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Away goals rule?

#1 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 16:34

What do you think of the away goals rule? I used to be a fan of it but nowadays I tend to think it makes little sense. At the end of the day, your team scored the same amount of goals as your opponents. It does kind of encourage attacking football by the away team but sometimes the home team becomes complacent and is super happy with a 1-0 or even a 0-0! I have no solid data on this but I'm not sure if it works as an incentive. Sometimes a lot of goals just happen, they just come out of nowhere somehow*. Add to this the anticlimactic feel for fans "oh now we know there will be no penalties" and I think the away goal rule should be scrapped.

BTW playing extra time seems inherently unfair, that's like having only one server in a tennis tiebreak, what am I missing? Penalties after 90 minutes, provided the aggregate is tied after the 2x90 minutes seems to me at the moment to be the most fair deal.

Well anyway I didn't want to write an essay on this theme, just thinking out loud and wrote up some stuff to get things started.

*-a simple example would be weather conditions, if there is a lot of rain the expected value of goals scored is different than in the sun (I'm not even sure in which direction, but probably statistically significant).
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#2 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 16:50

I don't really care about soccer but I agree that penalties would be best.
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#3 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 16:53

I have always thought they should play on with fewer players until someone scores. Just remove one player, then another one every five minutes or so. That way the game is still decided by playing soccer and when it is down to five a side there is bound to be a goal before long.
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#4 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 16:59

That is fair enough but if you this tie-break on someone's soil it will be unfair. I don't think penalty shootouts suffer from this (again, citation needed - I couldn't find anything obvious on this). The question is how best to judge a home-and-away tie.
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#5 User is offline   Aberlour10 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 17:28

Just trying to imagine what will happen if this rule would be cancelled. No doubt the visitor team would play much more defensively as it does nowdays. "Steel defence" strategies= less atractivity for the fans. The chance to gain a huge benefit scoring 1 or 2 goals as a visitor team prevents the extremely catenaccio IMO.


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#6 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 18:02

It just seems to me that often instead of encouraging the visitors to come out and play, the visitors stay defensive but the home team also plays passively, especially if they have scored for 1-0. I guess you disagree with this?
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#7 User is offline   Aberlour10 

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Posted 2012-March-13, 18:19

View Postgwnn, on 2012-March-13, 18:02, said:

It just seems to me that often instead of encouraging the visitors to come out and play, the visitors stay defensive but the home team also plays passively, especially if they have scored for 1-0. I guess you disagree with this?


Surely the most visitor teams stay generally defensive but there is still a big difference between it and something I would name "catenaccio totale."
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#8 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2012-March-14, 03:05

I prefer the extra time, it is still soccer, while penalty kicking is not. And I say so as a German. And as history had shown, we will win nearly all descission made by penalty kicking.
Nigels suggestion had been disccused quite freuqently, maybe this will come. OTOH, it is still tricky, because it will give the team with the better individualists a huge edge. Nothing is perfect.

And I like the awy goal rule. I have no data either, but I belive that it makes games more attractive.
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#9 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-March-14, 03:47

View Postgwnn, on 2012-March-13, 16:59, said:

That is fair enough but if you this tie-break on someone's soil it will be unfair. I don't think penalty shootouts suffer from this (again, citation needed - I couldn't find anything obvious on this). The question is how best to judge a home-and-away tie.




so this is fair.......everyone says they agree ....or have no proof disagree.

IN any event You say...."fair enough"

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again I note all these experts prove nothing better...they prove nothing.....
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#10 User is offline   Statto 

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Posted 2012-March-14, 18:55

View Postgwnn, on 2012-March-13, 16:34, said:

BTW playing extra time seems inherently unfair, that's like having only one server in a tennis tiebreak, what am I missing?

If away goals still count after extra time (as they do in the Champions League), then if the away team manages to score in extra time, the home team would have to score twice.

This research suggests the team shooting first in a penalty shoot out has, on average, a 60% chance rather than 50% due to psychological advantage.

I would also expect the home team to have an advantage in a penalty shoot-out (as well as during play). This research suggests that in a 2-leg tie, the team playing at home in the 2nd leg has an advantage, but I haven't read through it in detail and don't know whether it factors in away goals counting in extra time, which may not have always been the case, I can't remember.
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#11 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 00:51

Thanks for that (edit: the sources, finally we have some statistics in this thread, rather just handwaving).

I know that the away goals rule still applies in the extra time. But suppose team A wins 5-0 at home and lose 5-0 away. Looks like both teams are very bad playing away from home. So team B will have a huge advantage in extra time. The away goals rule compensates somewhat, but I would think not sufficiently.
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#12 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 02:34

There had been a time 50 years ago, they tried the fair concewpt of a third game on neutral ground. This should be the fairest solution.
But sport is not just about fairness at all, it is business too.

So, I do not know why they cancelled this solution at all, maybe they had trouble to find a place and arrange another game, maybe it was too expensive or too much work to do in too little time. But I think the solution they have now is fair enough.
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#13 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 02:40

Why is playing 90 minutes on one stadium and 120 minutes on another (with or without the away goal rule) more fair than direct penalties? I just don't understand.
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#14 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 02:50

The huge advantage of playing in your own stadium is cancelled by the disadvantage that the away teams goal count double.
The overall advantage of the team that has the second game at home was about 55:45. This looks fairer then a penalty kick, where the team kicking first seems to win 60 % of all times.
And: At the CL, in the first ko-round, the better placed team gains the advantage of the second game at home, so maybe even the 55:45 is a little biased.
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#15 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 02:58

Ok if you think it is cancelled, I don't have statistics to prove you otherwise. I don't think we can discuss this stuff very productively without hard data. To me, the away goals rule* is just a second order adjustment that compensates very little the disadvantage of having to play 33% more football away from home, slightly demoralised (usually after a defeat). Of course, I can't prove scientifically whether or not it is cancelled.

I think you're misreading the statistics, though, Codo, when you compare 55% to 60%. The first statistic was about overall home field advantage, prior to the games, and most of those games were 90 minutes/90 minutes in both legs and the question is whether 90 minutes/120 minutes is fairer than just 90/90+penalties.

*away goals do not count double. If the home team scores 3 times and the away team scores 2 times (ok I know this is unlikely), it is still the home team who qualifies.
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#16 User is offline   Statto 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 14:12

View PostStatto, on 2012-March-14, 18:55, said:

This research suggests that in a 2-leg tie, the team playing at home in the 2nd leg has an advantage ...

Relevant figures for 2nd leg home advantage from the above (%win / decisive result):

Overall: 54.33% (n=6084)
Normal Time: 53.77% (n=5750)
Extra Time: 66.42% (n=186)
Penalties: 57.33% (n=148)

There has been a decrease in the 2nd leg home advantage over time so the current advantages won't be as high as the figures above (though not distinguished which).

Away goals in extra time have counted in UEFA competitions I think since extra time was introduced (in the 1971/72 Cup Winners Cup 2nd round fixture between Sporting and Rangers the referee mistakenly ordered a penalty shoot out after both sides scored in extra time).

View Postgwnn, on 2012-March-13, 16:34, said:

BTW playing extra time seems inherently unfair, that's like having only one server in a tennis tiebreak, what am I missing?

You're right, the above shows a distinct advantage to the home side in extra time despite away goals counting extra.

But personally, I prefer to see the contests decided by playing football rather than penalties whenever possible, and (in answer to the first part of the OP) the away goals rule helps that B-)
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#17 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 03:57

Thanks Statto. Still some bias there, to be sure, for example if the away team resisted the 30 minutes, maybe that means they are better than a priori expected. My head always starts spinning when I try to eliminate bias. I see that the article also addresses Codo's point by trying control for differences of skills - I haven't read it that well, though, so not sure how well they do this.
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#18 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 04:15

Maybe this is a crazy idea but: what about tie-breaking on the basis of number of corners?
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#19 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 10:38

I prefer the (extended) NHL rule - extra time plays one player short. Then after <some time>, pull another off each team.

Hockey shootouts are interesting, I grant you (I don't find penalties in Association Football interesting at all - might as well coin-flip), but I'd rather see points scored based on ability to play the game, not on Trick Shots.

But home-and-homes are hard; because you can't really go back to the first team's place to play "extra time".
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#20 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 10:40

Oh yes they tried one-on-one shootouts (the player would have 15 seconds to score alone against the keeper starting from 30m out or so) in football too. I found it exciting - but I find penalties exciting as well :)
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