How to Save Penalties in Soccer

During a soccer game, when one team gets the opportunity to score from the penalty kick, it is all up to the goalkeeper to save the game for the team. The penalty kick taker puts the ball on the spot while the goalkeeper has to stand on the goal line and save the player’s shot on goal. The probability of scoring a goal on a penalty is really high, but there are some goalkeepers who always manage to guess the direction of the kick and get their hands behind the ball in order to save the penalty.


  • 1

    While standing as a goalkeeper, it can become increasingly hard for you to save each and every penalty. However, a few penalty specialists such as Petr Cech and Jerzy Dudek have taught us how stopping penalties is not too difficult.

  • 2

    Do not stand still whenever you are defending a penalty. Specialists say that when you are standing in the middle of a goal, the player taking the penalty will not find it difficult to pick a spot as the goal is a lot bigger than you. However, if you stretch your arms and start jumping, psychologically it becomes difficult for the player to judge where you are going to dive and he/she gets confused. The former Real Madrid and Liverpool goalkeeper, Jerzy Dudek, would use a technique called the ‘noodle leg’ in order to confuse his opponents. He would keep moving his whole body, making the goal smaller for the player who is taking the penalty kick.

  • 3

    Always look in the player’s eyes, they tell you most of the story. Mostly, the player first glances towards the corner he/she has picked for shooting the ball. Whenever someone steps forward to take a penalty, try to go and give the ball to them. Keep looking in the eyes of the player and you will know where exactly he/she is going to shoot. While a few players might prove tricky in this case, just make sure that you have made up your mind and simply pick a spot to dive. There is a high probability that you will dive in the right direction.

  • 4

    One of the trickiest penalties would be the ones which come straight. With the goalkeeper diving, the players try to trick them by shooting straight penalties. Therefore, take out a probability yourself. If there are five penalties to be taken, there will be at least one player who will shoot straight. Mostly, keepers stand straight during the third or fourth penalty, there is always a chance for them to come straight.

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