Penalty Shoot Outs At The World Cup Have Defied Logic
Penalty shoot outs have forever been the bane of any England fans life but last week the Three Lions actually won one. If there's to be another against Croatia then Gareth Southgate really should know one piece of information.
I had to ask the rest of my colleagues if any one remembered the last time England won a penalty shoot-out, just as Gareth Southgate's men got ready to step up against Colombia, and alas I was the only one.
It had been so long with so many losses in between that surely even the most ardent of believers must have been casting doubt over the Three Lions ability to win a shoot-out.
Since 1996 and the win over Spain, England's one previous victory, there had been losses to Germany, Argentina, two to Portugal and one to Italy.
Never before had England been successful at spot kicks in the World Cup and as well as the post Spain list there was also the 1990 loss to Germany.
Should Southgate's men face another against Croatia on Wednesday they will be boosted by confidence but now we can boost them with some strange knowledge.
There's been four shoot outs so far in Russia and one fan on Reddit has noticed that all four have been won by the team taking second, taking away the usual advantage of taking first.
The ABBA system for penalties was trialled to get rid of the advantage that the team taking first get so the fact that the team taking second has a 100% winning run in Russia is odd.
Andres Iniesta took first for Spain against Russia as Koke and Iago Aspas missed the spot kicks for the 2010 world champions.
Next up Christian Eriksen opened things for Denmark against Croatia and he missed along with Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen, although Croatia also failed to score two of theirs.
Falcao opened the scoring against England before Uribe hit the woodwork and Pickford saved from Bacca, all after Henderson had his penalty saved.
Finally last night Russia went first with Smolov taking one of the worst penalties you're likely to see before two more of the hosts missed.
Maybe Luka Modric knew all this because he chose to go second after winning the toss against Russia.
So if England go to penalties again in the next two games they might have to take second.