Bono, the Penalty-Killer, Saves, Makes History, and Steers Sevilla to European League...

Bono, the Penalty-Killer, Saves, Makes History, and Steers Sevilla to European League History

yassine Bono against Sevilla.
The second penalty kick was saved by Bono

In an adrenaline-charged European League final, Sevilla FC clinched a 4-1 victory over Roma in a decisive penalty shootout. The man at the center of this triumph was goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, also known as ‘Bono’. Despite limited involvement during the match, Bono made three vital saves, including two during the penalty shootout, underlining his ‘penalty-killer’ reputation. He was rightly named Man of the Match. Alongside Youssef En-Nesyri, they became the first Arab players to clinch two major European cups, a milestone achievement for Arab football. This win adds to Sevilla’s record, taking their European League title tally to seven.

He also became the first African keeper to be awarded the Man of the Match in a Major European final. Yassine also claimed this honor as the first Moroccan and Arab goalkeeper. Notably, he is also the first African keeper to save a penalty kick in a major European final.

I have always said that I want to make my people proud. I wanted to show the world that Moroccans also win titles. Money or fame doesn’t matter to me. I just want to hold Morocco high” – Yassine Bounou after winning the title for the second time.

RABAT, Morocco- In a closely contested European League final, Sevilla FC emerged victorious against Italian giants Roma, the match decided by a tension-filled penalty shootout which ended 4-1 in favor of Sevilla. The triumph marks Sevilla’s seventh European League title.

Despite a relatively quiet game where his involvement was limited, Bounou managed to make three pivotal saves during the game. Bounou’s contributions when called upon were integral to Sevilla’s victory. The Moroccan international goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, or Bono as Spanish media refers to him, made afterward crucial saves in the shootout that ultimately proved to be game-changing.

Bono received the”Man of the Match” award.

In a game decided by millimeters, his superb reflexes and precision led to a goal diversion to the corner with just the tip of his glove. The Moroccan international replicated this impressive feat during the ensuing penalty shootout, deflecting the ball to hit the post with his glove’s tip, contributing heavily to Sevilla’s triumph in the shootout.

Indeed, as the match reached the stage of the penalty shootout, it was evident that Sevilla had the upper hand, thanks to his presence. Bono, was referred to as the ‘penalty-killer’ on Germany’s RTL channel, as he carved a niche for himself as an expert in saving penalty kicks.

Bono was surrounded by his teammates after the win.

This fact was known to former Spanish coach Luis Enrique. After Morocco’s impressive win against Spain in the penalty shootout during the World Cup in December, Enrique had acknowledged Bounou’s prowess.

The Spanish coach had candidly stated, “We knew from our statistics Bono is among the top, if not the best, goalkeepers that go in the right direction to save penalty kicks. He most of the time jumps the right way. He has an 80% right-guess rate.”

It was this very expertise of Bounou’s that came into play during the European League final. His agility and adept anticipation were evident in the saves he made, solidifying his reputation as a ‘penalty-killer,’ as an RTL journalist called him yesterday when commenting on the game. Even with the solitary penalty kick that Roma managed to score, Bounou had correctly anticipated the direction. Yassine Bounou was named Man of the Match, earning well-deserved recognition for his pivotal contributions.

Even with the solitary penalty kick that Roma managed to score, Bono had correctly anticipated the direction.

While the entire Sevilla team rejoiced in the victory, there was no denying that Bono’s contribution was integral. From making crucial saves during the match to being the stalwart in the penalty shootout, he once again validated his standing as one of the top goalkeepers in the world when it comes to saving penalty kicks.

The third penalty was saved by the tip of his glove, diverting it onto the post.

Back to the game, the first goal came from Roma’s Argentine star Paolo Dybala in the 35th minute, while an unfortunate own goal by Roma’s Gianluca Mancini in the tenth minute of the second half brought the score level, resulting in extra time. Despite continuous attacks from both sides, neither team managed to find the back of the net, pushing the game to penalties.

Yassine and Youssef became the first Arab players to win two major European cups.

On the other hand, Moroccan international Youssef En-Nesyri found himself largely isolated for most of the game. Despite this, his movements kept the Roma defense isolated in the back, giving room for Sevilla to dominate the game.

Bounou and Youssef En-Nesyri carved out a special place in history. They became the first Arab players to win two major European cups, cementing their legacy not only in their homeland but also in the annals of European football. Their achievement has not only marked a personal milestone but will certainly bring pride to their nation and inspiration to Arab footballers worldwide.

Congratulations Yassine, Congratulations Youssef, and Congratulations Sevilla. Hard luck to Roma.

The Moroccan Times.