A novel methodological approach is presented to examine the visual search behaviours employed by expert goalkeepers during simulated penalty kick situations in soccer. Expert soccer goalkeepers were classified as successful or unsuccessful based on their performance on a film-based test of anticipation skill, thereby allowing an intra-group comparison of visual search behaviour on the task. The anticipation test required participants to move a joystick in response to penalty kick situations presented on a large screen. The proportion of penalties saved was assessed as well as the frequency and time of initiation of joystick corrections. Visual search behaviour was examined using a portable eye movement registration system. The successful experts were more accurate in predicting the height and direction of the penalty kick, waited longer before initiating a response and appeared to spend longer periods of time fixating on the non-kicking leg compared with the nonsuccessful experts. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.