Tale Of The Tape: Penalty Shootout vs. Continuous Play

  • Excitment
    There's not much in all of sport that leaves you more on the edge of your seat than soccer's version of Russian Roulette.
    As the game wears on, legs get heavier and game the slows down. Imagine how slow the game would become in the 160th minute and beyond?
  • Fairness
    A winner could not be determined in the allotted period of time, so, let's flip a coin.
    The better, more fit team will eventually find the back of the net.
  • Safety
    Mentally, penalty kicks are unbelievably draining, but physically there's not much to it.
    Players tend to run out of energy around the middle of the first OT. Having them play until someone scores could make marathon runners look like wimps. Soccer could legitimately become life and death
  • History
    The shootout was introduced to the World Cup in 1978. There have been 24 shootouts in the 39 games that have entered extra time since (62%).
    Before the penalty shootout, a knockout round game would end in a draw and the match would be replayed at a later date. That wouldn't work now, but the idea was there, let's keep playing until someone wins.
  • Pride
    Obviously everyone will take it, but it's almost embarrassing to win on penalties.
    The last men standing will feel as though they've given everything to their country, and finally broke through.
Sure penalties are exciting, but it does not in any way determine which team was truly better on that day.

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