- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

BATA, Equatorial Guinea (AP) - Tunisia and Congo both celebrated after a 1-1 draw at the African Cup of Nations on Monday as both countries qualified for the quarterfinals from Group B.

Tunisia progressed as Group B winner, but substitute Loteteka Bokila’s 66th-minute equalizer was crucial for Congo as it squeezed through to the last eight through the tournament’s tiebreaker rules.

Congo finished with the same points as Cape Verde, which drew 0-0 with Zambia on Monday in the other Group B game. But Congo scored more goals in the group stage thanks to Bokila’s finish from close range midway through the second half at a near-empty Bata Stadium.

Both sets of players threw up their arms at the end to celebrate.

“They qualified, we qualified,” Tunisia coach Georges Leekens said. “We are both happy. Both coaches happy. Life can be good. Enjoy it.”

Tunisia now plays host Equatorial Guinea in the quarters. Congo will face Republic of Congo.

Tunisia had led through forward Ahmed Akaichi’s first-half header following a period of early pressure.

Ferjani Sassi had a low shot cleared off the goal-line by Congo defender Joel Kimuaki in the 10th minute. Captain Yasine Chikhaoui then hit a whistling shot from outside the area that Congo goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba tipped just past the right post.

Akaichi was in the right place to re-direct the ball in from in front of goal for the opener, cheering the small group of Tunisian supporters who had to sit through rain for much of the match.

Bokila poked his shot home to draw level as Congo chased the game, and the Congolese took control for the final 20 minutes as Tunisia decided to protect the draw that guaranteed it a place in the quarterfinals.

In the end, the result was good enough for both of them.


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