By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer
Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with Luis Suárez’s shameful handball.
The ball was heading toward an open net. It was going to be a goal for Ghana, no doubt about it. Not just any goal, either. This one, in the final minute extra time of their 2010 quarterfinal against Uruguay, would make the Black Stars the first African team to reach a World Cup semifinal — on South African soil, no less.
Standing on the goal line, Uruguay forward Luis Suárez had a decision to make. His choice would stop Ghana’s destiny cold. Knowing full well that he’d receive a red card, Suarez batted the ball out of the air with his hands, calculating in a split second that the only chance his team had of staying in the contest was to avoid conceding the goal at any cost — even if that meant sacrificing himself — and force Ghana to convert a penalty kick instead.
Dark arts of the highest order? Absolutely. Unsporting conduct? Of course. But Suarez’s stone-cold logic in using the rules to his team’s advantage was sound. Sure enough, Asamoah Gyan missed from the spot. Uruguay went on to win the ensuing shootout and advanced to the final four.
The other Hand of God
Luis Suárez received a red card for blocking a goal with his hands in Uruguay’s matchup against Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.
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