IT’s party time in Kinshasa as youngster Elia Meschack scored twice to help DR Congo win a record second Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) title by beating Mali in ruthless fashion. The Leopards have now established themselves as the dominant side of the biennial tournament whose 4th edition was wrapped up yesterday with a rain-soaked final inside a packed, noisy Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
Unfazed by the downpour, the majority DR Congo fans willed their side on from the very moment South African referee Daniel Bennett blew the whistle for kick-off.
Just before the half-hour mark, midfielder Meschack steered home an angled shot to give The Leopards a deserved lead.
The 18-year-old made it two of the night, and his fourth of the tournament, as he sliced open the Malian defence, beat goalkeeper Djigui Diarra and slotted home.
Goal number three was as spectacular, this time not by Meschack but by Jonathan Bolingi whose rasping low right-footed shot left Diarra beaten again.
It was end-to-end action as the rain pounded the players but it was the Congolese, who have relished such a fete before, that reigned supreme.
With four goals, Meschack was crowned the tournament’s top scorer as teammate and captain Joel Kimwaki recieved the Fair Play award.
DR Congo won the maiden title in 2009 hosted by this year’s third place finishers Ivory Coast, and it has taken the Central African side three editions to replicate that achievement. — New Vision