There aren’t many things in football as nerve-wracking as a penalty shootout. Add to that the stakes of progression in FIFA World Cup and the pressure rises to another level.
Argentina, though, is one of the few teams which has successfully handled the complexity of FIFA World Cup penalty shootouts, having contested in five, the most by any team.
Argentina has four wins of those five, with only Germany having won that many tiebreakers, albeit with a 100% record. It has also beaten Netherlands, Friday’s quarterfinal opponent in the 2022 edition, in 2014 by a margin of 4-2.
Here are all the penalty shootouts Argentina has been part of:
Argentina vs Yugoslavia, 1990: Argentina’s first tryst with a FIFA World Cup shootout came in the quarterfinal of Italy 1990, where it faced Yugoslavia and the game ended goalless after 120 minutes of play.
Despite Diego Maradona missing his penalty, the defending champion won the shootout, thanks to Sergio Goycochea, the Argentine, who stopped Yugoslavia’s last two penalty kicks.
Argentina vs Italy, 1990: Argentina didn’t have to wait too long to encounter its next penalty shootout as it played out a 1-- 1 draw against host Italy in the next stage, the semifinals, of the 1990 tournament.
The Argentine shooters were laser-sharp as they pumped in four unstoppable penalties. Italy stayed abreast until the fourth shot, by Roberto Donadoni, which was saved by Goycochea, who repeated his act against Aldo Serena in final kick to drag his team through the second successive penalty.
Argentina vs England, 1998: Eight years later, Argentina registered its third successive penalty shootout win, this time against England in the Round of 16. The game had everything, four goals shared among the two, a red card for David Beckham and a late Sol Campbell goal disallowed.
Finally in the shootout, Argentina prevailed, to resign England to another penalty defeat. Hernan Crespo missed the second kick for Argentina, before keeper Carlos Roa saved kicks from David Batty and Paul Ince to take the South Americans through.
Argentina vs Germany, 2006: Argentina’s only defeat in FIFA World Cup shootouts came in 2006 against the shootout experts, Germany in the quarterfinals.
German keeper Jens Lehmann brought on all the tricks from the book (he had a piece of crumbled paper that had detailed penalty stats of Argentine shooters) to outfox Argentina. Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso missed as Germany preserved its all-win record in World Cup shootouts.
Argentina vs Netherlands, 2014: Argentina returned to winning ways in FIFA World Cup shootouts against Netherlands in the 2014 semifinal.
Sergio Romero was the hero for Argentina as he saved the penalties of Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijdeto help his side into the final, where it eventually succumbed to Germany.
Get all the results for the FIFA World Cup 2022 here: Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers
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