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Session Report

Date: 2nd June 2006
Game played: World Cup Tournament Football ( Australian Design Group ) BGG Id: 1912

As the World Cup starts next week, I decided to dig out WCTF to try and predict the winners from this year's tournament. Unfortunately, the published game dates back to a time when there were only 24 teams involved but, thanks to the efforts of a keen BGG'er (hats off to John Bennett - Johnnyboyb), a supplement has been produced to modify it to a 32 team / 8 group format and modified team tokens for all the 2006 teams are available.

Six of us took part each controlling four teams, leaving 8 neutrals. Well, the group stages proved to be a nightmare for the favourites: Germany (Mark K), England (Mark G), Brazil (Nige) and France (Phil) all failed to qualify. In fact, it proved to be bad news for Nige and Phil who both only managed to progress 1 team to the knockout stages.

The second round didn't turn out to be any better for Nige as Trinidad and Tobago lost out to surprise team of the tournament Costa Rica. Mark K lost his 3 remaining teams at this stage (Croatia, Poland and unfancied Angola), while Steve had the luxury of having two of his teams face one another (USA progressing to the quarter finals at the expense of Australia).

Here, the USA faced the mighty Togo (the last of the neutral teams) and cruised through 4-1. My two remaining teams (Italy and Spain) faced each other with the tie going to penalties and Spain running out eventual winners. Mark G likewise had two of his teams drawn together and Costa Rica dumped out Holland 6-3. The final tie saw Steve's Argentina face Phil's Paraguay in the tightest game. It finished 4-4 with Argentina taking the penalty shoot-out by the slimmest of margins 3-3 but better ranking pushed them through (effectively 4-3).

In the semi's Steve had Argentina and USA face each other with Argentina victorious in a 5-4 scoreline. The other tie went to Mark G's Costa Rica, who beat my Spain by a comfortable 6-3 margin. The third place playoff was a low scoring game with Spain beating the USA 2-1, which left Steve's Argentina up against Mark G's Costa Rica in the final.

And what a final it was with 14 goals to delight the crowds. Nige and Mark K had both mapped out their routes to the last game in intricate detail and had seeded both sides of the tie with lots of goals. Unfortunately the one flaw in their plans was that they had forgotten to get their teams through the early rounds. Consequently, Argentina lifted the trophy with a 9-5 victory, which also gave Steve the win in our game. Good fun as usual but I'm not sure I'll be putting money on Costa Rica to get that far in the real thing. Argentina could be in with a shout though. And England can think themselves lucky that Mark G is not in charge of their fortunes in Germany. Let's hope they do well.

Mark G
Mark K

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