Palermo goals give Argentina win

CORDOBA, Argentina - Striker Martin Palermo scored twice in 10 minutes to give Argentina's "home" team a 2-0 win over Ghana in a friendly on Wednesday.

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 Phillimon 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.

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.

Argentina, whose first choice squad are predominantly based in Europe, must beat Peru in Buenos Aires on October 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 playoff 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 October 14, are in sixth only a point behind Argentina, level on points with Venezuela and one ahead of Colombia.