The Tunisians started the day on top of the section and were on their way to securing top spot when Ahmed Akaichi headed home in the 31st minute in Equatorial Guinea's largest city. However, Congo DR drew level in the 66th minute when substitute Loteteka Bokila scored only moments after coming on.
With the scores tied, attention turned to events in Ebebiyin, where Cape Verde Islands and 2012 continental champions Zambia played out a 0-0 draw. That ensured that Tunisia went through as group winners to a quarter-final against hosts Equatorial Guinea, while Congo DR can now look forward to a last-eight tie against neighbours Congo after pipping Cape Verde only on goals scored.
A superb move down the left soon after ended with captain Yassine Chikhaoui seeing his powerful strike, that was arrowing towards the far corner, turned around the post by Congo DR's veteran goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba. A goal was coming and it arrived just after the half-hour mark as Akaichi headed in his second of the tournament after Chikhaoui slipped as he tried to get his shot away. Moments later the omnipresent Chikhaoui found the net with a thunderous volley only for the offside flag to come to the Leopards' rescue.
Tunisia, the 2004 African champions, were not prolific scorers in qualifying and they would live to regret not adding to their advantage in the second half as that man Chikhaoui blazed over from close range after good build-up play by Wahbi Khazri. Seconds after that, Congo DR equalised to give their own qualification hopes a shot in the arm.
When the Tunisia defence failed to deal with a bouncing ball on the edge of their penalty box, Dieumerci Mbokani headed it on for Bokila, who controlled on his thigh before finishing low past Aymen Mathlouthi. Kidiaba saved from Tunisia substitute Hamza Younes at the other end as the game finished in the draw that suited both sides.
Cape Verde, Zambia eliminated
Cape Verde and Zambia were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea after a dour 0-0 draw in a match hit by a tropical storm.
Cape Verde finished level on points and goal difference with Congo DR, but lost out because they scored only one goal in three matches while the Congolese managed two. Torrential rain, thunder, lightning and a swirling wind made attractive football impossible and when Zambia got a stoppage-time chance to snatch victory and a last-eight place, Mukuka Mulenga shot wide.
A scrappy first half ended goalless with neither team creating a clear-cut scoring chance at Estadio de Ebebiyin in the north-east corner of Equatorial Guinea. Zambia had an opportunity to trouble Cape Verde just past the half hour after Carlitos was yellow-carded for fouling Evans Kangwa just outside the penalty area. But in keeping with the generally uninspiring standard of football, Lubambo Musonda struck the free-kick straight at the defensive wall.
Rodrigues, getting his first start of the tournament for Cape Verde, was involved in two close shaves for Zambia just before half-time. His free-kick found Toni, who should have done better than heading over from point-blank range on 44 minutes. And in the second minute of stoppage time, a Rodrigues free-kick flew low across the goalmouth and just wide of the far post.
Conditions deteriorated considerably during the break and the second half began with puddles dotting a pitch created only this month with grass imported from Spain. Fortunately, by the time the game reached the hour mark, the rain eased, but the match had become a lottery with water spraying each time there was a tussle for possession.
Cape Verde substitute Djaniny got a sight of goal just inside the box midway through the half, but slipped on the treacherous surface and the ball was cleared. Zambia had a good chance to end the stalemate 12 minutes from time only for substitute Patrick Ngoma and Kangwa to miss a low Chisamba Lungu cross.