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After Jason Puncheon’s bit of awfulness, looking at other famously missed penalty kicks

Jan 11, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

To say that Jason Puncheon “missed” is penalty kick for Crystal Palace on Saturday doesn’t exactly do justice to degree of awfulness. Poor fellow.

His spot shot flew so high and wide (to the left, if you must know … and can see from the photo over there) that it surely deserves some sort of mention among famously missed penalty kicks. The notoriety here, of course, is on the technical merit – on the absurd lack of it, that is.

But it also had us wondering about the famously missed spot shots, the ones notorious for their heavy impact in the world’s most meaningful matches. Here are a foursome of notorious PK misses to consider:

Chelsea’s John Terry vs. Manchester United, 2008 Champions League final: Yes, the turf was slippery that famous night in Moscow. Still, what a miss! And what a moment! This story suggests it was among the most famous moments in soccer history. Hmmm. We’ll have to think about that one. Still …

Ghan’s Asamoah Gyan vs. Uruguay, 2010 World Cup quarterfinals: There have been huge penalty kick misses in World Cup semifinals and quarterfinals, mostly in tiebreakers. Michel Platini took a particularly awful penalty kick in a quarterfinal tiebreaker of the 1986 World Cup against Brazil. And a famous miss by Chris Waddle helped send England famously out of the 1990 World Cup in a semifinal tiebreaker against Germany. But in the case of Gyan at South Africa 2010, his miss meant that Ghana had failed to become the first African team to advance to a World Cup semifinal. It also involved a certain choice by a certain controversial figure (Luis Suarez), all of which has been much discussed since.

England’s David Beckham vs. Portugal, 2004 European Championships: It was such an awful miss, flying so high into the Portuguese night, and getting his team’s tiebreaker off to such a dreadful start. It wasn’t the most famous of matches … but it was Beckham!

Italy’s Roberto Baggio vs. Brazil, World Cup 1994 final: It became a verb, at least for a while, “pulling a Baggio.” His shot flew high that warm day at the Rose Bowl, and it gave Brazil the 1994 World Cup title. Costly? Yes … you could argue THE most costly miss ever.

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  1. bishopofblunder - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    I remember watching the Ghana v Uruguay match. When Gyan was chosen to take the kick, I thought it was a mistake. I had watched him take about 10 shots during the match (slight exaggeration, I’m sure) and not one of them came remotely close to the goal. Granted, he’s their most deadly striker, but I just kept thinking, he hasn’t hit the broad side of a barn all day. No way he converts this.

    I really hate being right all the time…

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