Derek Boateng has called on Ghanaians to desist from the continuous criticism of Asamoah Gyan after failing to convert a late spot-kick.
Gyan, 34, made the headlines during the 2010 FIFA World Cup staged in South Africa against Uruguay in a quarterfinals game.
Gyan squandered a chance that would have propelled Ghana to play in the semi-finals for the first time.
The penalty was awarded in the 120th minute of that game with the scoreline at 1-1.
Luis Suarez deliberately blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound header with his hands on the line and a penalty was given.
Gyan, who had already scored two penalties in the tournament, appeared very confident of scoring but his kick took a ricochet off the goal post. The referee ended the game soon after. The affair was settled on penalties, with the South Americans winning 4-2 to progress to the last four.
Gyan has been consistently criticised for failing to find the back of the next in the last minute.
Thursday, July 2, marked exactly 10 years the former Sunderland striker missed the glorious opportunity.
“I don’t know why Ghanaians still criticise Asamoah Gyan [on the penalty miss]. If we had won that game, you guys have no idea the kind of money we were going to make,” Boateng, a former Ghana international told Joy Sports.
“Do you think Gyan would intentionally miss the penalty? We would have made a lot of money and put Ghana on a different pedestal of football. You can also consider the name he would have made if he had scored the penalty.
“People, who understand football, will not blame Asamoah Gyan because he did what he was supposed to do. Even after the miss, he stood up and played the first penalty in the shootout to show Ghanaians that he was the right person to play. During the first game against Serbia, he played and scored and he played another one and scored.
“He was scoring goals in the tournament as well. He was the leader of the frontline so he had the confidence to play the penalty. We all love him. People have to stop doing what they are doing. He has done a lot for the nation. It’s heartbreaking when you hear people saying things about him,” he noted.
Gyan moved on from the penalty miss to score more goals for Ghana and is currently the country’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals.