Uruguay star Luis Suarez says saving his side in the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals against Ghana remains one of his fond memories with the National team.
The Atletico Madrid attacker was the hero in the quarterfinal game when he blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header on the line with his hands. A situation which saw him being sent off late into extra time and ultimately gifting Ghana a penalty.
Just when it looked like it was all over for the former Barcelona star and his team, Ghana’s best bet Asamoah Gyan struck his kick against the upright to force the game into penalty shootouts.
Misses from John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah saw the South American side progress to the semis as the Black Stars missed out on a golden opportunity to become the first African country to reach the last four at the mundial.
Suarez has recounted the nerve-wracking moments which occurred in South African 11 years ago.
“Yes the truth is that, it was a bit of everything. Of being depressed, being sad for being sent off, because we were going to lose, but if they (Ghana) didn’t score that goal then we weren’t going to lose.
“Thirty seconds later when he (Asamoah Gyan) takes the penalty kick, the satisfaction of..well, I took a risk in a situation of which I have been blamed for anti-fair play.
“However, the Ghana player missing the penalty is not my fault. Not at all, I didn’t kick anyone or anything like that.
“That’s why I think that I celebrated like that, for having taken a risk for something that was worth it. And I remember that I celebrated it more than a goal. A teammate on the bench passed out on that play, (Laughs).
“Castillo, he passed out in the celebration of the penalty kick, he says he passed out and well I left screaming and went to the locker room to watch the penalty kicks. And the truth is it was painful watching the penalties in the locker room.
“I will tell you more when El Loco Abreu hits the penalty kick I was with one of the kits men and we said good.
“And we see everyone taking off running. We hadn’t realized that we had won and then we were running onto the field, and it was incredible.
“It was a moment that, to me, is one of the best moments I experienced with the national team.”
Uruguay eventually lost to the Netherlands in the semi-finals and finished fourth in the competition after losing to Germany in the bronze medal game.