The yr is 2010 and “vuvuzelas” are trumpeting throughout the continent of Africa the place a good looking nation within the Southern a part of the black continent referred to as South Africa has defied the chances by being granted the golden alternative to host the world’s most prestigious soccer match, the FIFA World Cup.
The hosts, Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Nigeria’s Tremendous Eagles, Algeria’s Desert Foxes, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and Ivory Coast’s Elephants, have all packed their luggage and all African hopes and goals relaxation on the shoulders of the Black Star of Ghana after they come throughout Southern American wildcards, Uruguay.
What may presumably go improper? The “stunning” reply is every little thing would come crashing down on our (Ghana supporters’) heads.
Within the first half, you could possibly lower the stress with a knife because the ambiance within the FNB stadium, also referred to as Soccer Metropolis or the Calabash, as the soldiers vied for blood.
Each groups had been exchanging punches with none deadly blows till the midway mark when Ghana’s midfielder Sulley Muntari buried an Asamoah Gyan help dwelling.
The entire 94,736-seater Calabash erupted into euphoria as we thought this was it, our ticket into the semifinals.
Was it actually the much-awaited breakthrough? Sadly, the enjoyment and adrenaline had been to be short-lived because the eventual golden boot awardee Diego Forlan equalized simply 10 minutes into the second half.
On the 90-minute mark, solely 4 minutes of damage time had been added to no avail.
The sport stayed tied up till the ultimate whistle and naturally, there have been two choices left, both sealing a semifinal spot within the further time or taking it to the penalties.
From Cape to Cairo, all African spirits had been summoned to brighten the Black Stars and happily, the prayers of the little children of the soil appeared to be on the verge of being answered.
Only a minute earlier than the ultimate whistle of additional time, chaos erupted in Uruguay’s field with Luis Suarez heroically defending John Mensah’s effort off the road however the worst drama occurred when El Pistolero took over the goalkeeper’s accountability through the use of his arms to clear away a Dominic Adiyiah rebound header.
For these of us who had been rallying behind Ghana, we may really feel our blood vessels boiling with rage gazing our dwelling tv units.
I personally nonetheless keep in mind my 86-year-old grandmother who had by no means been a soccer fan earlier than this match uttering phrases I nonetheless keep in mind to today, “Dai ndaiva muroyi, uyu ndairova nemheni badzi (If I used to be a witch, I might strike this one (Suarez) with lightning).”
That is how essential the encounter was for not simply Ghana however for the delight of the African folks.
Suarez received matching orders and a penalty given to the Black Stars with the legendary quantity 3 ahead Asamoah Gyan stepping ahead to ship it dwelling.
We had been anxiously awaiting that exact second after we would all congratulate each other and exclaim, “We’ve got performed it!” as all of us stared at our household’s 24-inch tv.
Sadly, the soccer “gods” had one thing completely different in thoughts.
Gyan stepped ahead wanting nervous, hit the ball with all his may and all of us noticed our goals crumbling in our faces when it struck the crossbar, sending the sport into penalties when in fact, Uruguay managed to clinch a semifinals spot at our expense.
Quick ahead to the pandemic, movies of Ghanaian “Pallbearers,” the Nana Otafrija Pallbearing and Ready Companies Firm went viral everywhere in the web.
In an interview with Foot Mercato, Benjamin Aidoo, the founding father of the corporate, opened up on the extent of ache Luis Suarez had inflicted on not simply Ghana however everybody who was rooting for the Black Stars.
He stated: “For those who actually need one thing and Suarez is there, you may by no means attain it. The Ghanaians have not forgiven him, no. You already know that Ghanaians don’t forgive.”
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has given a possibility for the Black Stars to settle the scores with the architect of their 2010 ache nonetheless within the Uruguay squad.
Simply greater than a decade later the Black Stars make a date with La Celeste, this time round within the group phases with a spot within the spherical of 16 nonetheless at stake.
It’s a winner-take-all match however a extra motivated Ghana fancy their possibilities even to accept a draw.
Nevertheless, we’ve a vendetta state of affairs at hand and Luis “El Pistolero” Suarez may simply really feel the wrath of the raging Black Stars.
Is it the time for vengeance? Effectively, time will inform.
BY KELVIN NDUNGA, DAILY SABAH