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Africa Cup of Nations

Arthur Masuaku nets first international goal in DR Congo draw against Kenya

08:31 IST 16/06/2019
Arthur Masuaku - West Ham United v Everton - Premier League
The West Ham United full-back scored a late free-kick to help the Leopards to a 1-1 draw against the Harambee Stars

Arthur Masuaku's first ever international goal for DR Congo was enough to earn his nation a late draw against Kenya on Saturday.

The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) participants drew 1-1 in their final preparatory friendly before the biennial showpiece, which is scheduled to start in Egypt on June 21.

DR Congo found themselves behind after a Michael Olunga effort in the 25th minute put the Harambee Stars ahead, and it stayed that way until half-time.

The Leopards got a lifeline six minutes after the interval when Paul-Jose Mpoku was fouled in the penalty area. However Cedric Bakambu failed to tuck away the resultant spot-kick.

Nonetheless, with three minutes of normal time to play, West Ham United’s Masuaku dispatched a brilliant free-kick from outside the area to earn his team a draw.

Having made his international bow in October, the strike represents the left-back’s first goal for the national team. 

After their training camp in Spain, Masuaku and his DR Congo colleagues will rest on Sunday, before heading to Cairo, Egypt for the Afcon.

The Leopards will seek to claim the African crown for the first time since 1974.

Florent Ibenge’s men have been drawn in Group A and will begin their Afcon journey against Uganda on June 22, thereafter playing hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe on June 26 and June 30, respectively.