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DR Congo cruise past Madagascar for important home win to move back into WCQ contention

The Leopards of DR Congo are back in the mix for top spot in Group J following a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory in Kinshasa against Madagascar on Thursday. Chadrac Akolo and a penalty kick conversion from Dieumerci Mbokani were more than enough for the hosts to wrap up three points and move into second place in the group, and now the Congolese can focus on the difficult task of obtaining another three points when they play the return fixture in the island nation. Madagascar remain at the foot of the group table and still have yet to earn a point.

Madagascar attempted to play some attacking football in the early portion of the first half and a long range shot from from midfielder Marco Ilaimaharitra stung the gloves of DR Congo keeper Joel Kiassumbua in the opening ten minutes showed that the Barea were capable of threatening. Soon after it was the Congolese who took control by the 20th minute, with a header by Cedric Bakambu being well saved by Malagasy keeper Melvin Adrien before Mbokani rose up to head wide five minutes later.

The 35th minute saw the Leopards find the opening goal. A cross from right back Dieumerci Amale went through the box where Akolo collected on the opposite flank. Akolo played a low pass into Mbokani, with the burly veteran striker holding the ball up before laying off for Akolo, who had made a run deep into the Malagasy penalty area. Akolo slotted a well executed finish past Adrien to put the hosts into a lead they would keep going into the halftime break.

Chances dried up for a lengthy period in the second half with Madagascar unable to mount much of a comeback effort against the strong Congolese defense. The hosts steadily increased the pressure as the half progressed with center back Chancel Mbemba coming close in the 72nd minute by shooting off the post after collecting a corner kick at the far post. The finisher came for the Leopards in the 76th minute when midfielder Edo Kayembe executed a combination at the edge of the Malagasy penalty area with Samuel Moutoussamy. The return pass from Moutoussamy was well weighted and Kayembe was tripped up for the referee to award a penalty kick. Mbokani stuttered on his run up before putting the spot kick just beyond Adrien’s reach and the hosts had three points wrapped up.

Click the link below for highlights of DR Congo’s important victory.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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