Monday, September 21, 2009

Russian fan takes penalty kick into his own hands...or feet

I have a question, my fellow soccer/football fans: how many times have you seen your favourite team get a crucial penalty awarded to them only for the player who took the penalty to muck it up badly? On Saturday, during a game between Moscow sides Spartak and Saturn, a fan couldn't bear the thought of Spartak's Alex (he of the Brazilian national team) taking the penalty he had been awarded in that game, so the fan decided to run onto the field to take the penalty himself. The fan proceeded to run to the ball and stamp it home towards the left side of bemused Saturn goalkeeper Antonin Kinsky. The fan was joined on the field by his friend, who went to Alex and tried to hug him. I'm not sure what happened to the fans, but as for Alex, he would hit the penalty (in the exact same spot as the fan did) once he got a chance to actually take it. You can view the video here:

Was there a reason for the fan to worry about Alex's penalty-taking ability? The fan was likely drunk and wanted to be stupid (that being the sole motivation) but Alex hadn't taken a penalty in nearly two months (the last one being on July 26 against CSKA) and this being an important game (Spartak was six points behind leaders and defending champion Rubin Kazan entering the contest with mid-table Saturn) you could understand if the Spartak fans were a little antsy. Alex's conversion leveled the contest at 1, but to Alex's (and probably the fan's) chagrin, Spartak would lose the game on Marko Topic's 53rd minute goal, and- after Rubin's 0-0 draw with FK Tom' Tomsk- fell to seven points behind Rubin with eight games to go. Hey, maybe Spartak can coax the fan to come back...they may need him for the stretch run just so they can have a chance.