Ghana want Suarez’s ‘revenge’ against Uruguay after 2010 trauma
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Black Stars fans are white-hot. In all of Accra’s fan zones, pubs and even the humblest street stands equipped with small televisions, they cheered their team that beat Switzerland (2-0) in a friendly just before the World Cup, shouting and dancing when they thought it was him. He booed Ronaldo and his controversial penalty against Portugal on November 24, even crying when Inaki Williams stumbled and missed a last-gasp chance to equalize (3-2).
The Ayew brothers’ side have since beaten South Korea (3-2) on Monday, November 28, but fans are unanimous that this is a warm-up for the much-anticipated clash against Uruguay on December 2. . Because Ghana wants to take revenge for twelve years now. “ I remember like it was yesterday – moaned 48-year-old chartered accountant Eugene Sonapack. Ghanaians were heartbroken. It is a trauma, the word is not too strong. »
Summer 2010. Ghana plays in South Africa, the first ever World Cup organized on the African continent. The Black Stars finished second behind Germany in Group D, but ahead of Australia and Serbia. In the round of 16, they eliminated the USA in extra time (2-1), joining Cameroon (1990) and Senegal (2002) in a very limited club of African teams to achieve such a performance.
“It bordered on unrepentant sadness”
On July 2, 2010, all of Africa rallied behind Ghana to face Uruguay in Johannesburg, led by a top trio: star Diego Forlan and hopefuls Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. The teams are neck and neck. Black Stars midfielder Sulley Muntari opened the scoring with a long shot before half time.
“In the second half, we thought we would widen the gap, but the opposite happened. Eugene Sonapack says. at 10e minute Celeste equalized with a free kick courtesy of Diego Forlan, a player I have always admired. [Diego Forlan sera sacré meilleur joueur du Mondial]. The match ended in a draw, we had to go to extra time. »
Two teams cannot decide between themselves: 120e The minute of the game comes, the referee prepares to blow the whistle for the end of the match, everyone prepares for the penalty shootout. But in 121e In the minute, Ghanaian Stephen Appiah shoots, Luis Suarez returns the ball to Dominic Adiyiah who heads it. The ball flies towards the net, but Suarez saves it with both hands.
“Obviously the Ghanaian players ran to the referee”, Eugene continues. Red card, penalty. Suarez is the star of the Ghana team, who appeared in front of the goal after being sent off. For the first time in history, Asamoah Gyan was able to send an African country to the last four of the World Cup.
But the pressure is too strong and Gyan trembles. “It was a good shot, it sent the keeper the wrong way. Unfortunately, the ball hit the post…” Suarez, who left the field, is happy. The match is decided on penalties and Uruguay defeats Ghana (1-1, 4-2 on penalties).
“It’s like breaking your heart. There were literally stories of fans dying of heart attacks at the end of the game! » Pro-Ghana in 2010
“I’m devastated, and so are we recalls Robert Osei, 33, director of an NGO in Accra. You know, that kind of sadness is beyond the limit… You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, it’s like your heart is broken. We literally heard stories of fans dying of heart attacks at the end of the match! »
“We have never forgiven”
At the university where Robert Osei was studying at the time, and in the rest of the capital, the atmosphere was gloomy. It is also broadcast from television and radio stations. “ Of course, we were upset, but also angry. First up was Asamoah Gyan, who missed the penalty – although we forgave him as time went on. On the other hand, we have never forgiven Suarez. »
Uruguayan striker Gana still has this hand on his throat. “Honestly, we are not interested in our other opponents in the group. Mr. Osei continues. The only thing that matters is that we face the Celestials on December 2nd. We want our revenge. This is called a do or die : The Black Stars have to win, there is no other option. »
It doesn’t matter that Ghana is the youngest team in the tournament (24 years and 7 months on average) and that most of the current players were pre-teens in 2010. The trauma is passed down through the generations. That’s good: While Ghanaian captain André Ayew is one of the veterans of the 2010 South African saga, Diego Alonso rightly chose Suarez for last selection.
If the Ghanaian captain tried to calm the situation by making a statement to the press “We should not take this match as revenge”, no one made a mistake. Ghana Football Federation President Kurt Okraku called on his team to do so “set the record straight”, and former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama (2012-2017) demanded from the Black Stars. “Give Suarez a run for his money!” »
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