Togo faced reigning champion Côte d'Ivoire in Group C's opening fixture, having never beaten the Elephants in AFCON competition.
After the influential Toure brothers retired from international football, a new generation of stars has been charged with stepping forward for Côte d'Ivoire, including Franck Kessie (pictured), Jonathan Kodjia and competitive debutant Wilfried Zaha.
Tasked with replacing former talisman Didier Drogba, Kodjia went close on a number of occasions for Côte d'Ivoire, though Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa was not to be denied.
Though the Togolese have never advanced beyond the quarterfinals, they boast an experienced coach in Claude Le Roy. The Frenchman, 68, is the veteran of a record nine AFCON campaigns.
He clearly inspired his charges, as Togo -- ranked 90th in the world -- battled to an unlikely 0-0 draw.
Without a club since he was released by Crystal Palace in June 2016, striker Emmanuel Adebayor nonetheless captained Togo on the day.
The teams might have played to swathes of empty seats at the Stade d'Oyem, but those who did make the journey produced a lively atmosphere, regardless of the goalless result.
In the evening game, DR Congo faced Morocco -- looking to make it a fifth consecutive match without defeat against the Atlas Lions.
Morocco, led by French coach Herve Renard, hadn't won an AFCON title since 1976, but still set a minimum target of making the quarterfinals in the buildup to the tournament.
Despite Morocco enjoying 62% of possession, it was DR Congo's day. Junior Kabananga capitalized on an error from Munir in the Morocco goal, lashing home a left-footed half volley to spark jubilant celebrations.