Adam Idah ignored the advice of Tim Krul before his shoot-out goal
There's backing yourself, and then there's backing yourself.
Adam Idah was making just his fifth ever senior appearance for Norwich City and it happened to be in the heady atmosphere of an FA Cup fifth round clash with Tottenham, away from home.
The 19-year-old from Cork was brought on by Canaries boss Daniel Farke as his side fought back from 1-0 down to force extra time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Idah had scored a hat-trick, on his first start for the senior team, in the third round victory over Tranmere so Farke put him on in the hope of breaching the Spurs defence. As it stood, the best chance of extra time fell to another Irish striker, Troy Parrott, but his low drive was parried away by Tim Krul.
With no further scores the game ended 1-1 after 120+ minutes and we had ourselves a shoot-out. The TV cameras both captured Idah and Parrott volunteering for spot-kicks. Around this time, Farke addressed his City players:
"I can’t tell you what will happen in the next weeks or if we’ll win the FA Cup, but one thing is for sure, we will definitely win this penalty shootout because we have the sense and energy on the pitch."
Before the players embarked on what would be a tense shoot-out, Krul was handed a water bottle with the penalty preferences for each of Spurs top seven, likely lads. The Dutch international had a brief word with Idah:
"Make sure you smash it. Don't mess about with it."
Norwich were trailing 1-0 after the first set of penalties but Erik Lamela struck the crossbar with his effort so Idah had a chance to make it 1-1. He gave a little shuffle on his run-up but there was no smashing of the ball. Instead, the Ireland U21 international opened up his body and cooly slotted his kick into the top right-hand corner, sending Michel Vorm the wrong way too.
Norwich went on to win the shoot-out 3-2 with 22-year-old Todd Cantwell also scoring a lovely spot-kick. Krul saved two Spurs penalties but he had nothing but praise for Idah and Cantwell:
"That will do so much for them... Incredible.
"For these boys to do it under so much pressure. I know what they've got; they've so much amazing talent already. To do that in front of their home fans was so much pressure but they stepped up and delivered."
For all the talk and justified excitement around Parrott, who had his spot-kick saved by Krul, the emergence of Idah as someone Farke now trusts is a big step for the lad. He has now made five senior appearances this season, including two in the Premier League, and has scored a hat-trick and a crucial shoot-out goal.
Mick McCarthy has already stated that he will go with his tried and (somewhat) trusted for Ireland's Euro 2020 playoff eliminator against Slovakia, on March 26. That means Adam Idah is unlikely to start but he is surely in contention, along with the likes of Parrott and Aaron Connolly, to make the squad and be considered as a bench option.