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Soccer teams go to 50th penalty kick before winner is decided

Jonathan Wall
Prep Rally

When Bishop's of La Jolla (Calif.) High and San Diego Crawford (Calif.) High took the pitch for Tuesday's Division 4 playoff match, neither team had a clue that their game would take two days to complete. You read that right: two days to complete.

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Bishop's of La Jolla won the penalty shootout on the 50th kick. / Bishopsathletics.org

No, the teams didn't have to come back the following day to finish due to inclement weather. They actually had to return because a winner couldn't be decided on Tuesday night, after the teams played to a 3-3 draw and a remained deadlocked after 21 rounds of penalty kicks (each team converted on 18 of their 21 kicks).

As the Los Angeles Times reported, Bishop's and Crawford started their match at 3:30 p.m. and played until 6, but with darkness falling and the game still undecided, the referee decided to call the game and have both teams come back and finish on Wednesday.

"I've never heard of anything going that far," Bishop's coach Malcolm Tovey told the Los Angeles Times. "It was a surreal experience. We had chances to win, they had chances to win."

Both coaches considered starting the game all over to decide a winner, but the San Diego Section said the teams had to continue with the penalty shootout.

That's when things got really interesting. After going 21 rounds on Tuesday, the two teams went an incredible 29 more rounds before Matt Harris of Bishop's scored the game-winner on the 50th penalty kick of the match, after which a Crawford shooter missed the shot that would have re-deadlocked the penalty extravaganza. You can see the final miss leading to a Bishop's victory in the video directly below.

"I think all of us were so nervous after every [penalty] kick," Harris told the Los Angeles Times . "Any kick could have been the end. All of us were holding our breath."

Both teams deserve a ton of credit for staying on their games a night after their 21-round shootout. Shootouts can be downright unpredictable, so for the game to go another 29 rounds, well, that's beyond impressive.

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