Once in a Lifetime: A Cypriot 4th tier striker bags a hat-trick & saves two penalties in a game

There have been some fantastic once in a lifetime stories this season including the Portuguese goalie who saved a penalty and then immediately scored from 80-yards out, or the 5th division Polish goalie who saved two penalties on debut just two minutes apart.

Those incidents were undoubtedly special, but Pantelis Tavrou’s story arguably blows them out the water.

Tavrou is a 31-year-old centre forward for 4th division Cypriot side Xylotymvou 2006, and back in February something extraordinary happened to him during a match at Hercules Gerolakkos.

Pantelis Tavrou’s magical afternoon began when the attacker bagged an excellent hat-trick to put his side 3-1 up in their away game. But then the storm clouds arrived.

After making all their substitutions, Xylotymvou not only had one outfielder sent off, but their saw their keeper also collect his marching orders in an episode which handed Hercules a penalty. Feeling blessed by the gods, Tavrou took responsibility and put on the goalie’s gloves to face the spot-kick.

Amazingly, Tavrou saved the Hercules penalty by sticking out a left leg, only for the referee’s to demand that the spot-kick be retaken for encroachment in the box.

Cue the second penalty, and cue another left-legged save from Tavrou. It was simply incredible.

Watch Pantelis Tavrou’s hat-trick and double penalty saving performance in the Cypriot 4th division below.