World Cup penalty records: How the 2022 semi-finalists have fared through history

Emiliano Martínez - World Cup penalty records: How the 2022 semi-finalists have fared through history - Getty Images/Jean Catuffe
Emiliano Martínez - World Cup penalty records: How the 2022 semi-finalists have fared through history - Getty Images/Jean Catuffe

The 2022 World Cup has reached the semi-finals, with penalties already coming into play aplenty.

But as ever, the knockout rounds of a major tournament bring the added peril of penalty shoot-outs if the sides cannot be split across 120 minutes, and both Croatia and Brazil plus the Netherlands and Argentina needed them to separate the two teams in the opening two quarter-finals on Friday night.

Before the quarter-finals got under way, Telegraph Sport delved through the archives to assess each of the four remaining sides' shoot-out records to see who had been spot-on historically... and which countries have struggled from 12 yards.

Argentina vs Croatia

What is Argentina's penalty shoot-out record?

Penalty shoot-outs: 15 (nine wins, six defeats)

Sergio Goycochea was the hero back in the 1990 World Cup semi-final, memorably denying Italy's Roberto Donadoni and Aldo Serena as Argentina secured a place in the final.

Fast forward eight years (look away now England fans) and Argentina were also successful in their next World Cup shoot-out, with the Three Lions crashing out in the last 16 after David Batty's gut-wrenching miss.

Argentina despatched Netherlands in the 2014 semi-final, as mentioned above, but could not overcome Germany in the final where Mario Götze's extra-time goal was the difference.

In their most recent shoot-out, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martínez indulged in some trash talk with Colombia takers... and then saved three spot-kicks as Argentina progressed in the 2021 Copa América semi-final.

It was Martínez, once again, who was the hero in Qatar when he kept his side in the tournament after saving from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis to send the Netherlands crashing out and Argentine through to the semi-finals.

Emi Martinez saved three penalties against Colombia at the 2021 Copa America - AFP via Getty Images/Nelson Almeida
Emi Martinez saved three penalties against Colombia at the 2021 Copa America - AFP via Getty Images/Nelson Almeida

What is Croatia's penalty shoot-out record?

Penalty shoot-outs: Five (four wins, one defeat)

After losing their first shoot-out in heartbreaking fashion in the Euro 2008 quarter-final, Croatia can boast a hat-trick of World Cup wins since.

They overcame Denmark in the 2018 round of 16 thanks to keeper Danijel Subasic's heroics, while Ivan Rakitic scored the winning spot-kick in the very next round against Russia.

At this tournament, Dominik Livakovic emulated Subasic’s heroics by saving three Japanese penalties to ensure his side's passage through to the last eight, before days later the goalkeeper was at it again as Croatia thwarted Brazil to reach the last four.

France vs Morocco

What is France's penalty shoot-out record?

Penalty shoot-outs: Seven (three wins, four defeats)

A mixed bag for the French, with more memorable losses than wins. The shoot-out defeats which will sting the most include the 1982 World Cup semi against West Germany, the Euro '98 semi-final loss against the Czech Republic, and, worst of all, the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, when the Azzurri won 5-3 on pens after Zinedine Zidane's headbutt.

France also lost their most recent shoot-out, being surprisingly dumped out of last summer's Euros by the Swiss after a thrilling 3-3 draw, with a certain Kylian Mbappé missing the crucial penalty.

Notable spot-kick victories include the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against Brazil, the Euro '96 quarter-final against the Netherlands, and the last-eight clash against Italy in 1998 which kept France on course for a historic triumph on home turf.

What is Morocco's penalty shoot-out record?

Penalty shoot-outs: Three (one win, two defeats)

Prior to their last-16 shoot-out against Spain in Qatar, the Atlas Lions had never won a 12-yard battle of nerves before.

But those losses at the 1988 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments can be consigned to the dustbin of history, with the victory over Luis Enrique's side marking Moroccan football's finest moment.