World Cup Questions

  1. Looking at the Group G standings, it appears that there is the potential for a tie for 2nd and 3rd place. If Korea and Switzerland draw, and France beats Togo by a single goal, France and Korea would have the same exact record and goal differential. Who would move on?

  2. The Portugal manager is benching 5 of his players next game since they all have yellow cards. By benching them, would their yellow cards clear for the next round? Can anyone summarize the rules concerning cards? How far into the future do they carry over?

France and Korea would also have to have scored the same number of goals. The rules say that they would draw lots to decide who qualifies. I don’t think they’ve really thought this through. With only three games in the group stage, and football being a low-scoring game, there’s a real chance that they will have to eliminate a team by this method one day, and there will surely be uproar if it happens.

If you get two yellow cards in separate games in the group stage you are suspended for the next game. The record is wiped clean at the start of the knockout phase, after which two more yellows will get you a one-game suspension. A red card at any time earns you a suspension of at least one game.

From Fifa’s website (I have it on a pdf and I’ve lost the link)

Lots will surely rear its ugly head one day.
Not unimaginable for a group to have nothing but 0-0 draws.

I’m surprised they don’t bring yellow cards into the equation before resorting to the drawing of lots.

Six games in a row, all scoreless, where each striker on four teams finds 270 straight minutes of total frustration against the same four goalies? Six games where not once does a single ball go backwards on a header gone wrong, or sneak in on an errant play, or get headed in on a corner kick? I personally can’t see that reasonably happening without some crazy scheme behind it.

I do agree that draw-by-lots is a shitty solution for the #4 tiebreaker, especially when each team has only played three games–you could probably win me over on an argument to rework one or all of the first three, also–but it’s really pretty tough to get even to #4. Easier in soccer than, say, basketball, but still not easy. - we did the draw-lots questions there.

Six games in a group, all needing equal draws…but eight groups per world cup, it’s conceivable that out of the forty groups in the next five competitions, say, that this fluke combination could happen. And you really want to add a whole week into the schedule, just for the potential for having a possible tie-break match? That’s what it would entail.

An essential element is to keep the scoring of goals as the (and the only) objective of the game. Imagine how nasty a match could become if the outcome depended on who could draw more yellow cards from the opponent. (I’ve heard similar suggestions that the number of corners be considered…again, that makes the objective of the game “to score goals and to force corners”. While such statistics are useful as an assessment of the game as it is, it doesn’t mean they’re a useful scoring mechanism.)

Is this just a general soccer-question thread? If so, I’ve always wondered about the time component. If I understand correctly, a game is 90 minutes long, but the clock never (or rarely) stops, even when the ball goes out of bounds, right? But then, to make up for this, there’s this thing called “stoppage time” whereby the officials estimate how much time has been wasted, and the game continues for that many minutes after the 90 minute mark? Is this correct? Why don’t they just stop the clock when the ball is dead like in most other sports?

Makes sense to me.

Maybe add a “shots on goal” or “goalie save percentage” as tiebreakers. Both would keep the emphasis strictly on scoring, and the former would encourage aggresive play.

Not ideal, obviously, but it’s an idea.

Fair point so how about it not being unimaginable that all six games end in a 1-1 draw? :slight_smile:

Here’s a fact that backs up nothing:
30% of all matches in World Cup 2002 ended up as draws.

How about a special penalty kick competition instead of drawing lots?
(which is a terrible terrible idea)

The “stoppage time” is not for dead balls / out of bounds. It’s just for time wasted by substitutions and injuries. Actually, here’s the official Law 7:

It’s conceivable, I guess, I just have a lot of trouble seeing it. I don’t think there are four national teams equal enough and immaculately mistake-free enough on defense that not a single score would slip through the whole time, and it seems even less possible that six games could all end 1-1 or 2-2. Then again, who thought the Red Sox and the White Sox could win World Series championships, in successive years, after most of a century of their infamous curses?

Not particularly. That’s all I could come up with, too, but I made my last post hoping that somebody else had a better idea. You can go down a BCS-type road, where you compare the teams based on who beat the teams they beat, but that’d be a lot of added silliness and equations and wouldn’t work well for a three-game pool round.

I didn’t agree with the idea of using yellow cards as a tiebreaker either, but I’m even more convinced by GorillaMan’s argument–I hadn’t thought about the fact that if other statistics came into play, teams would end up in bizarre competitions to beat each other in those stats. Imagine all four teams in a close group trying to draw as many warnings as possible on the other side, and succeeding–the teams that advanced might enter the knockout round without their starting defenders!

Interrupts the flow of the game. One of the great things about the sport is that it just runs straight through from the beginning to the end of each half, with no lulls and no commercial breaks. The NFL has taken clock stoppage to ridiculous lenghts where you can go to a game and spend most of the time counting grass blades becuase it’s built around TV commercials. Anyway, if you’ve ever watched a game that really came down to the wire, you might notice that stoppage time in the second half is when tension mounts to its highest point. Ever been in the stands while the home team was down by one goal in stoppage time? Absolutely electric!

Or the first would encourage driving the ball down and taking easy shots right at the goalie, which would mean that teams might stop trying to find the back of the net and just play a midfield yardage battle. The latter, the defense would be less concerned about keeping the ball out and more with giving the goalie easy saves. I think using descriptive stats really isn’t the answer, because teams start playing for stats. Like GorillaMan said, the emphasis should be on goals as the difference, not “aggressive offense” (some teams don’t play like that) or “clean defense” (some teams might be crippled by losing their physical game) or whatever.

Even crazier.

Why are you guys talking about four way ties? That seems very unlikely. What about the following (symmetric) situation:

Group I (for Inconcievable!)

Team A (for Awesome)
Team B (for Beatable)
Team C (for Capable)
Team D (for… I don’t know)

Here’s the score matrix, goals scored runs horizontally, goals recieved runs vertically.

  A  B  C  D
A X  2  1  1 
B 0  X  0  0
C 0  1  X  1
D 0  1  1  X

Now, in this situation, Team A (for Awesome!) shuts everybody out and plays some terrific soccer (or footie, as you please) and both C and D play well but not superbly, and team B gets schooled. That doesn’t sound so outrageous to me, and the C and D teams are completely interchangable.

So, isn’t this more likely than a run of 0-0 draws? Is this what’s happening in the example group in the OP? I don’t really know, I mostly just watch on Telemundo with some Mexican guys at the diner near my house. We cheer when the ball goes into the net. :slight_smile:

Sinjin - you’re right that it doesn’t need to be a four-way tie, but it can’t be a symmetrical situation like your model, because each team only plays the others once.

I don’t underatnd why, if that situation arose, they wouldn’t just get the 2 (or 3 ) teams together and have a quick sudden detah penalty shoot out behind closed doors or something. Got to be better than lots, as it’s down to the skills of the teams who progresses.

Drawing lots to decide ties has a long and honourable history!? Italy once won a European Championship semi-final on the toss of a coin

In 1969, Newcastle United won the Fairs Cup (which was later renamed the UEFA Cup) after winning an early tie v Real Zaragoza on thetoss of a coin.

Leeds also made a Fairs Cup final on the toss of a coin, beating Bologna in 1966-67, but they got cleaned up by Dinamo Zagreb in the final.

The year before, Chelsea made the Fairs Cup Final, and they knocked out Milan on the toss of, you guessed it, a coin! Barcelona gave them a towelling in the final that year, tho’.


Yes, many scenarios like that are possible. All that is necessary is that the teams in question draw with each other (or, if more than two teams, have the same points/goal difference/goals scored among themselves) and have the same win/draw/loss record, goal difference and goals scored in their other two games.

And, as I mentioned in the other thread, it has already happened at a World Cup - in 1990 Ireland and the Netherlands drew with each other and had a 0-0 and 1-1 in their other games. Lots had to be drawn to decide between second and third places in their group, although thankfully both teams still went through to the knockout stage.

In the France/Korea situation, they drew with each other, Korea beat Togo 2-1 and France drew with Switzerland 0-0. In the not inconceivable event of France beating Togo by one goal and Korea drawing with Switzerland while scoring two fewer goals than France, one of them is going to be eliminated by lots.

What happens if Togo don’t show up? (I think the risk of this happening has passed, but it was a real concern.) France would obviously be granted the win, but then how would the GD be decided?

I read somewhere that their opponents would have been awarded a 3-0 victory. Rather generous, as I’d estimate France would have to play Togo for 5,265 minutes to score three goals :wink:

Group F 1990 Results
Eng 1 Ire 1
Holl 1 Egy 1
Eng 0 Holl 0
Egy 0 Ire 0
Ire 1 Holl 1
Eng1 Egy 0

If Egypt had drawn that lst game 1-1 , all three teams would have had
P W D L F A Pts
3 0 3 0 2 2 3

and lots would have been drawn for all places. Correct me if I am wrong.

Current Situation in Group G:
Team GD PT
Swi +2 4
SK +1 4
Fra 0 2
Togo -3 0
If France get awarded the win (and 3-0 score), they’ll have 5pts and a GD of +3. If the Swiss and Koreans draw, then they too will have 5pts but their GDs will stay the same. Korea would have a GD of +1 as opposed to France’s +3, and France will go through.

Fair enough.

I have another idea that might be better as a replacement for drawing lots: Minutes With A Lead minus Minutes Trailing. The beauty of it is that there is no incentive to sit on a 1-0 lead, as goals scored is a higher priority tiebreaker. Also, it would be incredibly unlikely for any two teams to earn the same number in this stat. I would normally just say “time” and include seconds, but based on the fact that apparently fantasy soccer stats include “minutes played”, I get the feeling that “minutes” are a recognizd statistic in the game. (As opposed to time details down to the second.)