If Tunisia are to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, their finishing will have to come on in leaps and bounds in their final Group D match against Togo at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday, kick-off at 7pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).
The match will be played at the same time as the other Group D clash between Ivory Coast and Algeria, but the result of that encounter will have no bearing on the standings in the group.
The only way the Carthage Eagles can assure themselves of a place in the quarterfinals is to register a win over Togo, but that means they will have to score goals and that is something they have clearly been struggling with.
It has been an up and down Afcon for Tunisia who started the tournament in fine fashion with a hard fought 1-0 win over Algeria thanks to a superb 91st minute goal from Youssef Msakni.
But the Carthage Eagles struggled in their second group game and were put to the sword by an in-form Ivorian side that thumped them 3-0.
Now, in their match against Togo they will have to keep it tight at the back by keeping a close eye on the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor. It is also a case of score or go home for Tunisia who sit on three points, along with Togo, in Group D.
The Sparrow Hawks top the North Africans on goal difference and have, overall, looked the much better side – probably the reason Togo come into this match as favourites.
Togo’s first 2013 Afcon encounter saw them up against tournament favourites, Ivory Coast, and they were by no means outclassed as it took an 88th minute goal from Gervinho to see the Elephants beat Togo 2-1.
The Sparrow Hawks second match saw them produce a competent performance as they beat Algeria 2-0 which sees them in the driving seat heading into the last match against Tunisia – anything but a loss will see them qualify for the quarterfinals.
Togo will largely be looking to the likes of their star player Adebayor to lead their attack yet again, but coach Dider Six says that no one individual makes the team and their success is down to hard work, hard work which is not done yet.
“A great team is built on a foundation and we have a great goalkeeper and a great centre-forward. We now focus on the Tunisia game and as already said this is a good team,” explains Six.
“We are in the so called ‘group of death’, it is not over for us at all and we will give it all our efforts.”
Adebayor added on the back of his coach’s comments saying, “The most important thing is not to see the great Adebayor, but to see a goal-scoring Adebayor.
“My mission is to score goals. If people think that they haven't seen the great Adebayor, so be it. I haven't come here for fame and glory. I came here to win matches.”