Ngoya, who handed 17-year-old Deogracias Bassinga his first senior national team debut, praised the youngster and called him a “player for the now and future”.

“This is part of our plan to give young players a chance to grow and at the CHAN, this is the perfect stage to introduce them to high level competitions.”

“I stand by my decision to play with young players because we are working on a five-year project and now is the time to showcase what we are working on in Congo.”

Ngoya named three U20 players in his starting lineup including Bassinga, 19-year-old Faria Jobel Ondongo as well as 20-year-old Hernest Briyock Malonga both in defense while 21-year-old Love Raemma Bissila Mabiala was upfront leading Congo’s charge in attack.

Congo will be playing for their survival in the tournament in their last Group E fixture when they come up against Niger on January 20 at the same venue.

Mbekeli on target as Cameroon overcome regional rivals Congo