Jun 29, 2013, 8:40 AM EST
Third-place matches are a bit like having the cake and ice cream office party for the departing worker at 3 in the afternoon. It’s a “party” in the technical sense – hence the cake and ice cream, or perhaps some of those delicious high-end cupcakes that were de riguer for so long, but it falls well-short of a full-fledged, rip-snortin’ good time kinda thing.
So we have the third-place Confederations Cup match to contemplate, Italy vs. Uruguay.
No, I don’t expect people to bust out the seven-layer dip and gather the neighbors for Sunday’s contest. But do know this about third-place matches in these FIFA competitions:
They do tend to produce goals. So we have that, at least.
The last four third place matches in the Confederations Cup (2005 and 2009) or the World Cup (2006 and 2010) have combined to average 5.25 goals.
It’s really not so hard to understand. The pressure is off, so teams discover a lesser regard for caution. They can play a little more loosey-goosey.
It wasn’t exactly that way four years ago at the Confeds Cup in South Africa, although a drab match did turn exciting near the end as Spain and the hosts combined for five goals.
Four years prior, Germany prevailed over Mexico in a 4-3 extra time thriller.
Germany also scored liberally in a 3-2 third-place win over Uruguay in Port Elizabeth at World Cup 2010. And Germany was also third-place proceeding in 2006, downing Portugal 3-1.
By the way, if you know a guy who knows a guy, or if you just want to bet a six pack with your neighbor, I’ve always noticed that third-place matches tend to be about “give a care.” That is, look for the team that probably cares about finishing third (usually the lesser accomplished nation) over the team certainly disappointed not to be in the final.
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Dec 22, 2014, 8:30 AM EST
No need for a Latvian passport, as Yedlin is granted UK work permit.
Dec 22, 2014, 7:55 AM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 11:59 PM EST
Antoine Griezmann breaks out with three goals in Atletico’s 4-1 result over Athletic Bilbao.
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Dec 21, 2014, 10:21 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 9:07 PM EST
The sky continues to fall in Dortmund.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:17 PM EST
Tim Howard converses about his recently released autobiography, “The Keeper.”
Dec 21, 2014, 7:40 PM EST
Jeremy Menez has done a fantastic job as AC Milan’s primary attacker, and he’s primarily aiming for the French national team call-up.
Dec 21, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Ally McCoist has left Scottish Championship team Rangers, as the club has recognized the former star striker is now on “gardening leave.”
Dec 21, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
Catch up on Premier League Round 17 action from this Sunday.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EST
According to Brendan Rogers, Liverpool’s prime attacker, Daniel Sturridge, will make his return from a multi-month injury in early January.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:05 PM EST
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson on game-winner and Tyne-Wear derby triumphs: “Three years in a row, they must hate me here!”
Dec 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts after a 2-2 draw despite what he called “dominance” on the ball.
Dec 21, 2014, 3:12 PM EST
With polarizing halves separating the teams, Arsene Wenger said a draw was the correct result based on performance.
Dec 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to bring a grudge with him to Morocco.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
With Newcastle yielding late, Alan Pardew thinks he may have left his team a little too exposed as the clock ticked towards the final minute.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:08 PM EST
Martin Skrtel returned from a nasty injury and took full advantage of the resulting stopptage time.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
A day to forget for the American central defender in Germany’s top flight.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
The boyhood Newcastle fan scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row as Sunderland stole the Tyne-Wear derby late.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:16 AM EST
Raheem Sterling looks to be the lone attacking option for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has left both his available strikers on the bench.
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