Welcome to the final day of round of 16 play in the Philosophers World Cup. Today has the final four teams competing for a spot in the quarter-finals. First up, Argentina meets up with Ecuador in the round’s second all South American match. Next, a dominant but exhausted Algeria try to best a talented United States team. Match reports and a recap follow after the break. As always, refer to the introduction for an explanation of this series.
Ecuador vs Argentina
Ecuador count themselves fortunate to have made it this far and after today’s game will have exhausted their roster. Argentina are the only team who has not conceded a goal in the competition and are looking to exploit a favorable draw to make it to the quarters.
First Half: Jorge Pérez Concha (ECU) vs Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (ARG)
The Argentinians strike fast in the first half on the strength of president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. Ecuador play timidly with historian Jorge Pérez Concha failing to find any offensive rhythm.
First Half Goals: Argentina 2
Second Half: Juan León Mera (ECU) vs Juan Bautista Alberdi (ARG)
Argentina relies on political philosopher Alberdi to ensure the victory. Rather than merely playing defensively, Alberdi presses and adds to Argentina’s lead. The essayist Juan León Mera becomes the eighth and final Ecuadoran to see action in the Philosophers World Cup. Even though they lose, the Ecuadorians leave the field in chipper spirits, satisfied with their surprise advancement from the group stage. Argentina meanwhile must mentally prepare themselves for a tough quarter-final matchup.
Second Half Goals: Argentina 2
Ecuador 0:4 Argentina
United States vs Algeria
Algeria have been dominant this tournament when their Pied Noir philosophers see play. However, Algeria has already used all of their Pied Noirs meaning that they will not be available in this round. The United States are the favorites here with the press doubting Algeria’s ability to keep the match competitive.
First Half: Fredric Jameson (USA) vs Mouloud Mammeri (ALG)
Jameson is the most prominent Marxist thinker that the United States has produced and is expected to make short work of anthropologist / novelist Mouloud Mammeri. However, Mammeri shocks the crowd with a goal in the 25th minute. He then adds another just before the half giving Algeria a big lead heading into the half. Jameson appears to be utterly shell-shocked by what has just transpired.
First Half Goals: Algeria 2
Second Half: Noam Chomsky (USA) vs Malek Bennabi (ALG)
Needing a very strong performance in the second half to keep their chances of advancement alive, the United States decides to turn to linguist Noam Chomsky, arguably the foremost intellectual in the world today. Algeria needs only to keep this half close and choses philosopher Malek Bennabi. It soon becomes clear that Bennabi is not on the same level as Chomsky, who rips the Algerian defense to equalize the match. Algerian hearts begin breaking, but they must quickly regroup for the extra time half.
Second Half Goals: United States 2
Extra Time: Judith Butler (USA) vs Sidi El Houari (ALG)
Algeria have lost all of the spark they displayed in the first half. The United States again comes strong with feminist Judith Butler who gives the United States the lead early in extra time. She strikes again minutes later, sealing the match for the Americans.
Extra Time Goals: United States 2
United States 2(2):2(0) Algeria
Argentina continues their streak of shutouts with a convincing win over Ecuador. They will now prepare themselves to face the United States in the quarter-finals. The Americans had to recover from an early and unexpected deficit, but did so in furious fashion. Argentina will have to play their absolute best in the quarters to hang with the Yanks. Ecuador’s surprising run has come to an end, but the mere act of advancing from the group stage will be chalked up as success by the Ecuadoran media. Algeria turned in some of the most impressive performances in the group stage, but their run ends in the round of 16 all the same due to a tough matchup with the United States. The Algerians are probably feeling bitter about the difficult of their knockout stage draw and disappointed in themselves for squandering an early lead. However, they too can find positives in their performance at the Philosophers World Cup.
Complete knockout stage bracket can be viewed here.