It’s exactly a decade since Asamoah Gyan denied the entire Africa continent the chance to make a historical appearance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and it would have been more interesting knowing that it was the first time Africa had hosted the tournament.
Ghana became the hope of Africa in 2010 when they reached the Quarter Finals of the Mundial, they had a brighter chance of reaching the semi finals in that year when they played against Uruguay at a fully packed Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. Sulley Muntari opened the scoring as early as the 5th minutes, Diego Forlan equalized around the 56th minutes with a freekick to take the game to extra time.
In a game which saw both teams creating clear goalscoring opportunities, Dominic Adiyiah connected to a cross from Samuel Inkoom in the closing stages of extra time. That should have been the end, Ghana should have qualified but there was a new hand of God in football and this time it was that of Luis Suarez to deny Adiyiah making history for himself.
It was a penalty and Suarez was sent off, the Referee whistled. The excitement on the Ghanain bench showed exactly what was going on in Ghana that very night and some pubs in South Africa.
Asamoah Gyan had some words of encouragement from Stephen Appiah before that very kick. He had scored two in the tournament already and chances of converting the third one was higher.
Gyan placed the ball at the penalty area, Luis Suarez was watching from afar and Muslera had a last chance to make himself and his country proud. Asamoah Gyan sent Muslera the wrong to the wrong direction but the ball went over the top right side of the goalpost.
Speaking to 433ghana.com after a decade on, Milovan Rajevac revealed that Ghana had a chance to win the World Cup had Gyan scored the penalty kick but it happens in football sometimes.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t believe they (Asamoah Gyan and Steven Appiah) were struggling with the ball, it took a long time for Gyan to kick the ball because there was a red card to Luis Suarez. Gyan was the one responsible for our penalty kicks and he was scoring, before the game we spoke about that and it was agreed that he was going to continue with his duties that is why he took it but unfortunately, he missed it, penalties are sometimes like lottery, you miss some and score some.
“We are still waiting for the ball to come down, because it hits the bar and went up so we are still waiting for it to come down.
“Nobody blamed him, we understood the weight of the situation, he wanted what was the best, he showed the courage to deliver at levels like that especially in hard situations. He showed his responsibility, took the ball and kicked it but unfortunately, it didn’t go well for us but after all we achieved great results.
It will be totally unfair to blame him, he wanted the best for the country, nobody wanted it more than him, we comforted him after the match, if he had scored that penalty, maybe we would have won the World Cup but this is hypothetical thinking.
The way we approached this tournament and the way we performed, it wouldn’t have been undeserved even to win the tournament because we showed that we can cope with every team” Milovan Rajevac said.