Not-so-sudden death

Israeli teams set soccer record with 56-kick shootout

Semifinal game between SC Dimona and Shimshon Tel Aviv drags on for over three hours as squads unable to best each other in mammoth penalty shootout

The record-breaking 56th penalty kick that decided a soccer game between SC Dimona and Shimshon Tel Aviv in Dimona, May 20, 2024. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
The record-breaking 56th penalty kick that decided a soccer game between SC Dimona and Shimshon Tel Aviv in Dimona, May 20, 2024. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Reuters — Israel’s SC Dimona and Shimshon Tel Aviv have set a soccer world record for the longest-ever penalty shootout with 56 kicks.

Their semifinal promotion playoff in Israel’s third-tier league finished 2-2 after extra time, leading to penalties.

Dimona won the shootout 23-22 after each side took 28 penalties in the city of Dimona in the Negev desert on Monday, in a game that took over three hours to complete instead of the usual 90 minutes.

The decisive kick came when Shimshon Tel Aviv goalkeeper took a penalty shot against SC Dimona’s goalkeeper Gal Navon who managed to push the ball to the side, saving the goal and securing a win for his team.

In penalty shootouts, each team’s players take turns trying to score goals from the penalty spot. If the first five penalty kicks end in a tie, they keep trying one by one until one team manages to score a goal without being matched by their opponent.

If the shootout goes on long enough, even the goalkeeper has a turn.

The previous record of 54 penalty kicks was set in March 2022 in England when Washington beat Bedlington 25-24 during a first-round tie in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.

The competition is open to clubs competing in the UK’s Northern League Second Division – the 10th tier of the soccer pyramid.

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