DR Congo out to get Afcon qualifier campaign on track

football23 March 2023 13:36| © Backpage TXT
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Sebastien Desabre © BackpaPix

DR Congo will take on Mauritania in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group I match at the Japoma Stadium in Cameroon on Friday.

Kick-off is at 3:00 pm CAT.


The Leopards succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Sudan away in their previous Group I match in June last year and they are winless in their last two matches in the Afcon qualifiers.

The 1965 African champions are placed fourth on the group standings without a single point and they are four points behind leaders, Mauritania, and Congo cannot afford to drop more points.

Meanwhile, Mauritania managed to hold Gabon to a 0-0 draw away in their last Group I game in June last year as they extended their unbeaten run to four matches in the Afcon qualifiers.

The Lions of Chinguetti are level on points with second-placed Gabon with four matches left and two wins over Congo would put Mauritania in a good position to qualify for the finals.


Congo will be without one of their key attackers, Neeskens Kebano as the Fulham star is nursing a long-term injury, but free-scoring striker Fiston Mayele is part of the current squad.

On the other hand, Adama Ba has been omitted from the latest Mauritania squad, but Aboubakar Kamara, who scored twice against Sudan in a Group I match last year June, is part of the team.


DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre

“On the sporting level, the two matches between DRC and Mauritania are an exciting challenge for us," Desabre said in a press conference.

"But with a handicap, because the Leopards are placed fourth in the group without a single point from two outings. Nevertheless, we believe in our objective and we must mobilize ourselves to achieve the objective in a common effort.

"At this stage, nothing is lost and we must dream to succeed in the challenge of qualification which is dear to all of us."

Mauritania head coach Amir Abdou

"We're going to try to provide as much information (to the players) and be ready for D-Day," Abdou said on Sport DRC.

"The state of mind is very good, especially since what's more important is to put the players in the best conditions, in order to prepare for these two matches.

"After that, when I say the truth is on the ground, we will do everything we can to achieve our goals."


DR Congo and Mauritania have met twice across all competitions.

The Leopards won both matches with their last meeting ending in a 1-0 win at the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Polokwane, South Africa.