If penalty kicks are stressful for fans, imagine how it is for players and managers. As Colombia and England decided who would advance to the quarter finals of the World Cup, the cameras caught Colombia’s coach José Pekerman covering his face, not wanting to see what was going on in the pitch. His distressed look won the sympathy of Colombians and neutrals in social media who felt identified with the coach. Some even worried about his health.
There are good reasons for Pekeman not wanting to watch penalty kicks. He lost a quarter final with Argentina against Germany in 2006 and two others with Colombia in the Copa America of 2015 and 2016.
One can only imagine what was going on through his head just hearing the screams of the crowd, but it’s proof of how identified he feels with Colombia, despite being Argentine.
Regardless of the result, Colombians will always be grateful to him for taking them to two consecutive World Cups.