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DR Congo poses BIG threat to Ghana AFCON hopes after LeRoy return

Published on: 16 January 2013

The Democratic Republic of Congo might finally be able to recapture their former glories thanks to the unifying influence of their French coach Claude Le Roy.

The Leopards are a traditional powerhouse of African football, having won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1968 and 1974 - the same year they became the first sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the World Cup.

Recent success has been in short supply, with their best showing at the Nations Cup in recent years being a third-place finish in 1998.

Their progress has been hindered by the refusal of some of their star players, including Anderlecht's prolific striker Dieumerci Mbokani and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, to play for them.

However, under 64-year-old Le Roy, who is in his second spell in charge, that has all changed after both players returned to the fold.

"It is the end of a long battle," said Le Roy in June 2012, when Mbokani accepted his call-up following a 14-month exile because of a disagreement with former coach Robert Nouzaret.

"I didn't need any other player apart from Mbokani - he is the last player I have been waiting for."

Former Newcastle, Portsmouth and Blackpool striker Lomana LuaLua, who led the attack in DRC's last Nations Cup participation in Egypt in 2006, is likely to add useful experience, while Peterborough United's Gabriel Zakuani and Charleroi goalkeeper Parfait Mandanda - the younger brother of France international Steve Mandanda - are also in the squad.

DR Congo are in Group B along with Ghana, Mali and Niger and, under Le Roy, who won the Nations Cup with Cameroon in 1988 and led Ghana to third place in 2008, there is optimism they can perform well and eventually realise the dream of the country's football association president, Constant Omari Selemani, to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"Foreign-based Congolese players have a lot of respect for Le Roy and are enthusiastic to play under him," said BBC Sport's Patrice Chitera. "He is also great at placing domestic players where they thrive best.

"If they perform well in South Africa, they will carry the morale over to the 2014 qualification matches and it will not be a surprise if they make it to Brazil.

"But if they don't go far enough in South Africa, the 2014 campaign is as good as over."

DR Congo beat Swaziland to reach the second round of World Cup qualifying, and they have won one and lost one so far in a tough group also containing Libya, Cameroon and Togo.

Source: BBC


This article has 14 comment(s), give your comment
  • Ogya says:
    January 16, 2013 11:24 am
    our men are battle ready come 20th
  • Chu says:
    January 16, 2013 09:19 am
    Their funs expect less from them so they have no pressure
  • lalasu says:
    January 16, 2013 08:50 am
    Ghana is also unified n they guys are committed as well. so we shall see on sunday
  • NANA YAW says:
    January 17, 2013 12:47 pm
    @selfmade take it easy with him...I;m begging you!
  • selfmade says:
    January 17, 2013 02:00 am
    @ congoman.... how can u go to London other than UN humanitarian relief program offered free of charge to congolese and other war torn countries in Africa haaaaaaahaa!!!! There is no way a congoman can go to the UN embassy for visa and is highly impossible because the last time i checked,all the state buildings and embassies has being blown apart by rebels and movements forces fighting for nothing tangible reasons motherfucker and the only possible means for a common congoman like u to travel is of course the usual way- UN humanitarian emergency relief program for despicable souls like u and your poor broke continent motherfucker!!! Kwasia,go find some congolese baseline to masturbate your small dick because is dry and stop seeking attention from people who has more common sense than any congolese will ever have and imagine!!! Viva the revolutionciooooooooo!!!!!
  • Diamonds r 4ever says:
    January 16, 2013 04:40 pm
    Group B is on fire!!!!
  • selfmade says:
    January 16, 2013 04:52 pm
    We beat all the three teams... congo dr,Niger and mali.. none of them ll take a point from us!!!... this is very easy group compared to the last edition and if we come out safely,we ll win this cup because we couldn't win the last edition because of the group we came out the last time... we burned ourselves out!! Viva the revolutioncioooooooooooo
  • Adua says:
    January 16, 2013 06:16 pm
    Mali nd Congo...tough teams!!
  • Congoman says:
    January 16, 2013 06:26 pm
    @ Chu And the so called selfmade, Listen talk is cheap, it's the actions that count. You just keep on running your mouth on this site,but what you don't know is a "SUCKER PUNCH" await for you guys on Sunday @ Nelson Mandela bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Just like We did to you in the final of CHAN'2009 in Cote D'Ivoire. When come Sunday the Leopards of DRC will have their nails sharpened, polished and ready to scratch,to tear,and to maul out your black stars..Joke-not.
  • selfmade says:
    January 16, 2013 07:54 pm
    @congoman.... who is coming to score the goals for u?? Is it mobutu rebels or kabila surgents???? Damn Ghana cannot be defeated by rebels turn footballers oooooh!!! Dude u fucking shitting and even if it was shooting competition,Ghana ll still use common sense to kick ur rebel asses!!! Haahaaaaa motherfucker!!! Ghana ll annihilate your small rebel asses,because their legs has being injured by gunfire and can't shoot or tackled!!! Haaaahaa !!!! Viva the revolutioncioooooooooo!!!!
  • selfmade says:
    January 16, 2013 08:05 pm
    @congoman.. instead of thanking Ghana for giving u a refugee status to escaped from disgusting congolese feedom fighters,kabila rebels and mobutu bomb throwers,u are here writing bullshits!! Now thanks to Ghana,u can even enjoy afcon matches free on national television with any rebels coming to chop your legs or arms and this is how u thank us!! After enjoying free ghanaian education,see how u thank us but next time we ll leave u to became the rebel leader to see how painful your bros and sisters are suffering in your war ravaged and famine country motherfucker!!! Viva the revolutioncioooooooooo!!!!
  • Congoman says:
    January 16, 2013 08:26 pm
    You're a shit-hole. A proper Moron. What would a Congoman who respect himself come to do in that dusty Ghana of yours?. Congo is reacher than that tiny country of yours. There are no rebels in Congo but thieths from poor country like Ghana, Rwanda, Burundi Who are after our Gold, Diamond, oil, Cobalt, Zinc, Magnese, Colthan and so on...Welth that your country can only dream of. You wait on Sunday. The history will repeat it self like in 1968 and 2009. You gonna get scratched and mauled by the Leopards. This is football no nonsense of wars n rebels. Coz I see your country men all over Peckham n' Brixton south London selling peanuts in market.
  • selfmade says:
    January 17, 2013 12:38 am
    Congoman.... kwasia,u are a clown and upon all the gold,diamond etc what has happened to your country!!! Blaaaha blah blahaa.... always blowing your small azz horn and that shows how inferior u are to ghanaians!!! These natural resources are being stolen by foreign because of lack of common senses by your countrymen and u here showing us your stupidity!! Kwasia,congo is very pathetic country and i wonder why such a pervert ll come here to blown his stinking magnet filled mouth about that war torn and famine scavenge country motherfucker!!! Viva the revolutioncioooooooooooooll !!!!!
  • selfmade says:
    January 17, 2013 12:32 am
    Congoman... kwasia,ofui,son of a fucking bitch and small dick papa!!! Kwasia,u want anyone to know that u are in London and who gives a **** about it!!! U went there as a refugee when kabila rebels and mobutu rebels clashed in your village and UN soldiers found u motherfucker!!! Kwasia,now such an imbecile is in London and instead of helping your stupid citizens who being killed by rebels,u here writing pure bullshit!!! Is better selling or doing legitimate business to survive than taking refugee fee from the UN haaaahaaa... motherfucker!!! U in London not by your strength but the grace of the wars your stupid clowns has being fighting for ages!!! Instead of u taking the advantage to be humble,u shown that little muscles and that small dick of yours motherfucker!!! Viva the revolutionciolllollll!!!!