Gyan puts WC demons to rest
Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan has admitted his anguish at missing Ghana's penalty in the World Cup.
Last Updated: 11/02/11 10:00am
Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan has admitted his anguish at missing Ghana's penalty in the World Cup, but is loving life in the Premier League.
During the hard fought World Cup quarter-final between Ghana and Uruguay, Gyan felt the heartbreak of missing a penalty that would have taken his country through into the last four.
The penalty stemmed from a handball offence from new Liverpool signing Luis Suarez, a fact sure to add an extra layer of intrigue when Sunderland face the Reds in March.
Despite a heart-breaking miss that meant the striker couldn't sleep for a week, the 25-year-old club record signing is able to look back philosophically on that night.
Gyan told The Independent: "Before the penalty I said to myself, 'This is it. I will put this in, do my dance, and make everyone happy.'
"I knew everyone had confidence in me, and I knew myself that I was going to score, because my record with penalty kicks was excellent.
"I had already scored two in the World Cup. Everyone was already celebrating."
Despite being handed a red card that would see him miss the semi-finals for his country, Uruguayan Luis Suarez was undoubtedly the villain on the evening.
"People in my country hate him," added Gyan.
"In his shoes I would have done the same. But the people in my country. He cannot ever go there. He is the most hated man in Ghana."
Gyan has been a revelation since arriving at the Stadium of Light in the summer from Rennes.
While some may have baulked at a transfer figure in the region of £13million, Gyan has chipped in with vital goals this season.
The task of the forward has been made all the more important following the shock departure of strike partner Darren Bent, who opted to move to Aston Villa in January.
"My agent called me and said 'Darren's leaving'. I thought, 'Am I dreaming or what?' All of a sudden he is leaving." he said.
"There had been no sign. I'd never seen sadness on his face. It was surprising.
"But you know, in football you play for your team but money also counts. He has a family and he got a good deal.
"I feel more responsibility, sure. And with Danny Wellbeck injured I am the only striker left. But I don't ever put pressure on myself. I have no doubt at all about my qualities."