Why soccer teams that go first in shootouts usually win

The penalty kick in soccer is among the highest pressure moments in all of sports. The fate of an entire game, a tournament, even a career can hinge on a few fractions of a second between kicker and goalkeeper. All that pressure is especially concentrated at the World Cup, with nearly half the world watching. And it ramps up even higher in elimination rounds, where penalty kicks are deployed as a tie-breaker. Since its introduction in 1978, 30 World Cup games have been decided through a penalty kick shootout, including two World Cup finals. In this year’s tournament, we’ve already witnessed four shootouts. ….[READ]