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Euro 2020: penalty shootouts can be won or lost on a coin toss

By Dominik Schreyer, Assistant Professor of Sports Economics, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Matthias Sutter, Professor of Economics, Behaviour and Design, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Sascha L. Schmidt, Professor and Director, Center for Sports and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
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Euro 2020 is about to get serious. After two weeks of group matches, the knockout phase of the tournament means every game is win or lose. The stakes are high, the players are tense – and for some teams, a place in the next round may well depend on the outcome of a penalty shootout.

These game deciders, held if neither team is ahead after 90 minutes of normal time, and a 30-minute spell of extra time, are notoriously nervy affairs. They are feared, practised, enjoyed by some fans, dreaded by others, and can make for a brutal or ecstatic match finale.

When it comes to how…

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