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Ghana Suffer Argentina Defeat   
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Veteran striker Martin Palermo scored twice in 10 minutes to give Argentina's team a 2-0 win over a home-based Ghana team in a friendly on Wednesday night.

Palermo, who spearheaded a team drawn exclusively from Argentine clubs, will have impressed coach Diego Maradona for a place in his main squad for key World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay in the next fortnight.

The 35-year-old striker, winning his second cap under Maradona this month having earned the other seven 10 years ago, struck in the 28th minute when he volleyed a cross from left back Fabian Monzon past keeper Philemon McCarthy.

Palermo, famous for missing three penalties in a match against Colombia at the 1999 Copa America in Paraguay, headed his second in the 38th from another cross from the left by midfielder Federico Insua.

Even though all of the Argentine players play with local teams, most of them have spent time in Europe with top clubs including Palermo who played for Villarreal and Real Betis in Spain.

Insua played in Spain for Real Betis before moving to Germany to join Borussia Moenchengladbach while Monzon also played for Betis. While Argentina's players are home-based they gained rich experience before returning to play in the lucrative leagues of their country.

For Ghana most of the players play in the local league without any foreign experience while the biting cold on the night was the first winter experience for most of the players.

But there were big winners in the Ghana squad especially Lee Addy - Bechem Chelsea left-back who is certain to gain a call-up to the main Ghana team after showing grit during the game.

The main Black Stars team has struggled with Harrison Afful at the left-back position and with Addy height, statute and performance, he is likely to be given a chance to play with the seniors.

Also giving a good account of themselves are Emmanuel Ansong, Frank Boateng and McCarthy who were also among the local Black Stars' best performers on the night as they were rated highest by the Argentine newspapers in the Ghana squad during the game.

Ghana, the first African team to secure a berth at the 2010 World Cup finals apart from hosts South Africa, sent a second string side for the match in Cordoba and rarely troubled the Argentine defence.

Milovan Rajevac's Ghana players, meanwhile, made some tough fouls that forced Chilean referee Enrique Osses book Ofosu Appiah, Kofi Boakye and Frank Boateng.

Argentina, whose first choice squad are predominantly based in Europe, must beat Peru in Buenos Aires on Oct. 10 and Uruguay in Montevideo four days later to be sure of progressing to the World Cup finals.

They are fifth in the South American group, which puts them for now in a play-off against the team finishing fourth in the CONCACAF region since only the top four go through automatically.

Bottom-placed Peru are out of the running but Uruguay, who are away to fourth-placed Ecuador on Oct. 14, are in sixth only a point behind Argentina, level on points with Venezuela and one ahead of Colombia.

Ghana starting line-up: Philemon McCarthy (5); Emmanuel Asong (6), Joshua Otto (5), Ofosu Appiah (5), Lee Addy (6); Daniel Yeboah (5), Edward Owusu-Ansah (4), Frank Boateng (6), Francis Coffie (5), Kofi Nti Boakye (4), Obed Owusu (4).

Changes in the second half: to start by Karimu Alhassan by Mahatma Otoo (G), Abraham Annan by Francis Cofie (G), Jordan Opoku by Obed Owusu G), 28 'by Samed Oppong Boateng (G) and 44' Bright Allotey by Ansong (G).

Coach: Milovan Rajevac.

Source: ghanasoccernet

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