Black Meteors of Ghana thrashed Togo 5-1 in the first leg of their U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kumasi on Tuesday to set up a comfortable return leg in Lome.
A hattrick from Spain-based striker Kwabena Owusu ensured Ghana recorded a huge victory over their fierce neighbours at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Ghana took the lead in the 18th-minute courtesy an individual brilliance by Owusu from the edge of the box after dribbling past two Togolese defenders.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 27th minute after Joel Fameyeh was brought down inside the box by Togo captain Messan Toudji.
Fameyeh missed from the spot after his strike was parried away by goalkeeper Abdoul-Moubarak Aigba.
Five minutes later, the Young Hawks restored the game's parity through Thibault Klidje after connecting a free-kick by Yenoussi Guillaume.
A very improved performance in the second half saw Ghana going in front again through a beautifully curled finish from Osman Bukari.
Owusu struck twice in the 69th and 70th minutes of the game to complete his remarkable hat-trick to increase Ghana's lead.
Substitute Yakubu Nassam Ibrahim sealed the victory by putting his name on the score sheet.
The result gives Black Meteors a huge advantage ahead of the second leg in Lome on Saturday.
Winner of this tie will face Gabon in the next round of the qualifiers for the next year's competition in Egypt.