An outstanding dribbling run and finish from Tito Okello provided the winning touch in a massive victory for South Sudan, who earned their first three points in Group G of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying after stunning the Republic of Congo 2-1 in Brazzaville. Okello’s winner deep in second half stoppage time arrived after it appeared Thievy Bifouma’s 90th minute penalty kick would see the teams settle for a draw but Congolese hopes of qualification took a big hit with the result. Both teams are now on three points in Group G, level with The Gambia and three points back of group leaders Mali.
The Congolese team were eager to make their home advantage count in front of a noisy crowd at the Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat but South Sudan posed a threat on the counter attack throughout. After both teams failed to find the net in the first half the action intensified after the halftime break and the visitors made a breakthrough in the 65th minute. A long throw-in from the right flank was poorly dealt with by the Diables Rouges defense and Peter Chol fired in to finish off a goal mouth scramble.
The final minutes of the match saw plenty of drama starting with a second yellow card to South Sudan captain in the 73rd minute. A penalty kick was awarded to Congo shortly before stoppage time for a foul in the penalty area and Bifouma’s spot kick just went in under a diving Majak Mawith in the South Sudan goal to level the match. However in the final seconds it was Bright Stars forward Okello who collected a pass on the right wing and drove inside before silencing the home support with a decisive finish past Congo keeper Pavelh Ndzila for the winner.
Highlights are below.