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DR Congo back in contention following impressive 3-0 win in Tanzania

Tanzania suffered a devastating blow to their chances of advancing to the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifying after a 3-0 loss against DR Congo in Dar es Salaam on Thursday. Gaël Kakuta, Fasika Idumba and Ben Malango all scored to help the Leopards navigate a difficult opponent and help the team surge from third place into top spot in Group J, one point ahead of Tanzania and Benin. The road victory now puts DR Congo in ideal position with a last day matchup at home against Benin to wrap up their set of fixtures.

Qualification hopes for Tanzania were boosted earlier in the campaign when the Taifa Stars earned a point in the DRC, but those same opponents had revenge on their mind and may have put an end to those hopes on Thursday. It only took six minutes for the visitors to get on the board, and the opener came through RC Lens attacker Kakuta. A precision counter attack for the Congolese resulted in talismanic forward Dieumerci Mbokani receiving the ball at the edge of the Tanzanian penalty area before he found Kakuta streaking into the box. The former Chelsea youth player laced a rocket of a shot past keeper Aishi Manula at his near post and it was DR Congo who struck first blood.

The Congolese did well to keep chances at a minimum throughout the first half after scoring and made it to halftime with the 1-0 lead. The hosts did all they could to find an opening in the DRC defense, but Hector Cuper’s side did not allow much in the way of clear shots on goal. DRC keeper Joël Kiassumbua was in top form on the day, denying a 56th minute header and tipping another opportunity over the bar from a set piece in the 78th minute.

A second goal came for the Leopards in the 65th minute to all but eliminate any doubt of who was going to snatch the three points. A short corner kick set up halftime substitute Neeskens Kebano for an open cross from the end line, where the Fulham winger rocketed in a hard cross that was redirected into the net by a reflex volley from Idumba. Later on, right back Dieumerci Amale found space on the flank and sent in a cross to find substitute striker Ben Malango, who outmuscled a couple of defenders before heading in to make it 3-0.

Click the link below for highlights of the match.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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