AFCON 2017: Morocco fight back to beat Togo 3-1

Published January 20th, 2017 - 11:18 GMT
Morocco's players celebrate their third goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Morocco and Togo in Oyem on January 20, 2017.
ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP
Morocco's players celebrate their third goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Morocco and Togo in Oyem on January 20, 2017. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Reigning champions Ivory Coast twice came from a goal down in gaining a 2-2 draw against Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations while Morocco beat Togo 3-1 to add drama to Group C. 

Neeskens Kebano and Junior Kabananga gave DR Congo the lead in the 10th and 28th minutes, respectively, before Wilfried Bony evened it in the 26th minute and Serey Die provided the final goal at the 67-minute mark.

"Of course we wish we would have won. The DRC posed many problems for us. The result is what it is. We still have our destiny in our own hands, that's what's important," Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer said.

"We had the match in our hands. Too bad we woke up so late. This will serve as a lesson for the last match," added Die. 

The later game saw Morocco reverse an early deficit on Mathieu Dossevi's goal for Togo as Aziz Bouhaddouz, Romain Saiss and Youssef En-Nesyri tallied for the northern Africans.

DR Congo remained on top of the group with four points while Ivory Coast picked up their second draw for two points. Morocco are second on three points and Togo last with one point.

The final two games in Group C on Tuesday have Morocco playing Ivory Coast and Togo facing DR Congo.

DR Congo jumped ahead after 10 minutes on a fantastic low blast off the wide right post and in by Kebano, who was fed by Kabananga.

The Elephants equalized in the 26th minute with Max Gradel curling a corner to Bony, who struck home a powerful header.

The Congolese were not fazed by the equalizer and regained the lead just two minutes later with Ndombe Mubele serving up a cross from the right side and Kabananga nodding it past Ivorian keeper Sylvain Gbohouo unmarked.

Both teams had some good chances including Mubele gracing the outside of the post after a superb solo in the 54th minute which would have made it 3-1. 

But the reigning champs knotted the game again in the 67th minute with captain Die's long attempt deflecting off DR Congo defender Marcel Tisserand and past keeper Ley Matampi. 

Ivory Coast had the better chances the rest of the way but could not grab the third goal - though Salomon Kalou struck the back of the net two minutes into stoppage time but was ruled offside.

The second match in Oyem saw Togo grab the lead after just five minutes with Dossevi hitting home an assist from Floyd Ayite. 

Morocco didn't wait long to equalize with Bouhaddouz's header in the 11th minute being the Atlas Lions' first goal of the tournament.

Saiss gave Morocco their first lead in the 21st minute, flicking a header to the far side off a pass from Faycal Fajr. 

The Malaga striker En-Nesyri ended all doubts in the 72nd minute as his left-footer well outside the area bounced and got past Togo keeper Kossi Agassa to make it 3-1.

The Africa Cup of Nations continues on Saturday with Ghana taking on Mali and Egypt playing against Uganda in Group D in Port-Gentil.


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