A Penalty Kick You Don’t See Every Day

by Nigel Assam

Everyone knows that in soccer a penalty kick is difficult enough to take. It may look easy on television, but it is a tense psychological contest between the goalkeeper and the kicker. Sometimes, players will introduce some new flair to the task, but the UAE’s Awana Diab’s backheel penalty taken in a friendly against Lebanon yesterday was a complete surprise. In an actual league match anywhere, I doubt this would be attempted.

Although the announcers, spectators, and other players were amused, his coach wasn’t and substituted for Diab immediately, saying the player would be disciplined for the “disrespectful act.” Come on, it was a friendly.