Hakim Ziyech joined a select group of Chelsea players to be called into action in a World Cup penalty shoot-out when he helped Morocco beat Spain this week to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the quadrennial tournament for the first time.
The 29-year-old showed tremendous composure to fire his side’s second spot-kick past Unai Simon as the Atlas Lions stunned the former champions. They became the fourth African side to reach the last eight of the World Cup after Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).
Tuesday’s match at Education City Stadium was the 32nd time in the competition’s history that a shoot-out had been required to settle a knockout stage game, but just the third to feature a current Chelsea player on the list of penalty takers.
While shoot-outs have occurred quite regularly at the World Cup since the first between West Germany and France in the 1982 semi-finals, it was not until 2006 when one of our Blues was put on the spot at the tournament.
Despite netting an extra-time equaliser and converting in the penalty shoot-out which followed, Frank Lampard was unable to prevent England from suffering a heart-breaking loss to hosts Portugal in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals.
The Three Lions had a great chance for revenge when the teams met again in Gelsenkirchen two years later with the game once again going to penalties after 120 goalless minutes.
Unfortunately for Lampard, he could not get the better of Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo in Germany and with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher also missing their attempts, England were eliminated again in the last eight after a 3-1 shoot-out loss.
Eight years later, two Blues experienced mixed fortunes when they were called upon by hosts Brazil for their last-16 shoot-out against Chile in Belo Horizonte.
Having opened the scoring for the Selecao in a game which ended all square at 1-1, David Luiz got things started on a positive note in the shoot-out when he sent Claudio Bravo the wrong way with his side’s first penalty.
However, Willian put his effort wide as the teams combined to squander five of the 10 opportunities in the shoot-out. Three of those misses were made by the Chileans with Gonzalo Jara smacking his side’s final effort against the post to send Brazil through to the quarter-finals.
Watch the clash between Brazil and Chile in 2004.
While Lampard, David Luiz, Willian and Ziyech are the only Chelsea players to date who have participated in World Cup shoot-outs, other Blues have stepped up at major international competitions.
In addition to Lampard, John Terry also converted from the spot for England in the loss to Portugal in 2004 but Ashley Cole could not find the net against Italy in Euro 2012 as the Three Lions bowed out in the quarter-finals.
Last year’s Euros saw Jorginho twice called upon by Italy for shoot-outs. The Blues midfielder converted the Azzurri’s winner against Spain in the semi-finals but he could not repeat the feat in the final against England as his effort was stopped by Jordan Pickford. However, Bukayo Saka also missed England’s next attempt to hand the trophy to the Italians.
Africa Cup of Nations finals have regularly gone to penalties with Blues legend Didier Drogba twice missing out on a continental title his side’s shoot-out losses to Egypt in 2006 and Zambia in 2012.
However, Edouard Mendy was Senegal’s hero when they won their first continental title earlier this year as the Chelsea goalkeeper denied Egypt’s Mohanad Lasheen to secure his country’s shoot-out victory, a week before he experienced further joy in Abu Dhabi as Chelsea beat Palmeiras to be crowned Club World Cup champions.