Penalty kicks in football are often seen as a ‘sure thing’, a chance for a team to add to their scoreline and put the opposition on the back foot. However, sometimes teams decide to try something different to catch their opponents off guard.
This was the case for Rayo Vallecano in their La Liga match against Girona last Saturday. Unfortunately for them, their attempt to replicate the famous ‘penalty assist’ made popular by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez did not go as planned.
After taking a 2-1 lead with goals from Isi Palazon and Oscar Trejo, the two goal-scorers had a peculiar strategy in mind when Vallecano was awarded a spot-kick. Trejo, who seemed confident from the 12-yard mark, inexplicably missed his first penalty attempt with a poor effort. But the Argentine attacker was handed a second chance when the referee saw some infringement.
With a second opportunity, Trejo decided to change things up by involving his teammate Palazon. The plan was to duplicate the illustrious ‘penalty assist’ utilized by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Trejo passed the ball to his teammate with the top of his boot, but Palazon made an utter mess of his attempt, leaving both players red-faced.
¡Desaprovechó el @RayoVallecano la oportunidad de hacer el tercero en este penalti!#RayoGirona | #LaLigaSantander#LaLigaHighlights pic.twitter.com/yqW86VPMzL
— LaLiga (@LaLiga) March 18, 2023
As the video footage reveals, Palazon’s attempt was anything but graceful. Instead of hitting the back of the net, the ball soared high and wide of the goalpost, much to the delight of the opposition and the crowd. This failure by Rayo Vallecano is one that will undoubtedly be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Not only did this attempt not go according to plan, but it also proved to be expensive. Girona managed to earn a point in the match after Viktor Tsyhankov equalized in the 52nd minute. This result implies that Rayo Vallecano squandered a critical chance to climb up the La Liga table.
#OnThisDay 🔙 in 2016…
🥅 @LuisSuarez9 and #Messi came up with a legendary way to score a penalty! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/RDrhxSGecC
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) February 15, 2020
It’s understandable why teams may want to attempt something different during a penalty kick. By changing things up, teams may be able to catch the goalkeepers off guard. Nevertheless, the ‘penalty assist’ is a tough tactic that necessitates skill and precision to execute successfully.
This failure may have cost Rayo Vallecano the match, but hopefully, they will learn from their mistake and focus on more conventional methods of scoring goals in the future.