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Missed opportunities for DR Congo allow Morocco to sneak a draw in Kinshasa

Tarik Tissoudali’s 77th minute equalizer gave visitors Morocco a crucial 1-1 draw in the first leg of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday. Yoane Wissa got the Congolese off to a dream start in the 12th minute but after failing to capitalize on their momentum, the Leopards allowed Morocco back into the match and will now need to get a result in Casablanca in the second leg.

A frenzied crowd in Kinshasa urged their Leopards on and after a positive start from the Moroccans in the opening ten minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead. Brentford winger Wissa collected the ball on the left flank and cut inside to have a shot with his right foot. Morocco captain Romain Saïss got a head to the effort but the deflection wrong-footed Atlas Lions goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who could only helpless watch the ball go into his net.

Chances were few and far between but the Congolese had their opportunities to double the advantage. Right back Dieumerci Amale was dangerous getting up and down the flank all match and a 26th minute cross from the player based in Morocco nearly found Cédric Bakambu at the far post, but Bounou did well to rise up and tip the ball out of play. Wissa had an excellent look after finding room once again when cutting inside in the 48th minute, but curled his shot just wide.

Early in the second half, a brilliant opportunity fell Morocco’s way when Bakambu handled a flicked header by Sammy Mmaee following a corner kick, leading to a penalty kick. Mmaee’s brother, Ryan, took a stutter step up to the ball and blasted his spot kick way over to the joy of the home crowd. However, following a brilliant sliding challenge from Saïss, a long ball found substitute striker Ayoub El Kaabi who nodded the ball back to an open Tissoudali for the KAA Gent winger to smash his shot past Leopards keeper Joël Kiassumbua for the crucial equalizer.

Highlights are below.

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