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Coach Ngoya hails Congo despite CHAN exit

Congo coach Jean Elie Ngoya Obackas has revealed that he is content with his side’s performance despite their early exit from the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria.

The Red Devils crashed out at the group phase following a goalless draw against Niger in their last Group E fixture at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran on Friday.

“We did our best in this game. We tried to create chances upfront. We defended well but in general, I can say that my team gave 70% but ultimately, we have been eliminated,” Ngoya said at the post-match press conference on Friday.

“We kept building momentum during the game, especially at the beginning of the second half, but we started declining in the last 20 minutes. This was our weakness and now we have been eliminated from the competition. We are used to reaching the quarterfinals but unfortunately, we have failed this time around.”

Congo, who are competing at the CHAN for the fourth time, reached the quarterfinals of the last two editions in 2018 in Morocco and 2021 in Cameroon.

“Ultimately, I thank my players for the way that they played in both games in this tournament. We wanted to go far but we are out now. We have young players who have gained a lot of experience from this competition. We shall need two to three more years with this project to see more success.”

Ngoya, who went to school with the Niger coach Harouna Doula back in 2005 at a university in Germany, said that he maintains great respect for his counterpart.

The two hugged after this press conference and shared words of encouragement in the respectable way of old mates whose styles of play on the night showed that they truly know each other.

“I have learnt that when you are in this competition and you have scoring chances, you must take them. We had the willingness to do that and in the second half, we tried to have rhythm but unfortunately, the game is 90 minutes. We did not manage to achieve our target. We shall take the lessons back home with us,” Ngoya added.

For the first time since 2014 when Congo debuted at the CHAN, the Red Devils have failed to make it out of the group stages.

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