The first quarter final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) between Congo Brazzaville and DR Congo will be played on Saturday at the Bata Stadium.
It will indeed be a battle of the Congo’s as French born tactician Claude Le Roy leads his side Congo Brazzaville against a hungry side led by the only remaining African indigenous coach in the tournament, Florent Ibenge.
Theivy Bifouma, who is one of the leading strikers at the tournament with two goals already is expected to lead the Congo Brazzaville team against the more physical DR Congo team which is yet to be really convincing.
Not even the presence of Crystal Palace’s Yannick Yala Bolasie is helping the DR Congo team much as the player seems to be used out of position making him burn out quickly.
Ibenge’s team has scored only two goals in the tournament, while Le Roy’s team has scored four goals.
But Ibenge who also guided AS Vita to the 2014 CAF Champions League final said that although Congo Brazzaville is a very difficult team to tame because of the kind of players they have, his team will go all out with the intention to qualify.
“We are keeping faith in our strengths, even if we have weaknesses too. We are going to face a very compact team, with a highly complementary duo of strikers,” added Ibenge.
But for a Congo Brazzaville side who have now won two games in the competition and are yet to suffer a loss, they are a team on a mission as they broke the 41-year jinx of failing to win at an Afcon event and now have gone further by reaching the last eight.
“We know that it is going to be tough. It is 4 million people against 70 million with players in all the top leagues.
“My players are beginners. They have the desire to win, after defeating the title holders Nigeria in the qualifiers, Gabon and vice-champions Burkina Faso,” stressed Le Roy