Real quickly, and I’ll try not to get too sappy or sentimental – thank you all for the responses to my “Strat-o-holic” post earlier this week. I’ve had nothing but positive response to that post. Literally dozens and dozens of responses through email, twitter, this site, other forums. It’s been amazing. I can’t thank you all enough for the support in my recovery.
Now, on to the reason you are really here, the games (as always, click on the pictures to make them bigger):
Events in the Group Stage and in the Round of 16 ensured that this replay of the 1986 World Cup will absolutely not finish out the way things did in Mexico ’86, but heading into the Quarterfinals we were left with some great matchups.
I was looking forward to Brazil versus Argentina the most, and the match did not disappoint. See scorecard below. The first number is goals per roll, the number in parenthesis is number of chances per roll.
Brazil scored their two goals on big 75% chance rolls. Going into injury time, Argentina needed a lot of luck to tie it up. And the first roll was a lucky one; it was determined they would have 3 goal chances.
In Mea Copa, injury time chances are only successful 5% of the time. Rather than try three 5% chances, I bundled the first shot into a 10% chance. What do you know? Jorge Burrachaga – the man who scored the winning goal in the 1986 WC Final vs. West Germany – made it a one goal difference with one 5% chance for Argentina left.
Could Maradona’s Hand of God show up here? Alas, it was not to be. Brazil will move on to face Portugal (who defeated Uruguay 2-0) in the Semi-Finals. We are guaranteed a new champion in this alternate universe.
In researching this World Cup, I learned that heading into the tournament, it was the general consensus that France and Brazil were the favorites to win the whole thing. Didn’t know that.
With Brazil having clinched a spot in the Semi’s with their victory, I almost hoped for a French victory against Spain, to set the table for a possible France v. Brazil Final. As you can see by the scorecard Spain and France fought bitterly, but ultimately France had more chances and missed more chances than Spain, and after 30 minutes of extra time, the Spanish will go on to face Portugal in the Semi-finals.
What we are left with is a potential battle of Los Conquistadores versus Los Vencidos in the World Cup final. Colonials versus the Colonized. Spain/Mexico or Portugal/Brazil. I can only assume that with national pride at stake and with hundreds of years of enmity and bitterness between these countries, either of these potential World Cup Finals could become an arbiter of history, a victory becoming an iconographic symbol of virility and power for the winners, sour, afflictive and castrating to the losers.
No side is guaranteed a victory. Who will emerge victorious? Behind each border millions pray for God’s favor, but to whom will He grant his grace?
It’s possible that neither of those matchups come to fruition, too, but the possibilities are exciting.