DR Congo captain Gabriel Zakuani feels his side have taken hold Africa Cup of Nations Group C after beating Morocco.
Junior Kabananga’s lone goal was enough to give the Leopards a winning start as they aim to improve on a third-place finish at the last finals in 2015.
With Ivory Coast and Togo drawing 0-0 in the group’s other game, DR Congo sit top of the table by two points.
“We saw the other result and we wanted to stamp our authority on the group,” said Northampton defender Zakuani.
“That was the main thing. We managed to come through unscathed with three points.
“It’s a tough group and that was a tough game.
“Morocco had too many chances from crosses, so we need to stop crosses a bit better. But I was pretty happy. I felt comfortable in the middle and I thought we defended well.”
DR Congo will face defending champions Ivory Coast on Friday and Zakuani conceded his side need to be a little more disciplined in defence.
“Ivory Coast have a very good attacking team, so our shape needs to be a hit better,” he said.
Morocco coach Herve Renard, who won the title with Ivory Coast last time out, saw his team squander a number of chances against the Congolese and admitted his side now face a must-win game against Togo on Friday.
“We need to be efficient in the box,” said Renard, who is trying to become the first coach to win the title with three different countries, having also won the competition with Zambia in 2012.
“Togo were able to draw against the Ivory Coast and Claude LeRoy is a fantastic coach. Now I have to beat him, I have no choice.”