Congo came from behind to hold Ivory Coast to a 1-1 draw in their Group A clash on Sunday at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar.
Striker Silvere Ganvoula Mboussy canceled out Yakou Meite’s first half lead on 75 minutes to give the Junior Red Devils a point in the thrilling encounter and keep the group open.
Meite had shot ‘Les Elephanteaux’ into the lead eight minutes before the break with a left shot that beat Congo goalie Pavelh Ndzila before a spirited second half from the Congolese saw the two sides share the spoils.
The Ivorians were the better of the two sides in the opening half pinning the Congolese to their halve with their possessive play. On the half-hour mark Aboubacar Keita failed to connect one of the rare chances that came the way of his side.
Seven minutes later, Loua Niangbo profited from a swift counter, dribbled his marker before laying Meite at the far left, who shot into the left corner of the net to break the deadlock.
Back from the break, the Congolese organised themselves and kept the Ivorian defence busier throughout the half.
Despite their dominance the Ivorians also had some positive moments upfront like on the hour-mark when a blunder by Charlevy Mabiala gifted the ball to Chris Bedia but the Congolese defender worked around to weather the storm.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the Junior Diables Noirs finally found their breakthrough on 75 minutes. A blunder by Ivorian defender Ismael Diallo saw the ball rolled onto the path of Mboussy who toe-poked past goalkeeper Seck Diabagate for the well-deserved equalizer.
Both sides held to share the spoils and trail leaders Nigeria by two points, following their 3-1 win over hosts Senegal in the opening match.