DR Congo secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals, beating Egypt 8-7 on penalties, with goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scoring the winner.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of play, leading to the tense penalty shootout where both teams showed nerves of steel.
DR Congo’s Meschack Elia opened the scoring in the 37th minute, but Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed equalized from the penalty spot just before half-time.
The game took another twist when Egypt’s Mohamed Hamdy was sent off in extra time, leaving his team with 10 men. The match then went to a penalty shootout, where the tension continued to rise.
Egypt’s Mohamed, who scored in regular time, missed his penalty in the shootout, while DR Congo’s Arthur Masuaku also failed to convert.
The shootout remained deadlocked at 7-7 after eight penalties each, setting the stage for both teams goalkeepers.
Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal, known as Gabaski, stepped up to take his team’s ninth penalty but hit the crossbar, giving DR Congo an opportunity to win.
Mpasi, DR Congo’s goalkeeper, then seized the moment and confidently converted the his own, securing his team’s place in the quarter-finals.
DR Congo’s victory is remarkable considering they did not win a single game in the tournament’s group stage.
They will now face Guinea in the quarter-finals on Friday, February 2, in a bid to continue their surprising run in the competition.