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HomeSportsLAST FOUR IN SIGHT: Leopards Face Guinea Eyeing Semi-Final Spot At AFCON

LAST FOUR IN SIGHT: Leopards Face Guinea Eyeing Semi-Final Spot At AFCON

Still yet to win in open play at the tournament, the Leopards will not mind scrapping through once again to reach the esteemed last four at the continental showpiece.

DR Congo national team take on Guinea tonight at the Olympique Stadium of Ebimpé in Abidjan in a quarter-final clash at the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

The Leopards so far have a modest record yet enough to remain at the tournament having secured their place in the knockout stages with three draws before going on to dispatch tournament favourites Egypt after a thrilling 8-7 shootout in the Round of 16 stage.

Sebastien Desabre’s side now stare at a semi-final berth that eluded the nation since the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea as they come up against a very youthful Syli Nationale of Guinea side.

The Leopards’s next challenge is a fast-paced Guinean side who have been impressive in Ivory Coast and booked their place in the last eight after cutting short Equatorial Guinea’s fairytale run with a 1-0 defeat.

Tonight’s clash will be the eighth meeting between the DR Congo and Guinea with the two-time African champions leading 4-2 on head-to-head.

The last meeting between the two sides was in 2017 in a World Cup qualifier played in Kinshasa where the Leopards recorded 3-1 victory.

However, Desabre’s charges a much improved and fast-paced Guinean side tonight that has great deal of talented youngsters including Aguibou Camara, Illaix Moriba and Mohamed Bayo most notably.

Now-fit captain of the side Naby Keita could also be a source of misery for the Leopards who will be relying on their own skipper Chancel Mbemba, his defence lieutenants Arthur Masuaku and Gédéon Kalulu as well as the heroics of goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi to the counter the Guineans’ attacks.

Yoane Wissa, Theo Bongonda, Gaël Kakuta as well as Cedric Bakambu will also be expected to make a much improved return in front of goal.

The winner of tonight’s clash will reach the last four of the tournament and play the winner of the other quarter-final between hosts Ivory Coast and Mali who face off on Saturday in Bouaké.

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