Football

Robert Kidiaba does back-flip during AFCON penalty shoot-out

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DR Congo secured third-place in the Africa Cup of Nations with a penalty shootout win against hosts Equatorial Guinea yesterday, and they have goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba's crazy antics to thank.

The two losing semi-finalists played out a 0-0 draw in Malabo and the deadlock wasn't broken in extra-time, which took the game to penalties. 

It was then that Kidiaba took centre-stage, pulling off a pretty incredible back-flip before Javier Balboa stepped up and missed the first penalty. Cedric Mabwati slotted home DR Congo's first spot-kick, before Raúl Fabiani's miss took the hosts closer to defeat.

DR Congo's players held their nerve to secure the win - and it wasn't long before Kidiaba set off on his trademark celebration routine; shuffling around on the floor while his team-mates danced around him.

The 39-year-old has signalled his intent to retire from international football after the game, and said that grabbing third place was more significant than DR Congo's 2009 African Nations Championship (Chan) victory.

“I am really happy about my last international appearance. I don’t really know what to say, but I will demonstrate my joy back in Congo,” the TP Mazembe shotstopper explained.

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“I was really determined during this last encounter because I received a lot of calls from Congo. This third place is most important than the win at the Chan in 2009. Here it is Afcon - It’s better than a victory at the Chan.”

Thankfully there wasn't a repeat of the violence on display during Guinea's defeat against Ghana in the semi-finals - something which prompted defender Gabriel Zakuani to urge the authorities to call the game off - thanks to an increased police presence.

The Black Stars will play the Ivory Coast in the final at the Estadio de Bata this evening.

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Football
Yannick Bolasie

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