Defending Champions Cote D’Ivoire Exit AFCON As Morocco And DR Congo Move On
Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo have progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from Group C following their respective victories of defending champions Cote D’Ivoire and Togo.
Morocco defeated the Ivorians 1-0 in Oyem on Tuesday night, with a 64th minute long-range curling effort from Rachid Alioui taking all three points for the North Africans.
The defeat left defending champions Cote D’Ivoire with only two points from the three games, putting them third in the group and out of the competition they won in 2015.
Their coach at the time was Herve Renard, but this time around the Frenchman was on the Moroccan bench, plotting the downfall of his former team, and it worked.
The defeat sent the Elephants packing, while the Atlas Lions move on to the quarter-finals of the competition, with Renard aiming to win his third AFCON after successful title-winning exploits in 2012 with Zambia and 2015 with the Ivorians.
DR Congo top the group
While Morocco triumphed in Oyem, the Democratic Republic of Congo managed a decisive 3-1 victory over Togo at the Stade de Port-Gentil to see them topping the group.
An injury to Togo keeper Baba Tchagouni forced the substitution of second choice Cedric Mensah, and five minutes later Junior Kabananga opened the scoring for DR Congo with his third goal of the tournament.
On 54 minutes Mensah’s poor clearance found Marcel Tisserand, who then set-up Firmino Mubele to make it 2-0 to the Leopards.
The Sparrow Hawks pulled one back through substitute Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba, who scored with his first touch to make it 2-1 in the 69th minute, but Congolese substitute Paul-Jose ‘Poku then made it 3-1 in the 80th minute thanks to a well placed free-kick.
DR Congo will now take on Group D runners-up in the quarter-finals on Sunday, while Morocco will face the winners of Group D. Ghana, Egypt and Mali are the teams that could face off with the Group C qualifiers, depending on Wednesday night’s action.
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