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Played
January 28, 2013 5:00 PM GMT
Moses Mabhida Stadium — Durban
Referee:‬ D. Haïmoudi‎
Attendance:‬ 8000‎
 
3′ (PG) Mbokani

DR Congo - Mali Preview: Two ambitious sides clash for a quarter-final ticket

The Congolese have two draws under their belts, while the Malians find themselves with three points from their two encounters thus far

By Kingsley Kobo

Keita celebrates after Mali goal
Getty Images
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

DR CONGO
South Africa
Kidiaba
Issama, Kasusula, Mbeba, Mulumbu
Makiadi, Kaluyituka, Mputu, Lualua
Mbokani, Kabangu


MALI

Morocco
Samassa
Coulibaly, Tamboura, Diawara, Traore
Traore, Sissoko,Keita,
Diabate, Maiga, Diarra


After bagging only two points from two matches, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s chances to reach the quarter-finals hang by a thread. They need to beat Mali and hope Ghana overwhelm Niger during Group B’s last match day on Monday.

The Leopards are returning to the continental scene after six years of absence and have pegged their worst setback to happen in the quarter-finals, which they have played five times after their 1968 and 1974 victories in the finals. However, their path will cross with another ambitious team, Mali, whose objective for the tournament is finishing third, at least, as they did in the 2012 Afcon.

DR Congo fuelled hopes after their bold 2-2 draw against Ghana in their opener but were stunned by low-rated Niger, who held them to a glaring goalless draw on Thursday, and thus adding woe to their situation for the rest of the competition.

Coach Claude Le Roy’s blueprint will contain full attacking and defending tactics, needed to out-gun the Eagles while avoiding frustration in the process, against a talented and experienced Malian outfit.

Mali’s lone-goal loss to Ghana brought a chilly shock to the Eagles’ camp. Coach Patrice Carteron was expecting a repeat of his side’s triumph over the Black Stars in the last edition’s third place match. He told his players they could do it again and hoped his men would maintain the momentum from their 1-0 win over Niger earlier on, however, they were outplayed, which the Frenchman said was due to fatigue and hard luck.

Now he needs to amend all that against the Leopards in a clash to determine who qualifies to the knockout stage and who bids farewell to the competition.

The Malians have their backs to the wall and will push with all their might to scramble a ticket to the next round at a time when the west African nation stands at a crossroads in its history, with the war to dislodge Islamic forces from the north still raging and the population hanging their hopes on their team for the much-needed joy and happiness in times of difficulty.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • DR Congo entered the competition in 1957 and have played 16 editions since then, winning the trophy in 1968 and 1974, and finishing third in 1998.

  • The Leopards had their biggest win in November 1969 against Zambia 10-1.

  • Claude Le Roy has coached the DR Congo twice, between 2004 and 2006 before returning in 2011. He also coached Cameroon twice from 1985 to 1988 and in 1998.

  • Mali came with three home based players: Soumbeyla Diakite from Stade Malien and Aly Yirango of Djoliba, as well as defender Salif Coulibaly also of Djoliba.

  • Twelve of Mali’s 23 players ply their trade in the French Ligue 1.

  • Mali’s best record in the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1972 when they finished as runners-up against Congo in Cameroon.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ Jan 28, 2013 DR Congo - Kinshasa 1 - Mali 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
21Muteba KidiabaGoalkeeper
-M. IssamaDefender
-Jean Kasusula KiritshoDefender
2Cedric MongonguDefender
-Gabriel ZakuaniDefender
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
-Cedrick MakiadiMidfielder
-MbokaniStriker
-Y. DibaStriker
-A. KaluyitukaStriker
-LuaLuaStriker
-Parfait MandandaGoalkeeper
-Landu BakalaGoalkeeper
25Larrys MabialaDefender
14Landry MulemoMidfielder
-C. MbembaDefender
-Trésor MputuStriker
-Z. MatumonaMidfielder
-N. LuvumbuStriker
-Makuntima KisombeMidfielder
-P. KabanguStriker
-Budge ManziaStriker
-D. KandaStriker
Players to Watch
Mbokani
Mbokani
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
3 5 1 0

Expect the Belgium-based goal poacher to once again put the Congolese on the football map with his strikes. A great deal will depend on him if the Leopards are to make a difference in this game.

Seydou Keita
Seydou Keita
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The former Barcelona star will once again be the man to watch as his team faces another tough opponent and he will need to put in a great deal of effort to book a slot at the next phase of the tournament. 

Prediction

This is an open game and could go either way, but a draw is likely to be recorded in this epic encounter.

Editor's Prediction
DRC 2
Mali 2
Results
Group A Matchday 3
Times In GMT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Didier Drogba Didier Drogba
Striker
Galatasaray
6 3
Mbokani Mbokani
Striker
Dynamo Kiev
5 2
Alain Traoré Alain Traoré
Midfielder
FC Lorient
5 0
Wakaso Wakaso
Midfielder
Rubin
4 3
Victor Moses Victor Moses
Midfielder
Liverpool
4 2