And the World Cup trophy goes to" Czech Republic! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today declared the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. Using a simulation engine in the 2006 FIFA World Cup videogame, EA was able to test all 32 teams in the competition and determine that the Czech Republic would come out on top. 2006 FIFA World Cup, the officially licensed videogame of the World Cup, also predicted the following placements:
World Champion: Czech Republic
World Cup Final: Czech Republic 2 Brazil 1
1st team to be eliminated: Ecuador
Golden Shoe winner: Milan Baros, Czech Republic (7 goals)
and the Golden Ball winner: Pavel Nedved, Czech Republic.
Players around the globe will compare these astonishing statistics to the real world results as they unfold. The Final itself was an epic battle where the Czech Republic's resilient defense was pitted against Brazilian flair, with the Czech Republic ultimately winning 2-1 to capture its first World Cup. Goals from Ronaldo and Tomas Rosicky kept the game tied 1-1 going into the second half. The difference between the teams was Czech forward Pavel Nedved, who unlocked a weaker Brazilian backline in the 77th minute for Milan Baros to score his sixth goal of the tournament, and secure the trophy for the Czechs.
In the EA SPORTS simulation, old rivalries were reignited. England was beaten by Germany in the Round of Sixteen. The host country then went on to meet eventual champion Czech Republic in one semifinal. The Czech team, inspired by Nedved in his final tournament as an international player, halted the German advance with a 2-1 victory, with Nedved getting on to the scoresheet.
The only penalty shoot-out of the tournament was at the end of a classic clash between Brazil and Argentina in the other semifinal. With result locked at 2-2 at the end of extra time, the freshly substituted Robinho was the man of the moment to hammer home the winning goal after Juan Riquelme shot wide for Argentina's final penalty.
The biggest tournament upsets were Italy and Portugal being knocked out in the group stages.
The surprise team of the tournament was Costa Rica who recorded their greatest finish in FIFA World Cup history by reaching the quarterfinals. One-time English Premiership player Paolo Wanchope established himself as a favorite for supporters from every nation with his creative passing and a handful of stunning goals securing wins against Poland and Ecuador along the way.
Team USA managed wins over Italy (3-2) and Ghana (2-0) and tied the Czech Republic in the difficult Group E before its luck ran out against the powerful Brazilian side in the Round of 16. USA opened the tournament with a 2-2 tie against eventual champion Czech Republic when DeMarcus Beasley scored the game-tying goal in the 84th minute against the run of play. USA trailed 2-1 early in the second half after Nedved put the Czechs out in front. Brian McBride scored the other goal for USA. Beasley's game-tying goal created momentum for the U.S. against the Italian side. USA led 2-1 at the half on goals by Eddie Lewis and Eddie Johnson but Italy's Alessandro Del Piero notched his second goal to tie the game in the 60th minute. USA pressed forward and counted the winner off of the foot of Landon Donovan in the 72nd minute. Donovan and Beasley both counted goals for USA and Kasey Keller earned the shutout in the 2-0 win over Ghana that sent the American side onto to play Brazil.