Silas’ clinical second-half strike earned DR Congo a deserved point against Morocco in Group F of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Morocco took an early lead when Achraf Hakimi lost his marker and volleyed the opener from Hakim Ziyech’s corner.

Cedric Bakambu missed a chance to equalise from the penalty spot for DR Congo shortly before half-time.

But the Leopards levelled when Silas calmly stroked the ball into the net from Meschack Elia’s cutback.

The Atlas Lions’ superior goal difference – a product of their 3-0 win over Tanzania in their opening match – means a point is likely to be enough for them to reach the round of 16 when they play Zambia in the final round of group-stage games on Wednesday (20:00 GMT).

DR Congo, who drew 1-1 with Zambia on Wednesday, will enter their simultaneous decider against the Taifa Stars targeting a win to guarantee their place in the round of 16.

Both teams had chances to win it late on with Morocco indebted to goalkeeper Yassine Bounou after he tipped Fiston Mayele’s rasping shot over the bar.

Tensions spilled over after a hard-fought match at the Stade Laurent Pokou in San-Pedro as scuffles broke out between both sets of players following the full-time whistle.

World Cup semi-finalists Morocco, one of the favourites for the title, have now beaten the Leopards only once in five Afcon encounters – in 1976, when their opponents were known as Zaire.

The Leopards could not repeat their 1-0 win in the previous meeting between the teams at the tournament in 2017 but extended their unbeaten overall run at the finals to four games, including their appearance at the 2019 edition.