'It's a big revenge!': Ghana to face Uruguay in grudge match 12 years in the making

Luis Suarez (left) celebrates on the shoulders of his teammate after Uruguay win their quarter-final match against Ghana in 2010, while a distraught Asomoah Gyan (right) is lifted from the ground. Credit: AP

For Ghana's loyal legion of football fans, Friday's group H match against Uruguay will be one of their most important in 12 years.

“Uruguay is not going to score [against] Ghana," a grinning Black Star supporter in Qatar told Goal South Africa.

"We are winning. It's a big revenge!"

At the 2010 South Africa World Cup, Ghana hoped that by beating Uruguay in a quarter-final clash, they would become the first African side to ever make the last four.

The teams were locked at 1-1 until the final minute of extra time, when Uruguay's Luis Suarez committed what Fifa dubbed "one of the most infamous handballs in Word Cup history".

The then Ajax forward thrusted his hand up to block a shot on target from Ghana. After getting sent off, he celebrated wildly when a spot kick from Asomoah Gyan's hit the crossbar.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez, left, stops the ball with his hands to give away a penalty kick in the last minute of extra time. Credit: AP

Uruguay won the subsequent penalty shoot-out. Ghanaian hearts were broken, and to make matters worse for their fans, Suarez said after the game that the handball "was worth it".

"It was a really, really long time ago," Ghana's current coach Otto Addo said ahead of Friday's meeting. “I’m not really thinking about revenge.”

Suarez, who at the age of 35 still plays for Uruguay, remains unrepentant.

“I don't apologise because I take the handball and the red card but the Ghana player missed the penalty. It's not my fault because I didn't miss the penalty,” he said on Thursday.

“We are going to put our lives and soul into this match," he added.

“Ghana is a good team but we know them, we have beaten them before and we know how to beat them again.”

Ghana's fans, meanwhile, demand 2022's Black Stars mete out justice to Uruguay.

A gesticulating Ghana supporter, wrapped in Ghana's tricolour, warned that Suarez should "get prepared".

“Because of Suarez, what he did that day, we are going to deal with him," he said.

One fan said Ghana were not above "doing a Suarez" in order to block a Uruguay effort, but another insisted “We will do a fair game… we’ll show the world that we’re here to stay, no hands".

If Ghana win Friday's game, they will sail through the the last 16 with current group leaders Portugal, while Uruguay would head home. If Ghana draw, they will likely still go through (provided their goal difference is better than South Korea's).

If Uruguay win, the Black Stars will lose yet another chance to set an African record, but for many Ghana fans, that's simply not an option.

One warned Uruguay, via media platform DR Sports: “We are the ones that are going to eliminate you, so that you feel the pain we felt in 2010!”