Tunisia and Democratic Republic of Congo reached the African Nations Cup quarter-finals last night after they played out a 1-1 draw and Group B rivals Cape Verde and Zambia drew a blank in treacherous conditions.
Cape Verde finished with the same three points and the same goal difference as DR Congo but scored one goal less and were therefore eliminated by the slimmest of margins.
The 1-1 draw for DR Congo - whose kit is supplied by Irish sportswear firm O'Neill's - against Tunisia in Bata means the former advance to meet near namesakes Congo on Jan. 31 without winning a game. Group winners Tunisia will face hosts Equatorial Guinea.
Zambia, who were the 2012 winners, finished last in Group B with two points and are eliminated early for a second successive tournament. They had needed a win to stand any chance of progress. The match in Ebibeyin was played in a tropical downpour that made the game unplayable at times as giant puddles stopped the flow of the ball and risked injury to the players.
The teams were forced to keep the ball off the ground for much of the second half as the deluge fell increasingly harder but then suddenly abated with some 20 minutes left.
Both sides had few occasions to win the game, not even towards the end when they both sacrificed defenders to throw more players into attack.
"I'm very sad and disappointed with the result but not with my players. They did all they could," a tearful Cape Verde coach Rui Aguas said. "We missed a lot of chances in three games but we gave 100 percent."