Cristiano Ronaldo: penalty save against Manchester United star will not define his career – Republic goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu

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Bazunu saves Ronaldo’s penalty in Portugal last month

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu is determined that his penalty save against Cristiano Ronaldo will not be the defining moment of his career.

The 19-year-old made a name for himself on the international stage last month when he saved the Manchester United star in a World Cup qualifier in Portugal.

Ronaldo scored two late heads to doom the Republic to a 2-1 defeat after leading 1-0.

“I don’t think too much about it,” he said when asked about the shutdown.

“But there are a lot of people who talk about it every now and then and it’s a good thing that we can come back to it. But I just want to start and I want to have another moment like this.”

Manchester City’s Bazunu is currently on loan at League One Portsmouth, but appears to have established himself as Ireland’s number one under Stephen Kenny, with his exploits at Faro doing him little harm.

“Before every game I watch the penalty shooters and I talked to (goalkeeper coach) Dean Kiely before the game, whether it was Ronaldo or (Bruno) Fernandes who was going to take it, the different swings they could have and which side I was going to go there based on his momentum, ”he continued.

“I stuck with my guts and was able to make the stop, which was awesome.”

The Republic’s hopes of visiting Qatar next year have been drastically reduced since the home draw against Azerbaijan and Serbia.

Stephen Kenny’s men enter the second leg with the Azeris in Baku on Saturday night in search of bright spots, with their eyes already on the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

They have yet to win a competitive match under Kenny in 12 attempts and have only won once – a friendly in Andorra – in the former Dundalk manager’s 16-game reign. .

However, Bazunu insisted that the new squad the manager has put together has already shown promise and is convinced that there is much more to come.

“Not at all,” he said when asked if the winless race was a concern.

“I see huge progress in the last few games and I see where we are going as a group, and I think that’s what a lot of other players are thinking.

“They can see the progress we’re making with a lot of young boys coming in and how brave we are in terms of the game and we just weren’t rewarded for that.

“But I’m sure if we keep playing the way we played and if we keep building on what we’ve done, the results will come.”


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