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Zakuani Living The Dream

21 January 2013

Gabriel Zakuani speaks about his recent international appearance against Ghana.

Peterborough United defender Gabriel Zakuani believes his appearance as a substitute for DR Congo in the 2-2 draw with Ghana is one of the proudest moments of his career.

The centre back was introduced on 76 minutes and helped his country record an impressive draw against one of the tournament favourites.

Zakuani said: 'It is probably the proudest moment of my career along with the promotions I have enjoyed. I really did not expect to be involved so early into the tournament against probably the toughest team in the tournament.

'The manager didn't say much to be honest beforehand, but when he asked me to warm up I knew there was a good chance I'd come on, but when he started rushing me to get changed I couldn't believe it.

'Ghana were chasing the game so they launched it, that suited my strengths to a tee, I found myself heading the ball and the back of Gyan,' Zakuani said.

The result gives DR Congo an excellent chance of progressing with Ghana expected to qualify from the group. Mali and Niger are the other two teams.

'We are always dark horses, but against Ghana we were underdogs, the confidence is so high but the next game is so important, so we're very focused.

'It has been the best start to a year ever. A month ago I could have never dreamed of this, it is a proud moment for myself, friends, family and I think its a good thing for Peterborough too,' Zakuani added.

One of the most abiding memory of the draw was the celebration of the DR Congo goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba following the equaliser. So is Zakuani learning from the master?

'Kidiaba is a legend, from his dodgy hairstyle, to his celebration. I've tried to learn it, but I haven't quiet got it, hopefully by the final I'll learn it. He is a one trick pony though, he has just perfected that celebration.

'I do expect the team to be the same for the next game, but I'm really glad to be involved and playing my part, also to be picked ahead of another centre back playing for Anderlecht on the bench shows the managers faith in me. Its a team game and we're all close and buzzing at the minute,' Zakuani concluded.


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