Wednesday 18 October 2017

Gyan pays the penalty for last-gasp miss in Black Stars' nightmare

Ghana 1
Uruguay 1
(AET Uruguay win 4-2 on penalties)

Ian Chadband

AFRICA'S footballing dream was shattered in a penalty shoot-out after the most dramatic finish to any game at this World Cup saw Ghana blow a glorious chance to become the continent's first ever semi-finalists.

With the score 1-1 after a thrilling, open encounter, Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty for Ghana with the last kick of extra-time.

And instead, it is Uruguay who reached their first semi-final for 40 years, winning the shoot-out 4-2 after Ghana captain John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah had their spot-kicks saved by Fernando Muslera.

Maximiliano Pereira ballooned his kick for Uruguay but a cheeky dinked penalty from substitute Sebastian Abreu sealed the South Americans' progress.

Working from a deep-lying attacking position, Diego Forlan caused havoc each time he went roaming early in the match, his combination play with Luis Suarez resulting in the Ajax striker breaking through a feeble challenge from Isaac Vorsah and shooting into Richard Kingson's arms.


Kingson made two fine saves before a Forlan curler sailed just wide. Then Ghana came alive. A corner from the left was met by a rocket header from Vorsah which whistled just past the post.

When Uruguay's captain Diego Lugano had to be substituted before half-time, it could hardly help their composure yet still Muntari's goal seemed to explode from nowhere. With no other available option 30 yards out, he turned and let a speculative shot fly that left Muslera flat-footed.

To no one's surprise, it was Forlan who pulled Uruguay back into the match after the break with a stunning free-kick from the edge of the box.

Despite the open nature of the game even in extra-time, with the tireless Gyan never letting up and Boateng heading just wide, there was somehow an inevitability about the penalty denouement.

Then, the astonishing last-second drama. After the ball was pumped in from a corner, Dominic Adiyiah's shot was blocked on the line by Suarez but the striker was then given a red card when he punched Adiyiah's follow up header off the line. Yet Gyan's penalty struck the crossbar and the misery of Ghana's best player was terrible to behold. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Uruguay -- Muslera, Lugano (Scotti 38), Fucile, Victorino, Pereira, Perez, Arevalo Rios, Fernandez (Lodeiro 46), Cavani (Abreu 76), Suarez, Forlan.

Ghana -- Kingson, Sarpei, Pantsil, Mensah, Inkoom (Appiah 73), Vorsah, Annan, Muntari (Adiya 88), Boateng, Gyan, Asamoah.

REF -- O Benquerenca (Portugal).

Irish Independent Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport