27 January 2013

Congo-Kinshasa/Mali: DR Congo On Flame for Win

Frenchman, Claude Le Roy puts a proud Africa Cup of Nations coaching record on the line Monday when his Democratic Republic of Congo outfit tackles Mali in a must-win Group B game.

The bespectacled 64-year-old with a mop of fair hair has been to six previous tournaments from 1986 with Cameroon and Senegal (twice each), Ghana and DR Congo and never failed to reach the knockout stages.

Le Roy steered Cameroon to the 1988 title two years after the Indomitable Lions finished runners-up under his guidance, and he took Senegal to fourth place in 1990 and the quarter-finals of the following tournament.

DR Congo were next to benefit from the vast knowledge of the nomadic Le Roy, making the last eight in 2006, and the man who is never shy to speak out on African football issues, guided 2008 hosts Ghana to a bronze medal.

But the unpredictable Congolese Leopards must bring the Malian Eagles down to earth and collect maximum points at the 60,000-seat Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Indian Ocean city of Durban to reach the knockout phase.

The countries have met twice before in the Cup of Nations with Mali edging the then-Zaire in a thrilling seven-goal 1972 semi-final and the central Africans turning the tables with a 1-0 win 22 years later.

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