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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Elimination will be painful due to our quality – DR Congo captain Mulumbu

4:34 am AEST 2/7/19
Youssouf Mulumbu DR Congo
The Leopards skipper believes the star-studded nation’s poor start at the Nations Cup finals will be to blame if they are eliminated

Democratic Republic of Congo captain Youssouf Mulumbu hopes the nation’s 4-0 hammering of Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations hasn’t come too late, as they look to avoid elimination.

The Leopards were defeated by Uganda and Egypt in their opening two fixtures of the biennial showpiece before mauling the Warriors on Sunday night.

Mulumbu, who was an unused substitute for the defeats, captained the side to victory against Zimbabwe and hopes they make it into the next round owing to the quality the team possesses.

“With the quality this team has it would be painful if we exit the competition at this stage,” Mulumbu told Goal.

“I think we would have ourselves to blame because we started badly. However, we displayed a good performance [against Zimbabwe] which we need to show again if we are to progress.”

The recently-released Celtic man then lauded his teammates, reserving some special praise for Jacques Maghoma, before looking forward with optimism.

“I am very proud of this team. A special mention to Jacques [Maghoma], he was exceptional. I think these are values we have to keep for the future if we happen to reach the next round," he added.

“But now, it no longer depends on us. We have to pray because we are believers, we will make it, I strongly believe. I don’t believe in miracles, I believe in God.”

Having ended in third place in Group A with three points, DR Congo face an anxious couple of days to determine if they are one of the four best third-placed sides as they seek a place in the last 16.