What is the record for the most penalties in a football match?

At the 1982 World Cup, West Germany and France played out the first-ever penalty shootout in the tournament’s history. Since then, penalty shootouts have been a regular occurrence in major tournaments at both club and international levels. Everyone loves a good penalty shootout (except those who lose). Shootouts can be epic, like the one that settled the Champions League Final 2005 between Liverpool and AC Milan. Some can go on forever, such as one that took place in Southern California in 2012 that set the record for the most penalties in a football match.

In February 2012, a playoff game between San Diego high schools, Crawford and Bishop, kicked off at 3:30 p.m. local time on a Tuesday. The CIF Division 4 playoff game finished in a 3-3 draw at the end of regulation. The teams proceeded to a penalty shootout.

By 6:00 PM, two and a half hours after kickoff, o winner had been declared. The team had gone through 21 rounds of the penalty shootout without either side claiming a win. In 21 rounds of penalty kicks each team scored 18 times and missed three.Due to darkness setting in and a lack of lighting at the football pitch, play was suspended by the match referee.

While both head coaches want to restart the game the following day, the league’s rules for high school football deemed the game must start at the point it was suspended. So, the following day the team’s picked up at round 22 for the penalty shootout.

After another 28 round of spot-kicks, Bishop High School’s Matt Harris buried the 49th penalty kick of the game. Crawford missed the following spot-kick, handing Bishop the victory. In total, 50 penalty kicks were taken in the shootout.

Although Crawford versus Bishop is recongnised as the longest penalty shootout by some, the Guinness Book of World Records recognises this match as the longest penalty shootout. In the final of the 2005 Namibian Cup, KK Palace and Civics combined for 48 penalty kicks. KK Palace defeated Civics 17–16 following a 2–2 draw in normal time. The shootout took nearly as long as the 90 minute match.

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