Sunderland’s Gyan ready to face Liverpool striker Suarez

Asamoah Gyan

Asamoah Gyan

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ASAMOAH Gyan insists he has moved on from his World Cup heartbreak as he prepares to face the man who almost caused him to quit football.

Sunderland’s record signing goes head-to-head with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez on Sunday in their first meeting since last summer’s World Cup quarter-final.

Uruguay ace Suarez palmed away Dominic Adiyiah’s last-gasp extra-time header on the line and although he was shown a straight red card, Ghana striker Gyan missed the resulting penalty which would have sealed a 2-1 win.

Gyan redeemed himself by scoring in the subsequent penalty shoot-out but Uruguay triumphed from the spot, with Suarez now a hate-figure in Ghana.

But Sunderland striker Gyan insists closing the gap on sixth placed Liverpool provides his motivation for Sunday’s Stadium of Light clash rather than any retribution for Suarez.

Gyan told the Echo: “I know people will be focusing on what happened in the World Cup. But it’s gone and life goes on.

“It’s not about Uruguay and Ghana, it’s about Liverpool and Sunderland.

“They are a top side and they have their confidence back after winning a couple of games. We also need wins so it’s going to be an exciting game.

“Suarez is like a hero in his country because he took Uruguay to the semi-finals.

“If I was him, I might have done the same thing even though he’s a cheat. The referee did the right thing by sending him off and awarding a penalty.

“The chance came and we blew it away.”

He added: “The penalty doesn’t affect me now. What helped was I scored the second one. If I hadn’t scored that, I don’t know what I’d have done.

“I’m always mentally strong but if I hadn’t scored that penalty, I’d have quit football.

“I didn’t know what to do after missing the first one because my mind was out of the game. But I was fine after the second one and relieved.”

While Gyan has been forgiven in his homeland for costing Ghana the chance of becoming the first African World Cup semi-finalists, Suarez has not been so fortunate.

“I did excellently in the World Cup and people were a bit disappointed with the penalty,” added Gyan.

“I’d done everything for them but then I missed that penalty. But they do understand the game and Suarez is the most hated person in Ghana now.

“I don’t know whether he could ever go there. Fans don’t want their team to lose and we lost because of that.”