Courtesy of the cafonline website
Niger grabbed their first ever point in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations by holding DR Congo to a barren draw in their Group B match on Thursday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The result leaves all to play for in the final Group B matches on Monday to determine the group’s two teams for the last four of the tournament.
Niger pulled out their best performance yet, holding the highly rated Congolese to a non-scoring draw and boost their chances of making it to the next round. Ghana leads the pack on four points after their lone goal victory over Mali. Les Aigles have three points, DR Congo with two points and Niger in that order with a point.
The Mena have themselves to blame for ending the game without the three points with Modibo Sidibe and captain Moussa Maazou failing to convert golden opportunities in each half.
Modibo profited from a blunder by the Leopards defence on four minutes, but with only Muteba Kidiaba at his mercy, his shot kissed the upright denying them of the opener.
On 13 minutes, DR Congo had their chance at goal through one of the raids upfront led by right-back Issama Mpeko. The defender run at the DR Congo defence and found Dieudonne Mbokani, who chested calmly but his final delivery was too weak to pose any trouble for Niger goalie Daouda Kassaly.
The Mena pressed on and were winning almost all the 50-50 balls with Maazou who was operating from the middle. Six minutes later, DR Congo defender Cedric Mongongu gifted Soumaila Mohamed the ball, but the latter blasted wide with only Kidiaba at his mercy.
Three minutes before half time, the Leopards broke loose and Mputu found Mbokani, but yet again he shot feebly allowing Kassaly to grab the ball.
Niger had better chances to score in the second half and Maazou was unlucky to see his header being palmed away by Kidiaba. The Congolese also had their share of the chances but couldnot penetrate the iron-clad Niger defence knitted around Mohamed Chicoto and Koffi Dankwa.
Kassaly was also to the rescue of his side a couple of time and capped it with being named the Orange Man of the Match.
Niger next play Ghana on Monday whilst DR Congo sort things with Mali in Durban.
Orange Man of the Match– Daouda Kassaly (Niger)
Samsung Fair Player of the Match– Mabiala Destin Larrys (DR Congo)
Post Match Reactions
Claude Le Roy (Head Coach, DR Congo)
“We did not play well today. We missed some chances in the first half which we could have scored. Though we did not too much, I believe we can do better.”
Gernot Rohr (Head Coach, Niger)
“I’m very happy with our performance. It was historic as Niger won a point for the first time in the Africa Cup of Nations. You can only be proud of your team when you have such players.”