Iker Casillas and Gigi Buffon are two of the best goalkeepers in the world, but neither of them could stand up to perfection Thursday.
Spain’s Casillas and Italy’s Buffon were powerless when tasked with stopping their opponents’ shots during a penalty-kick shootout which was among the best in recent memory. Spain edged Italy 7-6, but only because Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci (a defender by trade) hit his shot over the crossbar.
After 120 minutes of scoreless tension, the two teams gave a penalty-kick masterclass to a global audience. Both sets of players were tired after regular time and extra time, but precision, focus and nerves of steel helped them beat two world-class goalkeepers.
Italy’s Antonio Candreva started the show with a “panenka” (which we loved). The next 12 shooters scored from the spot before Bonucci missed. Shooters shot left, right, high, low and everywhere in between, as they converted shot after shot.
Jesus Navas scored the winning penalty kick to send Spain to the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Spain will face Brazil on Sunday at the Maracana in Rio de Janiero.
Between them, Buffon and Casillas have won 11 league titles, two domestic cups, two UEFA Champions League titles and one UEFA Cup (present-day Europa League) at club level. Internationally, they have won the two most recent FIFA World Cups and UEFA European Championships.
But the soccer goal is still eight feet high and 24 feet wide. When penalty-kick takers are up for it, there’s little even Buffon and Casillas can do to stop them.
Watch the goals from the Spain-Italy penalty shootout in the video below.