Monday 11 Mar
Updated Monday 11 Mar 13:10
First Team

West Ham star Masuaku named in DR Congo squad for vital tie

Arthur Masuaku

 

West Ham United’s Arthur Masuaku has been included in the DR Congo squad for a vital 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Liberia.

Masuaku made his DR Congo debut in a 2-1 home defeat by Zimbabwe in October 2018 – his only cap to date – and could now feature for a second time after being named by head coach Florent Ibenge.

The Leopards kick-off their sixth and final Group G fixture in Kinshasa on Sunday 24 March needing a win to secure their place at the final tournament, which takes place in Egypt in June.

DR Congo have lost just one of their five matches, but three draws have left them on six points, one behind Liberia and two adrift of group leaders Zimbabwe, who host bottom-place Congo in their own final tie in Harare.

All four nations can still claim the top two places and automatic qualification for the finals, which will feature 24 countries for the first time after being expanded.

Captained by Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, DR Congo won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1968 and 1974, finished third in 2015 and reached the quarter-finals in 2017. 

Masuaku’s West Ham teammates Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson have already been called-up by Argentina and Brazil respectively for friendly matches to be played during the March international break.