Heartbreak for Chancel Mbemba in front of 71,000 in Kinshasa
It is now seven weeks since Chancel Mbemba got a game for Newcastle United.
The defender doing well out of position at left-back in four starts, as Newcastle picked up two of their four wins so far this season.
However, just as happened last season, Rafa Benitez has once again totally sidelined him and Mbemba hasn’t even made a matchday squad since September.
The only conclusion to be drawn is that his exclusion is for some reason not to do with ability.
Despite his club frustrations, Chancel Mbemba is a massive star for DR Congo, and an automatic selection.
Saturday night saw their big moment come.
Going into the final qualification game three points behind group leaders Tunisia, with only one to qualify.
At home in front of their expectant fans in Kinshasa, DR Congo took the lead on 61 minutes against Guinea through Sidibe.
All going well as Tunisia v Libya remained goalless and if only the away team could grab a goal, then Mbemba and DR Congo could be heading to Russia next summer.
However, disaster then struck as Guinea equalised on 76 minutes, which would ensure non-qualification.
Late drama though as DR Congo struck two late goals in added on time, to give them a 3-1 win.
All eyes turned to Tunisia but despite a nervous night for the home side and spirited away display from Libya, the hosts held on for a goalless draw that sees them top the group by one point.
Group A ending with Tunisia on 14 points from their six games and DR Congo one point behind, having won four and drawn one of their six games, a 2-1 loss in Tunisia in September proving crucial.
Chancel Mbemba now heads back to Tyneside and along with former Anderlecht teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic, will be another Newcastle player looking to find a new club in January.
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