World Cup Predictions 'FIFA 14' Simulation Recap: How Accurate Was EA's Game, And Did It Predict The German Victory?
The 2014 FIFA World Cup has come to a close, with Germany deservedly lifting the trophy in Brazil after defeating Argentina in the final. I simulated the results of the matches throughout the competition using FIFA 14, and now that it's over, I've looked back at how accurate the game's predictions were.
It should be noted that I did not simulate every group match, focusing on the bigger games or those expected to be tight contests only. When the group stage concluded, FIFA 14 had gotten exactly half of the matches right, but did very well once elimination games began (every knockout game was simulated).
It's not a perfect system, as predicting the exact lineup and tactics a team will use is difficult, and simulating a larger sample could lead to different results. The real life games are one-offs too, however, and many of the results could have been different on another day, especially in the knockout rounds.
FIFA 14 got an impressive 12 knockout games correct, with just 4 wrong predictions after the group stages. Combined with the group stage simulations (which were 50/50), the final results were 16 accurate and eight inaccurate predictions, or 67% of the total games correct. Here are the specific results:
The Correct Predictions
Brazil (Win in Penalties) 1-1 Chile: The simulation had this one down as a more comfortable 3-1 win for the hosts, but it just barely gets the winner right as the result of a penalty shootout, seeing out the first elimination of the tournament.
Colombia 2-0 Uruguay: Opposite the previous match, FIFA predicted this one to be decided in penalties, while it was actually a pretty clear win for Colombia. It predicted the right winner in the shootout nonetheless though, even if it didn't include the James Rodriguez golazo.
Netherlands 2-1 Mexico: FIFA 14 got this one very close to exactly correct, simulating a 2-0 win for the Dutch. Mexico performed well in the tournament overall, and it took a late comeback for the Netherlands to take this one, but the simulation got it right in the end.
France 2-0 Nigeria: Another pretty accurate call, the simulation had this one down as a 3-1 France win, the same +2 goal difference for the Europeans as the real result. France were the better team on the day, in both reality and the game.
Germany 2-1 Algeria: The African side made this much closer than most expected, including FIFA 14 (the simulation was a 3-0 German win), but Germany did come away with the victory in the end. Algeria had chances early and were the better side, but failed to capitalize before the Germans righted the ship and took control.
Argentina 1-0 Switzerland: Another game that FIFA got right with a slightly different scoreline, predicting a 2-1 win. It turned out that the only goal would be the late Di Maria winner provided by Messi, but EA's game chose the right team in the end.
Belgium 2-1 U.S.: A close call again, the simulation predicted a 1-0 win for the Belgians, which is pretty close to what we saw in real life. A late Lukaku goal sealed the win for Belgium, even with a spectacular late Julian Green goal for the U.S.
Brazil 2-1 Colombia: Clearly the simulation has been unlucky getting the score right, seemingly just one goal off every time, but the winners have mostly been spot on as it was here. FIFA 14 predicted a 2-0 win, but Brazil came out on top nonetheless.
Argentina 1-0 Belgium: The only goal was a great Higuain shot, and the simulation had Argentina winning in penalties--not far off from what was a very close match.
Netherlands (Win in Penalties) 0-0 Costa Rica: Penalties again made this the right call, though the sim thought the Dutch would win 2-1 in regulation. Still, it was a close match in both the simulation and reality, and FIFA 14 again chose the right winner.
Germany 7-1 Brazil: Well, I don't think anyone saw that coming. FIFA 14 got the winner right, but with a much more reasonable 2-1 scoreline. I don't blame the game for not predicting a blowout of the tournament favorites, but it did think the Germans would win comfortably.
Germany 1-0 Argentina: Last but not least, FIFA 14 predicted the correct winner of the World Cup (though it thought the game would be 2-2 and decided in penalties). A shootout looked imminent, but a late goal made by Andre Schurrle and Mario Goezte won Germany the tournament.
The Wrong Predictions
Costa Rica (Win in Penalties) 1-1 Greece: A close call, but the first wrong prediction in the knockout round, as FIFA 14 thought this would end with a 1-0 Greek win. It wasn't too far off the as the score was 1-1, but Costa Rica eventually took the victory in a shootout.
Germany 1-0 France: One of the most blatantly inaccurate sims so far, if only because Germany have now won the World Cup. The simulation thought France would come out on top 2-0, getting this one all wrong even though the Germans only grabbed the win 1-0 on a set piece.
Argentina (Win in Penalties) 0-0 Netherlands: FIFA 14 simply thought the Dutch team would be better, predicting a 2-0 win for Oranje. It ended up going to penalties with each side canceling the other out, making this match the third incorrect prediction of the knockout rounds.
Netherlands 3-0 Brazil (Consolation Match): To be frank, this was a flat-out wrong prediction for FIFA 14, which thought Brazil would win 1-0. Instead the misery continued for the hosts even though the game didn't mean too much as they played decently at times, yet got pummeled three goals to none.