DR Congo ended their African Nations Cup campaign on a high with a penalty shoot-out victory against hosts Equatorial Guinea in the third-place play-off in Malabo on Saturday.
Neither side could find a goal in regulation time at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo so the match went to penalties and, after Equatorial Guinea missed their first two spot kicks, Cedric Mongongu converted DR Congo's fourth to earn the Leopards victory and a third-placed finish with a 4-2 win in the shoot-out.
The match took place two days after violence marred Thursday's semi-final between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea at the same venue. A reported 36 Ghana fans were hurt after coming under attack from home supporters towards the end of that encounter but, thankfully, there was no repeat on Saturday.
Equatorial Guinea started brightly and a 10th-minute penalty-area scramble almost put midfielder Ivan Zarandona in but he could only shoot over the crossbar.
Yannick Bolasie should have put DR Congo in front in the 39th minute but the Crystal Palace winger spurned the best chance of an uneventful first half when he angled his volley wide of Felipe Ovono's post.
A towering header two minutes into the second half from DR Congo full-back Chancel Mbemba forced a fine save from Ovono, while Equatorial Guinea substitute Miguel Angel fired wildly over shortly before the hour mark.
Moments later a DR Congo defensive gaffe allowed Emilio Nsue in at the near post but goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba rushed off his line to snuff out the danger.
Javier Balboa and Nsue had late chances to snatch victory for Equatorial Guinea in regulation time but they could not convert and penalties ensued.
The tournament hosts opted to go first in the penalty shoot-out but Balboa spooned his effort high and wide to give DR Congo the advantage, which they duly took when Cedrick Mabwati slotted his penalty straight down the middle past a despairing Ovono.
Raul Fabiani sought to get the hosts on the board but his weak low effort was comfortably saved by Kidiaba, with Lema Mabidi showing fine composure to give DR Congo a two-goal lead.
Equatorial Guinea did get on the board when Juvenal Edjogo-Owono converted their third spot kick, but DR Congo were on the brink of victory when Mbemba fired home.
Viera Ellong kept Equatorial Guinea in the game by scoring from the spot but DR Congo wrapped up victory and third place when Mongongu despatched his penalty high into the right corner to spark wild celebrations from his team.