Uruguay striker Luis Suarez says he screamed “Goal!” in excitement when Asamoah Gyan missed his crucial penalty during the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.
According to the former FC Barcelona kingpin he was devastated after being sent off but his reaction quickly transformed into ecstasy when Gyan missed, insisting it felt like Uruguay had scored.
Ghana’s Black Stars were on the verge of becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup before losing on penalties to Uruguay in 2010.
The defeat was made more painful by the fact that Ghana had a penalty in the final seconds of extra time after Suarez used his hand to keep out Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header.
Uruguay eventually won the game 4-2 on penalties to progress to the semi-final of the World Cup at the expense of Ghana after Asamoah Gyan missed the spot kick during extra time time period.
“I walked off the pitch devastated. I was crying and the only thing going through my head at that point was, ‘We’re going out of the World Cup, we’re going out of the World Cup …’ I had been sent off and we were going home,” Suarez said in his autobiography.
“Gyan was going to take the penalty and (…) I was convinced he wasn’t going to miss. We had no chance. And then I saw the ball go over the bar. He had missed. And one word came out of my mouth: ‘Gol!’ The feeling, the sense of release, was the same as if we had scored.
“Unbelievable. I’ll never forget it. That was when I realised what I’d done. That was when I realised the sending-off had been worth it. I had stopped a goal, they had missed the penalty and we were still alive.”
It’s been 12 years since that game in South Africa, but Suarez continues to be vilified by Ghanaians and Africans for his actions.
The Uruguay striker, however, insists his red card was worth it, explaining in his autobiography ‘Crossing the Line’ that Gyan’s miss felt like a goal.