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Former skipper of the Black Stars, Asamoah ‘Baby Jet’ Gyan, has refuted claims of friction between himself and Stephen Appiah, regarding who was to take the crucial penalty he missed against Uruguay in the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-final.

Having scored a penalty each against Serbia and Australia at the group stages, Gyan was to add to his tally in the tournament which was the first to be hosted on African soil, with all CAF representatives out but Ghana.

But unfortunately, the former Sunderland striker was denied by the woodwork after sending the Uruguayan goalkeeper to the wrong side.

That penalty miss denied Ghana the opportunity to become the first country outside Europe and South America to reach the semi-final of the most prestigious football tournament on the globe, a feat attained by Morocco at the latest edition of the Mundial.

Ghana lost the game 4-2 on penalties after the extra-time miss, although Gyan was able to convert his spot kick in the shootouts.

In an one-on-one interview with Captain Smart on Maakye Monday, April 15, 2024, the man who scored over 100 goals in 97 appearances for Al-Ain in the UAE explained that the misconception people have, especially concerning a picture that surfaced after the game, that Appiah was reprimanding him for not allowing him take that penalty is not true.

According to Gyan, he was the first choice penalty kicker as directed by the coach and Appiah would have handed the ball over to him even if he had gone for it, having scored the first two he took at the group stages.

“Before every match the coach appoints the first penalty taker. So I played the first and second against Serbia and Australia. Even if Stephen [Appiah] had taken the ball, he would have brought it to me,” he said.

Gyan then explained what Appiah was telling him in that popular picture which many have misinterpreted. He says Appiah was rather encouraging him to partake in the shootouts since he the best and could still prove to the world that he could do it.

“Hey, don’t think you cannot play o, we know you are the best so go and play. Let Ghanaians know you know how to play. The fact that there is a mistake does not mean you cannot do it again,” he quoted what Appiah told him at the time, after he got demoralised by the miss.

Baby Jet said he was inspired by Appiah’s words to partake in the shootouts, taking the initiative to take the first kick which he eventually scored.

Gyan revealed to Captain Smart that if he had missed the second ball in the shootouts, that would have been the end of his career since that was an opportunity to redeem himself.

“If I had not scored that second penalty, that would have been the end of my career. It was a period to redeem myself.”

Asamoah Gyan remains the highest-ever scorer of the Black Stars with 51 goals in 109 appearances.

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