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How to adjust entry fee ... soccer (football)

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Thursday, 30 August 2012, at 9:54 p.m.

In Response To: How to adjust entry fee in 2^n brackets for first round byes? (Colin Owen)

Colin, you asked if the coin toss that decided the 1968 EC semifinal between Italy and the USSR was "fair"? Absolutely. But a trifle odd, I think, since the quarterfinal round that year was a two-leg home-and-away, and the final itself between Italy and Yugoslavia was decided by a complete replay, after the first final ended in a 1-1 tie after overtime. But that semifinal, scheduled only three days before the final, was decided by a coin toss.

Today it would be decided by a penalty kick shoot-out. I suppose that's a little better, since a shoot-out involves more skill and is more exciting that a coin toss. But I don't think it's terribly more satisfactory than a coin toss or, perhaps, tossing a coin best of 5. What does the skill (or luck, of which there appears to be a great deal) in a shoot-out have to do with which team was better in regulation time or more deserves to advance? I was surprised to learn that in international competition, the national association team with the best winning percentage in games decided by shoot-outs is ... Saudi Arabia, 4-0.

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