The Democratic Republic of Congo topped Group C as they defeated Togo 3-1 in their 2017 AFCON clash at the Stade de Port Gentil in on Tuesday evening.
- Togo 1 DR Congo 3
- Junior Kabananga, Ndombe Mubele and Paal M’poku on target
- Togo crash out having failed to win at the tournament
- Kabananga bags third goal of the tournament
- DR Congo play either Mali or Egypt in the next round
Goals from Junior Kabananga, Ndombe Mubele and Paal M’poku saw off Togo as the DRC topped group C.
Claude Le Roy's men exit AFCON 2017 after they failed to win a single game.
DR Congo will know if they face either Mali or Egypt tomorrow when the group stages come to an end.
Knowing nothing but a win would do, Togo mustered the first opportunity in the 13th minute.
Floyd Ayite was the architect, he floated in a good cross from the left wing but it was too high for Emmanuel Adebayor who was in a great position to pounce.
DR Congo took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute. Newcastle United midfielder Chancel Mbemba sent Junior Kabananga through and the striker showed good pace and strength before he finished across the face of goal with a low left shot.
The finish put the red hot striker who plays for Astana in Kazakhstan at the top of leading goal scorer charts with three goals.
The Leopards almost doubled their lead two minutes before the interval. A Neeskens Kebano corner was met at the near post by Kabananga with a clever flick header but he was unluckily denied by the post.
Florent Ibenge’s men went two up ten minutes into the second half. In true route one style, a long ball from Marcel Tissereand was well controlled and lobbed over the goalkeeper by Ndombe Mubele.
The Sparrow Hawks pulled a goal back in the 68th minute but it was just too little to late. Ayite and Adebayor combined to tee up substitute Kodjo Labawho who finished expertly into the bottom right corner.
M’Poku put the seal on an excellent performance by the Central Africans when he scored a brilliant freekick in the 80th minute. It was struck from just outside the box and deceived the keeper by swerving and then hit the bar before it bounced in.
DR Congo have sent out a clear message as they head into the next round. They have defied the odds in a challenging group and will be seen as dark horses for the title in Gabon.