Democratic Republic of Congo captain Youssouf Mulumbu has urged his team to move on from their surprise opening defeat by Uganda at the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Egypt.
The experienced Celtic midfielder missed Saturday’s 2-0 loss — Uganda’s first tournament win since 1978 — through injury and knows it will only get tougher for the twice former champions against the host nation.
“After a defeat like that, a good slap because we didn’t expect to lose against Uganda,let’s see how we will react against Egypt in front of their own crowd,” said Mulumbu, who was part of the side that finished third in 2015.
“Let’s see how we can react and show that we are men. We want to qualify for the next round.”
“It was a bit tough for me to miss the first match but I’ve started running again and the coach will decide whether I play,” added Mulumbu, who spent the second half of the 2018-19 season on loan at Kilmarnock.
“I feel the desire, the discipline is there in the team. We slipped up in the first game but we’re going the right way to make up for it.”
With four third-placed finishers set to make the last 16, DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge was asked if his side would set out to frustrate Egypt and leave their fate resting on their final Group A game against Zimbabwe.
“Each game you must try and get the best result and we’ll stick to that philosophy,” said Ibenge, who juggles his national team role with duties at leading Kinshasa team V Club.
“We’re playing Egypt and if we don’t win we’ll try to get a draw.”