Here's When Penalty Shootouts Were Introduced at FIFA World Cup


Seeing a soccer match ending in a tie can at times be thrilling. At any moment during the tied score, a team can grab a goal and take complete control of the game. But sometimes, teams end in a deadlock after extra time, and during the World Cup knockout stage, a winner must be decided — there enters the “penalty shootout.” 

The penalty shootout has been a part of knockout tournament soccer for many years, and it is used to determine the winner in a knockout match if teams are tied after extra time has expired. 

The knockout stages are bound to be filled with some exciting penalty shootouts at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. So, here’s all you need to know about penalty shootout rules and their history:

What is a penalty shootout?

Penalty shootouts only take place during the knockout phases of competition, such as the World Cup, after teams have a tied score after regular and extra time have expired. 

Both teams will select five players to take a penalty kick and alternate the order in an A-B-A-B format. The team with the most penalties scored after the first five attempts will win the shootout. 

What happens if a shootout is tied after five attempts?

If after five penalties are scored it is still tied, penalties will continue through one back-and-forth round at a time. The first team to have an advantage after a round between both teams wins. This is known as “sudden death.”

What are the rules for the penalty shootout?

Each kick is taken by a different player and all eligible players must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.

When was the penalty shootout created?

The idea of the modern-day shootout is credited to Israeli, Yosef Dagan who gave the proposition after seeing his national team crash out of the 1968 Olympic quarter-final. Dagan, with backing from the Malaysian FA’s referee committee, led the move for its adoption by FIFA. After discussions, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) adopted the proposal on 27 June 1970.

The first penalty shootout took place in the 1976 European Championship final between West Germany and Czechoslovakia. While the first penalty shootout in the World Cup came on January 9, 1977, in the first round of African qualifying, when Tunisia beat Morocco. The first shootout in a World Cup finals occurred at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, when West Germany defeated France in the semi-finals. 

After six penalty rounds, West Germany walked away with the 5-4 shootout victory. 

Which team has the best record in World Cup penalty shootouts?

Germany stands as the most successful team in penalty shootouts in World Cup history. They hold a perfect 4-0 record performing as West Germany and as a unified nation in the 1982, 1986, 1990 and 2006 World Cups.

Argentina has also won four penalty shootouts but has a 4-1 record with its lone defeat being to Germany in 2006.

Which team has the worst record in World Cup penalty shootouts?

England, Italy and Spain have suffered the most penalty shootout losses at the World Cup. Each of those three nations has been beaten three times in the shootout but holds a 1-3 record. 

  • England – (1990, 1998, 2006)
  • Italy – (1990, 1994, 1998)
  • Spain – (1986, 2002, 2018)

England was the last of the three to taste shootout victory, defeating Colombia in the round of 16 in 2018.

Which World Cup has had the most penalty shootouts?

The most penalty shootouts to take place in a single World Cup tournament are four. This has happened four times: in 1990, 2006, 2014 and 2018.

Has the World Cup Final ever been decided by penalty shootouts?

The World Cup title has been decided by a penalty shootout twice in history. In 1994 and 2006, the match reached the sudden death stage after still being tied at the end of “best of five kicks.”

In 1994, Brazil defeated Italy 3-2, and 12 years later in 2006, Italy was involved again – this time as victors. They defeated France 5-3 to claim its fourth World Cup title.

How many penalty shootouts have occurred in Qatar?

There have been two exciting penalty shootouts so far in Qatar.

Spain was eliminated from World Cup contention after a penalty shootout with Morocco – they advanced past the round of 16 3-0 on penalty kicks.

Japan was also recently eliminated in Qatar  after a penalty shootout defeat to Croatia. The star of the match was Dominik Livaković, the Croatian goalkeeper who stopped penalty kicks from Japan’s Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitomo and Maya Yoshida. He became just the third goalkeeper to make three saves in a single World Cup penalty shootout.

What is the longest shootout in soccer history?

The world record for the longest penalty shootout in a professional soccer game happened in 2005 when KK Palace and The Civics clashed in the Namibian Cup. After a 2-2 draw in the regulation time and no winner declared after extra time, KK Palace came out victorious 17-16 after a grueling 48-kick penalty shootout.

Contact Us