Tanzania need their first win at any AFCON to qualify

* As all four Group F teams are able to qualify for the knockout round as best runners-up

* Tanzania date DR Congo as Zambia face north Africa giants Morocco tonight

Maravi Express

There is all to play for tonight in Group F of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Côte d’Ivoire 2023 with three of the four teams still able to finish top of the group, and all four teams able to qualify for the knockout round as best runners-up.


Tanzania date DR Congo as Zambia face north Africa giants Morocco and the Taifa Stars have it all to do, though, heading into Matchday 3 bottom of the pile having taken just one point from their first two matches.

They will need their first win at any AFCON tournament to jump up the table and make it out of the group. They have drawn two and lost six of their eight AFCON games up to this point.

They did, however, take the lead in their last game – the 1-1 draw with Zambia – which was only the third time they have ever gone ahead in an AFCON game.

What’s more, the other two occasions both came in the same game, and they ended up losing that match – a 3-2 defeat to Kenya in the 2019 edition.

DR Congo have drawn both of their games in Côte d’Ivoire and sit level with Zambia with identical records and I f Morocco beat Zambia in the other match, DR Congo will only need a point against Tanzania to confirm second place.

They won’t want to rely on other results, though, and should be confident that they can get the win they need here. They did exceptionally well to battle back from a goal down against FIFA World Cup semi-finalists Morocco last time out, recovering from the setback of Cédric Bakambu missing a first-half penalty to secure a well-earned point.

They created more than enough to deserve a draw in that game against very strong opposition.

They may have a historically poor AFCON record, having won only four of their last 2022 games at the tournament, but they have plenty of quality in their ranks, including Brentford’s Yoann Wissa and former West Ham man Arthur Masuaku.


Pre-match facts

* The Opta supercomputer is predicting a DR Congo victory in this match; they win 48.1% of our pre-match simulations.

* This will be the first encounter between Tanzania and DR Congo at the AFCON — the last meeting being in November 2021 with DR Congo winning 3-0 in Dar es Salaam in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

* Tanzania remain winless at the AFCON, playing eight matches without success (D2 L6), although they did manage to avoid defeat in their last match, drawing 1-1 with fellow Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) representatives, Zambia.

* DR Congo have drawn both of their matches at AFCON 2023 – the last time they drew all three group stage matches at AFCON was in 2015, going on to finish in third place overall in that tournament.

* Tanzania taking the lead in their 1-1 draw with Zambia; it was just their third time — the other two occasions were both in the same game in 2019, going 1-0 and 2-1 ahead before losing 3-2 to Kenya.

* DR Congo have only won four of their last 22 matches at the AFCON (D12 L6) although they are unbeaten in their last four games (W1 D3).

* Tanzania’s last three goals at the AFCON have been scored in the first half, after their first three goals at AFCON were all netted in the second half. Across their five games at the 2019 and 2023 editions, they’ve only attempted 15 shots and four on target in the second half of matches.

* DR Congo’s Arthur Masuaku has made the joint-most tackles (5), won the most duels (15), won possession most often (17) and only Chancel Mbemba (97) has completed more passes than he has (86) among his teammates at the 2023 AFCON.

* Simon Msuva scored his second AFCON goal last time out, also finding the net in 2019 against Kenya, becoming the first Tanzanian player to score at two different AFCON tournaments. He has also equalled Thuwein Waziri in 1980 in scoring two goals overall for Tanzania at an AFCON tournament.

* Meschack Elia has assisted in two of his last three AFCON appearances, doing so in both games as a substitute. Across the 2019 and 2023 AFCON tournaments, Elia has created the most chances of any DR Congo player (13), despite playing just 281 minutes.—Info from CAFonline & Opta Analyst