Tonight we have the Champions League Final and miraculously the self proclaimed “Greatest League In The World” is once again not represented. Real Madrid will engage with Juventus tonight in Cardiff and hopefully we have a game as enthralling and captivating as the Scottish Cup Final. Perhaps we may even get another last gasp winner. But if we don’t, and if it goes through Extra Time to penalties, bet on the team going first because whoever that is, teams going first win 60% of shootouts but is that about to change?
Football people will tell you that penalties are a lottery, but they are not. In a lottery everyone should have an equal chance but in penalty shoot outs the team going first has a clear advantage, with the pressure heaped on the second guys through the penalties as they are faced with the “miss and you lose” penalty decider. This 60/40 probability has prompted the governing bodies to consider alternatives and this season’s European U17’s Championship has seen the introduction of ABBA at penalties with a view to bringing this in across the game.
The current penalty sequence sees team A take the first pen, Team B second and so on A-B-A-B-A-B…with B always on the pressure kick once sudden death commences. At the Under 17’s we have seen the revised sequence of A-B-B-A-A-B-B-A…
Only time will tell if this alters the favouritism towards the first kick takers. There were 2 shoot-outs at the U17’s. The result was 1-1 between first and second takers however whatever way is fairest, the winner takes it all