Claudio Bravo will probably have a statue built in his honour in Chile one day after his heroic performance in the penalty shootout as Chile defeated Portugal to reach the final of the Confederations Cup.
The Manchester City goalkeeper, often mocked for his performances last season, saved all three of Portugal’s penalties – and not one was taken by Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was instead left to Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Luis Nani, all of whom saw their efforts from 12 yards saved by Bravo.
Chile, who went first in the shootout, scored all three, Arturo Vidal, Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez finding the target.
Rather incredibly, all three of Portugal’s penalty takers were substitutes. No doubt Moutinho, who arrived in the 102nd minute and with a reputation for being technically gifted, was brought on by Fernando Santos with a view to him taking a penalty.
But the biggest story was Ronaldo not taking one. How are you not going to let the Real Madrid star, whose record from 12 yards is brilliant, be among the first to take a penalty?
Watch Bravo’s three saves below.
Watch: Bravo saves from Quaresma
Then from Moutinho
And then from Nani
Chile will take on either Germany or Mexico in the final
Portugal and Chile had played out a pretty uninteresting match until the final minutes, when the South American nation hit the post and then the crossbar in a matter of seconds.
They will take on the winners of the other semi-final between Germany and Mexico, with Joachim Low explaining just how confident his side is of reaching the final in St Petersburg.
“I think in terms of gut feeling, we’re heading to St Petersburg,” the Germany coach said, per DW.
“We have flexibility and all the players have done a good job. Some have shown great hunger while others are simply outstanding.
“I had the idea to bring an experimental squad to the Confederations Cup in 2014. I’m satisfied with the decisions we’ve made.”