It isn’t often when you can say a straight red card and penalty kick given up was a good play. As crazy as it might sound, Luis Suarez’s 120th minute red card for handling the ball on the goal line has kept Uruguay’s World Cup dreams alive.
After the two teams could not be separated following the 90 minutes of regular time, Uruguay and Ghana headed for 30 long minutes of extra time. Each team created a few half chances, but the match always seemed destined for penalties.
As time was expiring, Ghana won a last gasp free kick on the wing in a dangerous position for the final play of the game. The resulting cross was flicked on into a mad scramble in the Uruguay box where the first Ghanian shot was cleared off the line and the rebound attempt destined for the back of the net was batted away by Luis Suarez’s hand.
The referee had no choice but the show Suarez straight red and award Ghana the potential game winning penalty with no time remaining. With the result all but in the history books, Asamoah Gyan stepped up to deliver the knockout punch just as he had done against the USA.
As fate would have it, the soccer gods must have been watching after Uruguay as Gyan unbelievably ripped his attempt off the crossbar for what will surely go down as one of the most memorable misses in World Cup history.
It would only seem reasonable that Ghana and Gyan’s spirit would be broken, but things looked better for Ghana when Gyan returned to the penalty spot to bury Ghana’s second pk and tie things at 2-2. After Uruguay stroked home their third straight penalty though, Ghana began to unravel missing consecutive penalties on lackluster soft shots to the keepers left.
With a chance to win it for his country, Sebastián Abreu of Uruguay stepped onto the world’s stage and calmly chipped home the winning penalty completing the most improbable of victories for Uruguay.
(Photo courtesy of ESPN.com)