Live Commentary: Niger 0-0 DR Congo - as it happened

Live Commentary: Niger 0-0 DR Congo - as it happened
© PA Photos
Re-live all the action between Niger and DR Congo in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute text commentary.

Niger and DR Congo faced each other in the second round of games in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Group B on Thursday evening.

In what proved to be an evenly contested match, it finished goalless at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by minute live commentary below.

5.31pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole’s live coverage of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash between Niger and DR Congo. This is a Group B encounter that pits two teams still looking for their first win in the competition.

5.33pmHeading into the match, Niger find themselves at the foot of the group, having lost their opening match 1-0 to Mali, thanks to Seydou Keita’s late winner.

5.35pmOn the other hand, DR Congo opened their account in South Africa with a 2-2 draw with Ghana.

5.36pmTeam news coming up now... NIGER STARTING XI: Daouda, Dan Kowa, Soumaila, Koudize, Mohamed, Bachard, Fatoukouma, Lancina, Issoufou, Maazou, Sidibe

5.38pmDR CONGO STARTING XI: Kidiaba, Mongongu, Mabiala, Kasusula, Issama, Makiadi, Mulumbu, Mputu, LuaLua, Mbokani, Kabangu

5.42pmThere was another Group B game today. It finished 1-0 to Ghana against Mali, thanks to a 38th minute penalty from Wakaso Mubarak.

5.45pmFifteen minutes to kickoff in Port Elizabeth between Niger and DR Congo, as the two sets of players are preparing to come out on to the pitch.

5.49pmAs we wait for kickoff at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, let’s hear what the two coaches had to say ahead of this evening’s match. First up is Niger coach Gernot Rohr: "Everybody can score goals as we have seen - so we'll take them collectively not individually. We will try and defend well, just like we did against Mali. There was just one mistake and that allowed them to score, so now we need a game without any mistakes."

5.52pmDR Congo coach Claude LeRoy claims that he will deploy an attacking formation today: "I don't know how to play defensively. I'm almost at the end of my career and I don't need to play defensively - I'm not very good at that."

5.54pmThe national anthems are being played now, as we are just over five minutes away from kickoff. This is going to be a make-or-break game for Niger - if they lose, then they will head out of the competition.

5.57pmThis is the first ever meeting between Niger and DR Congo and promises to be a very interesting and exciting game of football. Stay on this page for all the live action as it happens.

0 minAnd the game is underway...

2 minIt has been a slow start to the match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, as DR Congo are hogging possession at the moment and playing the ball around.

3 minMISS! LuaLua gets the first chance of the match, as he blasts a cross from the right wide from close range with his left foot. It was a good cross by Mbokani, who aimed it at the far post for LuaLua.

5 minOFF THE POST! Sidibe hits the post for Niger! Sidibe does well to take the ball away from Mabiala and then tries to curl it at the far corner, but his effort comes off the post. Great chance for Niger!

6 minAnother effort from LuaLua and it goes wide as well. Mputu does well to set up the former Newcastle United striker, who volleys his effort off target.

8 minThe crowd is in full voice at the moment and the people are enjoying what they are watching on the pitch at the moment.

10 minTen minutes gone in the first half and it remains goalless between Niger and DR Congo. It has been largely an even contest, but Niger would count themselves unlucky not to score as they hit the post in the fifth minute.

13 minCHANCE! Brilliant goalkeeping from Daouda! Mbokani is released down the left side of the Niger penalty box by Kabangu’s cross and he shoots on goal from an acute angle but from close range, only for Daouda to make one of the best saves in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

15 minDR Congo are doing most of the attacking at the moment, as Niger are being forced to play defensively. Not that one should moan about it: they are the underdogs tonight and will go out if they lose.

17 minThere is a distinct lack of intensity in the match and the momentum is lacking. However, it has been enjoyable so far.

20 minMISS! Niger are given another chance. DR Congo give away the ball and are distinctly slow in closing down that leads to Bachar finding himself with time and space to take an attempt from outside the box. However, his effort does not trouble goalkeeper Kidiaba since it is nowhere near target.

23 minWe have played the first half of the first half, and it is still goalless between Niger and DR Congo. There have been chances - sporadic chances, I should say - and it has been a good game to watch. Still even, although DR Congo are looking more threatening when they are attacking.

25 minMaazou was sneaking at the back post looking to receive a cross intended for him, but Kidiaba come out and claims it.

27 minThe two sides are cancelling out each other at the moment and there is very little to choose between the teams. It will only get better as the evening progresses, but I cannot complain of this contest not being competitive.

30 minHalf an hour gone in this match and it is still goalless between Niger and DR Congo. Nothing to report in last two or so minutes really.

32 minThe match has gone stale now. It remains competitive and the two sides are cancelling out each other, but there is not much quality on show. No intensity or imagination. Or creativity...

35 minCHANCE! Youssouf Mulumbu squanders a good chance for DR Congo. Lomana LuaLua is set up inside the Niger penalty box and he then swings a sot, It is blocked and falls to Mulumbu, who shoots wide under no pressure whatsoever.

37 minThat should have been 1-0 to DR Congo, as Mulumbu ought to have done better with his shot. DRC are controlling possession, but Niger are showing good discipline and tactical maturity in defence.

40 minYELLOW CARD Moussa Maazou is the first player to be booked this evening for his rash challenge on Koffi Dan Kowa. He could have even received a red as it was a two-footed challenge!

43 minCHANCE! Superb save from Niger goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda as he keeps DR Congo at bay! Mbokani played a good one-two with Mputu and then shoots on goal from just yards, only to see his attempt parried away by Daouda.

45 minTwo minutes of injury time have been awarded now at the end of the first half.

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Niger 0-0 DR Congo

6.50pmIt was an interesting and overall entertaining first half between Niger and DR Congo. Both sides had chances to take the lead and both came close, but in the end failing to be accurate in shooting has let both teams down.

6.53pmNiger were unlucky not to go ahead in the fifth minute when Modibo Sidibe hit the post from close range. However, the hero for the Mena in the opening 45 minutes was their goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda, who denied DR Congo’s Dieumerci Mbokani twice.

6.55pmFormer Newcastle United striker Lomana LuaLua has looked lively in the first half at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and had two chances early on. However, it is all square between Niger and DR Congo at the break. Perhaps we will see goals in the second half?

6.59pmSecond-half action is just minutes away. Niger should be encouraged by their performance in the first half at the back: they have shown discipline and ability to close down the DR Congo attackers. However, they will know that the Congolese will come out strongly in the second half and they should try to nick an early goal in the second period to put their opponents under pressure.

45 minDR Congo get the second-half action underway...

46 minSUBSTITUTION Niger have made a change at the break. Talatou Boubacar has replaced Boubacar Issoufou.

46 minSUBSTITUTION DR Congo also have made a change at the break, perhaps a surprise change. Deo Kanda has come on in place of Lomana LuaLua.

48 minNiger launch the first attack of the second half, rather the first ‘half-attack’. Maazou runs down the right flank and floats in a cross, but it is a poor delivery and goes out of play. Not that there was any Niger player inside the six-yard box to take advantage of that cross.

50 minFive minutes gone in the second half and nothing constructive has happened yet. It is still goalless and the pace has yet to pick up.

53 minCHANCE! Oh, Moussa Maazou is denied by Robert Kidiaba as his fierce shot from the edge of the DR Congo penalty box is turned away by the goalkeeper. Good display from the Congolese custodian.

56 minSUBSTITUTION Another change for DR Congo. Midfielder Patou Kabangu is replaced by striker Dioko Kaluyituka.

57 minCHANCE! Another chance for Niger and it once again falls to Maazou. He finds himself with a ball from Koudize just outside the Congolese area and although he has two defenders around him, he still gets his shot but not on target.

59 minMbokani and Mputu combine well, with the latter sending a brilliant ball through to his teammate, who cannot give it back to him just in time.

60 minCHANCE! Maazou is once again denied by Kidiaba, as his close-range header from a cross from the left wing is well saved by the DR Congo goalkeeper! It has been all Niger in the second half and they look the likelier team to open the scoring in this contest this evening.

63 minNiger have looked very impressive in the second half, indeed. Gernot Rohr’s side have come out with a purpose and have subdued DR Congo so far in the second period who are struggling to hold on to the ball, let alone create any constructive move.

66 minThe match has dropped momentum and intensity in the last few minutes as DR Congo are starting to calm things a bit. They have been on the back foot for much of the second half, and they could do with some moments of quiet.

68 minCHANCE! Tresor Mputu Mabi tries his luck from outside the box after he receives a knocked down ball from Dieumerci Mbokani, but his effort goes wide of the target.

70 minWe are now heading into the final 20 minutes of an evenly contested and competitive affair that has been, I have to say, devoid of creativity and magic. I have a feeling that a single goal will settle the game.

72 minSUBSTITUTION DR Congo make their third and final substitution of the evening. Tresor Mputu goes off for Zola Matumona.

74 minNiger are getting everyone behind the ball now as it is now the turn of DR Congo to have the attacking spell in the contest. Niger defended for much of the first half and it looks like they are going to try to hold on for a point in the final 15 or so minutes of the contest.

77 minTo be honest, the game is now scrappy. There is a distinct lack of quality on show tonight - and this I have mentioned on more than one occasion - and it appears that neither of the teams are really motivated to go for the win. Each are waiting for the other to make a mistake that they can then pounce on.

79 minSUBSTITUTION Niger make their second change of the evening. Issiaka Koudize is replaced by William Tonji Ngounou.

80 minOh, Mbokani creates a move down the left and brings two of his Congolese teammates into play. However, he fails to receive the final delivery inside the Niger penalty box, and it stays goalless between the two sides.

82 minYELLOW CARD William Tonji Ngounou is shown the yellow card for his cynical challenge on Cedric Makiadi. He had to commit that foul and pull Makiadi's shirt, or else that move could have resulted in another attack for DR Congo.

84 minThe official attendance for tonight’s match is announced to be 21,628. I am surprised at that, to be honest, as I thought that there were much fewer people than that number...

85 minFive minutes of normal time remain at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Still goalless between Niger and DR Congo. Will we see a goal between now and the end of the game?

87 minYELLOW CARD Dieumerci Mbokani of DR Congo is shown the yellow card for saying something offensive to the referee, I think.

88 minDR Congo are looking really poor and without any spirit. One would expect them to try to win this match and enhance their chances of making it through to the next round, but they appear to be happy with a draw. Niger would be delighted to get a point - it would be the first time in Afcon history that they would register a point.

89 minDaouda makes a quick recovery to keep the score at 0-0! He rushes out of his line but is too close to Mbokani. However, the goalkeeper eventually parries the ball away out of danger.

90 minFive minutes of injury time have been awarded. Five minutes for a winner...

90+1 minSUBSTITUTION Niger make their third and final substitution of the evening. Alhassane Issoufou replaces Issa Modibo Sidibe.

90+4 minCHANCE! Brilliant double-save from DR Congo’s Kidiaba! First he parries away a curling shot by Boubacar Talatou and then catches attempt from the rebound.

90+6 minFULL TIME: Niger 0-0 DR Congo

7.56pmIt’s all over at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth where Niger and DR Congo have played out a goalless draw in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Group B fixture. Both sides had chances to win the contest, Modibo Sidibe hitting the post for Niger in the early minutes. However, in the end they cancelled out each other in a competitive and well-contested match and settled for a draw.

7.58pmThe result leaves DR Congo third in Group B with two points from as many matches, two points behind leaders Ghana and a point behind second-placed Mali. Niger have now got off their mark in the competition.

8pmI hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of the match. Have a good night. It’s goodbye from me for now.

Gernot Rohr on February 5, 2012
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Africa Cup of Nations preview: Niger
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