Penalty shoot-outs haven’t been always around. Before the introduction of this tie-breaker, the drawn matches used to be replayed or decided by a coin toss. Obviously, it’s a good thing that FIFA decided to introduce the penalty shoot-out rule, starting with the 1978 World Cup. However, it took four years before we saw this rule in action for the first time. The First Ever World Cup Penalty Shoot-Out It happened at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, in a semifinal match played between West Germany and France. After playing 1–1 in the 90 minutes, the match went to the extra time. The teams managed to score two goals each in the exhilarating 30 minutes, which is why their fate had to be decided on penalties. Ironically, the first penalty miss in the World Cup history was a shot taken by German defender, Uli Stielike. Luckily for him, he was the only German player who failed to score in the shoot-out, so his team eventually won 5–4 on penalties. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 1986 World Cup This World Cup saw three penalty shoot-outs, each in the quarterfinals. The first one happened in the match France vs. Brazil, which the French won 4–3. The second shoot-out occurred between West Germany and Mexico. The Germans scored each of their penalties, while the Mexicans managed to score only once. The third and final penalty shoot-out was in the game between Belgium and Spain, which the Belgians won 5-4. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 1990 World Cup Penalty shoot-outs happened four times in this tournament: once in the second round, once in the quarterfinals, and in both semis. Ireland and Romania decided their fate in the second round of the World Cup after finishing the game without scoring a single goal. Ireland advanced to the quarterfinals after winning 5-4 on penalties. In the quarterfinals, we saw a penalty shoot-out between Argentina and Yugoslavia. Despite Yugoslavia’s goalie Tomislav Ivkovic stopping the shot of the legendary Maradona, his team eventually lost 2-3. After leaving Yugoslavia behind, Argentina went to the semifinals, where they played 1–1 with hosts Italy. The match went to penalties and Argentina managed to win once again. This time, each of their players score, and Maradona redeemed himself after scoring the winning penalty. We saw penalties in the other semifinal as well, in which West Germany played England. West Germany won the shoot-out 4-3 and went on to beat Argentina in the final. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 1994 World Cup The World Cup that was hosted by the United States saw three penalty shoot-outs, including the one that decided the champion of the world. The shoot-out in the final match between Brazil and Italy was decided after Italy’s Roberto Baggio sent the ball well over the bar. Two other shoot-outs happened in that tournament, one in the second round (Bulgaria vs. Mexico) and one in the quarterfinals (Sweden vs. Romania). Penalty Shoot-Outs at 1998 World Cup Another World Cup tournament with three penalty shoot-outs was the one hosted by France in 1998. The first shoot-out of the tournament happened in the second round, in a match between Argentina and England. You might remember that match for the fantastic goal scored by Michael Owen, which still remains one of the most beautiful solo efforts in the history of the competition. Unfortunately for Owen, that wasn’t enough as the match ended in a draw, so penalty shoot-outs had to be taken. Michael Owen did manage to score a penalty, but two of his teammates failed to do the same, so Argentina won 4–3. The other two shoot-outs happened in the quarterfinal between France and Italy and the semifinal between Brazil and Netherlands. France and Brazil were the winners of their shoot-outs, eventually meeting in the final, which the French won 3-0. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 2002 World Cup We witness only two penalty shoot-outs in this tournament, both of which featured Spain. The first one happened in the round of 16, when Spain played against Ireland. Spain advanced to the quarterfinal after beating the Irish 3–2 on penalties. Unfortunately for them, Spain didn’t do so well in the next game. The quarterfinal match against South Korea also went to penalties, but Spain lost 3–5. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 2006 World Cup Four times in this tournament penalty shoot-outs decided the fate of the games. We saw them happening once in the round of 16, twice in the quarterfinals, and in the final match. The first one happened in the game between Ukraine and Switzerland, in which the Swiss missed all of their penalties. The second shoot-out was in the quarterfinal between Germany and Argentina, which saw Germany advance to the semifinals. Another quarterfinal match saw a penalty shoot-out: in the duel between Portugal and England, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner. Obviously, the most important shoot-out happened in the final game, played between France and Italy. Italy won after David Trezeguet hit the bar, but you probably remember this match for something else: Zidane head-butting Materazzi in extra time. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 2010 World Cup Two penalty shoot-outs happened in South Africa. The first one decided the round of 16 game between Paraguay and Japan, in which Paraguay triumphed 5–3. In the second penalty shoot-out, we saw Uruguay beat Ghana 4–2 after Suarez controversially handled the ball in the dying minutes of extra time. Penalty Shoot-Outs at 2014 World Cup The first shoot-out on this tournament happened in a round of 16 game, when Brazil beat Chile after Gonzalo Jara hit the post. Brazil fans probably wish that didn’t happen, as a couple of days later, their team got demolished by Germany in the semis, 1-7. We saw another shoot-out in the round of 16: Costa Rica beat Greece 5-4. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t do so well in the quarterfinal, where they lost to Netherlands on penalties 3-4. The final penalty shoot-out in this tournament put Argentina into the final. They beat Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in the semifinal.