User:Theodor Langhorne Franklin/Uruguay v Ghana (2010 FIFA World Cup)

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2010 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal
Event2010 FIFA World Cup
Uruguay won 4–2 on penalties
DateJuly 2, 2010 (2010-07-02)
VenueSoccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa
Man of the MatchDiego Forlán
RefereeOlegário Benquerença

Uruguay v Ghana was a football match between Uruguay and Ghana that was played on 2 July at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa. This quarterfinal match was the second round of the knockout phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Uruguay qualified for the World Cup out of the CONMEBOL region. They won their World Cup group with two wins and a draw. In the round of 16 they defeated South Korea 2–1 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970. Ghana qualified for the tournament out of the CAF region. The finished second in their group with a win, draw and loss; they won a goal difference tie-breaker over Australia (0 to −3) to advance. In the round of 16 they defeated the United States 2–1 in extra time making them only the third African team to qualify for the quarterfinals; no African team had advanced to the semifinals.

Just before halftime, Ghana's Sulley Muntari scored the game's first goal on a 35-yard shot that curved into the left-hand corner. Diego Forlán tied the game in the 55th minute with a 25-yard free kick into the top corner. The game was tied 1–1 after regulation and went to extra time. At the end of extra time Uruguay's Luis Suárez controversially and blatantly blocked the shot with his hands[1] off of the goal line to save what would have been the game winner.[2] Ghana was awarded a penalty kick and Suárez was sent off. Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty kick off the crossbar and the game went into a shootout. Uruguay won the shootout 4–2 and Ghana was eliminated from the tournament.

The foul that originated the free kick that ended with Suarez handball never existed. Jorge Fucile was at least 10 feet away of Kwadwo Asamoah, when the later took a dive just in front of the that was a mere 20-feet from the play. At the end, justice was done: Ghana lost the game.

After the game, front page headlines in the African press summarized Ghana's and Africa's loss.[3] There was also much discussion over the Suárez handball. Suárez was unapologetic and claimed he made "the save of the tournament".[2] He was labeled a villain[4] and a cheat,[5] but was also called a hero for his self-sacrifice.[1] He was given an automatic one-game suspension for his red card. Uruguay lost their semifinal to the Netherlands 3–2 and then lost the third place game to Germany 3–2. Forlán won the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. Ghana earned US$14 million in prize money; Uruguay earned $18 million. After the tournament, Uruguay advanced from 16th to 4th in the FIFA rankings and Ghana advanced from 32nd to 23rd.

Route the quarterfinal[edit]


Uruguay finished fifth in South African (CONMEBOL) qualification with six wins, six draws and six losses.[6] They finished four points behind Argentina and the automatic automatic qualification spot[6] and earned a playoff with Costa Rica, the fourth place team from North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).[7] Uruguay won the two-legged playoff 2–1 on aggregate.[8]

Uruguay began the tournament with a 0–0 draw against France.[9] In the second game, a 3–0 win over South Africa, Forlán scored in the 24th minute on a 30-yard shot that dipped over goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s head and then in the 80th minute from a penalty drawn by Suárez. Alvaro Pereira scored a stoppage time goal from an assist by Suárez.[10] In the final game of the group against Mexico, Suárez scored on a 43rd minute header off a pass from Edinson Cavani in a 1–0 win.[11][12] Uruguay won Group A and advanced to the knockout stage.[11][12]

In the round of 16 against South Korea, Suárez scored both goals in a 2–1 win. He scored his first goal on a rebound after goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong could not hold a Forlán shot in the eighth minute.[13] His second goal broke a tie in the 80th minute when he dribbled around a defender and curled a "spectacular shot" in off the far post.[13]

Group stage Opponent Result
Match 1  France 0–0
Match 2  South Africa 3–0
Match 3  Mexico 1–0
Group A standing
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 +4 7
 Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 4
 South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 −2 4
 France 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
Knockout stage Opponent Result
Round of 16  South Korea 2–1


Ghana qualified for the World Cup through the African (CAF) region. The entered qualifying in the second round and finished in a three-way tie in their group with four wins and two losses.[14] They won the group in a tie-breaker with superior goal differential (+6) over Gabon (+5) and Libya (+3) and advanced to the third round. They were the first African team to qualify for the World Cup by winning their third-round group with four wins, one draw and one loss.[15]

Ghana won their first game over Serbia 1–0 on an 85th minute penalty by Asamoah Gyan after Zdravko Kuzmanovic needlessly handled a cross.[16] They tied their second game to Australia 1–1 on a 25th minute penalty by Gyan after Harry Kewell blocked Jonathan Mensah's shot with his hand.[17] They lost their third game to Germany 1–0.[18] Ghana finished tied for second in Group D with four points and won the tie-breaker over Australia with superior goal difference (0 to −3) to advance to the knockout round.[18]

In the round of 16, Ghana beat the United States 2–1 after extra time. Kevin-Prince Boateng scored in the fifth minute with a near post shot, and the game was tied 1–1 after regulation. Gyan scored in the 93rd minute off a long assist by Andre Ayew.[19] In this game, Ayew and Jonathan Mensah were each given their second yellow card of the tournament and were suspended for the Uruguay match.[20]

Group stage Opponent Result
Match 1  Serbia 1–0
Match 2  Australia 1–1
Match 3  Germany 0–1
Group D standing
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 +4 6
 Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
 Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 −3 4
 Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1 3
Knockout stage Opponent Result
Round of 16  United States 2–1 (a.e.t.)


Uruguay and Ghana warm up in the Soccer City stadium before the match

Entering the tournament, neither Uruguay nor Ghana were expected to advance to the semifinals and both were having a successful World Cup.[21] Both were playing for history. Two-time champion Uruguay had not advanced to the semifinals since 1970.[21][22] Ghana was only the third African team to make the quarterfinals (along with Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002)[23] and were hoping to make history to become the first African nation to qualify for the semifinals.[21][23] After Ghana's round of 16 win, Gyan dedicated the victory to Africa.[24] Since Ghana was the last African team in the tournament, many across the continent supported them.[25][26] Uruguay and Ghana had never played before.[27]

Despite struggling to qualify, Uruguay emerged as a dark horse to win the tournament.[28][29] Uruguay had only given up one goal entering the game.[29] Meanwhile, they were playing an exciting, attacking style of football[23] led by the trio of Forlán, Suárez and Cavani.[28] Forlán praised his coach Óscar Tabárez for bringing big game experience from playing in the 1990 World Cup, uniting the team and bringing a calming influence.[26]

Ghana's strength was their speed and power.[29] Their main attack was quick and direct, while Kevin Prince Boetang was the most creative.[29] They relied on Gyan for goals as he scored seven of their last 11 goals in competitive games.[28] Ghana's coach Milovan Rajevac had made Ghana into a solid defensive team.[28] The weakness of Ghana's tournament run was their lack of offense. They struggled to score in the tournament with only two goals in the group stage, both on penalties, but they were more offensive in their 2–1 win over the US.[21] Leading up to the game, two of their main strikers Gyan and Boateng were suffering from injuries.[21] Ayew and Jonathan Mensah were each suspended for the Uruguay match because they earned their second yellow cards in four games.[20][24]


The quarterfinal match between Uruguay and Ghana was played on 2 July 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa. There were 84,017 in attendance[30] and the game was broadcast on television to 204 territories worldwide.[31] It was available in some locations on the radio,[32] internet,[32] and mobile phones.[33]

Uruguay began the match in a 4–4–2 formation while Ghana began in a 4–5–1 formation.[34]

First half[edit]

Diego Forlán takes a free kick

Uruguay controlled the early stages of the game.[35] In the 11th minute Suárez had the first chance. He beat his defender, but shot right at Richard Kingson.[36] In the 18th minute, Cavani headed a corner kick at the near post which John Mensah deflected towards his own goal, but Kingson made a reaction save.[37][38] Two minutes later, Jorge Fucile was yellow carded for a foul on Kwadwo Asamoah.[39][40] In the 26th minute, Isaac Vorsah slipped defending a throw-in, Suárez took advantage, but his powerful shot was tipped over by Kingson.[36][39]

Ghana began to play better just before the half hour mark.[38] In the 29th minute, Vorsah headed Ghana’s first corner wide.[36][40] Two minutes later, Gyan hit the post after receiving a cross from Kevin Prince Boateng.[37] In the 38th minute, Uruguay captain Diego Lugano, who was trying to run off an injury after a 27th minute collision with Vorsah,[40] was too injured to continue and Andrés Scotti came in as a substitute for him.[37][38][40] One minute later, Asamoah crossed from the right side and Mutari missed the header wide.[37][38][40] In the 42nd minute, Fucile fell awkwardly on his head after some contact from Samuel Inkoom but quickly returned to the game.[37][40] In the 45th minute, Inkoom crossed from the right and Boateng’s bicycle kick from eight yards went off his shin and over the goal.[37][39]

The first goal of the game came in first half stoppage time when Mensah passed to Gyan from the center circle, and Gyan passed to Sulley Muntari. Egidio Arévalo did not apply pressure and Muntari shot from 35 yards. The ball bent away and skipped past the diving Fernando Muslera[35] in the left-hand corner.[36] After the goal the referee, Olegário Benquerença, blew the whistle for halftime.[38]

Second half[edit]

Diego Forlán with the ball as John Pantsil defends

Before the start of the second half, Uruguay substituted Nicolás Lodeiro off for Álvaro Fernández for a more attacking lineup.[38][40] In the 49th minute, Cavani went down under a challenge for Vorsah, but no penalty was awarded[38] and Arévalo was given a yellow card for a foul on Boateng.[40] In the 54th minute, John Pantsil fouled Fucile at the left corner of the penalty box and was given a yellow card.[37] On the ensuing free kick, Forlán scored from 25 yards into the top corner;[35][38] Kingson took one step the wrong way and could not recover to make the save.[35]

The match opened up as both teams pushed to score.[36] In the 58th minute, Gyan's had a low shot to the near post saved by Muslera.[37] Five minutes later, Forlán crossed to Suárez for a volley, but Suárez missed wide.[37][41] In the 71st minute, Suárez shot from a small angle and Kingson deflected the ball over the net for a corner.[36] Two minutes later Muslera made a save on a 30-yard shot by Gyan.[37][40] Forlán followed with a free kick into the outside of the net.[38] Ghana had counter-attack opportunities, but their chances ended with poor passes.[38]

Near the middle of the second half, each team made substitutions. In the 74th minute, Inkoom was substituted off for Stephen Appiah;[40] two minutes later, Cavani was substituted off for Sebastián Abreu.[40] Soon after, Suárez was fouled by Hans Sarpei and Sarpei was given a yellow card.[40] Forlán passed the ensuing free kick to Suárez whose header was tipped over by Kingson.[38] In the 82nd minute, Muslera punched away a corner[40] and on the counter attack Maxi Pereira shot off target from outside of the box while Forlán was making a run into the box, and Forlán punched the ground in frustration.[42] Immediately after Asamoah shot over from 50 yards.[37] In the 88th minute, Muntari was substituted off for Dominic Adiyiah.[40] In the closing minutes, Appiah had a header off a cross from Pantsil that was blocked by Periera[40] and a powerful shot blocked by Arévalo.[40]

Extra time and shootout[edit]

Luis Suárez blocked a shot with his hands and was sent off

In the first half of extra time, Uruguay held most of the possession, but could not develop any scoring opportunities.[35] In the 93rd minute, Mensah was yellow carded for dissent.[40] In the 98th minute, Gyan had a shot that was blocked by Scotti.[38][40] In the 103rd minute, Pantsil appeared to foul Abreu in the penalty box, but no penalty was given.[37][40]

In the second half of extra time, Ghana were in control as Uruguay looked tired.[38] In the 110th minute, Gyan headed just over.[36] Three minutes later Appiah had a chance at a clear header, but took too many touches and Fucile prevented his chance.[40] on the counter attack, Forlán's shot missed wide at the near post.[40] In the 116th minute, Scotti poked the ball away from Gyan and it appeared to be going towards the goal, but it rolled wide.[38][40] Three minutes later, Boateng also missed with a header that went wide.[36][40]

Extra time ended eventfully. In the 120th minute, Ghana sent a free kick into the box.[39] The ball was deflected twice and Appiah took a shot.[20] Muslera was out of position because of the deflections, and Suárez saved the shot off of the goal line.[41] Suárez then blatantly blocked Adiyiah’s goalbound header with his hands[1] to save what would have been the game winner.[2][35] Ghana was awarded a penalty kick and Suárez was sent off.[36] Suárez walked off in tears as Ghana celebrated.[20] But on the ensuing penalty kick, Gyan, who had already scored twice in the tournament from penalty kicks,[41] missed the shot off the crossbar.[36] Gyan put his hands over his face and Suárez celebrated.[20] After the penalty Benquerença blew the whistle for the end of extra time and the game went into a shootout.[37]

Sebastián Abreu preparing for his shootout penalty kick

In the shootout, Forlán stepped up to take Uruguay’s first penalty and was loudly booed.[41] He scored on a shot low into the right corner as Kingson dove the wrong way.[40] Gyan calmly stepped up after his miss at the end of extra time and tied it 1–1 with a shot into the top corner.[40] Mauricio Victorino scored Uruguay’s second in the upper left; Kingson dove the right direction but could not make the save.[40] Appiah’s shot to his left was tipped by Muslera but still scored and tied the score 2–2.[40] Scotti scored by shooting straight up the middle to make it 3–2; Kingson guessed wrong and dove away.[40] On Ghana's third attempt, Mensah shot weakly to the left and Muslera made the save.[40] On Uruguay's fourth, Pereira badly missed his penalty over the goal.[40] Adiyiah shot to the right corner but Muslera made the save.[40] Sebastián Abreu scored on a softly chipped Panenka into the center of the goal as Kingson dove toward the corner[43] and Uruguay won the shootout 4–2.[37]

Uruguay was elated while Ghana was devastated.[40] Suárez in particular celebrated wildly; he climbed on the back of a teammate and waved his shirt above his head.[42] Gyan cried uncontrollably and was consoled by his teammates,[35][44] while his teammates also cried.[40] The crowd, who was largely in support of Ghana, fell silent,[45] except for a small group of Uruguayans who sang.[45]

Match details[edit]


GK 1 Fernando Muslera
RB 16 Maxi Pereira
CB 2 Diego Lugano (c) Substituted off 38'
CB 6 Mauricio Victorino
LB 4 Jorge Fucile Yellow card 20'
RM 20 Álvaro Fernández Substituted off 46'
CM 15 Diego Pérez Yellow card 59'
CM 17 Egidio Arévalo Yellow card 48'
LM 7 Edinson Cavani Substituted off 76'
CF 9 Luis Suárez Red card 120+1'
CF 10 Diego Forlán
DF 19 Andrés Scotti Substituted in 38'
MF 14 Nicolás Lodeiro Substituted in 46'
FW 13 Sebastián Abreu Substituted in 76'
Óscar Tabárez
URU-GHA 2010-07-02.svg
GK 22 Richard Kingson
RB 4 John Paintsil Yellow card 54'
CB 15 Isaac Vorsah
CB 5 John Mensah (c) Yellow card 93'
LB 2 Hans Sarpei Yellow card 77'
DM 6 Anthony Annan
RM 7 Samuel Inkoom Substituted off 74'
CM 21 Kwadwo Asamoah
CM 23 Kevin-Prince Boateng
LM 11 Sulley Muntari Substituted off 88'
CF 3 Asamoah Gyan
MF 10 Stephen Appiah Substituted in 74'
FW 18 Dominic Adiyiah Substituted in 88'
Serbia Milovan Rajevac

Man of the Match:
Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
Assistant referees:
Jose Manuel Silva Cardinal (Portugal)
Bertino Miranda (Portugal)
Fourth official:
Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
Fifth official:
Fermín Martínez Ibánez (Spain)

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra time if scores level
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level
  • 12 substitutes named, of which three may be used



Uruguay Ghana
Goals scored 1 1
Total shots 14 26
Shots on target 7 10
Corner kicks 12 8
Fouls committed 23 23
Offsides 6 1
Yellow cards 3 3
Red cards 1 0


Reaction to the Suárez handball[edit]

I made the save of the tournament.

Uruguay forward Luis Suárez[2]

The major point of discussion after the match was the handball and red card by Suárez. After the game, Suárez was unapologetic and claimed, "I made the save of the tournament."[2] Forlán said Suárez saved the game,[47] and Suárez said "it is a miracle and we are alive in the tournament."[48] Suárez, referring to the "Hand of God" goal scored by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup, declared "the hand of God now belongs to me."[4] He claimed he had no alternative and was acting out of instinct,[4] since he sometimes played goalkeeper in practice.[47]

The hand of God now belongs to me.

Uruguay forward Luis Suárez[4]

Ghana defender John Pantsil felt Suárez's actions were indefensible: "[i]n the same situation, there is no chance the Ghana players would have used our hands. Everyone was sad and crying, the mood was down, no one was happy about what happened. We were so close to making it. We know we were doing it for all of Africa as well. It is very sad for the country...This happens once in a lifetime, but you have to let it go."[4] A distraught Gyan conceded, "I would say Suárez is a hero now in his own country, because the ball was going in and he held it with his hand. He is a hero now."[49] Gyan further lamented, "[i]t's hard luck. You know, we had (an) opportunity to win this game, but unfortunately, that is football for you."[41]

Suárez's action was said to have "enraged an entire continent [Africa]".[50] The African press summarized Ghana's and Africa's heartbreak following the loss. The headline in Ghana's biggest newspaper, the Daily Graphic, was "Uruguay end Stars dream",[3] referring to Ghana's nickname, the Black Stars. Other front page headlines included "Ghana dashes Africa's hope" (Nigerian newspaper, the Saturday Sun), "Africa's Agony" (South African journal, the Weekend Argus) and "Africa's dream shattered" (Zimbabwean newspaper, The Herald).[3]

In the same situation, there is no chance the Ghana players would have used our hands.

Ghana defender John Pantsil[4]

Suárez was given a red card, missed the rest of the game and was suspended for the next game.[47] His coach, Tabárez, argued that Suárez was penalized adequately and appropriately under the rules.[47] Other observers felt that such a blatant violation of the rules was unethical[35] and Suárez was labeled a villain[4] and a cheat.[5] Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said the play was an "injustice"[42] and Ghana's sports minister called for changes to the rules under similar circumstances.[51] Pantsil argued that "[t]he goal should have stood rather than the player being sent off."[47] Former referee Graham Poll suggested a better punishment would be a yellow card and a penalty goal—a goal awarded without the need for a penalty kick.[52] FIFA’s disciplinary committee could have extended the automatic one-game suspension to two games for unsportsmanlike conduct,[47] but after a review the suspension was not extended.[53]

Tabárez defended his player: "Saying we cheated Ghana is too harsh a word to use. Yes he stuck his hand out but it's not cheating. It was instinctive. When there is a handball in the penalty area there is a red card and the player is thrown out of the game. The player instinctively reacted and was thrown out of the match and he can't play the next match. What else do you want? Is Suárez also to blame for Ghana missing the penalty? We try to be dignified and if we lose a match we look for the reasons for it. You shouldn't look to third parties. This is football. There are consequences to that handball and he didn't know that Ghana was going to miss that penalty."[47]

The player instinctively reacted and was thrown out of the match and he can't play the next match. What else do you want? Is Suárez also to blame for Ghana missing the penalty?"

Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez[47]

Suárez was also a labeled a hero for his self-sacrifice.[1][50][54] He was given a red card and an automatic suspension for handling the ball. He sacrificed himself in "desperation"[41] for the next game knowing he might give his team a chance to win the game.[5][55] It was unlikely that his team would win after his actions because of the ensuing penalty kick,[55] but the ball was going in and Uruguay was certain to lose if he did not do it.[35] Suárez said himself, "But the way in which I was sent off today—truth is, it was worth it."[41] Suárez was predicted to be "deified"[20] for what is sure to be the second-most famous handball in World Cup history after Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" in 1986.[20]

Uruguay's remaining games[edit]

Ghana's loss eliminated them from the tournament.[36] In Uruguay's semifinal game against the Netherlands, Giovanni van Bronckhorst put the Netherlands ahead with a "magnificent strike" into the top corner in the 18th minute.[56] Forlán scored on a shot from 25 yards in the 41st minute to tie the game.[56] In the second half, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben scored goals in the 70th and 73rd minutes.[56] Pereira scored in the 92nd minute on a shot from a quickly taken free-kick, but Uruguay lost to the Netherlands 3–2.[56][57] With Suárez was suspended for the game due to his red card against Ghana,[58] Uruguay "lacked a second striker [alongside Forlán] of cunning and movement".[59]

In the third place game against Germany, Suárez returned from his suspension and was booed almost every time he had the ball because of his handball in the Ghana game.[60] Thomas Müller scored in the 19th minute to put the Germans ahead. Suárez assisted Cavani on Uruguay’s first goal to tie the game at 1–1 in the 28th minute.[61] Uruguay took the lead 2–1 on an acrobatic goal from Forlán in the 51st minute off a cross from Arévalo.[61] Marcel Jansen and Sami Khedira scored for the Germans in the 56th and 82nd minutes. Forlán hit the crossbar in extra time and the Germans won 3–2.[61]

Forlán was named to the tournament All-Star Team[62] and won the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament.[63] He was tied with Müller, David Villa and Sneijder for the most goals[61] but finished fourth in the Golden Boot[64] because he had fewer assists and more minutes played than the others.[65]

Post-World Cup[edit]

Ghana earned US$14 million in prize money for qualifying for the quarterfinals;[66] Uruguay earned $18 million for finishing fourth.[66] Each team also received $1 million for World Cup preparation costs.[66]

In the first FIFA rankings released after the World Cup, Uruguay advanced 10 spots from 16th to 6th,[67] their highest position since the ranking system was introduced[68] in 2006.[69] Ghana advanced nine spots from 32nd to 23rd and became the highest rated African nation.[70]


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Category:2010 FIFA World Cup Category:Uruguay national football team matches Category:Ghana national football team matches Category:FIFA World Cup matches Controversies Category:Association football controversies