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Sports

Togo triumph over Algeria 2-0 at Africa Cup of Nations

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-26

Togo held on at the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Group D rival Algeria on Saturday, in a win that also pushed tournament favourite Ivory Coast through to the quarter-finals.

Togo stunned Algeria 2-0 here on Saturday to send the former champions packing from the Africa Cup of Nations while at the same time boosting their own hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor's first half goal and Dove Wome's in stoppage time sealed a memorable win which will have been greeted with jubilation in the Ivory Coast camp as it guaranteed their place in the last eight with a game to spare.

Togo's victory left the Ivorians, who moved up to six points after their 3-0 win over Tunisia earlier, assured of top place in Group D.

Togo and Tunisia will scrap it out for the second berth on Wednesday -- with a draw sufficient for Togo -- leaving pointless Algeria playing only for pride when they face the competition favourites.

Algeria, beaten 1-0 by Tunisia in their opening game, picked up the dubious honour of becoming the first team to be knocked out at this Nations Cup -- a humiliating outcome for coach Vahid Halilhodzic and his band of talented yet inexperienced squad.

"We were up against a very good Algeria team, but the win was deserved. Togo had the ambition to win," said coach Didier Six. "We have to recuperate now -- we're in the group of death and we have to put more effort into what we do."

Halilhodzic said: "Tonight was disastrous, I feel deeply ashamed. It's hard to analyse.

"We didn't play great football, but it's hard to blame anyone. I made the choices. I take responsibility for what happened. Now we'll sit down and think about the future of Algerian football."

The two sides first meeting in the competition, watched by a near three-quarters-full crowd at the Royal Bafokeng stadium, proved a lively affair.

On 32 minutes, Adebayor, who only agreed to answer his country's call after a protracted will-he-won't-he-play saga, put the little west African nation into the lead.

The lanky striker ran on to Moustapha Salifou's header, slamming the ball low past the onrushing 'keeper Rais Mbolhi to open his 2013 account and put Togo bang in contention for the last eight.

Earlier, Togo 'keeper Kossi Agassa did well to hold on to Nottingham Forest midfielder Adlene Guedioura's bullet header off a corner taken by the lively Sofiane Feghouli, who was enjoying teasing Togo's defence down the right.

And only Agassa's chest denied Algeria's Islam Slimani a quick equaliser.

The second half was in its infancy when the north Africans had legitimate grounds for a penalty after Feghouli went down, tackled by Dakonam Djene, but Hamada Nampiandraza dismissed their apppeals.

The Malagasy official incensed the Desert Foxes further when turning down a second penalty shout soon after.

With their Nations Cup dream fast turning into a nightmare, Algeria upped the tempo, peppering Togo's goal, but to no avail.

A flurry of substitutions followed as Halilhodzic sought to bolster his attack, and Togo coach Didier Six his defence, which held firm, which is more than can be said for their goalposts.

In a farcical end to the night, officials took an eternity to carry out repairs after Guedioura clattered into the netting, dislodging the right upright, triggering 18 minutes of stoppage time.

That enabled Togo substitute Wome to add a second to extinguish any lingering hopes Algeria had of a fightback.
 

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-01-26

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