Asamoah Gyan Turns Villain As He Blasts African Hopes Past the Post

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IJuly 2, 2010

On a day that saw the mighty Brazilians ousted from the World Cup, another fairytale story came to an end, as Ghana lost out to Uruguay on the penalties.

The only African country in the quarterfinals had huge hopes resting upon them, as the whole African continent was supporting the Black Stars to shine bright and progress further.

This was Ghana's chance to make history, but a penalty miss from Asamoah Gyan in the dying minutes left the Africans' dreams in shatters and Gyan in tears.

The match was a not as exciting as the earlier one in the day, but nevertheless, it was a superb display of determination, luck, and football. The high-flying Black Stars took the lead in the last moments of the first-half, courtesy of a superb Suley Muntari goal.

Uruguay levelled with a goal from the in-form Diego Forlan in the 55th minute. Both teams played impressively and with full confidence. Ghana had a host of chances but they failed to convert them. Their inability to finish a good move made their undoing and the two teams were tied in normal time.

During the extra time, Ghana and Uruguay both created some good chances but failed to utilise them properly in their advantage. Then in the last minute of extra time, a melee in front of the goal forced the talented Luis Suarez to commit a handball.

Ghana's star striker Asamoah Gyan took the ensuing penalty resulting from the handball and he missed his chance as he hit the ball in the crossbar. With his miss, Africa's dreams of further progress were undone. Gyan will rue the missed penalty for the rest of his life because it would have meant a certain semifinal spot for Ghana and a place for them in history.

Whereas Gyan turned villain as he missed the penalty, that handball turned out to be the most crucial mistake committed for the good, as it saved the certain goal and Uruguay won the game in the penalty shootout and will now face Netherlands in the semifinals.

While Gyan will have to take responsibility for shattering African dreams, Uruguay's Luis Suarez emerged as the hero. He took a red card and indirectly helped his team win the match.

Another Uruguayan hero is their shot stopper Fernando Muslera. He stopped Ghanaian captain John Mensah and Adiyiah's shots to help his team book their semifinal berth.

The end of the match showed contrasting pictures, as jubilant Uruguay celebrated their victory while Africa's charismatic Black Stars were in tears. Asamoah will rue his penalty miss, as that miss took away their chance of creating history.

But football is about all of these emotions and the Africans should be proud of their achievements so far.