Cedric Bakambu bagged a double as the Democratic Republic of Congo beat Congo-Brazzaville 3-1 in an 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Saturday evening.
Either side of the African continent’s second largest river was firmly gripped as the two rivals went toe-to-toe in the DR Congo capital, with the hosts claiming the bragging rights on the day.
Victory moves them top of Group G with Liberia and Zimbabwe set to do battle in Harare on Sunday.
Two-time AFCON champions, DR Congo, opened the scoring in the 20th minute through Bakambu. The forward beating the offside trap before slipping the ball under the onrushing goal-minder.
It would be all square, though, heading into the tunnel at the break as Thievy Bifouma leveled matters for the Diables Rouges on the stroke of half-time.
The Leopards restored their lead in the 56th minute as Villarreal forward Bakambu completed his brace. Congo failed clear lines from corner-kick as the marksman pounced – thumping the ball into the back of the net.
Chancel Mbemba made sure of all three points for the hosts as he doubled their lead in second-half stoppage-time to send the home fans into ecstasy.