The shoot-out, which occurred after an exiting 120 minutes that somehow didn’t result in a goal, was one of the most impressive you are likely to see and will have seen in the modern era.
The pressure of a semi-final was evident throughout the game, especially as it progressed to its latter stages. This made what followed all the more impressive, as 13 of the 14 players who stepped up found the net — and in some style.
Antonio Candreva got the climax under way with a chipped penalty which paved the way for an incredible string of successfully converted penalties before Leonardo Bonucci finally became the first man to miss, with his shot blasting over the bar.
It’s hard to remember such an impressive and high-quality example of how to score a penalty kick. Both keepers, Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas, didn’t touch the ball once during the shoot-out, highlighting quite how precise each one was. It seemed every shot hit the furthest point in the corner of the goal. There was a blend of low-struck shots, rising shots and even the already mentioned ‘Panenka’ style chip.
It was supreme class; each time the next player stepped up you felt they were going to miss as they struck it so far towards the corner, but somehow they all nestled in the net, leaving us, as an audience, in absolute awe. This was a collection of some of the finest technical players in the world, who were oozing with calmness. Sebastian Giovinco was one of the highlights as he, despite being relatively inexperienced, powerfully sunk his kick into the bottom left corner. Another pick of the bunch was Andreas Pirlo‘s calmness: sheer class.
It was no surprise that centre-back Bouncci was the man to fall victim to a miss. If you haven’t seen the shoot-out already, I advise you do so as soon as possible; it was astonishing.