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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Aston Villa's Bolasie pulls out of injury-ravaged DR Congo for Liberia

12:59 SAST 2018/09/04
Yannick Bolasie of DR Congo
Bolasie’s injury is a big blow to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who will also be missing star forward Cedric Bakambu in the trip to Liberia

Aston Villa and DRC  winger Yannick Bolasie has been ruled out of Sunday's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Cup (Afcon) clash with Liberia in Monrovia due to injury.

The 29-year-old has been withdrawn from the squad together with Fulham midfielder Neeskens Kebano and Guingamp fullback Jordan Ikoko, both former France youth internationals who are also injured.

Goalkeeper Ley Matampi has also pulled out of the squad due to “compelling commitments” with his new Saudi club Al-Ansar.

Joel Kiassumbua formely of Swiss side Lugano, and who recently moved to Servette, has been called in to replace Matampi.

The latest injuries and withdrawals adds on to woes already faced by DRC coach Florent Ibenge who will be also missing star striker Cedric Bakambu.

Bakambu is the headline omission and was dropped under unclear circumstances, but featured for his Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan last Thursday.

Ibenge’s grappling with injuries has also seen him lose FC Porto defender Chancel Mbemba.

Former Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta, now with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano, is another notable absentee.

“For Yannick Yala Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano and Jordan Ikoko, it is as a result of injuries that they will not be able to answer the call of Leopards head coach Florent Ibenge,” read a statement from the Congolese Association Football Federation.

DRC beat neighbours Congo Brazzaville 3-1 in their opening 2019 Afcon qualifier and are second in Group G which is led by Zimbabwe on goal difference.