It’s a lovely morning in Zagreb, people are running, exercising, being active in the park, and the three of us are feeling competitive. The best way to settle that I think is to have a penalty shootout.
Matija and I compete first to see who can score the best out of 5 goals. I take the lead and the Matija falls behind when he tries to lob our (surprisingly) talented goalkeeper, Kaitlyn, and afterwards he has a hard time coming back which leads to his defeat and my triumph . Throughout we laugh and joke telling Kaitlyn that we will shoot one way and then doing to opposite.
Matija then goes into goal and his Kong-Fu skills start to shine again, just like they did in our juggling competition. He blocks both Kaitlyn’s and my first shot leaving us at 0-0, but then we come back the second time a little more concentrated and manage to get the ball in the back of the net. We go for the best out of 3 shots instead of 5 this time, and as Kaitlyn’s last shot is nearing I have to go behind enemy lines to keep my lead. A little bit of distraction gives me a 2-0 win over both Kaitlyn and Matija and as I head into the goal for the final round I can see that Kaitlyn resents me for breaking her concentration and making her lose.
In the end, although I was the worst goalkeeper I scored the most goals and claimed the first place title. Kaitlyn came in as a close second and Matija admittedly called himself the loser.
So we enjoyed ourselves, nothing better than a penalty competition for soccer players, mostly because we always imagine ourselves scoring decisive penalties to win a game or tournament, but it is much easier to do than in practice than in a real game when the pressure is on and there is no joking around.