The intermediate leopards of Congo have played a one all tie with the Mediterranean knights of Libya, in a group B game at the African Nations Championship.
AS Vita club’s Masasi Amede struck late in the game, to cancel out Muetaz Husayn’s first half opener.
The leopards made two changes from the starting XI of match day one, with FC MK Étanchéité’s goalkeeper Nathan Mubruki and Ciel Ebengo Ikoko, starting in the place of Matampi Ngumbi Ley (sideline after testing positive for covid-19) and Kiekje Karim.
A great start to the game from the Mediterranean knights of Libya, saw them taking the lead at the sixth minute, when Al Ahly Tripoli’s Muetaz Husayn tapped in from close range, following a well worked cross down the left, from Rabia Alshadi.
The goal came in as a work up call for the Congolese, who took charge of the game and came close to levelling scores at the 15 minute, when Makabi Glody’s towering header went inches above the cross bar.
Four minutes later, Fiston Kalala failed to find target, after the Libyans could not perfectly clear off Chico Ushindi’s cross.
At the other end, goalkeeper Nathan Mubruki stayed Vigilant and came off his line brilliantly to stop Muetaz Husayn’s counter attack.
The leopards multiplied onslaughts in the Libyan came, but were always guilty of wayward finishing.
The closet the leopards came again was when Masasi Amedi hit the woodworks at the 41 minute, as Libya conserved their one goal lead till halftime.
In search of more options up front, DR Congo brought in DC motema Pembe’s John’s Kabangu, and took off Chico Ushindi.
On the side of the Libyans, coach Zoran Filipovic brought in Ibrahem Bodabous and Anas Hamad, while captain Muetaz Husayn and Rabia Alshadi went off.
The tempo of the game dropped as time went on. A powerful free kick from Ciel Ebengo Ikoko at the 72nd minute, was tipped over the cross bar by goalkeeper Ahmed Abdulsalam.
Even the late introduction of William Likuta in the place Makabi Glody, could not create an instant impact for the leopards, as Zoran Filipovic brought in defender, Alaa Masaud, to added solidity in Libya’s back yard.
Just when Libya thought they have gone away with all three points, AS Vita club’s Masasi Amedi struck a thunderbolt from over 30 yards, that got goalkeeper Ahmed Abdulsalam beaten at the dead of time, to hand DR Congo an important point from the game.
Congo missed 10 players in the game, who were on self Isolation after testing positive for covid-19, alongside coach Florent Ibenge, who was also absent from the dugouts, for similar reasons.