Heartbreak for Ilunga

Herita Ilunga was part of the Congo DR side that lost 2-1 in Malawi and saw their World Cup qualification dreams end on Saturday.

The West Ham United left-back played the whole 90 minutes in Blantyre when Lomana LuaLua's superb 12th-minute solo effort opened the scoring before the hosts' second-half equaliser through Russel Mwafulirwa. Congo DR - who reached the 1974 World Cup as Zaire - had only to avoid defeat against their Group 12 rivals to make sure of second place and looked likely to achieve it until a late home winner from Mwafulirwa dashed their hopes.

DR Congo, who''s task had been made more difficult by the absence of striker Shabani Nonda, the Galatasaray forward, finished third and missed out on being one of the 20 teams progressing to the third and final stage of World Cup qualifying in the African zone. The defeat also means DR Congo will not play at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations as the World Cup qualifiers were being used as the qualification programme for the continental championship.