Manchester United vs. Sunderland and the Worst Penalty Shootouts Ever

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

Manchester United vs. Sunderland and the Worst Penalty Shootouts Ever

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Manchester United's hopes of a heavy defeat to their noisy neighbours in the League Cup final were dashed on Wednesday evening when they were unable to overcome relegation-threatened Sunderland. 

    When a crazy period of extra time put the score level at 3-3, it was time for a penalty shootout.

    What followed was one of the worst examples of professional footballers kicking the ball from 12 yards that many have ever witnessed. 

    The first three attempts were unsuccessful. In fact, United managed to score only one penalty of five.

    What's more, and perhaps most worryingly for England fans ahead of the World Cup, every single Englishman missed. 

    You can relive the full shootout here.

    Poor old David Moyes may take a quantum of solace from the fact that the shootout—which he called "terrible," per The Telegraph—was not an isolated occurrence. 

    Here are some other dreadful low-scoring shootouts for your consideration. 

Barcelona vs. Steaua Bucharest, 1986

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    A goalless and rather tedious 120 minutes of football in the 1986 European Cup final between Terry Venables' Barcelona and Steaua Bucharest was capped by a dire shootout.

    Both the Romanians and the Catalans missed their first two attempts, with only Steaua's Marius Lacatus and Gavril Balint managing to find the target after four rounds.

    The final scoreline in Seville was 2-0, with goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam proving to be the hero of the day after saving all four of the Blaugrana's attempts from 12 yards. 

Brazil vs. Paraguay, 2011

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    Brazil didn't have a fun time at the 2011 Copa America, only managing to win one game before they found themselves in the quarter-finals with Paraguay.

    A goalless game in Buenos Aires led to a shootout in which Elano, Thiago Silva, Andre Santos and Fred combined to miss all four of their chances.

    Paraguay also missed their first, but eventually went through 2-0 when Fred put his shot wide of the left post. 

Crewe Alexandra vs. Northwich Victoria, 2014

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    Earlier this month, League One side Crewe Alexandra were knocked out of the Cheshire Senior Cup by Northwich Victoria, who play five divisions below them in the Northern Premier League Division One North.

    To make matters worse, Crewe were defeated 2-0 in a shootout when their first three penalty takers all failed to find the net. 

    To make matters even worse, this was the third consecutive year that they had been dumped out of this competition by this team. 

    We don't have footage of the calamitous shootout, but we do have a clip of Crewe keeper Alan Martin smashing into the post as he tried to save an embarrassing deflected goal during the game. 

Ipswich vs. Luton, 1991

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    The Full Members Cup—also known by the catchy title of the Zenith Data Systems Cup—was created in the wake of the Heysel Disaster in 1985 to give English teams an extra competition while they were banned from European tournaments. 

    Luton took on Ipswich Town at Portman Road in October 1991 in a match that went to penalties, and the Tractor Boys emerged 2-1 winners after some very shoddy spot kicks.

    Look out for the Luton effort that hits the post and then the Ipswich keeper's backside!

Switzerland vs. Ukraine, 2006

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    Switzerland faced Ukraine in the round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup, with neither side managing to find the net after 120 minutes of "action."

    Oleg Blokhin's men looked like they might be heading home when Andriy Shevchenko blasted his effort straight at Swiss keeper Pascal Zuberbuhler, but the Swiss stars managed to miss all three of their efforts while Ukraine converted their next three. 

    The former Soviet state progressed 3-0 in the shootout to earn the right to be convincingly defeated by eventual champions Italy in the quarter-final. 

Mickleover Lightning Blue Sox vs. Chellaston Boys, 1998

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    Tom Dulat/Getty Images

    An honorable mention must go to a spectacular record-breaking shootout between Derbyshire U10 sides Mickleover Lightning Blue Sox and Chellaston Boys in 1998.

    According to The Guardian's Knowledge column, the match finished 1-1 and the Blue Sox won 2-1 on penalties.

    This doesn't sound too abnormal for a kid's game until you consider the fact that 66 penalties were taken!

    Perhaps that thought will help David Moyes sleep a little easier.


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