REDEMPTION TIME

Ngoya wants Congo to bounce back against Niger

The Red Devils must get a result from their Group D clash with the Menas in the city of Oran to keep alive their chances of advancing to the knock-out stages of the tournament.

In Summary

• They lost their opening group game 1-0 to arch-rivals Cameroon in a tightly contested match on Monday.

• Tomorrow, our fate will be decided. We have gone through our mistakes from the first game and worked on the solutions in training.

Action between Congo and Uganda at the Chan 2023
Action between Congo and Uganda at the Chan 2023
Image: HANDOUT

Congo find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they face Niger on Friday in their last Group E tie at the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022 in Algeria.

The Red Devils must get a result from their Group D clash with the Menas in the city of Oran to keep alive their chances of advancing to the knock-out stages of the tournament.

They lost their opening group game 1-0 to arch-rivals Cameroon in a tightly contested match on Monday but head coach Jean Elie Ngoya Obackas is confident that his side will bounce back in the do or die encounter.

“Tomorrow, our fate will be decided. We have gone through our mistakes from the first game and worked on the solutions in training. Back home, our people demand positive results and we want to give them that in our next game,” explained Ngoya with a big smile on his face at the pre-match press conference in Oran on Thursday.

“We did our very best against Cameroon but sometimes, the best is not good enough. I have spoken to my players and told them that I am not here to compliment them but to guide them to become better players. I know that they have a lot of talent, but talent is not enough. Discipline is an added value.”

Ngoya will be up against a familiar face in Niger’s Harouna Doula. The pair studied together at university and spent many sessions learning about coaching in Germany.

“I have waited for this moment since 2005 when we were in school together. We used to joke that we wanted to face each other in the final of an African competition but for now, we shall take this game in the group stages. We share the same background as coaches.”

“Doula is a seasoned coach who has been with Niger for 10 years. He was at the previous CHAN in Cameroon and qualified them to this tournament. He is my big brother and tomorrow, I will be learning from him for sure.”

Meanwhile, forward Prince Soussou added to his coach’s voice and gave an insight on the mood in the Congo camp ahead of their final Group E fixture.

We want to give more in our next game. We want to highlight how talented our championship is. This is something that we agreed on

“We want to give more in our next game. We want to highlight how talented our championship is. This is something that we agreed on. We have had several meetings since our first game and as a team, we have a duty to perform better and win.”

“This is an important game for us and even though we lost our previous game, we will do our best. I believe that we will win tomorrow’s game.”

Congo will be without three players who are out with injury including central defender Carof Bakoua, defender Faria Jobel Ondongo, forward Georges Kader Bidimbou who is out with a first-degree injury on his knee.

“They will be out for at least two weeks so we shall not have them for our next game against Niger, but we have other players in the squad who can fill these positions. We wish them the best in recovery and now we shall fight for them on the pitch,” Ngoya told the media on Thursday. The Red Devils face Niger at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran.