It’s 40 years since Czechoslovakia beat West Germany on penalties in the 1976 European Championship Final - the first international title to be settled in a shoot-out.
Why were penalty shoot-outs first introduced?
As fixture lists became increasingly crowded, there was less and less scope for replays after drawn matches. This was particularly apparent in continental club competitions normally played over two legs. If the aggregate scores were level, there was a costly process of having to play a third match in a neutral venue in front of few spectators. At World Cups there had been a provision for replays up until the 1958 finals in Sweden, but four years later in Chile, drawn matches in the quarter and semi-finals would have been decided by the drawing of lots.
That doesn’t sound very fair!
It wasn’t and thankfully it never happened at a World Cup. The Final itself could have also been decided on lots in both 1962 and 1966, because although there was the provision for a replay for the Final until 1982, if the second game ended in a draw, there was no arrangement for a third game.