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Africa U23 Cup of Nations

Togo 1-0 Ghana (Agg: 2-5): Meteors through to U23 Afcon qualifying second round

22:06 GMT+3 22/12/2018
Ghana U23 Black Meteors
Ibrahim Tanko's men were pegged in Lome but have, nevertheless, made it through to the next round of the series

Ghana suffered a 1-0 defeat to Togo in a 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying second leg fixture on Saturday but a resounding first leg result has proven enough to send the Black Meteors into the second round of the series.

Kossi Anika's goal sealed the slim home win for the Sparrow Hawks at Stade Municipal de Lomé.

Ghana's big 5-1 triumph in the first leg in Kumasi, however, means Ibrahim Tanko's outfit still progressed on a 5-2 aggregate.

The Meteors have set up a penultimate round date with Gabon in March next year to determine who gets a ticket for the third and final stage of qualifying in June.

There could be a big reward for playing at the Afcon as the top three teams at the November 8-22 championship in Egypt will represent Africa at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

St. Gallen midfielder Majeed Ashimeru, Spain-based Kingsley Fobi, and Liberty Professionals' Simon Zibo were the new faces in Ghana's XI for Saturday's game, the first two players only joining camp after the first leg fixture.

Owing to the new additions, Finland-based Evans Mensah and Norway-based Isaac Twum were relegated to the bench, while Michael Ampadu, who started the first leg at right-back, was completely missing from Saturday's matchday squad.

The new faces, however, could not save the Meteors from defeat as Anika's 19th-minute strike ended as the separating factor.

In 2015, Ghana failed to qualify for the Afcon in Senegal, thereby missing the chance to fight for a qualification ticket for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.