Togo coach praises 'different level' Ghana after U23 Afcon qualifying mauling

Jean-Paul Abalo reflects on Tuesday's annihilation at the hands of the Black Meteors in Kumasi

Togo coach Jean-Paul Yaovi Abalo has praised the superiority of Ghana following his team's heavy loss in their 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers on Tuesday.

The Sparrow Hawks were at sixes and sevens in the qualifying first round fixture at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi as they slumped to a 5-1 defeat.

Thibault Klidje drew level for the visitors after Kwabena Owusu gave the Black Meteors the lead but two more goals from the Leganes loanee and a strike each by Osman Bukari and Ibrahim Nassam Yakubu left Togo in shambles.

“The Ghana team deserved their victory. They dominated the game and had more possession," Abalo said.

"We played as a team but individually we are not on the same level as our opponents.

"They had some individually excellent players and it was complicated for us. We had had issues before this game.

“We managed to score a goal to come level but if you look at the game well, we had the opportunity to make the game 2-2 but unfortunately the ball did not go in."

Togo have it all to do when they host Ghana in the return fixture in Lome on Saturday.

"You have to salute the Ghana team," Abalo added.

“We will now go back and see what happens in the second leg in our home.”

The winner over the two legs will face Gabon in the penultimate round in March next year for a ticket to the final stage in June.

The top three teams at the November 8-22 final tournament in Egypt will represent Africa at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.