Pompey hero never doubted himself

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Yassin Moutaouakil savour-ed his Pompey penalty shootout glory and insisted: I always believed I’d score.

The Blues right-back delivered spot-kick success as his side progressed in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a 5-3 triumph over Torquay last night.

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Moutaouakil stepped up and produced a delightful Andrea Pirlo-style chipped effort in Devon to put Guy Whittingham’s side into the second round of the tournament.

The 27-year-old revealed his moment arrived after he took a similar penalty in training two weeks ago.

He explained some team-mates doubted he would execute a spot-kick in such a manner in a match environment.

But the former French under-21 international did just that after the game had finished 0-0 in 90 minutes at Plainmoor.

Moutaouakil explained he missed the last penalty he took as a teenager.

But he always had confidence he would send his side through from 12 yards.

Moutaouakil said: ‘That was for the staff and the fans.

‘I’m glad that it went in and we won.

‘It’s something I’ve wanted to do for two weeks now after I did one like that in training.

‘Some people thought I wouldn’t take a penalty like that in a game.

‘So I went out and said: “yeh, I’m doing it!”. That’s it.

‘I knew I had to do one before the end of my career.

‘Because I was the fifth one and I put it in, it was perfect.

‘I’ve never taken a penalty like that before but I believed I would score.

‘The last penalty I took when I was 16 – I missed it.

‘It was in France in a tournament and it wasn’t a great penalty.

‘When you look at the World Cup, big players like Pirlo are doing it – so why not in this match?

‘The way I took the penalty is the way I want to show everyone how I can play. I had confidence and I’m happy.’

Moutaouakil believes the win can be a springboard for both him personally and his team moving forward.

The victory gets the weekend defeat to Chesterfield out of Pompey’s system as they prepare to go to Cheltenham on Saturday.

And the manner in which Whittingham’s side kept a clean sheet and restricted the Seagulls to little in the way of chances gives them cause for optimism going forward.

He said: ‘I needed that and it was good for my confidence.

‘Now I am looking forward to Saturday and being the best we can be.

‘We have improved defensively as a back four and as a team.

‘They had maybe one shot and that was it, so we proved that we can do well and be strong at the back.’

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