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Salifou's World Cup target

Barney Cullum
BBC Sport

Moustapha Salifou
Togo's Moustapha Salifou still has World Cup hopes for 2010

Aston Villa midfielder Moustapha Salifou insists Togo still have the 2010 World Cup in their sights.

The Hawks are third in Group A, trailing top seeds Cameroon by two points with two matches remaining.

"I still believe and hope that Togo can win the group," Salifou told BBC Sport.

"I think that Togo will finish first, Cameroon second, Gabon third and Morocco fourth."

Togo secured passage to an unprecedented World Cup debut in Germany in 2006 after a qualifying campaign that saw their fate sealed on the very last day.

History will have to be repeated if Togo are to travel to a second successive World Cup.

But Salifou maintains the Sparrow Hawks are not looking over their shoulder at Morocco, who can yet deny them a place at the Africa Cup of Nations.

All four teams can still qualify for South Africa yet all four could still fail to reach the Cup of Nations, a tournament that only Togo missed out on in 2008.

Angry scenes followed that failure, and Togo were forced to play their home games on neutral territory for two years until Fifa's ban was lifted last month.

Salifou scored on Togo's return to the Omnisports Stadium in September.

"We benefited from the fact that we were playing back at home but it wasn't enough to help us to win and the crowd were unhappy again at the end," Salifou said.

The second successive draw against Morocco did little for the prospects of Togo, who started their campaign so well with a victory against top seeds Cameroon in Accra.

"It's a pity about the situation but we have a duty to Togo and we are still concentrating on the World Cup," added Salifou.

Salifou starred in all three of Togo's matches on their World Cup debut in Germany and earned his move to England following the tournament.

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see also
2010 World Cup
09 Sep 09 |  African
Gabon stun Morocco, Togo win
28 Mar 09 |  African
Adebayor avoids further sanction
01 Oct 09 |  Man City
Monaco's Gakpe makes Togo switch
27 Aug 09 |  African

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