West Africa demonstrated their power in African football as they dominate the quarter-final cast at the 2013 African Cup of Nations with seven countries into the last eight of the competition in South Africa.
Togo picked the last quarter-final place, their first ever, on Wednesday to maintain West Africa’s huge representation at the critical stage of the tournament.
Already into the last eight at the end of the group phase are Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, debutants Cape Verde, all West African nations and hosts South Africa.
Togo drew 1-1 with Tunisia to advance and the exit of the Carthage Eagles means that no North African team has made the last eight of the Nations Cup for the first time since 1992.
In the last eight, Ghana meets Cape Verde, and South Africa hosts Mali in Saturday’s quarterfinals, followed Sunday by Ivory Coast-Nigera and Burkina Faso-Togo.
West Africa produced eight of the teams in the 16-team tournament and just Niger fell out at the first hurdle, showing the region’s huge influence and dominance of the game in the continent.
It has produced some of Africa’s best footballers in recent times including Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan and John Mikel Obi.