Wow… What a day! We came into the day calculating the scenarios we needed to happen to finish first or second in our pool (to advance to the quarterfinals). We ended the day heading to the semifinals tomorrow with tons of momentum!
We figured out that we would likely need 5-6 goals in our last game of second pool play (against TJArk), mid this morning. But an earlier game ended up going more our way than expected and we ended up only needing 4 goals to guarantee advancement. With JT acting as wi-fi czar for the entire building – and recruiting local workers to do the same – we were able to remove wi-fi networks that were creating interference between our robots and the game control system, and between our robots themselves. Our superior coordination and teamwork kicked in and we quickly scored 3 goals. We almost scored another one right before half, but the opponent goalie made an excellent play. We hit the magic 4-goal mark shortly into the second half and chipped in 2 more to boot. 6-0 Austin Villa – guaranteeing advancement
Then, it came down to SPQR (Italy – this year’s Cinderella) vs. rUNSWift (Australia – last year’s 3rd place team). If SPQR won or tied, they advanced. If rUNSWift won by only 1 goal, we were first place and rUNSWift was 2nd. While exciting up to the end, the game ended in a 2-0 win for rUNSWift. So, we jogged over to the Northern Bites (USA) vs. RoboEireann (Ireland) match – knowing from the beginning that we would play the winner in our Quarterfinal match. Our friends at Northern Bites pulled off the upset – guaranteeing one USA team would make the semi-finals.
A lot of work from both sides went into preparing for our quarter-final match. But, with wireless un-interfered, we were absolutely the superior team. We scored within the first couple of minutes and did not look back. 4-0 half. 7-0 fulltime.
With that, we set-up a rematch of last year’s final match: Austin Villa vs. the almost-perfect B-Human (Germany). The one loss in the history of the B-Human team was last year’s finals to us. They were 49-0 going into that match. And, we think that loss lit a fire under them; they look superior again this year. We would like to believe we have a shot against them this year, but we are ready to fight for 3rd place… probably a rematch with rUNSWift
Interesting note: last year’s top 4 finishers all made the semifinals again this year – although rUNSWift (first round loss to Dutch Nao Team) and us (second round loss to SPQR due to wi-fi issues) took a different-than-expected path. As the creators of the brackets, we pat ourselves on the back that the best teams could still make it – even after one slip up.
Our semifinal match is at 9:40 am local time tomorrow (3:40 am US Eastern, 2:40 am US Central). If you are awake then, you should be able to catch the game streaming on the RoboCup website: http://www.robocuptv.org/.
The finals match – if we make it – will be at 12:00 noon (6/5 am) and the third place game is at 13:30 (7:30/6:30 am).