DR Congo and Tunisia drew 1-1 as Tunisia’s Ahmed Akaichi netted first in their Africa Cup of Nations Group A match on Monday, but Loteka Bokila’s late goal ensured both teams qualify for the knockout stages, while Zambia and Cape Verde crashed out.
After a number of attempts at goal that could have seen a much higher scoreline, the teams settled for a draw after Bokila equalised with the second chance he got after coming on.
Playing on a rainy pitch it was Tunisia that started the match with energy and pace which somehow saw DR Congo chasing shadows for a while. Despite all this, with Tunisia pushing hard they ended up committing unnecessary fouls.
In the 9th minute Tunisia got the first clear chance on goal, but Ferjani Sassi wasted the opportunity after Joel Kimwaki defended well.
Ten minutes later Tunisia came back strong once again. This time it was Yassine Chikhaoui who created space inside the box, turned and pulled the trigger but Robert Kidiaba made a brilliant save to keep the ball out the net.
Congo pulled up their socks and started attacking with full force. Tunisia continued to make silly fouls and it was the TP Mazembe player Jean Kasusula who came close to opening the scoring for Congo and gave Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi his first test of the match through a set piece.
In the 31st minute Tunisia finally broke the deadlock through a header from Ahmed Akaichi who received a ball from Yassine Chikhaoui to put Tunisia into a 1-0 lead.
DR Congo pushed hard to equalize before the end of the first half but Tunisia’s defence was too solid and did not give them any chance, reports supersport.com.
In the second half Dieumerci Mbokani had a one on one with Tunisia goalkeeper Mathlouthi but failed to beat him as he cleared the ball away in the 53rd minute.
In the 60th minute DR Congo’s coach tried something new by bringing in Loteka Bokila from the bench to replace Cedric Makiadi.
Four minutes later Tunisia captain Chikhaoui wasted a great opportunity to put his team into a 2-0 lead as his shot whistled over the top.
Then Bokila made great use of his second chance as he got in front of two defenders to equalize for his team in the 66 minute, following a headed pass by Mbokani.
Tunisia 1 – 1 Congo
Zambia 0 – 0 Cape Verde