El Tri’s penalty heroine shares her secrets

Gutierrez, who conceded just one goal during the group stage and went 220 minutes without picking the ball out of the back of the net, continued: “I look for two things: the way players position their body – the stance they adopt – and their eyes. Their eyes are what determines everything, in fact. And once they shoot, I never lose sight of the ball.”

Her coach, Monica Vergara, was effusive in her praise for the undisputed Mexico No1. “In my opinion, Jaidy is the cornerstone of the team, the one who organises and comes out ready to play,” she said. “Before the shoot-out, I just told her she was the best penalty-stopper we had, and that I had confidence in her.”

In eliminating Ghana, who had won all three of their previous games, boasted the tournament’s top goalscorer and were viewed by many observers as serious title contenders, the Mexicans confirmed that the aspirations they declared upon arriving in Uruguay were real.

“We always believed in ourselves, in Monica’s work and in this three-year process,” said Gutierrez. “We might just end up winning this World Cup, you know.”

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