The Longest Penalty Shootouts in World Cup Finals History

The 2022 World Cup is now just days away and we could see plenty of penalty shootout drama in Qatar.

Penalty shootouts are often a lottery, although some nations do appear to have more luck than others, and it’s definitely a situation to try and avoid on the World Cup stage.

The longest-ever recorded shootout came in the Midlands non-league JW Hunt Cup tie between Old Wilfrunians and Lane Head in 2021.

A staggering 44 kicks were taken to reach a decisive outcome, with Old Wilfrunians eventually going on to win the mammoth contest 19-18.

At a much higher level, Liverpool beat Middlesbrough 14-13 on penalties to advance to the fourth round of the EFL Cup in 2014.

The longest recorded international penalty shootout came in an under-21s game between the Netherlands and England.

As if often the case, England fell short from 12 yards, losing 13-12, and were subsequently dumped out of the 2007 European Championships.

With the 2022 World Cup on the horizon, we’ve taken a look at the longest shootouts to have taken place at the showpiece event.

West Germany sneak through in Spain

The first ever penalty shootout to take place at a World Cup came back in 1982 when Spain hosted the competition.

West Germany and France met in the semi-final, but the European heavyweights couldn’t be separated after extra time with the score level at 3-3.

With that, history was made.

Penalty kicks were employed to decide a winner and a place in the final for whichever team kept their cool from 12 yards.

The shootout ran for 12 penalties with West Germany going on to beat France 5-4.

To this day that stands as the joint-longest shootout in the history of the World Cup finals.

Sweden and Romania also shared 12 spot kicks when squaring off in the quarter-finals of the 1994 edition in the USA.

Ukraine and West Germany win in record time

West Germany also jointly hold the record for the shortest penalty shootout victory at a World Cup, alongside Ukraine.

Just four years on from their ground-breaking win over France, West Germany beat hosts Mexico at the 1986 tournament 4-1 on penalties following a goalless draw after extra time.

West Germany scored their first four efforts and Mexico missed two of their opening three.

Ukraine are the only other nation to win a penalty shootout at a World Cup with just seven taken in total.

It came on the back of another goalless draw in the last 16 of the 2006 competition in Germany.

Switzerland failed to convert each of their opening three attempts and Ukraine secured their passage through courtesy of a 3-0 win, as they scored three in a row after Andriy Shevchenko missed their first.

Bobbie is a big football fan across all levels, and he also has an impressive background in martial arts and is a regular provider of quality boxing and UFC content.
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