Eric Bailly missed the Ivory Coast’s deciding penalty against Egypt on Wednesday night.
After 120 minutes of goalless action in Cameroon, the round of 16 clash at the Africa Cup of Nations had to be decided by the classic sporting lottery of a penalty shootout.
It truly is the cruellest of formats, but one in which both nations gave a good account of themselves with nine of the ten penalties rustling the net.
Nicolas Pepe, Ahmed Sayed, Ibrahim Sangaré, Amr El Solia, Omar Kamal, Maxwel Cornet, Mohamed Abdelmonem, Wilfried Zaha and Mohamed Salah all scored in a truly tense exchange.
However, there is always one player who misses otherwise shootouts would go on forever and that unfortunate reality befell the aforementioned Bailly in the third round of shots.
And it came in what many football fans have described as typically Bailly style with the Manchester United man often going viral for, well, doing things in his own unique way.
That’s not a criticism, by the way, because the Ivorian is one of the Premier League’s most underrated centre-halves regardless of the eccentricity with which he goes about his business.
That being said, there’s no denying that Bailly’s idiosyncratic approach to his penalty didn’t exactly do him any favours with the centre-back channelling what you’d usually expect from a forward.
With a tiny run-up that ended in flashes of a Jorginho-like hop, there were facepalms around the world as Bailly’s resulting shot was tipped on to the crossbar by Mohamed Abou Gabal.
However, the bewilderment only intensified when footage did the rounds on social media that seemed to suggest that Bailly had actually gone one step further by using a no-look shot.
Yes, that’s right, the technique that Roberto Firmino has made famous with reverse angles showing that Bailly was looking in the opposite direction to where he was shoot upon kicking the ball.
Whether or not it was a quirk of his shooting style or a deliberate attempt to fool the goalkeeper remains to be seen, but the remarkable footage is most certainly deserving of a watch:
It doesn’t look good, does it?
More to follow…
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