He’s Wide Open, He Shoots…HE MISSES!

Have you ever been the object of hatred for an entire nation? Me either, yet. Although I’m working on it. Scottish soccer player Chris Iwelumo probably can’t say the same thing though. That’s because, in a national team match between the Scots and the Norwegians in a World Cup qualifier he managed one of the worst possible misses in soccer history.

With nearly 30 minutes remaining in a tie game and after a nice little move on the outside by one of his teammates, Iwelumo received a perfectly crossed pass right to him about 2 yards away from the goal. Despite being so close, with the goalie completely out of position and an easy goal awaiting him, Iwelumo hit the ball far left. Ooops!

I love the reaction of the fans, you certainly would never see on American TV fans making handjob motions in the stands. Iwelumo, for his part, stood up and accepted all the blame that he was due for missing such an open shot.

“I was confident when the ball came in – all I was hoping was that I wasn’t offside. I was more shocked than anyone that I’d missed it. I even watched the replay on the big screen as well. The chance is massive for everyone. It will be the talking point and it guts me. But that’s part and parcel of football – you get highs and lows. All the family were here and I’m sure I’ll be getting more questions about it. I’ve recorded the game at home as well and will watch it. I’ll have to deal with it but this will only make me stronger. When I have time to myself it will definitely be on my mind though.”

Iwelumo, making his first ever appearance on the Scottish national team now has to deal with the fact that his missed opportunity has made his country’s World Cup chances that much harder. After losing 5 points in their first 3 qualifying matches the Scots are merely a point ahead of noted soccer powerhouse, Macedonia.

“There’s disappointment but I have to try to stay positive. Iwelumo told reporters, “That’s what I have been doing this season and I’ve bagged eight goals in six starts for Wolves. But I’m still surprised to be standing here talking to you about the position I’m in. The desire is there for me to get back. I’ve loved every second this week and want to be part of future squads.”

If I were him, after missing a shot that any 6 year old could make, I wouldn’t expect a call from the national team folk anytime soon…

[Sports by Brooks]

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