AFCON 2015 Country Profile: Congo-Brazzaville

Being chosen as the team to face the host nation in the opening game of a major tournament is a daunting task for any team, more so a team making a return to the competition following a lengthy absence. The nerves and anxiety, amplified by the excitement of the fans in the stadium, make for a testing atmosphere for an away side. This will be the case for Congo-Brazzaville in this year’s Afcon opener, who make their return to the Afcon stage after a 15 year absence, and as they prepare to take on the Equatoguineans, we take a look at how their team is set up and how we think their mentality is going into Africa’s showpiece.

Congo-Brazzaville Association         Congo-Brazzaville National Flag

Association Crest Image Source: Wikipedia

National Flag Image Source: Picture Museum

Name: Congo-Brazzaville

Nickname: Diables Rouges (Meaning Red Devils)

FIFA Ranking: 61

ELO Ranking: 103

CAF Ranking: 15

Previous AFCON: Congo-Brazzaville return to the Afcon showpiece for the first time since the 2000, when they failed to win a single game and finished bottom of the group. For the 2015 Afcon, Congo finished second in qualifying group A, behind South Africa and ahead of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The Coach

Image Source: Selecciones De Futbol
Image Source: Selecciones De Futbol

The man tasked with leading Congo-Brazzaville into battle is a man who is no stranger to African football. Frenchman Claude Le Roy has coached several national teams on the African continent, a journey that started in the 1980s. His first taste of Africa was in Cameroon, where he led the Indomitable Lions to a second place finish in 1986, and to Afcon glory in 1988. He then went on to coach Senegal, before returning for a second stint with Cameroon in 1998. Le Roy also coached DR Congo twice, on either side of a stint in Ghana, before taking over in Congo in 2013. The 2015 edition of the Afcon will be Le Roy’s eight, a feat rivalled by no other coach, and he will be hoping to mark this achievement with a good showing in the tournament.

THE SQUAD 

Average Age: 24

GOALKEEPERS:

Name: Christoffer Mafoumbi Age: 20 Position: Goalkeeper Club: Le Ponter, France

Name: Chancel Massa Age: 29 Position: Goalkeeper Club: AC Leopards, Congo

Name: Pavelh Ndzila Age: 20 Position: Goalkeeper Club: Etoile Du Congo

DEFENDERS:

Name: Francis N’Ganga Age: 29 Position: Left Back Club: Charleroi, Romania

Name: Igor N’Ganga Age: 27 Position: Centre Back / Right Back Club: FC Araau, Switzerland

Name: Boris Moubhibo Age: 26 Position: Centre Back Club: AC Leopards, Congo

Name: Arnold Bouka Moutou Age: 26 Position: Left Back Club: Angers SCO, France

Name: Dimitri Bissiki Age: 23 Position: Left Back Club: AC Leopards. Congo

Name: Marvin Baudry Age: 24 Position: Centre Back Club: Amiens SC, France

Name: Antoni Mavoungou Age: 18 Position: Defender Club: ACNFF

MIDFIELDERS:

Name: Prince Oniangue Age: 26 Position: Defensive midfielder Club: Stade de Reims, France

Name: Delvin N’Dinga Age: 26 Position: Defensive Midfielder Club: Olympiacos, Greece

Name: Cesaire Gandze Age: 25 Position: Attacking Midfielder Club: AC Leopards

Name: Chris Malonga Age: 27 Position: Left Winger Club: FC Lausanne, Switzerland

Name: Hardy Binguila Age: 18 Position: Midfielder Club: Diables Noirs, Congo

Name: Sagesse Babele Age: 21 Position: Midfielder Club: AC Leopards

Name: Fabrice N’Guessi Ondama Age: 26 Position: Winger / Secondary Striker Club: Wydad Casablanca, Morocco

Name: Francis Litsingi Age: 28 Position: Winger Club: FK Teplice, Czech Republic

FORWARDS:

Name: Silvere Ganvoula M’boussy Age: 18 Position: Secondary Striker Club: Patronage Saint-Anne, Congo

Name: Ferebory Dore Age: 25 Position: Centre Forward Club: CFR Cluj, Romania

Name: Thievy Bifouma Age: 22 Position: Cente Forward Club: Almeira, Spain

Name: Ladislas Douniama Age: 28 Position: Secondary Striker Club: Guingamp, France

Name: Dominique Malonga Age: 26 Position: Centre Forward Club: Hibernian, Scotland

WORD ON THE STANDS

Having experienced the disappointment of missing out on Afcon participation for the last few years, the Red Devils faithful ought to be beside themselves with excitement at the very thought of competing in the tournament again. The Red Devils finished second in a group which included defending champions Nigeria and South Africa, and while they may have expected to finish above Sudan, a finish ahead of Nigeria was a pleasant surprise for the faithful. The 15 year absence may bring a reluctance to set the expectations too high for Le Roy’s young squad, but they will have faith in the fact that they have an experienced coach who has won the tournament and coached some of Africa’s powerhouses, and is competing in a record breaking 8th Afcon tournament.

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