Ghana is out. Africa weeps.
Well, not really. Most are just sulking and pointing fingers at either Gyan or Mensa for horridly taken penalty kicks. Or the super-Afrocentric tend to be blaming Suarez for being a second goal keeper.
Either way. Ghana is out. And the African Dream has experienced the rudest of awakenings. I hate to say “I told you so….” but to be quite fair, I was out there cheering as loud and as proud as anyone else.
I wanted them to win. And for a second there, it looked like they would. But….
Honestly, the game was surreal.
After a slow start, Ghana began dominating. Purposeful possession lead to scoring in the 47th minute leaving everybody in high spirits. Conceding the equalizer shortly after the half(from an expertly taken free-kick, all bias aside). Fighting for redemption; for the team, for the country, for the continent, for the glory. Excellent and horrible football juxtaposed so succinctly that you were applauding before you had finished cursing. Cliffhanger after cliffhanger. Tick tock. 90 minutes. End of regulation time. On to Injury time. Extra time. First half, nothing. Second half…almost over…and then, on the 121st minute, the ball is struck straight into the goal…..and volleyed away by Suarez’ hands.
It should be 2-1, considering he was behind the line. It’s a penalty instead. Fair enough*. Africa rises, almost certain the game is over. Gyan steps up wearing his boots that have been nothing short of magic thus far. We want to bate our breaths but before we know it, he is pacing to strike the ball. We all assumed it was in until we heard the ball connect with the upright bar.
In the latest possible hour of the day, Africa’s hearts simultaneously sunk. Penalty time. With Kingson, the man who either makes amazing saves or plays pathetic games. Given his fumbles during regular play, most hope was lost. After a few chances at redemption, we lost it all. Point fingers all you want, it was a group failure.
But you know what? Sometimes it’s just not your moment to shine.
Did Ghana play well? They wouldn’t have made it that far if they didn’t.
Could Ghana have won? Easily. They attained a skill level few had anticipated.
Are we proud? I’m trying to be, but it’s hard. They pretty much dug their own grave and then proceeded to lay in it and see if Uruguay would cover them up in dirt.
So did they deserve to win? Honestly, I can’t say. They definitely deserved that 2-1 scoreline that wasn’t awarded. But everything after that was…not good. They weren’t ready. No Ayew, no Essien,…etc, etc….they just weren’t ready.
It was sad more than anything.
Oh well. Next time, maybe.
Also related: Brazil is out and my Argentina bandwagon no longer has any more room so you’ll just have to walk behind us.