Celtic prevail, but qualification remains open

Celtic FC sits on top of the league table with 12 points after defeating AS Monaco and FC Bayern. All is now open for the second matchday of Group A on Sunday 18th.

The first matchday of the Group A has taken place today in an event that has been streamed worldwide in the eFootball™ official YouTube and Facebook channels with Semra Hunter as host, Harry Channon as commentator and Stewart Westley ”Wezza” as pundit. 

The matchday has given us three spectacular and goal-filled games in which Celtic FC have firmly consolidated their position at the top with 12 points. The Scottish team won four of the six games played, while FC Bayern München took home seven points after winning two games and drawing another. This draw was against Manchester United FC, currently third in the League Table, who with one game played (3 games) took home 4 points. Closing the table is AS Monaco, whose only match today ended with two defeats and a saving victory thanks to the promising youngster Nekza.



As Harry Channon announced: “So many storylines coming into this one (match). Ex-teammates vs. ex-teammates, it cannot be set up more perfectly”. That's what happens when two of the best efootball players of the moment, who were also teammates last season, face each other. Kilzyou had been top scorer in the previous two seasons with AS Monaco, but Usmakabyle was not going to make it easy for him. The game started with two quick goals, first from Kilzyou in the 5th minute and then from Usmakabyle in the 7th minute. Ten minutes later Kilzyou scored the lead and from then on the Celtic FC player opted to play a tiki-taka style which turned the clock against Usmakabyle. The game went into the break with the score 1-2 and Usmakabyle came out strongly to look for an equalizer, but soon saw their hopes dashed with Kilzyou's third goal in the 47th minute. In the 74th minute the Monegasque player had a good chance with a free-kick which was saved by the Scottish goalkeeper, who made good saves throughout the game. With barely 10 minutes to go, Usmakabyle got his second with a nice header from a corner. In the last minute of the game, when it looked like the Monegasque captain might equalize, the post prevented him from doing so. The match ended with a victory for the young Kilzyou who with good results is gradually consolidating his name among the best players. Usmakabyle for his part admitted afterwards in the mixed zone that "It was very difficult to play against my former teammates and my friend, Aazbabysk because we play against each other many times, so they know me very well”.


The second match featured two players returning to the competition after a few years. Aazbabysk was looking to consolidate the first three points previously earned by his teammate Kilzyou, but in front of him was two-time world champion GuiFera. The Whops took the lead in the 6th minute when Aazbabysk finished off at will after a great through ball. The match remained tight, with chances for both sides and an equal possession, 45% for Aazbabysk and 55% for GuiFera, who in the last minutes tried to get closer to the opponent's goal for an equalizer. But it wasn't to be, and in the end the game ended in a 1-0 win for the home side.   



The final game of the match took place between fellow former Monaco player Lotfi and young competition rookie Nekza. Celtic FC had won their previous two games so a win for AS Monaco was now more necessary than ever. Despite his youth, Nekza understood the importance of the moment and stepped up to the plate, going in at half-time 1-0 down in the 33rd minute and scoring a hat-trick in the second half after two goals in the 54th and 65th minutes. Lotfi reacted soon after, in the 77th minute, but it was not enough impetus to trouble Nekza. With the game dying down, Lotfi got his second in the 90th minute, but it was too late to get at least an equalizer. In the end, Lotfi's usual experience was not enough to stop the Monegasque player and Nekza saved the day for a disappointing AS Monaco by taking the last three points of the match. 



The second match of the day featured a clash between two historic teams. Both FC Bayern München and Manchester United were coming from a disappointing last season in which neither qualified for the Knockout Stage, so both returned to the competition with the desire to make amends and seek the top positions in the table. The squads of both teams are of a high level and their forces were very evenly matched. This was reflected in the first game with a 4-4 draw between FCB_Mestre and E_C_Oneill. The game started with an early goal by The Red Devil's player in the 3rd minute and then came 4 goals just a few minutes apart: FCB_Mestre in the 22nd and 29th minute and E_C_Oneill in the 28th and 34th minute. Thus they reached the break with 3-2 on the scoreboard and in the second half FCB_Mestre scored the equalizer in the 53rd minute. Shortly after E_C_Oneill retook the lead and could have sealed the match in the 69th minute if Cristiano's shot had not been blocked by the post. A few minutes before the end FCB_Mestre scored the final equalizer in the 83rd minute. A share of the points and 4 goals for each player that lifted them momentarily to the first place in the top scorers' table. Asked by Wezza about the opportunity missed to make the 3-5 for Manchester, E_C_Oneill said: “I was very disappointed because [...] it would have been 3-5, a totally different game and maybe we would have won so that miss in the first game cost us 3 points”.


The second match in the FC Bayern München vs Manchester United encounter was played by Spaniard FCB_Alguacil and Frenchman Kams10_. Both had the opportunity to put their team ahead in the overall score after the draw in the previous match and Kams10_ took advantage of the opportunity to take the lead in the 22nd minute. Just before the break, Alguacil managed to equalize in the 43rd minute thanks to a very vertical play that left him in front of the goalkeeper. After the break, the game remained very even until Kams10_ broke the deadlock in the 61st minute. Alguacil tried to respond with several chances, but finally, in extra time, the Manchester player secured the victory with the final 1-3. Asked in the mixed zone, Alex Alguacil said:  


The final match of the game was between Spain's FCB_Jose and Poland's Ostrybuch. For Manchester United it was the chance to finish the match with 7 points if they got the win here, while if the Bavarian team saw another defeat they could start to be on the ropes. The English team's player took the lead with a goal in the 32' minute to make it 0-1 and with that score the match went to the break. In the second half, FCB_Jose pulled on his captain's stripes and took the team on his back and with two goals in the 58th minute and 71st minute he managed to turn the score around and put FC Bayern ahead for the first time in the three games played in the match. The last quarter of the game was a very evenly matched possession and Ostrybuch failed to rescue any points for his team, making the English side take 4 points in total. FCB_Jose brought the 3 points home, which added to the point from the opening game made 4 for the German team. The Spanish captain acknowledged that "we needed to change our plans (because) they show a different formation than we expected." Wezza also interviewed the Manchester captain about the three games played and E_C_Oneill said he was happy for the 4 points "but it should be nine to be fair because of the chances Ostrybuch and I missed. We are disappointed with the result”.



Celtic FC and FC Bayern München had played one match each previously with different results. The Scots had been boosted by their convincing victory over AS Monaco, while FC Bayern München had been neck-and-neck with Manchester United. Thus, the clash between the two clubs was a deciding factor as to who would finish the day at the top of the table. Celtic FC and FC Bayern München had played one match each previously with different results. The Scots had been boosted by their convincing victory over AS Monaco, while FC Bayern München had been neck-and-neck with Manchester United. Thus, the clash between the two clubs was a deciding factor as to who would finish the day at the top of the table. Game 1 between Frenchman Lotfi and Spaniard FCB_Mestre started very evenly. In the 39th minute, Lotfi took the lead with one of the most beautiful goals of the day, after the striker dribbled the defender with a nice feint. It was 1-0 at halftime and remained that way for much of the second half. Both players tried to find the defensive cracks of the rival without success until almost the last quarter of the match when FCB_Mestre made the equalizer in 75' after a nice move full of dribbles and just two minutes later, in 77', he turned the initial score. In the 88th minute, the Spanish player sealed the comeback of the Bavarian team with a beautiful header at the near post from a corner. The Monegasque defeat was softened by Lotfi's second goal from the penalty spot in added time. FCB_Mestre took the first 3 points of the match for his team and became the undisputed leader in the top scorer's table, while Lotfi suffered his second defeat of the day, not starting off on the right foot at the beginning of the season.


Both players were coming off wins in their previous individual matches. For Celtic FC it had been a good start and for the Germans their only win against Manchester, but now the table showed that Bayern were 1 point ahead of Celtic FC. The match was expected to be very close at first, given the structural solidity of FCB_Jose and the great goal-scoring skills of Kilzyou, and so it developed throughout the first half reaching the break scoreless. In the second half, Kilzyou took advantage of a rebound after a good save by the German goalkeeper and in the 58th minute established  what would be the definitive 1-0. This way, the green and white team regained the league table leadership and Kilzyou climbed to second place in the scoring charts with 4 goals. Asked by Wezza, Kilzyou said that “all players here are on the top level. It’s the best we can see on eFootball now, but I am very happy because we did a very good job and we will focus on the next matchday and the next week”.


The final match of the day pitched Celtic FC's recent addition, Aazbabysk, against competition veteran FCB_Alguacil. The French player showed in his first game good defensive skills, so Alguacil was not going to have an easy time taking the initiative. The first half was goalless and it was not until the 51st minute that Alguacil surprised with a Lewandowski's first goal after a succession of good passes. In the 63rd minute, in a slightly turbulent action, the German defense's hesitation was fatal and Aazbabysk took advantage of it to restore parity. As the final minutes approached, the French player gradually grew in confidence as the Bavarian team seemed to deflate. In the 76th minute, Aazbabysk beat a soft defense to make the final 2-1. Asked about the disappointing result against Celtic FC, Alez Alguacil said "With everything I worked in the last weeks and I was unable to adapt to the game but no excuses. It's not over. I am sure Bayern will be in the next round, but we will have to work even more, myself as to change some things in mind, in gameplay as well".

So ended the first day of the championship that has given us some headlines. Players who have saved their teams from debacle, others who have given a blow on the table to establish themselves as authentic cracks to follow and a group A that, although it may not seem, it comes very tied to the last day of the group stage. 

Tomorrow comes Group B, at the same time 13:00 CET and in the same place, the official eFootball™ Youtube channel. See you there!

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