Penalty shoot-out (association football)

A penalty shoot-out (officially kicks from the penalty mark)[1] is a tie-breaking method to determine which team is awarded victory in an association football match that cannot end in a draw, when the score is tied after the normal time as well as extra time (if used) have expired. In a penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns shooting at goal from the penalty mark, with the goal defended only by the opposing team's goalkeeper. Each team has five shots which must be taken by different kickers; the team that makes more successful kicks is declared the victor. Shoot-outs finish as soon as one team has an insurmountable lead. If scores are level after five pairs of shots, the shootout progresses into additional "sudden-death" rounds.[1] Balls successfully kicked into the goal during a shoot-out do not count as goals for the individual kickers or the team, and are tallied separately from the goals scored during normal play (including extra time, if any). Although the procedure for each individual kick in the shoot-out resembles that of a penalty kick, there are some differences. Most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked.

Two moments from a 1994 Supercopa Libertadores match which ended in a penalty shoot-out. Top: Boca Juniors goalkeeper Carlos Navarro Montoya stopping River Plate player Sergio Berti's shot. Bottom: Boca Juniors' Fernando Gamboa scoring past River Plate goalkeeper Germán Burgos

The penalty shoot-out is one of the three methods of breaking a draw that are currently approved by the Laws of the Game; the others are extra time and, for two-legged ties, the away goals rule.[1] A shoot-out is usually used only after one or more of the other methods fail to produce a winner. The method of breaking a draw for a specific match is determined beforehand by the match organising body. In most professional level competitions, two 15-minute extra time periods are played if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, and a shoot-out is held if the score is still tied after the extra time periods.

Although widely employed in football since the 1970s, penalty shoot-outs have been criticised by many followers of the game, due primarily to their perceived reliance on luck rather than skill and their dependence on individual duels between opposing players, which is arguably not in keeping with football as a team sport.[2] Conversely, some believe the pressure and unpredictability involved makes it one of the most thrilling finales to any sport.[3][4]


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