DOHA ( Associated Press) – Luis Suarez is furious after he was told his controversial hand at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa ruined Ghana’s dream of reaching the semifinals.
“You can’t live with things from the past,” said Uruguay’s all-time goalscorer ahead of the duel against the Africans at the end of the group stage.
That infamous sleight of hand was dusted off again on Friday at the meeting gate of Ghana and Uruguay in a crucial clash for the second ticket to the World Cup Group H round of 16 in Qatar. South Korea, measured against ranked Portugal, also comes with mathematical probabilities.
Uruguay does not use any result other than a win and waits for the South Korea-Portugal result. La Celeste shares the last spot with the Asian team with one point each, although they are slightly behind on goal difference. Ghana comes in a better position as they also have three and a draw depending on how the South Koreans finish, helping them go through to the next round along with Lusitanos, the leaders with six .
The clash comes 12 years after that famous quarter-final match at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
In the final minute of extra time and with the game at 1–1, Suárez was stopped with his hand on the Uruguayan goal line, a header that headed into the net of Ghana’s Dominic Adiyeh. The referee sent off Suárez and awarded a penalty, which was later missed by Asamoah Gyan. La Celeste prevailed in the 12-step shootout, and Suárez ended up as the villain for the Africans and the savior of his team.
“I touched the ball with my hand, but the Ghanaians missed the penalty. Not me,” Suárez recalled. “They sent me off and fined me. I didn’t miss the penalty, it’s not my responsibility”.
The Ghanaians, including Gyan, vow revenge. But the former Black Stars captain is not playing the tournament in Qatar. Instead, the Uruguay striker is playing in his fourth World Cup.
Ghana, with four World Cup appearances, is looking to become the first African team to get past the quarter-finals, which Senegal also won at Korea–Japan 2002.
Uruguay comes into the decisive game criticized for a conservative approach in attack and inability to reach the goal. He has not scored in his last three World Cup matches, counting a 2–0 loss against France in the quarter-finals of Russia 2018.
In contrast, Ghana have won just five, losing 3–2 against Portugal and winning by the same score against South Korea.