The final whistle sounds against Badajoz and the Barça B players move towards their bench. They form a circle around coach Garcia Pimienta and decide who will take the penalties in the shoot out that will determine the winner of the second round play off clash. One player, however, is standing alone, examining a screen to see just how each of the Badajoz players take penalties. "Take the penalties well and Iñaki will save one," says the coach in his final team talk. And so it turned out as keeper Iñaki Peña saved the first Badajoz penalty from Morgado.
"I was lucky to save the first penalty and that gave us an advantage in the shoot out. Later, my team mates were incredible. It is not easy to score all five penalties in a shoot out with so much pressure," explained Peña to the Club's official media on Friday. "The coaching staff, led by goalkeeping coach Carles Buquet, give us information on the penalty takers from opposing teams. That is what I was looking at on the screen before the shoot out. You have to be calm, not be nervous. We had the reference point of the previous game against Atlético Madrid B. The goalkeeping coach could not be at the game for family reasons but without his help it would not have been possible," continued a happy Iñaki Peña.
Peña came to La Masia in 2012 and is something of an expert in saving penalties for Barça B. Before Thursday's spot kick save, the keeper had saved four previous penalties: in 2018/19 he did so in game against Ontinyent, Ebro and Badalona. In the current season he saved a spot kick against Oriola. "Saving a penalty, a decisive one even, gives you a lot of confidence but it does not mean you can save them all," said Peña.
Back as a 14 year old Iñaki Peña hit the headlines due to his penalty saving heroics. In the Infantil Regne de León Tournament with the U14A side Peña saved six penalties against Atlético Madrid in the final and then scored the winner himself. "I remember that day after saving six penalties I was even in the headlines. I really made an impression," recalls a smiling Iñaki Peña.