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24 January 2017

DR Congo beat Togo 3-1 to top Group C

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Another fine all-round performance from DR Congo saw them dispatch Togo with few alarms or surprises; they top Group C and will face Ghana, Mali – or, most likely, Egypt – in the quarter-finals.

Needing a win to have even a chance of qualification, Togo began the game with Emmanuel Adebayor racing around all over the pitch in a bid to make something happen. But he was not given anywhere near enough support, and around the midpoint of the first half, Congo took control, then took the lead on 29 minutes when Junior Kabananga shrugged off Serge Gakpe before finishing with elan.

The pattern of play did not change after the break, and Firmin Mubele soon put Congo further ahead, deftly lifting a lob over Cedric Mensah. Congo relaxed after that, allowing Togo back into the game when Kodjo Laba scored with his first touch. And seconds later, they were nearly level, Adebayor hitting a shot straight at the keeper when he had time and space to do better.

But that simply galvanised Congo, who quickly reasserted themselves, and they put matters beyond doubt on 80 minutes when Mpoko smacked home a free-kick from the edge of the box. It was no more than his team deserved on the balance of play, and though they lack the stars of their rivals for the trophy, they are playing with more confidence and cohesion than any of them.

Source: Wires
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