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AFCON 2023: Moment of brilliance from Masuaku clinches quarterfinal victory for DR Congo

A potent Congolese attack was too much for Guinea on Friday in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo advancing to the semifinals with a 3-1 victory at the Stade Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan. Goals from Chancel Mbemba, Yoane Wissa and Arthur Masuaku saw the Leopards overcome a first half deficit caused by a penalty kick conversion from Guinea striker Mohamed Bayo. The Congolese will face the winners of Saturday’s match between Mali and hosts Ivory Coast on February 7.

The Syli National of Guinea got off to a hot start and nearly scored in the opening minute when forward Morgan Guilavogui burst into the penalty area and forced a save from Congolese goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi. Before twenty minutes elapsed the West African nation did take the lead after Bayo was sent sprawling by a slight nudge from Mbemba as the striker attempted to meet an Ibrahim Diakité cross. Bayo got up and dispatched the resulting penalty kick past Mpasi to put Guinea ahead.

Not long after the Congolese leveled the match and it was Mbemba who atoned for his error. In the 27th minute a corner kick service from Masuaku got through beyond the far post to the defender who collected and fired in an excellent finish past Guinea keeper Ibrahim Koné at his near post and into the roof of the net.

Uneven performances were the theme of the tournament for the Guinean team and the attack went silent after the halftime break. Moments after Guinea forward Facinet Conte failed to take advantage of an opportunity, Congolese substitute Silas Katompa drove past three Guinean defenders before going down in the penalty area and referee Moustapha Ghourbal pointed to the spot. Leopards star Yoane Wissa beat Koné with a well placed hard shot from the spot for the lead.

Guinea failed to put up much resistance in the final half hour and a moment of magic from Masuaku killed off any hopes of a comeback. In the 83rd minute the Beşiktaş left back prepared to serve in a free kick from the flank and saw Koné cheating off his line. Instead of providing a cross into the box, Masuaku fired in a looping shot that Koné could only fist into the roof of his net for the finishing blow to Guinea’s hopes.

Highlights of the match will be posted below when available.

Match Highlights

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