Otis Ngoma, the head coach of the DR Congo team currently at the 2022 Africa Nations Championship has insisted his side is still keen on landing the country’s third silverware in the competition despite their struggle start in the first game against Uganda.
2009 and 2016 winners DR Congo failed to impress last Friday against the experienced Cranes despite getting the best chances in the game at the 19 May 1956 stadium in Annaba.
Ahead of their second outing against Cote D’Ivoire who lost to Senegal in their corresponding fixture, Ngoma believes nothing has changed about their objective and targets.
“Our objective of winning the competition is alive. We are taking it match after match. We have a tough task against Cote D’Ivoire, after that the final against Senegal,” Ngoma started before putting a finger on what went wrong in the first game and how they’re addressing some of the problems.
“Truth be told we didn’t pay enough attention to the nature of the pitch and that cost us dearly. We have informed the federation as a matter of emergency. They are working with a kits supplier in Algiers. Before tomorrow we will have new kits,” he revealed.
The huge talent supply from domestic championship giants TP Mazembe, AS Vita , St Eloi Lupopo has always made the nation a little better than the rest in the competition. That’s surely why they have achieved at least thr quarter final in the past four participation. However, the excess talents comes with the headache of getting the team selection right.
To some section of Congolese Ngomo may have picked the wrong XI against against Uganda. Ngoma disagrees and justifies clearly.
“We had a bad start of the competition. We selected our team based on training and warm up match details. This same players qualified the team for the competition. We can’t reveal if we will make changes or not. We will see what tomorrow brings.”
The draw in the opener, coupled with the fact that rivals Senegal won makes winning against against Cote D’Ivoire a big target for the central African nation. The ex DC Motema trainer things it’s a must win game.
“We have an obligation not to lose. To avoid getting into funny calculations in the final Matchday. “The team must not lose. We have to avoid getting into funny calculations in the final Matchday. We have to get a result against Cote d’Ivoire. The game tomorrow is hyper important. There is no small team in Africa today. The Madagascar – Ghana fixture was a good demonstration that teams have improved. The objective tomorrow is to win.” Ngoma declared.
The Cote D’Ivoire versus DR Congo clash is a repeat of one of the group games at the 2011 event which the latter edged by 2-1.
While the Ivorians will be out to right wrongs of the past, their Congolese counterparts while be keen on maintenance of what has been between both nations in the competition.
The Francophone Africa derby will be the first of two for the football crazy people of Annaba who are expected to congregate and praise players of both football fraternity for the beauty of the game and as a demonstration of Algerians love for football which knows no bounds.
The 19 May 1956 stadium is expected to be full to more than half of its 40k seats on a night Annaba is expecting rains to also celebrate the quarter final qualification of the home based Desert Foxes from within the stadium. Madjid Bougherra’s team beat Ethiopia 1-0 on Tuesday in Algiers to become the first nation reach the last eight of the 2022 tournament.
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