- Former Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has defended Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for his infamous handball in the 2010 World Cup
- Gyan said Suarez did what he had to do and he would have done the same for his country
- Suarez stopped a goalbound effort, got a red card and Gyan missed the resulting penalty, which knocked them out of the tournament
Former Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has said that although the pain of missing that penalty against Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup still haunts him, he acknowledged that Luis Suarez did what he had to do to help his country.
Ghana played Uruguay in the quarter-final of the 2010 edition in Johannesburg, a match that will go down as the most dramatic in World Cup history. Ghana face Uruguay in this year's tournament.
During the match, a header from Dominic Adiyiah, destined to go in, was spectacularly stopped by Luis Suarez with his hands deep into injury time of extra time.
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The Black Stars were awarded a penalty, of course. Africans all over the world held their breath, expecting a goal from Gyan. The striker stepped up to take it. Gyan smacked the Jabulani against the bar, and the stadium went silent.
In hindsight, it was a golden opportunity for Ghana to become the first African team to reach the last four. Suarez was unapologetic for his actions, but Ghanaians have never forgiven him, according to SI.
The game ended 1-1, and the South Americans won on penalties.
Gyan defends Suarez
Speaking to Talksport, Gyan said the former Liverpool striker did what he needed to do to help his country, no matter how painful it was for Ghanaian fans.
“I always say if I was Suarez I would have done the same thing to save my country. He’s a hero there. Although people see him as a cheat, he did what he had to do to get his country to the semi-final. People do hate him, but I’m in the game as well. He did what he had to do to get his country to the semi-final."Subscribe to watch new videos
Gyan painfully admits that missing the penalty is something that will stick in his mind.
“It has been [more than] 10 years now and it still sticks in my mind. It is a pain that I have to live with.”
Coincidentally, Ghana and Uruguay have been drawn into the same group at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, alongside Portugal and South Korea.
Ghana calls for patience
Sports Brief earlier reported on Gyan asking Ghanain fans not to judge the team until they've played their first game at the World Cup.
The former Sunderland striker did not make the team for the World Cup following his inactivity.
Ghana will face Portugal, South Korea and inaugural World Cup winner Uruguay in Group H in Qatar.
Source: Sports Brief News