Philosophers World Cup: Group Stage – June 16

Welcome to the fifth day of the Philosophers World Cup. Today’s matches include Germany vs Portugal, Iran vs Nigeria, and Ghana vs United States. Below, you can find match reports and scores. As always, refer to the introduction for what this feature series is about.




Germany vs Portugal

Portugal, like host nation Brazil, suffers in Ngrams since Google lacks a Portuguese corpus. Nevertheless, Portugal performs much better in the Spanish corpus than any other, so that this match will take place in Spanish is boon for their chances to pull an upset.

First Half: Immanuel Kant (GER) vs Francisco Macedo (POR)

Germany starts the tournament off in spectacular fashion, immediately turning to Kant, one of the most revered philosophers in Western history. Portugal counters with Franciscan theologian Francisco Macedo, who is not quite the household name that Kant is. Amazingly, Portugal hangs with Germany for the first 20 minutes of the match, until Kant explodes for two goals as Germany dominates the final 25 minutes of the half. “The important thing is not that I scored two goals,” Kant reminds the press after the match, “but rather that I intended to score two goals.”

First Half Goals: Germany 2, Portugal 0


Second Half: Leopold von Ranke (GER) vs António Vieira (POR)

The crowd shows some life as António Vieira makes his presence known in the second half. Vieira spent a large portion of his life in Brazil and is still held in high esteem by some in the country. Unfortunately for the crowd, the rather ponderous play of Germany’s Leopold von Ranke stamps out any fire that Vieira and the crowd can light. Ranke’s play is of such a high level that many of his teammates almost feel bad for criticizing him with such vigor.

Second Half Goals: Germany 2, Portugal 0


Final Score:
Germany  4 – 0  Portugal

Iran vs Nigeria

This match will take place in the English corpus, as it is the preferred corpus of both Iran and Nigeria. Iran is one of the oldest teams in the tournament while Nigeria is among the youngest.

First Half: Fakhruddin Razi (IRI) vs Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (NGR)

Both teams get off to a sluggish start, but as the half nears its end the Nigerian side appears to get in sync with each and make a series of pushes near the Iranian goal. They are awarded a corner for their efforts, which postcolonial theorist Eze converts into a goal with a fabulous header. Eze’s play continues at a high level and Nigeria would have likely scored another goal had the referee not blown the whistle to end the half.

First Half Goals: Iran 0, Nigeria 1


Second Half: al-Tabari (IRI) vs E.J. Alagoa (NGR)

Iran are desperate for goals, not wanting to end up like Switzerland yesterday. The Nigerians are able to hang with a more assertive Iranian side until the 70th minute, when historian al-Tabari nets a well-placed shot from outside of the box. With victory slipping away from them, Nigeria begin playing more defensively, hoping to at least leave with a draw. However, this change in tactics has the reverse effect, as the Nigerians begin playing listlessly, allowing Iran to score a goal in extra time.

Second Half Goals: Iran 2, Nigeria 0


Final Score:
Iran  2 – 1  Nigeria

Ghana vs United States

Ghana and the United States both use English as their preferred Ngrams corpus, so no random draw is required.

First Half: Kwame Arhin (GHA) vs William James (USA)

Surprising no one, the United States begins play in a pragmatic fashion, with William James making his presence known early on. The Ghanaian historian Arhin is no match for James, as the Americans absolutely dominate the first half.

First Half Goals: Ghana 0, United States 2


Second Half: Carl Christian Reindorf (GHA) vs Thomas Kuhn (USA)

Ghana returns to their stable of historians to send out Reindorf, notable for writing one of the earliest histories of what would become modern day Ghana in an African language. The United States maintain the same level of play from the first half, with an additional two goals thanks to play of Analytic philosopher Thomas Kuhn.

Second Half Goals: Ghana 0, United States 2


Final Score:
Ghana  0 – 4  United States


Hearts are breaking in West Africa right now, with Nigeria and Ghana failing to score any points. Nigeria was an underdog, but the fact that they came so close to defeating or at least drawing Iran makes the defeat sting even more. Iran’s lackluster performance gives Argentina a firm hold of Group F on goal differential, at least until they play Iran. Group G is shaking out as it was expected to. Powerhouses Germany and the United States each won by four goals, effectively ending the hopes of Ghana and Portugal by virtue of a nearly insurmountable goal differential.

Tomorrow sees the wide open Group H in action and will bring an end to the first matches of group play. Additionally, the match that will determine the Group A winner—Brazil vs Mexico—will be contested, making it potentially the most exciting day yet.

Relevant Group Standings
Group F
Argentina 3 pts, +3 GD
Iran 3 pts, +1 GD
Nigeria 0 pts, -1 GD
Bosnia & Herzegovina 0 pts, -3 GD

Group G
Germany 3 pts, +4 GD
United States 3 pts, +4 GD
Portugal 0 pts, -4 GD
Ghana 0 pts, -4GD

Complete group standings can be viewed here.



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