Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez has revealed that he celebrated after Asamoah Gyan missed his crucial penalty during the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Black Stars, who made their second appearance at the Mundial were on the verge of becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup before losing on penalties to Uruguay in 2010.
Ghana were awarded a penalty in the final seconds of extra time after Suarez used his hand to keep out Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header but Asamoah Gyan missed from the spot.
Uruguay eventually won the game 4-2 on penalties to progress to the semi-final of the World Cup at the expense of Ghana.
It’s been 12 years since that game in South Africa, but Suarez continues to be vilified by Ghanaians and Africans for his actions.
The Uruguay striker, however, insists his red card was worth it, explaining in his autobiography ‘Crossing the Line’ that Gyan’s miss felt like a goal.
According to the veteran striker, he was devastated after being sent off but his reaction quickly transformed into ecstasy when Gyan missed, insisting it felt like Uruguay had scored.
“I walked off the pitch devastated. I was crying and the only thing going through my head at that point was, ‘We’re going out of the World Cup, we’re going out of the World Cup …’ I had been sent off and we were going home,” Suarez said in his autobiography.
“Gyan was going to take the penalty and (…) I was convinced he wasn’t going to miss. We had no chance. And then I saw the ball go over the bar. He had missed. And one word came out of my mouth: ‘Gol!’ The feeling, the sense of release, was the same as if we had scored.
“Unbelievable. I’ll never forget it. That was when I realized what I’d done. That was when I realized the sending-off had been worth it. I had stopped a goal, they had missed the penalty and we were still alive.”
Ghana will be seeking revenge when they face Suarez and Uruguay again in their last group game of the Qatar 2022 World Cup on Friday at the Al Janoub Stadium with kick-off scheduled at 15;00GMT.