YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon, Jan 21 – Luzolo Sita scored a stunner with the last kick of the game to salvage a 1-1 draw for two-time champions DR Congo in their exciting match against Libya at their African Nations Championship (CHAN) match in Cameroon on Thursday.
The AS Vita defender’s piledriver from 30 yards in the 94th minute broke the hearts of the Mediterranean Knights who thought they had secured victory in the Group B match played at the iconic Japoma Stadium in Douala.
The stunning strike restored parity after the Libyans led the match for 85 minutes before the Leopards equalized.
The Mediterranean Knights raced into the lead when captain Muetaz Husayn Almahdi headed in from a corner in the 5th minute.
Libya played out to a goalless draw in their first game of the group against Niger on Sunday and were keen on making a better showing in today’s game to enhance their chance of reaching the knock-out stages of the competition.
The former champions hit the ground running in the game and when they had a corner on their first attack in the match, Almahdi was left alone to head in with goalkeeper Nathan Thumu unprotected.
The two-time champions responded by piling into the area of the Libyans which put the defenders under pressure and one occasion led to a poor clearance which Fiston Mayele failed to take advantage of with just goalkeeper Ahmed Azzaqa at his mercy.
The Al Ahli striker Almahdi could have doubled the lead of his side in the 22nd minute when he burst free from a counter-attack but Leopards goalkeeper was quick off his line to clear to safety.
The Congolese continued to search for an opening in the defence of their opponents and in the 28th minute shot Chico Kubanza found himself at the edge of the but his shot wide with the stop-stopper completely beaten.
Moments later pacey Congo winger Makabi Lilepo broke from on the left before crossing for the onrushing Mayele but the Libyan goalkeeper made a hash of it at the first attempt before smothering to collect the ball.
Four minutes before the break Masasi combined beautifully with Mayele in the box but with the goalkeeper completely beaten, the latter’s final shot came back into play after hitting the upright.
The second-half started with the Libyan not showing any signs of giving up on their lead as they went on the attack to put the Congolese on the back foot.
Tsumu made two brilliant saves from the efforts of strikers Mohammed Makkari and Rabia Alshadi before Almahdi fired wide from a good chance near the box.
Libyan goalkeeper Azzaqa also demonstrated his agility when he dived to tip over Ciel Ikoko’s fierce curling free-kick from the edge of the box on 72 minutes.
Substitute Ibrahem Bodabous brought some energy to the attack of the Libyans as he used his trickery to dribble two but the Congolese defenders but a big clearance from Luzolo Sita prevented the North Africans from extending their lead.
With the game match edging to a close, the Congolese piled forward and when the Libyans cleared a ball, Sita popped up with a screamer that the impressive Azzaqa could not save, leaving the Libyans in tears.
Libya will play Congo in their final group game at the Japoma Stadium in Douala while DR Congo travel to the capital Yaounde to face Niger in the matches that will be played simultaneously.