• Moussa Issa, 27 scored from the spot as Niger dug deep for an equalizer after Congo’s first half lead.
By Beng Emmanuel
Congo Republic were denied their first win at the 2020 African Nations Championship after a 1-1 draw with Niger as both teams continue to seek their first win after two games.
Mapata Mouandza opened the scoring from Hardy Binguila’s assist to put Mali in front but Moussa Issa converted a second half kick to level for Niger shortly after the half hour.
Congo Republic were under increasing pressure after losing their first game to arch-rivals the DRC in the group B opener last Sunday.
They managed to take the lead when Mapata Mouandza sent in a powerful strike beyond Abdoul Halidou as they took a first half lead. The Congolese had managed only a single shot on target in six attempts but were deservedly in front at the break.
Niger fought hard to level on several occasions and were denied to rescue a point despite being outclassed with ball possession. But their pressure paid off with a penalty when Congo’s defender Amadou Harouna handled the ball within his area.
Issa Moussa who had only played for thirteen minutes (13 minutes) after coming in for Idrissa Halidou sent Pavelh Ndzila the wrong side with his delightful right foot kick to score.
Ibrahim Djibrila missed a late chance to complete a dramatic comeback for Niger when he fired wide from close range.
It is the second draw for Niger after a goalless draw with Libya in their opening game. They face two-time winners, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the final group B encounter.
A similar 1-1 draw between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya means qualification for the quarter-final is possible for each team in the group on the final day.
25/01/21: Niger vs DR Congo
25/01/21:Congo Republic vs Libya
Group B-Round 2
Congo Republic 1-1 Niger
Mapata Mouandza-35min (ass Hardy Binguila)/ Issa Moussa-70min (Penalty)