They came to Cameroon as one of the favourites of the competition and were rightly tipped so, given their squad, experience and success in previous editions of the competition.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been living up to the billing topping their group with seven points from nine and looking stronger than ever.
After edging their neighbours, Congo-Brazzaville in their first group game, the Leopards battled to steal a point against Libya with a stoppage-time equalizer from AS Vita Club defender Masasi Obenza to keep their chances in tact going into the final group game.
It is the defender’s stoppage time goal again that sealed all three points for the Leopards against Niger in their final group game last Monday in Yaounde. The team showed all this spirit in their past two matches on the back of a minis crisis in the squad after a dozen members were tested positive, including head coach Florent Ibenge. In total, four goals scored and two conceded during the group stages were enough to book a quarter final date against Cameroon, a team they have never beaten in two previous confrontations at the CHAN.
But the Democratic Republic of Congo boasts of a squad with experienced players from the country’s top clubs like TP Mazembe who have are used to elite football on the continent like the African Champions League and know what it takes to win.
But their biggest weapon is their head coach, Florent Ibenge who is looking to win the trophy for the second time after helping his nation to their second triumph in 2016.
The Congolese Football Federation, FECOFA drafted in the AS Vita Club coach for his second spell in charge of the team, last December with a mission of bring back home the trophy.
The good news for Ibenge is, his forward line has started finding the back of the net striker Kadima Kabangu scoring and playing a key part in their victory over Niger. The goals have equally been coming from the back from defender, Amede Massasi is the team’s top scorer with two goals and Ibenge will hope his players find their scoring boots when they face Cameroon on Saturday.