2017 AFRICA CUP - GROUP C - DAY 07 - IVORY COAST VS CONGO DR 2:2
Ivory Coast vs Congo DR 2:2
Goals Ivory Coast
Serey Dié (67')
Goals Congo DR
Champions Ivory Coast twice pegged back DR Congo to earn a 2:2 draw and keep alive their hopes of reaching the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
A clever throw-in routine was finished off by Neeskens Kebano's low drive to put DR Congo 1:0 up but Wilfried Bony equalised with a powerful header.
DR Congo, who will not make the last eight, regained the lead two minutes later when Junior Kabananga headed in.
Ivory Coast salvaged a point when Serey Die's 20-yard shot was deflected in.
Salomon Kalou was denied a late winner for Ivory Coast when he volleyed in superbly but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The result leaves Group C congested - at least until Friday's late game between Togo and Morocco.
Ivory Coast teetered on the brink because of some poor defending.
They failed to pick up the runs of Kebano and Kabananga for the DR Congo pair's goals and were also fortunate when Firmin Ndombe Mubele's shot clipped the post after he had easily held off two defenders.
But in Bony they had a serious aerial threat and the on-loan Stoke forward gave a warning when he headed over from a long ball over the top by Serge Aurier.
Soon after he powered in a downward header from a corner for his side's first equaliser
The Ivorian's second leveller had an element of good fortune as Die's drive was diverted in off a defender.
A tight offside decision then went against Kalou, who had brilliantly volleyed in from Aurier's free-kick.
20. Serey Dié
02. Issama Mpeko
13. Lomalisa Mutambala
Holders Ivory Coast will be looking for a vastly improved performance when they meet DR Congo on Friday.
The talented Ivorian squad found the going tough against Togo and drew 0:0 in their opening game on Monday.
"We did not mix all the ingredients to claim more than a draw.
It will be necessary to approach this very important match against DR Congo with a more conquering mindset," coach Michel Dussuyer said.
"There is no need for panic.
We have two matches left and two victories will assure us of a place in the knockout stage."
The Congolese, looking for their first Nations Cup success since 1974, top the Group C standings after beating Morocco 1:0 in their opener, albeit without dominating the game.
And they will seal a quarter-finals place if they defeat the defending champions.
There are usually plenty of goals when these countries clash at the Nations Cup.
Hopeful news for Oyem spectators after only one was scored during the first two group games there three days ago.
Ivory Coast triumphed 3:0 in 1965 in Tunisia and the teams drew 1:1 when they next met 23 years later in Morocco.
The Congolese won 3:1 in 2002 in Mali and the most recent match-up, a 2015 semi-final in Equatorial Guinea, ended 3:1 in favour of the Ivorians.
Two of the Ivorian scorers in that semi-final success are not in Gabon.
Midfielder Yaya Toure has retired from international football and winger Gervinho is injured.
But the other Ivorian scorer, defender Wilfried Kanon, is at the 2017 Cup of Nations in Gabon, as is the striker who netted for DR Congo, Dieumerci Mbokani.