News Live Scores
Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: DR Congo will play to avoid defeat against Egypt – Ibenge

20:54 EAT 25/06/2019
Florent Ibenge
The Leopards boss, speaking to the media on Tuesday, stressed the importance of securing a positive result against the Pharaohs on Wednesday

Democratic Republic of Congo manager Florent Ibenge has reinforced the significance of his side securing a positive result against Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations Group A encounter on Wednesday.

The Leopards fell to an unexpected 2-0 defeat to Uganda in their opening game of the finals on Saturday, and another defeat against Egypt will seriously damage their qualification hopes.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Ibenge stressed the consequence of picking up a win or draw against the host nation, regardless of the difficulties they will encounter.

"We will play to avoid a loss against Egypt and to win at least one point to help us proceed to the next round,” Ibenge said at his pre-match press conference.

“Our strategy will be if you don't win, you shouldn't lose.” 

Still ruing Saturday’s defeat by the Cranes, the Leopards boss implored his side to give their best against Javier Aguirre’s troops on Wednesday night.

"The loss from Uganda was difficult, but this is life and we should work and prepare for the must-win Egypt match," the Congolese coach explained.

"After the defeat, we vowed to win against Egypt. We look at the game with a different point of view since our opponents will be playing at home with the presence of its supporters and search for a win to ensure qualification. Our target is to win and revive our hopes for proceeding to the next round.

"The loss was a harsh one but we all recovered quickly and worked hard to achieve our dream in the tournament. DR Congo is a big country in Africa that has a legitimate dream to compete for the title. We shouldn't lose hope."

With DR Congo already playing catch-up in Group A - they are three points behind Uganda and Egypt - another loss in their second game could mar chances of progress into the Round of 16.

Ibenge’s side will face off with Zimbabwe in their final game on June 30.