As I write this, the disappointing final is heading towards a penalty shoot out. Last night’s 3rd place game was a lot more fun to watch, but I guess that is because less was at stake.
Penalty shootouts are not the prettiest part of the game. They often turn the most experienced and talented players into jelly.(especially the english) The Germans seem to have the hang of them though. Germany have taken part in 4 shoot outs in the world cup, and have scored 16 of their 17 penalties.
What impressed me most about this world cup was a small piece of paper. (no idea how the bild zeitung got hold of the paper: update, according to another site, the bild zeitung fabricated the piece of paper, tip Frank )
This is what Jens lehmann had in his sock in the penalty shoot out with Argentina. He had a database of several thousand penalty kicks, and had watched videos of all the kicks taken by the top teams in the last 2 years. More details here.
He saved two penalties, and dived the right way on the others.
It reminds me of what Gary Player, the famous golfer said. “the more I practice, the luckier I get.”
I’ll pause now and watch the shoot out.
I guess this means that Europe goes back to work tomorrow, except the Italians, who will party on…..
Frank covers the Zindane incident too. amazing that within 10 minutes of the game ending it is on youtube.