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09 July 2020 | in eSports

Men cement quarterfinal spots in FISU eSports Challenge Football

Day four of the first ever FISU eSports Challenge Football was the most exciting so far. Not only were some matches really close, but the day also marked the start of the elimination rounds in the men’s draw.


Earning one of the coveted spots in the quarterfinals was Natthawich Kongkijpipat from Rangsit University, Thailand, who got the better of Zhanbo Liang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University of China, over two rounds.

Liang v Natthawich

Natthawich came out all guns blazing, dominating play and possession for the first 20 minutes against the slightly more fancied Liang, who had not lost a game during the group stages. Just when it looked like Natthawich would take the lead, Liang opened the scoring with a beauty from Mbappé in the 23rd minute.


That lead was short lived though as Natthawich struck three times via Christiano Ronaldo, in the 32nd, 49thand 56th minute, almost battering Liang into submission. A fourth goal from Mbappé in the 73rd minute completed the 4-1 rout in the first leg.


As is the tournament format, all elimination matches are held over two rounds, even a third if the scores are tied. Thus, started the second leg and once again Liang opened with a goal from Ronaldo.


He then displayed superb control to score again in 29th minute with Mbappé, closing the gap as he went 2-0 ahead. Even though Natthawich fought back to make it 2-1, some sloppy play from him handed Liang a 3-1 lead. At that stage, it was 5-4 on aggregate and just the one goal separating the two.


But after that it was all Natthawich who ensured the second leg ended with a 4-4 score, which meant he went through 8-5 on aggregate.


Earlier in the day, Masih Mohafezatkar from Islamic Azad University of Qazvin, Iran, also made it to the last eight with a win over Nicolas Brizuela from National University of San Martín, Argentina.


With a hat-trick from Mbappé and one goal from Neymar, Mohafezatkar sealed the first leg 4-2 and was equally dominant in the second leg, winning 3-0.


Marceau storyJoining Mohafezatkar and Natthawich in the quarterfinals, will be Australian Zackary Marceau (Southern Cross University) who came through against Jose Carmelo Licea of Mexico (Autonomous University of Queretaro), 5-2 on aggregate.


Women’s group matches also continued on Day 4, and there was an easy 5-1 win for Nur Fatihah Rahman from Malaysia University of Science and Technology over Khaalidah Bilqees Mohammed from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.


The match between Mulenga Petronella from University of Zambia and Najd Fahad from Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University Riyadh was a much closer one.


Najd storyNajd started the way she’s played all tournament so far – in full attack mode. Scoring through Neymar within the first 10 minutes, she wasted no time and then scored a second goal via Ruud Gullit in the 25th minute. It was 3-0 by the 40th minute, but then Petronella made it interesting by bouncing back. In the end though, a superb goal through Thomas Müller in the 61stminute sealed a 4-3 win for Najd.


Women’s group matches continue on Monday, 13 July while the rest of the men’s round of 16 will also be contested on the same day. There will be no matches on 10, 11 and 12 July.


Men’s R16 results:


Game 1:

(AUS) Zackary Marceau 1 x 1 Jose Carmelo Licea (MEX)


Game 2:

(AUS) Zackary Marceau 4 x 1 Jose Carmelo Licea (MEX)                   


Game 3

(IRI) Masih Mohafezatkar 4 x 2 Nicolas Brizuela (ARG)


Game 4

(IRI) Masih Mohafezatkar 3 x 0 Nicolas Brizuela (ARG)


Game 5

(THA) Natthawich Kongkijpipat 4 x 1 Zhanbo Liang (CHN)


Game 6

(THA) Natthawich Kongkijpipat 4 x 4 Zhanbo Liang (CHN)


The full result of all the men's games can be found HERE and the women's games HERE