Tunisia Togo live
This is how things stand. Ivory Coast have lived up to the second part of their name by sealing progress as group winners with a game to spare, which leaves Togo and Tunisia slugging it out for the second and final slot in the quarter-finals, where whoever it is will play Burkina Faso.Africa Cup of Nations Group D table, results and fixtures, before the two final games. Photograph: /The Guardian
You may be wanting to know how the teams will be divided if they finish level. Which is good news, because I want to tell you. According to Article 72 of the regulations of the competition, the answer is:
In case of equality of points between two or more teams, at the conclusion of the group matches, the ranking of the teams shall be established according to the following criteria:
72.1 Greater number of points obtained in the matches between the teams in question;
72.2 The best goal difference in the matches between the teams in question;
72.3 Greater number of goals scored in the matches between the teams concerned;
72.4 Goal difference in all group matches;
72.5 Greatest number of goals scored in all the group matches;
72.6 Fair Play points system taking into account the number of yellow and red cards;
72.7 Drawing of lots by CAF Organising Committee.
Because the only way they can finish level is by drawing, 72.1, 72.2 and 72.3 are not going to come into play (and why 72.2 and 72.3 exist in the first place is beyond me). Next is goal difference, which as the pre-match table suggests favours the Togolese. So Tunisia need to win, and a 100% head-to-head record (in four previous meetings) suggests they may very well do so. Togo – seeking a place in the final eight for the first time in their history – are not about to park any kind of bus, according to their coach, Didier Six:
I don't have a team which plays defensive football, the spirit of my players on the pitch is to win. Yes, mathematically, we need only one point, but the reality of our football is not to be content with that. We'll be going for the win.
There has been a lot of criticism of the pitch at the Mbombela Stadium, which is about 60% sand after the grass was attacked by fungus. Six insists it's not an issue – "Have you been to Lome lately? This pitch is much, much better than the one at the national stadium there" – and it's just as well, as whoever comes out on top today will play their quarter- and, if successful, semi-finals here too.Burkina Faso's Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, left, and Ethiopia's Seyoum Tesfaye demonstrate the sandiness of the pitch at the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit. Photograph: Armando Franca/AP
Finally, for those not watching this on ITV4, I think it would be only fair to share what I've just been treated to on that fine channel: old-fashioned Batman, complete with Eartha Kitt as Catwoman. Amazing. Ludicrous. This is the very episode.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of Prayer beads, Lome, Togo, West Africa, Africa
Home (Robert Harding)
Framed Artwork of Procession outside Lome cathedral, Lome, Togo, West Africa, Africa
Home (Robert Harding)