‘They have been completely s**ting themselves’: Two Charlton gamers refused to take a penalty through the Sunderland 4 Charlton 4 play-off closing shootout
The 1998 First Division play-off closing between Charlton Athletic and Sunderland is arguably the best play-off sport in historical past, a sport which completed as a 4-4 draw after 120 minutes and headed right into a penalty shootout.
Clive Mendonca, who had scored a hat-trick within the sport, confidently stepped up for the primary spot kick for Charlton. The striker dispatched his effort, as did the following 12 gamers who made the solitary stroll at Wembley that day.
Whereas it took till the 14th penalty till somebody missed, not each participant was eager on taking a penalty within the shootout, as Mendonca tells FourFourTwo.
“I’ll always remember [Richard] Rufus and Steve Jones strolling off, saying, ‘I’m not taking a penalty’,” Clive Mendonca recounts to FFT. “They have been completely s**ting themselves.
“The very last thing you need is to be the lad who misses. You would be the best participant on this planet, however all you’d be identified for is lacking one penalty-kick, which is terrible and unfair.”
Rufus actually pushed Shaun Newton ahead because the Addicks sought somebody to take their seventh penalty. The winger scored, and up stepped Sunderland left-back Michael Grey, who had as soon as attended the exact same Citadel View faculty as Charlton hat-trick hero Mendonca.
“After we practised penalties, he was very, superb at whipping them in,” Reid remembers of Grey’s pre-match proficiency. “He had a confidence that I favored – it was a part of his character.”
However Charlton have been hopeful as Grey walked in direction of the spot. Some in soccer subscribe to the idea that left-footers are one way or the other worse at penalties – a concept that has been partly backed up by statistics.
Charlton manger Alan Curbishley explains: “My assistant, Keith Peacock, stated to me, ‘Blimey, it’s a lefty – it’s the primary lefty – don’t watch it’. So I didn’t watch it. Once I didn’t hear the roar, I knew that Sasa Ilic had saved it.”
With that save, Charlton reached the Premier League, whereas Sunderland needed to wait one other season earlier than getting promoted as champions.