What you need to know:
- Andre Ayew’s spot kick on 21 minutes was easily saved
- Uruguay took total control and were cruising to a comfortable win before news filtered in from Education City Stadium that South Korea had pulled off an unlikely win.
In Doha, Qatar
For the second time in as many meetings, Uruguay ended Ghana’s stay in the World Cup, but on this occasion things did not go the way of the South Americans.
La Celeste needed to beat the Black Stars in a Group H match at Al Janoub Stadium, in Al Wakrah, some 20km away from central Doha on Friday to advance to the round of 16.
They did it with two clinical, predatory strikes in the first half from Brazilian-based midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta, but it was not enough as South Korea had minutes earlier snatched a 2-1 victory over group leaders Portugal to join them in the knock-out stage.
The eagerly anticipated match was billed, at least from a Ghanaian perspective, as the match where the Black Stars would finally exact revenge against Luis Suarez and Uruguay for knocking them out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
For those not familiar with the matter, the setting was at Johannesburg’s Soccer City where the South Americans beat the West Africans 4-2 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw in a dramatic quarter-final encounter.
Suarez deliberately stopped a sure goal with his hands leading to a penalty awarded to Ghana in the final minute of extra time but Ghana’s star Asamoah Gyan failed to score from the resultant spot kick.
Ghanaians have never forgiven Suarez for that act and here in Doha they were clearly spoiling for a revenge fight.
They booed vigorously every time Suarez touched the ball or his image appeared on the giant screen in the stadium.
The loss 12 years ago stopped Ghana from marching to a first ever semi-final qualification by an African team at the tournament.
At Al Janoub, Suarez was the hero of the sizable Uruguayan supporters who countered the Ghanaians' boos with wild cheers of adoration.
Ghana could have gone through with just a draw but the way they started the match they looked anything but a team capable of downing a determined and focused Suarez-led Uruguay.
Andre Ayew’s spot kick on 21 minutes was easily saved by the superb Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet. This seemed to throw the Black Stars out of balance.
Uruguay took total control and were cruising to a comfortable win before news filtered in from Education City Stadium that South Korea had pulled off an unlikely win.
When the final whistle went at Al Janoub, the Ghanaian side of the stadium wildly cheered, one would have thought the Black Stars had won.
In a way they had. They will certainly not be making any apologies.