Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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I found this game quite by accident while looking through a GeekList of Print & Play games (Games That Are Free To Print and Play). This game strikes me as the soccer equivalent to Strat-O-Matic Baseball, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Rules: Advanced, no Optional Rules.

We now journey back to the hallowed age of yesteryear, way back in 2010 as the World Cup Champions Spain go head to head with the resilient side from Paraguay. The Spanish are in their typical 4-3-3 formation, as is Paraguay, though they tend to have a more Conservative strategy than their opponents.

The first 10 minutes feature the two sides feeling each other out, with neither making a strong move past the midfield. This changes quickly as Alcaraz gets a seam in the 15th minute and attacks, weaving through the Spanish defence and angling a try toward the net, only to be turned aside by Castilla.

The Paraguayans keep the pressure on, however, and in in the 27th minute they are on the attack again, with Riveros taking the lead. It's a strong attack which has the Spanish on their heels, and Riveros' strike is perfectly placed for the back of the net, with Castilla not even having a chance, putting La Albirroja up 0-1.

Paraguay goes into defensive mode to finish out the half, with Spain failing to make any significant tries and not getting a shot on goal. A controversial turn of events takes place during a Spanish attack, as Villar is overly aggressive on his defence of Iniesta and is shown a Yellow Card. Villar is lucky that the contact took place outside of the box or else El Roja would have been awarded a Penalty Kick, but they avoided the danger this time.

HALFTIME
SPAIN | PARAGUAY
Attempts: 5 | 6
Shots: 0 | 2
Goals: 0 | 1


As we come back for the second half, the Spanish are in a more Aggressive look, changing to a 3-4-3 in attempt to push the Paraguay side back and make better opportunities. Holding a 1 goal lead, Paraguay comes out in a very similar look for the second frame.

Spain's more attacking mindset does not do much to change their fortunes on the pitch, as they are stymied in the early goings by a stingy Paraguayan defence. La Albirroja takes advantage of a poorly considered crossing pass in the 52nd minute and has a breakaway, Riveros looking to add another goal to his scoresheet. His shot is on target, but Castilla is able to snatch it out of the air and turn it back.

A potential threat from Spain is negated by an ill timed tackle by Xabi Alonso, in trying to clear a path for Villa. Xabi Alonso is shown a Yellow Card for his troubles, and with the amount of protest coming from the Spanish side of the pitch, he was probably lucky not to be sent off. The ensuing free kick fails to yield a chance for Paraguay, however.

The match continues in much this fashion as Paraguay seems content to hang back while the Spanish are unable to generate any offense. Another controversial moment with the goalkeepers crops up in the 84th minute. An aggressive move by Valdez to receive a cross ends up in a heinous result as he crashes full speed into the leaping Castilla. Valdez is shown a Yellow card for his recklessness, and Castilla, though shaken, was able to finish up the match.

Penalty time expires and the Spanish go down in defeat amid the raucous cheers of the Paraguay supporters, 0-1.

FULLTIME
SPAIN | PARAGUAY
Attempts: 16 | 18
Shots: 0 | 4
Goals: 0 | 1

Man Of The Match: Riveros, scoring the only goal on a beautiful shot (read: natural 10).

Thoughts:

--I am not much of a soccer fan, although I do appreciate the game and do enjoy watching it. I had no idea this was a rematch from 2010 World Cup; I picked these two teams simply because they were on the same sheet of the Team Cards after I printed them out. The result in that match was Spain 1-0 Paraguay.

--I initially played the Shot on Goal as 2d10, not 1d100. This yields a LOT more shots on goal, obviously! Thank having been said, I was pretty surprised to see absolutely no offense from Spain, being the Champions I would have figured they would have at least gotten one shot on-net.

--Regarding the Card Chart and the resulting Free Kicks/Corners/Penalty Kicks, does anyone have a good way to place these events "in order" for the half? Since you roll the Card Chart at the end of the Halves, I could not think of a logical way to record when the Penalty occured. For the purposes of this report, I tried to find places where the Attempt roll made sense; i.e.., on their 10th Attempt in the 2nd, Paraguay rolled a 14 when their SOG limit was 11. So I put the Yellow Card there from Valdez injuring Castilla since it seemed to "make sense" for the game narrative.

The only thing I thought of is to roll a custom roll to determine where the event -- and any subsequent extra Attempts -- would take place. Using the same example, Paraguay had 11 Attempts in the 2nd Half, I could have "rolled" 1d11 and had the card come out before whatever Attempt I rolled. I would like to hear what you all think on this topic.

--Overall I was really impressed with how smoothly the game ran "out of the box," and I am looking forward to giving some of the advanced rules a try. Big thumbs up to
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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