Today marks a historic moment in football. Eighteen years ago on this very day, 5-time world champions, Brazil beat Italy in the FIFA World Cup final to take home the title.
We look at that historic game and a couple of other finals that got our pulses racing after going to penalty shootouts:
The ‘little canaries’ emerged victorious in the end of what can be called the ‘battle of the giants’. This was the first time a FIFA World Cup title was decided by penalty shootouts. This was also the second time these two teams met in a final after the 1970 World Cup.
With football greats such as Romario, Roberto Baggio, Bebeto, Paolo Maldini, Dunga and Franco Baresi amongst the teams’ squads, one could expect a cracker of a game!
But neither of teh teams could find the back of the net even after additonal extra time. With the scoreboard reading 0-0, the match went into penalty shootouts. With Romario, Branco and Dunga finding the nets, the pressure piled on the Italians and they collapsed. This final witnessed one of the most devastating moments in World Cup history as Itallian hero Roberto Baggio missed the final attempt on goal which saw Brazil emerge as champs.
It was déjà vu for Italy when they faced France in the 2006 World Cup final. Only this time they went on to defeat the latter to lift the Cup for the fourth time.
France’s football legend Zinedine Zidane scored the first goal in the 7th minute with a penalty. But Italy equalised in the 19th minute through Marco Materazzi.
Coincidentally, these two goal scorers were involved in a controversial argument before Zidane head-butted Materazzi leading to the French captain being sent off with a red card in his last-ever game.
With no further goals even during the additional extra time, the game went to shootouts. While all 5 shots by Italy found the net, Trezeguet from France missed his opportunity.
France suffered a big blow following Zizou’s exit from the match. Italy were crowned champs and France had their heart broken after a great season.
Recently, we witnessed another penalty-shootout title decider. This time though it was for the UEFA Champions League 2012 title. After Chelsea and Bayern Munich ended regular and extra-time tied at 1-1, the game had to be decided by penalties.
Bayern successfully converted their first three attempts, but failed to convert the last two. Chelsea on the other hand capitalised with Luiz, Lampard, Cole and the team hero Drogba netting goals to lift the UEFA 2012 Cup.