The Democratic Republic of Congo finished the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda as champions after a decisive 3-0 victory over Mali in the final on Sunday.
The emphatic win allowed the Congolese national team to claim their second CHAN title at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, as the Leopards won the inaugural edition in 2009 with a 2-0 win over Ghana.
Meshack Elia was able to open the scoring for the eventual victors in the 29th minute, giving his team a 1-0 lead at the half time break.
The striker secured his brace in the second half with a 62nd minute strike that made life a great deal more comfortable for the Congolese.
Jonathan Bolingi scored a third for the victors on 73 minutes, giving Mali no hope of mounting a comeback.
The game played out with Congo DR dominating the final exchanges, and with a 3-0 scoreline the Malians could do nothing but look on as their opponents deservedly collected their winners medals.
In the third place play-off Cote D’Ivoire defeated Guinea 2-1 to earn themselves the third place finish.
An own goal and a strike from Badie Gbagnon gave Cote D’Ivoire a 2-0 lead, and only a consolation goal from Aboubacar Leo Camara with four minutes remaining in the encounter changed that margin, but it was too little too late, and the Syli National ended the tournament as the fourth best national team.
Goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse saved two penalties for the Ivorians, denying Guinea a chance to claim third place at the 2016 tournament.