Dieumerci Mbokani scored the DR Congo goal while Mahamadou Samassa got the equaliser.
The DR Congo started the match like a house on fire, hitting the post through Lomana Lua Lua in the opening minute of the match.
Momo Sissoko fouled Diba in the box and DR Congo were awarded a penalty in the 2nd minute. Mbokani made no mistake from 12-yards, lifting the ball high into the top right corner of the net beyond keeper Mamadou Samassa, 1-0.
The Malians, were back in the match 11 minutes later when they capitalised on a defensive error, the ball fell to Adama Tamboura on the left and he swung in a cross which Mahamdou Samassa latched onto from inside the box to score, 1-1.
Three minutes before the interval, Mali skipper Seydou Keita showed some great skill to beat his man on the left wing and put in a decent ball which Maiga headed over the bar from a decent scoring position.
On the hour mark, Mbokani had a half-chance to put the Leopards ahead but could not get his header on target in a crowded box.
Mali were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 66th minute when Samassa’s snap left-footed low volley was blocked by keeper Kidiaba.
With minutes left, substitute Traore got up high in the box and met Keita’s corner but his effort hit the post and rolled out for a goal kick.
A minute later Mali’s Cheick Diabate rounded the keeper but could not find the back of the net as his shot hit the post from a tight angle.