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ERIC Number: EJ1115419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Hitting the Goalpost: Calculating the Fine Line Between Winning and Losing a Penalty Shootout
Widenhorn, Ralf
Physics Teacher, v54 n7 p434-438 Oct 2016
The Portland Timbers won their first Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup Championship in December 2015. However, if it had not been for a kind double goalpost miss during a penalty shootout a few weeks earlier, the Timbers would never have been in the finals. On Oct. 30th, after what has been called "the greatest penalty kick shootout in MLS history," featuring a combined 22 penalties that included penalties by both goalkeepers, the Timbers won their first-round playoff against Sporting Kansas City. During the thrilling shootout, which can be watched, for example, for example on the MLS website, Sporting had two potentially game-winning penalties miss by the smallest of margins. One penalty bounced off the goalpost back into the field and another was an improbable double post miss. For a physicist, this prompts an interesting research question. Could we find an estimate by what distance the double post penalty shown in Fig. 1 failed to be the game winning shot?
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon (Portland)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A