Big Mistakes On The World Stage
In the World Cup, the missed opportunities loom as large as the great plays and dramatic scores.
It affects everyone, including the greats (most of whom are in this tournament).
On Monday, it was Ronaldo’s turn.
The Portuguese star missed a penalty kick in an eventual 1-1 draw with Iran. The draw knocked out Iran, which reacted with raw and powerful emotion, but the failure to win hurt Portugal as well. That was obvious from the look of relief, rather than a celebration, by the players.
Portugal finished second in Group B and moves on to the round of 16 to play Uruguay. Spain won Group B after a 2-2 draw with Morocco. The tiebreaker in the group was Spain outscoring Portugal six goals to five.
Now we can lash Ronaldo all we want for missing a penalty kick, but the goal against Iran, scored by Ricardo Quaresma, stood up against Iran’s late push. And it was the only goal of Portugal’s in the World Cup not scored by Ronaldo.
“The conclusion and the most important thing is we’re going to continue playing,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.
Even so, Ronaldo has missed six of his last 14 penalty kicks. He also drew a yellow card that could have been a red card for an errant elbow.
It’s a big stage, this World Cup. One on which these stars have performed before. They provide heroics and great plays, and they make mistakes. What a time to be human.
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