The Science of the PK

And You Thought Penalty Kicks Were Easy

In the 1994 World Cup, a missed penalty kick by Roberto Baggio dashed the hopes of the Italian team in the final match against Brazil.

Team psychologists and strategists have long studied the emotions of both the kicker and the goalie, trying to find strong and weak points.

Ken Bray, a sport scientist at the University of Bath, says to be successful the kicker must aim for the area outside the goalkeeper’s maximum reach.

“If you can place the ball outside of his diving envelope you should be successful almost 100 percent of the time,” Bray said.

VOA’s George Putic investigates:

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