CAIRO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo defender Cyrille Mubiala is resigned to losing his battle to be fit to face Togo in their opening match at the African Nations Cup finals in Cairo on Saturday.
The giant centre back pulled a hamstring in a friendly against Morocco on Jan. 9.
'I don't think I'm going to play but I'm trying really hard to get fit in time. I'm running again but I still need to work on the injury.
'It's real pity because I want to mark (Togo's Emmanuel) Adebayor and to show what I can do,' he told Reuters.
Adebayor is Togo's key striker at the Nations Cup after emerging as the top African goal scorer in the recent World Cup qualifiers.
His 10 goals propelled the tiny west African country to an unlikely berth at the World Cup finals.
Adebayor, who has just signed for English club Arsenal, and his team mates arrived in Cairo on Thursday after a delay in departing Togo because of a dispute over bonus payments, team official Bachirou Salou said.
Salou, a former striker in the German Bundesliga and now a liaison official for the Togo team, said players were negotiating potential bonus payments for appearing at the Nations Cup and that it had delayed their planned departure from Lome.
Congo coach Claude LeRoy said he expected Togo to play a defensive game in their Group A encounter.
Frenchman LeRoy said he had watched the World Cup finalists in recent friendlies and been baffled by their ability.
'They are a bizarre team,' he told Reuters. 'They play a very defensive game, hitting a lot of long balls forward but they suddenly come out of their shell and create four of five great scoring opportunities.'