Hattrick Masters commentary, Part II
|This is an official Hattrick Editorial originally published in 2008-04-10 14:02:00.|
We are only a week away from knowing who will win the Hattrick Masters this sesaon. Peluza will continue his reports from the Masters and guide us through the exciting final rounds.
This editorial will be updated after each round. Moreover, Peluza will also write some longer, and more indepth, reports in the Global (English) forum (Quick-link: 11038430.1).
Well, it seems that this round CA was the main option for many teams. It's amazing to see that six matches out of eight, had a team counterattacking. As a plus, other team decided to press. Some were successful, others not so much, but at least matches were mostly enjoyable and entertaining.
The only match without a team playing CA or pressing was the one between FC Granit, the great ukrainian team pretty used to play in this competition and Artest FC who managed to achieve pretty high midfield and defense in order to overpower his opponent and stay in the competition.
PFC_Beroe's midfield wasn't enough against TURKSTRIKERS. This time, TURKSTRIKERS played counterattacking, and did great. His attack wasn't strong, but was more than enough against the bulgarian defense.
Xeq Matt also decided to counterattack, and it ended up working great too. Magnificent eleven couldn´t beat the brazilian defense, although it wasn't so strong as it could have been. PoCo Panthers wasn't able to win thanks to counterattacks: his titanic rating and amazing defenses couldn't stop Zeta's offense. With nice defense and attacks, Zeta played very intelligent and knew how the Canadian team was going to play. That's why his midfield wasn't so high, but he focused, instead, in his attacks.
BeoPower also played like this, against Hashalom Beer-Sheva. Playing in Israel, Hashalom Beer-Sheva had the advantage, and he didn't waste it. BeoPower played focusing in defense and midfield mainly. He only tried to attack one side... but that wasn't enough. Now Hashalom Beer-Sheva will be playing the next round.
AC Ziky team, one of the most famous candidates this season, played against Condenados FC. At home, he was practically impossible to stop. Condenados decided to play pressing the match, but anyway, Ziky ended up scoring a lot, besides Condenados great defense.
The German team TSV Kalkspur Oedheim keeps winning, and his central attack makes his possible opponents beware. His opponent tried to counterattack anyway... but Kalkspur's attack was unstoppable, as it also was in previous rounds, and made the German team advance another round.
FightClub Football Club, not being less than other teams in the competition, also tried to counterattack trying to beat the strong portuguese team MADP SAD, who decided to focus mainly in midfield but reaching nice ratings in defense and attack too. FightClub, tried to counterattack by wing attacks, leaving central attack almost useless. The match was really close, and MADP SAD ended up victorious.
Quarterfinals! We'll see the last round with home/away factor. Semifinals and final are played in neutral ground. AC Ziky team - TURKSTRIKERS will determine, probably, one of the finalists of the competition. Both of them are teams that are expending lots of money in order to win the competition, and have really strong squads to do so.
Hashalom Beer-Sheva - TSV Kalkspur Oedheim will be another interesting match to see. Although Kalkspur mainly focuses in midfield and central attack, it will be interesting to see how he'll manage to play against Hashalom Beer-Sheva in Israel. Artest FC is the other team from Israel (the only country with two teams in the competition right now) but will play away against MADP SAD.
Zeta will play at home, and will be very difficult for Xeq Matt. Despite having a great squad, the brazilian team will have a hard time against Zeta in Sweden. Zeta is superior, but any bad choice may make him go out of the competition. We'll see if Xeq Matt is able to surprise us all, demonstrating brazilian "jogo bonito".
AC Ziky team - TURKSTRIKERS: Ziky decided to field a 3-5-2, focusing specially in midfield, two strong attacks and some defense. Still, pretty balanced. His oppenent chose, instead, 4-5-1, trying to close the match with high midfield and defense ratings, and only one strong attack TURKSTRIKERS needed to get his chances to go to her right attack, mainly, or have some situations that depends on set pieces. Special events would be one of the advantages Ziky would have.
Match was 1-1 and extra time had to be played. TURKSTRIKERS was lucky enough to get another chance decided by her strong attack and didn´t miss, ending the match and making Ziky have to go back home. With a great team almost reaching 500 HatStats, this is not the first time Ziky have to go home after losing being superior, but this doesn´t reduce cadsiz amazing work that made her deserve to be playing semifinals
Hashalom Beer-Sheva - TSV Kalkspur Oedheim: This time, both teams tried to focus mainly in midfield, and not so much in defense, resulting in a probable open match with plenty of goals. German team knew that playing away this match was really difficult... being predictable (he didn't have as wide options as his opponent), basing his strenght mainly in midfield and central attack, exposed how he was going to play. But this time, midfield wasn´t enough, and with few minutes left Beer-Sheva decided the match ending in an spectacular 4-3.
MADP SAD - Artest FC: Two of the less strong teams left in the competition, but also two of the smartest ones as they reached this round not by brute force, faced each others. Being pretty close to each other according to ratings, both played with 3-5-2 with strong midfield and nice ratings overall.
Match was 2-1 after first half ended, with noone dominating possession so far. Artest scored 2-2 in 65th minute, but MADP SAD was really agressive in the last ten minutes, ending the match 5-2, giving him the chance to advance another round and making Artest go home. Still, Beer-Sheva will do great representing his country!
Zeta - Xeq Matt: In theory, Zeta was going to be way superior: great ratings, versatility to play as he liked, nice set pieces taker, lots of special events generators, playing in swedish ground, probably spirit advantage, etc. Brazilian team has a great squad, but not enough this time to face Zeta's.
This advantage was also noticeable in match result: Zeta smashed Xeq Matt, ending 6-1. He'll be playing next round with a solid squad that is still open to have some new players, according to Zeta's huge bank account, making him deadlier. I'm looking forward to see how he'll try to overpower, for example, strong teams based in monoskilled monsters, like the Turkish team.
Round 7 - Semifinals
Hashalom Beer-Sheva - TURKSTRIKERS: Both of them played 3-5-2 with nice defense ratings. Turkish team played with a defensive forward and, again, only one strong attack. Why did she decided to play 3-5-2 instead of 4-5-1 as she did last round? She sold one of her defenders this week, so she didn´t have lots of choices if wanting to play defensively. Indirectly, this also means her squad is really short at this moment, being an advantage for his opponents.
Beer-Sheva had a much bigger squad, and also money to buy anything needed. He decided to play with a conservative formation, without focusing in anything special (except a bit of midfield). Being tied, match was decided in extra time with a goal through TURKSTRIKERS's strong attack.
Zeta - MADP SAD: Zeta had an edge against his opponent in midfield with his strong offensive wingers contributing a lot there. MADP had to place a winger towards middle to keep an eye in midfield while not giving so much advantage in defense and attack. Zeta, decided to play, instead, with an offensive central defender. Possession ended up being 56% for Zeta.
With this advantage, Zeta was likely to have more chances than his opponent, and this time, he could exploit them and score 3 goals. MADP did great, but couldn´t score in this match, so Zeta was the one advancing to finals. Anyway, I must congratulate both of them because they were able to reach semifinals with such great affordable teams.
More than 100.000 fans travelled to Norway to see this promising match between Zeta and TURKSTRIKERS. We could see how Zeta decided to play most of the competition with his main squad, while TURKSTRIKERS played with temporary players (mostly because they are too expensive). In fact, as expected, she decided to sell them after this match.
Both teams decided to play with 3-5-2 formation again. TURKSTRIKERS was more predictable, as she had a shorter squad and less cash funds to buy new players. Midfield + defense and only one strong attack was her choice. Zeta's options were wider... and he decided to focus mainly in midfield, with two strong defenses and attacks. He was decided to win, no matter what, as he demonstrated by fielding 4 inners, losing training.
Turkish team began winning, through the strong attack. Zeta quickly scored too, and then again thanks to his super keeper who´s also amazing in set pieces situations. First half ended 3-1 after another goal scored by Zeta, who also won possession. TURKSTRIKERS couldn´t overpower Zeta in second half, and match ended 4-2. The new champion, Zeta, is the first swedish team to achieve this title, meaning that Sweden is the only country that won World Cup, U-20 World Cup and Hattrick Masters.
Congratulations to Zeta, and TURKSTRIKERS too, because it's not easy to reach final match in the most important competition, and also because she's the first woman to reach this. Let's see who'll be able to achieve this next season, hoping it'll be as entertaining as this one.
Thank you for reading...