It was not all doom and gloom in the Ghana camp after their agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Uruguay in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals.
Ghana may have missed the chance to make African history by becoming the first team from their continent to reach the last four due to striker Asamoah Gyan's last gasp extra-time penalty miss, but there have been many positives.
Several players, Gyan chief amongst them, have put themselves in the shop window and could attract the attentions of some of Europe's biggest clubs. No coach could have failed to have been impressed with Rennes forward Gyan's nerve in taking, and scoring, Ghana's first shoot-out spot-kick just minutes after his crushing miss with the last kick of the regular game.
Other young players such as Rosenborg's Anthony Annan and Andre Ayew of newly-promoted French First Division side Arles-Avignon have also shone during the tournament. But perhaps the most sought-after Black Star will be goalkeeper Richard Kingson of Wigan Athletic.
Kingson is no spring chicken at 32 and has already earnt his move to one of Europe's big leagues, but he has hardly had a look in during his three years in the Premier League. After nine years and six clubs in Turkey, Kingson was brought to Birmingham City by then manager Steve Bruce.
When the club were relegated, then co-chairman David Sullivan branded Kingson a "complete waste of space" but Bruce saw enough talent there to bring the Ghanaian to his new club Wigan. Although Kingson has only made a handful of appearances in England, being stuck behind Chris Kirkland in the pecking order at the Latics, his appearances here in South Africa will have caught the eye of many coaches.
We have a young team, we have a good future and now we must get together to have a strong team for the next (African) Cup of Nations.
He put in a match-winning display in the second round 2-1 victory against USA, making crucial stops from Robbie Findley and Benny Feilhaber while he was also instrumental in Ghana's 1-0 opening group victory against Serbia. Against Uruguay he made some vital stops during the game, although he did have an embarrassing moment when he let a back pass roll under his foot, luckily giving away only a corner rather than anything worse.
And while many might think that Ghana's players would have been shattered after the cruel manner of their defeat in that match, Kingson was surprisingly upbeat. "I'm very happy with this tournament because my aim was to get to the semi-finals," he said.
"It was a big chance for me and it was very unfortunate but I'm so happy for myself, for my team-mates, my fans and the people who helped me to get to this stage. We have a young team, we have a good future and now we must get together to have a strong team for the next (African) Cup of Nations. We came very close but it was very unfortunate."
Ghana's Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac agreed with his goalkeeper that the future can be bright for his players, although he warned that they must learn to see things through right to the end. "I am very proud we managed to achieve a great result with the whole of Africa behind us, we didn't deserve to lose," he said.
"For sure having such a result makes us very proud. Ghana has a great future ahead, great young players. We conceded a goal four minutes before the end at the African Nations Cup final and we probably lack something in order to reach victory. That's maybe that little piece we are missing."