Libya has failed to pick up a last 8 ticket at the ongoing Total African Nations Championship after falling to the Republic of Congo via a one – nil margin.
The Republic of Congo started the day needing nothing short of a victory, and it was clearly visible from the way the men of coach Barththelemy Ngatsono set-up.
Libya looked twitchy at the start but settled earlier enough. Libya then had the first sniff on goal at the 10th minute when Mohammed Makkari’s cross met Muetaz Hasayn, who headed straight down the throat of goalkeeper Pavelh Nzila.
It became a little bit of an end to end affair after Libya’s first real chance. Varel Rozan made goalkeeper Ahmed Abdulsalam work from his 13 minute free kick. The Libyan shot – stopper fumbled, by punching back into action, and Gautrand Ngouenimba’s rebounded attempt was only good enough for the side netting.
The tension of the game started getting to the head of both set of players midway through the first half, with some crunching tackles regularly breaking play. 24 minutes in, Congolese midfielder Mick Itali had to bow out due to an injury sustained, while Sagesse Babele, made his way in.
Gautrand Ngouenimba was fouled close to Libya’s 18 yard with a quarter of the first segment to go; the set piece resulted to a corner kick, taken quickly, but Hardly Binguila only managed to slam it on Rabiaa Abubaker who put his body on the line.
The Republic of Congo kept asking the questions and were rewarded four minutes into the second half with a ‘Snapchat’ sort of finish from Gautrand Ngouenimba, who had been looking for his goal all evening.
A few chances created by Libya towards the end of the game counted for nothing, as Congo held on for the one – nil victory.
As reward, the Republic of Congo gets group A winners Mali, in the next round of the competition.