Hi there. I'm Guido, Bleacher Report writer, and I will be your guide through this crucial quarter final match between Uruguay and Ghana.
At the start of this tournament, who would have predicted either team to get as far as a semi-final?
This match will determine who will play the Dutch in the semi-finals. Will it be Uruguay, backed by the formidable Forlan-Suarez match-up upfront? Or will Ghana keep the dream of an entire continent alive?
So, if you can’t get to a TV, why not follow all the drama and excitement right here on Bleacher Report? Join the conversation and banter by posting your comments below the article; I promise to respond within minutes.
The lottery commences
Penalty shout-outs are a lottery, so may the most fortunate side win.
Richard Kingson versus Diego Forlan, the Uruguay captain, the man who already scored in this match.
Forlan looks cool as he runs up to the ball and he places the ball in the back of the net, no chance for Kingson.
1-0 to Uruguay.
Fernando Muslera versus Asamoah Gyan, the man who failed to shoot Ghana into the semi final just minutes earlier.
Asamoah Gyan blasts the ball into the back of the net, no chance for Muslera.
Victorino steps up for Uruguay and hammers the ball into the top corner. No finesse there, just raw power.
2-1 to Uruguay.
Stephen Appiah, the veteran midfielder, fires up the crowd, before shooting the ball in. Muslera came close.
Scotti shoots it down the middle, but Kingson picked a corner.
3-2 to Uruguay.
John Mensah, Ghana's captain steps up. The hopes of a continent rest on his broad shoulders but Mensah misses his spot-kick. No conviction behind that shot.
3-2 to Uruguay still.
Maxi Perreira steps up for Uruguay, but he balloons it! That ball must have ended up in Soweto, awful effort by Perreira.
3-2 to Uruguay still.
Adiyiah looks to equalise but Ghana's young forward misses his spot kick and a chance to equalise for Ghana. Muslera saves a second penalty.
3-2 to Uruguay still.
Sebastian Abreu, El Loco, steps up for the possibly decisive penalty. If he bags this, Abreu sends Uruguay into a semi final against the Dutch. He looks cool and composed, before pulling off a Panenka penalty and chipping the ball down the middle.
4-2 to Uruguay, Uruguay progress to the semi finals and Africa weeps for Ghana, as the Black Stars crash out in an epic fashion.
Muslera versus Kingson in the penalty shoot-out
Let's see where this leads then. Fernando Muslera and Richard Kingson, the spot lights are aimed at you, this is your chance to step up and become immortal heroes, legends in World Cup history before the eyes of the world. Come on lads, make this an epic shoot-out!
What a Hitchcock ending to this match! (120 minutes into the game)
Seriously, Alfred Hitchcock could have written the script to this match. First, we saw a pinball kind of play, where the ball was cleared off the line twice by someone who wasn't a keeper, once with a header, once with a hand-ball.
The handball led to Luis Suarez being sent off and a penalty being awarded to Ghana. The chance to prevent the lottery that is a penalty shoot-out rested on the shoulders of Ghana's top goal-scorer, Asamoah Gyan.
The Rennes forward missed the penalty though, blasting the ball off the bar. An entire continent screams in disappointment, as Ghana was a few inches away from a spot in the semi finals there. We now move onto a penalty shoot-out.
Ghana nearly did a Delap there! (118 minutes into the game)
Ghana nearly scored from a throw-in there, Delap style. Unlucky deflection by a Uruguay defender leads to a chance for Prince-Boateng, who heads it over. For reference, this is what I meant by a Delap throw-in.
Ghana nearly force a winner in! (115 minutes into the game)
Asamoah Gyan nearly pounced on poorly defended cross, but Scotti managed to clear it, though he nearly scored an own goal there.
Some hit and miss shooting from both sides (114 minutes into the game)
Both sides are trying to score a goal, but they lack the energy perhaps luck to score that decisive goal. Forlan and Appiah came close to a goal, but even their shots missed power or accuracy.
Vuvuzela's in concert (110 minutes into the game)
Whenever Ghana get near the Uruguay goal, the vuvuzela's crank it up a notch. Guess the home crowd favours Ghana... Ghana could become the first African team ever to reach the semi finals of a World Cup.
Use your wingers, Tabarez! (107 minutes into the game)
If you really insist on fielding that Heskey-like donkey Abreu, at least service him by pumping crosses into the box, so get your wingers into play.
Half-time in over-time (105 minutes into the game)
Not much happening at the moment though.
Kingson fumbles again (104 minutes into the game)
What a strange keeper. He has some cat-like reflexes, but he is also prone to making some very weird mistakes, like just now, where he nearly fumbled a low cross by Lodeiro into the patch of a forward. He recovers the ball in time, but his antics must be cause for concern for Ghana. I'd get a cardiac arrest from a keeper like that...
Abreu looks utterly useless upfront (102 minutes into the game)
I think he only managed one or two touches so far and a pretty pathetic dive just now. He should have gotten a yellow card for that.
Both teams look tired (98 minutes into the game)
The energy is being drained from both sides. The passing is getting sloppier, the runs look less energetic. Could be bad news for either teams next round game.
Ghana takes the initiative (93 minutes into the game)
The African side is playing more aggressive since the start of over-time. Why haven't you played like this from the start?
Abreu looks rather static (90+3 minutes into the game)
Not sure if bringing on Abreu was a good idea. He looks rather static, whereas Uruguay's best plays involved intelligent runs by the forwards. Abreu looks far too static upfront, thus easy to defend for Ghana.
Looks like we're heading for over-time (90 minutes into the game)
Whilst Uruguay still dominate, neither side has managed to force in a winning goal so far.
Muntari comes off (88 minutes into the game)
And Dominick Adiyiah comes on, Ghana's hero of the U19 World Cup, who will be at AC Milan after the summer. An extra forward, go Rajevac, playing to win!
Fatigue influences accuracy (84 minutes into the game)
Both teams are getting tired it seems, the amount of completed passes is dropping faster than Arjen Robben versus Brazil.
Gyan and Fucile are cuddling (81 minutes into the game)
Seems way too warm to cuddle like that, but it looked really sweet. They looked so intimate...
In case you missed my attempt at sarcasm, Fucile and Gyan were pulling at each others shirts.
Cheeky header by Suarez (78 minutes into the game)
Such an intelligent player. He may not be the fastest, tallest or strongest player, but he is always in the right place and he always manages to get a few shots off. Kingson saves though.
El Loco enters the fray (76 minutes into the game)
Sebastian Abreu comes on for Edison Cavani. Uruguay bring on a tall, powerful striker. Should be nice to see if Uruguay can provide him with proper crosses.
Stephen Appiah comes onto the pitch (74 minutes into the game)
Inkoom comes off and Appiah, the experienced midfielder, comes on.
Uruguay should press home (72 minutes into the game)
The Albiceleste look dominant once more, but they really should press home their midfield advantage, before Ghana pegs them again on the counter-attack.
Scotti cannot contain Gyan (68 minutes into the game)
Andres Scotti, who came on to replace the injured Diego Lugano, looks unable to cope with the raw pace and power of Asamoah Gyan. Scotti keeps fouling the African forward and this won't end well at this rate. If Gyan gets more involved, Ghana will become stronger.
Forlan and Suarez nearly tear up the Ghana defence (65 minutes into the game)
All those intelligent runs by Forlan and Suarez (and to some extent Cavani) is causing heaps of trouble for Ghana, who seem utterly clueless about how to defend. There will come a time when Suarez is not off-side, in which case Ghana is in big trouble.
And that is why he's Wigan's third choice goalie... (62 minutes into the game)
Kingson just lets some half-arsed shot slip under his foot for a corner. Good thing that didn't go in, or he'd be crucified upon arrival back home. He looked so reliable in previous matches, but he looks clueless today.
Uruguay are giving away a lot of space (60 minutes into the game)
Uruguay look to press on for a second goal, which seems to be playing right into Ghana's hand. The Africans want the other side to attack and give away more space.
Forlan equalises, Kingson blunders (55 minutes into the game)
Diego Forlan scores his third World Cup goal as he curls a free kick past the wall and over Kingson. Seriously though, the keeper should have saved that... Uruguay back in this with a shout!
Lugano, now there's a true skipper (52 minutes into the game)
Even though he was taken off due to injury, he still tries to inspire his team from the side-lines with wild gestures and cheering. I like that, a real team player who cares about his team.
Ghana players try to go through their opponents (50 minutes into the game)
Just a physics lesson, chaps. Human beings are pretty solid, you can't go through them yourself or shoot a ball through them. It won't work unless they move out of the way, which they usually won't do.
And we're off for the second half! (46 minutes into the game)
I hope both sides will continue to play forward and go for goals. Fernandez is replaced by Lodeiro in the Uruguay team.
Uruguay started strong and dominated early on, with Diego Forlan running the show. The South Americans got a few chances early on, with Kingson saving all efforts eventually.
After that, the Uruguay side started to look complacent and cocky. It was almost as if they thought that the goal would come eventually. They dropped the pace and Ghana pounced and took over.
The African's pushed up their defence a bit and looked more aggressive in midfield. This led to the a few chances for Ghana and eventually the opening goal, where Lazio goalie Fernando Muslera looked rather poor in terms of concentration and positioning.
Muntari scores with a long range effort (45+2 minutes into the game)
Epic mistake by Muslera, who gets beaten by a long range effort by Sulley Muntari. Seriously, no keeper should ever let a shot like that fly in. Loss of concentration probably.
Boateng nearly scored there (45 minutes into the game)
Kevin Prince-Boateng connects to a cross with a bicycle kick. Spectacular effort, but wide of the target. Looked nice though. More of this please.
Fucile goes down (43 minutes into the game)
OUCH!!! That hurt me just looking at it. Inkoom pushes Fucile, who lands on his neck and takes a serious beating there. Painful.
Vorsah and Suarez are bickering (41 minutes into the game)
And the referee decides to have a word with the both of them. Doubt it will help much, but at least they've been warned.
There goes the skipper (38 minutes into the game)
Andres Scotti replaces skipper Diego Lugano. Shame, Lugano is probably Uruguay's best defender. I wonder if Gyan can benefit.
Ghana taking over the midfield (35 minutes into the game)
Uruguay dominated the opening half hour of this game, but the Black Stars have taken over the midfield and are starting to create more and more chances. Looks like Ghana have pushed up their defence and midfield a bit more, pressuring the Uruguay midfield and using their own natural strong physique to dominate midfield. On the downside, they are giving away more space at the back.
Nice Ghana counter! (31 minutes into the game)
Asamoah Gyan gets on the end of a free-flowing Ghana counter, but his shot misses the target by a few inches.
Set piece opportunity for Ghana! (30 minutes into the game)
Looks like Ghana have found a potential weapon there. Those strong and tall Africans look menacing in the air, Vorsah just heads a corner over the goal.
Lugano looks injured (27 minutes into the game)
After a collission with a Ghanian defender, Diego Lugano stays on the floor for a bit. Hope he's not injured, they need him at the back.
Gyan looks isolated (24 minutes into the game)
With Inkoom and Muntari being rather defense-minded, Ayew missing from the line-up and Prince-Boateng and Asamoah marked well, Ghana are struggling to feed passes to Asamoah Gyan and link up with him if they do reach him. This is what Team USA should have done.
Fucile suspended for the next match (20 minutes into the game)
Bit harsh that... It was a foul, but not a yellow card.
Good save by Kingson (19 minutes into the game)
Richard Kingson saves an effort by one of his own defenders, who nearly deflects a corner into the net. Nice close-range save there.
Forlan is running the show for Uruguay (16 minutes into the game)
He's absolutely vital for Uruguay with his build-up passing, intelligent runs and clever set pieces. If Ghana want to progress, they should really look at limiting the amount of space Forlan gets.
Kingson saved by the referee (13 minutes into the game)
Some fumbling on a high ball there, but Kingson gets saved by the referee, who called that a foul instead of Kingson just jumping into a static forward.
Rajevac is gesturing wildly already (10 minutes into the game)
Is he playing a game of Charades or is he coaching? Use your voice, mate. There's no way the vuvuzela's drown you out completely. It also seems a bit early to be that wild in your coaching, especially since the score is tied at 0-0 with 10 minutes gone.
Pretty evenly matched so far (7 minutes into the game)
This particular match looks rather balanced so far. Neither side has managed to dominate so far, though I like the way Uruguay play so far. More technically skilled, less reliant on physique.
Uruguay playing wide and high up the pitch initially (3 minutes into the game)
Looks like Uruguay's wing-backs are moving forward a lot, and the two forwards are both dropping wide, occupying a centre-back and wing-back each, which opens up space for Forlan to run into... Forlan is such an intelligent player, he can create havoc if they keep creating space for him like this.
And we're off! (kick-off)
Let's hope for a good game, people!
The world unites against racism (3 minutes before kick-off)
Nice touch that. Now let's hope both teams don't act like arses out there tonight and ruin that message by unsportsmanlike conduct.
Ghana need an answer to Diego Forlan. When they played against Germany, they allowed Mesut Özil tons of space to play in between the lines and that came back to haunt Ghana.
Forlan plays in a similar role for Uruguay so they really need someone to pick up on Forlan, or he could do the same to the Black Stars as Özil did before.
Uruguay will have an abundance of defenders to cover the lone Ghanian striker Asamoah Gyan, so it will be interesting to see what the South American wing-backs will do this match.
I expect them to bomb forward when possible, leaving the midfielders Arevalo and Perez to deal with the runs from the Ghanian midfield, where Prince-Boateng and Asamoah will be looking to link up with Gyan upfront.
If Uruguay can maintain a wide formation, I can see them taking the win here against a very sturdy Ghanian side.
Ghana will struggle to get Gyan involved, especially when covered well by the very experienced Uruguayan defence.
[ 4-3-1-2 ] [ 4-4-1-1 ] Néstor Muslera Richard Kingson Maximiliano Pereira John Pantsil Diego Lugano Isaac Vorsah Mauricio Victorino John Mensah Jorge Fucile Hans Sarpei Egidio Arévalo Samuel Inkoom Diego Pérez Anthony Annan Alvaro Fernández Kwadwo Asamoah Diego Forlan Sulley Ali Muntari Luiz Suarez Kevin-Prince Boateng Edison Cavani Asamoah Gyan
Ghana Pre-view; Will A Defensive Approach Pay Off For The Black Stars?
The Ghanians haven't excited us all with attacking football so far, but they have looked pretty solid in defence so far. The setup Ghana will use for this quarter final will also be a defensive one.
With Jonathan Mensah and André Ayew suspended, Ghana's Rajevac will opt for Vorsah and Muntari in his starting line-up. In the case of Mensah and Vorsah, it's a straight swap. One defender off, one defender on. Muntari however is a much more defense-minded midfielder compared to Ayew.
When you keep in mind that Ghana are using Inkoom, a defender, as a right midfielder, you will understand why I have classed Ghana's style of play as very defensive. I expect them to try the same trick they played against the USA, drop deep, absorb the pressure and counter-attack, whilst harassing the midfielders as soon as they cross the half-way line.
Uruguay Pre-view; Can Forlan And Suarez Keep Up Their Good Form?
Both these players have been instrumental for Uruguay so far, Suarez as the goal-scorer and Forlan as the play-maker, who involves himself heavily in the build-up of every attack.
Uruguay will look to build on these two players, fielding their trusted formation. A few changes will be made, as Diego Godin is injured and Alvaro Perreira will probably be replaced by Alvaro Perez.
I can see Uruguay involving Forlan heavily in their build-up play, since Ghana lack an intelligent defensive midfielder who can pick up on Forlan's intelligent runs. Brute force and tough tackling won't be enough to stop Forlan.
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