Saturday 13 April 2019, 19:27

Excitement aplenty on opening day

  • Inaugural FIFA eNations Cup under way in London

  • Twenty countries across six confederations represented

  • Drama, tension and excitement as teams go into the final day

Enticing match-ups, dramatic derbies and a plethora of goals – the eagerly-awaited FIFA eNations Cup™ 2019 got under way with a bang on Saturday as 20 countries from six confederations began their quest for global glory in London.

Donning national team jerseys, 40 eFootball stars had the honour of representing their country on the world stage in an official capacity for the first time. The world of eFootball waits with bated breath to see who will be crowned the best national team on FIFA 19 on Sunday.

Several national teams staked their claim for the title on the opening day, which included classic rivals going head-to-head such as Argentina-Brazil, England-France and Mexico-USA. looks back on the first four rounds of the group stage, which tees up a monumental final day on Sunday when the inaugural champions will be crowned.

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Group A

England occupy top spot of the ultra-competitive Group A after an impressive start to the FIFA eNations Cup. Xbox No1 'F2Tekkz' finished Saturday undefeated as the eLions clinched a dramatic late equaliser against Saudi Arabia in the 2v2 fourth-round game.

Saudi Arabia, who boast FIFA eWorld Cup™ champion 'MsDossary7' and 'The Royal' as their playing duo, sit in third after suffering defeats in three of their eight matches. Two of those came against France in the 1v1 games; 'Maestro' avenging his defeat against 'MsDossary7' in last weekend’s FUT Champions Cup Grand Final.

Saudi Arabia have three games in hand over second-placed France going into Sunday’s final group game where they face Finland.

Group B

Mexico lead the way in Group B and also finished the opening day as the tournament's top scorers. ‘Beto19Avila’ and ‘VillaMore3’ were lethal in front of goal and had a perfect record after two rounds before facing Spain and neighbours USA. Their meeting with the latter produced a memorable 1v1 clash where ‘Doolsta’ – after going three goals down – showed remarkable spirit to earn a valuable draw. Mexico and USA's 2v2 battle also proved equally entertaining, with the Stars and Stripes running out 4-3 victors.

Having played all of their group games, Mexico’s fate lies in the hands of Sunday’s results. Spain, coached by two-time eFootball champion Alfonso Ramos, missed out on second place at the end of Saturday’s games after suffering a defeat against China PR in the 2v2 game. It was Jiang and Ma’s first win of the tournament so far.

Group C

Argentina and Brazil booked their places in the FIFA eNations Cup knockout stage after emerging from the so-called ‘Group of Death’ on the opening day. Spearheaded by PlayStation top seed 'Nicolas99FC', who recorded victories in all of his 1v1 games, Argentina sit top of the pecking order in Group C.

Just behind them with three games in hand are South American rivals Brazil, who enjoyed a day to remember on the global stage. As well as securing continental bragging rights after getting the better of Argentina over three games, Brazil duo 'Ebinhob' and 'Tore' took nine points from a possible nine against much-fancied Germany in their fourth-round meeting.

Germany, one of the pre-tournament favourites with Top 10 duo 'Megabit' and 'MoAuba', made a surprising exit at the group stage.

Group D

Group D is poised for a dramatic final day. The tightly-contested group has been too close to call since the get-go and teams are still in with a chance of reaching the knockout stage.

Demark’s ‘Marcuzo’ and ‘Ustun’ sit top of the leaderboard going into Sunday, but like Mexico in Group B, they await Sunday’s round five results. The chasing pack will naturally want to have their say.

Portugal take on Australia while Russia face the Netherlands in a group finale not to be missed. Who will progress to the knockout stage?

What they said

England's 'FUTWIZTom'

"Group A is tough. Dossary-Maestro was the cross-console final at the FUT Champions Cup last week. We knew they were going to be tough games. I felt hard done by against Maestro – it was a tight game which could have gone either way. Dossary just edged me in the end but Tekkz and I have worked really well as a team. You can see we’re both enjoying ourselves out there and not taking it too heavily. It’s a relaxed vibe and we’re enjoying playing."

Saudi Arabia's 'MsDossary7'

"We played well [against England]. I won the PlayStation side, Royal lost the Xbox side and I think we deserved a win in the 2v2, but that’s FIFA. We’re going to be back stronger on Sunday. We have a match against Finland and we’re ready to win all the points so we can go through and I’m confident that my team-mate and I can make it all the way."

Argentina's 'Nicolas99FC'

"I played well on the 1v1 and we are improving on the 2v2. We’ve got better as the tournament has progressed. We probably deserved a better result against Brazil in the 2v2, but it was a good warning for us before facing Germany. They were clearly one of the favourites but this game always depends on moments."

Brazil's 'Ebinhob'

"We were thinking it’d be a draw against Argentina in the 2v2, but when Ronaldinho sent the ball to the target area, I already knew that Cristiano would be able to control it because he’s taller and Pele was alone in front of the goal. We deserved to win that game. To score a late winner is an incredible feeling. I finished the game very euphoric which was bad because I began the clash against Sweden a bit distracted. The first half was bad, I conceded two goals and I lost that game."

The stat

25 - The number of points Argentina duo 'Nicolas99FC' and 'Yagocai' - the most recorded by a team on the opening day of the FIFA eNations Cup. Mexico, meanwhile, were the top goalscorers - netting a staggering 28 goals.