Cameroon’s intermediate lions will play the Leopards of DR Congo in one of the quarter final games of the 2020 African Nations championship.
- The last time Cameroon and Congo met in this competition was in Rwanda 2016
- Martin Ndtoungou Mpile and Florent Ibenge Ikwange were coaches of both sides back then
- DR Congo are two time winners of the competition
- Cameroon has won all their two games against the leopards at the CHAN
Cameroon played a zero all tie with Burkina Faso in their last group game, but sailed through as second best in group A, with four points.
For DR Congo, John’s Kadima Kabangu’s thumping header was cancelled out by Adamou Issa Mossi late on, but Masasi Amede struck at added time, as Florent Ibenge and his boys finished top of Group B, with seven points.
It therefore sets an exciting quarter final showdown between both countries, at the Douala Japoma Stadium, come Saturday January 30, 2020.
What you should know
Cameroon and DR Congo will be meeting at the knockout as stage of the competition for the first time. However, it will be the third time the lions and Leopards are playing each other at the CHAN. They have meet at the group stage twice (2011 in Sudan and 2016 in Rwanda), and on both occasions, Cameroon have emerged victorious and went on to reached the quarter finals.
Cameroon won 2#0 on February 06, 2011 at the Al Merreikh stadium in Omdurman, understand the leadership of Emmanuel Ndoumbe Bosso as head coach, but were eliminated at the quarter finals by Angola on post match penalty shootout.
In 2016 in Rwanda, both sides met again at the group stage, with Ndtoungou Mpile’s Lions emerging victorious 3#1, at the Stade Huye on January 25, 2016. Five days later, the lions were beaten 3#0 at the quarter finals by Ivory coast, while Florent Ibenge’s Leopards defeated host Rwanda 2#1, and went on to win the competition.
In as much as DR Congo has never beaten Cameroon at the CHAN, the lions on their part have never gone pass the quarter finals. Coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile who is in his second stint with the team, thinks things have changed and the lions can break that quarter final curse.
“The opponents of Rwanda 2016 are not the same today. I think no lock was put on Cameroon’s door to say that your own competition ends at the quarter finals. We are staying positive and I think we can advance and do better.”, Ndtoungou Mpile told reporters in Yaoundé on Sunday, when asked if the lions can do better than Rwanda 2016.
Out of the last five editions of the CHAN, DR Congo has won two (2009, and 2016), and are now in search for their third title. Despite the recent health crisis that has hit the team, notably the Covid-19 pandemic, they have shown great character and have keep their favorites tag alive.
The Congolese will be hoping that coach Florent Ibenge Ikwange and most of the players currently on self Isolation, can recover on time, for Saturday’s blockbuster.