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Ahram Online and Reuters, Sunday 13 Jan 2013
Togo's national team (photo: Reuters)
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Views: 1465

Qualifying campaign: Togo scraped into the final qualifying round on the away goal rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Kenya. They reached the CAN after narrowly defeating Gabon 3-2on aggregate, thanks to two decisive goals from inspirational striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

History: Togo made just six CAN appearances. They qualified for the 2010 edition but withdrew after the team bus was attacked by gunmen in an infamous incident, which cost them a place at the tournament two years later in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Togo made a sole World Cup appearance in 2006 in Germany, where they were eliminated at the first round.

Expectations: Togo have been in turmoil in the build-up to the tournament, over the availability of the talismanic Adebayor. He was finally persuaded to play by the Togo president but did not participate in the pre-tournament preparations. Drawn in a tough group with Ivory Coast, Algeria and Tunisia, Togo look likely to keep up their record of never having got to knockout stages of the tournament.

FIFA ranking: 71 (16 in Africa)


Made one World Cup appearance in 2006.

Coach: Didier Six (France)

Didier Six has had a tempestuous tenure in charge of Togo, having to deal with player strikes and his own battle to get wages paid by his employers. It has been a heady first year in his first major coaching job but he did help Togo to secure qualification by edging out Gabon. The 58-year-old was in the French squad that won the 1984 European championship and played club soccer in England, Germany and Turkey.

Key players:

Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur). Age: 28 Pos: Forward

The gangly forward is the country's most recognisable name whose talent has carried the small west African nation to achievements way beyond their potential. Born to immigrant parents from Nigeria, Adebayor went to France aged 17 but his career was floundering at Monaco before he moved to England at the start of 2006.

Serge Gakpe (Nantes). Age: 25. Pos: Forward

Gakpe held out hopes of playing for France but finally agreed to overtures from Togo, where his parents hail from, and debuted for the west Africans in 2009. He started at Monaco and had a loan spell at Standard Liege in Belgium last season.

Alaixys Romao (Lorient). Age: 28. Pos: Midfielder

A former French youth international who is the busy engine room of the Togo side. He was a member of the squad that went to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany but threatened to pull out of the upcoming tournament in South Africa in solidarity with Adebayor over unpaid bonuses.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: 1- Atsu Mawugbe (Maranatha – Togo), 16- Kossi Agassa (Reims), 23- Baba Tchagouni (Dijon)

Defenders: 2- Dare Nibombe (Bdbc – Belgique), 5- Serge Ognadon (FC Zilina – Slovenia), 6- Gafar Mamah), 9- Vincent Bossou (Saigon FC), 13- Sadate Ouroakoriko (Free State Stars), 20- Kokou Donou (Maranatha), 21- Dakonam Ortega Djene (Coton Sport de Garoua),  

Midfielders: 3- Dove Sename Wome (Free State Stars), 7- Salifou Salifou (Sans Club), 8- Komlan Amewou (Nimes), 10-  Floyd Ama (Ayite Reims), 12- Sapol Mani (Batna FC), 14- Prince Segbefia (Auxerre), 15- Alaixys Romao (Lorient),  19- Kodjo Ametepe (Mounana FC),

Forwards: 4- Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham – England), 11- Jonathan Ayite (Brest), 17- Serge Gakpe (Nantes), 18- Fessou Placca (Agaza), 22- Kalen Damessi (Lilles)  

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