Bolasie equaliser earns Congo draw with Zambia


EBIBEYIN, Equatorial Guinea (Reuters) - Yannick Bolasie scored midway through the second half to hand the Democratic Republic of Congo a deserved 1-1 draw after they fell behind early against Zambia in the opening Group B game of the African Nations Cup on Sunday.

Bolasie’s powerful shot just inside the penalty area after 66 minutes at Estadio de Ebibeyn came after a second half of toil and pressure as they attempted to pull back an early goal by Zambia.

The two teams were barely out of the starting blocks when Given Singuluma struck home the opener in the second minute, thrashing home with a rasping shot from outside the box after Congolese goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba punched a clearance straight at him.

Singuluma, who plays his club football in DR Congo, left his club mate with no chance with a perfect strike.

Congo might have equalised a lot earlier after a horror spill by Zambia’s veteran goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene allowed Dieumerci Mbokani, on his return to the side after a two-year absence, a chance to score from close range but he hit the ball over the bar.

Mbokani proved a menace for the Zambia defence but it was after a double change by coach Florent Ibenge that they found the equaliser. Congo might have found a late winner but both sides ran out of steam in the sapping heat of the town on the edge of the central African jungle.

(Editing by Justin Palmer; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27 82 8257807; Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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