Friday’s World Cup match between Ghana and Uruguay features a rematch of one of the
tensest contests ever.
Otto Addo, the Ghana coach, remarked that “that was a really, really long time ago.”
Maybe, but for a lot of Ghanaians, the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal loss to Uruguay is still a
fresh and terrible memory.
Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker, intentionally touched the goal line at the end of extra
time, preventing Ghana from scoring and from becoming the first African country to advance
to the semifinals. Suarez was dismissed for the handball, but when Asamoah Gyan blasted the
ensuing penalty off the crossbar, he erupted in frenzied celebration on the sidelines. The
subsequent penalty shootout was won by Uruguay.
Even worse, after the 2010 game, Suarez said, “Truth is, it was worth it.”
Ghana now has a chance to make amends after twelve years. Ghana would advance to the
round of 16 and eliminate Uruguay from the competition if they defeated Uruguay in their
last Group H game.
Addo made an effort to portray the encounter in Al Wakrah as a “regular game,” despite the
fact that it has been marked as one to watch ever before the World Cup draw was made in
April. For the first time since 2010, Ghana must win in Al Wakrah to be confident of
progressing past the group stage.
Ghana just defeated South Korea in an exciting 3-2 victory. Depending on how South Korea
plays against Portugal, a draw might possibly be sufficient.
The only member of Ghana’s 2010 team still playing in Qatar is captain Andre Ayew.
There are a few in Uruguay, notably the 35-year-old Suarez, who is likely playing in his final
World Cup before wrapping up a career that once had him hailed as one of the best forwards
in the world. He won Spanish league championships, a Champions League trophy, and the
Copa America with Uruguay.
Suarez has developed a reputation as one of the most divisive players in the game and has
been penalized three times for biting opponents, including a four-month suspension for biting
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.