Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton was an interesting game not only because of the result but also because a new experimental penalty shootout system was tried out in the game.
I’m guessing the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ABBA is not soccer related.
UEFA and FIFA are trying out a new penalty shootout system known as ABBA that could be implemented in all soccer competitions in the future.
As we know, a traditional penalty shootout has two teams taking penalties alternatively, one at a time. This is known as the ABAB system.
Here’s how the new ABBA penalty shootout system works: For starters, a coin is tossed to decide who kicks first; the winner of the toss then goes on and takes the first penalty. So far this is pretty standard procedure.
Now is when things get weird: from that point on, each team alternates in kicking two consecutive penalties until a winner is decided.
The idea behind this is that the team kicking second always has to deal with more psychological pressure than the one kicking first. This idea is further reinforced as recent research suggests that first kicking teams win 6 out of every 10 penalty shootouts.
This week, the ABBA system was tried out in the English League Cup, currently known as the Carabao Cup, in the match facing Manchester City and Wolverhampton. The game ended with a 0-0 score. With both teams failing to score in extra time, the winner had to be decided via penalty shootout.
Wolverhampton kicked first and scored. Then, Manchester City took two consecutive penalties, with both Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Touré scoring and thus giving a 2-1 advantage to the citizens over the wolves.
Although Wolverhampton had the opportunity to tie and even take the lead with the next two successive penalties, Claudio Bravo denied them in both occasions.
Then it was turn for Pep Guardiola’s side. Along came Sané and scored. Ultimately, it was “Kun” Agüero who sealed the deal 4-1 with a Panenka.
So much for the team kicking second taking all the pressure! The ABBA system didn’t seem to benefit Wolverhampton much.Wolverhampton is eliminated from the Carabao Cup. Man City moves on to the quarterfinals.
“The winner takes it all. The loser has to fall”.
Watch the whole penalty shootout below. What do you think about the new ABBA system? Is it better than the old ABAB one? Would you like to see it implemented in all soccer competitions?