Raul Takes Flight after Penalty Bungle

Published June 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Spain striker Raul was not keen to dwell on his penalty miss that cost his side a possible place in the Euro 2000 semi-finals Sunday. 

Raul blazed his spot-kick over in the dying seconds after France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez had been penalized for fouling Abelardo. 

That ensured that France prevailed 2-1 in this quarterfinals with first-half goals from Zinedine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff sandwiching another Spanish penalty, this time successful, from Gaizka Mendieta. 

Raul briefly emerged in front of the waiting press pack after undergoing a random dope test but would only say: "We are going to the airport, tigers." 

He was supported by coach Jose Antonio Camacho, who mused, "Raul accepts the blame. That's the mark of a great player... I'm not going to hold it against him. These things happen in football, there's no point crying about it." 

Camacho added: "The French players just have this something extra which makes the difference, that's why they're the world champions. 

And he then echoed Raul by saying: "We came here to win this competition and we lost... it's time to go on holiday." 

Raul's Real Madrid teammate Michel Salgado said: "As for Raul there is nothing I can say. He is one of the best players in the world, the only player who misses a penalty is the one who is prepared to take it, and he was brave ... but to do it in the last minute. It is a missed opportunity,” – (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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