The Sparrow Hawks have eventually broken their quarterfinal drought at the Nations Cup after drawing with the Carthage Eagles in a game of eight yellow cards and two penaltiesA goal from Serge Gakpe in a 1-1 draw with Tunisia powered Togo to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
The Sparrow Hawks were held by the Carthage Eagles in the final round of the Group D fixtures on Wednesday, but the result was enough to qualify for their first Afcon quarterfinal in their last six outings.
Togo dominated the first 25 minutes of the first half and capitalized on the high line situation of the north Africans to take the lead. Gakpe got behind the Tunisian defense after being played through by Emmanuel Adebayor, before lashing the ball beyond goalkeeper Ben Chrifia.
Didier Six’s men could have made it two thanks to Tunisia's high line, however, captain Adebayor smashed the ball wide from a Gakpe ball from the byline.
The 2004 African champions woke up from their slumber and on the half hour mark, they made it 1-1. Walid Hichri went down easily under pressure from Dare Nibombe, but the referee pointed to the spot. Khaled Mouelhi stroked the ball into the bottom right corner from the penalty spot.
It was the Carthage Eagles who were enjoying the better of possession in the second half, until the last 20 minutes when the Togolese changed their strategy. Adebayor almost put his side back in front, but his header from a Floyd Ayite cross hit the woodwork.
Tunisia’s golden moment came in the 78th minute when an opponent clipped the heels of a Tunisian, forcing the referee to point at the penalty spot. However, Mouelhi hit the post from the spot, saving the Togolese.
Togo had Agassa to thank for making a few brilliant saves in stoppage time to give it a quarterfinal berth against Burkina Faso.