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Congo Suffer Defeat in CHAN Opener

Congo’s Red Devils started their 2020 African Nations Championship campaign on a low note after falling to a 1-0 defeat to neighbors DR Congo on Sunday night.

The opening 20 minutes proved to be a cagey affair, as neither side showed any ambition of getting an early goal.

The Red Devils ‘s best chance in the opening exchanges came via long range effort from Chandrel Géraud Massanga Mpho , while Prince Mapata Mouandza had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee.

DR Congo were presented with an opening from a set piece in the 32nd minute but debutante, Kimvuidi Karim, curled his free-kick just wide of the upright.

Chico Kubanza, who was causing problems for Congo in midfield, almost setup the breakthrough goal for Miché Micheon the 40th minute after sliding through a defense splitting pass but the latter skied his effort over the bar.

The Barthélémy Ngatsono’s men were asking questions of DR Congo in the closing phase of the first stanza but Leopards stayed strong at the back and the sides went to the break deadlocked, without goals.

The sides were cancelling each other out early in the second stanza and DR Congo broke the deadlock through a brilliant free-kick by Makabi Lilepo from the edge of the box towards the top corner at the near post, 1-0.

The Red Devils had a great chance to level matters in 65th minutes after Bersyl Ngatsongo threaded a through ball inside the box but Hardy Alain Samarange Binguila’s curling strike missed agonizingly wide.

DR Congo’s goalkeeper Ley Matampi had to be at his best in the 76th minute, as he pulled off a stunning stop to deny Gautrand Ngouenimba from 12-yards out.

The Leopards managed to see off a late surge from their neighbors including a powerful effort from Ngatsongo, to secure three important points in Group B.

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