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Africa Cup of Nations
January 26, 2013
• Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng, NW
Referee: H. Nampiandraza
• Attendance: 25000
E. Adebayor 31'
D. Womé 90'+
Algeria out, Ivory Coast through, is what we can determine after Togo's 2-0 victory here today. A lock-down defence and a clinical counterattack is what sent Togo to all three points. But question marks will once again hover over the organization of this match, with both the goalpost fiasco and the resulting added time mixup descending things into a farce towards the end. But those are questions for later, and for now, I will take my leave. See you next time folks.
90' + 22'
The marathon is over, as we have full time!
90' + 20'
Play has ground to a halt on the pitch as both teams are running down the clock. Spare a thought for Algeria though, who were the better side in both of their games, but just could not seem to get any luck going their way.
90' + 18'
Algeria have had the stuffing completely knocked out of them. They know that their time in the 2013 AFCON is diminishing by the second. As things stand, the Ivory Coast are through, Algeria are out, and Togo and Tunisia will slug it out on the final matchday for the second Group D quarter final spot.
90' + 16'
We should be at full time now, because surely, the time remaining before the goalposts collapsed has elapsed since we resumed play. But we still have about five minutes to go!
90' + 13'
To be clear folks, this extra 13 minutes are not being added on from the 90th minute, but from the time it was called about two minutes ago. So we still have a good eight or nine minutes to go! Another terrible and questionable decision by the people in charge of this match.
90' + 11'
We finally have confirmation from the stadium, and it's 13 minutes of extra time. Confusion reigns all around, as the game clock on our television coverage has reset.
90' + 9'
Yellow CardRafik Halliche
90' + 9'
Algeria manage to keep Togo pinned back in their own area. Guedioura win a free kick about a foot out from the corner of the box. A very dangerous position.
90' + 7'
The game understandably has had all the momentum sucked out of it thanks to the delay. Still a lot of confusion as to how much time is left on the game clock.
90' + 5'
The goalposts have been mended, and we are ready to resume. The question is, how many minutes of time will be added on? Surely double figures!
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
But essentially, it all matters little, as Wome surely puts this game to bed! It's another great counterattacking goal from Togo, Wome is slipped in towards goal, and places his finish perfectly under M'Bolhi!
90' + 2'
I'm afraid this is descending into a bit of a farce for the stadium organizers, as we are now replacing the entire goalposts all together. I hope there was the foresight to keep a spare set of goalposts on hand. Definitely a moment that African football could have done without.
90' + 1'
The cameraman is clearly bored with events between the Togo posts, and have decided to give a few fans their moment in the sun by displaying them on the big screen. There's still a lot of enthusiasm to be had in the stands.
Yellow CardSerge Ognadon Akakpo
There's at least eight or nine people trying to put the goalposts back into its proper position. Eight or nine to fix a goalpoast? The game stretches agonizingly on. Hands up who wants a few of them to hold it in place for the dying minutes so we can finish this game up! No? Just me? Ok, I'll be quiet.
The game is halted for a brief period as the Togo goalposts are no longer standing perpendicular to the pitch. A few attendants run on to try and fix the problem.
Bezzaz, who has really been lively since his introduction, goes darting towards the byline, and whips a good gross into the area that is met by an equally accomplished clearing header by Mamah.
It's been a gruelling game defensively for Togo, but they have put in a fantastic shift at the back. They are five minutes away from a spectacular smash and grab victory, that will dump Algeria out of the competition.
Two half chances for Algeria there, Soudani is blocked on the turn inside the area, and Bezzaz fires the loose ball over the bar from just outside the box!
Oh woe is Wome! The substitute picks up the ball after Adebayor cleared the corner, and goes on a barnstorming run straight through to the opposite box! But with options either side of him, he instead gets a rush of blood to the head and goes for the shot, which goes into orbit. What a disappointing end to a great run.
Everyone in yellow within 30 yards of the Togo goal. Algeria have a corner, to be taken by Mesbah.
Mesbah called offside after a good buildup involving Guedioura and Feghouli. He has every right to be annoyed, because Bezzaz on the other flank was the one straying beyond the line.
A potentially costly bit of confusion between two Togo defenders allows Bezzaz a way through, but Djene gets just enough to poke it back to Agassa to safety.
Mohamed Amine Aoudia
Lacen is teed up for a stinging drive from the edge of the box, but it's no surprise to see Agassa completely smother his shot. It was straight at him, but I've seen a lot of keepers spill venomous efforts like that.
Algeria are not letting up the pressure on the Togo goal. But so far, Adebayor and his team are just about holding firm.
Guedioura with a clever run through midfield, and a strong low drive that flies just wide. Not bad from the midfielder, displaying the kind of innovation that Algeria need to get themselves onto the scoreboard for the first time this tournament.
Possession stat for you, Algeria have 63 percent to Togo's 37. A real accurate barometer of how this game has gone, definitely more so than the scoreboard.
And that is Kadir's last action of the game, as he is substituted. He's been impressive, particularly with his deliveries into the area. On comes Bezzaz to replace him, let's hope he can add some pizzaz to this affair. Sorry, that was terrible.
Kadir with a good opportunity advancing on the box, but with Soudani to pick out left of him, he instead goes for the shot, which is deflected over the bar.
Yellow CardAbdoul-Gafar Mamah
Nibombe with another superb interception and clearance to snuff out danger out wide. He is not the most cultured player, by any stretch, but he really plays to his strength as a physical, no-nonsense type. Sometimes, I swear I was watching Sammy Kuffour in his pomp, based on his play today.
A rare Togo foray forward ends as quickly as it begins, as Amewou's attempted through pass between two lines of players is intercepted easily before it can meet Adebayor.
Algeria furiously appeal for a penalty! Slimani goes meandering inside the Togo area, but once again, the north Africans are plum out of luck. No penalty called, despite replays making a strong case for a spot kick.
Agassa gets those mighty mitts on the set piece for the umpteenth time. This is one of the most commanding displays of aerial ability from a goalkeeper that I've seen in some time.
Kadir with another delightful cross into the box, which is met admirably by Soudani, but Djene does just enough to get the ball away from danger. Corner to come.
Much like the first half, Algeria are the better side, looking far more structured and composed when in possession. Togo look surprised whenever they get the ball in the opposition half.
Really good play from Algeria there, Kadir with a lovely clipped ball into the area, which Soudani meets with his head, but cannot steer on target. Deserved a better finish, that.
A poor touch from Belkalem gifts possession to Ayite in a dangerous area. He is primed to shoot, but Halliche makes a vital block.
Mesba goes hurtling onto Romao after trying to knock the ball around the Togo midfielder. The soon-to-be Parma man certainly knew what he was doing there to win the free kick
Feghouli goes down under pressure in the area after twisting and turning around his marker. No penalty though, and what's worse, a yellow card for the Algerian for protesting. In truth, Togo a little lucky to escape there, as that could easily have been called a spot kick.
Feghouli comes within inches of picking out Slimani with a low cross, but Nibombe makes an absolutely superb interception.
Here we go again!
Algeria will wonder how they've gone behind, as they largely were in control of the first half. But they failed to take their chances, and one quick attack from Togo was enough to breach them. Will their fortunes improve after the break? Stay tuned we will be back for the second half soon.
45' + 1'
That is the end of the first half.
I don't know what Slimani was thinking when he took aim from all of 40 yards with that strike, but it clearly wasn't the right thing as it sails way over the bar.
Back to form for Agassa, with another impressive leap to smother a corner from Kadir.
Ooh, Agassa, for the first time tonight, is unconvincing, giving a weak punch to the free kick, but his defence bails him out by heading clear the ball comfortably.
Yellow CardJonathan Ayite
Free kick for Algeria in a good position. Soudani is felled near the corner flag by Ayite, who picks up a yellow.
Soudani ruins a four on four counterattack by overrunning the ball, allowing Gakpo to make a strong challenge to put the ball out for a corner. He had acres of space in front of him, but pushed the ball too far ahead of him when dribbling, disappointing in the end
Yellow CardAdlène Guedioura
Mesbah with another deep cross, but Agassa is there once again to catch it under pressure from Slimani.
And no sooner than I finish waxing lyrical about him, Agassa comes up with his best play of the night. Slimani, all of a sudden, finds himself one-on-one with the keeper after his marker switched off, but the Togo shot-stopper does exactly that, blocking the striker from close range. Excellent!
Agassa with another display of safe hands by reaching highest to pluck a cross from Guedioura out of the air. The Togo keeper has come under a lot of aerial pressure, but has really been a figure of calm and authority. What a boost of confidence for his defence.
Well here we go again for the north Africans. They have been punished for not taking advantage of a sloppy Togolese defence, and now have to chase the game.
TOGO BREAK THE DEADLOCK! And who else but Adebayor! Salifou with a lovely header through that frees the skipper, who makes no mistake with a low first time finish. 1-0!!
Kadir whips in a corner towards the far post for Soudani, who cannot direct his header on target. But, broken record time, poor, poor marking from Togo on the set piece.
Adebayor is beginning to drop deeper to receive the ball, and pulls off on nice sequence where a through ball forces Belkarem to concede a corner. The hit and hope towards the Togo skipper was not working, good to see him take some initiative and try another approach.
Belkalem gets away with a real cock up there, a poor square pass right into Adebayor's feet. He's lucky that the Togo striker was unable to control the pass, perhaps he was so surprised that he had a sniff of the ball there.
Algeria clearly on top here, but have not yet gotten the goal that their play has deserved. They were hit with a stomach punch by Tunisia in the last minute of their previous match, and I'm sure they do not want a repeat of that scenario. They need to finish one of these chances.
Algeria go close from a corner, Guedioura, completely unmarked, forces Agassa to palm wide of his post. Poor defence from Togo.
Togo again surrender the ball by pumping it aimlessly towards the head of Adebayor, who is beaten in the air with ease by the Algerian defence. They really need to switch it up, too easy to anticipate.
Amewou with a VITAL challenge to strip the ball off of Feghouli's toes in the danger area. he had to get that one perfectly, he committed everything in that slide, and could have been easily called for a penalty if it had been just a little off. Great defensive play.
And now a half chance for Adebayor, who rises well to attempt to meet a god cross, but Belkalem does enough to put him off of his header.
Half chance there for Slimani. A perfect pass from deep finds the Algeria frontman on the run towards the box, he takes a shot first time, but cannot adjust his body and it goes wide.
Agassa, under some duress from a pair of opponents, just manages to boot the ball out of play before he was robbed of possession. Safety first.
A little sloppy piece of play under no pressure from Djamel Mesbah who, incidentally, is on his way from Milan to Parma in a part-exchange for 2006 World Cup winner Cristian Zaccardo, who is a long way away from the player he was at that tournament.
Oooh,nearly a breakthrough for Adebayor! Romao just overcooks his pass slightly, and M'Bolhi is able to scamper off his line and smother.
Gakpe again stopped in his tracks by Mostefa on the flanks, this time, it's a legal challenge by the Algerian. Shaping up to be a quite entertaining tussle between those two.
Algeria have certainly taken no time settling into this game. Star player Feghouli has been very active attacking down the right flank. A good start from the north Africans.
Togo inviting pressure on their goal by dallying on the ball in their own half. Algeria quick to close them down and force play deeper and deeper towards the Togo goal.
Yellow CardM. Mostefa
Mostefa pulls back Gakpe, clearly impeding him. Free kick, and it looks like an early booking, our first of the game.
And off we go, Algeria in white, Togo in yellow!
Togo: Agassa, Akakpo, Salifou, Nibombe, Djene, Romao, Jonathan Ayite, Mamah, Amewou, Gakpe, Adebayor. Subs: Atsu, Wome, Bossou, Floyd Ayite, Mani, Ouro-Akoriko, Segbefia, Placca, Ametepe, Donou, Damessi, Tchagouni.
Algeria: M'Bolhi, Mostefa, Halliche, Belkalem, Mesbah, Guedioura, Lacen, Feghouli, Soudani, Kadir, Slimani. Subs: Doukha, Cadamuro, Boudebouz, Bouazza, Medjani, Aoudia, Lemmouchia, Bezzaz, Tedjar, Ghoulam, Rial, Si Mohamed.
We have last-minute confirmation of our teams for tonight.
The national anthems are underway...kickoff is imminent...
Sparrow Hawk vice-captain Serge Akakpo, who was shot in the back during the incident, said to the BBC that it was a long road to recovery for all involved. "After what happened in 2010, I almost stopped playing for the national team. We play for them the dead. We pray every day before and after training and we are thinking all the time of them. We will fight for them.We can never forget. It was really difficult for us to move on. Me especially, I took maybe a year and a half to move on and now I feel good and happy to play in this Africa Cup of Nations and show the world that we can play good football."
Lest we forget, Togo were, at one point, banned from this year's tournament, after pulling out of the 2010 version after the harrowing gun attack on their team bus that left three dead. But after missing two AFCON's, the decision was overturned on appeal.
Meanwhile, Togo head coach Didier Six is also taking an optimistic view towards his side's chances. "After the match against Ivory Coast we had a meeting, right afterwards because we had to recover quickly. The players now don't think about Ivory Coast, they're only thinking about the game against Algeria. In this group we are maybe the little team but I know my team, we have good players. It's a difficult group but against Ivory Coast we proved that we can play good football and are good enough to go to the quarter-finals."
However, Halilhodzic still harbors plenty of belief in his side. "I've seen the determination in my players' eyes. They have an inner force. There's still a good spirit in the squad. I know our backs are against the wall."
Algeria boss Vahid Halilhodzic is left under no illusions about his side's chances of making the next round, telling reporters: ""We're in a complex position. We can't escape that -- we have two matches left, and only two teams go through. We have to look for two victories. We're going to do everything to win because the only solution is victory."
With Ivory Coast already victorious by a commanding 3-0 scoreline over Tunisia, only an Algerian win today will prevent the Elephants from progressing from Group D. If Algeria nation lose, they will be out of the tournament, but Togo, depending on results during the final matchday, could still be in contention for a place in the next round even if they are defeated today.
Greetings everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of the AFCON matchup between Algeria and Togo in Group D. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, bringing you the play by play.
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