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Casillas thanks his lucky stars

sports Updated: Jun 24, 2008 11:00 IST
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Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has suffered the pain of a quarterfinal penalty shootout defeat and he admitted that being on the winning side against Italy on Sunday was more a question of luck than judgement.

“I’ve had good and bad experiences with penalty shootouts,” the Spain captain said after his side’s quarterfinal victory over the world champions.

“We knocked out Ireland and lost to South Korea in the 2002 World Cup and this time we were lucky to go through. They are a complete lottery.”

A cagey, tactical duel at the Ernst Happel stadium went to penalties after extra-time ended 0-0.

Casillas saved spot kicks from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale and although Spain striker Daniel Guiza missed his, Luis Aragones’s side went through 4-2 with Cesc Fabregas netting the final penalty.

‘Absolutely positive’
ARAGONES DISAGREED with Casillas and said he was confident of victory once the game went to spot kicks.

“I was sure he would stop one, absolutely positive,” Aragones told a news conference.

“I’ve got a goalkeeping coach who told him where they would shoot although it is obviously Casillas who makes the final decision.”

Fabregas said he knew his penalty would be the decisive one when he was named as number five in the list.

“I thought mine would end up being the definitive penalty, but I was saying to myself that I had to prove myself and in the end it all worked out well,” the midfielder told reporters.

“These are the sort of games that are great to play in and win.”