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Locked [Sports] A 12-year grudge: Ghana eager to avenge 2010 Uruguay defeat.


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Ghana fans

Ghana and Uruguay meet in World Cup 2022 with an added importance for both sides.

While La Celeste, currently sitting bottom of the table, need a massive win to go through, a win or draw by the Black Stars will knock their opponents out of the 2022 World Cup.

For millions of Ghanaians – and other Africans – the latter outcome would be predestined fate because of a 12-year-old grudge from the last competitive meeting between the two sides, at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

After a 1-1 draw between both sides, Ghana went on to lose 4-2 in a penalty shootout. But given the drama in the game, they felt aggrieved.

Fans are hoping that the Black Stars can take their pound of flesh, especially as veteran Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, the chief antagonist in that game, is still involved for his side.

“I haven’t forgotten about that game,” Accra-based fan Enoch Kofi Boakye told Al Jazeera. “It hurt me in 2010 and even after all these years, it still hurts when I remember what Suarez did.”

Ghana's Mohammed Kudus celebrates scoring their second goal

suarez

Suarez himself has added flames to the fire by calling the match against Ghana a do-or-die one. “We are going to put our lives and soul in this last match,” he said earlier this week.

“Ghana is a good team but we know them, we have beaten them before and we know how to beat them again.”

Of the five African teams present – hosts South Africa included – when the continent first hosted the tournament in 2010, only the Black Stars went from the group stage, reaching the quarter-finals for the second time (the 2010 World Cup was the only time Ghana reached the quarter-finals) in their second appearance at the World Cup.

So, when they eventually tumbled against Uruguay, the mood across the continent deflated.

Ghana put in such good performances that they were starting to make people believe. Having qualified from a group that contained Germany, Serbia, and Australia, the Black Stars dispatched the USA in the round of 16.

That set up a date with Uruguay in the quarter-finals. In the first half, the team secured a lead following a 35-yard belter from Sulley Muntari. But that was as good as it got.

A well-drilled Uruguay restored parity after the break, thanks to Diego Forlan’s dipping free-kick, and they would go on to knock Ghana out of the tournament via penalties.

In all these, two names stole the headlines: star forward Asamoah Gyan for missing a penalty in the last minute of extra time that would have seen Ghana become the first African team to reach the last four of the World Cup, and Suarez, for preventing a goal-bound effort from striker Dominic Adiyiah in the 119th minute with his hand.

Even though Suarez was red-carded for that, his wild celebrations on the touchline when Gyan hit the crossbar from 12 yards made him a villain for millions of Ghanaians but a hero back in South America.

Ahead of Friday’s game, Suarez has also refused to apologise.

“The emotions from that night are still fresh. Honestly, it still hurts,” said Daniel Koranteng, a sports journalist with Accra-based Citi TV. “Ghanaians will never forget Suarez. It would’ve been easier to forgive had it been a tackle in the box. But the fact that he denied Ghana a clear goal-bound effort, effectively turning Asamoah Gyan into a villain, is something that can’t be forgiven.”

Source https://www.aljazeera.com/sports/2022/12/2/12-years-a-grudge-ghana-eager-to-revenge-dramatic-uruguay-defeat

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