Can Ghana Exorcise The Ghosts Of 2010 Against Uruguay?

Can Ghana Exorcise The Ghosts Of 2010 Against Uruguay?

Cast your mind back to 12 years ago on a fiery night in South Africa at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Ghana vs Uruguay. Quarterfinals. FNB Stadium, Johannesburg. The first ever World Cup in the African continent. An African team with a chance to get to the semis of the World Cup for the first ever time in the history of the tournament. Suarez’s infamous handball. Gyan’s penalty miss.

If the memory of that match gives you chills or goosebumps, you probably can’t wait for the sequel that’s about to unfold at the Al Janoub Stadium on Friday.

In the most uncanniest of fashion, the football gods have somehow decided to reignite a legendary battle, in the most perfect circumstances. In what’s been more than a decade since that episode, Uruguay and Ghana are about to play a virtual knockout against each other, yet again.

While it may not have the 2010 World Cup’s golden boot winner Diego Forlan, or a young 23-year-old Suarez taking the world by storm. Or from the African nation’s standpoint, an Asamoah Gyan leading Ghana into uncharted territory, or the partisan crowd backing the ‘Black Stars’ like it was in South Africa back then; it will still be a chance for either team to make it to the round of 16 of the grandest footballing spectacle in the world, but more importantly, a chance for Ghana to avenge their loss from all those years ago.

Uruguay have looked far from their best in this tournament, a shadow of the team from the 2010 edition that reached the semi-finals. They have just 1 point so far from 2 games, not having scored a single goal despite having a deadly attacking trio on paper in Suarez, Cavani, and Nunez. But the former two have a combined age of 70, which is perhaps where their biggest issue lies.

La Celeste still heavily rely upon Cavani & Suarez to bring home the goods for them, but these are two world-class players no longer in their prime. While Nunez, along with Valverde might have the exuberance of youth in their veins, they are nowhere near the finished articles, and certainly not yet at the stage where their nation can pin the hopes of 3.5 million solely on their shoulders.

However, not all is doom and gloom for the South Americans, who can still qualify for the knockouts if they win their game and if South Korea lose to Portugal. It is the World Cup after all, where stranger things have happened. Uruguay can take inspiration from their win over Ghana in 2010, of which Suarez was infamously the chief architect.

El Pistolero, who was at the peak of his powers in that tournament, paired up with Forlan to wreak havoc on defenses. While Muntari and Forlan scored stunners for their countries to make it 1-1 after 90 minutes, it was Suarez that stole the headlines, for all the wrong reasons.

As Ghana dominated extra time and were on the ascendancy searching for a last-minute winner, a jaw-dropping goal line handball by Suarez prevented them from scoring, and consequently saw him sent off with the African nation being awarded a penalty.

Whilst justice may have been served from the referee’s end, Ghana did not capitalize on the judgment. Asamoah Gyan, who had scored 3 goals until that point for the Black Stars, failed to convert from the spot, leaving their legions of supporters shell shocked.

Had he found the back of the net, Ghana would’ve created history by becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. But as fate would have it, his miss meant the game went to penalties, and Uruguay won the shootout to turn out as victors. This led to widespread criticism of Suarez, who is public enemy number one in Ghana, and will be booed to the hilt by their supporters when he steps on the field on Friday.

Ghana might not have the same team nor the form this time around in 2022, but they are in a better position than Uruguay find themselves in. A win for the African giants would not just guarantee them a place in the round of 16, but also culminate a twelve-year wait to settle their score with their South American foes.

With Kudus in sublime form in front of goal, along with the veteran Ayew brothers, they are a free-scoring side that will take the game to Uruguay. In the middle of the park, Partey has been ever reliant as usual. Youngsters Lamptey and Salisu have injected much needed pace and quality into the side as well.

This is a team that has a steely resolve to it, shaped by their head coach, Otto Addo. Whether Ghana progress further in the competition or not, a win on Friday will be a step in the right direction.

It’s certain that the stars of that fateful game from 2010 who have since retired will also be watching on intently supporting their respective countries in this second bout of the fabled matchup.

There couldn’t have been a better script before heading into the final matchday of the group stages, as two unlikely foes from the modern age battle it out for continental pride.

Will twelve years have been a bridge too far? Or will the past come back to haunt either of these two teams? The storyline & subplots are gripping, & the stage is set.

It’s a game to exorcise ghosts of the past and a chance for redemption for Ghana & for Uruguay, the last chance to qualify for the round of 16, and another chance to send their African adversaries packing by knocking them out yet again.

Also read: Spain v Germany – Tactical Analysis: FIFA WC 2022

Related post