Congo DR coach Florent Ibenge said his side "never lost hope" as they recovered from two goals down to beat Congo 4-2 in an incredible CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final on Saturday.
"We never lost hope and confidence that we could still win the match," Ibenge said, whose side found themselves trailing 2-0 with 25 minutes left in Bata only for a Dieumerci Mbokani brace and goals from Loteteka Bokila and Joel Kimwaki Mpela to turn the tie on its head.
"We changed tactics and formation after we went 2-0 down because I noticed the Congo defence was getting tired.
"It was very emotional to play against a country like Congo but we wanted to go through because it is not every time you get such an opportunity," added Ibenge after the Leopards qualified for the last four for the first time since 1998.
His side had reached the knockout stage despite not winning a game in Group B, and he acknowledged that Congo DR were staring a disastrous defeat in the face until their comeback.
"If we had lost to Congo, it would amount to us not doing anything at this tournament. A defeat today would have been a lot tougher on us," he said.