DR Congo goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi emerged as the hero in a thrilling last-16 shoot-out against Egypt, securing an epic 8-7 victory with his decisive penalty kick.
After a tense night and a 1-1 draw in San Pedro, Mpasi stepped up as the ninth player to take a penalty, overcoming doubt to make history with DR Congo's first Cup of Nations victory over Egypt in 50 years.
His successful kick followed a miss by Morocco keeper Gabaski, who had sent his shot wide off the crossbar, providing Mpasi with the opportunity.
Reflecting on his crucial moment, Mpasi shared, "I tried to stay calm. I tried to distract Gabaski from his shot and I succeeded. After that, I concentrated on getting my technique right." Despite recalling a miss in training before his shot, Mpasi expressed satisfaction that it worked when it mattered.
DR Congo is now set to face Guinea in a quarterfinal clash in Abidjan on Friday, viewing it as a promising chance to advance to the last four. Mpasi, who has played his entire career in France, hopes for a historic repeat in Ivory Coast, where DR Congo previously lifted the 2009 African Nations Championship trophy.