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Curse of the eighth penalty: World Cup shootouts by numbers | World Cup 2022

Aaccording to Maxime Bossis, it was a mistake that would never have been made today. “Nobody told me he always dived on the same side. It was a different world,” the former French defender said in an interview in July. “Today a coach or a player would come and tell me, ‘Watch out, he always dives to the right!”

It’s been more than 40 years since Bossis entered the history books as the first player whose miss in a World Cup penalty shootout – via a successful penalty kick from an opponent – led to his country’s elimination. Introduced by FIFA for the 1982 tournament in Spain to replace the policy of replaying a draw, the first took place in Seville and – you guessed it – saw West Germany emerge victorious against France.

“The coach gathered us and asked, ‘Who wants to take one?'” recalled Alain Giresse, who succeeded with the first penalty in a World Cup shootout. “Players were already taking off their shoes and saying ‘I’m not!'”

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Goalkeeper Harald Schumacher, who had escaped a red card during normal time for his vicious body-sm on substitute Patrick Battiston, denied Bossis with the shootout’s 11th penalty after Uli Stielike became the first player to miss with the sixth – West Germany’s third – and France’s Didier Six had also saved one with seventh (France’s fourth). As Stuart Pearce will testify, Six started quite a trend.

In 32 World Cup shootouts to the end of the last 16 in Qatar, teams are much more likely to miss their fourth penalty than any other, with 22 cases (36%) so far, including England’s Stuart Pearce in 1990 The dreaded fifth penalty, failed for Chris Waddle in that shootout, and for David Batty in 1998, fares only slightly better with a miss rate of 35%.

France's Maxime Bossis trudges away after West Germany's Harald Schumacher saved his penalty during the 1982 World Cup semi-final shootout
Frenchman Maxime Bossis trudges away after West German Harald Schumacher saves his penalty during the 1982 World Cup semi-final shootout. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

But if there is a specific penalty to be avoided, it seems to be the fourth penalty for the team that comes second – as Brazil’s Marquinhos experienced against Croatia on Friday. For that game, the eighth total penalty in a shootout was missed 11 times out of 29 (38%) – more than any other of the regulation 10. According to statistics from Gracenote who also ran to the end of the last 16, only the 11th and 12th penalties – at 50% – are more likely to be missed, although only one shootout has gone this far since the first in 1982: when Romania’s Miodrag Belodedici’s failure to score sent Sweden to the semi-finals in 1994.

The overall success rate of shootouts is 69% (294 penalties in total with 203 scored and 91 missed), but that figure goes above 70% for the first three rounds (penalties one to six) and drops drastically after that as the pressure builds.

Good luck shooting

England’s victory over Colombia on penalties in 2018 finally broke their duck in World Cup shootouts at the fourth attempt. Their opponents on Saturday, France, have shot through twice from the quarter-finals of the World Cup in shootouts: in 1986 against Brazil and in 1998 against Italy on their way to becoming champions.

But just as Gareth Southgate’s side lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties, more recent memories aren’t so good for Didier Deschamps after Kylian Mbappé was to blame in their last-16 defeat to Switzerland at the same tournament. And there was 2006 when David Trezeguet’s miss saw Italy triumph in the World Cup final.

Should it come to penalties on Saturday, winning the coin toss could be vital given recent trends. Morocco’s win over Spain in the last 16 in Qatar and Croatia’s win over Brazil left them the only teams in the past nine World Cup shootouts to win after taking the first penalty, though overall about half this has done.

There could also be a few surprises in Southgate’s list of penalty takers. Of team members who have taken five or more in all competitions, including shootouts, since the start of the 2013/14 season, Harry Kane leads the way with 60 of 69 successful penalties (87%). Callum Wilson follows with an 85% success rate and defenders Harry Maguire and Eric Dier make the top five with 83% and 80% respectively.

England top five

Raheem Sterling (50%), Kieran Trippier (60%) and Mason Mount (70%) have the lowest success rates, but Marcus Rashford (82%) and Bukayo Saka (75% after four penalties) – who were racially abused after missing of Italy last year – could potentially appeal again.

England bottom five

But maybe Jordan Pickford is Southgate’s secret weapon. The goalkeeper may not have saved a penalty in regular play in over two years, but he saved two in the Euro 2020 final and scored the decisive Nations League penalty for third place in the play-offs against Switzerland in June 2019. then I’ll take one,” he said before the win over Senegal. Make sure it’s not number eight.

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