2012 Champions League Final – Simulation and Preview

The dice were fickle but the cards were kind to the Munchen side in a simulation match using APBA Soccer tonight, when Bayern Munich won the European Champions League Final. Mario Gomez drilled a 116th minute Penalty Kick past a flailing Petr Cech to defeat London’s Chelsea 3-2.

click on the scorecard below to see it at full size

The red text is play-by-play of Bayern possession, the black text is Chelsea. Scroll down to see play-by-play of extra time.

The deciding Penalty Kick was awarded when Chelsea’s Frank Lampard made an ill-timed tackle on Franck Ribery while within the penalty area.

Chelsea had one last chance to tie the game when, in the 126th minute, Fernando Torres’ shot looked bound for goal until Bayern’s Manuel Neuer made the save of his life to keep the German side ahead for good.

The match featured offense and dramatic moments throughout, but, except for a 6 minute stretch in the 2nd half when Chelsea scored both their goals, Bayern Munich dominated the pitch.

Bayern was ahead 2-0 in the 78th minute when Chelsea’s Goalkeeper Cech made a nice outlet to Frank Lampard. Lampard’s shot from nearly 40 yards away was Chelsea’s first shot-on-goal of the day and it found Neuer well out of position for such a strike.

Chelsea was able to tie the match 4 minutes later when Ashley Cole scored on a shot from Area D. Bayern scrambled to find a winner in the closing minutes of regular time, but couldn’t do it. Fortunately for the Germans, Ribery was able to draw the foul in extra time that setup Gomez’s winner.

I tried to play the game using the lineups that I feel will be the most likely choices for their respective managers in real life:

BAYERN: Neuer (GK); Gomez, Ribery, Kroos, Muller, Robben, Schweinsteiger, Timoschuk, Lahm, Boateng, Contento
CHELSEA: Cech (GK); Drogba, Sturridge, Mata, Lampard, Kalou, Mikel, Luiz, Cole, Bosingwa, Cahill

Some might question why I left Fernando Torres on the bench to start the match, since his APBA card is fantastic. If I were just trying to field the best APBA lineup, Torres would have started the match in the XI. However, in real life, Drogba and Torres have never started at the same time and have only been on the pitch together a handful of times. DiMatteo, Chelsea coach, prefers to have the strikers each play on his own.

I did bring Torres into the match in the 66th minute, however, when Chelsea was down 2-0 and only 18 minutes later the game was tied 2-2. Torres had 3 of Chelsea’s 5 shots in extra time, too, but was unable to find the back of the net.

Click on this scorecard to see the play-by-play for extra time, as well as to read my notes from in-game.

This preplay simulation of the game to be played in the morning was great fun. Thank you to APBA for releasing these cards for free and giving us the opportunity to play out this game before the real game.

Briefly, about the team ratings: Though it was dismaying that APBA didn’t give any guidance on how the two teams should be rated, I had to do something in order to play the game, so I rated Chelsea a 3 (team) and 2 (defense) and gave them 4 clutch points. I rated Bayern a 5 (team), due mainly to the fact that they are playing in their home stadium, but also gave them only a 2 for defense, since their back line is without Alaba and Badstuber and their defensive mid, Gustavo, is out as well. With such a distinct home field advantage, I gave Munich 6 clutch points.

If you want a free copy of these two teams for use with APBA Soccer, go to the APBA Games website, where you can download the cards for free.

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  1. We’re about 10 minutes from gametime as I write this – it turns out that Sturridge won’t be starting, as Chelsea manager Roberto DiMatteo has given Ryan Bertrand his first ever Champions League start today in the final. Unfortunately, Bertrand was not included in the APBA set, but how could he have been? I don’t think anyone could have forseen his start today.

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  2. Hi Paul,
    interesting to see how you score a soccer match. this might seem silly but have you done a “how to” on that?

    those getting into the APBA soccer game might benefit from that.

  3. 4 goals in 90 minutes using “out of the box” rules is interesting….great write up as usual.

    • Paul,
      Based on reading your blog I ordered the APBA soccer game (your commission check should be in the mail).

      My only concern comes from the numerous comments I have read about the lack of scoring using the “out of the box” rules.

      Are these concerns over exaggerated? If not, I would love to hear about adjustments that you have found necessary to increase the scoring.


      • Hi Gary – there were concerns when the first sets came out that the rules as written did not produce enough goals. And then the first two games I played ended up 0-0 and I was immediately sure that this game didn’t have enough offense.

        So after poking around the forums and talking with other guys playing the game, I started using some of the homebrewed rules that were popping up. I used a few different offensive tweaks in my first replay including a defensive chart that could lead to shots and a rule where a certain number of passes linked (4 if the possession started in Area D, 3 if C, 2 if B or A) would automatically lead to a shot.

        When the season was over, I found that the shots-per-game and goals-per-game averages I was getting with the out-of-the-box rules was closer to reality than the numbers I got using my homebrewed rules.

        For the replay I’m doing now, I am going back to using the straight out-of-the-box rules. I still really like the linked-passes rule, because it gives you great options in combination with Clutch Points, too, and forces decisions, so I might bring that one back. Haven’t made the decision on that yet.

        What I believe is that the 2011 MLS cards are better than the 2010 cards. Besides cosmetic issues (like getting all the player’s names right this time around), they’ve also lowered CK ratings and it sure feels like they’ve added more “shot numbers” (which I define as single-digit numbers, because they’re most likely to end in a shot). I haven’t counted numbers on the cards to compare, but the cards feel more powerful during the run-of-play this year.

        [Small sample size alert] In the first 4 games of my 2011 MLS Open Cup tournament there have been 18 goals. No shortage of offense there.

        Congratulations on getting the game. Give it a fair chance and I’m sure you’ll love it.

        Like I said in another post, I am going to talk about the scorekeeping method I came up with in order to keep a full play-by-play of each game, but I’m not going to get to that tonight.


        • The game arrived on Friday and my son and I jumped right in with a 2010-11 MLS game between the Red Bulls and Philadelphia. Wouldn’t you know after all of my concerns about the scoring that the first game ends in a 0-0 tie. Though we had numerous chances we couldn’t get a dice role to fall for a shot on goal. It was comical. Even though we didn’t get a goal we still enjoyed the game and decided to give it another shot the next night with the Red Bulls playing KC this time. This game the dice were jumping and we ended up with a 4-1 KC win with Roger Espinoza scoring two goals.

          We definitely enjoyed the game very much. The first game was a bit slow as we were learning the rules on the fly. Once we got comfortable with the rules and charts we were moving a little faster in the second game.

          Granted we have only played two games but love the game so far. I would highly recommend it for anyone wondering if they should give it a try.

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