Mthetho Ndoni email@example.com
DEMOCRATIC Republic of Congo (DRC) and Niger played out to a 0-0 draw in their African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.
In front of a total of 21648 fans, the first half started slowly, but DRC made the first attempt on goal through a shot by Lualua Tresor in the opening minutes.
Niger were also presented with a scoring chance when Modibo Sidibe came face-to-face with DRC's goalkeeper Kidiaba Robert in the fourth minute but his shot was denied by the far post. Both teams were determined to register the first goal of the match, but the strikers lacked the finishing touches in front of the goals.
Niger looked dangerous with their accurate passes in the midfield, but they were unable to penetrate the DRC's defensive pattern, with Kasusula Jean, Mangongu Dedric and Issama Djo doing excellent work.
DRC striker Mbokani Dieudonne should blame himself for not scoring an early goal in the match when he beat an offside trap in the 13th minute, only to have his shot saved.
Niger played better soccer towards the end of the first half as their distribution was accurate, but they failed to turn that into goals.
Niger goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly enjoyed a good first half and produced some fine saves to deny DRC.
DRC dominated the possession but, like Niger, they could not break the deadlock.
Niger came back strongly in the second half and their captain Moussa Maazou almost beat Robert, who saved the ball but conceded a corner.
However, there was no way through for either team and the pressure mounted as the match progressed, causing the referee to hand out several yellow cards.