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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
No respite for troubled Togo

CAIRO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Togo, in disarray after a public spat between their coach and leading striker and defeat in their first game, need at least a draw against Cameroon on Wednesday for a chance to progress at the African Nations Cup.

High hopes surrounded the tiny west African country after their surprise qualification for this year's World Cup finals and coach Stephen Keshi was counting on success at the tournament in Egypt to prepare Togo for Germany.

'Every game we play is an important part of getting ready for Germany and that is why it is essential that we do well here,' Keshi told Reuters.

A bust-up between Keshi and leading striker Emmanuel Adebayor and a 2-0 defeat by Democratic Republic of Congo in their opening Group B match on Saturday has left Togo's hopes of a place in the quarter-finals hanging by a thread, however.

Keshi called Adebayor a 'cry baby' on Sunday following the 22-year-old's refusal to start Saturday's game after initially being dropped. He said Adebayor would be staying with the squad, however, despite a threat to leave the team.

Cameroon present a formidable obstacle for the Togolese, particularly after the rampant performance of Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, whose hat-trick led the Indomitable Lions to a 3-1 win over World Cup finalists Angola.

Chelsea midfielder Geremi said the positive start was the foundation needed to get a momentum and rhythm going.

'A win in the first match is important and now that's behind us, we look to move forward as smoothly as we can,' he told Reuters.

'Cameroon always has the potential to win a tournament like this and although we try to take it one game at a time, we know we have the ability to win this event,' he said.




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