Zambia 1 Democratic Republic of Congo 1: Bolasie rescues point for wasteful Leopards
Yannick Bolasie rescued a 1-1 draw for a wasteful Democratic Republic of Congo against Zambia in their Africa Cup of Nations Group B opener on Sunday.
Given Singuluma put 2012 AFCON winners Zambia ahead with barely a minute played in Ebebiyin, but Bolasie eventually restored parity with 24 minutes to go after DR Congo had spurned numerous chances.
Dieumerci Mbokani almost stole all three points for DR Congo with an overhead kick in the 83rd minute, but Kennedy Mweene palmed his acrobatic attempt away and Zambia held on for a draw.
The result means either of Group B's two other teams, Tunisia and Cape Verde, can take control of the pool with a win in Sunday's second match.
Zambia were celebrating a dream start when Singuluma stroked in from just outside the area with little more than 60 seconds on the clock.
DR Congo goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba punched clear Rainford Kalaba's low cross under pressure from Emmanuel Mayuka, but failed to recover his position in time and Singuluma coolly slotted in from 20 yards after being teed up by Chisamba Lungu.
Zambia's lead should have only lasted five minutes, though, as Mweene spilled Ndombe Mubele's right-wing delivery and Mbokani inexplicably blazed over from six yards.
DR Congo continued to grow as an attacking force, with Bolasie looking particularly lively on the left flank.
The Crystal Palace man forced Mweene into a save just after the half-hour mark, when he pounced on Stoppila Sunzu's botched clearance and shot powerfully with his left foot.
And Bolasie went close again just before the break as his free-kick was deflected agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
DR Congo began the second half much like they ended the first and they should have been level with 47 minutes on the clock, but Mbokani could only divert the ball away from goal after latching on to Mubele's fine cross.
Their pressure finally paid off just after the hour mark, however, and it came as little surprise to see Mbokani and Bolasie involved.
Mbokani showed great poise to cut a well-placed pass back to Bolasie, and he slammed an excellent strike into the top-left corner.
Dynamo Kiev striker Mbokani came closest to snatching all three points for DR Congo with his late overhead kick, but Zambia stood firm to claim what could prove to be a valuable draw.