Congo DR

The past
Congo DR's only previous appearance at a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup ended in disappointment with three defeats in three games at Russia 2006. After valiant efforts in their opening two fixtures, a narrow 2-1 loss to the eventual semi-finalists USA and a 1-0 defeat by France, the young Leopards came unstuck against Argentina, crashing to a 4-0 defeat. Three goals in a five-minute first-half spell effectively ended the game, and with it their participation at Russia 2006. With three defeats, one goal for and seven against, Congo DR will certainly be hoping for better things this time round.

The present
After the withdrawal of preliminary round opponents Namibia, Congo DR defeated Egypt 5-1 on aggregate in the next stage. Following a 3-1 first-leg defeat by South Africa in their playoff tie for a place at Chile 2008, the young Leopards had no alternative but to take the game to their opponents in the return leg. This they duly did and, though the match ended 3-3 on aggregate, Congo DR booked their place in the finals courtesy of the away-goals rule.

The future
The Africans will be hoping to use the experience garnered at Russia 2006 to put in a better showing at the second time of asking. If they are to aspire to a quarter-final berth, however, this young team will need to get their first points on the board quickly in this competition.  

Facts and figures
Key players
Yvonne Malembo, Odile Kuyangisa

Qualifying statistics
Congo DR overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit to grab the last available ticket to Chile 2008, their 2-0 second-leg victory over South Africa being enough to send them through on away goals.  

The numbers game
7 - The number of goals conceded by Congo DR in their three games at Russia 2006, including an emphatic 4-0 defeat by Argentina.

Former stars
Tresorine Nzuzi (2006)