Today, I realised my heart is strong. I have a good heart. A strong heart. To survive three penalty shootouts in one day, all victories, is something fascinating. My three teams all won today, all on penalties. Two teams to reach the final of their respective confederation and one team to qualify for the confederation tournament. I am talking about Argentina, Italy and Trinidad and Tobago.
All three penalty shoot outs were unique, amazing, and nerve wrecking. In any penalty shootout, the goal keepers always take centre stage. Emiliano Martinez took the whole stage with both gloves. The Argentina goalkeeper, who just last year was Arsenal’s #2, made 3 saves in the 5 kicks. The Aston Villa goalkeeper must be on the radar for some bigger clubs now ( especially since Donnarumma is now at PSG).
So we had Martinez was saving like Uncle Scrooge, but earlier, I thought I was watching the two worst goalkeepers in a penalty shootout between Trinidad and Tobago and French Guiana. All 10 penalties were scored. All the kicker had to do is be on target. SCORE !!!! It went on like that for the next two rounds in sudden death, until the 8th kick, Nicklas Frenderup made the save before Curtis Gonzales wrapped up the win. Trinidad and Tobago scored all 8 kicks, while French Guiana had one kick saved.
The first penalty shootout of the day, was even. Spain vs Italy. Very first kick, Simon saved Locatelli’s penalty and Olmo was off target. The next two rounds of kicks were perfect. But somehow I knew that Donnarumma was due to make one save. He may be just 22, but he is already one of the top goalkeepers in the world. And save he did, stopping Morata, before Jorginho sealed the PK shoot out win.
The Copa final on Saturday will be epic. Argentina and Brazil have both been unbeaten since 2019. Since Argentina last beat Brazil in November 2019, the Brazilians have played 13 matches and won 12 with 1 draw. Since Argentina last loss against Brazil in July 2019, they have played 19 matches, with 11 wins and 8 draws. We will be having 2 great finals on the weekend. Brazil vs Argentina and Italy vs England or Denmark.
As for Trinidad and Tobago, we will now be in Group A of the Gold Cup and will face Mexico on Saturday. We then play El Salvador next Wednesday and Curacao on the 18th.