Welcome to the eleventh day of the Philosophers World Cup. Today’s matches include Belgium vs Russia, South Korea vs Algeria, and United States vs Portugal. Below, you can find match reports and scores.
As always, refer to the introduction for what this feature series is about.
Belgium vs Russia
Belgium was tipped as pre-tournament favorites to win the group, but now find themselves with zero points and -4 goal differential. A loss here would end Belgium’s chances of advancing out of the group stage. Meanwhile, a Russian victory would likely be enough to guarantee their place in the knockout stage.
First Half: Leo Apostel (BEL) vs Sergei Bulgakov (RUS)
Belgium looks to be the superior side early in the half, getting several corners and shots on goal. However, they fail to score any goals and are now hoping that their missed opportunities will not haunt them. Late in the first half, the Russian counterattack begins producing resuluts, with theologian Sergei Bulgakov scoring a goal on a header. The Belgians play on undeterred, by an errant pass by Leo Apostel allows Russia to score again, seemingly ending Belgium’s Philsophers World Cup dreams.
First Half Goals: Russia 2
Second Half: Edward Schillebeeckx (BEL) vs Mikhail Bakunin (RUS)
Russia scores another goal minutes into the second half, causing a hush to fall over Belgium’s supporters. As the half progresses, Belgium regains their confidence and starts attacking. Edward Schillebeeckx nets them a goal in the 70th minute, and follows it up by scoring yet again on a corner in the 75th. He pushes hard for a hattrick, but is foiled by the incompetent passing of his teammates. As the whistle blows for fulltime, the Belgium players stand in disbelief. The Russians celebrate, conifnedent in the knowledge that will be advancing to the knockout round.
Second Half Goals: Belgium 2, Russia 1
Belgium 2:3 Russia
South Korea vs Algeria
Algeria shocked Belgium in their first match, thanks to the play of their Pied Noir superstars. They square off against South Korea, who were narrowly defeated by Russia and in dire need of points.
First Half: Songch’ol (KOR) vs Mohamed Harbi (ALG)
Algeria can not rely on their Pied Noirs forever, a point driven home by South Korea’s tight marking of Algeria’s star players. Korean Zen Master Songch’ol appears to be in form early, but Algerian historian Mohamed Harbi takes advantage of his relatively common last name to dominate the majority of the half, leading to two Algerian goals.
First Half Goals: Algeria 2
Second Half: Chongji (KOR) vs Augustine of Hippo (ALG)
The Desert Foxes refuse to letup in the second half, utilizing famed striker Augustine of Hippo to penetrate the suspect South Korean defense and score two goals. South Korea has no answer for the Algerians and are unable to find the net. Algeria proves that they do not need their Pied Noirs to dominate a match, and South Korea’s performance suggests that the language barrier is perhaps too great for an East Asian team to succeed in the Philosophers World Cup.
Second Half Goals: Algeria 2
South Korea 0:4 Algeria
United States vs Portugal
The United States must score four goals to keep pace with Germany in Group G, while Portugal needs at least a draw to stave off elimination.
First Half: John Rawls (USA) vs José Gil (POR)
The United States makes the questionable decision of relying on John Rawls to anchor their attack. Questionable because his own thought experiment would see Portugal win or draw, as that would be the most equitable outcome for both sides since neither would be eliminated by that result. Rawls plays a shaky first half, allowing famed contemporary Portuguese philosopher Jose Gil to get off several shots. Fortunately for the United States, Gil’s shots are either off target or saved by the American keeper. In added time, Rawls is tripped up in the box, prompting the referee to award the Americans with a penalty. The Americans call up John Dewey to take the penalty. Rawls pleads with his teammate to miss, but Dewey is far too pragmatic to entertain such a thought.
First Half Goals: United States 1
Second Half: Richard Rorty (USA) vs Enrique Henríquez (POR)
Postanalytic, neopragmatist lynchpin Richard Rorty has none of the ethical hang-ups about beating Portugal that John Rawls did, so he proceeds to absolutely crush the Portuguese side. He scores two goals giving the United States the win. In so doing, Rorty ends the slim hope that Portugal had of advancing from the group stage and ensures the United States a spot in the Round of 16.
Second Half Goals: United States 2
United States 3:0 Portugal
Belgium and South Korea have both been eliminated, but will still play a meaningless match against one another later this week. Belgium’s defeat will leave a particularly nasty taste in their mouth, with criticism cascading from all corners about the team’s play and tactical decisions. Russia and Algeria will play in a match that will decide the winner of Group H. A draw will see Algeria clinch the group by virtue of goal differential, so expect Russia to play aggressively in order to get the win. The teams in Group G find themselves in a similar situation, with Ghana and Portugal being eliminated by the United States’ win today and the USA needing a win against Germany to take the group. Regardless of how the final standings in Groups G and H look, Germany and the United States will be the favorites to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of Russia and Algeria.
Relevant Group Standings
Germany 6 pts, +8 GD
United States 6 pts, +7 GD
Portugal 0 pts, -7 GD
Ghana 0 pts, -8 GD
Algeria 6 pts, +8
Russia 6 pts, +2
Belgium 0 pts, -5
South Korea 0 pts, -5
Complete group standings can be viewed here.