Preview: Tanzania vs. Congo DR - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Tanzania vs. Congo DR - prediction, team news, lineups

A place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations is on the line as Tanzania face Congo DR at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Wednesday night.

With simultaneous kick-offs across Group F, the Leopards, on two points from their first two games, eye a win to stay in the driver's seat, while the Taifa Stars face elimination if they fall short of a win.

Match preview

Dismissed as Group F's whipping boys before the tournament, Tanzania defied expectations and find themselves still in contention for a knockout berth heading into their final match.

Though their opening game was a chastening 3-0 drubbing by Morocco, a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Zambia kept them within touching distance of the other group contenders.

Simon Msuva's opportunism after a swift turnover gave Adel Amrouche's men the early lead, but Patson Daka's powerful header two minutes from time for Zambia left Tanzania to settle for a share of the spoils.

AFCON history has yet to witness a Tanzanian victory, with six defeats and two draws in their eight matches across three editions, including the current one, however, an historic win against DR Congo on Wednesday would present a golden opportunity to break that duck and reach the knockout stage for the first time.

This would not be uncharted territory for Tanzania against their opponents, having enjoyed two wins, two draws, and two defeats in their six previous encounters, and the stars could finally align for the Taifa Stars as they chase a place in the AFCON knockout stages.

The Leopards came into this competition as the second-favourite to qualify from this group behind Morocco, and they would likely have been fairly disappointed with only taking one point from Zambia in their first match.

However, reverse was true against Morocco, as Sebastian Desabre's men will be content with snatching a point against arguably the tournament's most formidable side.

Morocco's Achraf Hakimi got his side off to a flying start with an opening goal in the sixth minute, but Silas Katompa Mvumpa of Congo DR snatched a deserved equaliser in the 76th minute. Earlier, Cedric Bakambu had spurned a golden opportunity for the Leopards when his first-half penalty struck the woodwork.

The drama was not confined to the pitch, as a melee broke out between players and coaching staff from both sides after the final whistle, reportedly sparked by Morocco coach Walid Regragui's interaction with DR Congo captain Chancel Mbemba.

Poor decision-making in the final third has been Congo DR's biggest issue, having played 35 shots across the first two matches with just eight on target, resulting in just two goals.

Desabre's charges are favoured in this clash and the 47-year-old will hope his side can be clinical enough to secure an important win against the Taifa Stars.

Tanzania Africa Cup of Nations form:

Tanzania form (all competitions):

Congo DR Africa Cup of Nations form:

Congo DR form (all competitions):