Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ghana pound Togo to book AFCON place











The Black Stars of Ghana have qualified for the 2015 AFCON tournament following a convincing 3-1 victory over the Hawks of Togo in Tamale.

Mubarak Wakaso teed of Majeed Waris for the first goal before firing a screamer from 35 yards to end the proceedings of the first half.

Togo came back strongly in the second half with a crucial Jonathan Aryittey header but an own goal late on means Ghana would ride high on a palanquin to Equatorial Guinea while their West African counterparts crash out next year's tournament.

It was billed to be a cliffhanger with the visitors hugely optimistic of causing an upset in Tamale especially in the absence of three of Ghana's influential players- Asamoah Gyan, Dede Ayew and Kwadwo Asamoah. And the game lived up to its billing.

It was the depleted Ghana side who were on rampage with Jordan Ayew making an incursion in the opening embers of the game. The France based striker beat his marker beautifully but his final cross to Majeed Waris was intercepted by Agassa in post for Togo.

The host initiated several attacks from the flanks with Baba Rahman and Solomon Asante running at the opposing defence men from the left and right respectively but the Stars strikers almost always missed the net by inches.

It was only a matter of time for the Stars to break the dead lock and that time came.

Mubarak Wakasu served a delightful cross from the right in the 23rd minute and the diminutive Majeed Waris connected with a glancing header from close range for Ghana's first goal.

Four minutes later Wakasu turned from being a provider into the scorer with a 35 yards screamer - a goal which may well be the best of the qualifiers.

It would have been three if the Stars' stand-in skipper Agyemang Badu had been been selfless.

It would have been three if the Stars' stand-in skipper Agyemang Badu had been selfless in the 30th minute.The Udinese midfielder had Jordan Ayew in full view and better positioned to score but he went for goal instead of laying the pass to his striker. Jordan was mad and understandably so.

The Togo attack had been kept in check with skipper Emmanuel Adebayor dropping deep on most occasions to receive the supplies but that would not work out.

In the second half it was the guests who came with an early scare pulling a goal back from a Jonathan Aryittey header.

Togo came close to drawing parity with a swift counter attack but the final pass to Adebayor was cleared to safety by Jonathan Mensah.

In what would break many a Togo hearts, Skipper Agyemang Badu beat his marker and whipped in a cross but in a desperate bid to clear the ball the Togolese defender turned the ball into own net, restoring Ghana's two goal lead.

The game turned a bit physical with skipper Emmanuel Adebayor being the biggest culprit.

The game ended 3-1 in favour of Ghana.



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