DR Congo triumphed 3-1 over Guinea in the quarter-final of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2023, securing a place in the semi-finals.
The match at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara witnessed a turnaround as the Leopards rallied from behind to dominate the Syli Nationale.
Early Setback and Quick Equalizer
Guinea initially took the lead with Mohamed Bayo converting a penalty in the 20th minute after a VAR review. However, DR Congo’s captain, Chancel Mbemba, responded swiftly, heading in an equalizer from a corner just seven minutes later.
In the second half, the Leopards intensified their attack. Cedric Bakambu and Sekou Sylla had notable chances, but the turning point came when Silas was brought down in the box, leading to Yoane Wissa converting a penalty. Guinea faltered, and DR Congo sealed the victory with a late stunning goal from Arthur Masuaku.
DR Congo’s triumph marks their sixth semi-final appearance in AFCON history, with their last semi-final stint in 2015. On the other hand, Guinea faced their fifth quarter-final defeat at AFCON, despite an impressive run to the last eight.
The two-time champions will face either hosts Cote d’Ivoire or Mali in the semi-finals, inching closer to their first African crown since 1974.
- DR Congo’s second-half dominance marked them as the second team to score at least three goals in an AFCON knockout match with 100% converted shots on target.
- Having lost in all five quarter-finals, Guinea holds the record for the most appearances at this stage without a win.
- DR Congo conceded just their third penalty in 22 games at AFCON since 2010, with Mohamed Bayo scoring three of Guinea’s four goals in the 2023 edition.
- Chancel Mbemba, at 29 years and 178 days, became DR Congo’s second-oldest AFCON goalscorer.
- Arthur Masuaku’s goal marked DR Congo’s first direct free-kick at AFCON since 2017.