Togo have qualified for their first African Nations Championship after despite losing 2-0 to Nigeria on Saturday.
Facing a daunting 3-0 deficit after the first leg, Sikiru Alimi scored two goals but the Hawks qualified after a 4-3 aggregate win.
Imama Amapakabo’s side kept the contest at a pace frenetic enough that Togo were rarely allowed to settle before Alimi scored after eight minutes to send locals into raptures.
Six minutes later, the Hawks had their first attempt at goal with captain Kossi Ozou seeing his free-kick saved by Theophilus Afelokhai.
The Super Eagles continued with their massive attacking display, and that almost resulted to a second goal with Alimi forcing a goal-line clearance from Kangnivi Tchoutchoui after 25 minutes.
Afelokhai saved smartly from Kossi Koudagba as Togo began to click into gear, with Kossi Agbeko’s 39th-minute stop from Ndifreke Effiong of a more unorthodox variety.
Agbeko also intervened crucially in the first-half stoppage time to deny Nyima Nwagua after Olisa Ndah sliced the visitors open on the break.
Where Togo minds were muddled, Alimi was razor sharp as he completed his brace after 71st minute – with Amapakabo’s side needing just a goal to scale through.
Nigeria threw everything into the game but were undone by the west African’s delay tactics which saw the referee add ten minutes of added time.
With this, Togo have qualified for their first edition in the African Championship. For Nigeria, this is the third time they will be failing to qualify after missing Cote d’Ivoire 2009 and Sudan 2011.