DR Congo Surges Past Guinea to Secure Spot in AFCON Semi-Finals

DR Congo Surges Past Guinea to Secure Spot in AFCON Semi-Finals

DR Congo secured their place in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with an impressive 3-1 triumph over Guinea in the quarter-final clash on Friday.

The Leopards, initially facing early pressure from the Syli Nationale, turned the game around at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara.

Guinea took the lead through Mohamed Bayo’s 20th-minute penalty, awarded after a foul by Chancel Mbemba in the box. Initially overlooked, the penalty was granted following a VAR review, and Bayo calmly converted to put Guinea ahead. However, DR Congo’s captain, Chancel Mbemba, responded swiftly, rising highest to head home an equalizer from a corner just seven minutes later.

In the second half, the Leopards intensified their efforts, with Cedric Bakambu missing a golden opportunity, and Sekou Sylla firing off target for Guinea. The decisive moment arrived when substitute Silas was brought down in the area, leading to Yoane Wissa converting from the penalty spot.

Guinea’s hopes were further deflated, and DR Congo sealed the victory late in the game when Arthur Masuaku scored a stunning third goal.

This dominant performance by the two-time champions sets them up for a semi-final clash against either hosts Cote d’Ivoire or Mali. Despite the defeat, Guinea can take pride in reaching the quarter-finals for the third time in their history.

Key Match Facts:

DR Congo has qualified for their sixth semi-final in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, the second in the 21st century.

Guinea has lost in all five quarter-finals they have appeared in at the Africa Cup of Nations, making them the nation with the most appearances at this stage without a win.

DR Congo became the second nation to score at least three goals in an Africa Cup of Nations knockout match with a 100% conversion rate on target.

Two penalties were awarded in a knockout game at the Africa Cup of Nations for only the second time since 2010.

Mohamed Bayo scored three of Guinea’s four goals in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, becoming their first goalscorer in a quarter-final since Pascal Feindouno in 2006.

Chancel Mbemba, at 29 years and 178 days, became DR Congo’s second oldest goalscorer in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Arthur Masuaku scored DR Congo’s first direct free-kick at the Africa Cup of Nations since Paul-José M’Poku in 2017, making them the first team to score three goals from set-pieces in a knockout match since 2010.

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