Folarin Balogun's nightmare at Louis II

In his first start for French Ligue 1's Monaco after his 30-million-euro transfer from Arsenal, U.S. forward Folarin Balogun missed two penalty kicks.

Balogun's misses proved costly as Nice scored in stoppage time to beat Monaco, 1-0, in the Côte d'Azur derby and claim the top spot. Monaco entered the game in first place with three wins and two ties.

Both of Balogun's attempts were saved by Marcin Bulka to the Nice goalkeeper's right, in the 12th and 54th minutes.

Monaco-Nice Highlights:

Balogun was taking the penalty kicks because he was starting in favor of center forward Wissam Ben Yedder. The former French international is Monaco's regular penalty taker, converting 26 of 29 attempts since he arrived in 2019.

"He was unlucky. He is frustrated," said Monaco coach Adi Hutter of Balogun. "We're going to help him bounce back -- we win together and we lose together."

Balogun is an experienced penalty taker. He went 6-for-7 on penalty kicks last season for Reims -- tied for second in Ligue 1 on goals from the penalty spot -- and finished with 21 goals, tied for fourth place in France's top tier.

Balogun has also converted as many penalty kicks as all other Americans combined have attempted in Europe's big 5 leagues in the last decade.

"I'm not going to justify myself every time Ben Yedder or Balogun plays," Hutter, Monaco's first-year coach, said. "Balogun was very good on the field in the game tonight."

Balogun's lone miss last season also came against Nice when Kasper Schmeichel parried his shot and the rebound missed the target badly.
Bulka, a reserve at Nice last season, said he had remembered Balogun missing to Schmeichel's right.

"That gave me the information to go the same way," the Polish keeper said afterwards. "On the second penalty kick, I stayed in the middle. It's a mental game. Goalkeepers always have the advantage because we have nothing to lose."

To miss twice in a game from the penalty spot is rare for a player.

The only other times on record a Ligue 1 player has missed two penalty kicks in the same game are German great Rudi Voeller for Marseille in 1992 and Toifilou Maoulida for Auxerre in 2007.

It's happened only three times in Premier League history. In the Bundesliga, Mainz's Frenchman, Ludovic Ajorque, became the first player in its 60 years to miss twice in a game when he did so against Union Berlin on Aug. 20.
2 comments about "Folarin Balogun's nightmare at Louis II".
  1. R2 Dad, September 23, 2023 at 10:16 a.m.

    Kiss of death--both really poorly taken. Better hope he scores a bunch more in the run of play. Feel for the guy, and especially so early in the season. 

  2. humble 1, September 24, 2023 at 11:35 p.m.

    Balogun - young player - still U23.  Bulka also young 1 year older.  Bulk is 6'6" - huge imposing figure.  OK - to miss two - so long as you learn from the situation and incorporate changes into your game - that you are able to execute in game context - noise - bottles throw - big mean looking keeps - pushes and shoves - opponent talking trash.  Add layers to your penalty taking, to make the GK think. Reference to the pen Schmiechel saved - says it all. All three pens taken with same approach.  Mix it up. Do not be predicatable.  Be able to go down the middle - in the left and right side nets and thru the roof.  Work with your GK's on your pens.  Have a routine to calm yourself and get focus and clarity pre-pen - then have a variety of ways to approach and strike.  Watch the greats - they are all on youtube.  Remember - today - the keepers - have access to video and study penalty takers - you have to be on your best - or - this.  

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