The new champions of African Nations Championship (CHAN), the Leopards of DR Congo were $750,000 richer after they won the 2016 edition of the tournament in Kigali, Rwanda on Sunday.
The final at the Amahoro Stadium saw DR Congo romp to an emphatic 3-0 victory, courtesy of a brace from the excellent Mechak Elia and a fine strike by Jonathan Bolingi.
According to the Confederation of African Football, CAF, beside the trophy, the Congolese were given the sum of $750,000, whilst Mali pocketed $400,000 for finishing second. Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea who finished third and fourth respectively received $250,000 each.
While 19-year-old Meschak Elia of DR Congo was adjudged the Orange Man of the Match in the final, his compatriot, captain of the Congolese team, Joel Kimwaki won the CAF Fair Play Award.
Meschak: won both the Orange Man of the Match and Orange Man of the Competition
The final, which was watched by CAF president and acting president of FIFA, Dr. Issa Hayatou and President of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, saw DR Congo creaating the tournament record of being the first country to ever win two CHAN titles after they won their first in 2009.
Congolese celebrate one of their goals
The DR Congo won the maiden tournament in the Ivory Coast in 2009 when they defeated Ghana 2-0 in the final, and Florent Ibenge’s side has fought hard to get back to the final after being knocked out in the quarters in the last two tournaments in Sudan (2011) and in South Africa in 2014. They needed extra-time goals to overcome hosts Rwanda in the last eight and dumped out hard-fighting Guinea 5-4 on penalties in the semis.