Football

England set to face Ghana in friendly

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England will meet Ghana in a senior international for the first time in a friendly clash at Wembley on March 29, the Football Association announced on Monday.

The match will take place three days after Fabio Capello's side play their first Euro 2012 qualifier of the year in Wales.

However, a friendly between England and Thailand, which had been set to take place in early June following the home qualifier against Switzerland, has now been scrapped.

The trip to Thailand was agreed last May to commemorate the 65th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol's accession to the Thai throne.

It was tied in to England's bid to host the World Cup in 2018 and, following the failure of that bid to attract support, it was widely expected the match would fall by the wayside.

Explaining the decision today, the FA said: "Although an informal agreement had been reached for a friendly match following the qualifier with Switzerland, no formal details in terms of match date or venue had ever been established and, following discussions by the FA Board, it was decided not to go ahead with the fixture."

The meeting with Ghana should prove a tough test for Capello's side as the Black Stars look to build on their run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

Ghana were the only African side to qualify for the knockout stages and would have reached the semi-finals had Asamoah Gyan not missed a last-minute penalty against Uruguay, with the South Americans winning the subsequent shoot-out.

Ghana are well represented in the Premier League, with Gyan and defender John Mensah both playing for Sunderland while Chelsea's Michael Essien and John Pantsil of Fulham are other notable names.

The teams have met before at youth level, with Ghana claiming a crushing 4-0 win over England at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup two years ago.

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