Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly

DR Congo are champions

The Congolese win their second CHAN crown, reports Abeer Anwar

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Al-Ahram Weekly

DR Congo beat Mali 3-0 in the final, cruising to their second African Nations Championship (CHAN) title.

Goals from Mechak Elia, who scored in both halves, and Bolingi sealed victory for his country on Sunday in Rwanda. The Congolese, winners of the maiden edition in 2009, had an easy job in front of a completely surrendering Malian side who were completely out of shape.

An exquisite individual strike from Elia broke the deadlock on 29 minutes to give DR Congo the lead. His long-range, angled shot gave Mali keeper Djigui Diarra no chance.

In the second half, Mali had possession so the Leopards resorted to counter attacks making the most of the pace of Elia. The 19-year-old, after profiting from a through pass on the counter, beat his marker and rounded Diarra before firing into the yawning net on 61 minutes and sending the stadium agog.

 On 73 minutes, the Congolese took the game beyond the Malians with the third goal through Bolingi who finished off a superb solo move by Joyce Lomalisa from the left, with a low shot past Diarra.

It was a fitting end to the three-week long tournament organised by the African Football Confederation (CAF) and reserved for home-based footballers who play in their own national leagues. African players in Europe play in the better known African Nations Cup (ANC).

Beside the trophy, the Congolese were also $750,000 richer whilst Mali pocketed $400,000 for finishing second.

Elia was named Orange Man of the Match.

An own goal by Mohamed Youla and one goal by Gbagnon Badie three minutes later in the first half powered Cote d’Ivoire to a 2-1 win over Guinea in the third place match in Kigali.

Goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse was the hero for ‘Les Elephants’ saving two penalties in either half as the Ivorians claimed bronze at the expense of the Syli Nationale, who pulled one back through Aboubacar Leo Camara in the closing stages.

The feat represents the best ever performance for the Ivorians in the history of the championship having hosted the maiden edition in 2009. The West Africans exited at the group stage in their two previous appearances in 2009 and 2011.

Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea received $250,000 each.

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