Love them or hate them, it seems that the dreaded penalty shootout is here to stay, at least if Club Website readers have their way!
Our latest poll asked readers to vote for the best way to decide a match that is level after 90 minutes and an overwhelming majority voted in favour of the shootout as the deciding factor.
With six options presented to our readers, a clear majority of 56% said that we should stick to the current format of extra time and penalties, while 15% said ties should go straight to penalties.
10% voted for golden goal extra time and then penalties, the system that was trialled by FIFA in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup and 1996 and 2000 European Championships, where Germany and France won the respective tournaments with a golden goal.
However, the system was scrapped in 2002 as generally defensive football became the norm in extra time. Teams tended to focus on not conceding a golden goal than scoring one themselves, with most managers preferring to take their chance with penalties.
The immortal words “next goal wins” have been shouted on the playground, park and training ground pitches for decades, but never with the caveat that penalties would follow if no goal came. You would play until someone scores, end of story.
By implementing penalties at the end of 30 minutes, it is argued that FIFA never really gave golden goal extra time a chance.
One alternative method is to play until someone scores, but remove one player from each side at regular intervals to ensure that play opens up, thus increasing the chances of goals. 8% of Club Website readers voted for such a solution, the most popular of the “alternative” variations on deciding a game.
The other, a variation on the penalty shootout where players start on the halfway line and have 15 seconds to shoot, received 7% of the vote. A similar system is used in ice hockey and was also experimented with in the North American Soccer League in the 1970s and Major League Soccer in the 1990s.
Penalty shootouts have been described as a lottery and managers and pundits alike often refer to them as a coin flip – a solution voted for by the remaining 4% of Club Website readers.
Whilst some argue that calling heads or tails is just as fair a solution, it would rob the viewing public of the drama of penalties – a spectacle that the majority of people still want to see!
Poll result: What is the best way to settle a cup tie that is level after normal time?
56% – Extra time, then penalties
15% – Straight to penalties
10% – Golden goal extra time, then penalties
8% – Golden goal all the way, removing one player from each team at regular intervals
7% – Extra time, then shootout – players start on halfway and have 15 seconds to shoot
4% – Might as well just toss a coin!
Poll size: 4,792
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