Spain wins the World Cup, virtually

It’s a testament to modern technology that videogames can often accurately predict the outcome of real-world sports events. Today, EA have made a big call which is sure to please a small percentage of the soccer-playing population: Spain will win the 2010 World Cup.

Spain Celebrates

Spain celebrates their virtual win

Well, if it all plays out like it did in their games of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, anyway. The publisher set up the game with all of the 32 teams set to take part next week, and put them through their paces under the same conditions they’ll be facing.

The prediction: Spain will claim their first World Cup, defeating Brazil 3-1 at Soccer City on July 11.

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

The game-playing boffins made the following predictions:

  • World Champion: Spain
  • World Cup Final: Spain 3 Brazil 1
  • 1st team to be eliminated: South Africa
  • Golden Boot winner: David Villa (Spain), 7 goals
  • Golden Ball winner: Kaka (Brazil)

And it’s not just the results that they’ve predicted, they’ve worked out how the actual match will play out, too:

The Final itself was an epic battle as Brazil put on a dazzling display of free-flowing samba style football early on against the Spaniards, taking a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute with a Felipe Melo strike from just inside the box. It didn’t take long for Spain to level the score after a goalie error that left striker David Villa in the clear. He tapped in his 6th goal of the tournament in the 42nd minute. The second half saw fortunes turn in favour of Spain, as their disciplined build up play and domination of possession paid off with a goal in the 61st minute when Villa connected for his second goal of the match, off of Andres Iniesta’s driven cross. Brazil had several efforts on goal in the final third of the match but couldn’t capitalize on its chances as they pushed all players forward in an attempt to draw even, eventually conceding a splendid counter attack goal in the 88th minute from Cesc Fabregas, which delivered Spain the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Now, numbers on the board is one thing, but play-by-play predictions? Bit more tricky to pull off.

In case you were wondering, Spain’s path included “a quarterfinal 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Italy after an absorbing 1-1 draw” as well as a narrow 2-1 win over Argentina in the semis.

Brazil, on the other hand, defeated the Netherlands 3-2 in the quarter final, and a nail-biting 5-4 shootout victory over England, after a 2-2 semi-final draw.

…right.

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa - the trophy

What it's all about...

For future reference, here is the entire 2010 World Cup South Africa results, as generated by EA and 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Let’s see how they go! Allez!

Final Score
Brazil 1
Spain 3

3rd Place Game
England 2
Argentina 1

Semi Finals
England 2 Spain 2
Brazil 2 (5-4 Pens) Argentina 1

Quarter Finals
Brazil 3 Germany 1
Netherlands 2 Argentina 3
England 2 Italy 1
France 1 Spain 1 (5-4 Pens)

Round of 16
France 2 Netherlands 2
Nigeria 1 Slovakia 0
England 3 Brazil 3
Australia 1 Chile 1
USA 2 Italy 2
Germany 2 (3-1 Pens) Cameroon 1
Argentina 2 Spain 3
Mexico 1 Portugal 1

Group Play
Group A Team Points
South Africa 0 Mexico 2 France 7
Uruguay 1 France 1 Mexico 6
South Africa 0 Uruguay 2 Uruguay 3
France 1 Mexico 0 South Africa 0
Mexico 2 Uruguay 1
South Africa 1 France 3
Group B Team Points
Argentina 3 Nigeria 2 Argentina 9
Korea Republic 1 Greece 1 Nigeria 6
Greece 0 Nigeria 2 Korea Republic 1
Argentina 3 Korea Republic 0 Greece 1
Nigeria 2 Korea Republic 1
Greece 0 Argentina 2
Group C Team Points
England 2 USA 1 England 9
Algeria 1 Slovenia 2 USA 6
Slovenia 0 USA 2 Slovenia 3
England 3 Algeria 0 Algeria 0
USA 2 Algeria 1
Slovenia 0 England 3
Group D Team Points
Germany 2 Australia 2 Germany 5
Serbia 1 Ghana 1 Australia 5
Germany 2 Serbia 1 Ghana 2
Ghana 1 Australia 1 Serbia 2
Australia 1 Serbia 1
Ghana 2 Germany 2
Group E Team Points
Netherlands 3 Denmark 1 Netherlands 7
Japan 0 Cameroon 2 Cameroon 7
Netherlands 2 Japan 0 Denmark 1
Cameroon 2 Denmark 1 Japan 1
Denmark 1 Japan 1
Cameroon 2 Netherlands 3
Group F Team Points
Italy 2 Paraguay 1 Italy 9
New Zealand 0 Slovakia 2 Slovakia 4
Slovakia 2 Paraguay 2 Paraguay 4
Italy 3 New Zealand 0 New Zealand 0
Paraguay 2 New Zealand 1
Slovakia 1 Italy 3
Group G Team Points
Ivory Coast 2 Portugal 2 Brazil 7
Brazil 3 Korea DPR 0 Portugal 5
Brazil 2 Ivory Coast 1 Ivory Coast 4
Portugal 3 Korea DPR 0 Korea DPR 0
Korea DPR 0 Ivory Coast 2
Portugal 1 Brazil 1
Group H Team Points
Honduras 1 Chile 3 Spain 9
Spain 3 Switzerland 0 Chile 4
Chile 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland 4
Spain 4 Honduras 1 Honduras 0
Switzerland 2 Honduras 1
Chile 0 Spain 2

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