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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Penalty Shootout vs. Continuous Play

Two of the first four knockout round games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup remained tied after 120 minutes of play and went to the penalty shootout. Brazil defeated Chile and Costa Rica knocked off Greece in soccer’s ultimate coin flip. It may be the most exciting thing soccer has to offer, but is it really the best way to determine which team continues on in the sports’ biggest competition? We’ll find out in this Tale Of The Tape.

 

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Brazil v Chile: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Colombia v Uruguay: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Penalty Shootout

Continuous Play

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. Excitment 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?
A winner could not be determined in the allotted period of time, so, let's flip a coin. Fairness The better, more fit team will eventually find the back of the net.
Mentally, penalty kicks are unbelievably draining, but physically there's not much to it. Safety 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
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%). History 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.
Obviously everyone will take it, but it's almost embarrassing to win on penalties. Pride The last men standing will feel as though they've given everything to their country, and finally broke through.

The winner is

Colombia v Uruguay: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Continuous Play
3 out of 5

Sure penalties are exciting, but it does not in any way determine which team was truly better on that day.

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