Share This Post

Sports & Fitness

Uruguay defeats Ghana but is eliminated from the World Cup

Uruguay defeats Ghana but is eliminated from the World Cup

In missions of vengeance, there are no winners. Sentiment demanded that Ghana make amends for the mistakes made against Uruguay in their 2010 World Cup quarterfinal and atone for the harm caused by Luis Suárez’s last-second handball with the game on the line.

But Suárez, in particular, and Uruguay don’t have time for such sentimental ideas of atonement.

Ghana was once more eliminated after missing a penalty, but they might take solace in the fact that South Korea, not Uruguay, and Portugal advanced to the round of 16, despite Suárez’s two assists.

Uruguay’s response was poor. At the final whistle, Uruguay’s players swarmed the eccentric German referee, Daniel Siebert, angry that they hadn’t been given at least one of two massive penalty claims in the second half. Ghanaians sat on the field in resigned exhaustion.

As they prepared to leave, the Ghanaian supporters appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Suárez broke down in tears on the bench while José Mara Giménez yelled at Siebert.

The events that occurred at Soccer City twelve years ago, and more specifically, that one moment in the final minute of extra time, haunted this game.

A sinister footballing pietà was constantly darting through the peripheral vision: Stephen Appiah is in the foreground after blocking the initial attempt—which was likely offside, though nobody mentions that—John Mensah and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera are falling down alongside Andrés Scotti, Dominic Adiyiah is stretching after heading the loose ball into the goal, Jorge Fucile has his back arched and his left fist raised after failing to handle the ball, and Suárez is leaping to his right with his arms out to claw the ball away.

The moment it witnessed the ball hit the goal post is the Pisgah of African football. It is the Pisgah of African football—the time it was so close to reaching the World Cup semifinal but was stopped short.

This week, the incident was displayed on billboards throughout Accra with the message, “REVENGE!: Let’s support the Black Stars.” The pre-game news conference made it very evident that Ghanaians are still struggling with the effects of that incident.

With his trademark provocative flair, Suárez appeared by himself and didn’t seem to be phased by a Ghanaian journalist’s claim that many people in his nation viewed him as “the devil himself” (adding “el diablo” to avoid confusion) and wished to “retire” him. He claimed that he had no regrets as he had received a penalty.

He had received a red card and was so disqualified from the semifinal. Asamoah Gyan had missed the penalty, which wasn’t his fault.

Was this a complicated set-up? Suárez was extremely underwhelming throughout his brief 81 minutes of group stage action, managing only one shot on goal (off target).

But if this was a huge mind trick, Uruguay went overboard by designating Suárez as captain. Was that on André Ayew’s thoughts as he stood up to take a penalty, the only Ghanaian player at Al Janoub to have participated in the 2010 quarterfinal?

Because there was obviously a lot of discussion over penalties. Why wouldn’t there be? The Uruguayan goalkeeper Sergio Rochet obviously tripped Mohammed Kudus, but André Ayew was initially adjudged to be offside.

The penalty was given automatically when VAR demonstrated that Mathias Olivera’s heel had played him just slightly onside. However, his kick was poor and was easily parried.

Then, shortly before the hour, Daniel Amartey challenged Darwin Nez, who lost. When Siebert was asked to check the screen, he declined, which was rare, and indicated that he had observed a faint contact on the ball.

It was a choice that ultimately determined Uruguay’s goal differential; if it had been made and scored, they would have advanced. The game had already lost all shape and had devolved into a frenzied slugfest when Edinson Cavani had another great chance in stoppage time after learning that South Korea had defeated Portugal.

The opportunity had been there for Ghana, who led by two points at the start of the game, but it was lost.

What happened next seemed to be inevitable. Few teams are as adept at reading the tension in a game as Uruguay. Uruguay grew as Ghana stumbled. Lawrence Ati-Zigi partially blocked Suárez’s shot after Mohammed Salisu had already cleared Nez’s line. Although Giorgian de Arrascaeta nodded across the line from close range, the ball was probably spinning in any case.

After a deft Suárez flick, he scored his second goal six minutes later, volleying it crisply home.

Despite being 35 years old and with a growing belly under his shirt, he still has magic in his touch and head, maybe most notably when the opposing team’s fans get the blood pumping.

And the rage against South Korea that had mysteriously subsided was returning. Before being removed after 65 minutes, he shouted at the referees, pounded Salisu, and placed his body in the way to win free kicks. He had defeated them once more.

Also read: ‘It’s cheap to blame Ayew for the missed penalty’- Kudus

The devil may never be really finished, but this time it just wasn’t enough. Seeing him crying on the large screen brought on happy jeers. Ghana had left, but at least the devil had accompanied them.


Source: The Guardian

DISCLAIMER: Clicks ‘n Likes does not own the copyright to most of the News, Opinions, Write-ups, and Views on their platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>