After winning the 2016 African Nations Championships (CHAN), Democratic Republic of Congo head coach, Florent Ibenge has stressed that all the attention will be geared on qualifying for AFCON 2017 and the World Cup in 2018.

Addressing the media in Kigali, Rwanda shortly after their 3-0 victory over West Africans, Mali in a one sided final, a visibly excited Ibenge stated that all the energies will be driven to the two tournaments.

We are happy for winning the CHAN tournament once again. We shall go back home and plan for the AFCON and World Cup qualifiers.

I happy for my players and technical team

Democratic Republic of Congo won became the maiden country to win the CHAN trophy for the second time in the history of the championship.

A brace from live wire Don Bosco midfielder, Elia Mechak  and a late winner from TP Mazembe lanky forward, Jonathan Bolingi Mpangi were the strikes that the central Africa nation exactly required to win the day convincingly.

In the AFCON 2017 qualification campaign, they currently lie joint second in group B on three points (with Central African Republic) behind leaders Angola.

Island nation, Madagascar lies bottom in the group with a single point earned after two games.

DR Congo’s next battle is that double header against Angola in Kinshasha and Luanda within five days.

They are among the teams that eagerly await the 2018 World Cup draws in June 2016.

In the same vein, Ibenge hailed the level of hospitality exhibited by the host nation, Rwanda throughout the tournament.

When we eliminated hosts (Rwanda) in the quarter finals, I thought they would abuse and humiliate us.

But, can you imagine, even at the team hotel, we were treated as heroes.

It can not happen in my home area, Kinshasa. These guys (Rwanda) have been amazing.

Democratic Republic of Congo first won the CHAN tournament in 2009, the inaugural edition hosted by Cote D’Ivoire.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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