The Design of the World Cup

How 32 Countries Will Battle For The Top Prize in Soccer

The Design of the World Cup

By: Reece von Elling, Journalist


The World Cup has become a beloved past time for the roughly 3.5 billion soccer fans world wide, with 32 national teams playing this year, and an expected one million people venturing out to watch the games live, the games are in full swing. The teams have arrived in Qatar, the rosters are set, the games have been organized, but who has the winning team?

The world cup is organized into 8 groups, each with 4 teams. This is called the group stage. The teams aren’t in an elimination bracket yet, Instead, all 4 teams play each other once, and get points for a win (3 points), a tie (1 point), or a loss (0 points). The top 2 teams with the most points move on to the elimination bracket. If teams have the same number of points by the end of the group stage, the final standings are decided by goal differential (goals scored – goals let in). After all 48 games of the group stage have been played, the top 2 teams advance to the elimination round. This was the elimination round of the 2018 world cup


The elimination round explains itself; you lose, you leave. There are 4 rounds of elimination,

  • Round of Sixteen – Sixteen teams
  • Quarter Finals – Eight Teams
  • Semi Finals – Four Teams
  • Finals – Two Teams

You can eliminate your opponent in either of two ways; one, you beat them outright by scoring more goals than them, or beat them in a penalty shootout. A penalty shootout takes place if neither of the two teams gains more goals than the other by the end of the traditional 90 minutes, and then the 30 minutes of extra time. A penalty shootout is 5 different penalty shots taken by 5 different players that alternate between the two teams. A penalty shot is an unobstructed shot taken by a single player from a marked spot about 10 feet away from the goal. The winner of the penalty shootout is the winner of the game, and the other team is eliminated. in the 1990 world cup semi-finals, England scored 3 of 5 penalties, while West Germany scored all 5. West Germany advanced while England was eliminated.

England excellent penalty takers, says German study | BBC Science Focus Magazine

If no team can score more penalties than the other, then it goes to sudden death penalties. This means that penalties alternate between the two teams, and only stop when one team misses a shot, and the other team scores. only two games in the world cup have ever gone to sudden death, West Germany v France, and Romania v Sweden. Teams that win their elimination games advance to the next round, until two teams are in the finals. The losers of the semi finals go onto play a match for third place. This year, France has already advanced to the elimination round, as it has 6 points and no chance of moving down to third place, while Canada has already been eliminated, as it has no chance of moving up to 2nd place. On Tuesday, the 29th of November, the United States will play Iran in a group match, this match will decide whether the U.S. will advance to the round of sixteen or not. It is exciting to watch the world cup unfold, with all its wins, losses, and upsets. And it’s still up in the air who will win it all, and go for gold.


Related Articles:

Article 1: How the world cup works

Article 2: 2018 world cup

Article 3: How penalty shootouts work:

Article 4: USA v Iran

Article 5: World Cup Schedule;/m/0fp_8fm;2;/m/030q7;mt;fp;1;;; 

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