With Thursday’s Euro 2012 Semifinalbetween Germany and Italy ever nearer the German goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke says that his players will not be focusing on practicing penalty kicks. ‘It’s nearly impossible to practice penalty shoot-outs in training,’ he said, adding, ‘You can’t really simulate the psychological pressure goalkeepers and players will be under.’ Instead, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will study how the Italians shoot in order to prepare for the occasion that the game comes down to penalties.
“As far as I am concerned, I hated (penalties) when I was a player said Kopke.
“Sometimes you have to lure the goalkeeper the other way, or wait until the last possible moment for him to have moved before you kick.”
He went on to reveal Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be fully briefed about what to expect against the Italians should Thursday’s game come down to penalties and the Germans will have done their homework.
After Italy’s 33-year-old man-of-the-match Andrea Pirlo converted their second spot-kick with an audacious kick past England goalkeeper Joe Hart on Sunday, Kokpe said the cheeky chip showed the Italian midfielder’s class.
“Taking the penalty like that was cheeky, especially with Italy 2-1 down and if that hadn’t gone in, they would probably have gone out,” said Kopke.
“As a keeper, you don’t really reckon that someone would dare take a penalty in that fashion.
“Pirlo had a very good match, he really took control of the game, especially when the English were beaten by their own fatigue.
“Germany are a fairly young team, but with experience, and we hope the game won’t be decided by penalties, we want to get to the final before all that.”