There are big-time penalty kicks in big-time moments. And then there’s Chloe Kelly’s big-time penalty kick in a big-time moment.
Kelly nailed the game-winning kick, pushing England past Nigeria and into the World Cup quarterfinals with a 4-2 penalty shootout win. That Kelly performed under pressure was not surprising, given that she scored the game-winning goal at the 2022 European Championships.
“Fire and ice,” her former Everton manager Willie Kirk said of Kelly last year. “She takes penalties under pressure, definitely has ice in her veins and plays with a lot of fire.”
But the speed of her shot did raise some eyebrows.
🏴 @Chloe_Kelly98 thrives in big moments. 😤@Xero | #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/hnEA9ZlkbP— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) August 7, 2023
🏴 @Chloe_Kelly98 thrives in big moments. 😤@Xero | #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/hnEA9ZlkbP
Kelly, who has said she looks at penalties as a guaranteed goal, recorded the fastest shot of the tournament at 110.79 kilometers per hour. For American fans of the game, that’s 68.84 miles per hour – faster than the legal driving limit in some areas.
“Stepping up, I just thought, ‘I’m gonna score,’” she told reporters afterwards. “That’s the way I look at penalties, it’s confident I know but I think when you win that mental battle, it’s always important.”
The goal won’t go onto the overall leaderboard for shot speed given it wasn’t scored in regulation or extra time, but it still counts in the hearts of fans. And it’s still a faster shot than any goal recorded last season in the men’s English Premier League. The top shot was a 107.2 km/h rocket from Said Benrahma of West Ham in November.