Luca Zidane emerges as a hero for France in Euro U17 semi-final shoot-out

James McGlade

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His Father’s Son – Luca Zidane attempts a Panenka penalty

When anyone mentions Zidane hitting a Panenka penalty off the crossbar you probably instantly think of the French great’s dink against Italy in the World Cup final in 2006.

That effort resulted in a goal but his son Luca didn’t have the same luck today. Whereas Zinedine’s penalty hit off the underside of the crossbar, Luca’s hit off the top and went over.

For a young lad in the U17 European Championship semi-final, that could be a crushing blow, knowing that you might be the reason your country goes out.

But luckily for Luca, he had a chance at redemption because he’s a goalkeeper. Not just for the Panenka miss but for the error he made in normal time during the game against Belgium.

He rushed out at a corner, missed the ball and left his goal vulnerable.

Perhaps his countrymen were damning his presence when he made that error, but they were singing his praises when he gave a heroic shift in the shoot-out. He saved three spot-kicks – and they were all fine saves – to help France qualify for the final.

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James McGlade