Martin Palermo scored twice to hand Argentina a confidence-boosting 2-0 victory over Ghana in a friendly international at the Olimpico de Cordoba stadium on Wednesday night.
Argentina, who turned out with a home-based side, completely dominated a lackluster Ghana side with some incisive attacking football. The Africans were also without their regular first-team members.
Los Albicelestes created several goal-scoring opportunities early on in the game, but hesitated when it came down to finishing them off.
After much pressure, Argentina finally went ahead in the 28th minute when Fabian Monzon caught out Boca Juniors team-mate Martin Palermo with a precise left-wing cross, and the veteran made no mistake with a superb volley.
The goal seemed to spark Argentina to life, and they looked to increase their lead against a shaky Ghana outfit. Each time they attacked the Ghana goal the Argentines came close to scoring.
In the 39th minute Palermo doubled Argentina's advantage when he connected to an exceptional Federico Insua cross with an unreachable header.
After the break Diego Maradona's side continued to dominate, even if they made a number of changes, including taking off man-of-the-match Palermo in the 57th minute.
Palermo, who captained the side, received a standing ovation from the 22,000 fans at the stadium as he made his exit. His performance will surely improve his chances of partnering Lionel Messi in the Argentina attack against Peru and Uruguay next month.
Prior to the match Maradona affirmed that between seven and eight players who participated in the game against Ghana will start against Peru at the Monumental stadium.
Argentina claimed a comfortable victory that should motivate the side ahead of their final two World Cup qualifiers.
Gregory Sica, Goal.com