The third place play-off has never been the most loved of games- two losing semi-finalists have to come and pretend failing to make the final doesn’t sting. Judging by the celebration by the DRC after the final whistle though, it seems like they do not mind the bronze medal one bit.
After 90 minutes of football that did not feature all that much action, the game moved straight to the dreaded penalty shootouts. The hosts’ showed a remarkable lack of composure from the spot, losing to the DRC by 4-2.
Having both lost semi-finals to more illustrious opponents, neither side seemed particularly driven to pick that third place. Equatorial Guinea looked a little livelier, but the game suffered from a lack of chances that made it into a snooze fest.
The closest anyone got was when Congolese midfielder Cedrick Mabwati made an insane run through the home defence, but then elected to pass when one-on-one with Felipe Ovono. The pass caught Mbokani a off guard, and he was unable to finish the opportunity.
After 90 minutes the contest was moved straight to penalties, where DR Congo proved to be a little more adept at the craft than their opponents.
A main driving force behind his side’s run to the semi-finals; Javier Balboa surprisingly missed the first spot kick, his teammate Raul Fabiani also missing his penalty. DRC scored all four to pick up the bronze medal at this year’s tourney.
They succeed Mali, who picked up the honour at each of the last two AFCON’s.
For Equatorial Guinea, it has been an eventful tournament, the low point being their fans behaviour on Thursday night in the semi final against Ghana. Still, they can be reasonably satisfies, having hosted a fairly successful tournament at a moment’s notice, and also recorded the best AFCON finish in their history.