Pantsil - Gyan must forget
John Pantsil insists Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan must put his World Cup penalty anguish behind him.
Last Updated: 03/07/10 6:18pm
John Pantsil insists Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan must put his World Cup penalty anguish against Uruguay behind him.
Gyan hit the crossbar with a crucial spot-kick in the late stages of extra-time which would have booked Ghana a place in the semi-finals.
Uruguay went on to win 4-2 on penalties and will now face Holland in the final four, but Fulham defender Pantsil has urged Gyan to forget the incident or risk it having a long-term effect on his career.
"We said to Asamoah that anyone can miss a penalty and it is part of football and it was the only mistake he made," said Pantsil.
"In fact, it was not a mistake at all. It is part of football and he kicked it from his heart and we all wanted to win the game.
"We have been talking to him. He is feeling bad about that. It is not easy just to forget about something like that.
"He is a young lad and, if he continues to think about it, it is going to affect him."
Pantsil believes Gyan showed courage by stepping up to convert Ghana's first penalty in the shoot-out.
"It shows his character that he took our first penalty in the shoot-out," he added.
"He did well to come back and put another one away in the end. That shows he will very soon forget about it. He has to."
Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi said: "Asamoah was inconsolable afterwards. He was down.
"We tried to psych him up. It is not easy to live with something such as this but he just has to try and live with it."
Pantsil admits the whole squad were devastated after just missing out on becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals.
"Everyone was sad and crying, the mood was down, no-one was happy about what happened," he said.
"We were so close to making it. We know we were doing it for all of Africa as well as Ghana.
"It is very sad for the country. It was very painful. This happens once in a lifetime but you have to let it go."