Africa Cup of Nations - Group B
Zambia1DR Congo1

Zambia 1-1 Congo DR

Yannick Bolasie (right) scored DR Congo's equaliser
Yannick Bolasie has scored once for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season

Yannick Bolasie earned DR Congo a 1-1 draw against Zambia with a rasping second-half finish in their opening Africa Cup of Nations Group B match.

The Crystal Palace winger, who was a threat throughout, arrowed in a shot from inside the area on 66 minutes.

Given Singuluma had put Zambia ahead after only 62 seconds, lashing home from the edge of the box.

DR Congo had the better chances, with Bolasie and Dieumerci Mbokani going close, but could not find a winner.

After Saturday's smooth hosting of the first two matches of the tournament, it was the turn of the remote eastern town of Ebebeyin to continue to allay fears over inadequate facilities and organisation.

But it was quickly evident that it was not going to be straightforward at the 5,000-capacity stadium, with lots of fans without tickets being turned away and those with tickets further delayed from entering the stadium while everyone was screened for Ebola.

The supporters' frustrations boiled over and some of them clashed with a large police presence outside the ground.

There was a heavy police presence before the match
There was a heavy police presence before the match

Those difficulties meant them that the stadium was not full when Zambia took the lead after only 62 seconds.

It was a superb start from the 2012 champions as Singuluma lashed in a shot into the bottom corner after DR Congo keeper Robert Kidiaba had punched away a cross to the edge of his area.

That set the tone for some hesitant goalkeeping at both ends, and an open game.

Only six minutes later, DR Congo should have levelled when keeper Kennedy Mweene spilled a tame cross, gifting Dieumerci Mbokani a golden chance which the striker wasted by blasting over from six yards.

Mweene proved more competent on the half-hour mark when his stretched out a leg brilliantly to save from DR Congo's Bolasie.

He also produced an eye-catching, if comfortable catch, when he dived to his right to pluck Mbokanbi's header from the air.

Zambia's best first-half moments came from skipper Rainford Kalaba, whose trickery and pace down the flanks gave his side an attacking threat.

But DR Congo looked more likely to add to the scoring and Bolasie came close when his free-kick just before the break was deflected narrowly wide.

Bolasie tested Mweene with another set-piece soon after the interval and the stopper proved to be up to the task, albeit without inspiring total confidence.

It was almost inevitable that Bolasie would finally get the breakthrough for DR Congo and when substitute Cedrick Mabwati laid the ball across to him, the forward thumped it into the top corner to put his side deservedly back on level terms.

Zambia had been inviting pressure onto them until that point and were unable to change the pattern of the game thereafter.

And if DR Congo had been able to convert their superior possession and territory, the Chipolopolo would have lost their record of never having been beaten in Equatorial Guinea.

Instead, the Leopards could only manage a tame long-range effort from Junior Kabananga and a speculative overhead kick from Mbokani as they had to settle for a point.

Zambia coach Honour Janza:

"It was most important that we did not lose this match because opening games are often very tricky.

"We learnt a few things and this will be a stepping stone for us in this competition."

DR Congo midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu:

"We deserved to have won this game because we were the better team today, but we missed many chances.

"We showed fear at the beginning and did not react quickly when we went behind so early in the game."

Fans queue outside the stadium
Fans queue outside the stadium
Supporters faced delays entering the stadium while they were checked
Supporters faced delays entering the stadium while they were checked

Line-ups

Zambia

  • 16Mweene
  • 6Nkausu
  • 14Mtonga
  • 13SunzuBooked at 31mins
  • 18Mbola
  • 3Lungu
  • 19SinkalaBooked at 82minsSubstituted forMunthaliat 86'minutes
  • 15SingulumaBooked at 68mins
  • 9KampambaSubstituted forMulengaat 74'minutes
  • 20MayukaSubstituted forKangwaat 68'minutes
  • 17Kalaba

Substitutes

  • 1Munyao
  • 4Munthali
  • 5Kabwe
  • 7Sautu
  • 8Musakanya
  • 10Mulenga
  • 11Musonda
  • 12Kangwa
  • 21Mwanza
  • 22Titima
  • 23Ngoma

DR Congo

  • 1Muteba
  • 2Issama Mpeko
  • 15Kimwaki
  • 17Mongongu
  • 3Kasusula
  • 7Mulumbu
  • 22Mbemba Mangulu
  • 21MubeleSubstituted forCedrickat 63'minutes
  • 8KageSubstituted forKabanangaat 64'minutes
  • 11Bolasie
  • 9Mbokani

Substitutes

  • 4Oualembo
  • 5Munganga
  • 6Makiadi
  • 10Kebano
  • 12Mabele
  • 13Kabananga
  • 14Zakuani
  • 16Kudimbana
  • 18Cedrick
  • 19Bokila
  • 20Mabidi
  • 23Mandanda
Referee:
Ghead Grisha

Match Stats

Home TeamZambiaAway TeamDR Congo
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home7
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home20
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Zambia 1, Congo DR 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Zambia 1, Congo DR 1.

Attempt missed. Evans Kangwa (Zambia) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Stoppila Sunzu following a corner.

Corner, Zambia. Conceded by Cédric Mongongu.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kennedy Mweene (Zambia) because of an injury.

Foul by Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (Congo DR).

Kennedy Mweene (Zambia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dieumerci Mbokani (Congo DR) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kondwani Mtonga (Zambia).

Foul by Dieumerci Mbokani (Congo DR).

Kondwani Mtonga (Zambia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Zambia. Christopher Munthali replaces Nathan Sinkala because of an injury.

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Congo DR).

Kennedy Mweene (Zambia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Nathan Sinkala (Zambia) because of an injury.

Corner, Congo DR. Conceded by Kondwani Mtonga.

Attempt saved. Dieumerci Mbokani (Congo DR) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal.

Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (Congo DR) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Given Singuluma (Zambia).

Booking

Nathan Sinkala (Zambia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Yannick Bolasie (Congo DR) because of an injury.

Delay in match Nathan Sinkala (Zambia) because of an injury.

Issama Mpeko (Congo DR) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Given Singuluma (Zambia).

Corner, Zambia. Conceded by Youssuf Mulumbu.

Corner, Zambia. Conceded by Issama Mpeko.

Foul by Cédric Mongongu (Congo DR).

Evans Kangwa (Zambia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Zambia. Mukuka Mulenga replaces Ronald Kampamba because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Junior Kabananga (Congo DR) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ronald Kampamba (Zambia) because of an injury.

Corner, Congo DR. Conceded by Given Singuluma.

Attempt missed. Junior Kabananga (Congo DR) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Chisamba Lungu (Zambia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emmanuel Mbola.

Foul by Youssuf Mulumbu (Congo DR).

Rainford Kalaba (Zambia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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