Welcome to the final day of the quarter-final round of the Philosophers World Cup. After today, all semi-final matchups will be set. In the day’s first quarter-final, Italy take on an upset-minded Mexican side, while in the second South America’s only remaining team Argentina takes on the United States. As always, refer to the introduction for an explanation of this series.
Mexico vs Italy
Mexico is still coming down from their massive upset of Spain in the round of 16, but they will need to refocus their attention of the match at hand quickly if they want to continue their run in the Philosophers World Cup.
First Half: Tomás de Mercado (MEX) vs Benedetto Croce (ITA)
Spanish transplant Mercado does not give the Mexico the spark that they were hoping for as the team plays sluggishly in the first half. Meanwhile, Italy’s aesthetic theorist Benedetto Croce strikes often and early, giving Italy a two-nil lead at the half.
First Half Goals: Italy 2
Second Half: Gabino Barreda (MEX) vs Niccolò Machiavelli (ITA)
In an uncharacteristic move, the Italians decide to continue to attack Mexico rather than switch to a defensive formation. Thus, Machiavelli opportunistically scores two more goals giving the Italians a decisive victory. The press interprets Italy’s decision to continue pressing for goals as a tactic deigned to instill fear in their future opponents. Others in the media criticize the Italians for humiliating the Mexicans on such a huge stage. “’tis better to be feared than loved if one cannot attain both,” Machiavelli quips while addressing this criticism to the media after the match.
Second Half Goals: Italy 2
Mexico 0:4 Italy
Argentina vs United States
Argentina is the only side that has yet to allow a goal this tournament: all of their victories have been blowouts. The United States have one of the worst goal differentials of the teams in the quarter-finals and needed a massive second half to defeat Algeria in the round of 16. Nevertheless, the United States are heavy favorites in this one.
First Half: José Ingenieros (ARG) vs Hayden White (USA)
Things do not go as planned for the Yanks, as Jose Ingenieros scores an early goal. Hayden postulates that this goal was demonstrative of the liberal narrative structure and critiqued it for its lack of radicalism. Even so, White is unable to find the net and the US leaves the field down one goal. For the second time in as many matches, the United States will need a perfect second half to advance.
First Half Goals: Argentina 1
Second Half: Juan José Sebreli (ARG) vs John Dewey (USA)
John Dewey grows tired of Hayden White’s theoretical interests in the match’s narrative structure and executes a more pragmatic game plan in the second half. This works marvelously, as Argentina has no response for the play of Dewey and concede two goals. The United States moves on to the semi-finals, but again do so in an underwhelming fashion.
Second Half Goals: United States 2
Argentina 1:2 United States
Today’s matches went more or less as expected. Perhaps Mexico could have threatened Italy had the match been played in the Spanish corpus, but the Mexicans stood no chance of upsetting the Italians in Italian. Italy will enter the semi-finals as the team with tournament’s best goal differential at +18. The United States again struggled early against a capable Argentinian side and again engineered a thrilling second half comeback that saw them through to the next round. The United States will need to avoid conceding early goals if they are to defeat Italy in the semi-finals.
Italy vs United States
Complete knockout stage bracket can be viewed here.