Togo have drawn 1-1 with Tunisia, who missed a second-half penalty, to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals for the first time.
Serge Gakpe gave Togo the lead in the 13th minute before Tunisia’s Khaled Mouelhi equalised from the spot to make it 1-1 at half-time.
But with Mouelhi failing to convert another penalty attempt in the 78th minute, Togo held on for the draw, to maintain second spot in Group D on four points, ahead of Tunisia on goal difference.
Togo dominated the opening 25 minutes of the first half and capitalised on Tunisia’s defensive high line to take the lead; Gakpe sneaking behind the Tunisians’ back four, after being played through by Emmanuel Adebayor, and lashing the ball into the net.
Adebayor and Gakpe combined again soon after but the former smashed the ball wide from a cutback.
But having struggled early, Tunisia started to get back into the game just before the half-hour mark.
Tunisia were awarded a penalty in the 30th minute when Walid Hichri went down easily under pressure from fellow central defender Dare Nibombe and Mouelhi restored parity, sending Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa the wrong way and calmly stroked the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The north Africans enjoyed more possession in the second half and their golden moment came in the 78th minute when referee Daniel Bennett again pointed to the penalty spot.
Mouelhi stepped up but struck his penalty high and against the post and Togo held on for the draw they needed to qualify for the knockout stages, with Agassa making a few brilliant saves in stoppage time, to set up a clash with Burkina Faso in the last eight, while Tunisia’s tournament is over.
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