AFCON 2023: Morocco’s dominance challenged in thrilling DR Congo draw


Morocco’s perfect run at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was halted after being held to a gripping 1-1 draw by a resilient DR Congo side on Sunday.

Hachraf Hakimi’s early opener set the tone for the Atlas Lions, showcasing their attacking prowess just six minutes into the match, with Hakim Ziyech providing the crucial assist.

Despite Morocco’s early dominance, the tables turned when VAR intervened, awarding DR Congo a penalty in the 42nd minute after a Moroccan handball in the box.

Cedric Bakambu had the chance to level the score, but Yassine Bounou’s agile dive and the ball’s wayward trajectory denied the Leopards a much-needed equalizer before halftime.

However, the drama unfolded in the second half, and with 15 minutes remaining, Silas Katompa Mvumpa capitalized on Elia Meschack’s assist, converting it into the much-celebrated equalizing goal for DR Congo.

The pulsating encounter between these African football powerhouses ultimately ended in a deadlock, leaving both teams with hopes of progressing to the knockout stage.

With the draw, Morocco maintains their top spot in Group F with four points, while DR Congo sits in second place with two points.

As the tournament unfolds, the fate of these teams in the Africa Cup of Nations still hangs in the balance. Morocco is set to face Zambia in their next match, while DR Congo will take on Tanzania in a crucial showdown that could determine their qualification.

After an enthralling battle between the group’s frontrunners, both teams retain control of their AFCON destiny, making the upcoming matches crucial for their tournament aspirations.

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