The Congolese national football team marked its second consecutive draw today in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), hosted in Cote d’Ivoire, as they faced off against Morocco’s Atlas Lions in a 1-1 standoff during their second group stage match.
Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri came close to giving his team an early lead with a header in the first minute, following a cross from Hakim Ziyech.
However, it was Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi who netted the first goal in the 6th minute from a corner kick, fueling hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
A dramatic turn of events occurred as the Congolese Leopards were awarded a penalty kick after a foul by Selim Amallah.
Unfortunately for them, the golden opportunity slipped away as the ball hit the right post, saving the Lions from conceding.
In contrast to the Morocco-Tanzania match, the Congolese squad maintained consistent pressure on the Atlas Lions throughout the game.
Silas, a forward for Congo, managed to score an equalizer in the 76th minute, denting Morocco’s chances of an early qualification.
Drawing inspiration from their coach Walid Regragui and the spirit fostered during the latest World Cup in Qatar, Morocco initiated its AFCON journey with a resounding 3-0 triumph over Tanzania on January 17.
After a 48-year trophy drought, the new generation of Moroccan football players aspires to clinch victory in this tournament, defending a title that has eluded them for nearly half a century.
Congo’s initial encounter with Zambia, both former champions, ended in a 1-1 tie, granting each team a point in the group standings.
With two African cups secured in 1968 and 1974, the Congolese Leopards enter the competition with the ambition of adding a third championship to their trophy cabinet.