Philosophers World Cup: Group Stage – June 14

Welcome to the second day of the Philosophers World Cup. In one of the busiest days of the World Cup, today sees four matches, including Colombia vs Greece, Uruguay vs Costa Rica, England vs Italy, and Ivory Coast vs Japan. Below, you can find match reports and scores. As always, refer to the introduction for what this feature series is about.




 Colombia vs Greece

For Colombia to have even a sliver of a chance to upset powerhouse Greece, they need this match to take place in the Spanish language corpus. The random number generator turns out Spanish. Greece is not too worried about it either way, although they probably should be.

First Half: Manuel Uribe Ángel (COL) vs Epicurus(GRE)

The first half sees the multitalented Ángel face off against the prudish hedonist Epicurus. Epicurus is certainly more well-known than Ángel, but when using only last names, Epicurus sees his advantage dissipate. This happens to such an extent that Ángel puts up two goals against the vaunted Greek side and suddenly Colombia have a chance to walk away with points against Greece. Ah, the quirks of Ngrams!

First Half Scores: Colombia 2, Greece 0


Second Half: Darío Castrillón Hoyos (COL) vs Cornelius Castoriadis (GRE)

Instead of one of their many ancient superstars, random lot sends twentieth-century philosopher Castoriadis out against Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos. Considering how the first half went, Greece is actually thankful that Colombia will not be able to exploit the ‘single name’ loophole to their advantage. Hoyos does not perform well enough to prevent Greece from scoring an equalizing two goals, and thus Colombian hearts are broken. Despite the comeback, Greece must be absolutely disgusted with their play.

Second Half Scores: Colombia 0, Greece 2


Final Score:
Colombia  2 – 2  Greece

Uruguay vs Costa Rica

As both of these teams have the preferred Ngrams corpus of Spanish, no random draw is required to determine which language will be used. Uruguay are the heavy favorites here.

First Half: Arturo Ardao (URU) vs Carlos Meléndez Chaverri (CRC)

The Uruguayans overwhelm the Costa Rican defense, quickly scoring two goals and then stifling Costa Rica’s own goal scoring attempts. Ardao emerges as an early candidate for man of the match.

First Half Scores: Uruguay 2, Costa Rica 0


Second Half: Juan Luis Segundo (URU) vs José María Castro Madriz (CRC)

Things are looking up for Costa Rica, thanks to the play of José María Castro Madriz. He makes an early attempt on goal that just misses the top post, but his ability to break through the Uruguayan defense gives Costa Rica hope of scoring later in the half.  It is not to be, as Segundo, despite a sluggish start, begins playing freely after the 70th minute and scores two goals, giving Uruguay a decisive win.

Second Half Scores: Uruguay 2, Costa Rica 0


Final Score:
Uruguay  4 – 0  Costa Rica

England vs Italy

This looked to be the match of the day before Colombia’s shocking result against Greece. The winner is likely to take the group, even with Uruguay’s dismantling of Costa Rica earlier. If, as expected, the match comes down to which language corpus is randomly selected, England are the favorites as this match will take place using the English corpus.

First Half: Terry Eagleton (ENG) vs Cicero (ITA)

England are off to a poor start, as literary theorist Terry Eagleton is unable to make anything happen against the stingy Italian defense. Meanwhile, Roman statesman Cicero’s play is stellar from the first minute, as he scores two goals due in large part to the reactionary play of Eagleton. The English side now enters panic mode.

First Half Scores: England 0, Italy 2


Second Half: Eric Hobsbawm (ENG) vs Bonaventure (ITA)

England hopes that its most revered modern (or at least most cited) historian, Eric Hobsbawm, can get the equalizers England needs to leave with a draw. Italy, meanwhile, sends out a saint to safeguard the victory. Bonaventure plays well, particularly early in the second half, but it is Hobsbawm whose play leads to a goal. England are elated, but unfortunately for them, time expires before a “Hobsbawm with the equalizer!” call can be made.

Second Half Scores: England 1, Italy 0


Final Score:
England  1 – 2  Italy

Ivory Coast vs Japan

This match will take place using the English corpus, which is bad news for the Ivory Coast. Still, it could be worse for the Ivoirians, as English tends to be the most cosmopolitan of the languages Ngrams has available.

First Half: Henriette Diabaté (CIV) vs Dogen (JPN)

Japan come out strong with legendary Zen Buddhist scholar Dogen. As expected, Henriette Diabaté is no match, allowing two goals as Japan starts this World Cup with a chance to win their group.

First Half Scores: Ivory Coast 0, Japan 2


Second Half: Paulin J. Hountondji (CIV) vs Motoori Norinaga (JPN)

Paulin Hountondji is one of the most well-known African thinkers active today. He will be matched against Japanese classical revivalist Motoori Norinaga. Hountondji is perhaps Ivory Coast’s best chance of scoring goals in this World Cup, but he struggles mightily against Norinaga. When the final whistle blows, Japan has managed to add another two goals.

Second Half Scores: Ivory Coast 0, Japan 2


Final Score:
Ivory Coast  0 – 4  Japan


Greece is hoping that their failure to defeat Colombia is only a momentary setback on their trip to the World Cup finals. However, Colombia has exposed a major flaw in the Greek side. Their litany of single-name stars can lose against players with common last names, as Epicurus’ lose to Ángel demonstrated. Regardless, Greece will be favored to win against both Japan and Ivory Coast. Colombia has a decent chance to advance thanks to East Asian names performing poorly in the Spanish Ngrams set. Thus, despite their impressive win today, Japan could conceivably fail to advance, since they are unlikely to defeat Greece and could draw or lose to Colombia if the match takes place in the Spanish corpus.

Uruguay finds themselves as the frontrunners in Group D on goal differential, but will be unlikely to pull off upsets against England and Italy. With their defeat of England, Italy is now the clear favorite to win Group D. However, Italy could fall prey to the same phenomena that caused Greece to draw Colombia, as, like Greece, Italy has a bevy of single-name players from the Roman era. Oddly, an Italian draw or defeat to Uruguay would probably result in England failing to advance rather than Italy. As it stands, England is favored to place second in the group, as it still has many of its superstars in reserve.

Relevant Group Standings:
Group C
Japan 3 pts, +4 GD
Colombia 1 pt
Greece 1 pt
Ivory Coast 0 pts, -4 GD

Group D
Uruguay 3 pts, +4 GD
Italy 3 pts, +1 GD
England 0 pts, -1 GD
Costa Rica 0 pts, -4 GD

Complete group standings can be viewed here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s