By James K. Attaglo Wilson
Brazilian great – Arantes dos Nascimento [Pele] predicted that an African nation would win a World Cup by the year 2000. However, as at 2002 it was only the Teranga Lions of Senegal that had made it to the quarterfinal phase of the FIFA World Cup.
But, Africa were blessed with another golden opportunity in 2010 to turn the tides as the Black Stars of Ghana clashed with La Celeste of Uruguay in the quarterfinal stage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
In fact, the hope of the entire African continent was resting on the thing shoulders of the Black Stars to become the first nation to reach the semifinal stage. A fairly contested match saw the Black Stars broke the deadlock through Sulley Ali Muntari’s 40 meter strike on the stroke of half time.
The talisman of the Uruguayan team [Diego Forlan] pulled parity for the South Americans in the 55th minute through a free kick which was misjudged by Richard Kingson in post for the Black Stars. The match ended 1-1 and would need an extra time of 30 minutes or perhaps penalty shootouts to determine who goes through to the semifinals.
Ghana had the better exchanges in the extra time and nearly won the game on the eve of the second half. A free kick was flown into the eighteen yard box of Uruguay which substitute, Dominic Adiyiah directed towards goal, but Luis Suarez standing on the goal line spattered the ball with his hand to deny Adiyiah from making history.
The referee was spot on as he whistled for penalty and showed Luis Suarez a red card for his offence.
And, just as an entire continent had jumped into a frenzy mood Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick went straight to hit the crossbar, killing the mood of an entire continent as Ghana went on to lose the game in the penalty shootout.
But explaining what might orchestrated for that painful defeat on Starr [103.5] FM on Saturday, June 27 Derrick Owusu Boateng who happened to be a member of the Black Stars squad attributed it to luck.
“It was sheer luck which eluded us in 2010 World Cup lost to Uruguay because if we had won that game and made it into the semi’s the money we could have made was huge.”
The former Mfantsipim midfielder [Derrick Boateng] who left Ghana few months after completing his Senior High School education to play for Kalamata in Greece said even though they were a little bit disappointed for not making into the semifinals, the memories of that tournament and the Germany 2006 will forever remain in the heart of Ghanaians.
“The 2006 and 2010 World Cup will always be great for Ghanaians,’ he said.