Hattrick Masters commentaries

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Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial
originally published 2006-02-20 19:28:00 by HT-Tjecken

HT-Tjecken shares his views around the first Hattrick Masters, with comments from on and off the pitch. This editorial will be updated each day until Thursday.

Monday 19.04
At last, that's a little bit how I feel right now. At last it's time for an international competion for Hattrick teams. And what's most exciting is that quite many teams have a real chance to win the Masters.
The first round played earlier this morning pretty much showed that a lot of things can, and will, happen as the Swedish cup winner (and maybe also one of the favourites to win the Masters) Oriole United got kicked out directly against C.F."Os Belenenses" from Portugal after a very exciting game which had to be decided after extra time.
Looking forward to the next round, starting in about an hour now, I very much look forward to see beltxis from Venuzuela first appearance in the Masters. This fantastic team which has dominated the Hattrick scene in Venezuela since more or less day 1 and has a record of 141 unbeaten matches in a row. Fantastic is not even close to describe such a performance.
But beltxis' first Masters opponent is not just any team, it's Inter Sthlm from Sweden - the team who's been considered to be the best team in the world. Not an easy task for beltxis, but what a fight!
Monday 23.45
And what a game it was, it was even better than what I had expected. Tight, hard and exciting to the very end, and by then Beltxis was the winner as so many times before. This means that we don't have any Swedish teams in the Masters after round 2, who had expected that?
C.F."Os Belenenses" is really in the zone by the way. The victory against Oriole was followed up by yet another fine victory against the Swiss cup winners hobbits play football. Can a tight defense and nice counter-attacks make it all the way perhaps? I don't think so, but it's for sure a team noone wants to face in this tournament.
A quick glance at the third round says that most favorite teams, like Inter United from Ireland and Teerlunge from Germany, will make it quite easily to the next round. Austria's Styrian Killer can maybe give the very strong FC Barentin a hard fight, but what looks most interesting in my eyes is the clash between Z'Inq (Romania) and El Torros Gigante (Denmark). Two really good teams, where Torros Gigantes looks a bit better on the paper. But Z'Inq plays at home...
Tuesday 14.15
32 teams left now after a 3rd round which didn't contain any big surprises. Beltxis loss against Brasilian Xeq Matt was a little bit unexpected for me though, which means they will not break another fantastic record this time.
Z'Inq won the match of the morning in my eyes after extra time and will now face Skou United, yet another Danish team. Will they be known as the Danish eliminator from now on?
No offense, but there are in fact two other matches in the 4th round which looks even more exciting: Bezrzecze Lords - FC Teerlunge and FC Barentin - Inter United. All these four teams are teams which have a good chance on winning the Masters, so these two matches will be fantastic to watch. It will also be interesting to see if any teams will buy any new players for this match.
Another big favorite for the title, Romanian Stiintza will go to Turkey with a good chance to make it to the 5th round.
Wednesday 17.32
I got to admit, I've become a real Masters addict. There's olympics on TV all day, but still I find myself mostly staring at my computer screen and the Masters page.
The 4th and 5th rounds cointained some awesome matches. The 4th round contained some really tough matches like I said yesterday, but what was really surprising to me was that the 5th round actually became even tougher for the top favorites Barentin and Stiintza. Barentin was forced to extra time against Norwegian Hallgale, who almost succeed with their pressing tactic. And KoKyTeam from Argentina was just 10 minutes away from kicking Stiintza out, but two late goals made the day for Romanians.
So, only 8 teams and three rounds left now. Both Stintza and Barentin play at home, so I think it will be very hard to beat them. But who knows, they both had real tough matches in the 5th round as I said above.
The other two matches look very tight though. Looking at their earlier performances in the Masters I think Alien`s from Latvia will make it against Skou United and BiboPenta FC will be the winner in the last match against Maxnet from Bosnia. But I think one of those matches will require extra time.
Wednesday 22.47
Barentin and Stiintza had no problems in the quarters as I presumed, Bibopenta and the extra time was also correct. Only Skou beat me to a jackpot, I guess I didn't calculate with their viking power.
Time for the semis then where the two big favorites, Stiintza and Barentin, will face each other - what a clash! Another interesting aspect here is how they will focus in the semi, match of the season may be required to win the semi but that will also affect their performance badly in a possible final.
BiboPenta will then face Skou United in the other semi, which look just as open as the first one. Skou's latest ratings didn't impress me that much, but they've done better performances earlier on. I really don't dare to make a guess about the outcome of these matches, but I know what I'm going to watch during breakfast.
Thursday 17.05
The clash between Stiintza and Barentin became just as tight as one could have hoped for, but maybe not in the way we had hoped for. Barentin surprised us all I think when they choose to play counter attacks, which lead to a massive Stiintza dominance. A dominance which lead to nothing. Not a single chance was reported in the whole game and was later decided after penalties with Barentin as the winner.
If that semi was a little bit disappointing in that way, the other semi showed the opposite. Skou played creatively again, which lead to a lot of nice events in this game. Both BiboPenta's first goal and Skou's equalizer in the second half were thanks to special events. A few minutes later Skou scored their second goal and BiboPenta was a beaten team.
Can Skou do anything against Barentin in the final then? I really don't think so, I think Barentin is too good for Skou. That said, Skou has made a fantastic performance in the Masters. If someone would have said "I think Skou United will be a finalist" some days ago I would have rolled my eyes and said "in your dreams". But it's really nice to be proven wrong sometimes. And who know's, maybe they can go all the way with some luck - the ball is round after all, even in Hattrick.
Thursday 22.32
Congratulations FC Barentin!
Skou tried to place a wall of 7 defenders and hoped for counter attacks, but it simply wasn't enough.
To sum up these four days I think it's been a lot of fun. Sure, there are things that need some attention which we will come back to, but overall I've had a better time than I had ever imagined. As I said yesterday, I became an addict and looking at the forums I wasn't the only one. There's been a lot of excitement in every round, and before and after them too. Just like it should be in a tournament like the Masters.