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Author Topic: Penalty shootouts
Exploding Vole, The
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In 1934, Italy and Spain drew 1-1 in the second round of the World Cup (effectively a quarterfinal). The teams replayed the very next day, with Italy winning 1-0. Three matches went to replays in 1938: two in the first round, one in the second. Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 two days after a 1-1 draw. This would prove to be the last World Cup match to be decided by such means.

Remarkably, the next 37 matches between 1954 and 1978 that needed to produce a winner actually did, meaning there were no replays. Not until 1982 did the first penalty shootout take place - a fact which, looking back, I find absolutely staggering. Nowadays, of course - for better or for worse - shootouts are embedded into tournament football, to the extent that people seem to have meekly accepted them as either a necessary evil or a welcome episode of sporting theatre.

Would a replay really be expecting too much? With squads of 23, some challenging team changes might need to be made, and of course there's no guarantee the replay might not end up drawn as well. But is it really too much to ask such super-conditioned (not to mention handsomely rewarded) young men to try again in another day or two?

Maybe it is, I don't know. What about the team that scores first, or last, to go through if the match ends level? That assumes somebody will score. Play until someone does? Some players might end up dying of cramp. Number of corner kicks earned? Cue players deliberately banging the ball off defenders instead of aiming for goal. Number of touches by the goalkeeper? Endless hoofs toward the opposing goal. Play fewer knockout matches (a la 1950)? An increase in meaningless games - not to mention the possibility of a coin flip to settle positions in the group table.

It's rather infuriating, isn't it? If football has a fatal weakness, it's that producing a winner is often so damned difficult. Sure, penalties are undoubtedly dramatic and have less of an element of luck than a coin-flip - but am I the only one who continues to believe they have absolutely nothing to do with the game?

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se3_uk
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quote:
Would a replay really be expecting too much?
I would think so. With the scale of the modern World Cup, organising another match at short notice - breaking into TV schedules, selling tickets, organising security, stewarding etc - is just too much.

I've always liked the idea of removing a player at full time, so that teams begin extra time with ten-a-side. Then down to nine after five minutes, eight after ten minutes, seven for the start of the second half of ET and, finally, six-a-side after 20 minutes.

If that doesn't produce a goal, those six players - now close to death - play for another 15 minutes, then another. I can't believe you could play six-a-side for forty minutes on a full-size pitch without a goal being scored.

Still, penalties are probably a more realistic option. When I'm not supporting one of the teams involved, I actually quite enjoy them.

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Don Malhumorado
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Each team should make a robot prior to the tournament. In the event of a draw, the two team captains should face off in a robot wars style challenge. The winning robot/captain wins his team's progression to the next round as a prize.

Or in an event I like to call Busk Till Dawn, two selected members of the teams get given a musical instrument (randomly chosen by the match referee) and have until the next morning to make as much money through busking as they can. The player with the most cash is the winner, and his team goes through.

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TV's 'Mr P'
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(Alexei Lalas wouldn't have stood a chance...)

I remember David Coleman or whomsoever talking of provisions for a replay during the 1978 World Cup, when only the final was 'knockout'-based as such. I still maintain that the match culminating two years of qualification should maintain this possibility - anything to avoid repetition of that farcical afternoon in 1994. One replay - then penalties, if we must.

Failing this, can no one come up with anything else better than the dreaded shoot-out?

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thom
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quote:
I've always liked the idea of removing a player at full time, so that teams begin extra time with ten-a-side. Then down to nine after five minutes, eight after ten minutes, seven for the start of the second half of ET and, finally, six-a-side after 20 minutes.
I'd forgotten all about that suggestion, but I used to think - and still do - that it's a good one. It would work. It requires some tactical nous from the manager. It would be dramatic and great theatre, just like the shootout. But without the inherent unfairness.

Does anybody have a phone number to Sepp's office? They should try it out at some youth tournament somewhere.

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Matej
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I'd have no problem with an indefinite number of 15 minute extra times, whoever leads at the end of 15 minutes wins. Maybe even throw in a sub every 2nd extra time.

What you do after another 2 hours though, I don't know.

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Rogin the Armchair fan
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The penalty shoot-out was only approved for use in international football in 1970, after a number of high-profile games (Liverpool v Koln in the Champions Cup quarter-finals in 1965, Italy v USSR in the European Nations Cup semis in 1968, and Gornik Zabrze v Roma in the Cup-Winners-Cup semis in 1970) had been decided by the toss of a coin. Had England drawn with Argentina in the 1966 quarter-final, it would appear that that is how that game would have been decided.

I'm not certain of the dates, but it would appear that the first team ever to go out of Europe on penalties was Aberdeen, to Honved in the 1970-71 Cup-Winners' Cup first round. Later that season, Everton would knock Borrussia Moenchengladbach out of the Champions' Cup on pens, possibly still to this day the only time an English team has beaten a German one in such a shootout.

I like to believe that it was Roma losing to Gornik (and thus allowing Man City to win the CWC) that hastened their introduction.

Even after pens were started in club football, it was still the norm for a few years that the final itself would have a replay - Chelsea - Real Madrid in the 1971 CWC and Bayern-Atletico in the 1974 Champions' Cup, for example.

[ 03.07.2006, 20:15: Message edited by: Roginaldo ]

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Exploding Vole, The
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I think Spartak Trnava beat Marseille on spot kicks around the same time Honved knocked out Aberdeen. They might have been first.

It's probably stating the obvious, but I suspect commercial considerations, more than a concern for the players, are behind the penalty shoot-out. Like that's a big surprise.

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JerryFranc
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despite my hope and desire to see them end, i now know they'll stick around forever - my dad (who in 70 years has never watched a soccer game on his own) and other non-soccer fans called me and asked if i saw the "exciting penalty kick shootout?" - as many of you have said said, it does play to the every 4-year fan ---

perhaps it could just be eliminated for the final?

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Reed
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I hate shootouts. I like the idea of taking one guy off per side every 5 or 10 minutes until it's over.

Or how about, insted of pks, just do corners, over and over until one side has scores and the other doesn't on their turn. Perhaps make it 7 a side. At least there might be the possiblity of some sort of team play or something that resembles football.

Or, how about each team just sends out their hardest kicker with balls of iron and they Rochambeau for it, Eric Cartman-style.

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thom
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[pedantry]

I believe it's Ro-Sham-Bo rather than Rochambeau.

[/pedantry]

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Rogin the Armchair fan
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FIFA trailled a "corner shootout" once, but couldn't get anyone to agree on when the "corner" was 'over'. What happens if the first defender nods it straight behind - do you take the ensuing one? If not, teams just try to pass it short, and play it around the box ... after four minutes someone has a go, but it's deflected behind for a ... corner ... when does it end?

[ 03.07.2006, 20:56: Message edited by: Roginauer ]

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Matej
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Actually Wrieghd, that cornerkick idea isn't bad.

It would be akin to the college football (gridiron) overtime approach.

It would certainly be interesting.

1) Choose a side of the pitch to do the corners
2) Alternate which corner (randomly picking one to start)
3) Attacking team tries to score
4) Defending team tries to clear the ball either a) out of play, or b) across halffield.
5) Switch & Repeat

Best of 5 and then sudden death? I actually wouldn't mind seeing that. Though it perhaps favors tall teams too much.

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gialloblu
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Penalty shootouts are great.

Saw one on Friday. Enjoyed it very much. They should have them more often.

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Matej
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They really did Rogin? I actually figured the "ending" part would have been fairly easy to decide.
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