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DR Congo coach Ibenge excludes Kakuta,Kebano as Mbokani recalled for Liberia clash

DR Congo coach Ibenge excludes Kakuta,Kebano as Mbokani recalled for Liberia clash

Veteran striker Dieumerci Mbokani has been recalled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) squad for their decisive 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at home to Liberia on 24 March.

The former Norwich City, Hull City and Monaco player is included in a 24-man squad chosen by Leopards coach Florent Ibenge.

DR Congo need a victory in Kinshasa in the Group G match to stand any chance of qualifying for this year’s finals in Egypt.

Group leaders Zimbabwe are on 8 points followed by Liberia on 7, DR Congo have 6 and Congo Brazzaville 5.

Mbokani, 33,briefly quit international football  in April 2016 after the DR Congo Federation threatened to ban him for missing two 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers.

But he resumed his career with the Leopards later that same year and went on to play at the 2017 Nations Cup in Gabon, which was the last time he wore his national shirt.

Mbokani, currently with Belgian top flight league club Royal Antwerp, has scored 18 goals in 40 appearances for DR Congo.

He played in three consecutive Nations Cup tournaments from 2013 and helped his country to a third place finish in the 2015 edition.

Coach Ibenge has also handed recalls to defenders Padou Bompunga Botuli of AS Vita club and Merveille Bope Bokadi who is based in Belgium.

Notable absentees are Gael Kakuta who plays for La Liga side Rayo Valencano, Turkey based Wilfred Abro Moke and Neeskens Kebano who is with Premier League club Fulham.

Star players Yannick Bolasie – currently on loan to Belgian side Anderlecht from Everton – and China based Cedric Bakambu are also among regulars included.

DR Congo squad:

Goalkeepers: Auguy Katembwe Kalambay (SM Sanga Balende), Ley Matampi Mvumi (Al-Ansar, Saudi Arabia), Anthony Mossi Ngawu (FC Chiasso, Switzerland)

Defenders: Issama Mpeko Djos (TP Mazembe), Djuma Shabani Wadol, Glody Ngonda Muzinga, Padou Bompunga Botuli (all AS Vita Club), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham, England), Bobo Ungenda Muselenge (Primeiro de Agusto, Angola), Christian Luyindama Nekadio (Galatasaray, Turkey), Merveille Bope Bokadi (Standard Liege, Belgium), Marcel Tisserand (Wolfsburg, Germany)

Midfielders: Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England), Chancel Mbemba (FC Porto, Portugal), Paul-José Mpoku Ebunge (Standard Liege, Belgium), Tresor Mabi Mputu (TP Mazembe), Fabrice Luamba Ngoma, Nelson Omba Munganga (both AS Vita Club), Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock, Scotland)

Forwards: Cedric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan, China), Yannick Bolasie (Anderlecht, Belgium), Dieumerci Mbokani Bezua, Jonathan Bolingi (both Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Elia Lina Meschack (TP Mazembe)

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