild jubilation from the Congolese.

After the goal, there was a good spell of pressure from Mali, but they were unable to create any clear opening, as DR Congo’s goalie, Ley Matampi always on hand to stop any threat coming his way. He made a spectacular save from a long-range attempt in the 35th minute, before Abdoulaye Diarra of Mali shoot the rebound straight back at the goalkeeper. Zacharie Mombo tried to make it 2-0 for DR Congo, but he dragged his shot wide of the mark.

The Congolese were now playing with confidence which they took to the second half of the final.

Ley Matampi: DR Congo keeper at his acrobatic best

Ley Matampi: DR Congo keeper at his acrobatic best

Five minutes into the second half, both sides were still looking to settle back into a rhythm after the interval. In the 52nd minute, DR Congo’s goalkeeper, Ley Matampi was at his best with an acrobatic piece of work to keep out a Mali cross that threatened to drift into the net.

In the 54th minute,  Mali made their first substitution – Mamadou Coulibaly made way for N’Guessan Kouame, who in the 58th minute tried a long range effort, but he was way off the mark.

A 62nd minute goal, however, came for the Congolese when Elia scored another fantastic goal to double the Leopards’ advantage. The attacker picked up a through ball, dribbled past Malian goalkeeper to put the ball in an empty net. Elia was in a class of his own, comfortable on the ball, beat defenders easily before sending crosses into the box.

The match seemed to have turned into an exhibition match for DR Congo, who racked up their third goal with a low, rifled shot from the edge of the box by Jonathan Bolingi in the 72nd minute of play. This was a fine finish from Bolingi to kill the game off.

DR Congo fans sang  praises of coach Florent Ibenge as the Leopards lifted their second CHAN title and the new Orange African Nations Champions

Ivory Coast had in the afternoon clinched third place following a 2-1 win over Guinea.

Goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse was the hero of the day after he saved two penalties to deny the Sylis who are participating in the biennial tournament exclusive to players who feature in their domestic leagues for the very first time.



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