Welcome to the twelfth day of the Philosophers World Cup. Today sees the play of the final matches in groups A and B, featuring Netherlands vs Chile, Australia vs Spain, Cameroon vs Brazil, and Croatia vs Mexico. You can find match reports and scores after the break. As always, refer to the introduction for what this feature series is about.
Netherlands vs Chile
Netherlands will advance to the knockout stage with any result except a defeat, meaning that Chile must win to avoid elimination.
First Half: Bernard Mandeville (NED) vs Alfonso Gómez-Lobo (CHI)
In a questionable decision, the Netherlands are using satirist Bernard Mandeville to lead their attack while Baruch Spinoza waits listlessly in the wings. Chile’s Gómez-Lobo plays a strong half, but Mandeville scores late giving the Dutch the lead.
First Half Goals: Netherlands 1
Second Half: Hent de Vries (NED) vs Diego Barros Arana (CHI)
The Dutch begin playing very conservatively, allowing Chile to get off several shots on goal. The contemporary philosopher Hent de Vries is unable to contain Diego Barros Arana and the latter scores two goals to take the match for Chile. As the whistle blows, the Dutch look absolutely shattered, unable to come to terms with their shocking demise at the hands of an unheralded South American team. Chile can celebrate knowing that they have secured their advancement. The future of the Netherlands at the Philosophers World Cup is the hands of an abysmal Australian side that have yet to score a goal.
Second Half Goals: Chile 2
Netherlands 1:2 Chile
Australia vs Spain
Australia have already been eliminated, but do not to leave the World Cup without any points (or goals for that matter). With Chile’s victory against the Netherlands, Spain will advance unless Australia defeats them by four goals.
First Half: Peter Singer (AUS) vs John of the Cross (ESP)
Both teams execute their typical strategies, with Australia relying on analytic philosopher Peter Singer and Spain turning to yet another of their saints. As we have seen already this tournament, analytic philosophers rarely have the clout or relevancy to compete with the majority of competitors at the Philosophers World Cup, and this first half is more proof of that. Spain scores twice, although Singer offers more resistance than has been characteristic of his ilk. Elsewhere, the Dutch are in ruins.
First Half Goals: Spain 2
Second Half: V. Gordon Childe (AUS) vs Bartolomé de las Casas (ESP)
In the 50th minute of this match, Austrlian anthropologist V. Gordon Childe finally puts an end to Australia’s goal drought and nets a header off of a Manning Clark corner kick. Spain strikes back in extra time, with de la Casas scoring off a long shot in extra time. This is enough to give Spain the victory and the top spot in Group B. With Australia’s loss, the Dutch are officially eliminated.
Second Half Goals: Australia 1, Spain 1
Australia 1:3 Spain
Cameroon vs Brazil
Barring a blowout loss today, Brazil will advance. Cameroon, meanwhile, will have to scale quite the mountain to advance, especially since this match takes place in the Spanish corpus.
First Half: Bernard Fonlon (CMR) vs Alceu Amoroso Lima (BRA)
Cameroon sends out their captain, the noted historian Bernard Fonlon,to being what is in all liklihood their last match at the Philosophers World Cup. As expected, Brazil attack relentlessy and score two goals, assuring them a place in round of 16.
First Half Goals: Brazil 2
Second Half: Achille Mbembe (CMR) vs Benedito Nunes (BRA)
Mbembe plays better than Fonlon, but not well enough to prevent Brazil from scoring twice more on the counterattack. Brazil is through in the top poisiton in Group A, while Cameroon are eliminated. Brazil will face Chile in the knockout stage.
Second Half Goals: Brazil 2
Cameroon 0:4 Brazil
Croatia vs Mexico
Croatia must win this match to advance. Mexico can go through with either a win or a draw. Mexico are the favored side, but the fact that this match will take place in the German corpus gives Croatia some hope to pull the upset.
First Half: Charles Balic (CRO) vs Samuel Ramos (MEX)
The theollgian Charles Balic proves to be too obscure a figure to chart even in the German corpus. Ramos plays reasonably well and leads Mexico to a two-goal performance in the first half, virutally ensuring them a place in the knockout stage.
First Half Goals: Mexico 2
Second Half: Milan Kangrga (CRO) vs Servando Teresa de Mier (MEX)
The second half begins slowly, with Mexico favoring a conservative, possesion heavy strategy. In the 60th minute, Croatian midfielder Milan Kangrga scores a goal from outside the box, renrewing Croatia’s confidence. Mexico answers the Croatian goal with two of their own, locking up the victory and setting up a round of 16 match against Spain. Like Cameroon, Croatia’s Philosophers World Cup has come to an end.
Second Half Goals: Croatia 1, Mexico 2
Croatia 1:4 Mexico
The advancement of Chile at the expense of the Netherlands is the only real surprise in groups A and B, but what a surprise it is! Chile were expected to come last in their group, and instead find themselves in second only by virtue of goal differential. Mexico will be disappointed that they did not win their group, as Spain are an especially difficult matchup for them in the round of 16. Brazil should be pleased with their performance and are liking their chances to advance to the quarters. However, Chile are also beaming with confidence after holding their own in a group with European powerhouses Spain and Netherlands and it would be dangerous for Brazil to look past them. The elimination of the Dutch means that no Low Country nation will be in the round of 16.
Relevant Group Standings
Brazil 7 pts, +8
Mexico 7 pts, +6
Croatia 3 pts, -5
Cameroon 0 pts, -9
Spain 7 pts, +6
Chile 7 pts, +0
Netherlands 4 pts, +3
Australia 0 pts, -9
Round of 16 Matchups
Brazil vs Chile
Spain vs Mexico
Complete group standings can be viewed here.