Cedric Bakambu, Gael Kakuta and Arthur Masuaku were DR Congo’s scorers as they ran out 3-1 winners against 10-man Mauritania this Friday in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier clash in Lubumbashi.
Coach Amir Abdou’s Mauritania had a rare off day in the match day three fixture as they were reduced to ten as early as the 22nd minute after Idrissa Thiam was shown a straight Red card.
Coach Sebastien Desabre’s DR Congo was the better side in the opening 45 minutes but only got the reward for their efforts in the closing moments.
Kakuta scored his 5th goal for his country eight minutes from the break after he received a fine ball from Yoan Wissa.
Veteran forward Bakambu made it 2-0 just five minutes later, putting the ball past
Babacar Niasse on goal for Mauritania.
Coach Amir tweaked things in midfield before resumption, bringing on Abdallahi Mahmoud in place of El Hadji Ba.
There was an almost instant impact from the move as Aly Abied reduced the deficit for the visitors ten minutes into the second segment, off an assist from Fofana.
DR Congo reacted to conceding by making a number of changes; Gael Kakuta made way for William Balikwisha of Standard Liege and Wissa was replaced by Katumba Mvumpa.
Aaron Tshibola of AEL Limassol saw yellow for his troubles in the heart of the Congolese midfield.
Masuaku sealed the win minutes after the hour mark as he beat Niasse for the third time to make it 3-1.
There were multiple change in personnel in the final moments of the game but DR Congo preserved their two goals cushion till the end to finally win in the third time of asking and cause a first official defeat for Amir Abdou’s Mauritania.
The result leaves DRC bottom of Group E but blows it wide open going into the final three games of the qualifiers.
Gabon lead the group with seven points, three better than Mauritania in second spot while Sudan and DR Congo all have three points and are third and fourth respectively.
Mauritania hosts DR Congo on match day four of the AFCON qualifier next Monday at the Stade de la Capital in Nouakchott.
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