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As the four-time African champions gear up to face off with the Dragons, Goal.com Ghana goes down memory lane to refresh football minds about how Ghana faired in recent test games

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By Juliet Bawuah and Umar-Farouk Atipaga

Ghana’s senior national team, the Black Stars, take on China as they prepare for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi in September and October.

The Dragons have over the months been in the spotlight due to the high profile players who have joined some Chinese top flight sides. As Kwesi Appiah’s men prepare to take on the Asian side in X’ian on Wednesday, Goal.com Ghana brings you the top five friendly matches involving the Black Stars in recent times.

GHANA 0-0 NIGERIA (Oct 11, 2011)

The rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria was reignited on October 1, 2011. Prior to the match, the Black Stars had a perfect record against the Super Eagles in the last three meetings - dating from the 4-1 success in a friendly match to a 2-1 quarter-final victory at Ghana 2008 and a 1-0 victory in the 2010 edition in Angola.

The Super Eagles were just fresh from a disappointing 2012 Afcon qualifying campaign. The match ended 0-0 and that was the last game of Eagles coach Samson Siasia who was fired for failing to reach the Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

SOUTH KOREA 2-1 GHANA (June 7, 2011)

Just a year after the team’s 2010 Fifa World Cup success, Ghana was a commodity on the market and South Korea knew very well that game was a good one to shape them. Going into the match, the then Black Stars coach Goran Stevanovic was yet to taste a defeat and he was bent on maintaining it. Unfortunately, the South Koreans just could not afford to go down as they overcame the Black Stars 2-1 at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in June, 2011.

Asamoah Gyan incurred the wrath of many after missing a penalty since memories of the spot kick waste against Uruguay at the global football fiesta in South Africa were still fresh on the minds of many. Goalkeeper Richard Kingston was also not left out of heavy criticism due to a howler that led to the second goal.

NETHERLANDS 4-1 GHANA (Jun 1, 2010)

The Orange tore the four-time African champions into pieces in a match meant to prepare the two sides for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

The Dutch comfortably recorded a 4-1 victory over the Black Stars who eventually reached the quarter-final at the global showpiece.

Dirk Kuyt, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie were on the score sheet for the World Cup losing finalists while Asamoah Gyan got the consolation for Ghana.

GHANA 0-1 BRAZIL (Sept 5, 2011)

Known on the continent as the African Brazilians, the Black Stars came up against the real Samba Boys and the winless streak continued. The South Americans had earlier beaten the west Africans 3-0 at the Round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup and 1-0 in an international friendly in 2007 courtesy a Vagner Love strike.

In September 2011, the five-time world champions established their dominance over Ghana after another 1-0 victory. Damaio’s strike seperated the two sides at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.  
ENGLAND 1-1 GHANA (Mar 29, 2011)

On March 29, 2011 at Wembley, the Black Stars made all the headlines after an historic 1-1 draw with the Three Lions. Liverpool striker Andy Carroll gave the hosts the lead and at a point, it looked like the English were running away with the bragging rights. But the then Sunderland hitman Asamoah Gyan through individual brilliance registered an equaliser that silenced the Wembley Stadium.

The goal till date is one of the best from Gyan, who now plies his trade in the UAE with Al Ain. Apart from planting the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Joe Hart, his ability to turn Jeleon Lescott inside-out re-established the fact that he remains Ghana’s best bet upfront. Many Ghanaians had been waiting to see a match against their colonial masters, no wonder, 20,000 Ghanaians were present at the 80,000 seating capacity facility.

Do you agree with our selections?
What were your favorite moments from Ghana football in 2010-2011? Let us know!

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