Worst Penalty Shootout Records At The World Cup

England penalty miss

Japan were the first to be eliminated on penalties at the 2022 World Cup and with the round of 16 already over and the quarter finals fast approaching, we take a look at who has the worst records for penalty shootouts at the tournament. 

There are three countries who share the crown for worst penalty shootout records at a World Cup, with England, Italy and Spain all getting knocked out three times over the years.

England – (1990, 1998, 2006)

England are notoriously awful at penalty shootouts and the World Cup hasn’t been the kindest competition to them in the past, as they were eliminated from 3/5 World Cups between 1990 and 2006.

The 1990 World Cup in Italy was when the penalty shootout heartbreak began for the three lions, as they were eliminated by West Germany in the Semi-final after Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle failed to convert their spot kicks. Agony continued for England just eight years later as they were knocked out by Argentina, this time thanks to misses from Paul Ince and David Batty which cost England a spot in the quarters.

David Batty

2006 was England’s most recent failure in a World Cup penalty shootout, as the side reduced to 10-men after a Wayne Rooney red card suffered a 3-1 loss on penalties to Portugal.

Despite having one of the worst records at the tournament for penalties, the Three Lions finally enjoyed success at the 2018 World Cup when they edged past Columbia in the round of 16 on penalties in their first ever shootout win at a World Cup.

Italy – (1990, 1994, 1998)

Italy managed to be eliminated in three consecutive World Cups during the 1990’s, through eight years of heartbreak that seemed to never end for the Italians.

The first penalty shootout loss for Italy came in the semi-finals 1990 and although things seemed to be going well for the Azzurri at first, misses from Roberto Donadoni and Aldo Serena sent Italy crashing out in disappointment at the hands of Argentina.

It was a penalty shootout that cost Italy the ultimate prize in 1994, as they fell at the final hurdle in Pasadena thanks to Roberto Baggio’s iconic spot-kick miss as well as failed attempts from Franco Baresi and Massaro.

Demetrio Albertini and Luigi Di Biagio were the players to cost Italy in 1998, as they lost in the quarter finals to eventual winners France, who were taken all the way in a thrilling penalty shootout that ended 4-3 to Les Bleus.

Spain – (1986, 2002, 2018)

Spain’s first penalty shootout loss came in 1986, in what was an almost flawless display of spot kicks from both sides involved. Unfortunately for Spain, Belgium managed to convert all of their penalties in a 5-4 victory with only Eloy missing his penalty to send Spain crashing out in the quarters.

La Roja were involved in two penalty shootouts during the 2002 World Cup, with the first coming in a less than convincing win over Ireland in the round of 16. Spain weren’t so lucky in the quarter final however, as they had goals wrongly disallowed in a 0-0 draw with South Korea which resulted in the Asian side advancing to the semi’s following a Joaquin miss.

The World Cup in Russia 2018 saw Spain eliminated by the hosts in the round of 16, after they struggled in 90 minutes being held to a 1-1 draw before Koke and Iago Aspas failed to score in the shootout.

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