Congo hit back to deny Austria

Congo and Austria played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of almost 20,000 at Edmonton's vast Commonwealth Stadium on 2 July 2007.

Austria made a positive start and took just seven minutes to go in front. Their tall skipper Sebastian Proedl rose to meet Peter Hackmair's free-kick and his firm header was parried by Congo goalkeeper Destin Onka into the path of Erwin Hoffer, who drilled the ball home. Congo gradually found their feet and had an unusually potent weapon in Mimille Okiele, who used the full width of the running track and beyond to create mayhem with his long throw-ins. Canadian neutrals in the crowd warmed to the Africans, starting a chant of "Let's go Congo, let's go!" and they responded by drawing level with Franchel Ibara's twice-taken penalty on the hour mark.

Congo pressed hard for a winner late on, notably when Austria's Michael Madl sliced against his own crossbar in the 78th minute and Michael Zaglmair made two desperate saves, but both sides had to settle for a point. Austria now take on tournament hosts Canada in Edmonton on Thursday 5 July, while Congo face Group A favourites Chile in a double-header at the same venue.


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