Russia, Poland, Israel and more qualify for IESF World Cup in Eilat.
Saturday the 14th the European finals of IESF took place, and six participants managed to bring their a-game in the right matches to qualify for the world finals. While the top 6 would go to the World Finals, the semi final contenders still had a lot to play for considering results would determine their seeding at the world cup.
With some exceptionally strong contenders from other continents, who are considered certifiably stronger than the runners up in their country on average, the seeding for a world final event is always a big deal in PES. This event is no exception.
Together with Harry Channon, who flew in from London, I was appointed by Freaks 4U with the mammoth task of providing live English commentary and analysis for the 23 PES matches in a row. The European finalists included big football countries such as Portugal, Italy, Chech Republic, Finland, Poland, Russia, The Netherlands and Belgium.
While groups A and D had clear favourites for the crucial top three spots in the group, groups, group B and C where hard to predict. Numbers one would go straight into the quarter finals, while numbers two would battle numbers three from other groups to see who would join them and complete top eight.
The biggest upsets came in group B with Georgia taking the top spot, while Finland and Chech republic also placed for the knockout stages. This meant Austria, with Semih “Sem19071986” Öztürk and even more surprising Serbia, who fielded Stefan Slavkovic aka Kepa, where already out.
In group D Portugal with Christopher Maduro Morais did place, but Israel did not lose a single game and took top spot, as already placed Orel Daniel decided to prove a point for the host nation, that even though they got awarded a competitors spot they deserved it. He managed to do exactly that because none of the other groups saw their top dog win every single game they played, and this was the group with one more team, and thus match, as well. As expected Bosnia came up with the goods as well and took the final spot from group D.
Group A saw favourites Poland, Italy and Russia do what was expected from them, with Mikolay Zietech, Nicolo Testo and 34 year old veteran Ivan Seredenko taking the crucial spots. Group C concluded with the Netherlands on top, only on goal difference besting Ukraine in 2nd, Belgium in 3rd, and Slovenia in 4th place, all of them having won three matches and tied for the top spot.
With Portugal and Italy meeting up in the next round, one of the favourites was bound to go out before the 8 quarter finalists were even known. Teclas93 bested Christopher in a tense affair, and the Italian used the confidence of besting the 3rd best player in the world last year to reach the semi-finals, where he would go out against later Winner Russia.
After Portugal’s early exit, the Netherlands, Finland and Georgia managed to win crucial matches to take 5th, 6th and 7th spot. Ostrybuch, the 17 year old Manchester United player that has lived in Scotland for the past 10 years, but does have dual citizenship and thus represented Poland for this event after coming out for the UK in last years PES League, kept Orel Daniel from Israel at bay in the semi-finals. The Pole inflicted the first loss on the man that would compete at the world finals anyway, regardless of his performance at the European finals.
In the end, Italy managed to win the third place decider before Russia went above and beyond the call of duty by defeating the last remaining efootball pro player left in the tournament from the quarter finals, Poland.
Congratulations to our top seven contenders, Johnny “Johninho123” Beumer for the Netherlands, Jussi “grillsmak” Aalto from Finland, Orel Daniel aka “Oreld123”, Italian Nicolo “Teclas93” Testo, Mikolaj “Ostrybuch” Zietek for Poland, Russian powerhouse Ivan “vaipik” Seredenko and ofcourse Levan Mchedlishvili, the Georgian “King”.
Commiserations to syky from Czech Republic because he created so much more chances in the match versus Georgia, but nothing seemed to go his way and being so close to a ticket and still losing out in the end, is heart breaking for me to see. The difference between a trip to Eilat to represent your country in a world cup for the first time and leaving the European finals empty handed was only millimetres in this matchup, as the keeper and the woodwork kept Georgian King on top.
You can still see the action right here if you missed it ;
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