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Atsu goal sees Ghana past Togo in AFCON qualifier (Video included)


Ghana returned to winning ways after beating Togo 3-2 in their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Lome on Wednesday.

After drawing with Uganda 1-1 at the weekend, the four-time African champions picked up the pieces to record their first win in the qualifying campaign and stay in contention of reaching next year’s tournament in Morocco.

Captain Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu and Christian Atsu all scored with the hosts getting both goals through Floyd Ayite and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Ringing the changes from their opening Group E game, Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah made as many as five changes to his starting team against the Hawks, handing Baba Rahman his senior debut and starting goalkeeper Stephen Adams in post.

Appiah also handed Awal Mohammed, Agyemang Badu and Jordan Ayew starting roles with Ghana seeking to rediscover their shine away from home.

However, their hopes were stunned when Togo’s Ayite sent the home crowd at the AU Stade Du Kegue into jubilation after scoring the opener in the 12th minute.

The Black Stars gradually warmed themselves back into the game and it took them some twelve minutes to restore parity when Gyan got the equalizer in the 24th minute through a header from a cross by Kwadwo Asamoah.

Ten minutes later, Ghana jumped into the lead with Agyeman Badu, also applying his head to a cross by Baba Rahman.

Ghana took their lead into the break after rallying from behind.

Back from recess, the Black Stars were quick out of the blocks but with Christian Atsu attempting to find a teammate in the box, but his cross was cut out by the Togolese defence.

Then minutes after the hour mark, Ghana’s bench made their first substitution, bringing on Rabiu Mohammed for Andre Ayew.

The pace of the game slowed down though the Black Stars looked more purposeful whenever they had the ball.

However, Togo found their way back in the 77th minute when Adebayor scored the equalizer.

Jordan could have put Ghana in the lead but he could not keep his shot low as it flew way too high.

The Black Stars kept on pushing and with five minutes remaining on the clock, Atsu’s calming finished off a Ghana move to secure victory.

Atsu’s winner ended Togo’s hopes of picking their first point as the Black Stars moved on to four points from two games.

Ghana XI

Stephen Adams, Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah, Awal Mohammed, Agyemang Badu, Christian Atsu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Asamoah Gyan, Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew

Pre- Match report

Goalkeeper Stephen Adams starts for Ghana in their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo.

The Aduana shot-stopper starts ahead of Fatau Dauda as coach Kwesi Appiah makes five changes to his starting team from the previous lineup for Wednesday’s game at the AU Stade Du Kegue at 16:00GMT.

Awal Mohammed comes in for the injured John Boye in central defence and Baba Rahman gets to make his Black Stars debut as he starts at left back.

Also starting for the Black Stars in midfield is Agyemang Badu, an unused substitute in the previous game.

Up front, Jordan Ayew joins captain Asamoah Gyan in attack.

Ghana are chasing their first win in Group E after drawing their opening game 1-1 with Uganda last Saturday.

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