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 tothe Nice goalkeeper's right, in the 12th and 54th minutes.
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.
El arquero danés detuvo el cobro de penal de Folarin Balogun
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.