Match ends, Congo DR 1, Tunisia 1.
Tunisia and DR Congo both qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after they drew in Bata.
A point apiece gave Tunisia top spot in Group B and DR Congo second place.
Tunisia spurned two excellent early chances before they struck on the half-hour, Ahmed Akaichi stretching to head in Yassine Chikhaoui's deflected shot.
Wahbi Khazri should have made it 2-0 but blazed over, and DR Congo snatched their place in the last eight when Jeremy Bokila side-footed in.
Bokila's strike changed DR Congo's fortunes completely; the draw put them level on points with Cape Verde, who were held 0-0 by Zambia, and put his side through by virtue of having scored one more goal than the Blue Sharks.
Until the substitute's intervention they had been heading out of the tournament having woefully underperformed for an hour.
They go though after three group draws - which sets a record of six stalemates from their last six Nations Cup finals matches - having scored only two goals, and it is unlikely they will have struck fear into the hearts of quarter-finals opponents Congo.
However, they did improve significantly after their leveller to end the game as the dominant team.
Yet they could easily have been denied their escape route as Tunisia carved them open with some excellent one-touch football in the first half.
The Carthage Eagles spurned two excellent chances after only 10 minutes, Ferjani Sassi was far too casual with a shot and Yassine Chikhaoui stabbed the follow-up wide.
The impressive Chikhaoui set up the opener as he showed great feet in the area to create a shooting opportunity, his effort was half blocked and Akaichi deflected the ball in with his head.
Tunisia also had two goals ruled out for offside, one either side of half-time, while Akaichi flashed a shot wide and Khazri smashed over wildly when it looked easier to score.
Then it seemed Tunisia began to think ahead to their eventual last-eight opponents, tournament hosts Equatorial Guinea, as they allowed the pace of their game to drop.
DR Congo took advantage, a long ball sought out Dieumerci Mbokani, who headed on for Bokila to slot home in the bottom corner.
Back on level terms, all DR Congo needed to do was hang on. It almost proved too much for them and they were fortunate that Hamza Younes was unable to turn home from close range.
At the final whistle both coaches congratulated each other on progressing - a scenario that had looked very unlikely for much of the match.
- 1Kidiaba Muteba
- 2Issama Mpeko
- 17MongonguSubstituted forZakuaniat 87'minutes
- 21MubeleSubstituted forKabanangaat 78'minutes
- 18MabwatiSubstituted forBokilaat 60'minutes
- 20Ali YacoubiBooked at 8mins
- 2S Ben Youssef
- 6RaguedSubstituted forNaterat 87'minutes
- 18KhazriSubstituted forAli Moncerat 77'minutes
- 19AkaichiSubstituted forYounesat 74'minutes
- 1Ben Mustapha
- 15Ali Moncer
- 22Ben Cherifia
- 23Ben Djemia
- Bakary Gassama
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Congo DR 1, Tunisia 1.
Hand ball by Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (Congo DR).
Delay in match Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (Congo DR) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie.
Gabriel Zakuani (Congo DR) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Hamza Younes (Tunisia).
Offside, Congo DR. Joël Kimwaki tries a through ball, but Yannick Bolasie is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Yannick Bolasie (Congo DR) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Jeremy Bokila (Congo DR) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mohamed Ali Yaacoubi (Tunisia).
Substitution, Tunisia. Stéphane Nater replaces Hocine Ragued.
Substitution, Congo DR. Gabriel Zakuani replaces Cédric Mongongu.
Attempt saved. Jeremy Bokila (Congo DR) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Chancel Mbemba Mangulu.
Hand ball by Yannick Bolasie (Congo DR).
Attempt missed. Jean Kasusula (Congo DR) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia) because of an injury.
Substitution, Congo DR. Junior Kabananga replaces Firmin Ndombe Mubele.
Substitution, Tunisia. Mohamed Ali Moncer replaces Wahbi Khazri.