World Football: 15 Most Memorable Penalty Shootouts
Penalty shootouts can bring out either the best or the worst out of players. In some cases, you could have a player such as a Antonín Panenka score a breathtaking penalty to advance your club or nation into the next round. Or you could have a Roberto Baggio miss a crucial penalty, knocking you out the tournament.
There are also cases where a penalty shootout has lasted for over 30 shooters, while it could take just six to end some shootouts.
No matter what you think about penalty shootouts, they do bring some incredible suspense and get people to care about teams that they normally don't care for.
Here are 15 of the greatest penalty shootouts ever.
No. 15: Netherlands vs Brazil, 1998 World Cup Semifinal
The Dutch went into the 1998 World Cup semifinal knowing a win would put them into their first World Cup final since 1978. However, they had to deal with a strong Brazilian side who nearly won the match if it weren't for a late goal from Patrick Kluivert.
However, after exchanging goals with the Brazilians through the first two rounds, both Phillip Cocu and Ronald de Boar failed to score on their penalties, meaning Brazil were going to their second straight World Cup final.
No. 14: AC Milan vs Juventus, 2003 Champions League Final
It was the first time in history that two Italian sides met each other in the Champions League final, yet AC Milan and Juventus went scoreless through 120 minutes at Old Trafford, meaning that the final would be decided on penalties.
Altogether, five of the 10 shooters failed to score. But for AC Milan, they had three of those shooters, including Andriy Shevchenko, who scored the final penalty to give Milan their sixth European Cup.
No. 13: Italy vs Argentina, 1990 World Cup Semifinal
Host Italy went into the 1990 World Cup looking to be the first European host nation to win a World Cup in 16 years.
Once Italy got into the semifinal, they faced Diego Maradona and Argentina in Naples. After a 1-1 draw, both sides went to penalties with the winner advancing to the World Cup final.
Italians Roberto Donadoni and Aldo Serena failed to score on their penalties, and Maradona put away the decisive penalty to put Argentina in their third World Cup final in the last four tournaments.
No. 12: Liverpool vs AC Milan, 2005 Champions League Final
It was the 2005 Champions League final and after being down 3-0 in the first half, Liverpool put together three second-half goals to tie the match and eventually send it to a penalty shootout.
After missing their first two kicks, Milan found themselves down 2-0 in the shootout due to goals from Dietmar Hamann and Djibril Cisse. After scoring twice in the next two rounds, Milan were down 3-2 needing Andriy Shevchenko (who scored the winning penalty in the 2003 final).
However, Shevchenko shot his penalty right down the middle and was saved by Jerzy Dudek, giving Liverpool their fifth European cup.
No. 11: Steaua Bucharest vs Barcelona, 1986 European Cup Final
At the time of the 1986 European Cup, Barcelona had yet to win Europe's top prize, but were in position to finally win it in Seville against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest.
After a scoreless draw through 120 minutes, penalties were required to find the victor. Unfortunately for Barcelona, they had to face Helmuth Duckadam, who stopped all four Barcelona shooters to win the European Cup for Steaua Bucharest.
Steaua Bucharest is the first and only club from Romania to win either the European Cup or the Champions League.
No. 10: Manchester United vs Chelsea, 2008 Champions League Final
In the first-ever matchup between two English sides in a Champions League final, both Manchester United and Chelsea were only able to score one goal apiece through 120 minutes, resulting in a penalty shootout.
In the third round, Cristiano Ronaldo missed his penalty, giving Chelsea an advantage. In their turn in the fifth round, John Terry slipped on what would have been the winning goal of the shootout, giving Man United new hope.
In the seventh round, Nicolas Anelka had his penalty stopped and Manchester United claimed their third European Cup.
No. 9: Czechoslovakia vs West Germany, Euro 1976
In the 1976 European Championships, there were only four sides competing in the entire tournament, which meant that each side was only going to get a chance to compete in two matches.
West Germany and Czechoslovakia went on to win their matches and met in the final. After a 2-2 draw in regulation, penalties were required to learn who the champion would be.
After each side scored on their first three attempts, Ulrich Hoeneß missed his penalty after the Czech scored first in their turn in the fourth round.
Up stepped Antonín Panenka, who chipped in a beautiful shot, fooling the keeper and giving Czechoslovakia the title in the process.
To date, this is the only penalty shootout that Germany has not won in an international tournament.
No. 8: Brazil vs Italy, 1994 World Cup Final
It was the 1994 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil and it was expected to be fantastic, considering how strong the '94 World Cup was.
However, both sides ended up playing to a scoreless draw through 120 minutes, which meant that this would become the first World Cup final in history to go to penalties.
Through four rounds, Brazil held a 3-2 lead and Italian Roberto Baggio went up to the spot knowing he had to score to keep Italy in the shootout.
Baggio went on to sky his shot well over the bar, claiming the World Cup for Brazil.
No. 7: Italy vs France, 2006 World Cup Final
The 2006 World Cup final saw a matchup between rivals Italy and France in Berlin. Following a 1-1 draw and a Zinedine Zidane headbutt, both sides went to a penalty shootout.
Neither goalkeeper made a save, but a David Trezeguet penalty hit the crossbar, which proved to be costly for France as the Italians won 5-3 on spot kicks to claim their fourth World Cup.
No. 6: Germany vs Argentina, 2006 World Cup Quarterfinal
After a 1-1 draw in a memorable quarterfinal, host Germany and Argentina went to penalties in Berlin.
In the shootout, German keeper Jens Lehmann stopped two penalties after getting a note sheet from an German assistant coach that told the tendencies of the Argentine shooters. Meanwhile, the German shooters kept up their fantastic performance in penalty shootouts with four goals on their penalty attempts.
Following Germany's 4-2 victory on penalties, a postmatch brawl took place with each side landing punches.
No. 5: England vs West Germany, 1990 World Cup Semifinal
It was the closest that England has gotten to a World Cup final since 1966, and they had to face their old nemesis West Germany in Turin.
After both sides played to a 1-1 draw that saw plenty of drama, England and the Germans met for the first time ever in a penalty shootout.
England were able to score on their first three penalties and the Germans also did the same. However, both Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed their penalties and the Germans advanced onto the final, where they defeated Argentina 1-0.
No. 4: France vs Italy, 1998 World Cup Quarterfinal
Longtime rivals France and Italy met in Saint-Denis in the quarterfinal of the 1998 World Cup in what was expected to be a thrilling match.
However, both sides played to a scoreless draw, causing the penalty shootout.
In the fifth round, current French manager Laurent Blanc scored while Italian Luigi Di Biagio hit the crossbar, giving France a win on their way to their first World Cup title.
No. 3: Cameroon vs Ivory Coast, 2006 African Cup of Nations Quarterfinal
In the quarterfinal of the 2006 African Cup of Nations, both Cameroon and the Ivory Coast played to a 1-1 draw, causing a penalty shootout.
Through the first 22 shooters, each player on the pitch managed to score once. But in his second attempt, Samuel Eto'o missed his penalty, which allowed Didier Drogba to score the winning penalty to advance the Ivory Coast into the semifinal.
No. 2: Olympiakos vs AEK Athens, 2009 Greek Cup Final
In the 2009 Greek Cup final, we saw one of the longest penalty shootout in history between Greek rivals Olympiakos and AEK Athens.
After a 4-4 draw, an incredible 29 shooters scored through 34 penalty kicks. The winning kick came from Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis in the 17th round of penalties after Athens midfielder Agustín Pelletieri failed to score earlier in the round.
No. 1: Uruguay vs Ghana, 2010 World Cup Quarterfinal
It was the most memorable match of the 2010 World Cup and a match that no one who watched will ever forget.
After a tie through 120 minutes, Luis Suarez handled a ball off the goal line, resulting in a red card for Suarez and a chance for Ghana to win and become the first African nation to ever reach a World Cup semifinal.
However, Asamoah Gyan hit his penalty off the crossbar, causing the match to go to penalties.
After both sides went through the first two round with two goals apiece, Ghana failed to score on their next two chances, which was also coupled by a Uruguay miss.
In the fifth round, Sebastián Gallo went up to the penalty spot and exquisitely chipped the football in, sending Uruguay into the semifinal while Ghana had to go home with a bitter pill to swallow.
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