Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Adebayor keeps Togo’s last-eight dream alive
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor keeps Togo's last-eight dream alive after a win against Algeria
Emmanuel Adebayor helped keep Togo’s hopes of an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final spot alive, scoring in a vital win over Algeria in Rustenburg.
Algeria dominated proceedings at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, but the Tottenham Hotspur striker and Dove Wome scored to send the Sparrow Hawks second in Group D.
The North Africans started brightly and almost opened the scoring after five minutes, but Medhi Lacen failed to connect properly with his shot following Sofiane Feghouli’s cut-back.
Feghouli was clearly spearheading the Desert Foxes’ attack, and on 13 minutes, the Valencia midfielder set up Islam Slimani, but the striker fired well wide of the goal.
Algeria’s dominance continued and it took a good save from keeper Kossi Agassa on 21 minutes to keep out Nottingham Forest midfielder Adlene Guedioura’s header from Feghouli’s corner.
Against the run of play, Togo broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Adebayor latched on to Moustapha Salifou’s headed pass to slide the ball under Raïs M’Bolhi.
Within minutes, Agassa had to be alert to protect his side’s lead, charging off his line to produce a smart save, denying Slimani.
Algeria began the second-half like the first and were disappointed not to be awarded a penalty after Alaixys Romao caught Feghouli in the box.
Togo were living dangerously in their own box and Algeria were again unlucky not to see the referee point to the spot after Slimani was fouled.
Agassa had been a brick wall for Togo all evening and the veteran keeper was called into action again after 74 minutes, getting fully behind Guedioura’s firm shot.
Bizarrely play was delayed four minutes from time as the Togo goal-posts were replaced after the Forest man attempted to break through the net when challenging for a header.
And the three points were sealed almost midway through an unbelievable 13 minutes of added time when Togo broke, allowing substitute Wome to fire past M’Bolhi.
The result sends Algeria out of the tournament and sets up a do-or-die clash between Togo and Tunisia on Wednesday for the final quarter-final spot.