Togo put up a brave fight to record a 2-0 victory over Algeria, whose chances of progressing to the next stage are over while Cote d'Ivoire becomes the first quarterfinalist
After both sides lost their opening games, the clash between Togo and Algeria on Saturday was a make or break for either squad.
But it was Didier Six’s men who finished the match unscathed after posting a 2-0 victory over Algeria which led to the evaporation of the quarterfinal dreams of the Desert Foxes.
The battle of exchanges in the first half went in favour of the Algerians. The 1990 champion continuously created many chances in the first twenty minutes but Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa rose to the challenge.
Players like Feghouli, Lacen and Slimani were all involved in goal scoring opportunities for the Desert Foxes of Algeria. Emmanuel Adebayor was also played through on a few occasions in the first 25 minutes but failed to hit the back of the net.
But captain Adebayor was on the mark for the Hawks in the 31st minute after latching on to a through ball to beat Rais M’Bolhi.
A few minutes after, Slimani came across a perfect opportunity to restore parity but Agassa’s resilience in goal prevented the 24-year-old from planting the ball at the back of the net.
Togo, which has not progressed beyond the group stage in its last six outings, managed to survive several Algerian onslaughts until the end of the first half.
Valid Halilhodzic’s men continued to mount pressure on their west African opponents, but Agassa did not give them any space though the 34-year-old on a few occasions committed errors.
He was not the only busy person. The Togo defense also sat on pins as the north Africans continuously lurked around its area. The match had to be halted for a while in the final minutes after the referee spotted a fault with the Togolese goal post. It took more than five minutes for the re-fixing to pave way for the final minutes of the encounter.
After extra time of 13 minutes, the Algerians were hoping to finally reply with a goal, but they were at the receiving end again.
Against the run of play, substitute, Dove Wome, who was the target of a counter attack made no mistake as he planted the ball beyond the reach of Rais M’Bolhi to make it 2-0 in the 94th minute. At that point, it was clear Togo were guaranteed of the three points at stake.
The defeat leaves Algeria with no points after two matches following a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in its first outing at the 2013 tournament.
It thus become the first team to be kicked out of the tournament, even if it beata Cote d'Ivoire with a mammoth victory in the final Group D match.
The Elephants are also the first team to qualify to the quarterfinals after becoming a beneficiary of Algeria’s defeat.