World Cup 2010 - Uruguay break Ghana hearts

Fri, 02 Jul 22:25:00 2010

Uruguay beat Ghana 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in a World Cup quarter-final that will be forever recalled for Asamoah Gyan's missed penalty in the final minute of extra-time.

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Gyan slammed the ball off the bar and over after Luis Suarez was sent off for handling Dominic Adiyiah's header on the line in the final seconds of a frantic contest at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

Sebastian Abreu slotted the decisive penalty in the shootout after Ghana's John Mensah and Adiyiah had tame efforts saved by keeper Fernando Muslera and Maxi Pereira had thumped over the bar for Uruguay.

Ghana went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Sulley Muntari smashed a shot in from 30 yards that dipped and swerved before nestling in the net beyond the floundering Muslera.

The South Americans equalised on 55 minutes when Diego Forlan walloped in a superb free-kick from 25 yards.

All four of Forlan’s World Cup goals since 2002 have come against African sides.

Uruguay will meet the Netherlands in the first semi-final in Cape Town on Tuesday after the Dutch managed to upset Brazil 2-1 earlier in the afternoon.

The first period was almost a half of two halves as Uruguay made the brighter start before fading.

The lively Suarez had their first serious attempt on goal on 10 minutes when he thumped in a shot that was well blocked by keeper Richard Kingson.

Edinson Cavani flicked on a Forlan corner moments later as the ball unwittingly came back off the head of Kingson from Mensah.

Uruguay's best move of the half saw Suarez turn the Ghana defence, but his shot was brilliantly swatted over by Kingson.

The tide began to turn in Ghana's favour when Isaac Vorsah outjumped Diego Lugano, but saw his header fly wide of the target.

Suddenly Ghana had come to life and they were unfortunate when Gyan scampered away only to knock wide of goal.

Uruguay captain Lugano suffered a leg injury and was replaced by Andres Scotti before Muntari struck in the final minute of the half.

Forlan restored parity with his free-kick, but Ghana were hardly finished in their bid to become the first African nation in World Cup history to reach the last four.

Gyan's shot on 57 minutes was kept out by Muslera. Kingson did likewise to halt a Suarez effort on 69 minutes as the game hurtled into extra-time.

Both teams looked dead on their feet, but Ghana dodged a bullet when John Pantsil clearly brought down Abreu on 102 minutes in the box only for the referee to wave play on.

Scotti then narrowly avoided an own goal as Pereira knocked off his line with Muslera beaten. The impressive Kevin Prince-Boateng nodded wide before the mayhem broke out in the dying seconds that saw Suarez sent off.

Gyan bravely converted in the shootout but it proved insignificant as Abreu coolly chipped down the middle to conclude the match in Uruguay's favour.

Ghana had 56 shots off target at this tournament, more than any other side at the 2010 World Cup, but it is a solitary attempt on goal that they will be left to rue when they reflect upon what has been the most stout campaign of any African participant at these finals.

Match Facts (90 minutes)

Uruguay v Ghana

Goals 1-1

1st Half Goals 0-1

Shots on Target 7-3

Shots off Target 7-15

Blocked Shots 1-6

Corners 12-8

Fouls 23-23

Offsides 6-1

Yellow Cards 3-3

Red Cards 1-0

Passing Success 66.9%-74%

Tackles 31-26

Tackles Success 74.2%-73.1%

Possession 43.2%-56.8%

Territorial Advantage 46.2%-53.8%

Desmond Kane / Eurosport

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