After the draw for the Group Stage on June 4th, the world's most important competition for professional eFootball™ players kicked off on June 11th with the first three matches of Group A. Starting with a beautiful Celtic FC vs AS Monaco match, former teammates Kilzyou and Usmakabyle faced each other in the first game, with the first one winning by the narrowest of margins thanks to a last-minute post from the Monegasque player. Aazbabysk would seal the second win for the Scots against GuiFera, while Nekza saved AS Monaco's only win in the opening day. The second match pitted FC Bayern München against Manchester United, with FCB_Jose's win over Ostrybuch and Kams10_ over FCB_Alguacil and a 4-4 draw between FCB_Mestre and E_C_Oneill. Day 1 ended with the Scots topping the table by securing another 6 points against FC Bayern München in the final match of the day thanks to wins again from Kilzyou and Aazbabysk. The Bavarians would take second place with another three points with FCB_Mestre's win over Lotfi, who had to be content with only receiving the Best Goal of the Day award in Group A.
The first matchday of Group B took place on Sunday, June 12th, and saw some impressive goalscoring performances. The first match between Galatasaray SK and AS Roma revealed a serious title contender in the form of the Romans, who picked up a solid 6 points thanks to debutant ASR_STIFFLER and captain ASR_URMA43 with wins over Djole and Kepa_PFC. Gagliardo28 was unable to beat Turkish captain Mucahit21, who rescued 3 points for Galatasaray SK. Next up, the FC Barcelona team made their debut in the competition with THE PALMA's 7-1 thrashing of Barboza. ROKSA were defeated 1-4 by INDOMINATOR, but at least received the Best Goal of the Day award for a beautiful chip that hit the crossbar before going into the net. Meanwhile, ALEXR and S-Venom were held to a goalless draw. The third match brought the Turks and Catalans face to face, with the latter winning by 6 points to 3. Only Mucahit21 was able to secure another win for his team against ALEXR, while THE PALMA won narrowly against Kepa_PFC and ROKSA beat fellow countryman Djole 6-1. Barça finished the day in first place with AS Roma in second with just one game played.
On Saturday June 18th, the second matchday of Group B saw AS Roma qualify top of their group and go straight through to the semifinals. The Roman side started against Arsenal FC and took 5 points against their London rivals' two points after two draws between Gagliardo28 and Barboza and ASR_URMA43 and Kepa_PFC. The only one of the Romans who managed to get the win was ASR_STIFFLER, who continued to surprise with an excellent performance against S-Venom. Then it was the turn of Arsenal FC vs Galatasaray SK. Both teams were playing for a place in the Quarterfinals, which would finally go to the Turks after 7 points for two wins and a draw against only 1 for the English team. The captains INDOMINATOR and Mucahit21 drew in the first game and fortunately for the Turks Kepa_PFC and Djole got their first victories against Barboza and S-Venom. With third place in the group decided and Arsenal FC eliminated, the third match of the day would decide the group champion and direct semifinalists. Romans and Culers were tied on 4 points after ASR_URMA43 defeated THE PALMA with a last minute goal and ROKSA defeated ASR_STIFFLER. ALEXR only managed a draw with Gagliardo28. The Best Goal of the Day award went to THE PALMA who also finished the Group Stage as top scorer with 12 goals and the Best Player of Group B award went to Roman captain ASR_URMA43 for his brilliant performances in leading his team to the top of the group.
The last matchday of Group A was held on Sunday with everything still to play for. AS Monaco and Manchester United met after a disappointing first matchday for both teams. The Monegasque team took five points from the English team thanks to Usmakabyle's win against Kams10_ and the two draws by Nekza-Ostrybuch and GuiFera-E_C_Oneill which only gave the Red Devils two points. Next up was another game for Manchester United who had to secure enough points against Celtic FC if they wanted to stay in the competition, but the Scots were very strong and led the group with 12 points. In the end both teams earned four points after a win for both sides, Ostrybuch's win over Aazbabysk and Lotfi's win over E_C_Oneill, and an agonising last minute draw between Kilzyou and Kams10_ that saw the British team out of the Quarterfinals. The final match of the day provided an epic clash between AS Monaco and FC Bayern München, in what was to become the prelude to the final. The Bavarians desperately needed enough points to overtake Manchester United and go through as third, while the Monegasques even saw the possibility of finishing top. In the end, the points were evenly split, 4 each, with Nekza beating FCB_Alguacil and FCB_Mestre beating GuiFera and captains Usmakabyle and FCB_Jose drawing. The Best Goal of the Day went to Kams10_ for his goal against Celtic FC captain Kilzyou, who received the Best Player of Group A award for his superb performances in leading Celtic FC to first place in their group.
Knockout Stage - Quarterfinals
The last weekend of June hosted the Knockout Stage matches, on Saturday 25 for the Quarterfinals and Semifinals and on Sunday for the 3rd/4th place match and Final. The first Quarterfinals pitted FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern München. The Bavarians overcame the Catalans after winning the first two matches, the first one in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw between the captains THE PALMA and FCB_Jose, and the second one by the minimum with FCB_Mestre's victory over ROKSA. The other Quarterfinals were played by AS Monaco and Galatasaray SK with victory and passage for the Monegasques by two games to zero. Nekza took care of Mucahit21, whom he beat 2-0, and Usmakabyle did the same with Kepa_PFC, beating him 4-2 and also winning the Best Goal of the Day award.
Knockout Stage - Semifinals
Celtic FC awaited their opponents already in the Semifinals having qualified top of their group. FC Bayern München started by winning the first match with FCB_Jose beating Kilzyou 1-2 and Lotfi got the same result beating FCB_Mestre and forcing the third match where FCB_Alguacil made up for their earlier defeats to win 1-2 against Aazbabysk. FC Bayern became the first finalists and were soon joined by AS Monaco after defeating AS Roma who had qualified directly to the Semifinals after a great performance in the Group Stage and finishing in first place. The Monegasques overcame the Romans with two wins, first from Nekza over Gagliardo28 and then from Usmakabyle over ASR_URMA43.
Knockout Stage - 3rd/4th place match
Following the previous day's defeats, the consolation match opened the final day of competition with Celtic FC beating AS Roma 2 games to 0 thanks to wins for Kilzyou against ASR_STIFFLER by 2-3 and Lotfi against ASR_URMA43 by 3-1, securing third place for the Scots.
Knockout Stage - Final
The grand finale of the eFootball™ Championship Pro 2022 featured two spectacular matches. The first faced Bavarian captain FCB_Jose against the eventual top scorer of the tournament with 16 goals and also voted MVP, Nekza. The Spanish player scored a goal that was disallowed for offside and the Frenchman subsequently scored the only goal of the game with 10 minutes to go. With Nekza's victory, AS Monaco were one step away from the title, the responsibility for which fell to arguably the best player in the world, Usmakabyle. In the second game of the final, the Frenchman faced FCB_Mestre who was rounding off a spectacular season. The match was probably the craziest and most exciting of the tournament. Usmakabyle started scoring in the 6th minute and took a 1-3 lead. But FCB_Mestre did not give up and managed to come back 4-3 with just a few minutes to go thanks to a goal that was later considered the Best Goal of the Day. In this scenario, Usmakabyle showed the reason for his reputation and after tying the score at 4-4, he finally scored the definitive 4-5 in the last minute of the match. In this epic fashion, AS Monaco were crowned champions for the 2022 season.
For more information about the tournament, visit the eFootball™ Championship Pro section in the eFootball™ official website here: https://efootballpro.konami.net/league/knockout-stage/
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