By Fred Kaweesi in Nelspruit
Togo v Tunisia 8pm
Algeria v Ivory Coast 8pm
THREE years on, Emmanuel Adebayor is still struggling to come to terms with the deadly attack on the Togo team bus in Angola.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker is still disturbed memories of the dreadful events in Cabinda when the Sparow Hawks media officer died in his arms.
While addressing a media briefing yesterday, he cut a muted figure recalling the events before re-emphasizing the need of winning the 2013 Orange Nations Cup title for his fallen colleagues.
Although he acknowledged that nothing will ever relieve the pain that the entire Togo team went through, the Togolese forward appreciates the ‘feel-good factor’ that would come with success in the ongoing tournament.
“Those were the hardest times and it’s not over yet because there are still issues we are dealing with. But we hope we can win something for them and the country,” he pointed ahead of Togo’s final Group D game against Tunisia.
Ivory Coast, who engage Algeria in the other game, are already through to the quarterfinals and with the Desert Foxes eliminated, either Togo or Tunisia will make the next round.
It means Togo need just a draw to progress while Tunisia must win to be able to join the Elephants in the next stage.
Togo are chasing a quarter-final place for the first time in the history of the competition following unsuccessful attempts in their last six outings.
But for a side whose entire squad virtually plays abroad, Togo might just as well count on their players’ experience gathered from playing in some of Europe’s major leagues.
The Hawks will yet again opt for pace and power on the counter that clearly proved the difference in their 2-0 win over similar North African opposition Algeria in their previous game.
Dove Wome impressed coming off the bench and will start alongside Adebayor in a three-man attack that will also include Jonathan Ayite.
Normally, the challenge for Tunisia would be lifting themselves from the disappointment of the 3-0 defeat to Ivory Coast, and yet that didn’t seem to bother Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi.
“We are not bothered by the Ivory Coast result because it did not reflect the entire game. We are still in with a very good chance of progressing in this tournament. I have no doubt we will win that match. There is no doubt about us not being in the next stages. All we need is a win. We need to show more aggression upfront and it will happen,” Trabelsi pointed.
Tunisia reached the final of the last Nations Cup played in South Africa, where they lost 2-0 to Bafana Bafana. They last won the title in 2004.