Congo-Kinshasa/Togo: Leopards Face Tricky Game On Woeful Pitch

Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo argues with the referee over one of a series of contested decisions in the match against Tunisia.
23 January 2017

DR Congo need just a point from their final Group C clash against Togo in Port Gentil on Tuesday to book a place in the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup in Gabon and will be heavily fancied to do so after a fine showing at the tournament so far.

The Congolese have beaten Morocco (1-0) and claimed a battling draw against Cote d'Ivoire (2-2) in their pool matches so far, while Togo have just a point from their opening two games.

Togo are still in with a chance of making the knockout stages, but must beat DR Congo and hope there is an outright winner between Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire in the other match.

If they win and the other pool match finishes in a draw, it will leave Togo, DR Congo and Morocco all on four points, creating a mini-league between the teams. All three teams would have three points, with the top two then to be decided by goal-difference and goals scored if necessary.

The woeful pitch in Port Gentil will be a factor in the game and potentially suits the Togolese, who can knock long balls up to striker Emmanuel Adebayor and try to pick up the second ball.

The Congolese are more of a passing team but might need to have a rethink.

"Since the beginning [of the tournament] I have said that Togo is an opponent that is more than tough," Congolese coach Florent Ibenge said.

"That's why I say that we are not yet qualified. This is a tricky game."

Togo coach Claude Le Roy is confident his side can progress and believes anything is possible after that.

"If we win our third game we will qualify. Our position will be much easier then in the playoffs," he said.

DR Congo have generally held sway in matches between these sides down the years, winning three of the five games over the last two decades.

But Togo won the last meeting, a World Cup qualifying match in 2013 when Backer Aloenouvo netted an injury-time winner.

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