St Johnstone striker Chris Kane reveals why he backed down from taking Galatasaray penalty

Chris Kane was intending to take the penalty that saw St Johnstone claim a famous draw in Istanbul before thinking better of it when he saw skipper Jason Kerr march towards him.

Chris Kane (left) celebrates with his teammates after Jason Kerr (middle) gave St Johnstone the lead against Galatasaray from the penalty spot  (Photo by Tolga Adanali / SNS Group)
Chris Kane (left) celebrates with his teammates after Jason Kerr (middle) gave St Johnstone the lead against Galatasaray from the penalty spot (Photo by Tolga Adanali / SNS Group)

The striker wanted to finish what he started after he was successful in winning the award. Kane was quick to take advantage of a short backpass to Fernando Muslera shortly after half-time.

The Galatasaray ‘keeper made a mess of trying to retrieve the situation and ended up hauling Kane down as the St Johnstone striker was in the process of going round him. It was one of the clearest penalties you will see. The energetic Kane said he felt cool enough to hold his nerve on a hot night in Istanbul.

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But with David Wotherspoon having skied his penalty in a friendly against Preston North End and Ali McCann proving similarly wayward with a spot kick during last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Ross County, Kerr had already been selected to bear the burden of responsibility by manager Callum Davidson. It didn’t seem such on onerous task as Kerr whipped an effort into the corner after a worrying delay when he was ordered to re-place the ball by the referee.

Kane recalled these potentially defining moments in the tie yesterday before St Johnstone sought to put the second leg to the back of their minds ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with Motherwell at McDiarmid Park.

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“I knew he was going to pass it back to the goalkeeper,” said Kane. “I gambled on it and decided to run through. I thought ‘I am getting here’ and I managed to bring the goalkeeper out. He hesitated a bit and kneed it off me and I got the break of the ball.

“I was ready to put the ball in the back of the net, but then he pulled me down. We got the penalty and scored it. That is the main thing.

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“I did want it myself but when I see him storming up to me I thought better of it!” he added. “The gaffer decided before the game that Jason would take a penalty if we got one. We usually have somebody set for taking one. During the game I was feeling so good that I did try and chance my luck. But Jason was on it and he slotted it away. It was brilliant and what a moment to go ahead against Galatasaray.”

St Johnstone know they will progress to the play-off round with a win next week as McDiarmid Park gets set to welcome fans back in significant numbers. An application has been submitted to Perth council.

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“We all want a sell out at McDiarmid Park for the return leg,” said Kane. “We want to get as many fans in as possible and get the place rocking.

“We have a right good team at the moment,” he added. “The manager has us set up perfectly. We are playing brilliant football and defending well. It is an absolute joy to play here.”

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First up, however, is Motherwell tomorrow. “They scored a couple of goals against Hibs so we will need to look at that,” said Kane. “We will try and exploit their weaknesses and go and get our first win of the season.”

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