Friday, October 19, 2007

Technicality

Toward the end of Wednesday's Mexico-Guatemala match, I looked at a list of Mexico's all-time results to see previous Mexico-Guatemala results. I couldn't remember a time that Guatemala had beaten Mexico and then I figured out why. The last time Guatemala beat Mexico was in 1969, a bit before my time.

I spread the word to other reporters so we could all use that little bit of info in our stories. Apparently, though, someone disputed that with Jaime Cardenas of the LA Times. Seems that some Guatemalans reminded Jaime of Guatemala's win over Mexico in 1998. My first reaction was "Shit! How could I have gotten that wrong?"

But I hadn't.

I don't remember the game but the readers said Guatemala beat Mexico in penalties in 1998. On that list above, it has a game in 1998 that ended in a 2-2 draw. Technically, games that go to penalties are draws regardless of the outcome.

So I didn't screw it up after all. Though they both count as draws, penalty-kick wins in tournaments are one thing but to win a friendly in PKs is hardly a win.

3 comments:

Chris said...

I'd have to disagree. if you're going to count friendlies and tournament wins/losses the same, then you have to count wins/losses by penalties the same, regardless if its a friendly or tournament games. especially since friendlies usually don't go to penalty shootouts.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is that FIFA doesn't recognize games that go to penalties as wins, they award them as draws, with the exception being the final game of a tournament. Hence the friendly in 1998 doesn't count as a win but a draw no matter who won on penalties.

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Just another meaningless stat sportswriters want to use.

In the end, all that matter is how far a team gets in the World Cup. That's all anybody remembers.