A look at the top game-changing goals of the Friendly Series

An analysis of the three goals that altered the course of events in the friendly 1v1 competition between eFootball.Pro players on May 9th

The eFootball.Pro Friendly Series, played by one participant from each of the elite clubs represented in the Regular Season, consisted of many close games, sometimes decided by a single play that arguably changed the outcome of the entire competition. This tournament was a chance for players to show if their team ranking in the 2019-2020 season would reflect the success of their individual gameplay or not. Through an impressive display of PES skills, GOOOL managed to prove that FC Schalke 04’s current last place ranking wasn’t indicative of his abilities in a 1v1 setting, as he took home the championship title of the friendly competition.  

KAMS (Preliminary Round of 16)

In the preliminary Round of 16, Manchester United FC’s first time eFootball.Pro competitor, KAMS, faced 2018-2019 finalist, Celtic FC’s INDOMINATOR. These opponents faced each other in Matchday 3 of the eFootball.Pro Regular Season, where Celtic FC managed to gain four points at the conclusion of the competition that day, with both KAMS and INDOMINATOR scoring one goal each for their teams. The Celtic FC player managed to get ahead with an early lead, which KAMS was able to equalize twice throughout the game. This led the players into extra time, with an even score of 2-2. 

Right as the first period of extra time was going to conclude, KAMS was able to take advantage of what commentator Harry Channon described as a “golden opportunity” for the English team, and scored in minute 105+1’, bringing the score to 3-2, where it remained throughout the entirety of the second period of overtime. Using Ighalo from just past the halfway line, and managing to evade INDOMINATOR’s attempt at gaining possession of the ball, KAMS was able to pass the ball forward to Martial, who scored the game-winning shot even while flanked by two Celtic FC defenders. Channon acknowledges that Manchester United FC didn’t get the results they wanted in the Regular Season when facing the Scottish team, but applauded KAMS’ gameplay that allowed him to “steal the game away” from Celtic FC’s INDOMINATOR. This resulted in KAMS exiting the Round of 16 victorious, with a secured spot advancing to the Quarterfinals. 

Ildistruttore (Quarterfinals)

Juventus’ Ildistruttore and FC Nantes’ Roksa faced off in the Quarterfinals, after both players automatically advanced with a bye in the preliminary Round of 16. Almost immediately starting off with a score of 0-2 in favor of the French team’s representative, Ildistruttore found himself needing to equalize the score within the first ten minutes of the competition.  Throughout the course of the game, the Juventus representative ended up needing to accomplish this feat on three different occasions against Roksa, and brought himself ahead at the time he needed it most, scoring his game winning goal in minute 90’ to bring the final score of the competition to 5-4 and advancing himself to the Semifinals. 

He was able to do so by making a long pass from behind the halfway line by Bernardeschi, narrowly moving the ball out FC Nantes’ reach, to be received by a completely free Cuadrado just ahead of the penalty arc line. Although there was visible hesitation right before the Italian player attempted the shot, which Channon mentioned he thought might have cost him the goal, he managed to evade his competition’s defense and execute the shot on goal successfully, and crown himself winner of the round against Roksa. Harry Channon described the play as the “perfect finish” for the Juventus player, after an extremely close game, crediting his “heart and resiliency” that helped lead him to the victory.

GOOOL (Semifinals) 

FC Schalke 04’s GOOOL faced KAMS of Manchester United FC in the Semifinals of the Friendly Series, making this game the first matchup of the season for the German and English team representatives, as they were set to compete against each other in the currently postponed Matchday 6. In another close competition of the tournament, the game commenced with KAMS in the lead almost immediately, bringing the score to 1-0 by minute 4’. 

The score was equalized by each player once throughout the game, leaving KAMS ahead 3-2, dangerously close to gaining a victory for himself, until GOOOL managed to score his second game-tying goal in minute 85’, evening the score to 3-3 and leading the game into extra time. The German player was almost unable to achieve this feat, with his first shot on goal blocked by KAMS as Bailly, however he was able to maintain possession by passing the ball back out of the English team’s reach. He then quickly passed the ball from McKennie, who had received the pass, to Harit, who was perfectly positioned to take the shot from right outside of the goal area. The score remained the same throughout extra time, forcing the game’s winner to be decided by penalty kicks, where GOOOL emerged as the victor, advancing himself to the Final.

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