Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The African dream is over

By Rob Deyzel

The whole of Africa was in mourning after Ghana were narrowly knocked out of the world cup by means of a penalty shootout against former world champions Uruguay.

African hearts were broken on Friday night, as the whole of Africa watched Ghana lose on penalties. The game itself was a bore for the first twenty minutes, probably due to nerves. The game then settled leaving both sides to trade half chances. Suarez came close with a half volley, which was well saved by Kingson. And Gyan, Ghana’s star player came close with a shot just wide. Then came the key moment of the half. Muntari who wouldn’t have started the game if it wasn’t for suspension rifled a left shot which deceived the Uruguayan keeper and rippled the back of the net.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

I happened to be in a local bar in Kampala at the time with a size-able audience of around 100. The celebration was massive, and people were already dancing in the street!

The second half started and Uruguay seemed as if it wanted to upset the odds. Forlan free kick 55 minutes in the clock smashed and swerved its way into the net. 1-1 and African hearts bracing themselves. Yet Ghana started brightly from the kick off and African expectation suddenly risen. The game somehow ends in a draw and extra time is upon us.

Extra time was uneventful until the 120Th minute. A free kick was whipped in and Uruguay failed to clear. The ball cleared off the line once, twice, three times. But hang on! Handball suarez! Kampala goes crazy, we think we have one! Suarez given his marching orders and up steps Gyan who has already scored two pens this tournament. Africa expects. Gyan shoots and the ball cannons off the bar. Kampala can’t believe it.

Penalties it is. Forlan scores, Gyan scores, Uruguay scores again from the spot. I can’t look. Ghana scores. But that was the last of the scoring for Ghana and they don’t sink another spot kick. Ghana is out and no one want to believe it. What would have been massive celebration turn to a sombre, quiet walk home. Maybe some people say, its better to lose in the quarters then the semis. I am not so sure.

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