FIFA World Cup penalty shootout game

Brazil Soccer WCup Netherlands Costa RicaIn the penalty shootout in soccer, all the player has to do to score is kick the ball into one of the four corners of a 24-foot by 8-foot target from 36 feet away. For someone who earns a living playing "the beautiful game, " it sounds easy.

Costa Rica found it's a lot more complicated than that in their quarter-finals match against the Netherlands on July 5. Two Costa Rican players failed to score in the shootout, resulting in a Dutch victory.

According to British journalist Andrew Anthony, author of the 2001 book On Penalties, the shootout is about "the drama of decision-making."

Brazil Soccer WCup Netherlands Costa Rica"It all comes down to that moment as you walk from the centre circle to the penalty spot, which is the walk that they have to do.

"You are walking down a kind of corridor of truth."

He notes, "Life often comes down to these dramatic moments of decision-making, although usually not watched by a billion people around the world."

Indeed, the penalty shootout may be more psychological than physical.

The shootout was introduced as a way of deciding tied games in 1970 and was first used in a FIFA finals tournament in 1982. Since then, the success rate for players is just 75 per cent.

Paul Dolan, 1997Anxiety may lead to failure

"Anxiety is the most significant contributing factor to performance failure in football penalty shootouts, " according to an Expert Statement on the Psychological Preparation for Football Penalty Shootouts, a paper prepared for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences in 2013.

Costa Rica players watch as Netherlands' Arjen Robben celebrates during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match in Salvador, Brazil, July 5. The Netherlands defeated Costa Rica 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie. British experts advise the player to ignore the goalkeeper and pick a spot. (Wong Maye-E/Associated Press)

If an expert statement sounds odd, consider that England has always lost shootouts at the World Cup.

The statement identifies the hurdle the players have to overcome: the penalty shootout is one of the few occasions when they "have sufficient time to think about the consequences of failure."

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Q&A

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when was the most recent world cup penalty shootout? | Yahoo Answers

In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the quarter finals game between Ghana and Uruguay is the most recent World Cup game that involved penalty shootouts for men.
Uruguay won with a cheap shot of Sebastian Abreu, that was not cool for Ghana and African supporters.

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