Congo DR national football team


Congo DR national football team
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nickname(s) The Leopards
Association FECOFA
Sub-confederation UNIFFAC
(Central Africa)
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Head coach Claude Le Roy
Home stadium Stade des Martyrs
FIFA code COD
FIFA ranking 133
Highest FIFA ranking 51 (September 2003)
Lowest FIFA ranking 133 (October 2011)
Elo ranking 100
Highest Elo ranking 20 (March 1974)
Lowest Elo ranking 111 (September 2010)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
 Belgian Congo 3–2 Northern Rhodesia 
(Belgian Congo; 1948)
Biggest win
 Congo DR 10–1 Zambia 
(Kinshasa, Congo DR; 22 November 1969)
Biggest defeat
 Yugoslavia 9–0 Zaire Zaire
(Gelsenkirchen, Germany; 18 June 1974)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1974)
Best result First round, 1974
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 15 (First in 1965)
Best result Winners; 1968 & 1974

The Congo DR national football team (formerly the Zaire national football team) is the national team of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is controlled by the Fédération Congolaise de Football-Association (FECOFA), and are nicknamed The Leopards.

Congo have been ranked as high as 51 in the FIFA Rankings. As Zaire they were the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and twice won the Africa Cup of Nations.

Contents

History

Early history

The Fédération Congolaise de Football-Association (FECOFA) was founded in 1919 when the country was not independent. The team played their first game in 1948 as Belgian Congo against Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. The team recorded a 3–2 victory at home. Congo has been FIFA affiliated since 1962 and has been a member of CAF since 1963. The team's first official match was on the 11 April 1963, against Mauritania in the L'Amitié Tournament played in Dakar, Senegal. Congo won the match 6–0.[1]

Glory period

The Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Congo-Kinshasa) had its first international success at the 1968 African Cup of Nations held in Ethiopia, beating Ghana 1–0 in the final. The team's biggest ever win came on 22 November 1969 when they recorded a 10–1 home victory against Zambia. From 1971 to 1997 the country, and therefore the team, was known as Zaire. Their first game as Zaire was played in Cameroon against Sudan. Sudan won this game 3–0. Six years later Zaire won the 1974 African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The team recorded a 2–1 victory against Guinea, another 2–1 victory against rivals Congo and a 4–1 victory against Mauritius. These results carried Zaire through to the semi-finals where they beat hosts Egypt 3–2. In the final Zaire drew with Zambia 2–2. Therefore the match was replayed two days later, where Zaire won the game 2–0. Zaire player Mulamba Ndaye was top scorer with nine goals, wehich remains a record for the tournament. After this, the team returned to Zaire on the Presidential plane, lent to them by Mobutu Sese Seko.

Zaire were the first black African team to participate in a FIFA World Cup. At the 1974 FIFA World Cup Zaire were very disappointing. The team did not win a game or score any goals. Their 9–0 defeat against Yugoslavia still remains a World Cup record defeat. Facing a free-kick 25 yards out during the 1974 World Cup finals match against Brazil, defender Mwepu Ilunga, upon hearing the referee blow his whistle, ran out of the Zaire wall and kicked the ball upfield, for which he received a yellow card. This was voted the 17th greatest World Cup moment in a Channel 4 poll,[2] though many commentators held it to be an example of African football's "naivety and indiscipline".[3] However, Ilunga has claimed that he was quite aware of the rules and was hoping to convince the referee to send him off. The intended red card would have been a protest against his country's authorities, who were alleged to be depriving the players of their rightful earnings.[4]

Crisis period

After winning the 1974 African Cup of Nations and participating in the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the team did not get past the first round of the 1976 African Cup of Nations not recording a win in the group stages. Morocco went on to win the tournament. From 1978 to 1986, the country did not qualify for any other African Cup of Nations, while withdrawing from qualification for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. In the 1988 African Cup of Nations Zaire finished last in their group despite having 2 draws.

Return to success

From 1992 to 1996, Zaire, reached three consecutive African Cup of Nations quarter-finals. In 1992 and 1994 they were beaten by Nigeria, and in 1996 they were beaten by Ghana. In 1997, their name changed to DR Congo. DR Congo played their first game on the 8th June 1997 in Brazzaville which ended in a 1–0 victory for them. At the 1998 African Cup of Nations, DR Congo, led by Louis Watunda Iyolo took third place, beating hosts Burkina Faso 4–1 on penalties.

At the 2000 African Cup of Nations the team finished 3rd in their group, and in 2002 were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Senegal. Then in 2004 They were eliminated by 3 straight defeats in the group stages. And then in 2006, led by Claude Le Roy, having finished second in the group behind Cameroon, were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Egypt 4–1.

Recent history

Congo DR were drawn in group 10 for qualifications for the 2008 African Cup of Nations, along with Libya, Namibia and Ethiopia. On the penultimate day Congo DR led the group, but drew 1–1 with Libya and Namibia beat Ethiopia 3–2. This sent Namibia through to the Finals, and Congo DR finished in 2nd place. Congo DR also failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2009 Congo DR won the 2009 African Championship of Nations beating Ghana in the final.

Current squad

0#0 Pos. Player Date of Birth (Age) Caps Goals Club
GK Mulopo Kudimbana 21 January 1987 (1987-01-21) (age 24) 4 0 Belgium Cercle Brugge
GK Yves Ma-Kalambay 31 January 1986 (1986-01-31) (age 25) 4 0 Free Agent
DF Cédric Mongongu 22 June 1989 (1989-06-22) (age 22) 9 0 France Evian
DF Joël Sami 13 November 1984 (1984-11-13) (age 27) 6 0 France Nancy
DF Christian Kinkela 25 May 1982 (1982-05-25) (age 29) 5 0 France Ajaccio
DF Larrys Mabiala 8 August 1987 (1987-08-08) (age 24) 9 0 France Nice
DF Christopher Mfuyi 3 July 1989 (1989-07-03) (age 22) 2 0 France Valenciennes
DF Assani Lukimya-Mulongoti 25 January 1986 (1986-01-25) (age 25) 2 0 Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf
DF Gabriel Zakuani 31 May 1986 (1986-05-31) (age 25) 1 0 England Peterborough United
DF Hérita Ilunga 25 February 1982 (1982-02-25) (age 29) 32 1 England West Ham United
DF Rodrigue Dikaba 28 October 1985 (1985-10-28) (age 26) 10 0 France Beauvais
DF Gladys Bokese 12 September 1981 (1981-09-12) (age 30) 25 0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Motema Pembe
DF Miala Nkulukutu 6 September 1982 (1982-09-06) (age 29) 18 0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mazembe
DF Joël Kimwaki 14 October 1986 (1986-10-14) (age 25) 4 0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mazembe
MF Yannick Bapupa 21 January 1982 (1982-01-21) (age 29) 4 0 Free Agent
MF René Makondele 20 April 1982 (1982-04-20) (age 29) 7 1 Sweden Häcken
MF Marcel Kimemba Mbayo 23 April 1978 (1978-04-23) (age 33) 31 3 Free Agent
MF Tico 12 December 1980 (1980-12-12) (age 30) 36 1 Belgium Lokeren
MF Zola Matumona 26 November 1981 (1981-11-26) (age 29) 30 7 Belgium Mons
MF Cedric 8 March 1992 (1992-03-08) (age 19) 4 0 Spain Numancia
MF Cedric Makiadi 23 February 1984 (1984-02-23) (age 27) 8 2 Germany Freiburg
MF Distel Zola 5 February 1989 (1989-02-05) (age 22) 2 0 France Nancy
MF Mutamba Milambo 1 January 1984 (1984-01-01) (age 27) 26 0 France Cannes
MF Toko Nzuzi 20 December 1990 (1990-12-20) (age 20) 2 0 Switzerland Grasshopper
MF Bedi Mbenza 11 November 1984 (1984-11-11) (age 27) 4 2 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mazembe
MF Eric Bokanga 9 October 1988 (1988-10-09) (age 23) 3 0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mazembe
MF Jacques Maghoma 23 October 1987 (1987-10-23) (age 24) 3 2 England Burton Albion
MF Steve Zakuani 9 February 1988 (1988-02-09) (age 23) 1 0 United States Seattle Sounders
FW Lomana LuaLua 28 December 1980 (1980-12-28) (age 30) 27 6 England Blackpool
FW Lelo Mbele 10 August 1987 (1987-08-10) (age 24) 12 1 Free Agent
FW Shabani Nonda 6 March 1977 (1977-03-06) (age 34) 21 14 Free Agent
FW Dieumerci Mbokani 22 October 1985 (1985-10-22) (age 26) 15 5 Belgium Anderlecht
FW Trésor Mputu 10 December 1985 (1985-12-10) (age 25) 22 7 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mazembe
FW Serge Lofo Bongeli 14 April 1980 (1980-04-14) (age 31) 4 0 Free Agent

Competition records

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to
England 1966
Did mot enter
Mexico 1970 Entry not accepted[5]
West Germany 1974 Group Stage 16th 3 0 0 3 0 14
Argentina 1978 Withdrew
Spain 1982 Did not qualify
Mexico 1986 Did not enter
Italy 1990 to
South Africa 2010
Did not qualify
Brazil 2014 To Be Determined
Russia 2018
Qatar 2022
Total Group Stage 1/19 3 0 0 3 0 14

African Nations Cup

African Cup of Nations
Titles: 2
Appearances: 15
Year Position Year Position Year Position
Sudan 1957 Did not enter Ethiopia 1976 Round 1 Tunisia 1994 Quarter Finals
Egypt 1959 Did not enter Ghana 1978 Did not enter South Africa 1996 Quarter Finals
Ethiopia 1962 Did not enter Nigeria 1980 Did not qualify Burkina Faso 1998 Third place
Ghana 1963 Did not enter Libya 1982 Did not qualify GhanaNigeria 2000 Round 1
Tunisia 1965 Round 1 Côte d'Ivoire 1984 Withdrew Mali 2002 Quarter Finals
Ethiopia 1968 Champions Egypt 1986 Did not qualify Tunisia 2004 Round 1
Sudan 1970 Round 1 Morocco 1988 Round 1 Egypt 2006 Quarter Finals
Cameroon 1972 Fourth Place Algeria 1990 Did not qualify Ghana 2008 Did not qualify
Egypt 1974 Champions Senegal 1992 Quarter Finals
Angola 2010 Did not qualify

List of coaches

References

External links


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