6.52pm: I'm not really here yet, but before I arrive I thought I'd let you know the teams! Back in 10 minutes...
Uruguay: Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Victorino, Fucile, Alvaro Fernandez, Perez, Arevalo Rios, Cavani, Suarez, Forlan. Subs: The rest of 'em.Ghana: Kingson, Pantsil, Vorsah, John Mensah, Sarpei, Annan, Inkoom, Asamoah, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Muntari, Gyan. Subs: Everybody else. Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).
7.01pm: Are we tired of ITV's and Marcel Desailly's Ghana-fan shtick yet? I mean, I don't mean to be a kill-joy or anything, but...
7.02pm: Anyway, Ghana don't need his support tonight – they've got an entire continent and, so far as I can work out, the vast majority of the entire world on their side.
7.08pm: Here's the front page of today's Citizen, a South African newspaper, for a taste of what's going down over there: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx
7.16pm: I'm conflicted. It would be great if Ghana won tonight, but then I think Uruguay could possibly win the World Cup, and I think that would be brilliant. Better, even.
7.18pm: And here, courtesy of Andrew Goudie, is a graphic showing where each country's players play their club football. What it reveals is not exactly unexpected, but it is quite interesting: http://www.estadao.com.br/especiais/2010/06/copa_jogadores.shtm
7.27pm: Today's match is being dedicated to the global fight against racism. The two captains are reading a short message to the world before the anthems. It's hard to make up a joke about the global fight against racism, to be honest.
7.29pm: In other World Cup-related news, South Korea centre-back Cha Du-Ri has signed for Celtic, by the way.
1 min: Peeeep! And they're off! Just a little bit late, I notice. OK, ITV commentators, enough "all of Africa" fluff now, can we just get on with the game?
2 min: "What do Fifa hope to achieve with these pre-kick-off readings?" wonders David Wall. "The sentiments are worthy and all that, but the fact that they're being stumblingly recited from a cue card is hardly likely to inspire any prospective or actual despot to suddenly renounce his wicked ways. And they're creepily reminiscent of confessions from show trials, or namings at the McCathy inquests, which isn't really in the spirit of their content." Were you racist until you heard Diego Lugano's impassioned plea? Has it changed your life? Is there any aspect of your life that might feasibly be changed with an impassioned plea from Diego Lugano? Do tell!
4 min: Forlán leads a smart break, but his pass to Alvaro Fernandez was overhit and the move petered out.
5 min: Forlán hits a terrible corner that barely leaves the ground but might have gone straight in at the near post had Samuel Inkoom not bootered it off the line.
9 min: Not a lot of goalmouth action, but Uruguay looking predictably solid so far. With almost 10 minutes played, Ghana haven't done anything very much. Suarez has an optimistic shot from a tight angle, on the left side of the penalty area, which Kingson saves easily.
14 min: Forlán appears to shoot from a 50-yard free-kick. Kingson still doesn't deal with the effort particularly well, pushing it straight up into the air, but he wins a free-kick when Suarez blocks his path before it comes back down. Ghana are looking very shaky.
18 min: Another Forlán corner, Edinson Cavani gets a flick at the near post that smacks off John Mensah's chest and forces a smart save out of Kingson.
20 min: Jorge Fucile gets a rather harsh booking and is out of the semi-final should Uruguay make it. Dave from Montreal wants to know which English team has the most representatives left at the World Cup? He reckons it might be Portsmouth. I'm thinking Liverpool – Kuyt, Mascherano, Torres. Anyone got the real answer?
22 min: Another request: Your MbM just reminded me that Samuel Inkoom is the last sticker I need to complete my Panini album. Can you create an ePlayground for me to find the elusive fella?
24 min: "Sixteen minutes in and the commentary is dreadful," whines Stuart Gray. "Wigan and Birmingham fans know all about Kingson? I may be a trifle drunk but I thought he'd barely played in the Premier League. Dear, dear, ITV never fail to sadden me with their jingoism." My kind-of-related question: is jingoism the most fun-sounding negative word in all of English? Doesn't it sound like a form of dancing?
26 min: According to our very own podcast, Barcelona, Chelsea and Portsmouth are the top three most represented clubs left in the competition, Simon Frank informs me.
26 min: Suarez has a great chance, direct from a left-wing throw-in. An offense against defending. The Ajax ace smacks the ball goalwards from the edge of the area, and Kingson pushes the ball over the bar, a decent save.
29 min: Aasim in Karachi has nothing but this website to rely on for updates due to a badly-timed power cut. Well I can tell you that Ghana have a corner, and three men in Uruguay's penalty area ... but Isaac Vorsah makes a late run, wins the header and sends the ball just wide of goal. Ghana have been second best by a long way, but that's the best chance of the game.
31 min: And Ghana attack from open play, Kevin-Prince Boateng doing really well on the break before setting up Gyan, who sends the ball just – just – wide of goal.
32 min: "Certainly there must be more players left in the tournament from Bayern Munich than Chelsea!" protests Patrick Dillon.
32 min: Can you guys really not come up with a single fun-sounding negative word to beat jingoism? Not even discombobulate?
37 min: OK, the podcast stat must be out of date because nobody can think of any Chelsea players left in the competition. So I'm thinking 1) Bayern Munich 2) Liverpool. How does that sound?
38 min: The last 10 minutes have been much more even, with Ghana perhaps edging it. Diego Lugano's injury might have something to do with it – he's been trying to run it off for about that long, but has just given up. Andres Scotti has replaced him.
39 min: And Asamoah sweeps in a deep cross from the right, and Sulley Muntari – making his first start of the competition – heads across goal and wide.
41 min: Someone near the TV's crowd microphone is screaming like a wounded wildebeast. It's putting me off the game a little bit.
42 min: A potentially bad injury, again for Uruguay. Fucile is on the ground, very still, apparently unconscious after crashing his head into the ground on the way down from an aerial challenge with Inkoom.
43 min: And now there he is, standing on the side of the pitch, apparently fine. A miracle! Gyan shoots from 40 yards, but doesn't get enough on it and the keeper catches it.
46 min: Another great chance for Ghana, Boateng blazing a would-have-been-totally-amazing bicycle kick over the bar from eight yards. "It's been a half of two halves," surmises Jim Beglin. Silly as it sounds, it has.
GOAL! Ludicrous goal for Ghana! Uruguay 0 The entire continent of Africa and perhaps the whole world 1 (Muntarey, 45+2 min) With the last kick of the half, Muntari lashes a left-foot shot goalwards from fully 35 yards, the keeper takes a telling half-step to his right and is beaten as the ball curls to his left. Ludicrously long range.
Half-time: Well! The first 20 minutes or so were barely a contest, Uruguay looking so much better than their opponents that the game took on the feel of a first-round mismatch. But when Ghana got into the game, they didn't get out again. By the whistle, they had owned the last 20 minutes. They had bestrode those minutes. They had tamed them, and ridden them bareback through town. And then, right at the last, they got a goal to prove it. So, Uruguay, what have you got to say about that?
Wordplay update: And thanks for the torrent of suggested fun-sounding negative words. My current top five: polyps (Dan Smith), Bamboozled (Mark Schmidt), Kerfuffle (Dave Lofquist), Waterboarding (Eric Schwab) and Cattywompus (Alexis Blane). Still working my way through them, mind.
ITV update: Not sure I can take 15 minutes of Adrian Chiles and Marcel Desailly performing their synchronised Ghana routines. Thankfully, they'll spend 12 of them on ad breaks.
Most represented team update: OK, so Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid have the most players left, but if you discount players from their home nation they're a lot less impressive. Liverpool, with six, are the best of the Brits.
A(nother) reason to like Ghana: "I can attest to their chilled outness," writes Kulveer Tagg. "After they beat the USA, we went to Sun City, and the players were just chilling in the lobby, talking to fans, taking pictures etc. I got one with the goalscrorer Gyan, a very nice guy. Can't imagine England ever doing that." Indeed not. I remember seeing quite a few French players in the lobby of one hotel I stayed in during the last World Cup, but it was pretty hard to get into the hotel in the first place.
46 min: Peeeep! They're off! Again!
47 min: And Uruguay have taken Alvaro Fernandez off and brough Nicolás Lodeiro in.
48 min: "How about seleção?" suggests Jonathan Wittenberg, bringing the debate back to football as Uruguay's Egidio Arevalo is harshly booked. "Sounds great, especially when said with a Brazilian accent, but in Portuguese it means 'shower of underachievers.'"
51 min: "We know, historically, Uruguayans are temporamentally a bit suspect," says Jim Beglin. Is this not just the sort of casual racism both captains were so keep to stamp out pre-match?
54 min: Boateng leads, and then ends, a promising break for Ghana. Now, is this a definitive answer (for at least the next 37 minutes)? Bayern Munich: 12, Barcelona: 9, Real Madrid: 8, Liverpool: 6, Ajax: 5, Hamburg: 5, Inter Milan: 4, Man City: 4, VfB Stuttgart: 4, Werder Bremen: 4. (Courtesy of Chris Jones)
54 min: Pantsil gets booked for fouling Fucile. No Complaints about that one. Promising free-kick for Forlán.
GOAL! Uruguay 1 The entire continent of Africa and possible the whole world 1 (Forlán, 55) Again, it's all about the keeper taking a little step in the wrong direction and being punished for it. Kingson jumps forwards, the ball flies over his head and into the top corner from the left corner of the penalty area. Fine free-kick, but possibly Jabulani-affected.
57 min: Interesting stat from ITV's commenatary team: Forlán now has four World Cup goals over two finals, all of them against African teams.
58 min: Ghana not disheartened, on recent evidence. Gyan shoots low towards the near post from the edge of the penalty area, the keeper spills it but the ball is cleared for a corner.
60 min: Another booking, Diego Perez for a slightly nasty foul on Asamoah. Lots of cards already here – I wouldn't bet against a red popping out at some point.
62 min: Is it true, as Serge Martinez in New York suggests, that Americans never use the word "shambolic"? What a shame that would be, partly because they'd have no decent way of describing the manner in which Ghana have just conceded a corner.
63 min: Forlán picks up the ball on the left, swings a cross over to the far post and Suarez has a fabulous chance on the volley, which he sends wide.
64 min: "Here in the US everybody seems to be of the mentality that since Ghana knocked us out, we should root for them," notes Jon Arnold, as Suárez is wrongly given offside having been played clean through (though the keeper got to the ball first, to be fair). "Not me, go Uruguay."
66 min: Kevin-Prince Boateng goes down in the Uruguay penalty area, his shorts having received a mighty yank. It would have been a silly, weak penalty, but it wasn't given.
70 min: "All this talk of how chilled out and approachable Ghana are," writes Tim Chamberlain in Sao Paulo. "England couldn't do that because people would never leave them alone. One Guardian writer suggested it was great that the Ghana players were on the tables at 1am, but I bet it would actually be reported as a scandal if the England team did that." Undoubtedly. They'd get in all sorts of trouble. But from Ghanaians it's delightful. Yet another example of the casual racism that Fifa are working so hard to eradicate from this mean and dirty world.
70 min: Lodeiro plays Suarez in, and Suarez tries the kind of shot that looks really great if the keeper's gone to ground early and the ball flies over his head, but looks a bit dumb if he hasn't and pushes it away pretty easily. Which is what happened.
73 min: Ghana just love long-range shooting. Gyan slams one from 30 yards into the keeper's chest, and then Ghana bring Stephen Appiah on for Inkoom. "The ESPN3 commentator just said tomorrow we can watch the quarterfinal between Argentina and Japan," reports Tamar Wilner. "What an unpredictable World Cup!" Japan, Germany – they were on the same side then, they're the same side now.
76 min: It's true! Americans don't do shambles! "It even shows up as a spelling error in my email here," says Oliver Pattenden. "They also say 'acclimated'" Sebastian Abreu replaces Cavani for Uruguay and joins the attack. Bold stuff.
77 min: Kingson does well to push Suarez's stooping header around the post, from Forlan's free-kick. Promisingly, Abreu is popularly known as El Loco.
80 min: It's not true after all! "We Yanks certainly do use the word 'shambolic'," protests Adam Large. "In fact, I'd bet that it's probably the most common word we use when describing Jonathan Spector. Or Clint Dempsey's rapping. Or really, the first 10 minutes of any match we play."
81 min: Muntari's corner is flapped at by Muslera, who gets away with it. Uruguay break up the other end where Maximiliano Pereira, the right-back of all people, ignores all sorts of better options to shoot very high from 25 yards. A minute later, Asamoah comprehensively outshines him, shooting even higher from 50 yards.
86 min: Uruguay have had a few half-chances, these last 10 minutes or so. Ghana, emboldened by their first goal, have been giving it some from long range. I am desperately hoping for some last-ghasp drama. Oh, I do love my last-ghasp drama.
88 min: Ghana's final substitution sees the goalscorer, Sulley Muntari, replaced by Dominic Adiyiah.
90 min: Looks like extra time beckoning for you and me. Consensus seems to be that Americans say "shambles" but never "shambolic". "You're going to believe Adam Large over me, an actual professor and everything?" argues Serge Martinez. "I never heard the word in my life before listening to the podcast. Now I say it as frequently as possible because it's so fun to say – maybe Adam is one of my students, so he thinks it's a common word among the trendy folks like me."
90+3 min: Peeep! It's all over! For now! The last five minutes has been 10-yards-from-the-end to 10-yards-from-the-other-end stuff. By which I mean, lots of attacking with no clear chances.
More fun words with bad meanings: Nincompoop (Joseph Poole), Fubar/Snafu (Sam Dineen), Jabulani (Jo Wittenberg). Mark Gillies proposes hamper: "Negative as a verb, but hear it as a noun and it offers the promise of pies and booze."
ET1: Peeep! They're off! Yet again!
ET3: John Mensah gets booked for questioning the referee's eyesight.
ET5: Yet more news of British/American linguistic differences, and let this be the end of it: "Here in the US, a hamper is where you put your dirty clothes," reportts Paul Pappas. "So rather than images of booze and pies, we are prone to think of soiled undergarments and smelly socks." Asamoah gives it some welly from 30 yards. High and wide.
ET9: Gyan is currently down after a crunching tackle from Scotti. Ghana will be very, very keen on him making a rapid recovery.
ET11: There should be more stoppage time after these 15 minutes than either of the 45-minute halves. Sarpei currently limping off after extensive treatment, though he'll be back soon enough.
ET13: Abreu steps in front of Pantsil in the penalty area and is quite absurdly brought down by the Fulham man. A ludicrous foul, but a very, very clear one. The referee didn't see it.
ET15: Uruguay are trying to play football and create chances. Ghana are trying to work the ball into the Uruguay half and then booter it goalwards from immense distance in a spirit of blind optimism. Just one minute of stoppage time.
ET15+1: Peeep! It's all over! But not for long!
ET16: Peeeep! They're off! For the very last time! Assuming nobody scores, of course. In fact, they were off a few moments ago but I forgot to tell you about it.
ET17: Clive Tyldesley, having spent the last 10 minutes accusing everyone else of tiring, comes up with the following as a Ghana attack peters out: "Waste. Cross. Poor."
ET20: It appears there is no limit to the number of times the commentators can mention Scotti and I'll find it funny.
ET21: I promise you, if any commentator mentions Ghana's casino outing even one more time, I'm going to kill somebody. Or at least, get a little bit annoyed and swear. Quietly, because I'm in the office.
ET23: Lovely ball into the box from Asamoah, great control by whoever it was I've forgotten already (fatigue, you see), but a defender gets his head in the way.
ET24: Uruguay break, the ball is crossed from the right and ends up with Forlan, towards the left side of Ghana's penalty area. He shoots, idiotically, with his left foot. Wide. And silly.
ET25: Then it's Ghana's turn. They break down the right, Gyan collects the low ball into the penalty area and turns, Scotti sticks out a leg and sends the ball trundling vaguely goalwards. Probably going wide, but everyone gets very excited until another defender pitches up to cdlear.
ET27: "Listen to Africa rising behind Ghana!" exclaims Tyldesley as they win a corner and a few geezers blow into their vuvuzelas. Grrr.
ET28: A long throw from Ghana skims off Fucile's head and Boateng powers a header just wide of the near post.
ET29: Boateng's cross from the left is deflected by a defender's boot and is flying right into the near corner of the net until the keeper punches it away.
ET30: Ghana have a free-kick, right wing, 30 yards from the by-line. The last chance of the game...
PENALTY! RED CARD! HANDBALL! PANIC! DRAMA!
ET30+1: Ghana will have a penalty to win it! From the free-kick, Suarez cleares off the line twice. Once, from Appiah, with his knee. Once, from Adiyiah, with his hand. Penalty!
ET30+2: Gyan missed it!
ET30+2: And that's it! The penalty was the last kick of the match! Unbelievable stuff. Suarez is led off the pitch, weeping, before it's taken. Really, he might as well stick out his hand. It's a definite goal otherwise. He's saved his team from certain defeat. Horrible cheating, on the other hand. Surely that'll convert the two remaining non-Ghana fans outside Uruguay to get behind the African heroes?
Amazing scenes: You should have seen Suarez's celebration when that penalty missed. Really, genuinely incredible drama. Uruguay, obviously, are missing one of their best penalty takers. Ghasna, meanwhile, will be totally gutted.
Penalty shoot-outUruguay 1-0 Ghana Forlan takes and scores the first, perfectly into the right corner as the keeper dives the other way.Uruguay 1-1 Ghana Gyan's second penalty of the night is a great deal better than the first. Perfect penalty. Into the top corner.Uruguay 2-1 Ghana Mauricio Victorino leathers it high to his left. Another good penalty.Uruguay 2-2 Ghana Another good penalty, from Stephen Appiah. Keeper goes the right way but gets fingertips on it. Not enough.Uruguay 3-2 Ghana Andrés Scotti's is the worst penalty yet. Low, straight down the middle, but the keeper dives out the way.Uruguay 3-2 Ghana John Mensah misses it! No run-up, poor penalty, vaguely to the left of the keeper, but nowhere near the corner. Easy save.Uruguay 3-2 Ghana Maxi Pereira skies his penalty way, way over the bar. Miss of the night and it's all square again.Uruguay 3-2 Ghana Dominic Adiyiah strikes his penalty low and to his right, but Fernando Muslera dives the right way and saves!Uruguay 4-2 Ghana Sebastián Abreu wins it for Uruguay!A cheeky, lazy chipped penalty from the man they call El Loco, and Uruguay will play Holland in the semi-final!
Final thoughts: The Ghanaians are gutted, predictably. Gyan, who missed that penalty in extra-time, is distrought. I quite wanted Uruguay to win, to be honest, but in these circumstances? They have cheated their way to victory. Within the rules of the game we all love, but cheating all the same.
Even more final thought: Boooooooooooooo!
Absolutely final thought: But, at the same time, grudging respect to the cheating little sods. It takes a real streak of evil to win like this.
This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.