ON THIS DAY: The infamous handball that stopped an African dream


On this day in 2010, BaGhana BaGhana as they were nicknamed by South Africans were seconds away from making history by becoming the first African country to qualify for the FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

But DRAMA happened… during the match against Uruguay which took place at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) on a Friday, 2 July 2010.

Ghana took the lead through a Sulley Muntari long range shot on the stroke of half time.

But the South Americans responded through a stunner of a free kick by their captain Diego Forlan to take the match to extra-time.

The moment of madness took place in the last minutes of extra time as Ghana sent a free kick into the penalty area but Luis Suarez blocked Stephen Appiah’s shot on the goal line.

On the rebound, Dominic Adiyiah’s header was heading into the goal, but Suarez blatantly blocked the shot with his hands to save what would have been the extra-time winner which resulted in him being red carded.

But striker Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty kick hitting the crossbar resulting in the match going to penalties which Uruguay ended wining 4-2.

After the game, Suarez said, “I made the save of the tournament,” and, referring to the infamous handball goal scored by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup, claimed that “The ‘Hand of God’ now belongs to me”.

Suarez claimed he had no alternative and was acting out of instinct. The incident still hurts many Africans to date.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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