DR Congo face Ghana in the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations this evening.
The Leopards topped Group C in impressive fashion and consigned a much-fancied Ivory Coast side to an early exit.
Ghana, meanwhile, secured second place in Group D, despite defeat to Egypt in their third game.
Both sides will believe they can progress to the last four but there is little room for error as we enter the knock-out rounds.
Meanwhile, DR Congo captain Gabriel Zakuani believes they have the requisite quality to eliminate Ghana in the quarter final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Leopards are unbeaten after three games and topped their Group ahead of Morocco and defending champions Ivory Coast. Florent Ibenge’s side won two matches against the Atlas Lions and Togo and drew 2-2 with the Ivorians. DR Congo striker Junior Kabananga is currently the tournament’s top scorer with three goals. “We have been together for two years now since the last Africa Cup of Nations 2015,” Zakuani, a centre back, said.
“We have bit more quality and I think it’s because we have stayed for longer and most of us know each other very well. I think we are more than a family at the moment to move forward.’’
Egypt, Morocco set for North African derby
Egypt and Morocco will resume their rivalry with a battle in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals.
The North African giants will meet at Stade de Port-Gentil tonight
Egypt secured their berth in the last eight by topping Group D, with a 1-0 win over Ghana on Wednesday underlining both their pedigree and potency. Added to a goalless draw with Mali and 1-0 win over Uganda, they were worthy winners of their pool.
Hector Cuper’s Pharaohs have yet to concede a goal in the tournament and look more than capable of going all the way to the final, even though their attack has yet to really ‘click’.
Morocco, meanwhile, bounced back from an opening defeat to DR Congo in Group C to finish as runners-up thanks to successive wins over Togo (3-1) and defending champions Ivory Coast (1-0). The latter saw coach Herve Renard eliminate the team he took to glory two years ago. The Frenchman’s pedigree – he has two AFCON winners’ medals, having also taken Zambia to glory in 2012 – has seen Morocco become one of the favourites to win the tournament in Gabon, but the coach has dismissed this out of hand. “I was very lucky to work with Ivory Coast and we share the same spirit. But now I have to continue and try to take Morocco far,” he said after the win over the Elephants.
“We are not favourites to win the tournament, there are better teams than us. But we are still in it.”
In head-to-head stats, Egypt and Morocco have met in 26 previous matches according to FIFA’s statistical database. The Atlas Lions have 13 wins compared to just two for the Pharaohs, while 11 matches have been drwn.
The teams’ last meeting in the AFCON finals was in the 2006 edition in Egypt, where the hosts drew 0-0 with their North Africans rivals in a group stage clash in Cairo.