Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaa....
May 10, 2010 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Last Wednesday, Hibernian and Motherwell played their penultimate game in the Scottish Premier League. It ended in a 6-6 draw, equalling the record for the highest score draw in the history of professional football. (YT highlights for those who can't get iPlayer.)

Although there aren't perfect records for professional matches worldwide, it's believed that this is only the second match ever with this scoreline, with the previous 6-6 score coming in a Belgian match between Genk and Westerlo (warning: terrible Eurohouse). This previous game, however, was a much dirtier affair, with four sendings-off and five penalties. The Hibees and the Well played relatively clean, with no goals scored from penalties and no red cards. Motherwell miraculously came back from four goals down, with a spectacular equaliser in injury time stunning the commentator.

Scotland has a history with high-scoring football games; the highest-scoring professional football match in history took place in Arbroath in 1885 - hilariously, the second-highest scoring match took place on the same day, 18 miles away. Australia are the proud holders of the record for biggest win in international football, but perhaps the strangest record goes to the Madagascan club AS Adema, who have the largest winning margin in senior football, 149-0 against Stade Olympique L'Emyrne. Unfortunately they can take little credit for it: their opponents scored 149 own goals.
posted by Dim Siawns (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was hoping this post was about Chris Morris.
posted by clarknova at 9:07 AM on May 10, 2010

Great post! Jutkiewicz's goal was something special. Comparisons with Van Basten's legendary volley.

A 6-6 draw played out on a ploughed field tells you all you need to know about the state of Scottish football.
posted by fire&wings at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2010

Damn that was beautiful.
posted by Free word order! at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2010

Forfar 5, East Fife 4.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:17 AM on May 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

Out of curiosity, why don't they have some form of overtime to resolve ties? Some weird historical reason (like "the great match of 1742 that went for three days with no one scoring")?
posted by pla at 9:22 AM on May 10, 2010

Out of curiosity, why don't they have some form of overtime to resolve ties?

Why would they want to do that?
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2010

posted by schmod at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2010

Out of curiosity, why don't they have some form of overtime to resolve ties?

Because in sport, both sides being as good as each other is a valid outcome. When your sport is designed for TV mileage may vary.

In Australian Rugby League they have the golden point, where if it's tied at full time the next side to score wins. They do this (or did, I'm not so up to date these days) in ordinary league games where wins don't matter as much as they do in games where a trophy is going to be handed to the winner at the end of the game. It leads to some exciting games but it offends every fibre of my being.
posted by vbfg at 9:32 AM on May 10, 2010

pla, this was a league match, which means that games are simply played until the end of normal time (90 minutes in two halves, plus stoppage time). For a win, the winner gets three points and the loser none - for a draw, both teams get a single point. Every team plays several games over the course of a season (38 for the SPL) and the team with the most points at the end are the champions. So basically, there's no need for a tiebreak.

In cup competitions, on the other hand, where the loser is knocked out of the competition, there are a bunch of systems to resolve draws. First resort is extra time, with or without golden\silver goals, then penalties if there's no winner after that. Historically, some matches, even very high profile ones (search "toss a coin" on this page) were decided by the toss of a coin if they ended in a draw.
posted by Dim Siawns at 9:33 AM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

I looked at the tying goal several times and I keep thinking that Jutkiewicz got his hand on the ball just before the kick, but since no one commented on that I must be seeing things. Great goal.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:38 AM on May 10, 2010

Pla - because there's no reason to?

Many tournaments with elimination matches will use some rules variation to settle the contest with a victory, including extra time (sometimes with golden goal or silver goal rules).

If teams are still tied after extra time, they'll usually go to a penalty shootout. This is universally regarded as an unfortunate way to decide the match, but it's guaranteed to get you a winner.

Some competitions (such as the Champions League) also use a two-match, home-and-away "tie" to decide the victor. Those will often use an away goals rule to help break ties, though even this rule can result in extra time and shootouts.

However, for most league matches, deciding an ultimate winner isn't important. Standings are determined by points, where a team gets 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. So a draw isn't the worst outcome, and over-matched teams will often play for a draw, especially when away from home.
posted by cisko at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2010

Out of curiosity, why don't they have some form of overtime to resolve ties?

A draw's a draw. In the Scottish Premier League, the winner of a game gets 3 points, the loser gets none, and if the teams draw both get 1 point each. Ties are normal.

The SPL isn't the most competitive, with Celtic and Rangers having dominated the top two spots since its 1998 inception while the rest of the teams scrap it out for the remaining European competition spots, which explains fire&wings' comment about "the state of Scottish football".

Some of those goals were excellent, Jutiewicz's in particular.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:43 AM on May 10, 2010

I should probably use the preview function more often.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:44 AM on May 10, 2010

The quality of that injury time goal is fine, if not outstanding. The context of the crazy game is what makes it awesome.

But I tell you what, I could listen to stunned Scottish football commentators screaming wildly in disbelief all day long.
posted by dyobmit at 10:05 AM on May 10, 2010

Motherwell's defenders really should've boxed out on some of Hibernian's goals. The defender was in good position on Jutiewicz's goal, he just made an excellent shot.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2010

Friend of mine is a Hibs fan... he wasn't very happy. Giving away a 4 goal lead is a total shocker.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:57 AM on May 10, 2010

I could listen to stunned Scottish football commentators screaming wildly in disbelief all day long.

Well if you want screaming wildly in disbelief you have to go to this guy...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:59 AM on May 10, 2010

fearfulsymmetry - That's pretty good. My favorite of the genre is of course the Dennis Bergkamp classic.

The problem with these is I don't have any idea what the heck they're saying. With the Scottish guys though, it SOUNDS like a foreign language, but I actually know all the words (or a reasonable amount of them, anyway.)
posted by dyobmit at 11:14 AM on May 10, 2010

There's also this.

If a grown man shouts my name on TV and follows that up with "release the kraken" I'll die a happy man.
posted by Kattullus at 12:28 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

So Inverness didn't get close this year, did they? Hrnf.
posted by grubi at 1:05 PM on May 10, 2010

The problem with these is I don't have any idea what the heck they're saying. With the Scottish guys though, it SOUNDS like a foreign language, but I actually know all the words (or a reasonable amount of them, anyway.)

"You understand?"

It really is a weird feeling hearing someone speak another language from the same language family as yours, because you know all the pieces, but can't put them together. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces are little magnets that repel each other. There's probably a scientific name for that (the language thing, not the magnet puzzle).
posted by dmit at 1:06 PM on May 10, 2010

& at 6-2 the Hibbs fans were all saying "Nothing can go wrong now!"
posted by DanCall at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2010

This is a great post, and I was utterly gripped by the YT highlights even though I knew the outcome. You can't blame the fans who started leaving at 6-2, but boy, they must have felt stupid later!
posted by languagehat at 1:53 PM on May 10, 2010

When the US major soccer league, MLS, began in 1996, they settled all games with a shootout, thinking American fans wouldn't abide ties. They scrapped this in 1999, and by 2004 scrapped the last of the special Americanizations they implemented.

Soccer is just "right" the way it's played and scored universally. No need to tinker with it.

By the same token, of course, the vagaries of American-dominant sports (like American football) are also perfect the way THEY are, and it's interesting to consider each sport, and how they evolved within their country or culture, and resultingly each one has different playoff systems (if any) ways to settle draws, etc.

I became an American who became an earnest, studious soccer fan (mostly the Premier League, but Europe in general, as well as MLS), and I'm so much the richer for it.

Sport is beautiful, and I've often toyed with the idea of having sort of a sports cultural exchange program of sorts. It would work like this: I want to learn more about rugby union. I don't really "understand" it fully, but I WANT to. So over a year or two I periodically watch games online with a rugby fan who answers my questions and makes helpful observations via a chat program. In return, I'd do the same for him for American football (or basketball or baseball or whatever if s/he prefers). Seems like it'd be a fun idea.
posted by mreleganza at 10:59 PM on May 10, 2010

Best pitch invasion evah! (check it out around 30s in)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:02 AM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since we're discussing wonder goals, would the good folks here indulge a Fulham fan (on the eve of the Europa Cup Final, our first European final ever) and allow me to include US international Clint Dempsey's wonder-strike against Juventus? Dempsey has a history of doing this, but this was special as he'd just come off the bench, it was against Juventus and we needed this goal to secure victory over the two legs. Thank you.
posted by ob at 8:43 AM on May 11, 2010

Also, the Hibs vs. Motherwell game was great. What a story!I can't believe that anyone had money on a 6-6 draw but imagine if they did?
Best. Odds. Evar.
posted by ob at 9:10 AM on May 11, 2010

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