AFCON Semifinal: Ivory Coast vs DR Congo Lines & Preview

Hosts One Win Away From Final

Ivory Coast Bounce Back from Slow Start

Hosts Ivory Coast looked like they would crash out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the end of the group stage. With one win and two losses, they narrowly advanced to the round of 16. Now, on the back of two victories, the hosts are in the Semifinal. On Wednesday, Ivory Coast takes on DR Congo in the second AFCON Semifinal. DR Congo hasn’t made the final for 50 years but this is a massive opportunity for them. Ahead of this Semifinal match, we’ll check out the Ivory Coast vs DR Congo lines.

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo

Location: Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé, Ebimpé, Ivory Coast
Day/Time:

Head-to-Head

This will be the seventh meeting of the last decade between the Ivory Coast and DR Congo. In those matches, Ivory Coast are 3-2-1 and they last met in the 2023 African Nations Championship. That match finished 0-0 and only featured players participating in their countries’ domestic leagues. Their last meeting at AFCON was in the 2017 group stage and finished 2-2. Les Elephants also defeated DR Congo in the 2015 Semifinal and these teams split their matches for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.

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Ivory Coast Defy the Odds

Ivory Coast has shown a great deal of resiliency to reach the Africa Cup of Nations Semifinal. The hosts kicked off the tournament just 1-2 and fired coach Jean-Louis Gasset after losing 4-0 in the group stage closer to Equatorial Guinea. Their fate depended on other results and Les Elephants managed to advance to the round of 16 as one of the four highest-ranked third place teams. With caretaker manager Emerse Fae at the helm, Ivory Coast knocked out defending champions Senegal in penalties in the round of 16.

Things once again looked bleak in the Quarter-Final vs. Mali, as Odilon Kossounou conceded a penalty. Ivory Coast keeper Yahia Fofana bailed them out with an excellent save but Kossounou picked up a second yellow before halftime. Mali scored the first goal of the match, in the 71st minute, and Les Elephants looked to be headed for the exit door. Still, a ten-man Ivory Coast managed to find a 90th minute equalizer as Simon Adingra finished off a rebounded shot. The match then went into extra time.

Battling with a man down for over an hour, Ivory Coast got an incredible stoppage time winner in extra time as Oumar Diakite flicked a Seko Fofana shot into the Mali net. The crowd in Bouake was deafeningly loud and once again, Ivory Coast was an unpredictable pick for soccer betting. Currently, the Ivory Coast vs DR Congo lines price the hosts as +110 favorites. Note that both Kossounou, Diakite, and Serge Aurier are suspended for Wednesday’s match.

DR Congo Grab First 90-Minute Win of Tournament

After drawing four straight games to open up the Africa Cup of Nations, DR Congo finally won a match in 90 minutes. In the Quarter-Final, DR Congo defeated Guinea 3-1 to advance to the semis for just the second time in the last 25 years. At +500 outright AFCON odds, DR Congo could be an intriguing underdog pick to come away with the title. On Friday vs. Guinea, DR Congo fell behind in the 21st minute penalty.

However, DR Congo captain Chancel Mbemba equalized with a beautiful strike just six minutes later. DR Congo got a penalty of their own midway through the second half and Yoane Wissa stepped up and converted. To finish the job, Arthur Masuaku scored what might be the goal of the tournament so far. The left-back caught Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone napping on a free kick and beat him on a looping shot to the near post.

With the 3-1 win, DR Congo got their first victory of 2024 in normal time. In the round of 16, they drew 1-1 with Egypt and beat out the 2019 finalists in penalties. DR Congo goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scored the winning penalty and he’s conceded under a goal per game so far. This DR Congo side has multiple standout players and bettors should not underestimate them here.

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo Analysis & Odds

While Nigeria is expected to advance in their Semifinal matchup vs. South Africa, this one seems to be a bit more up in the air. Hosts Ivory Coast are -190 favorites to qualify for the final for the first time since 2015. Meanwhile, DR Congo is on a 50-year final drought and is +160 underdogs to advance. In 90 minutes, Ivory Coast is +110 moneyline and ATS favorites.

The Ivory Coast vs DR Congo lines also list DR Congo as +315 underdogs for this one. A draw also sits at +195 as four of Congo’s five matches have finished all square. Plus, both of Ivory Coast’s knockout stage matches have gone into extra time. That could equal tired legs as Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae may be forced into rotating his squad a bit. Three Ivory Coast players are also suspended for this one.

It remains to be seen whether DR Congo’s Gael Kakuta will return for this one. In any case, DR Congo +0.5 currently stands at -140 odds. Only one of DR Congo’s five matches has finished with more than two goals and under two goals are priced at -135 odds.

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