Democratic Republic of Congo meet Ivory Coast on Wednesday in the Africa Cup of Nations semi finals as each side seek a place in the finals.
Ivory Coast qualified for the final four thanks to Wilfried Bony’s brace and Yao Gervinho’s late goal to defeat Algeria 3-0.
Christian Gourcuff’s men were the highest-ranked team in the competition and now Ivory Coast are within touching distance of another final.
DR Congo defeated Claude Le Roy’s Congo with a 4-2 comeback win in the quarter finals to qualify for the semi finals.
Dieumerci Mbokani scored twice for DR Congo as the side qualified for the final four of the tournament since 1998.
Dieumerci Mbokani pulled a goal back, Jeremy Bokila found the back of the net for the equalizer, Joel Kimwaki came off the bench to head DR Congo in front before Dieumerci Mbokani scored his second.
DR Congo defeated Ivory Coast 4-3 in Abidjan during the AFCON qualifiers and this match could serve as motivation for the Elephants according to DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge but his side is looking at making the final.
We hurt their pride when we beat them a home, the big Ivory Coast. They had not lost at home during the generation of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure. But we are also armed with the motivation to reach the final. That is our target.
Elephants coach Herve Renard who has only Cheick Tiote’s fitness to consider, after the Newcastle United midfielder was welcomed back to training on Tuesday instead played down his team as favorites to win.
We came here a fortnight ago with no expectations on us. No-one was taking about us but this has changed over the last two weeks. Things change fast in football. After our last two wins over Cameroon and Algeria, now we are the favorites of the bookmakers but that can be dangerous. It is also not important. What is important is what happens on the field. We’ve a good balance between hard workers and talented players, this combination is perfect. The only thing is to win [the cup]. We won’t be satisfied with anything else.
It will be DR Congo’s first semi-final appearance since 1998 having failed to lift the trophy since winning the competition as Zaire in 1974.
Ibenge will be without two key players for the showdown. Captain Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) will not be risked due to only being “70 per cent fit”. Gabriel Zakuani (ankle) is also sidelined.