FIFA+ is showcasing 100 of the greatest moments in FIFA World Cup history as we count down to the start of the global showpiece in Qatar on November 20.
Luis Suarez’s instinctive act of self-sacrifice stands out as the highlight of the game.
But the 2010 FIFA World CupTM quarter-final match between Ghana and Uruguay was much more than the centre forward’s handball in the final minute of extra-time, the red card shown for his illegal intervention, and the subsequent penalty miss by Asamoah Gyan that denied Ghana a place in the semi-finals.
Two magical moments had lit up a competitive 90 minutes. Sulley Muntari scored the first goal, blasting a 35-yard shot past Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera just as Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca was about to blow the half-time whistle.
Ghana were looking to become the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final but their chances took a dip when Diego Forlan curled in a second-half free kick that flummoxed Richard Kingson in the Ghana goal as it swerved viciously in the air.
The score remained 1-1 entering the final seconds of extra time. Then there was the drama. Suarez legitimately blocked Stephen Appiah’s drive before thrusting up a hand to prevent Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound follow-up effort from finding the net.
The former Ajax forward was sent off and celebrated at the end of the tunnel as Gyan’s penalty kick hit the top of the crossbar.
African hearts were broken all around Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, and the subsequent penalty shoot-out did not mend them, with Sebastian Abreu sealing it in Uruguay’s favor with an audacious Panenka-style chip.
The focus post-match naturally centred on Suarez’s actions but there was little contrition from the Uruguayan who referenced Diego Maradona’s contentious goal for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup.
“Mine is the real ‘Hand Of God’,” he said. “I made the save of the tournament. Sometimes in training I play goalkeeper so it was worth it.”