Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heart break of hands to home favorites Ghana

18:30 GMT, July 2, 2010
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

(4)1 - 1(2)

Ghana bowed out of the World Cup in the most heartbreaking circumstances in one of the most amazing finishes to a match at the World Cup finals.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez had used his hands to keep out a header in the last minute of extra-time but his red card will be no solace to the Black Stars after Asamoah Gyan's spot-kick hit the bar and Uruguay triumphed in the shoot-out.
Soccer City was deathly silent as Ghana players collapsed in tears, while Uruguay celebrated their first semi-final appearance for 40 years, in which they will play Holland.
The South Americans' goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was the hero, saving twice from John Mensah, the Sunderland centre-back, and Dominic Adiyiah, but there was a nasty taste left in the mouth as Suarez was carried shoulder high by his team.
Sulley Muntari, almost sent home earlier on in the tournament after a bust up with Ghana's Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac, had given his side the lead before Diego Forlan equalised with a viciously-swerving free-kick for his third goal of the finals.

Ghana carried the hopes of the continent with them, and especially South Africans, in their quest to become the first African country to qualify for the semi-finals.
Perhaps it was the burden of expectation, but Ghana looked nervous from the start while Uruguay, and Suarez in particular, emanated menace.

An incredible last minute saw Suarez sent off for saving Adiyiah's header on the line when palming the ball away with both his hands, and Gyan smashed the resulting penalty against the bar.
Then came the shoot-out, and terrible agony for Ghana.
Mensah was the true culprit of the two to miss for Ghana, taking just one step and sidefooting straight at Muslera.

Scoring Summary

Diego Forlán (55')Sulley Muntari (45')
 Asamoah Gyan (pen miss 120')

Shootout Snapshot

Diego Forlán (pen) Goal1 - 0 
 1 - 1Asamoah Gyan (pen) Goal
Mauricio Victorino (pen) Goal2 - 1 
 2 - 2Stephen Appiah (pen) Goal
 2 - 2John Mensah (miss)
Andrés Scotti (pen) Goal3 - 2 
Maxi Pereira (miss)3 - 2 
 3 - 2Dominic Adiyiah (miss)
Sebastián Abreu (pen) Goal4 - 2 

Man of the Match: Diego Forlan 


  • Man of the Match: Diego Forlan - Now surely a shoo-in for the Team of the Tournament, Forlan was at the heart of everything that was good for Uruguay. Working the line excellently, dropping deep intelligently and taking all of Uruguay's set-pieces largely to great effect, Forlan capped his performance with his third goal of the finals.

  • Uruguay verdict: They started the game well but seemed to be over-run by Ghana's drive and athleticism. Credit to Uruguay for weathering the storm and gaining back control, despite losing two players to injury, and towards the end of normal time they deserved to win the match.

  • Ghana verdict: You can never fail to admire the spirit of a Ghana side many had written off before this game despite their displays en route to the last eight. After having a great spell either side of half-time they failed to take their chances, which enabled Uruguay to force their way back into the game, before laying siege to the South Americans' goal at the end of extra-time. A superb performance and they will be missed against the Dutch.

  • Could do better: Asamoah Gyan & John Mensah - First, it was Gyan who missed from the spot when he had the chance to prevent the game going to spot-kicks and send Ghana into the semi-finals. But even worse was Mensah's kick in the shootout. He took a five-a-side style one-step run-up and sidefooted the ball straight at Fernando Muslera. Dominic Adiyiah missed too, but Mensah's kick was unforgivable.

  • Stat attack: All four of Diego Forlan's World Cup goals have come against African sides.

  • No comments:

    Post a Comment