Angola defeated 10-man Togo 3-2 here yesterday but lost the battle to qualify for the quarter-finals of the African Nations' Cup by a single goal. Angola's first win of the tournament meant they finished level on points with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Group B, but their goal difference was zero whereas Congo's was plus one.
Angola and Togoare both in the World Cup this summer while the likes of Nigeria and Cameroon will be sitting it out. However, they will not travel to Germany with much confidence.
The Angolans began this game with a place in the quarter-finals a possibility. Togo had lost their first two games, owing in large part to the unrest in the camp.
There was no room for Emmanuel Adebayor, their top scorer in World Cup qualifying. The new Arsenal striker was listed as injured but given his falling-out with his coach, Stephen Keshi, before the first game there was little surprise he was not included in a game which meant nothing to the west African side.
However, with less than five months to go before their World Cup debut, they could have done with regaining some small measure of self-belief before meeting France and Switzerland in Germany.
Angola will make their World Cup bow in a group that pits them against their former colonial rulers, Portugal, and they appeared the more determined to carry something positive with them to June. They also had the best striker on view, in Flavio Amado.
Amado, who scored both his side's goals before half-time, is no stranger to Cairo as he plays his club football here. Only nine minutes had gone and Angola's Fabrice Akwa had already gone close when Amado scored his first with a neat chip over the exposed goalkeeper but Togo, who failed to score in their opening games, finally had their first goal after 25 minutes. Having worked some space, Kader Cougbadja chipped Ricardo.
After half an hour the Togo midfielder Gouyazou Kassim was sent off after yellow cards for two innocuous offences. That could rule him out of Togo's first game in Germany.
Angola retook the lead six minutes before the break when a cross from Edson Nobre was smartly turned in by Amado, although Cherif Maman levelled after 67 minutes. Angola's winner came with five minutes left when Jacques Romao shot from 20 yards out.
Angola (4-4-2): Ricardo (unattached); Cange (Luanda), Alonso (Barreirense), Joao Pereira (Aviacao), Delgado (Primeiro Agosto); Nobre (Pacos Ferreira), Figueiredo (Varzim), Macanga (Al-Koweit), Maurito (Al-Wahda); Amado (Al-Ahly), Akwa (Al-Wakra) Substitutes: Ze Kalanga (Petro Luanda) for Nobre, 55; Manutorres (Benfica) for Akwa, 62; Cabungula (Aviacao) for Cange, 72.
Togo (3-5-2): Tchanirou (Djoliba); Abalo (Dunkerque), Tchangai (Benevento), Atte (Lokeren); Mamah (Libreville), Senaya (Juventus Zurich), Kassim (Douanes), Romao (Louhans-Cuiseaux), Cougbadja; (Ihrhove), Salifou (Brest), Maman (Metz). Substitute: Yao (Juventus Zurich) for Romao, 60)
Referee: R El Arjoune (Morocco).