FEATURE: Remembering Asamoah Gyan's World Cup impact

Published on: 01 May 2020

Ghana's all-time top scorer scored at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions to supplant Roger Milla as Africa’s top scorer at the finals.

Ghana vs Czech Republic (2006)

Having lost their opening Group E game vs Italy 2-0, the Black Stars needed a victory over the Czechs if they were to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

A 20-year-old Asamoah Gyan netted his first goal at the finals only two minutes into the game after chesting down a Stephen Appiah pass before sending a low volley past Petr Cech, one of Europe’s top shot-stoppers at the time. The West African nation went on to win 2-0.

Karel Bruckner’s troops couldn’t replicate the form they showed at Euro 2004 and exited the competition early.

Gyan missed a second-half penalty, hitting the post, a portent to a costly failure against Uruguay four years later.

Ghana vs Serbia (2010)

Having been sent off four years earlier in the side’s 3-0 defeat by Brazil at the Round of 16, Gyan made up for the dismissal by netting a late penalty against Serbia as Ghana won 1-0.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic had strangely handled an Andre Ayew cross into the box, and the Black Stars striker sent Vladimir Stojkovic the wrong way to seal a narrow win.

Ghana vs Australia (2010)

The striker came up trumps in the West African nation’s 1-1 draw with the Socceroos, equalizing after Brett Holman sent the side from Down Under ahead.

Admittedly not as late as his winner against the Serbs, Gyan stepped up to score from 12 yards again after Harry Kewell’s goal-line handball.

Mark Schwarzer was beaten by the attacker who kicked to the goalie’s left, with the stopper going the other way.

Both sides ended level on four points, but the Black Stars went through by virtue of their superior goal difference.

Ghana scored two goals in their three games against Serbia, Australia, and Germany, both coming from Gyan.

Ghana vs the United States of America (2010)

Probably the best of the forward’s World Cup strikes saw him win the African side’s Round of 16 match with the USA 2-1.

Having been pegged back by a Landon Donovan penalty on the hour, the encounter went into extra-time, and it took just three minutes for Gyan to prove his worth.

Ayew played a long hopeful ball downfield but the forward’s pace saw him surprisingly emerge with the ball at the expense of both Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit.

He sent a left-footed half-volley past Tim Howard and the Black Stars held on for a big win.

Penalty miss vs Uruguay (2010)

Africa’s most painful World Cup moment came in Ghana’s shoot-out defeat by Uruguay in the quarter-final after the match had ended 1-1 following 120 minutes.

However, the Black Stars had the perfect opportunity to win the game after Luis Suarez stopped a goal-bound Dominic Adiyiah effort with his hands, thus conceding a penalty deep into stoppage time in overtime.

Unfortunately, in dramatic scenes, Gyan hit the bar with his spot-kick, prompting wild celebrations from Suarez, who’d been in tears before the kick was taken.

The crestfallen Gyan did score in the shoot-out, but it wasn’t to be as his teammates fluffed their lines to lose 4-2 on penalties, denying Africa a representative in the last four for the first time in history.

Ghana vs Germany (2014)

Now, captain of the Black Stars, Gyan pulled level with Cameroon great Roger Milla with a well-taken strike after good work from Sulley Muntari to briefly send the African side 2-1 up.

The goal also saw him become the first African to score in three World Cup finals.

It may have finished 2-2, but the encounter at Castelao will go down in history given Gyan’s feat as well as Miroslav Klose also equalling Ronaldo’s 15-goal haul at the finals. Both players went on to break both records in Brazil.

Ghana vs Portugal (2014)

The Black Stars needed to beat Portugal and hope for USA’s hammering by Germany but instead fell to a 2-1 defeat following Cristiano Ronaldo’s 80th-minute goal.

Regardless of their elimination, Ghana’s Gyan made history having converted a header from Kwadwo Asamoah’s outside-of-the-foot cross just before the hour.

The goal saw him overtake Milla to become the Africa’s outright leading scorer at the World Cup with six strikes.

Source: goal.com