Nicolas Pepe won a penalty for the Ivory Coast at the weekend, but his teammate Max Gradel went on to miss the kick in controversial circumstances.
Playing in his country’s first AFCON qualifier of the road to Cameroon in 2021, Pepe won a first-half penalty for his side.
The Arsenal winger raced past the Niger left-back in the 22nd minute before showing quick feet to sidestep another defender who subsequently brought him down.
The referee pointed to the spot and Pepe was quickly up on his feet to take the kick, but Max Gradel took the ball away from him and saw his effort saved.
Watch Pepe earning the penalty in the highlight video below from 0:50:
Foot365 journalist Patrick Juillard referred to the incident as ‘penaltygate’, and highlighted how poor Gradel’s penalty record is compared to the Arsenal man.
Whilst Pepe has scored 11 of his 12 penalties since the start of the 2017/18 season, Gradel has scored 12 of 18 in that same period. That’s a 92% conversion rate versus 67%, even if Gradel has taken them a bit more regularly.
Fortunately, the Ivory Coast went on to win the match 1-0 anyway. They face Ethiopia in their next AFCON qualifier on Tuesday at 13:00.