Le Roy delighted as DR Congo back in line

Le Roy delighted as DR Congo back in line

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa - Agence France-Presse
Le Roy delighted as DR Congo back in line

AFP Photo

Democratic Republic of Congo coach Claude Le Roy says he is delighted his talented team has put the problems behind at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The Leopards, who last featured at the tournament seven years ago in Egypt, showed great character Jan. 20 when they fought from two goals down to draw 2-2 with tournament second favorite Ghana.

The team was rocked by Congolese media reports on the eve of the match that Le Roy had quit over frustration with bad management of the team, but the experienced coach later denied this.

“After all the problems, this was a fantastic experience for the country and I hope this result will now get the whole nation behind us,” said the 64-year-old Frenchman after the thrilling draw.

“You have to go to 1974 for the only time this country qualified for the World Cup. We now have to take it step by step in our comeback to a high-level competition like the Africa Cup of Nations.”

The Leopards were the dominant force in African football in the late 60s and early 70s, winning the Nations Cup in 1968 and 1974 as well as qualifying for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.

Le Roy, who was also in charge of DRC when the country last featured at the Nations Cup, said he never doubted the quality at his disposal. “They have huge talent and quality as we showed against a new Ghana team. I am proud of my players,” he boasted.