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Ghana vs Uruguay: Cruel exit for the Black Stars; heartbreak for Africa

Ghana could not convert key penalties - in the last minute of extra time or in the penalty shootout - to win the Ghana vs Uruguay game. Uruguay's La Celeste advances to the semifinal with the Netherlands.

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And they were punished for it one minute later when deadly finisher Diego Forlan made the Jabulani his servant with a magical free kick that curled around Ghana’s wall of defenders and dipped down into the net. One-one.

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The crowd fell silent and Ghana was knocked off its form for the rest of the half. Uruguay seized control of the match and pressed an attack that repeatedly confounded the normally robust Ghanaian defense.

Shark-like strikers Forlan and Luis Suarez were unable to score, however, and the game went into extra time.

In extra time, Uruguay seemed content to ride out the two 15-minute periods and take their chances on penalty kicks. But Ghana kept pushing, kept attacking, and almost put the ball in the back of the net multiple times.

In the final minute of extra time, they were nearly rewarded, but Uruguay’s Suarez earned a red card for swatting the ball out of the goal with his hand. A penalty was awarded, but Gyan – Ghana’s go-to guy and its top scorer of the tournament – inexplicably rushed his shot and hit the crossbar.

No goal! Heartbreak!

But there was still hope.

The game then went to the dreaded penalty-kick shootout with Uruguay surely feeling like destiny was on its side. The Uruguayan goalkeeper even thanked the crossbar as if he was thanking God for the divine intervention.

Forlan took Uruguay’s first kick burying it off to the right. Gyan then redeemed himself but putting his nerves aside and tucking the ball in the top right corner.

Ghana’s captain, John Mensah stepped up with a weak shot and missed. Heartbreak No. 2.

But wait. Uruguay’s Pareira missed his. A door was opened for Ghana.

But the next Ghanaian player to step up, Dominic Adiyah, missed his. Heartbreak No. 3.

Then Sebastian Abreu thrust the dagger in with a cold-hearted chip that drifted into the goal.

The stadium fell quiet.

Gyan cried. Ghana cried. Africa is still crying.

IN PICTURES: Top 12 Goals of the Second Week and Top 10 Goals of the First Week

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