South Africa and DR Congo lock horns in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) third-place playoff at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Saturday, both seeking consolation after semi-final heartbreak.
South Africa fell short against Nigeria, succumbing 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. DR Congo, undefeated until then, tasted their first defeat against hosts Ivory Coast, losing narrowly 1-0. Despite the disappointment, both showcased impressive runs. South Africa’s potent attack netted 7 goals in 6 matches, contrasting DR Congo’s resolute defence conceding only 5.
However, history favours the South Africans in their head-to-head record at AFCON. They hold two victories against DR Congo, with the most recent coming in the 2000 group stage, a 1-0 win that paved their path to claiming the bronze medal.
Interestingly, this marks South Africa’s first appearance in the third-place match since their 2000 triumph, where they edged past Tunisia. DR Congo, aiming to improve on their 2015 bronze medal performance, will be seeking to rewrite history.
Both sides will be hungry to end their AFCON campaign on a high. South Africa will be looking to bounce back from their penalty shootout agony, while DR Congo will be desperate to avoid finishing empty-handed.
This battle for bronze promises to be a thrilling encounter, with both teams motivated to prove their mettle and claim a coveted medal.