Mexico have not practiced penalty kicks to get ready for their Copa America Centenario quarterfinal clash against Chile (10 p.m. ET, FX) and they have no intention of doing so ahead of the match. Manager Juan Carlos Osorio told reporters that he considered practicing spot kicks unnecessary and that the team didn't need the work.
Osorio's decision is especially curious considering that in Copa America, penalty kicks are far more likely than in other tournaments. There is no extra time at Copa America, except in the final, so if Mexico are level after 90 minutes, the match will go straight to penalty kicks.
It's not a matter of arrogance from Osorio either. He doesn't have so much belief in his team to win in regulation that he won't consider penalties. He just doesn't think practicing them does players any good.
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"I think that I once heard a great man of soccer say, 'Penalties in training are a tactical decision, in a soccer match it's an emotional state,' and I think that with ball sitting there, we could practice 20 of them, but the day of the match it would be another scene," Osorio said.
Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi doesn't agree with Osorio's approach. He said he's had his players practicing penalty kicks, in the event that the match gets to that point.
The winner of Mexico vs. Chile will get Colombia in the semifinals. And if the winner is decided by penalties, Osorio better hope that El Tri come out on top. If they fall in a shootout, the pitchforks will undoubtedly come out for refusing to practice kicks from the spot.
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