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Sunday 1 May 2016


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Argentina to play Ghana's Black Stars in preparation for World Cup game with Nigeria


altARGENTINA'S national football team the Albiceleste intend to play a friendly game against Ghana's Black Stars as part of their World Cup preparations to equip them for Nigeria's Super Eagles.


Drawn in Group F alongside Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran, the Argentines are aware of the fact that the Super Eagles presents their toughest challenge in the group. To familiarise themselves with the pacy African football full of trickery that Nigeria plays, the Argentines have decided to play Ghana as part of their run-in.


Ghana's Black Stars, affectionately known as the Kenkey Bredas by Nigerian football fans, have a tough World Cup draw themselves having been placed in Group G alongside Germany, Portugal and the USA. Although also a team that plays with a lot of African flair, the Black Stars, however, do not have the Super Eagles firepower upfront.


At the last African Cup of Nations tournament in February, Ghana crashed out in the semi finals coming fourth, while Nigeria went on to win the competition. Their shortcomings notwithstanding, the Black Stars will be a good test for Argentina, who have opened talks with  Ivory Coast too, just in case the Ghana match falls through.


An Argentine Football Association spokesman said they have pencilled down Ghana as one of the countries they want to play to help them have an idea about the Super Eagles of Nigeria. He added that they are pondering over a friendly with either Ghana or the Ivory Coast on June 4.


Argentina and Nigeria have met three times at the World Cup in 1994, 2006 and 2010 with the Albiceleste emerging winners by a lone goal each time. This time, however, Nigerian football officials and coaches are determined to break the jinx and beat Argentina to top their group.


Nigeria last beat Argentina in the 1996 Olympic Games final in Atlanta to clinch the gold medal when the Eagles pipped Albiceleste 3-2. Ghana and Argentina on the other hand have only ever met once before on September 30 2009 in a friendly when the Albiceleste beat the Black Stars 2-0.


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