Flashback of Ghana's Cold War Against Uruguay

Flashback of Ghana's Cold War Against Uruguay

That night was a very emotional night for all Ghanaians. How could they not, their hopes of becoming the first African country to qualify for the semifinals of the world cup had to vanish with all the controversies that occurred.

on the other hand, Uruguay who at that time became the opponent of Ghana rejoiced. Because, they were able to beat Ghana 'only' with 10 players at the end of the second half plus extra time for two rounds and penalties.

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That day, July 2 2010, at Soccer City, Johannesburg, was a silent witness for the two countries to start their cold war. At that time the 2010 World Cup quarter-final match was underway in South Africa. The game will always be remembered both good and bad in the history of football in the world.

Mighty Ghana

At the 2010 World Cup at that time, it was Ghana's second appearance at the highest event in the world. Previously, they first qualified for the World Cup in 2006. At that time they were joined in a group with Italy, Czech Republic and America.

Surprisingly they managed to qualify to accompany Italy to the next round. But unfortunately, their miracle only reached the round of 16 before finally being defeated by Brazil with a landslide score of 3-0. But these results are seen as impressive considering they only made their debut for the first time playing in the world cup.

In the next edition, precisely at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, The Black Star came with his young squad. They became the country of contestants with the youngest average age among other contestants with an average of 23 years 352 days.

The courage of Milovan Rajevac, the Ghana coach at that time, brought young players because that year, Ghana U-20 won the Youth Africa Cup of Nations and the U-20 World Cup. Their young stars at that time who were eventually brought to South Africa included: Andre Ayew, Jonathan Mensah, Dominic Adiyiah, Samuel Inkoom and Daniel Agyei.

Flashback of Ghana's Cold War Against Uruguay
Source: Pulse Ghana

At that time, Ghana was in Group D along with Germany, Australia and Serbia. In the end, Ghana managed to qualify from the group accompanying Germany as group winners after collecting 4 points with Australia. They are only superior on goal difference so they can advance to the last 16.

In the round of 16, they faced America. In that match, at first it was a 1-1 draw until normal time ended. Then just at the start of the first round of extra time, Asamoah Gyan scored and brought Ghana past their record to advance to the quarter-finals after only reaching the round of 16 in the previous edition.

That's how the trip The Black Stars made a story in the 2010 World Cup before finally meeting with Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Uruguayan Revival

In contrast to Ghana, which is still relatively new to the world cup title, Uruguay is a country that is already familiar with this championship. They even triumphed in the 1930s when they became champions in the same year.

They came to South Africa in 2010 in high spirits after their previous spell of setbacks. Unexpectedly, they lost on playoff The 2006 World Cup against Australia which made them miss the 2006 World Cup.

After appointing Óscar Tabárez as coach, Uruguay slowly began to find its strengths. In the 2010 World Cup qualifiers they managed to get rid of Costa Rica in the round playoff.

Flashback of Ghana's Cold War Against Uruguay
Source: bleachreport

At the 2010 World Cup, they joined together with the hosts South Africa, France and Mexico. But surprisingly The light blue managed to win the group and qualify for the round of 16 with Mexico. This is the first time Uruguay have won the group since the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.

Forlan and Suarez during the tournament appeared extraordinary. In fact, Suarez was able to bring Uruguay to qualify for the quarter-finals after scoring two goals in a win Uruguay over South Korea 2-1. These results then brought Uruguay to face Ghana in the quarter-finals.

The Soccer City tragedy

The quarter-final match that brought together Uruguay against Ghana to be very interesting. In fact, a Nelson Mandela sent a letter to the head of the Ghana football federation which read “All of Africa is behind Ghana. We want you to keep going and win the World Cup.”

All the spectators in the stadium at that time blew a vuvuzela which made the whole stadium resound and almost all the spectators at that time supported Ghana to win, because they were playing on their continent, Africa.

The match went on as usual until at the end of the first half 84 thousand spectators suddenly rejoiced. Because, Muntari managed to tear Muslera's goal from 35 yards after receiving feedback from Asamoah Gyan. With that they closed the first half with 1-0.

Entering the second half, Uruguay change their formation. The proof, after 15 minutes of the second half running 84 thousand spectators were silenced. Because it's a free kick Forlan when it was able to break Kingson's goal. With that Uruguay managed to equalize. The draw forced the two countries to play into extra time.

In extra time, there was an incident in front of goal chaos Uruguay which started from a Ghana free kick. Dominic Adiyiah's header in front of the goal managed to beat Musrela, but at that time Suarez, who was behind Musela, held the ball with his hands as if he were a goalkeeper.

This made Suarez a direct red card and Ghana were awarded a penalty. Asamoah Gyan, who was appointed as the penalty taker, failed to carry out his mandate. He kicked the ball too hard so it flew above Musrela even though it hit the top goalpost.

This forced the match to be resumed via penalties. Unfortunately a thousand dear, in a penalty shootout to Ghana must be defeated Uruguay. Sirna has hopes of becoming the first African country to advance to the semifinals of the world cup. Even though this hope was already in front of their eyes, God had other plans.

After the dramatic victory Uruguay against Ghana, Suarez said that “The 'Hand of God' is now mine” and “I made the best save of the tournament.”


Now, after 12 years, Ghana finally has a chance to 'revenge' what Uruguay did to them in 2010, especially Luis Suarez.

At the 2022 World Cup, The Black Star joined together Le Caleste in one group and they will face each other in the final match of group H. They both need a win to advance to the round of 16.

Let's wait and see whether Ghana can avenge its 12 years ago or is it Uruguay that will prolong Ghana's grief?


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