DR Congo coach Desabre proud of progress in AFCON 2023 despite losing bronze medal race

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 11 Feb 2024

DR Congo coach Sabastian Desabre expressed pride in his team's performance during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), despite losing the race for the bronze medal to South Africa.

DR Congo s French head coach Sebastien Desabre looks on during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 third place play-off football match between South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on February 10, 2024. AFP


In a goalless draw with South Africa in the AFCON third-place decider late on Saturday, DR Congo missed several scoring chances before eventually losing in a penalty shootout, with South Africa prevailing 6-5.

Desabre addressed the media in the post-game press conference, stating: "We wanted to finish the competition well, but this does not diminish the outstanding performance we had during this AFCON and the effort the players put in over the past few weeks."

Acknowledging their fourth-place finish, Desabre added: "We couldn't capitalize on the chances we created, which is why we are not third."

During the AFCON group stage, the Leopards secured second place with three points after drawing in all three matches. In the round of 16, they defeated Egypt in a penalty shootout.

DR Congo then triumphed over Guinea 3-1 in the quarterfinals but suffered a 1-0 loss to hosts Cote d'Ivoire in the semifinals, leading them to compete for the bronze medal.

"My takeaway from today is that when we watch the boys play, we can clearly see their unwavering dedication, even when they are fatigued," Desabre remarked.

"With this fighting spirit on the pitch, we can achieve great things. We are extremely pleased with our performance in this AFCON. Considering that this team did not participate in the previous edition, we can take pride in the progress we have made," the coach concluded.

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