ANALYSIS: Woodman saved U20s World Cup final pen … but Scottish Cup shoot-out with Killie shows he can do it in the big games, too!

Aberdeen’s bid to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990 continued due to true grit and the heroics of keeper Freddie Woodman.

The Reds were a goal down in extra-time and staring into the abyss in a game that was make or break for their season.

Facing a cup exit on the back of a four-game winless slump the pressure was intense – but the Reds refused to buckle.

This was a blood and thunder tie and they would not lie down – they dug deep to book a semi-final slot against Motherwell at Hampden on April 14.

Seasons swing on games like these and this result can provide the propulsion to get the bid to finish second in the Premiership back on track.

High pressure situations call for big players – step up on-loan Newcastle United stopper Woodman.

Who better for a high stakes shoot-out than a keeper who saved a spot-kick in a World Cup final to win the trophy?

Just nine months ago the 20-year-old saved a spot kick against Venezuela in a 1-0 final win as England secured the U20 World Cup, the nation’s first since 1966.

Talk about pressure and expectation.

He held his nerve in the World Cup final and did it again at Rugby Park.

Shoot-out hero Woodman was exceptional in saving from Eamonn Brophy, Greg Taylor and Greg Kiltie in a high drama quarter-final replay shoot-out.

This was a scrappy, nervy tie, but in cup football progressing is primary, the performance secondary.

The last time Aberdeen won a trophy, the League Cup in 2014, they edged past Alloa Athletic on penalties in the early rounds.

For those who believe in omens – Aberdeen have won the trophy the three previous times they have faced Killie in the Scottish Cup – 1970, 82 and 84.

This battling win did not come without collateral damage, …read more

Source:: Evening Express – All articles

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