In today's post I want to discuss a rule for goalkeepers that was recently introduced for the 2016/17 season. The Rule I’m talking about is in regards to when a penalty kick is taken and their is an offence by the goalkeeper. In the case of a goal - the goal sticks. If the penalty is saved, then the penalty kick is to be retaken and the keeper is to receive a caution.
Sounds fair right? But what if the keeper has already received a yellow card in the game and a second caution will lead to them being sent off. And what if the fact that they’ve been sent off leads to their team losing say, an important match in a tournament?
This is exactly what happened when the Republic of Ireland played the Netherlands in the U17 quarter-final match in the UEFA European Championships.
The Irish goalkeeper James Corcoran was caught coming off his line too soon during a penalty shoot-out and it resulted in him receiving his second yellow card of the game, and led to him being sent off. Perhaps the worst part about this is the fact that he actually saved the penalty, which if counted, would have sent the game to a 4-4 draw and the game would have gone to a sudden death situation. However, after the decision to send the Irish keeper off, one of his teammates put on his shirt and gloves and stepped between the posts for the retake, which was scored and lead to Ireland losing the game.
Whilst this is unfortunate for the Irish team, there’s two main lessons to learn for us as goalkeepers that can help prevent this happening again in the future.
Firstly, don’t come off your line too early during a penalty. If the referee has a keen eye, or the linesman sees it, you could receive the same caution that Corcoran received. If you’ve already received a caution, you could be sent off in the same way.
It’s important to study and understand the rules of the game. It might seem supremely boring and a complete waste of time, but if you know the rules in depth then you can make sure that you don’t make a fatal mistake that could cost your team an important game.
Of course, this is going to be a very rare occurrence in the game as a whole but it's still something important to understand. In fact, there is a dispute as to whether Corcoran was off his line completely at the moment the shot was taken. But still take this lesson and learn from it what you can. Practice your penalties in your training sessions and teach yourself not to make the same mistake.