MUCH against the odds, Togo gained an elusive passage into the Orange Africa Cup of Nations soccer quarterfinals when they played to a 1-1 draw with Tunisia in Nelspruit last night.
Thanks to the goal difference rule, the Togolese qualified for their first ever last eight Afcon appearance and almost the whole continent joined them in celebrations.
While Togo will be ecstatic with the outcome, those watching last night saw poor refereeing from Daniel Bennett nearly rob the Hawks of a chance to progress in this tournament.
But as Bennett put on terrible show, the soccer gods smiled on Togo, who, two years ago, were denied a chance to participate in this tournament following a terrorist attack on the team.
Goals from Serge Gakpe and Khaled Mouelhi in the first half saw the sides share the spoils as the Tunisians failed to capitalise on Bennett's blunders.
With Ivory Coast already through and Algeria merely honouring their fixture, both Togo and Tunisia needed victory to join the Elephants in the knockout stages, the last two spots left in the quarterfinals.
But it was Togo who looked more hungry for the final berth as they took the game to their opponents from the opening whistle.