It took 34 tries from 12 yards out to decide the fate of the "bonus point" in Tuesday night's Checktrade Trophy (i.e. EFL Trophy) match between Chelsea U23 and League One Oxford United. A most epic shootout ended when goalkeeper Bradley Collins buried his second attempt (he had missed with the one first one earlier) and then saved from Oxford's Wes Thomas.
(Hopefully video replay will surface of this funny, frustrating, fantastic event in due time. Until then, here's a video of the drunk pitch invader.)
UPDATE: ESPN FC claims this is a new record for longest penalty kick shootout in England with 17 rounds!
Many hours earlier, Chelsea had kicked off their final match in this competition with both Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel in the starting lineup, alongside first-teamer Ola Aina and captain Fankaty Dabo and a whole host of talented teenagers such as striker Ike Ugbo and 16-year-old left wing-back Reece James who was making his debut at his level.
Despite facing once again much more senior opposition, Chelsea played probably their best game of the three group games in this silly competition, and looked good value for a 1-0 win until conceding an equalizer very late on. Former Barcelona prospect Josimar Quintero put Chelsea in the lead with a well-placed effort just before half-time, not long after Van Ginkel pinged one off the post.
Setting out in a 3-4-3, Adi Viveash continued the trend of matching the first-team's formation. Zouma was once again the right-sided center back while Van Ginkel played in one of the advanced attacking roles behind Ugbo, the center forward. Ola Aina played as the right wing-back.
Chelsea had been eliminated from the competition already after losing both group games prior to today, but this was a very solid effort against older, stronger, more experienced opposition (and their rather rabid traveling support). Whether the U23s continue in the EFL Trophy next season is certainly up for debate -- their inclusion has hardly been without controversy -- but as a learning experience for these youngsters, it's been a valuable enough exercise. Probably.