PENALTY shoot-outs. Guaranteed excitement and drama, even without going to sudden death.
So imagine the scenes on Saturday at Headingley AFC who beat Hunslet Club 18-17 on spot kicks in the Leeds & District FA Senior Challenge Cup.
Heaven knows what happened with this shootout in which, assuming goalkeepers took penalties, 13 players must have scored twice. Unless the subs and managers started taking them too. Anthony Friend certainly took one – and scored – which became the subject of some fun on Headingley AFC’s official Twitter account. “Headingley AFC progressed after winning an epic penalty shoot-out 18-17 at home to Hunslet Club following a 1-1 draw. Even @ant_friend slotted his home...” And Headingley and Hunslet will be pleased to know that they bettered the English pro game record for the most spot kicks taken in a penalty shoot-out.
The record for the longest shootout in English football was apparently set by Chelsea’s 23s against Oxford United in last season’s EFL Trophy when 34 spot kicks were taken before Chelsea progressed 13-12. Headingley and Hunslet beat that. The highest scoring shoot-out in England is thought to be Brockenhurst’s 15-14 win against Andover in the 2013 Hampshire Senior Cup. Yep, beat that too.
Up until last year, globally, the record for the longest shoot out was held by two Namibian sides in KK Palace and Civics who took 48 spot kicks in the 2005 Namibian Cup. KK Palace progressed 17-16 but score-wise Headingley and Hunslet bettered that.
Yet the Mirror reported last summer how Czech amateur teams SK Batov and FC Frystak took an amazing 52 penalties between them in a shoot-out that Batov eventually won 21-20. You can watch the epic shoot-out on YouTube – its four minutes and 45 seconds long, and that’s speeded up!