DR Congo 3-1 Guinea: Thumping victory sees DR Congo secure their place in AFCON semifinals

Having defeated Egypt in a dramatic penalty shootout, in which Democratic Republic of the Congo goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scored the winning spot-kick, the two-time AFCON winners made only one change with Henoc Inonga Baka replacing Dylan Batubinsika in the heart of les Léopards’ defence.

Meanwhile, Guinea – who were making their first appearance in the quarter-final stage of the tournament since 2017, following a last-gasp 1-0 victory over ten-man Equatorial Guinea courtesy of Mohamed Bayo’s 98th-minute winner – also made only the solitary alteration with former Liverpool player Naby Keita replacing Mory Konaté.

DRC: Mpasi; Masuaku, Baka, Mbemba, Kalulu; Moutoussamy, Pickel, Bongonda; Wissa, Elia, Bakambu

GUI: Koné; Sylla, Jeanvier, Diakhaby, Diakité; Sylla, Diawara, Keita, Guilavogui; Aguibou, Bayo

Without a head-to-head victory in over two decades, Guinea were gifted a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock from the penalty spot shortly after the quarter-hour as Chancel Mbemba clipped the heels of Bayo. Undeterred after getting to know the turf of the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé on a more personal basis, the striker – who had already scored two of his nation’s three goals in the tournament – made no mistake from the spot as he confidently fired past Mpasi.

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However, it did not take Mbemba long to redeem himself, as the central defender made his way up from the back to fire in a fierce equaliser from deep inside the area, leaving Ibrahim Koné with absolutely no prospect of making a save. The only other chance of the first half would fall to the feet of Congolese striker Cédric Bakambu – who signed for Real Betis on deadline day – as his first-time flick of the ball from an incoming delivery flew narrowly past the wrong side of the post.

Following Guinea’s starter of a first-half penalty, the Democratic Republic of Congo were treated to the same meal for their main course, as on this occasion, Brentford striker Yoane Wissa beat Koné from 12 yards after Julian Jeanvier brought a clinical conclusion to substitute Silas’ lung-busting run from inside of his own half.

Les Léopards would secure their place in the semi-finals in sensational fashion with eight minutes left of regular time, as another Premier League-based player, Arthur Masuaku, caught out Koné at his near post with a stunning inswinging free-kick from the tightest of angles.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo will now face either Mali or hosts Ivory Coast – who come up against each other in Bouaké on Saturday – in the last four of this year’s tournament. Meanwhile, Guinea will now have to wait another two years before re-atte