The equation to solve for the DRC tonight is simple: win or pack up.
Africa Cup of Nations Cup tournament DRC needs victory over Mali to advance. When DR Congo meets Mali in their final group B game Monday at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations Cup tournament, only one thing will matter: Victory. Simply put, while Mali can afford a victory and still advance, DRC cannot!
Thanks to a 1-0 victory over Niger in their opening group match, Mali has three points to place second in the group behind leader Ghana, on four points.
On the other hand, DRC has drawn its two matches so far, for a paltry two points.
Therefore, the match – to be played at the 54,000-capacity Moses Mabhida Stadium has become a make-or-mar for DRC
DR Congo coach Claude Le Roy, the only foreign coach to have made the most appearances in the finals of the continental extravaganza (7), is aware of the challenge facing his team, and has therefore decided that it will go for an offensive approach to the game.
“This is a big game for us – it’s like a final. We know what we have to do. Our target was to get to the Africa Cup of Nations first after that we take it step by step. We are confident, we know Mali is a good team. But we know what we have to do,” he said ahead of the match.
He elaborated further: “During the two previous games we had possession of the ball. Our midfield is not defensive and that can put us in danger, but at the same time it can benefit us when going forward. We played Ghana – we played Niger, not a great game, we missed many opportunities in that game. I think we will be ready against Mali. 20 of my players it’s their first time in the Africa Cup of Nations.”
For his part, Mali coach Patrice Carteron also knows that complacency is not an option, hence his warning to his players not to underestimate DRC.
“They (DR Congo) are a good team, they have a good coach in Claude Le Roy who is experienced and who has been in quarterfinals before. We know it will be difficult to qualify. We are also determined to make it to the quarterfinals,” he said.
Carteron said while a draw will be enough for his team to advance, it would prefer an outright victory.