Emmanuel Adebayor turned back with a wry smile across his face as if he couldn’t believe what he had just done.
Sadly for the Tottenham Hotspur striker there was no escaping the reality of his actions; Adebayor had committed the cardinal sin of not hitting the target from the spot.
Spurs then looked on as Marcelo Diaz showed them how to hit a high penalty by thrashing the winning kick in off the crossbar.
The Togo international will be hard to console after such an embarrassment, the fact he had something of a flourish in his run up won’t do a lot for his image.
However, poor Emmanuel isn’t alone in the misery of seeing a crucial penalty fly skywards and disappearing slowly in the distance.
GMF picked out five other crucial penalties launched into the heavens; long to be ridiculed and relived in football blunder DVDs.
Here they are...
Sergio Ramos v Bayern Munich
Real Madrid were at the same stage of the Champions League last year when their semi-final tie with Bayern Munich went to penalties.
Ramos needed to score to keep Jose Mourinho’s side in the shoot-out, instead he cleared the crossbar by some way. Watch it below, replete with hilarious additive.
Roberto Baggio v Brazil
The 1994 World Cup final was as dull as ditch water, so a hilariously bad penalty was almost a thankful occurrence – unless you are Italian, of course, or Roberto Baggio.
He was one of the most celebrated players in world football and he had the responsibility of keeping Italy in the World Cup final – he failed spectacularly.
David Beckham v Portugal
England’s captain and talisman had been crucial to the Three Lions getting to another quarter-final at Euro 2004, though a match with hosts Portugal was always going to be tough.
A tight 2-2 draw took it to penalties and the skipper stepped up first to set an example. Unfortunately, his example was to balloon the penalty incredibly high and wide, then to turn around throw a lament at the penalty spot – England lost, obviously.
Jaap Stam v Italy
The then Manchester United centre-back Jaap Stam was not exactly known for his finishing, so there can be no huge surprise at what happened when the boring 0-0 draw went to spot kicks.
Stam wasn’t the only one to miss a spit kick, but at least Frank de Boer and Paul Bosvelt made the inspired Francesco Toldo make a save. Stam’s kick was hit as hard as man of his stature could, which is probably why it went like a missile into the stands.
Chris Waddle v West Germany
England’s World Cup penalty woes are well known and the 1990 failure against West Germany is possibly the most famous.
Stuart Pearce missed embarrassingly to give Germany the advantage but it was Tottenham great Waddle that had the responsibility of keeping the English in it. He went high and it was the Germans that went on to face Argentina in the final
It was also the scene for one of the nicest acts of compassion seen on a football pitch when Lothar Matthäus consoled the understandably distraught Waddle, instead of celebrating with his teammates.
Which sky-high penalties can you remember? What do you think of the efforts above? Leave a comment below to let us know...
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