DR Congo coach Claude Le Roy has admitted his team face an uphill task against Mali Monday in their bid to reach the knockout stage of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Leopards are third in Group B with two points from as many matches, while Mali are second having recorded three points. Ghana have four points and Niger one.
DRC need a win to march on to the last eight of the competition.
Le Roy said they will play to win against Mali in Durban so as to qualify for the quarter-finals on their return to the tournament after a seven-year absence.
“We know that only a win will now qualify us for the quarter-finals. It will be rough and tough for us against Mali, but at least we know what we have to do,” said the experienced Frenchman, who lamented his team’s failure to take their chances in a 0-0 draw with Niger.
“We will attack because that has always been my philosophy. I love to play offensive football.”
Le Roy have guided his teams to the knockout stage of the competition on all six previous appearances with Cameroon (1986, 1988), Senegal (1990, 1992), DR Congo (2006) and Ghana (2008).