CHAN 2020 Quaterfinal Preview: DR Congo Out To Shock Cameroon
DR Congo will face off with hosts Cameroon in the 2020 African Nations championship quarterfinal encounter at Stade de Japoma in Douala on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 2200hrs CAT.
The two-time champions DR Congo reached the quarterfinal after a 2-1 win against Niger in their final Group B match played o Monday.
Florent Ibenge charges are hoping to go all the way and win their third African Nations Championship title. They have been quarter-finalist four times 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2020, having gone directly to the semis in 2009.
Ibenge, who was Leopards coach when they won the title in 2016, is the man who is expected to mastermind a win against Cameroon.
Meanwhile, Cameroon reached CHAN quarterfinals for the third time, after 2011 and 2016, hoping to go one step further and reach their first ever semifinal.
The Indomitable Lions are still in a mission to win their first title and they will be meeting DR Congo for the third time in the competition.
Both previous encounters were in the group stage, with Cameroon winning 2-0 in Sudan 2011 and 3-1 in Rwanda 2016.
“I don’t take football in terms of revenge,” DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge said, referring to his side’s loss to Cameroon in 2016 edition in Rwanda.
“We lost to Cameroon in 2016, now we are in 2021. For 90 minutes, you do whatever it takes to win. This is a new game with new players, the only thing that did not change are the two coaches,” he added.
The match will be having a capacity of 25% which is allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and Imbenge view that as a motivation.
“We like to play in front of the public. We have been deprived for a long time, now there will be people at the stadium. I’ve always said it’s better to play with a lot of people even if the audience is against us. We do this job a little bit for that,” concluded Ibenge.
Meanwhile, Cameroon coach Martin Ntoungou Mpile is hopeful of going past DR Congo and book a place in the last four.
“At this level of competition, we don’t think much. It’s only one game and you have to win,” Mpile said. “We know DR Congo very well and we are ready to win this game.”
“It’s good that there is popular excitement around this game. Normally there is pressure on the coach and the players. This pressure drops as soon as the game kicks off.”