ePL Invitational: McNeil edges past Maupay in FIFA 20 classic
ePL Invitational: Dwight McNeil edges past Neal Maupay in a FIFA 20 classic
It has been 43 days without a glimpse of the beautiful game, but today I was opportuned to watch a beautiful game, howbeit a game of FIFA. The last quarter-final match of the ePL invitational saw Brighton’s Maupay take on Burnley’s McNeil, and while it seemed we were going to watch just another game of FIFA, the game quickly evolved, conjuring reactions and memories of why the game is described as beautiful.
Earlier in the day, Trent Alexander-Arnold secured a place in the semi-finals with a 4-1 win over Christian Atsu, while Diogo Jota and Raheem Sterling secured 5-2 and 4-2 wins over Lys Mousset and Andre Gomes respectively.
Prior to the match, many tipped Neal Maupay to cruise through to the semis after impressive 6-1, and 4-2 wins over John McGinn and Philip Billing, but McNeil had other ideas as he proved himself an adaptive player, taking the game to Maupay, even beating him for possession supremacy during the first half.
However, in the second half, Maupay got a firmer grip on the game and created more chances than his opponent, but Nick Pope was spectacular between the post, and ensured that the chess-like game of FIFA played between these two men ended in a stalemate after 90 minutes.
The game went to golden goal, with the rules being that the first player to score became the winner regardless of how much time was left from the standard two halves of 45 minutes each.
The next 45 minutes went and only one shot was recorded as both players defended doggedly, cancelling out each other’s move.
However, just over 20 minutes into the final 45 minutes, Dwight McNeil, spotting an advanced centre back, threaded the ball to Jay Rodriguez, who delivered the final blow and sent Burnley to the semi-finals of the ePL Invitational.
Beyond being the best match up to this point in the tournament, it reminded us of just how much we missed watching football.
It was just another game of FIFA, but it was beautiful!
The semi-finals take place tomorrow with Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) vs Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), and Diogo Jota (Wolves) vs Dwight McNeil (Burnley).
You can watch all matches and get more information about the competition through premierleague.com.
Stay safe, and let’s beat Covid-19 together!