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Ghana Have The Chance To Get Revenge On Luis Suarez At The World Cup

Ryan Sidle

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Ghana Have The Chance To Get Revenge On Luis Suarez At The World Cup

Featured Image Credit: PA

"The Hand of God now belongs to me," said Luis Suarez after his goalline handball stopped Ghana's late winner and led to Uruguay qualifying for the 2010 World Cup semi-final.

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"I made the best save of the tournament," he added. "Sometimes in training I play as a goalkeeper, so it was worth it."

In the 2010 World Cup quarter final, Suarez denied Ghana with the chance to become the first ever African team to qualify for the semi-finals of any World Cup.

The tournament that summer was being held in South Africa, the first one on the continent, and Milovan Rajevac's were the only side from the continent to make the knockouts.

They beat South Korea in the last 16, to set up a game against Uruguay and had a chance at making history, with most of the world cheering them on.

The game was 1-1 at the end of extra time, Diego Forlan's free-kick cancelling out Sulley Muntari's strike, with the crazy Jabulani ball swerving all over the place for both goals.

There was a goalmouth scramble as Ghana searched for a late winner and Suarez actually made a brilliant clearance with his knee, before Adiyah returned the ball, when the then Ajax striker pulled off one of the most dastardly moments in football history.

With no other option to stop the goal, Suarez made a save any top keeper would have been proud of, as he scooped the ball away from goal with his hands.

"It was just instinct. Any player would have done the same - not just me," he said bullishly afterwards.

The football world was divided afterwards. Some felt heartbroken on behalf of Ghana and disgust at how unrepentant Suarez was, with his touchline celebration after the missed penalty the icing on a rancid cake.

Others pointed out that this is exactly what you would want from a player in your own team: sacrificing himself, accepting a red card and a ban just to try to get his team into the next round.

"Some people have accused me of a lack of sportsmanship," Suarez acknowledged later. "But I think it's worse if a player suffers an injury when he's stopped by a back tackle because he's about to score."

He obviously received his marching orders for the moment and Ghana had the chance to win the game from the spot, only for Asamoah Gyan to hit the crossbar.

What made the moment even less palatable was the villain of the piece celebrating on the sidelines, rather than going down the tunnel.

Gyan's penalty thumps against the bar. Image: PA Images
Gyan's penalty thumps against the bar. Image: PA Images

The South Americans went on to win the shoot-out, with Gyan at least making up for his miss moments earlier by scoring his attempt, and Suarez had his moment.

On Friday, Ghana were handed their chance to get retribution 12 years later, as FIFA and the delegates met for the draw for this winter's World Cup.

The two sides were drawn together in Group H, alongside Portugal and South Korea, and the way it played out they will meet each other in the final game of the group stages, on December 2nd.

That could legitimately lead to scenario where the winner knocks their opponent out of the competition, and there's likely nothing Ghana would want more than to see the back of Suarez 12 years on.

Topics: Luis Suarez, Football World Cup, Qatar, Ghana, Uruguay

Ryan Sidle
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