Amid the pressure of a penalty shootout in a tournament final, South Korea captain Lee Nam-yong produced a moment of brilliance against India on Saturday. Lee, the team’s most experienced player, stepped forward to take the penalty that would win his team the tournament.
Earlier instance: This wasn’t the first time something like this was tried. In the semifinals of the 2018 women’s hockey World Cup, Spain’s Lola Riera did something similar against Ireland’s Ayeisha McFerran.
Few variations: Since the penalty rules were revised in 2011 and shootouts turned into a one-on-one situation between the goalkeeper and the attacker — similar to ice hockey — there have been few variations.
Tried and tested: The most preferred route for an attacker is to enter the ‘D’, take a couple of steps to the goalkeeper’s right, draw him closer before turning into the other direction and aim for the opposite corner.
This has been a safer option for two reasons—the quick change in direction often leads to the goalkeeper losing his balance, thus giving the striker additional space. The goalkeeper, too, is forced to bend a little more because the stick is held in the other hand. Some players have tried to confuse the goalkeeper by dribbling the ball at a high speed before pushing it in. But not many have been able to pull it off as it requires a high level of ball control.