Penalty kicks are one of the quirks of football and sometimes they can make or break. Real Madrid last May won their 11th Champions League crown by beating Atletico Madrid, on penalties. A report on ESPN has now revealed how that penalty victory was wrought. While it showed that Los Blancos had done their penalty assignment, Atletico showed their naivety.
“The 2016 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid shows how much ignorance still remains.
“Before a penalty shootout, there is a coin toss to decide which team gets to shoot first. If you win the toss, you should always shoot first because the team going first has a 60 percent chance of winning, as calculated by Professor Ignacio Palacios Huerta
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“He thinks this is because the team shooting second keeps having to score just to stay in the game, which is very stressful.
But because Diego Simeone and his team had not read up, they won the toss but decided to shoot second.
ESPN continues, “However, Atletico's excellent goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, then clinched their defeat. Just before a penalty is taken, Oblak habitually takes a little step towards the corner where he is going to dive.
“If you watch the video of that shootout, you will see that the Real players knew exactly what they were looking for: Each kicker runs up slowly, waits for Oblak to take his step and then taps the ball into the other corner.
“Clearly Real had a serious penalty report. Presumably next time Atletico will be more scientific too.” Nigerian teams on the continent should take a cue – it is not all about being physically fit or having good tactics – it must be combined with good analysis. That could be the index that sways victory!