Zimbabwe 0 DR Congo 4: Bakambu scores twice to revive his side's AFCON hopes

Democratic Republic of Congo cruised to a 4-0 win over Zimbabwe to finish third in Group A and remain in with a chance of AFCON progression

Congo DR striker Cedric Bakambu   -  Getty Images

Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Democratic Republic of Congo saw off Zimbabwe 4-0 to get off the mark with its first victory in this year's Africa Cup of Nations and remain in the hunt for a place in the last 16.

Following defeats by the same 2-0 scoreline to Uganda and tournament host Egypt in their first two matches, only victory would do for Florent Ibenge's side in Cairo if it was to finish above its opponents in Group A.

And it got the job done in emphatic fashion in Sunday's clash as Jonathan Bolingi and Britt Assombalonga scored either side of Bakambu's brace.

Key Opta Facts

  • DR Congo won an Africa Cup of Nations game by a margin of four goals for the first time in their history.
  • Zimbabwe is winless in its last six games in the AFCON (D2 L4), after winning two of its previous four (L2).
  • Zimbabwe has failed to keep a clean sheet in each of its 12 games played in the AFCON (27 goals conceded).

 

DR Congo claimed third place and a possible spot in the knockout stages, depending on results elsewhere over the next two days, while eliminating its opponents in the process. 

Zimbabwe, heading back home without a win from its three matches, gifted DR Congo the opener as goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze parried Jacques Maghoma's fourth-minute free-kick onto the crossbar and Bolingi converted the headed rebound.

Bakambu gave his side some breathing space half an hour later by flicking the ball past Chipezeze with the outside of his boot after being played through on goal by a simple pass in behind from Issama Djos.

Chadrac Akolo should have put the game out of Zimbabwe's reach before half-time, only to fire his volley from 12 yards right at Chipezeze once picked out by Djos.

But Zimbabwe was unable to take the rare chances that fell its way, with Nyasha Mushekwi being denied by Matampi Ngumbi with a flicked finish from the best of them just short of an hour in, and Bakambu soon added a third.

The Beijing Guoan striker was brought down by Chipezeze when attempting to round the keeper to win a penalty, which he took himself and converted. 

Assombalonga came off the bench to add a fourth 12 minutes from time with a close-range finish after yet more questionable goalkeeping from Chipezeze.

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