Sarah Bouhaddi has been a rising star, cult hero, and now club legend during her time at Olympique Lyonnais Féminine but what we love to see from her is her absolute joy at making other goalkeepers look foolish during a penalty shoot-out. The French league final was no different.
If you’re a Paris Saint-Germain Féminine fan you’re probably sick of seeing OL and Bouhaddi in a penalty shoot-out for a major trophy. Bouhaddi has been the key to penalty shoot-out wins for OL against PSG and on Sunday evening, she was PSG’s arch-nemesis once again. Of the four times OL and PSG have faced each other in penalties, the Parisiennes have lost every single one. It’s an ongoing theme for them it seems. Play OL to a stand still and then lose to them in penalties with Bouhaddi coming up with important saves throughout.
Three years ago in Cardiff City, Wales, Eugénie Le Sommer and Grace Geyoro had been the only players to fail in converting their spot kicks during the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. With everyone else going on to convert theirs with ease, it came down to the two goalkeepers in sudden death. Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, who had had a storming game for PSG throughout regular time, stepped up first.
Up stepped Bouhaddi to do what Kiedrzynek could not and the French No. 1 made it look like child’s play.
It was a heart-breaker for PSG and one you would think they would not want to repeat again. They must have felt that Bouhaddi had beginner’s luck on her side because they sent their goalkeeper, this time in the form of Christiane Endler, to take a penalty against Bouhaddi in the Coupe de France Féminine final. Endler sent her penalty over the crossbar and left it on the shoulders of Léa Khelifi to try and keep PSG in the hunt for the trophy.
Bouhaddi had other ideas.
Once again, the Olympique Lyonnais stalwart proved to be pivotal against their rivals and showed that when it comes to penalties, she has ice in her veins.
Not many goalkeepers take penalties especially in a critical match but Bouhaddi seems to relish psyching out her opponents by not only saving penalties, but scoring them as well. Goalkeepers tend to be a different breed of player due to how high risk their role is but Sarah Bouhaddi seems to thrive during the biggest high-risk moment you can get in soccer. Her penalties aren’t flukes either. They’re usually very well placed, which gives credence to how good Bouhaddi’s technique is. While she may make questionable choices during matches, there’s no doubt in my mind which goalkeeper should be between the sticks when it’s time for penalties. After all, what better way is there to zap the confidence of your opponent than making your goalkeeper take (and score) a penalty before or after saving one herself?