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World Cup Daily Recap: Uruguay ousts Ghana on penalties, Brazil stunned

Uruguay Ghana (Reuters) 


Nearly every exit from the World Cup is heartbreaking, but few will be crueler than Ghana's quarterfinal defeat to Uruguay.

After Luis Suarez temporarily saved his team from elimination by clearing a shot off the goal-line with his hands in the final minute of extra time, Asamoah Gyan had the golden opportunity to make Ghana the first African nation to ever reach the semifinals of a World Cup when he stepped up to take his third penalty kick of the tournament.

He missed, smashing his shot off the crossbar and sending the game into penalty kicks. That's where Uruguay came out victorious, winning the shutout, 4-2, for its first semifinal spot in 40 years.

The victory for Uruguay not only crushed the dreams of the entire African continent, it was also the South Americans' first comeback of the tournament. 

After falling behind at the end of the first half to a goal from distance by Sulley Muntari, Diego Forlan equalized with a free kick goal in the 55th minute.

Here are the match highlights, as well as from the Brazil-Netherlands match:


Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Netherlands did what most would deem impossible: rally to defeat Brazil.

The Netherlands reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory that was made possible through an own goal by Felipe Melo and a headed finish by Wesley Sneijder.

Having fallen behind early to a Robinho goal that was assisted by Melo, the Dutch pulled level when the Juventus midfielder nodded a Sneijder cross into his own net in the 53rd minute. 

Things got worse for Melo 15 minutes later as he allowed Sneijder to head home easily from inside the six yard box following a corner kick. Melo then followed his two gaffes by getting sent off in the 73rd for stomping on Arjen Robben's leg.

The loss marks the second consecutive World Cup that Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Brazil was knocked out of the 2006 edition by France in a 1-0 affair.

The Dutch will play Uruguay in the semifinals on July 6 at 2:30 pm.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of Friday's matches? Happy to see Uruguay advance? Feeling bad for Gyan, or happy to see him miss that penalty? How big do you think Suarez will be missed vs. the Netherlands? Surprised Brazil lost?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. All I know is… if you are on my team… and the ball is about to go in during the last minute of extra time and you are on the line… you damn well better dive or jump up and swat the ball from going in… that is what teammates do…they play selflessly …. I felt awful for Gyan but Saurez did the right thing for his team… he paid the price.

  2. Hey idiot, take a reading comprehension class you. You should know about yawning. Every girl you date probably does it within the first 5 minutes of meeting you. Jerk!

  3. Yawn.

    Our boys had every opportunity to play proper defense but they didn’t – don’t give them credit they don’t deserve. Certainly not in justification of The Gha v Uru affair the two are totally unrelated.

  4. WOW, a lot people here are very high and mighty. Wouldn’t you want a player on your team to do the samething Suarez did? It was the right move. Ghana had their chances and couldn’t convert. Uruguay was punished.

  5. Absurd and ridiculous. Rationalize cheating all you like but it is what it is. Trying to make it noble is despicable. GO ORANGE!

  6. I’m told by some that the difference is that one was called and the other was not. Garbage, it was a disgraceful act in both cases. Suarez should have put his head on it, he didn’t even try to do that, instead he cheated. Not praiseworthy in my opinion.

  7. fischy ,

    Your analogy is completely wrong (and quite dumb). You are forgetting that goaltending in Basketball does not include the offender getting ejected from the game and banned for the next game. In fact, the goaltending player won’t even get a technical foul.

    It looks like you don’t really know the rules of either soccer or basketball.

    In soccer, the “goaltending” field player gets a red card, banned from the next match, and the aggrieved team gets a PK. I think the punishment fits the crime. Suarez broke the rules and he (as well as Uruguay) got punished. Ghana missed a golden opportunity.

  8. Re: both of you, the rule does NOT exempt players on the field from coverage. In fact, one of the clear instances in which it is supposed to be invoked is cynical fouls to stop scoring plays (eg if a team commits deliberate pass interference on the goal line three times in a row or something).

    I mean, the cardinal rule of soccer is “you can’t play the ball with your hands.” It’s like interfering with a pass by taking off your helmet and clubbing the receiver with it. I’d have no problems whatsoever awarding a touchdown in that situation.

    When you step outside the rules of the game, you should be punished appropriately. The only way to stop cheating is to make the penalty for cheating worse than the gain from getting away with it. Soccer’s foul system is unbelievably bad at doing so (it would actually be difficult to write a more idiotic rules code when it comes to penalties). This is kind of the extreme example that proves the rule.

    I’ve already noted that the referee had no power to order a goal in this situation, so I’m not sure (other than the naturalistic fallacy) why it’s still being brought up here.

  9. Uruguay put their HANDS on the ball inside the net during Ghana’s second goal. Do soccer game rules not dictate that this goal point is valid?
    Whatever the rules are, Fifa decided to overrule them and not give Ghana their second score.

    Where is the tradition in sport “May the best win”?
    Fifa supports “May the faulest win”.
    What a sad disgusting event, with incredibly nasty repercussions. Just make sure our kids – via Fifa supported soccer programs – don’t absorb fifa’s philosophy! Fifa, multibillion dollar mafia.

  10. Yeah — those stupid idiots tried to play within the rules,honestly. And, look where it got them.

    Americans won’t make that mistake again, hopefully?

  11. Ghana really, really, really messed it up at the end. Nobody believes they did anything but.

    However, it surprises me to see so much praise for Suarez… sure what he did was “smart,” but its also “smart” to hire a goon in hockey to headhunt and injure the other team’s best player. In one case, Suarez gets a red card and denies the other team a goal, in the other, some worthless player gets ejected and the other team is without their superstar. That doesn’t make it laudable, much less acceptable.

    Enough of this cost-benefit bullshit, fouls as egregious as that, and on the such a large stage, are nothing but reprehensible in my opinion.

  12. ” I would probably feel he had cynically denied a goal-scoring opportunity.”


    He did cynically deny a goal-scoring opportunity. Actually, that’s not true — “opportunity” implies that there would be a chance of scoring or not. Suarez cynically denied a certain goal.

    It doesn’t make sense to “feel” otherwise. It’s an undeniable fact.

  13. I’m no a big fan of the professional foul, either — but it is different. This didn’t deny a goal-scoring opportunity. It denied a sure goal, as it was about to cross the line. What if it’s a defender who dives to grab a ball before it can roll across the line? It’s despicable. Not even lose to a fair play. The problem is the rules do not provide the proper remed — which should have been to award the goal to Ghana. Just like goaltending in basketball.

  14. “Suarez is smart and praised. Henry cheated and was not punished.”


    You’re wrong about this. Suarez cheated, too. The only distinction is that Suarez was punished and Henry was not. There was no way to punish Henry or help Ireland, because the refs missed the foul. WIthout instant replay review, there can be no way to ever address a foul that was missed by the refs — that would be true here, if the refs had missed Suarez’ foul in the way the refs missed Frings’ handball against the USA. That’s the comparison — between fouls called and missed.

    The problem with the actual Suarez situation is that the current rules are inadequate. Even though the refs made the correct call, the rules do not provide an adequate remed. PKs are saved about 23% of the time. Pretty good odds considering the 100% chance that Ghana wins if Suarez doesn’t do it.

    The rules need to be changed to put in a “goaltending” rule like they have in basketball. The refs should be able to award the goal, like they do in basketball.

  15. The rules suck and should be changed.

    Basketball has the goaltending rule. It’s a foul, but they’ve realized the only just remedy is warding the field goal. Otherwise, it’s unfair and there’s too much incentive to deliberately commit this foul. It should be the same in soccer. When a defender, who is behind the goalie, plays the ball with his hands. the ref should be empowered to determine it denied a sure goal and award the goal.

  16. Hi, Paul.

    Using your analogy, this play was more like a pass interference on a last play of game hail Mary pass to the endzone.

    No touchdown is awarded. Team gets the ball on the 1 and still has to score.

    In the case of Ghana, it all happened how it is supposed to- PK and man ejected. Have to make the PK.

  17. Can I assume that this means you are not among the hordes of people who wished that Bocanegra and/or DeMerit slammed Gyan to the ground outside the box?

  18. Agreed. Back in my playing days, I was one of those guys guarding the post on corner kicks, and my coach told me the exact same thing.

  19. Ghana is a savvy team and Suarez’s handball is something they would have done too. Suarez uses his hand and Guay steps up with a chance to steal the game and blows it. Then Ghana still has the chance to win on PK’s except one dude doesn’t believe in running starts and another player takes a terrible shot that is easily blocked by the goalie. Ghana deserved to lose because they could only convert 2 spot kicks with all their chances.

  20. There’s a little-known rule in football (the American version) that allows referees to award any penalty they see fit for grossly unsporting behavior. The classic example of this was a play in which a player had broken away on a punt return and the coach came off the sidelines to tackle him and prevent a touchdown. Normally the worst penalty available is 15 yards and an ejection, but the referee invoked the special exception and awarded the touchdown.

    I approve of that rule. Obviously this referee had no power to invoke it, because it’s not in soccer’s laws. He did the right thing. But he should have had that power, and having it, he should have used it.

    (SBI-Sorry Paul, but comparing a coach running onto the field of play and interfering with a play with what Suarez did is laughable. Your “special exception” was not with regard to players on the field and last time I checked Luis Suarez was a player on the field. The penalties for violations by players are clear in football as they are in soccer. There’s no discretionary decision a ref can make with regard to players on the field of play, nor should there be.)

  21. No more unsportsmanlike than diving and rolling around on the ground as if you have been shot, only to be miraculously cured as soon as the stretcher is set down on the sidelines. I am absolutely delighted to see a bunch of unethical players lose in an unethical manner.


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