When a penalty goes wrong: Bruno Pereirinha (Portugal U21) vs Cape Verde

Top marks to Off The Post for unearthing this Portuguese penalty cock-up.

Scoring from the spot should be one of the more simple things for a professional footballer. With just 12-yards separating the kicker from the goal, the keeper should always be second favourite. It’s not complicated stuff. So when footballers try to be extra clever, and fail, it looks ridiculous.

And so it proved for the Portuguese under-21 side in their match with the mighty Cape Verde this week, as they not only managed to royally screw up their penalty, but so bad was their attempt that the keeper was never even put to the test as no shot ever materialised.

The inspiration behind the attempt was Johan Cruyff’s famous spot-kick routine, in which the penalty-taker fakes a shot in order to roll the ball to a teammate who then comes storming in to score. But it all went horribly wrong after Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Pereirinha (pictured) under-hit his pass to teammate Rui Pedro, with a quick-thinking Verde defender alert to the situation and able to snuff out the danger.

The fallout from the penalty farce has seen Portugal head coach Carlos Queiroz personally order both Pereirinha and Pedro to be dropped from the squad ahead of their next match against a Madiera XI, with the brains behind the operation left grovelling his way out of the pit he dug for himself.

Pereirinha: “It was something that had been decided with my teammate. Unfortunately it went wrong. It was not an attitude of lack of respect for our opponents, but the circumstances of the game gave me the idea. I’m here to accept that. The coach talked to me and told me not to ever repeat it. I can only say again that the decision to try it was not out of any disrespect to our opponents.”

The awfully-bad Portuguese penalty can be seen here.

Arsenal fans will likely have plenty of sympathy.