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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ben Malango’s late equalizer saves DR Congo from defeat in 1-1 draw against Mali

The Leopards of DR Congo continue to struggle in their transition under new manager Hector Cuper but a late goal from Raja Casablanca striker Ben Malango polished over some of the rough spots seen in their 1-1 friendly draw against Mali on Friday. The Malians can be pleased with a promising performance after losing their opening friendly of the international break against Algeria while DR Congo wraps up their run of two exhibitions still searching for answers on the attacking end.

Mali were the superior team in the first half and their talented midfield helped Les Aigles control the majority of the match. Their reward came early in the 4th minute when a focused buildup created an opening for FC Nantes striker Kalifa Coulibaly, who made no mistake in directing a low precision finish past Joël Kiassumbua in goal. Kiassumbua, the Servette FC keeper, was largely responsible for preventing Mali from extending their lead throughout the match with some quality saves.

Second half substitutions for the Congolese helped them get back into the match and the Leopards created a few more chances towards the end of full time. Coming on as a 79th minute substitute, the on fire Moroccan-based forward Malango made an instant impact by rising high to meet a free kick service and heading it past Malian goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.

Video of the goals are below.