Although we pride ourselves on largely being positive here at Ultra UTD, sometimes the games less savoury moments get forgotten when they shouldn’t. Much like this one …
Don’t get me wrong, Luis Suarez didn’t invent the idea of cheating at a World Cup to get his way. In fact, we mentioned in an earlier article how this was done in our tribute to Diego Maradona. But let’s get one thing straight, Luis Suarez is NOT Diego Maradona. And cheating … is still cheating!
Going into the 2010 World Cup, it quickly became apparent that it was going to be a very unpredictable tournament. The competition introduced the now-infamous Jabulani football which seemed to have a mind of its own (unless instructed by Diego Forlan), the thousands of ‘vuvuzelas‘ in attendance made it sound like a swarm of bees were entering the stadium every hour, and a number of ‘smaller’ nations were making a name for themselves.
In the case of plucky African side, Ghana, they far exceeded anybody’s expectations after that made their way out the group stage – let alone the first knock-out round to set up an intriguing showdown with other surprise package, Uruguay. On their side, both Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez were doing their best to forge a path for their nation through to their eventual semi-final round – though it would take the latter big-toothed goal-merchant to have some different kind of influence on the game before this to ensure that they would even make it that far.
Throughout the tournament until this quarter-final date, Ghana were the type of side that just wouldn’t give up. And although their squad was sprinkled with some quality here and there – in particular with Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan through their midfield and attacking lines, their abilities alone wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to reach the heights they did without the collective efforts of the squad.
They worked hard for every ball, did their darnedest to maximise how effective they were in set-piece situations and remained resolute in defence to maintain a high line and allow the offside rule to bail them out when necessary.
This was all before the days of VAR – so they certainly had some cojones on them to rely on their endeavour more often than what is prescribed in the game of football. But all of this went out the window when they were faced up against Luis Suarez and his Uruguay team. Though the rest of the lads were pretty law-abiding, to be fair to them!
If you haven’t seen the game already, then let’s just say that the 1-1 scoreline from open play is highly misleading given the number of key talking points to be discussed about that night. But let me break it down for you like this …
- Uruguay dominate most of the play
- Ghana remain resolute for the earlier stages
- Uruguay break their resolve before the tide turns in Ghana’s favour after their swift equaliser
- Then, willed on by the home supporters (and the prospect of being the only African team to reach a World Cup) semi-final, a corner was awarded towards the end of extra-time.
- Swung in towards John Mensah’s head, he angles toward goal
- Only to be thwarted by the flailing arms of Luis Suarez
- Both of them – so it wasn’t an accident
- Luis Suarez is sent off and Ghana are awarded a penalty
- Asamoah Gyan takes it and skies it over the bar
- Luis Suarez wheels away to celebrate (like he’s proud of what he’s done)
- Ghana go on to miss the shoot-out – and Suarez leads the party bus.
It was a truly despicable show of un-sportsmanship from the Uruguayan and, almost trying to emulate what Maradona did against England, he claimed that the ‘Hand of God’ mystique now belonged to him.
No it didn’t, Luis.
Your ‘version’ was petty, horrible to watch, and ruined a very important development for a country who deserved to make their way through the World Cup more than you ever did. Again, I know this isn’t the usual tone we like to take here at Ultra UTD, but I was reminiscing about it not too long ago and I got pretty darned peeved!