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World Cup 2022: Ghana’s Grudge Match In opposition to Uruguay


That is an version of The Nice Sport, a publication in regards to the 2022 World Cup—and the way soccer explains the world. Join right here.

When Ghana meets Uruguay tomorrow, the Black Stars will probably be out for redemption—or vengeance, relying on the way you take a look at it.

Twelve years in the past in South Africa, Ghana have been on the verge of turning into the primary African group to make it to the semifinals of a World Cup, the primary within the event’s historical past to be hosted by an African nation. However they nonetheless needed to get previous Uruguay. With the match tied 1–1, the Ghanian striker Dominic Adiyiah aimed a header straight on the purpose late in additional time. The famed Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez blocked the ball, stopping a sure purpose … along with his hand.

Suárez didn’t get away with it. This wasn’t like Diego Maradona’s celebrated “hand of G-d” purpose on the 1986 World Cup, which the Argentine hero knocked in along with his hand with out the referee noticing. Suárez was red-carded and despatched off. However the Ghanian ahead Asamoah Gyan missed the following penalty, and Uruguay went on to win the tiebreaker shootout earlier than shedding to the event’s eventual runners-up, the Netherlands, within the semifinals.

To today, Suárez says he doesn’t remorse his choice to make use of his hand to dam the purpose within the 2010 sport. “I don’t apologize about that. I did the handball, however the Ghana participant missed the penalty, not me,” Suárez informed reporters at a information convention as we speak. Suárez was responding to a Ghanian reporter who, in response to ESPN, informed him that he’s “thought to be ‘diablo’”—the satan—“in Ghana,” and added, “We wish to retire you tomorrow.”

In contrast to the numerous occasions he’s tried to actually take a chunk out of opposing gamers, Suárez’s logic is straightforward to know right here. He broke the principles to get the consequence his group wanted, however he additionally paid the value, and nobody walked away with enamel marks. Uruguay was merely fortunate that Ghana did not take benefit. If Gyan had scored the penalty, Uruguay would have wanted an equalizer taking part in a person down and with out their main goalscorer. Suárez would have ended up hated by his personal followers as an alternative of Ghana’s.

Tomorrow, the 2 nations will face one another once more, and as soon as once more, the loser will go residence. A Ghanian victory would mark one other first—they might be a part of Morocco and Senegal as certainly one of three African groups to make it to the event’s elimination phases, probably the most ever. This may also seemingly be the 35-year-old Suárez’s last World Cup as a participant, and if Ghana wins, his final World Cup match.

If you happen to can perceive why Suárez did what he did, then you can even perceive why the Black Stars would take this one personally. For Ghanian followers, successful gained’t simply imply advancing to the knockout phases, however settling a grudge greater than a decade within the making.

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