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Black Stars Unite Africa

Thierry Gouegnon/Twenty Ten, Jean-Pierre Kepseu/Twenty Ten and Ahmed Jallanzo/Twenty Ten and Emmanuel Quaye/Twenty Ten

Associated features: Forlan (Text feature) and Africa Loses (Text feature)

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Africa united behind Ghana’s Black Stars in the quarterfinal.

The hope of an African team winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup was finally dashed when Uruguay beat Ghana on penalties at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

The sense of pride that an African team had progressed so far in the football tournament reverberated around the world. Africans from every tribe and tongue united behind Ghana as the last of the six African teams still remaining in the competition. With Nigeria, Cameroon, Bafana Bafana, Ivory Coast and Algeria knocked out, Ghana carried the dreams of the African continent with them to the quarter finals.

Young and old, black and white, African and non-African united behind the Black Stars as they took to the pitch on July 2. With faces painted, flags waving and vuvuzelas blowing, a tremendous atmosphere of African unity descended on the continent. The stadium, fan parks and living rooms were filled with fans cheering for the West African team, and as they scored the first goal of the match, spirits were high.

However, after Uruguay equalised in the second half, the pressure was on for the boys in red. A controversial hand ball that prevented Ghana scoring again in the dying minutes of the game resulted in a penalty for the Black Stars. After missing the goals, the match went to a penalty shoot out where Uruguay won 4-2.

The crowd at the stadium echoed the disappointment felt by fans continent-wide as Ghana became the last African team to bow out of the World Cup. Although the Black Stars were beaten, the sense of African pride and unity that emerged from their performance in the tournament won't easily be forgotten.

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