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Top 20 World Cup moments: Luis Suarez ‘hands’ Uruguay semifinal spot – No. 17

May 26, 2014, 2:24 PM EST

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As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 17.

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 17, Suarez handles on the line late on as Uruguay advance past Ghana

In the dying stages of extra time of the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals between Ghana and Uruguay in South Africa, the scores were locked at 1-1 and heading to penalty kicks. Then Ghana had a corner in the 120 minutes and Stephan Appiah’s shot was blocked on the line by Luis Suarez, then the rebound fell to Dominic Adiyiah who headed towards the goal but Suarez batted the ball away… with his hand. Cue a red card for Suarez, a penalty to Ghana and a chance for Asamoah Gyan to send in an African team into the final four of a World Cup for the first time in history. Instead Gyan skied the penalty, Suarez was shown celebrating and Uruguay ended up winning the game on penalties and advancing to the semifinals.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

Suarez became public enemy no. 1 in Africa and was hounded as the man who cheated and angered an entire continent. His actions were deemed as unsportsmanlike by many and heroic by others as his teammate Diego Forlan and coach Oscar Tabarez both hailed the actions of Liverpool’s striker. The incident divided opinions across the globe as Suarez’s actions had handed his nation a small chance of advancing to the semifinals and his gamble paid off.

Would you stop a certain goal with your hand in the dying stages of a crucial World Cup knockout game to give your country a chance of advancing? Think about it.

Suarez’s moment of madness (or genius) became a true talking point in World Cup history.

  1. northseattlebruce - May 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    What a bunch of morons.

    Suarez did not cheat when he handed the ball. He deliberately chose to commit a foul and paid the price with a red card. He played the game within the rules and it worked out for his team. That’s not underhanded. It’s smart.

    How can people criticize him for breaking a rule and taking his medicine, and yet tolerate the endemic faking of fouls and injuries in soccer, calling it “cleverness”? Suarez might be the very worst offender in that category. If you want to castigate the guy, choose the proper issue.

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