Soccer's Dirty Secret

February 10, 2015

It will be a surprise to no one that I am a huge fan of soccer. I was hooked by the Premier League initially and now follow the MLS more closely. I, of course, also love the national tournaments too, whether the World Cup, EURO, African Cup of Nations or Gold Cup. Seriously, of all the sports, soccer is the one I enjoy watching the most.Soccer would be the perfect game, in my opinion, except for one thing. Tiebreakers.

Today is a perfect example of what bothers me. In the Cup of Nations today, Ghana and the Ivory Coast played 120 minutes of scoreless soccer. These teams played qualifiers to get to the tournament, then past the group stages and onto 2 knockout round games to get to this match. Months of work went into getting this far and both teams were dead even this day. So how do you decide it? Penalty kicks.

It isn’t quite a flip of the coin, but for a game that requires teamwork and tactics for 90 minutes to come down to basically a crap shoot feels pretty much sucks.

I don’t know what the answer to this should be, but it at least feels like these major tournaments need something else. The golden goal isnt much better because as the teams get tired, they get sloppier and more prone to mistakes. Even then, though, it is the team working for the goal together, so it seems a little more fair.

Honestly, my ideal would be having the teams play 3 days later again with the golden goal in extra time if needed. With 3 days, it would be equal rest time for the teams and the coaches would have time to game plan. It would cause some problems with organizing the tournament, I am sure, but it just seems more fair to me.