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Most thrilling penalty shootouts ever

The penalty shootouts might not be fair for many, but it’s fun to relive them after some time. Here we have compiled a selection of the most memorable thrilling shootouts of all time.

Last updated: 29.06.2020
Best Penalty Shootouts ever | Sports Social Blog

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The penalty shootouts might not be fair for many, but it’s fun to relive them after some time. The shootouts are the hardest way to lose for the losing side, the most cathartic way to win for the winners. Penalty shootouts have always been unpredictable as even the best players in the world have missed penalties at crucial moments.

Here we have compiled a selection of the most memorable thrilling shootouts of all time:

Czechoslovakia 5-3 West Germany – 1976 Euros final


In the fifth edition of the UEFA Euro, Czechoslovakia faced West Germany in the final of the tournament. Czechoslovakia scored two goals in the first half but Germany came back from 2-0 down to score two to level the score. The game went into penalties and Czechoslovakia were able to score all five penalties in the shoot-out. Germany’s Hoeness missed the fourth penalty and Antonin Panenka scored a beautiful chip and won it for Czechoslovakia. The chipping went on to be known as the ‘Panenka’ style penalty kick.

Valencia 5-4 Arsenal – 1980 European Cup Winners’ Cup final

This game was the first European final to be decided by penalties. Di Stefano’s Valencia faced Terry Neill’s Arsenal in the final of the tournament. The final ended goalless after additional extra time and it went into penalties. Mario Kempes missed his first penalty for Valencia. William Brady missed Arsenal’s first penalty as well. The Bats went on to score all four of the remaining penalties as Graham Rix missed the decisive penalty for the Gunners. Valencia won their third European title by beating Arsenal on penalties.

Juventus 3-0 Ajax – 1978 European Cup quarter-final

This isn’t the most thrilling penalty shootout but it deserves a mention due to the legendary Dino Zoff. Juventus hosted Ajax in Turin in the second leg of the 1978 European Cup quarter-final clash. The first leg ended 1-1 in Ajax. Tardelli opened the scoring for Juventus, however, Ajax equalized in the second half through La Ling. The game went into penalties after the match ended with an aggregate score of 2-2. While it’s easy to laugh in 2020 reading this, having never faced Dino Zoff, Ajax missed all their penalties due to a Dino Zoff masterclass. Franco Causio scored the winning penalty for the Old Lady. Juventus went on to lose against Club Brugge in the semis, who then lost against Liverpool in the final.

Ivory Coast 12-11 Cameroon – 2006 African Cup of Nations quarter-final

Samuel Eto’o’s Cameroon faced Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast in 2006 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time and it went into penalties. Both sides scored their eleven penalties. Ivory Coast denied Cameroon’s eighth penalty but the referee told that the penalty has to be retaken again. As all eleven players had scored, the penalties had to be retaken again. Eto’o blazed his spot-kick over the bar and Droga scored the winning penalty for the Ivorians.

Olympiakos 15-14 AEK Athens – 2009 Greek Cup final

The game ended 4-4 after additional extra-time. Both teams scored two-two goals in regular time and extra time. The game went into penalties. An extraordinary shootout, with all 22 players – goalkeepers included – scoring their penalties the first time as well as the second time, meaning they had to start all over again – TWICE! Augustin Pelletieri missed the 15th penalty for Athens as Antonis Nikopolidis scored the winner for Olympiakos.

Manchester United 6-5 Chelsea – 2007 Champions League final

Manchester United faced Chelsea in the 2007 UCL final. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a bullet header to score the opener for United. Lampard equalized with an easy finish in the last minutes of the first half. The scoreline remained the same throughout the game and it went into penalties. Ronaldo missed his penalty as Chelsea went on to score four consecutively. However, John Terry slipped during Chelsea’s final penalty and it was 4-4. Anderson and Kalou scored their respective penalties. Giggs stepped up and scored his spot-kick. Anelka missed and United were crowned champions of Europe. Van der Sar was named the Man of the Match for his exploits in the final.

Liverpool 14-13 Middlesbrough – 2013/14 EFL Cup 3rd Round

The Reds hosted Middlesbrough at Anfield in the third round clash of the League Cup. Rossiter scored an early goal for Liverpool. Reach equalized for the Boro in the second half. The game ended 1-1 and it went into extra-time. Suso scored in the 109th min but the celebrations were short-lived as Bamford scored in the 123rd minute to equal the score. The game went into penalties. Mignolet saved Bamford’s penalty, which was Boro’s first. However, Sterling missed the last and final penalty to level the score. Both teams scored their next 10 penalties after that. Adamah missed the 14th penalty to send Liverpool through.

Liverpool 3-2 Milan – 2005 Champions League final

This addition in our list requires no introduction. The 2005 Champions League final popularly known as the ‘Istanbul Miracle’ was played between Liverpool and AC Milan. Milan scored three quick goals in the first half. However, Liverpool scored goals inside six minutes to equal the score. The score remained the same after adding extra time and the game went into penalties. Serginho stood to take the first penalty of the game and sent it over the bar. Pirlo’s penalty was saved by Dudek. Liverpool scored both their penalties and now had an advantage of two. Tomasson scored Milan’s first penalty as Riise’s penalty was saved by Dida. Kaka and Smicer converted their penalties and now it was up to Shevchenko to decide the fate of Milan. His shot was saved by Dudek. It was over! Liverpool won their fifth Champions League, almost 21 years after winning their fourth.

Read here about the Best Penalty takers in the history of Football

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