DR Congo succumbed to a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Gabon to begin their journey to the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations on a shaky note on Saturday.

Debutant Shavy Bebicka scored the only goal for the Panthers to seal the important away victory in Kinshasa.

The Leopards did all they could to at least claim a point against the Panthers but all efforts proved futile as they lost the Group I fixture.

DR Congo gaffer Hector Cuper went into the game with the best players he could assemble but still failed to start on a winning note.

Cuper’s start list against Gabon had Ben Malango Ngita, Jackson Muleka, Chadrack Akolo, Sammy Moutoussamy, Yoan Wissa amongst others .

Bebicka scored the only goal of the match to hand the maximum points to Patrice Neveu’s side who join Mauritania at the top of the group standings.

DR Congo continued with their dominance in the second half and created a lot of scoring opportunities but Jean-Noel Amonome made two fantastic saves to deny the Leopards.

The vital win is Gabon’s first away victory in a competitive since they beat South Sudan 1-0 in Juba in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on 16 October 2018.

Source: CAF