DR Congo continued their fine run through the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Friday, holding a strong Ivory Coast team to a 2-2 draw.
The Elephants dominated large stretches of the match, but their opponents took advantage of some sloppy defending to grab a point.
In the day's other match, Morocco cruised to a 3-1 win over Togo. Here's a look at the Group C standings:
|Group C Standings|
The schedule for Saturday:
|Time (GMT)||Team X||vs.||Team X|
Ivory Coast entered Friday's contest in dire need of a positive result after the shock draw against Togo, but it was DR Congo who struck first during a frantic first 30 minutes.
Neeskens Kebano blasted home after just 10 minutes, delighting Bleacher Report UK's Sam Tighe in the process:
The Elephants didn't let the early setback get the better of them, and Wilfried Bony perhaps should have equalised shortly after following a superb cross from Wilfried Zaha. Stoke City's on-loan striker had better luck just a few minutes later, however, as Bony converted a corner kick from close range.
But the Elephants' defence kept gifting their opponents chances, and after 28 minutes, DR Congo regained the lead. Junior Kabananga did the damage, and as shared by Colin Udoh of Kwese Sports, the back four did not look good at all:
Serge Aurier cleaned up after yet another miscue, with the Elephants almost depositing the ball into their own net.
The dreadful defending continued after the break, as Ivory Coast pressed higher up the pitch and forced chance after chance. Goalkeeper Ley Matampi was seen screaming at his defenders multiple times, as DR Congo played with fire and almost invited their opponents to tie things up at times.
It was Serey Die who eventually found the breakthrough with a deflected effort, and per Udoh, the goal once again came courtesy of a defensive error:
The Leopards clung on for dear life as Ivory Coast bombarded their goal with crosses, and no more goals would be scored. The result puts DR Congo in the driver's seat of Group B.
Morocco trail the Leopards by a single point after their win over Togo. Mathieu Dossevi shocked the Atlas Lions early, scoring after just five minutes, but Aziz Bouhaddouz soon restored order.
Similar to the day's first match, Udoh once again noted the defending on display was far from convincing:
Morocco weren't at their best, but Emmanuel Adebayor wasted several good chances while the Atlas Lions finished at a very good clip. Romain Saiss gave his side the lead after 21 minutes, and Youssef En-Nesyri put the final score on the board in the second half.
Togo's chances of qualifying for the next round seem dire with a match against DR Congo coming up, while the Atlas Lions control their own destiny against Ivory Coast.