October 2 – AC Milan, the fallen giants of European football, needed a nerve-wracking 24-penalty shootout against unheralded Portugal side Rio Ave on Thursday to squeeze into the Europa League group stage.
The seven-times European champions, unbeaten in all competitions since March 8, were trailing 2-1 and on their way out of UEFA’s secondary club competition until being awarded a last-gasp spot-kick with the very last kick of the game in extra time, which then led to a remarkable shootout.
Both sides converted their first seven penalties in the shootout, missed their eighth and scored their ninth to make it 8-8.
They then missed two in a row each, with the two goalkeepers Pawel Kieszek and Gianluigi Donnarumma among the culprits, before Simon Kjaer converted Milan’s 12th attempt and Aderaln Santos’s effort was stopped by Donnarumma as Milan won 9-8.
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