The knockout round of the World Cup 2022 is here.
Which means we are ready for the joy and excitement of penalty goals. Soccer’s penalty shootout, with all its pain and ecstasy, was introduced into the laws of the game in 1971.
But it wasn’t until 1982 that it was seen in a World Cup tournament when West Germany knocked France out of the semi-finals with a 5-4 shootout win.
Of the 30 penalties in a World Cup tournament, the World Cup final itself has come down to it only twice (1994 and 2006).
Here are the top five World Cup penalty goals:
Brazil 3 – 4 France
Brazil’s Pele, arguably the best soccer player ever, described this match in Mexico 1986 as “the match of the century”.
The scorching heat of the Guadalajaran sun did little to slow down the attacking pace and skill of both teams who struggled through this quarter-final. The ever-flamboyant Brazil, led by Socrates, took on European champions France, with the midfield “magic quartet” of Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana and Luis Fernandez.
Platini, on his 31st birthday, scored France’s goal in response to Careca’s finish from a typically free-flowing “samba soccer” Brazilian team play. The game was tied 1-1 after extra time.
Socrates missed Brazil’s first penalty of the shootout. While Platini couldn’t hold his nerve and sent France’s fourth into orbit, Fernandez held it together to fire France’s fifth into the net.
South Korea 5-3 Spain
South Korea-Japan 2002
South Korea’s 2002 campaign was plagued by controversy. The co-hosts, not really known as a football powerhouse, raised a few eyebrows with Portugal (Portugal receiving two red cards) and Italy (a game famous for refereeing errors committed by a man banned by the Ecuadorian FA was suspended for match-fixing less than a year later). They then faced Spain in the quarter-finals.
Spain had two goals disallowed, the second of which was clearly erroneous. Several harsh offside calls went against them. And it was on penalties. Korea scored some of their first four strikes as 20-year-old Spanish winger Joaquin stepped forward. South Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae blocked his shot but got off the goal line long before the ball was in play.
Hon Myung-bo sealed the victory with Korea’s fifth penalty.
Brazil 3 – 2 Italy
More than 94,000 fans packed Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium for the final, erasing any doubt that American audiences would not tune in to soccer’s biggest tournament. Brazil beat Italy in the 1970 final, and the 1994 edition looked to be heading the same way, with Brazil taking the lion’s share of the chances in the first half.
But they couldn’t break through, and Italy also kept them out throughout the second half.
Penalty goals it was. Italy’s Franco Baresi sent the first into the air. Marcio Santos stepped up but his effort was saved. Albertini, Romario, Evani and Branco all netted to level the score at 2-2. But after AC Milan’s Daniele Massoro – part of Italy’s 1982 World Cup winning squad – saw his shot saved and Brazilian captain Dunga fired into the bottom left corner, all eyes were on Roberto Baggio who carried his side to the final.
Baggio skied it and Brazil lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the fourth time.
West Germany 4 – 3 England
Football rivals since England beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, an event as powerful in shaping English identity as the geopolitics of Europe 25 years earlier, it was a torrid end to England’s 1990 ground-breaking campaign. The tears of the mercurial Paul Gascoigne as he received a second tournament yellow card in this semi-final, meaning he would miss the final, were echoed across the country as he withdrew from the penalty shootout.
He was replaced in the penalty shootout by Chris Waddle as the game ended 1-1 after full-time.
Goalkeeper Peter Shilton was desperately unlucky not to get a hand on a single penalty taken by the Germans, who delayed every tackle until the ball was struck. Stuart Pearce took England’s fourth shot, which ricocheted off Bodo Illgner’s shin. Waddle had never taken a penalty in a top competition but stepped forward and hit hard. Illgner could not achieve it. It hit the post, England were out and Germany through to the final.
Italy 5-3 France
The most recent World Cup final to go to penalties, the 69,000 fans at the Olympiastadion in Berlin were treated to a match focused on two giants of the modern game – Zinedine Zidane for France and Italy’s Marco Materazzi. Each scored in the first 20 minutes.
But it was a now-infamous extra-time foul that stole the show as Zidane head-butted Materazzi in the chest, sending the Italian to the ground and the Frenchman – in his final game before a planned retirement – to the dressing room .
France went into the penalty shootout without their talisman. The Italians went first, with Andrea Pirlo firing home his shot. France’s Sylvain Wiltord equalized that effort, before Materazzi also found the net. David Trezeguet took France’s second by firing the ball off the underside of the crossbar. It was the only penalty to miss as Italy fired their remaining three shots on goal to win the World Cup for the fourth time.
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