In all of sports, there is no moment as tense or high pressure as a penalty kick. This is particularly true during the dreaded penalty shootouts, where all of a sudden the spotlight is thrust onto one player who must beat the goalkeeper from 12 yards. A miss can be devastating and let the entire team down, and sometimes even an entire nation. Some penalty misses have been so heartbreaking that the player has never fully recovered from the miss, and no amount of comfort from teammates was able to console these players who were unable to hold their nerve.
10. Landon Donovan v Real Salt Lake (2009 MLS Cup)
Landon Donovan is somewhat the poster boy of the MLS, having won a record 6 MLS cups and being the all-time leader in goals and assists. He was crowned the 2009 MLS MVP and also scored the goal of the season, but this is all overshadowed by an uncharacteristic wobble in the 2009 MLS Cup against Real Salt Lake. The game went to penalties after a 1-1 draw, and everyone expected the MVP to convert like he normally does as he stepped up to take L.A’s 4th penalty. He struck with confidence, but his effort sailed over the bar and underdogs Real Salt Lake would go on to win 5-4 leaving the entire football world in shock. He would lift the trophy in 2011, 2012 and 2014, but this miss will no doubt stick in the back of his mind and showed that Donovan is, in fact, human after all.