Ghana beat Togo 3-1 on Wednesday to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as winner’s of Group E.
Goals from Abdul Majeed Waris, Mubarak Wakaso and an own goal scored by Sadate Akoriko handed the Black Stars the sweet victory before its home fans in Tamale.
Ghana showed their intent to score right from the onset with a plethora of chances created.
John Boye came close to opening the scoring in just the first minute but his header proved too feeble for Kossi Agassa in post for Togo.
Jordan Ayew broke free three minutes later but his intended squared-pass was well read by Agassa who rushed out to grab.
The Hawks defence were made to work overtime during this period with the Black Stars relentless in their attack.
Ayew who had been very lively in the opening minutes laid a pass on a plate for the on-rushing Rabiu Mohammed to fire in just outside the box in the 7th minute. But the Kuban Krasnodar man’s drive was simply hopeless.
Boye returned again to get a sniff at goal but his free header off a corner kick was wide.
Majeed Waris was the next to follow in the 10th minute but his header off a driven free kick by Wakaso also went wide.
Then Mubarak Wakaso struck a venomous strike from deep but Agassa was alert to parry it away.
The Togolese defence finally gave in after 23 minutes when Harrison Afful’s sublime cross was headed in with a glancing effort by Majeed Waris to break the deadlock.
Wakaso doubled Ghana’s lead three minutes later with a wondrous 35-yard strike which caught goalkeeper Kossi Agassa pants down.
Stand-in captain Emmanuel Agyemang could have made it three in the 31st minute but he chose wrongly to go for goal when he could have squared for the waiting Jordan Ayew after breaking free from deep.
Togo eventually got their first sight at goal in the 38th minute with Emmanuel Adebayor rising high to get his head on a cross but Razak Brimah went down well to grab.
The rampant Black Stars could have scored more but a combination is missed chances and bad luck saw the game go into recess with Ghana two up.
Togo however began the second half on a mission and pulled one back just within the third minute of the restart.
Prince Segbefia got his head on a cross to beat Razak Brimah in the Ghana post to ensure the game remains a contest. Jonathan Ayite was the first to be booked in the game for dissent.
The Hawks had grown in confidence after pulling one back and kept pressing to pin their hosts to their own half.
Kokou Donou was the second to be booked for stamping on Mubarak Wakaso as they went in for a loose ball.
Floyd Ayite was then brought on for Serge Gakpe while Kokou Donou was withdrawn for Martin Nouwoklo with 25 minutes more to play.
Togo’s resurgence was however curtailed when Sadate Akoriko headed into his own net after an impressive charge by Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu in the 67th minute.
Emmanuel Adenayor then entered the referee’s book –the third Togolese player in succession – for a nasty lunge on Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah.
The Evian TG man took some time to get treatment before returning to the field of play.
Coach Maxwell Konadu then pulled Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu out for Edwin Gyimah with 18 minutes left to play to show clearly his intention to defend his two-goal lead.
Christian Atsu was then brought on for Solomon Asante with 14 minutes left on the clock.
The TP Mazembe star received a huge applause for his tireless efforts from the fans as he made his way out.
Atsu made a genuine appeal for a penalty after he was fell in the box in the 80th minute but the referee declined much to the dismay of the Ghanaian fans.
Togo could have pulled one more back after Mubarak Wakaso gave the ball away in a very dangerous position but Razak Brimah was on hand to snuff out the attack alongside any chance the Hawks had of making next year’s finals in Equatorial Guinea.
Ghana thus seals its place at the 2015 AFCON as winners of Group E with 11 points having won three, drawn two and lost one.