At the Alassane Ouattara Stadium on Friday, February 2, DR Congo overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat Guinea 3-1, advancing them to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semifinals.
On minute 20, Kaba Diawara’s team took the lead thanks to a penalty kick from Mohamed Bayo. However, Chancel Mbemba soon equalised the score, and in the 65th and 82nd minutes, respectively, Yoane Wissa and Arthur Masuaku put the finishing touches on the National Elephants’ fate.
Sebastien Desabre’s team will now await the outcome of the quarterfinal match between Mali and the host country, Ivory Coast.
Both sides started the game with optimism, and after a long throw-in that sent the Guinean defenders reeling, Yoane Wissa punched the ball into goal from eight yards out to give DR Congo the lead four minutes in.
Theo Bongonda then missed a long-range effort in the fourteenth minute, but three minutes later, the National Elephants were handed an easy penalty, giving them a great chance to take the lead.
As Bayo attempted to clear the ball from a cross, Mbemba made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with him, causing the striker to go to the ground.
After 20 minutes, Bayo gave Guinea the lead by sending the custodian the wrong way. VAR reviewed the event and upheld the referee’s judgement.
Seven minutes later, though, the Leopards captain made up for it when he scored at the back post from a tight angle after the National Elephants mishandled a corner.
The heat caused the tempo to slow down in the last minutes of the first half, but Cedric Bakambu gave Arthur Masuaku’s free kick a little touch, and the ball sailed wide of the goal, giving the Central Africans a chance.
Wissa’s free kick from inside the box in the 49th minute bounced just wide of the post off the wall, and on the 52nd minute, the Brentford winger curled an effort far past the far post, giving DR Congo two early chances to threaten.
On minute sixty-two, the referee awarded a second penalty kick, this time in favour of the Leopards, after Julian Jeanvier’s foul on Silas Katompa Mvumpa as he lunged into the area.
Wissa scored his second goal of the competition with a spot-kick that was beyond Kone’s reach and went into the lower left corner of the net.
The game’s momentum was disrupted by several fouls, which benefited DR Congo.
Eight minutes remaining, Masuaku scored a beautiful goal from the left wing, whipping his free kick over the goalkeeper’s head to seal the victory.
The National Elephants attempted a late rally to tie the score, but in the 93rd minute, Jeanvier fired a shot over the bar from inside the box, and shortly after, Serhou Guirassy missed a header from a corner.