When executed properly, the Panenka penalty is one of soccer's most satisfying flexes. The utter audacity to take and execute a "cucchiaio" is half the battle, but you only make the highlight reel when it goes in. Fail at a panenka, however, and the world's ridicule awaits your poor soul. That's why we're here today.
A Lithuanian player took arguably the worst penalty of all time, in history, ever. When Gytis Siugzda of FK Silas stepped up to make his mark against Silute in a penalty shoot-out during the second round of the Lithuanian Football Federation Cup, he surely had a vision of Pirlo against Joe Hart, Francesco Totti vs. Edwin Van Der Sar, and dreams of his name being chanted around the city of Kazlu Ruda by an adoring fanbase.
Instead, he did this.
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It's hard to put into words just how deliciously awful this penalty was, so let's break it down from start to finish:
Good, confident placing of the ball on the spot. It's important not to communicate any lack of confidence, and facing the keeper the entire time is a strong move. No issues here. Next, a solid run-up. Perhaps a bit long, but it's important to really sell a panenka, so we won't fault Gytis on this one either.
Once our man gets to the ball though, reality hits. And it hits way harder than Siugzda does. While the biggest fear of every panenka attempt is not to blaze it over, one key part of scoring goals is for the ball to actually, you know -- get to the goal. In that, Gytis failed so miserably we're writing an entire blog devoted to it. When your run-up takes you past the ball you just struck, AND you're getting clowned by a goalkeeper in the process, things have certainly gone wrong.
Even worse, Silas lost the shoot-out. By one goal. Safe to say Gytis Siugzda won't be attempting this piece of skill (or showing his face in public) anytime soon. Antonin Panenka would be ashamed.
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