By Martin Davies
BBC Sport, Bizerte
Rwanda 1-0 DR Congo
Goalscorer Abed Saidi fights for the ball
Rwanda recorded their first Cup of Nations win but it was not enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
Abed Saidi squeezed home the winner early in the second half after goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba fumbled a through ball.
Rwanda's hopes of qualifying came to an end as Group A rivals Guinea drew with Tunisia in the day's other match.
That result means Guinea and hosts Tunisia qualify from the group.
Rwanda Coach Ratomir Dujkovic had showed his intentions from the start, sending the Wasps out in an attacking 3-4-3 formation.
It finally paid off in the 73rd minute.
Substitute Henri Munyaneza rose on the edge of the box to flick the ball to Saidi who challenged the keeper and when the ball broke free, rolled it home.
More-fancied DR Congo should have opened the scoring in the first half when Kabamba Musasa's diving header thudded against the post in the 16th minute.
They had another chance three minutes later when Rwandan keeper Nkunzingoma raced out of his box and handled the ball.
The keeper was lucky to escape a booking and the resultant Congolese free-kick was wasted.
Rwanda's Olivier Karekezi was lively throughout the half.
He had a far-post volley go just wide before being substituted on the half hour by Ugandan-born Jimmy Mulisa.
Mulisa was quick to make a mark and there followed a period in which Rwanda camped themselves in the Congolese half.
In the second half, Niata Polo Nzuzi also hit the bar from a header but DR Congo did not have the imagination to break down the gutsy Rwanda defence.
Rwanda pushed for an historic second goal as the game came to a conclusion, but it was not to be.
Despite the pre-match hype of this tie being a political grudge game, there was only one yellow card brandished.
Instead, what will be remembered is the disciplined and brave showing from this Rwandan side.
Congo: Muteba Kidiaba; Musasa Mwamba, Camille Muzinga,
Kitambala Mubiala (Jean-Paul Kamudimba, 61), Mundaba
Kisombe; Niati Nzuzi (Ekakanga Masudi, 80), Franck Matingu,
Herita Ilunga, Mbuta Mbala (Kibemba Mbayo, 64); Musasa
Kabamba, Kikeba Piana.
Rwanda: Ramadhani Nkunzingoma; Canesius Bizimana, Hamad
Ndikumana, Elias Ntaganda, Desire Mbonabucya; Olivier
Karekezi (Jimmy Mulisa, 29), Abdul Sibomana, Frederic
Rusangawa (Jean-Paul Habyarimana, 54), Michel Kamanzi; Abed
Said, Karim Kamanzi (Henri Munyaneza, 64).
Referee: Ndoye Falla (Senegal).