EVOLUTION OF GAME DECIDER

UEFA and FIFA in the past and now always will find a way to make the game decider in a must win games such as knockout stages and the final of the UEFA Champion League, UEFA European Cup and FIFA World Cup. Starting from 1950’s until now both had come with a several ways to decides a must win games.

In the beginning, UEFA had introduced the away goal rule to decide a tie when it is level on the aggregate. This was used in the knock out stages of the UEFA Champion League or European Cup as it called in the past. It had been introduced by UEFA in 1965. The purpose of this is to resolve the logistical, physical and calendar problem that can occurs at that time when a match need to be replayed if both team had been tied in home and away leg. Before the away goal rule if the match is levelled after both home and away the third will be replayed in a neutral ground. An away goal encourages the away team to attack to gain an advantage as per the rule if an away team had scored an away goal the score will doubled when the aggregate had been levelled. An example in 2004 UEFA Champion League second round FC Porto had won 2-1 in the Lisbon against Manchester United. In the second leg in Old Trafford Manchester United had scored first make the score 1-0. If the score had been intact, then Manchester United will have gone through in the away goal as even the aggregate is 2-2 as the away goal that Manchester United had scored in Lisbon will doubled hence given them an aggregate of 3-2. Another situation happens in 1999 UEFA Champion League semi-final as Juventus and Manchester United had played to a 1-1 draw in Old Trafford,Manchester. In the second leg in Italy, Juventus had scored 2 quick goal to give them a 2-0 lead but Manchester United had equalized to 2-2 before the end of the first half. If the score had been intact after the end of the game Manchester United will be through as they had scored more away goal than Juventus. If the score line is the same for both leg, then an extra time will be played. Until now UEFA still using this method to decide the tie of the knockout stages in UEFA Champion League and any UEFA home and away format games.

For the neutral stages major tournament that does not involve the home and away ties such as European Cup an extra time was needed. If the score is still the same after the extra time, then a replay will be a deciding factor. It had happened in the 1968 European Cup final that had been held in Italy. In the first final the score line had been 1 -1 even after the extra time so a replay was needed. Italy had beaten Yugoslavia in the replay 2-0 to clinch the first major title after the 1938 World Cup medal. This had been used as deciding factor in the UEFA one off games. The last game that had been decided by this method is the final of the European Club Cup in 1974. The final is between Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid had ended in a 1-1 draw even after the extra time hence a replay was needed. In the replay Bayern Munich had beaten the Spanish team 4-0 to clinch the first of 3 consecutive titles in 1974.

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To avoid the hassle and logistic in the replay FIFA had decided to use the now famous penalty shootout method to decide a game if it is still tied until the extra time. On the penalty shootout the first 5 penalties will be decided on which team had scored the most penalties to win the games. If it still tied, then the subsequent will be a sudden death style or knockout styles. The first major tournament that had been decided by using the penalty shootout is the 1976 European Cup final were West Germany had meet the Czechoslovakia team. The score had been tied to a 2-2 draw even after the extra time. The penalties had been used and Czechoslovakia team had been emerged victorious. This also gave birth to now famous Panenka penalties scored by Antonio Panenka as the deciding penalties in the games that had been emulated by many players after him.

The penalty shootout had provided some of the most memorable moments from the best players missing the penalties in the shootout such as Michel Platini, Socrates, Marco Van Basten, Roberto Baggio, and many more. The goalkeeper will not be under pressure as he was not expected to save all the penalties and the players is expected to score the penalties. Any player that missed the penalties in the shootout will criticized, nullified, and will be cursed. In the World Cup the first time that the final had been decided by a penalty shootout is the 1994 final between Italy and Brazil were Brazil had been victorious to clinch their 4th title after the 1970 win.

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FIFA had decided to make some changes again after 1994 World Cup as they had introduced the “golden goal” rule. This was introduced to avoid player being a black sheep in shootout and also the avoid the dreaded shootout as for the implementation. The rule is that in the extra time the team that had scored the first goal will be declared as the winner of the game. The first game that had been decided by this golden goal is the 1996 European Cup final between German and Czech Republic where Oliver Bierhoff had scored the first golden goal in the European Cup and make the German victorious. The first golden goal that was scored in the World Cup is Laurent Blanc in 1998 second round game against Paraguay that led his team emerged victorious and make them through the quarter final against Italy. Italy had been in the receiving of the greatest defeat via this golden goal rule. First in 2000 European Cup final against France, David Trezeguet had scored the golden goal in extra time to defeat the Italy in final and the next one come in 2002 World Cup second round as the Ang Jung Hwan golden goal had knocked out the Italian and make the South Korea progress to the quarter final in 2002 World Cup. The last golden goal was scored by Turkish player İlhan Mansız in quarter final at some World Cup against Senegal. FIFA and UEFA had decided to scrap this golden goal rule as this does not provide the team a chance to score again and also bringing the game to an abrupt end.

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UEFA had decided to implement the silver goal after scrapping the golden goal. Where in the golden goal rule the first team that scored in the extra time wins the game, in the silver goal the team that score more goal in the first half of the extra time will declared as the winner. Unfortunately, this also had been a failure as in the 2004 European Cup semifinal between Greece and Czech Republic Greece had scored late in first half of the extra time that eliminate the Czech Republic. The game had been ended due to this and in this situation the goal is similar to the golden goal that led FIFA and UEFA to scrap this.

Semi final Greece v Czech Republic
The goal that led to the scrap of the silver goal

Currently, the away goal will be used in the two legged, and in the one off game such as the final if the team is levelled even after the normal time ,30 minutes’ extra time will be played with 15 minutes each half and if the scored is still levelled the penalty shootout will be used to decide the game. No more golden goal, silver goal or replay. Maybe in the future or the next World Cup in or any UEFA games the will be new way implemented by FIFA and UEFA to replace the current style but for now this is the method and the bad news or maybe the good news the dreaded penalty shootout will still be deciding factor if the score is levelled after the extra time.

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