To have missed a history setting penalty in the 121st minute – as Ghana and Africa stood on the brink of their first ever appearance into a World Cup semi-final would have weighed heavy on the mind and heart of a mere mortal. We can lose ourselves in the miasma of Afro-pessimism and simple minded fatalism.
But Asamoah Gyan showed the courage of a lion to come out and convert that first penalty in the shootout to get Ghanaian and African hearts beating. He gave them hope once again.
He is a special player – and Ghana should be proud of the way they never quit. For large parts of the match they were the better team. The Black Stars have established themselves as the torchbearers of Africa- they may not be the best footballing nation in that continent, the Egyptians lay claim to that, but they always seem to be their most consistent performer.
These are feel good words and Ghanaians everywhere have every right to be inconsolable with the match that got away. But lets put it this way- you gave hope, realistic hope to millions of people. Africa is ready to compete. Your time will come.