Johannesburg, July 3 (DPA) Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has vowed to bounce back from a penalty miss that eventually denied the Black Stars a historic World Cup semi-final berth.
The Friday quarter-final with Uruguay was tied at 1-1 in the last seconds of extra time when Gyan's spot kick hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Fernando Muslera well beaten.
Uruguay went on to win in a shootout as Ghana failed to become the first African team to make the final four at a World Cup.
"I will bounce back, I am strong mentally," said Gyan. "I had the courage to take the penalty, but that is normal, I am the penalty taker."
The Rennes striker showed great character after his miss as he stepped up a few minutes later to net his team's first kick in the shootout. But Muslera saved the efforts of skipper John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah to send Uruguay through 4-2.
Adiyiah's last-gasp header was sailing towards goal but Uruguay forward Luis Suarez stopped the ball with his hand. Suarez was sent off by Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca and Ghana got the penalty that could have won the game.
"That's the game, now he (Suarez) is the hero in his country, the ball was going in, he stopped it with his hand and I missed the penalty. That's the way it is," said a tearful Gyan afterwards.
Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson insisted that Gyan, who converted penalties against Serbia and Australia in the group stage and scored the extra time winner in the Round of 16 against the United States, will not be targeted because of this miss.
"No, there will be nothing like that," said Kingson. "I had a message from my wife. She said everybody is happy now. We did our best and everybody is cheering him."
The youngster Adiyiah, meanwhile, said his header had crossed the goal line and a goal and not a penalty should have been given to Ghana.
"The ball went in, it did cross the line, and the referee disallowed it," he said. "If it was our day, the referee would have seen it and whistled as a goal. Everything is hard luck."
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said that Gyan's miss gave Uruguay an advantage in the shootout.
"We had this penalty and the chance to reach the semi-finals but we didn't get it," he said.
"In the shoot-out Uruguay had a psychological advantage."