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Chinese Super League

Gabriel Paletta spot kick shocker in Chinese FA Cup joins pantheon of worst penalties ever

Despite Italian’s miss, Jiangsu Suning go through to the next round after edging thriller with Tianjin Quanjian by winning 8-7 in the shoot-out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 1:57pm

Former AC Milan defender Gabriel Paletta has joined some of the best players in the game in failing from 12 yards after the Jiangsu Suning player missed in the Chinese FA Cup shoot-out with fellow Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.

The Buenos Aires-born Italy international stepped up for his side’s fifth penalty but instead of winning the shoot-out for his team he struck the ball well over the bar, although the former Italy international could at least point to the pitch as a contributing factor after he had taken a divot out of a playing surface that had seen heavy rain in Tianjin.

The visitors won in the end, triumphing 8-7 on spot kicks after the game had finished 2-2 in normal time, but it will be remembered for Paletta’s penalty – one is sure to end up on Youtube compilations.

He’s in illustrious company, at least.

There were shades of David Beckham’s penalty at Euro 2004 when England were knocked out by Portugal.

Paletta’s fellow Italy international Simone Zaza also struggled from the spot with his bizarre run-up at Euro 2012 followed by missing the target and the Azzurri going out to Germany. The striker, who moved to West Ham United in the English Premier League soon after, later told Gazetta dello Sporthe was left traumatised by the miss.

Star names such as Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero, Frank Ribery at Bayern Munich – who saw an attempted “panenka” easily caught by the keeper – and Argentina international Martin Palermo have all struggled from the spot. Palermo once missed three penalties in a single game for his country at the 1999 Copa America.

The FA Cup tie itself was a thriller with Alex Teixiera scoring a second half brace, including one from the spot, to lead 2-0 as the game entered the 90th minute.

Tianjin Quanjian’s Mi Haolun pulled one back with a long-range rocket and Belgian international Axel Witsel equalised with a 93rd minute scissor kick.

After going straight to spot kicks instead of extra-time the away team won the toss and went first with Teixeira making no mistake before Tianjin’s French striker Anthony Modeste struck the outside of the upright with his side’s first kick.

There were no further mistakes from either side until Paletta missed his chance and Witsel scored to take it to sudden death. Five more penalties beat the keeper until Chu Jinzhao knocked his effort over the crossbar.

Watch highlights of Tianjin Quanjian v Jiangsu Suning

The Chinese FA Cup continues with the rest of the fifth round games on Wednesday. At least one lower league team is sure to be in the sixth round as Nantong Zhiyun play Sichuan Jiuniu.

Nantong knocked out holders Shanghai Shenhua in the last round.