The FIFA World Cup has been home to some of the greatest moments in football history. However, it has also seen some of the most controversial.
The quarter-final match between Uruguay and Ghana at the 2010 World Cup saw Luis Suarez provide one of the most shocking moments in the tournament’s history.
Ghana versus Uruguay – Quarter Finals
The FNB Stadium was home to a huge clash between two of the dark horses of the tournament as Uruguay and Ghana collided in the quarter-finals.
Diego Forlan looked to add another goal to an already successful campaign, but it would be Ghana to take the lead just before halftime after Sulley Muntari picked up the ball from 35 yards out and fired a strike into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Ghana desperately held onto their lead, with Uruguay unable to break down the African nation. However, 10 minutes later, the South American side won a free kick on the left side of the pitch.
Dead-ball specialist and Uruguay captain Forlan stood over the ball. The positioning of the free kick looked like a cross into the box was the only viable option.
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Nevertheless, Forlan hit the Jabulani with ferocity, causing the ball to knuckle and throw the Ghanaian goalkeeper off guard he found the back of the net, leveling the match.
After Foran’s goal, the game would remain at a standstill and eventually go into extra time.
Extra-time still saw neither team able to find a breakthrough and end the deadlock once more.
Suarez’s ‘hand of god’
However, the pivotal talking point of the game came in the dying moments of extra time after a free kick from John Paintsil on the right-hand side was scrambled in the box.
Suarez – one of the rising stars of the tournament – would clear the ball off the line, only to be faced with a follow-up from substitute Dominic Adiyiah. Suarez prevented Ghana from taking a 2-1 lead once again, but this time he stopped the ball with his outstretched hand.
Suarez was sent off for the handball after preventing a goalscoring opportunity, leaving Fernando Muslera with a chance to keep Uruguay in the match.
Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan stepped up and sent Muslera the wrong way, but rattled the ball off the crossbar, sending the match to penalties.
Suarez’s moment of controversy saved the match as Uruguay booked their ticket to the semi-finals, winning 5-3 after Sebastian Abreu converted the winning penalty.
It will forever be remembered as one of the most divisive moments in World Cup history. Was Suarez right to do all he could for his own country and ensure their progress to the next round, or was he wrong to end Ghana’s World Cup hopes in a manner so out of touch with the spirit of the game?
Decide for yourself: you can watch the full highlights here.
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