Martin Palermo scored twice to hand Argentina a confidence-boosting 2-0 victory over Ghana in an international friendly at the Olimpico de Cordoba stadium on Wednesday night.
Argentina, which fielded 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 fed Boca Juniors teammate Martin Palermo with a precise cross, and the veteran made no mistake with a clinical finish.
The goal seemed to spark Argentina to life, and it looked to increase its 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 a precise Federico Insua cross with an unreachable header.
After the break, Diego Maradona's side continued to dominate, even if it 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 surely will improve his chances of partnering with 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 its final two World Cup qualifiers.