Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera saved efforts from Stephen Appiah and Dominic Adiyiah, before Sebastian Abreu converted the decisive spot-kick for the South Americans, who reach the last four for the first time since 1970.
Asamoah Gyan had missed a crucial penalty in the stoppage time of added 30 minutes before the game had to be stretched till penalty shootouts. Luis Suarez had handled a goal-bound ball off the line and he was red-carded for the offense. But Gyan who had the opportunity to take the African nation to the semi-final stage smashed his penalty off the bar.
Uruguay started the first half very positively with the duo of Forlan and Suarez leading the front-line. Suarez around the 11th minute mark managed to shrug off Ghana defense down the left and break into the Ghana penalty box, but his shot was straight towards the Ghana goalkeeper, Richard Kingson.
In the 18th minute, Kingson made a quick-reaction save as Forlan's corner was deflected off John Mensah. Just seven minutes later, Kingson was again in charge as he made a fingertips save to deny Suarez, after Ghana defender Isaac Vorsah missed his tackle completely.
The Black stars who were being outplayed by the South Americans finally managed to come up with some around the hal-hour mark. Vorsah came up with the first chance as he headed the ball wide off the mark. At stoppage time of the first half, Ghana came up with a surprise as Muntari scored with a curling 35-yard shot finding the left-hand corner to give the lead for the Black Stars.
As second-half play resumed, Forlan gave the perfect start for the South Americans, as he managed to find the all-important equalizer in the 55th minute. Forlan managed to convert a goal from a free-kick from near the left corner of the box. Just few minutes later, Forlan confident with his goal, made a strong run in the left flank and cut a good cross to Suarez beating Ghana keeper Kingson but Suarez just managed to find the side-netting at the far post. Suarez in the 71st minute came up with another effort, a tight-angled shot but Kingson was up with his task and punched the ball over.
Both teams were eventually unable to find the winner at the end of normal 90 minutes, added stoppage time and extra-time play was resumed.
Ghana came up with the best chance in the prolonged extra time in the 110th minute. Gyan had an open net to convert his header but he just managed to head it over the bar. Four minutes from time, Boateng had a golden opportunity to score from a header, but his header was wide off the mark. Then at the death, Adiyiah's header was blocked by Luis Suarez with his hand on the goal-line which was followed by Gyan penalty miss taking the match to penalty shootout decider.
Uruguay will now face Netherlands in the semi-finals.