Benda enjoying ‘penalty killer’ reputation
Steven Benda was delighted that his last-minute penalty save helped help Swansea City’s under-23s secure a valuable point with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in Premier League 2.
The 20-year-old denied Reds’ midfielder Pedro Chirivella from 12 yards after substitute Matteo Ritaccio was judged to have been brought down in the box.
The young Swans had fallen behind through the Spaniard’s earlier strike, before Adnan Maric’s red card reduced the home side to ten men.
But Benda’s heroics in the dying seconds ensured that Liam Cullen’s stoppage time volley helped the under-23s secure their first league point since the start of November.
“It was a tough game and I felt we played really well and deserved something from it,” Benda said.
“We showed great determination after falling behind and went down to ten men to come back and get a point.
“Huge respect to the lads to keep playing for something. We kept fighting and showed out character after a difficult few results.
“I was upset the penalty was given, so I had to calm myself before the spot kick was taken
“I always believe the taker has more pressure on him than I do. I just look to do my job and get to the ball. Thankfully I did that and helped the team take something I felt we deserved.”
It is not the first time Benda has produced the goods when facing opponents from the spot.
The young German keeper, who signed from 1860 Munich in the summer of 2017, burst onto the scene last season with dramatic spot-kick saves that helped the under-23s progress in the Premier League Cup, and the under-19s lift the FAW Youth Cup.
And it is a burgeoning reputation Benda hopes he can continue to deliver on.
“When I was younger, I didn’t save a lot of penalties,” Benda laughed. “So I am glad that has changed and I am getting a reputation as a ‘penalty killer.’
“I am just happy I helped the team. It felt unbelievable to make a save once again and ensure we got a point.
“The result is great for the team spirit. We will try and come back after our Christmas break and keep building on that to get more points.
“It could be a big point for us. It means we have a good feeling heading into Christmas.
“I feel really good with what I have achieved since I joined the Swans. I know the team can trust me as the number one keeper.
“In the new year, my focus will be looking to help ensure we get more point to climb the table.”