Argentina defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero rubbed salt into Yoshimar Yotun’s wounds after the Peru midfielder missed a penalty on Thursday night.
Midway through the second half of the 2022 World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires, Yotun spurned the opportunity to cancel out Lautaro Martinez’s first-half strike.
Brazilian referee Wilton Pereira Sampaio awarded the spot-kick when substitute Jefferson Farfan went down inside the box following a coming together with Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Martinez, Aston Villa’s No. 1, is developing quite the reputation for psyching out penalty takers.
Video: Yotun's penalty vs Argentina
Yotun stepped up for Peru but became Martinez’s latest victim as he smashed his penalty onto the crossbar.
Video: Otamendi and Romero mock Yotun
Benfica's Otamendi and Tottenham's Romero are so in sync right now that they both reacted by running over to Peru’s penalty taker and shouting directly into his face.
Watch the footage here:
The clip brings back memories of Arsenal’s players (including, most famously, Martin Keown) celebrating widely after Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a late penalty during a heated clash against Man United at Old Trafford back in 2003.
It’s not exemplary behaviour, let’s be honest, but this is top-level sport. Winning matters and players sometimes go over the top.
Could Argentina win the 2022 World Cup?
Following Yotun’s penalty miss, Argentina sealed all three points to remain second in South America’s 2022 World Cup qualifying table.
Lionel Scaloni’s side, who won a first major trophy since 1993 thanks to their Copa America triumph in July, are now unbeaten in 25 matches and have an incredible team spirit at the moment.
“Tough game today,” captain Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram after Argentina’s latest victory. “There wasn’t much space to exploit and playing in the wind made it hard. This referee does the same things every time he officiated our game. Maybe he does it on purpose. Anyways, happy for the three points and one step closer to our goal.”
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