The penalty masters have been saying this for some time: the team that starts the penalty shootout for the first time has an advantage. You don’t have to search far for the cause. When the penalty kick comes in – and that chance is still the biggest – the pressure on the next penalty kicker increases.
Extensive studies indicate that the first game has a 60% chance of winning the series. The theory was confirmed in this European Championship: the three teams that started the penalty shootout series won each time (Italy in the semi-finals, Spain in the quarter-finals, and Switzerland in the 1/8 finals).
These are numbers that Gerard Pique did not miss: “It is no coincidence that teams who started a series of penalties in the European Championship and Copa America (where Peru beat Paraguay, editor) always win,” the Spaniard believes. “It’s not fair to start a draw from behind.”
The only thing going against Picui’s comment here is that Spain, through Locatelli’s fault, could have taken the initiative themselves. Olmo kicked the first Spanish penalty over the goal.
When Pique is asked to resolve, the Barcelona defender refers to the well-known ABBA format. “This way the teams take turns taking turns.”
Concretely: Team A first takes a penalty, after which team B is allowed to kick twice, then team A again twice, and so on. Little system used in terms of service in the tennis tiebreak.
FIFA already experimented with the ABBA format between 2017 and 2019 in some tournaments. There were 36 cases in which the match also ended in penalties. the answer? In exactly 50% of the cases, the team that was allowed to hit the ball first wins.
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