Congo end the Canadian dream

Jubilant Congo reached the Round of 16 in style as Canada bowed out of their own tournament early after a 2-0 defeat for the hosts in heavy downpours in Edmonton on 8 July, 2007.

Playing conditions were extremely difficult and made the Commonwealth Stadium's precious-few covered seats the hottest tickets in town. Congo took the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute when Jacques Loparimi's deep cross was nodded back towards the middle of the goal by Gracia Ikouma and Ermejea Ngakosso volleyed it in off his knee. Canada pressed hard and their rain-soaked fans were desperate for an equaliser, screaming every time the ball went anywhere near Congo's goal, especially when Simeon Jackson's 55th minute shot hit the side-netting and tricked many thousands into unwarranted celebrations.

Congo made the game safe after an hour when Ikouma turned past two defenders and fired underneath the body of Asmir Begovic, who was later red carded for handling far outside his own penalty area. Canada fans were ecstatic following every save by stand-in keeper Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault after that and Congo's happy followers were also in high spirits, despite the atrocious weather. African drums and songs filled the damp night air to accompany their progress to the knock-out rounds, where they will face Mexico on 12 July. Ten-man Canada finished strongly but head for the exit door without a goal or a point to their names.