Nail-biting? Thrilling? Heart-pounding? It seems no adjective will be suitable to describe the third round English League Cup match between Liverpool and Middlesborough played at Anfield tonight.
Liverpool were leading 2-1 in the extra time and were about to win but Kolo Toure gave away a penalty to the away side in the injury moments. Patrick Bamford made no mistake to convert the spot-kick and the scoreline (2-2) meant that the match has to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Next half an hour will be memorable to all the players and the spectators who had to wait till the thirtieth penalty was taken and eventually, the Merseysiders won the shoot-out 14-13.
Albert Adomah missed the last penalty while Patrick Bamford and Raheem Sterling saw their shots saved by the opponent goal-keepers, meaning that the shoot-out saw 90% efficiency from the penalty-takers.
One might wonder whether this penalty-shootout tops the list of highest percentage of accuracy or the longest shoot-out ever. Well, neither is true and here we will list the top seven penalty shootouts in terms of accuracy from the players.
7. Dinamo Moskva – Rotor Volgograd (8 – 7) (93.8%)
Russian Cup final in 1994-95 between the above two teams ended goalless and it took 16 penalties to decide the winner. Dinamo emerged victorious in the end when Shul’gin missed the last penalty for Rotor. That was the only miss of the evening and this match saw 93.8% accuracy as 15 out of 16 were converted.
6. Italy – Czechoslovakia (8 – 9) (94.4%)
The Azzuri had to suffer a loss in the penalties as Collovati missed his chance when he stepped up to take the seventeenth penalty of the night. It was the third place match of the European Championship 1980 and Barmos scored the last penalty for the Czechs to see his side secure the third place. Dino Zoff was the unfortunate keeper for the Italians. 17 successful penalties out of 18 gave an efficiency of 94.4%, thereby making it sixth best in the list.
5. Cameroon – Ivory Coast (11 – 12) (95.8%)
African Nations Cup has always seen long-lasting penalty shoot-outs and the quarter final in 2006 has secured the third position in this list. It was a match between Cameroon and Ivory Coast. Chelsea forward Samuel Eto’o, who is currently in Everton on a season-long loan, missed his second penalty after all the twenty two players scored from the spot in the shoot-out. Then it was Didier Drogba, another Chelsea superstar, who scored the winning penalty to see his team scrape through. The conversion percentage was 95.8% as 23 out of 24 found the back of the net.
4. Dagenham & Redbridge – Leyton Orient (13 – 14) (96.4%)
Arsenal loanee goalkeeper James Shea was the star for Dagenham as they won their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Leyton Orient. After 27 consecutive successful penalties, Shea denied Ben Chorley, who had already scored his first kick. This match is in the fourth position with a conversion rate of 96.4%.
3. Brockenhurst – Andover Town (15 – 14) (96.7%)
This tie of the Hampshire Senior Cup in 2013 is still at the top of the same list in England. All of the first 29 spot-kicks were scored but Claudio Herbert, a 20-year old guy, missed the next one and Andover suffered a defeat. With 29 out of 30 successfully converted, the rate is 96.7% and this match, an all time English record holder, sits third in our list.
2. Galatasaray – Genclerbirligi (16 – 17) (97.1%)
Another quarter final, this time from the Turkish FA Cup, is in the second spot in ths list. The shoot-out continued for a long time as all the first 32 penalties were converted successfully. Ilyas missed the next one for Galatasaray and finally it was time for Osman to keep calm and score the winning penalty. This match boasts of an accuracy of 97.1%.
1. Juventud Alianza – General Paz Juniors (20 – 21) (97.6%)
The aforementioned two teams went head to head at the fourth Argentinian level for provincial clubs, the Torneo Argentino B – Interior in 2009. First 40 penalties were beyond the goal-keepers’ reach. But, the Paz Juniors goal-keeper Marcos De Tobillas came to rescue his team after that. He saved the shot from Ruiz and then took the next penalty to help his team win the match eventually. 41 out of 42 – an efficiency of 97.6% has put this match on top of the list. Incidentally, this match is in the third position of the list of longest penalty shoot-outs ever.