One South American team down today, three more to go? Brazil lost to The Netherlands 2-1 thanks to a Felipe Melo own goal, a winner by Wesley Sneijder shortly followed up by Melo’s straight red card for stomping on a Dutch player. Once again the run ends for Brazil in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, and that definitely means the end of Dunga.
On to Africa’s last hope. Ghana knocked out the USA in the last round in extra time and will play Uruguay in Soccer City, Johannesburg. It’s sure to be a tight game with emotions running high. Join me for the live-blog as we watch some quarterfinal football and the insightful analysis of John Harkes.
Lineups from the BBC:
Uruguay: 1-Fernando Muslera; 2-Diego Lugano, 6-Mauricio Victorino, 4-Jorge Fucile, 16-Maximiliano Pereira, 15-Diego Perez, 17-Egidio Arevalo, 7-Edinson Cavani, 20-Alvaro Fernandez, 9-Luis Suarez, 10-Diego Forlan.
Ghana: 22-Richard Kingson; 4-John Pantsil, 5-John Mensah, 15-Isaac Vorsah, 2-Hans Sarpei; 6-Anthony Annan, 23-Kevin-Prince Boateng, 7-Samuel Inkoom, 11-Sulley Muntari; 21-Kwadwo Asamoah, 3-Asamoah Gyan.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).
11:02 AM – BREAKING NEWS: Dunga resigns as Brazil’s coach.
11:31 AM – Game hasn’t started yet due to a “Say No to Racism” campaign speech. Anthems have been played and we should be ready soon.
1st min – We’re underway from Soccer City, and Harkes is already talking about emotional unity. I cannot stand John Harkes.
3rd – Suarez strays offside.
5th – That was fun. Samuel Inkoom clears a corner off the line at the near post.
7th – Slow start to this one but Uruguay has gotten the better of the play so far. Harkes mentions camera bulbs in the stands. Blood boiling.
10th – Great ball skills by Luis Suarez….but the shot goes straight at Richard Kingson.
14th – What a free kick by Forlan. Richard Kingson punch goes straight in the air and before Uruguay can challenge for the ball the referee whistles for a foul against Luis Suarez.
18th – OH CRAP! John Mensah nearly scores in his own net! Cavani got the first flick on the corner kick and then Mensah got the 2nd towards his own goal, and Kingson saved quickly.
21st – Jorge Fucile will miss the semifinal should Uruguay advance. Yellow card given for a foul on Gyan. Free kick is headed clear by the defense.
25th – Terrible giveaway by Ghana leads to a chance for Diego Forlan but he flashes it wide. Difficult angle and a difficult shot.
26th – Ghana goes to sleep again and Suarez is denied brilliantly by Kingson! WOW!
30th – OOHHHH!! SO CLOSE FOR GHANA! Great corner taken and Isaac Vorsah has his header go inches wide. Best chance for them.
31st – AND THEY GO WIDE WITH ASAMOAH GYAN! Ghana are so deadly on the counter attack.
35th – Harkes continues to say “Ian” during his analysis. Who else is with you in your commentary position, John?
38th – SUB FOR URUGUAY: Lugano off, Andres Scotti coming on. The captain picked up an injury earlier so it looks like that’s why he’s been taken off. Meanwhile, Asamoah Gyan picks out Sulley Muntari at the backpost, but his header goes wide. Half-chance.
42nd – Jorge Fucile may have knocked himself out trying to win a header. He goes over Inkoom after misjudging the header and fell on the back of his head. Oh dear.
45th – Great ball from Inkoom and Prince-Boateng tries a spectacular overhead kick. It goes over the bar but that was a very enjoyable moment.
45th +2 – GOAL FOR GHANA!!!! WHAT A FANTASTIC SWERVING EFFORT FROM SULLEY MUNTARI TO END THE HALF!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING!!! He just tried his luck from 35-40 yards out on his left foot and it just swerved away from the goalkeeper at the last moment and it sends a whole continent to euphoria. Wow. 1-0 Ghana at halftime.
45th – 2nd half underway.
46th – Cavani tries to get behind the defense and goes down in the penalty area. None given and rightly so. If there was a foul it happened outside the box. Yellow card for Egidio Arevalo for obstruction.
52nd – Uruguay looked disorganized and frustrated, but the Dutch were too and we know how that ended. Corner for Uruguay coming up.
53rd – The corner fails and Kevin Prince-Boateng could’ve leg a great counter-attack but mucked up the pass and mucked up the chance to make it 2-0.
55th – GOAL FOR URUGUAY! WHAT A FREE KICK GOAL FROM DIEGO FORLAN! It curled in beautifully and Kingson could not get to it in time. Beautiful strike.
58th – Hopefully that goal does not demoralize Ghana. Apparently it doesn’t. Asamoah Gyan stays onside and fires a low shot along the grass and Mulsera makes the save. They could not score on the rebound and win a corner….which they can’t convert into anything good.
59th – Gyan was miles offside on that last chance. INSTANT REPLAY PLEASE!
61st – Sulley Muntari is offside this time.
63rd – Kingson has a horrible mistake and takes his eye off the ball…it goes off his feet for a corner instead of clearing it down field. Uruguay doesn’t score so it’s a let off. Meanwhile, Ian Darke thinks Argentina are playing Japan tomorrow.
63rd (still) – Luis Suarez is UNMARKED at the far post and misses the target. Should’ve been a goal.
65th – Suarez is very much onside and clear in on goal, but offside is given. Hmmm…..
66th- Prince-Boateng gets assaulted and they don’t give Ghana an obvious penalty. Hmmmm…..
70th – Very entertaining game, so far. Ghana are still pressing for the go-ahead goal. But as I say that Suarez gets played in behind the defense and Kingson denis him again!
73rd – Awful clearance from Mauricio Victorino is presented to Asamoah Gyan, who takes the shot on the volley but straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
74th – SUB FOR GHANA: Steven Appiah is coming on for Samuel Inkoom.
76th – SUB FOR URUGUAY: Sebastian Abreu is on for Edinson Cavani. Abreu is 33 years old and is a forward.
78th – Ghana leaves at least 4 Uruguayans unmarked on a free kick and Luis Suarez has his header turned aside by Kingson.
80th – Uruguay has had the last 3 good chances and Harkes says the momentum is shifting because Ghana are keeping possession better. Idiot.
84th – It’s been all Uruguay these last few minutes. Diego Forlan is definitely my Man of the Match.
88th – SUB FOR GHANA: Dominic Adiyiah comes on for the goalscorer Sulley Muntari.
90th – Corner for Ghana. Extra time looming. Diego Perez clears and there will be 3 minutes of stoppage time to be played.
GHANA 1 URUGUAY 1 (EXTRA TIME TO BE PLAYED)
Are you nervous? You should be.
91st – Extra time is underway. Two 15 minute halves. If we don’t get a winner it’s penalty kick time…I hate penalty kicks.
93rd – John Mensah is booked, presumably for dissent.
96th – Asamoah Gyan looking to play hero again, but shooting well over the bar isn’t the way to glory.
98th – Arevalo with a horrible giveaway in his own penalty area and Asamoah Gyan outmuscles him to the ball and cannot get a clear shot away. Oooh no and he twisted his ankle in the process. Horrible site to see. He’s limped off the pitch.
102nd – Hans Sarpei takes a knock on the knee. Corner for Uruguay in the meantime is cleared away. Fatigue starting to settle in.
104th – Midfield giveaway by Appiah leads to a Uruguay chance. Nicolas Lodeiro attempted to cross and it deflected on goal but Kingson hangs on after nearly fumbling it.
105th – Chippy first half of ET. Still 1-1 but half-chances at both ends.
106th – Does John Harkes think that teams win based on crowd emotion and heart?
109th – Steven Appiah crosses to Asamoah Gyan, who is okay after that ankle twist, but he does not get a good head on the Jabulani ball and it sails well wide.
113th – Great ball control from Appiah in the penalty area. Luckily Uruguay stop him from getting a shot away.
114th – Far post cross comes right to the feet of Diego Forlan. His shot towards the near post is just wide and out for a goal kick.
115th – Mad scramble in the penalty area for Ghana! Gyan brings the ball down and then the Uruguayan defender nearly clears the ball into his own net!
118th – WHAT A CHANCE FOR PRINCE-BOATENG! Near post header is fired wide from close range. He was nearly a continental hero there.
120th – Free kick for Ghana. Is this their moment? OH MY GOODNESS THE BALL IS KNOCKED AROUND!!! SHOT GOES OFF THE LINE!!!! ANOTHER HEADER IS OFF THE LINE AGAIN!!! OH IT’S A HANDBALL ON THE LINE AND A PENALTY! SUAREZ IS GIVEN A RED CARD!!!!!!!!!
122nd – ASAMOAH GYAN TO WIN IT…..OFF THE BAR!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! PENALTY SHOOTOUT!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!
That was insane.
Uruguay: Forlan ——– GOAL (1-0 Uruguay)
Ghana: Gyan (!) ——– GOAL (1-1)
Uruguay: Victorino —— GOAL (2-1 Uruguay)
Ghana: Appiah ——- GOAL (2-2)
Uruguay: Scotti —– GOAL (3-2 Uruguay)
Ghana: Mensah —— SAVED (3-2 Uruguay)
Uruguay: Pereira —— OVER THE BAR (3-2 Uruguay)
Ghana: Adiyah —— SAVED (3-2 Uruguay)
If Uruguay score here it’s over….
Uruguay: Abreu —— GOAL (4-2 Uruguay)
URUGUAY 1 GHANA 1 (URUGUAY WIN 4-2 ON PENALTY KICKS)
I feel sick typing that up. That was one of the greatest finishes I’ve ever seen but once again Africa falls short. Uruguay are through to play The Netherlands. Horrible way for it to end. I feel so so sorry for Asamoah Gyan. Well done to Uruguay but….ugh. African teams are cursed in this World Cup. Watch out for Ghana in 2014. Later guys.