SOCCER 43 Kennedy stronger for misfire IT’S been three years since Alanna Kennedy felt the ground disappear beneath her. There she stood in Belo Horizonte lining up a penalty, knowing a misfire would end it all for the Matildas one measly kick away from an historic Olympic semi-final. Australia was down 7-6 in the shootout and its central defensive rock, then 21, was carrying the weight of a nation. A few seconds later, 60,000 Brazil fans had dissolved into a mass of frenzied delirium. Kennedy’s shot was saved. Penalty shootouts always suck for someone, no matter how good a player you are. it being an Olympics made it horrible. No one really asked me for it for a long time, I feel like it was just avoided.” Kennedy, now 24 and an established world-class centreback, watched the replay for the first time about three months ago. “I wasn’t avoiding it necessarily; I didn’t feel the need to watch it. I can remember it in my head so I didn’t need to see it,” she said. “What it taught me the most was that I don’t want to go to penalties. I’ve got do as much as I can in the game to not let them score so we don’t end up in that situation.” “At the time it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me,” Kennedy said. “Now, looking back on it, we’ve had penalty shootouts and players have missed and we’ve lost. I think just the magnitude of the situation and V1 - MERE01Z01MA PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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