All that separated Ghana from a ticket to the Semi-Finals was a penalty spot kick awarded at the very depth of extra time. And when it seemed like Ghana would make history by being the first African team to make it to the semi-finals, Asamoah Gyan blasted all of Africa’s hopes onto the crossbar.
It happened so fast that I didn’t even get to hold my breath. I couldn’t savor the tension or flirt with ecstatic thoughts of reaching the semi-finals. All I remember were four-worded expletives leaving my mouth and being trapped in a delusional nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. And it’s all Asamoah Gyan’s fault.
I was never confident in Asamoah Gyan’s penalty-taking capabilities. Even though he is a good striker in open play, his penalties have always been sketchy. People say I’m being negative but let me recall that this is the same striker that missed a penalty against Czech Republic to go two goals up four years ago.
Yes, I know it was Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez that villainously handled the ball and denied us the winner but he got what he desereved with a red card. To tell you the truth, I don’t blame him for cheating because it’s natural and I’ve seen a lot of players handle the ball on the goal line especially when the pressure mounts up. It’s not right but that doesn’t mean that they won’t do it.
What I didn’t expect was Asamoah Gyan to miss the most important penalty in his career. Penalties can be missed but I believe the statistical odds are with the player behind the ball. In Gyan’s case, it was supposed to be a game-winning penalty but he missed it. Seriously, ask yourself- did you think he was going to miss it? I sure didn’t. Ultimately, we shouldn’t have been in that situation.
What’s even worse is that the psychological baggage from the penalty miss carried over to the rest of the Ghanaian squad and affected their performance. John Mensah’s horribly tame effort at the penalty kick. Adiyah’s inexperience and opening of his body tipped off Uruguay goalkeeper into making an easy save.
But overall, Ghana has had a good run at the World Cup and there is no use in dwelling on what could have been. If only that idiot Suarez didn’t handle the ball on the goal line and Asamoah Gyan didn’t miss that penalty. Ok, I’ll end it here. Just like Ghana’s World Cup campaign.