Togo dash Algeria’s Afcon hopes
Moment of the match: Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor silenced the vocal Algerian fans in the 31st minute when he broke the ice through a low shot inside the penalty box.
Missed chance of the match: Algeria nearly got rewarded in the 35th minute but Islam Slimani’s goal-bound shot was saved by Togo goalkeeper Mawugbe Atsu.
Togo have dashed Algeria’s hopes of qualifying for the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations with a resounding 2-0 victory at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Both teams came into tonight’s match seeking to restore their pride and increase their chances of qualifying for the next round after suffering defeats in their opening fixtures.
The Algerians were reeling from their 1-0 defeat against Tunisia, while the Togolese outfit suffered a 2-1 loss to group leaders Ivory Coast.
The match had a promising start, with Algeria showing signs of scoring an early goal.
They nearly grabbed the lead in the 15th minute when deadly striker Islam Slimani shot inches wide following a cross from Foued Kadir.
Togo goalkeeper Mawugbe Atsu produced two stunning saves in the 17th and 22nd minute to deny midfielder Adlene Guedioura the opener.
However, lanky Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor silenced the vocal Algerian fans in the 31st minute when he broke the ice through a low shot inside the penalty box after receiving a defence-splitting pass from Jonathan Ayite.
Algeria never gave up fighting as they piled more pressure onto the Togolese defenders in a bid to level matters.
They nearly got rewarded in the 35th minute when Slimani’s goal-bound shot forced Atsu to use his body as a shield to protect their cushion going into halftime.
In the second half, the Desert Foxes camped out in the Togolese half in search of the equaliser.
Slimani could have left his scoring boots at home as his powerful shot from 35 yards in the 66th minute was just wide.
Adebayor could have made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute with only Algeria defender Belkalem Esseld to beat, but instead of picking a spot, the striker opted to pass to Komlan Amewou who shot way off target.
Madagascar referee Hamada Nampiandraza stopped the game in the 87th minute for the groundsman to fix the falling goalposts, which could have crashed onto Atsu.
The embarrassing incident took 13 minutes as the goalposts were taken down to get fixed, giving players more time to recover.
Free State Stars midfielder Dove Wome ensured that his team collected the maximum points when his shot went through the legs of keeper Adrien Mbolhi into an empty net to make it 2-0.
The defeat ended Algeria’s hopes of progressing to the next round as their game against Ivory Coast at the same venue on Wednesday will be a formality.