Junior Kabananga pounced on a goalkeeping error to give the Democratic Republic of Congo a 1-0 win over Morocco in an Africa Cup of Nations upset on Monday in Gabon.
Success came two days after the central Africans refused to train over a bonuses row and a red card and an injury meant they were briefly reduced to nine men in the closing stages.
Victory took the “Congolese Leopards” to the top of Group C after the opening round as defending champions the Ivory Coast were held 0-0 by Togo in the first half of a double-header.
Kazakhstan-based midfielder Kabananga profited from a mistake by Munir Mohamedi in the Morocco goal to score from close range 10 minutes into the second half.
Defeat was a major blow for France-born Morocco coach Herve Renard, winner of the competition with Zambia in 2012 and the Ivory Coast in 2015, who has set a last-eight place as his minimum target.