This week marked exactly 10 years since striker Asamoah Gyan’s infamous penalty miss against Uruguay at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Gyan squandered what is, by far, an African team’s best chance of making the World Cup semi-finals for the first time.
The penalty was awarded in the 120th minute of that game with the scoreline at 1-1. Now Barcelona star Luis Suarez deliberately used his hand to block Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound header on the line and a penalty was given.
Gyan, who had already scored two penalties in the tournament, appeared very confident of scoring but his kick took a ricochet off the goal post. The referee ended the game soon after. The affair was settled on penalties, with the South Americans winning 4-2 to progress to the last four.
On Thursday, Ghanaians took to social media to recall memories of the infamous miss. However, some ended up criticising Gyan, again. Boateng, who was a member of the team, has strongly spoken against such comments.
Boateng, who was one of the first players to console Gyan after the game told Joy Sports: “I don’t know why Ghanaians still criticize Asamoah Gyan [on the penalty miss]. If we had won that game, you guys have no idea the kind of money we were going to make.”
“Do you think Gyan would intentionally miss the penalty? We would have made a lot of money and put Ghana on a different pedestal of football. You can also consider the name he would have made if he had scored the penalty.”
“People who understand football will not blame Asamoah Gyan because he did what he was supposed to do. Even after the miss, he stood up and played the first penalty in the shootout to show Ghanaians that he was the right person to play. During the first game against Serbia, he played and scored and he played another one and scored.”
“He was scoring goals in the tournament as well. He was the leader of the frontline so he had the confidence to play the penalty. We all love him. People have to stop doing what they are doing. He has done a lot for the nation. It’s heartbreaking when you hear people saying things about him.”
Gyan moved on from the penalty miss to score more goals for Ghana and is currently the country’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals.