Football: African Nations Cup 2013 qualifiers-Classy Congo outclass Seychelles


The Seychelles defence worked tirelessly against a classy DR Congo team

It was always going to be a tall order for our local team who had been quickly assembled to face an ever-improving Congo team under the guidance of experienced French coach Claude Le Roy.

The Congolese grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck from the word go and in the seventh minute Mabi Mputu tested goalkeeper Nelson Sopha with a long range effort which he saved at the second attempt.

Two minutes later, the Congolese went ahead as Mputu rolled a 25-metre free-kick to Qatari-based Dioko Kaluyituka who unleashed an unstoppable shot to make it 1-0. However, the goal was rather controversial as Guinean referee Mario Aboubakar Bongoura should have awarded a free-kick for the Seychelles team seconds earlier as Trevor Poiret was fouled by a high challenge but wrongly allowed play to go on and it cost our national side dearly.

The Congolese continued to press and in the 18th minute Cedric Makindi threaded a pass to Kaluyituka who looked odds on to score but Sopha was quick off his line to block the danger.

A minute later, Kaluyituka missed a sitter from the impressive Kiritcho Kasusula’s deep cross as his header from an unmarked position sailed over the crossbar.

In the 26th minute, the Seychelles defence failed to clear Kasusula’s long ball over the defence and captain Mputu latched onto the loose ball to coolly slot it into the far corner for a 2-0 lead.

The Seychelles team only came out of their shell in the closing minute of this half as Poiret combined with Marcus Labiche who was making his senior debut. The La Passe striker cut inside a defender but shot weakly at goalkeeper Thierry Bolongo who had been a mere spectator for this encounter.

The Congolese brought on a playmaker in the shape of Mabidi Lema in the second period and reverted to three defenders as they went in search of more goals.

In the 48th minute, Mpeko Issama galloped forward before cutting the ball back to captain Mputu whose close range shot was charged down by the Seychelles defence.

In the 55th minute, the Congolese broke with speed from midfield in a superb passing move and Lema fed Kinkela Fwanda who flicked the ball into the path of Kaluyituka who easily placed it past Sopha for a 3-0 scoreline.

Seychelles tried to push more players into attack and press the Congolese in their own half but it was in vain as the boys of coach Le Roy just raised the tempo and hurt our team.

In the 73rd minute, Congolese substitute Kayiba Angani wriggled his way past a couple of defenders and was brought down for a clear penalty. But the Guinean referee waved play on.

The boys of coach Gavin Jeanne’s best chance to score came in the 80th minute from Jones Joubert’s teasing cross but substitute Ryan Antat was too slow to connect to a gilt-edged opportunity.

The Congolese though were still in the hunt for more goals and in the 86th minute Mpeko Issamo burst through from defence but his toe-poke failed to beat an overworked Sopha.

Two minutes later, Fuanda laid a glorious ball to Angani who blazed it wide. But Angani made amends seconds later as he pounced on a loose ball to glide past a tiring defence and buried his shot into the roof of the net to make it 4-0.

The scoreline said it all in the end as our team came up against a top class side, a point acknowledged by coach Claude Le Roy at the end of the match.

“My players were very professional and serious in their approach as they showed respect for the Seychelles team. We played exceptionally well and we were solid technically and tactically. Our opponents tried to play but they came up against a solid team who pleased me with their performance,” a beaming coach Le Roy told Sports Nation.
As for national team coach Jeanne, he accepted that they met a top team.

“We played a very good team who dominated us in all departments. But nonetheless, I would like to thank my players for their effort as it has been quite difficult to put a team together. I am a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded as it was due to individual mistakes. But it has been a good exposure for our young players,” said coach Jeanne.

R. J-L.

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