- Chico Kubanza’s early second half strike handed the Democratic Republic of Congo a slim win against group B rivals Congo Republic in a highly contested clash.
By Beng Emmanuel
Two time winners the Democratic Republic of Congo narrowly edged Congo Republic 1-0 to go top of group of group B with three points and boost their chances of another continental CHAN silverware.
A goalless stalemate between Niger and Libya in the opening match of group B ensured the DRC temporally take the lead of the Douala based group whose matches are played at the ultramodern Japoma Stadium.
Chico Kubanza’s decent second half strike is all the Democratic Republic of Congo needed to grab their first win in the 2020 CHAN tournament – Prove that they are well placed to deal with any decisive fixture and no doubt ranks them among the tournament favourites.
Kubanza scored the first CAF competitive goal at the Japoma stadium since it was constructed.
The Central African nation are the most successful country in the history of the African Nations Football Championship with two trophies. They won the inaugural edition in 2009 when Ivory Coast hosted and set a new record by clinching a second title in 2016.
DR Congo gaffer Florent Ibenge is poised to led the team to their third continental crown this year and has been made his intentions clear by ensuring his sides makes a winning start regardless of the score line.
The Democratic Republic of Congo face Libya in their second outing on January 21st while Congo hopes to pick up their first when they clash with Niger same day.
2020 African Nations Championship
DR Congo 1-0 Congo Brazzaville
[ Chico Kubanza 47min]
GROUP B STANDINGS
DR Congo 3pts
Congo Brazzaville 0pt