I recall i looked at opposition players before starting day 2, realising that it looked very hard reaching my target (Q-finals).
6-3 vs Thor
. His first Wcup and a very good performance on day 1, keeping both Oliver and Camber behind him in the table. Well done reaching a respectable 9:th position! This was a hard fought game and the rather safe scores (6-3) do not reflect how tight this encounter really was. Key win and three very important points.
5-7 vs Gianni
. This is a game I was pleased with, even if losing it. If I was outclassed on day 1 vs Gianni, then I really turned up here. Load encounter with both cheering our goals and I do believe I followed him up to 4-4 sometime during second half (?) - which is good enough considering what a great player he is and, also, considering the demolition he caused on day 1 winning with huge numbers. Here I stayed on Lockout more or less all thrue the match and I would like to recall that all my goals but possible one of them was scored whenusing Lockout. I would like also to add that I do believe that Gianni, as well as Gianluca, is one of these very few players that tend to score goals out of something one never realising is a decent chance before the ball is in the back of the net. for me It provides a similiar feeling when you play a realy good player that you never faced before and thus have no clue what will come attackingwise. Ok. Still, zero points.
6-3 vs Jacob
. Rivalry status surrounding this match and this in a very positive manner
Last time in Dusseldorf he did beat me rather easily on day two, which puched be down the basement regarding final positions. Considering this I was happy taking full three points from this one. Very good second day for Jacob, same points as Thor and Sandro and in the end reaching respectable 11:th position.
3-5 vs Fabio
. Key game if reaching Q-finals and, also, very important game If I should be able to avoid Dagh in the Q-finals. The result 3-5 looks better than the game actually was regarding my performance. No real chance of taking points here, which, at this point, was disappointing considering that I have done better earlier vs him. Now, looking back 3-5 was not bad at all considering what a great Wcup Fabio had. He entered the Q-finals undefeated on day 2. I watched his great 9-9 draw vs Gianni, load game with both cheering their goals and I must say It was a fairly deserved draw for Fabio. Added to this his heroic display vs Dagh sending him out of the Wcup in the semifinals, then 3-5, even if more or less with no chance, is not that bad. Still, I zero points from this encounter pushed me towards maybe not reaching the Qfinals, and if reaching QF, then Dagh would be very likely opposition player. Not good.
5-8 vs Steve Camber
. Steve missed loads of opportunities before he started scoring goals. My Cox was carrried out in the first half and I wonder If the sub was actually laying down more than he was standing up. Even with Cox on the field I would have lost this match, but with him out I leaked loads of goals. Im not surprised, Steve tend to beat me In our games.
3-4 vs Gianluca
. Second game vs Gianluca during this weekend. Here I was actually delivering respectable scores, losing out narrowly. Still, memory tells me that the 3-4 loss could have been worse.
5-3 vs Sandro
. Much tighter game this one. At 2-2 or 3-3 my fisher saved a penalty and straight afterwords I scored 3-2, or if it was 4-3. This very much helped me win this one. A bit lucky winning this one I have to say.Ok. I reached the Q-finals which I and others knew that was a difficult task considering caliber of opposition players. Still, I was miles behind the top-3 in the group and deserved to face the best of oppostion in the Q-final.
5-19 (two legs) vs Dagh
. If I had the opportunity to choose, then I would have chosen Dagh as opponent ahead of Gianni. This when I always thought that I have slightly better chances vs Dagh, Im not suggesting that one is better than the other, It´s rather the case of internal advantage/disadvantage - just like I would seven days a week chose Robert Swift ahead of Steve Camber. I got It wrong when we started much earlier than the other Q-finals, but that did not matter - Dagh provided the heaviest double match defeat ever for me
Leaking 19 goals in two games is something I have never experienced before. His excellent short straight crosses from the right, followed with a heading into the net, caused massive damage. Horrible, and for the first time ever In Ko2 tournaments I did not take these defeats well. Sorry for that Dagh. Embarrasing is the keyword here.Only one beer did not do after this and a long break followed, maybe as much as two hours, and this break was likely something I needed. I cruised around in the tournamentroom and watched the other Q-finals. Gianni got his revenge vs Andy, In the second leg Alkis managed to send Gianluca out while Christopher suffered heartbreak last second goal vs Fabio wich sent him out. The disappointment about the superdefeat of Dagh was slowly substituted by a more positive feeling bearing: - Hey, John! Cheer up! You can still equal the earlier two 6:th position in Wcups!
11-8 (two legs) vs Christopher
. Chistopher had far less time than me to recover from his unlucky departure vs Fabio, and maybe this influenced his performance? Difficult to say. Anyhow, my blc´s worked really well in these two matches and for some reason Christopher generally seem to have difficulties defending against them, and, also, Im quite sure he struggled breaking down the lockout-formation which I used for large parts. Again, Im quite sure that If using 4-2-4 vs 4-2-4, then Chistopher would prevail, this when he is a stronger midfield player than me. Great Ko2-player, I would suggest he´s got potential to win a future Wcup. Winning vs Christopher sequred the 6:th place and, also, with a tiny, tiny chance to reach 5:th place
6-6 (two legs) vs Gianluca
. I had no real hope winning against Gianluca. In the past I had lost all games vs the Italian, some narrowly, and some with less amusing scores. winning one game, like I did vs Alkis in Rome 2008, is one thing - surviving 20 minutes is a completely differant story.
First of all It should be said that the first game was restarted at scores 0-0 after Gianluca scored 1-0, this when It was not possible to change tactics the normal way. A true gentleman! Compliments. After restarting the match I stayed for large parts on Lockout and in the last 1/3 of the match I barely touched the ball. Gianluca dominated play completely! It was desperate defending with sliding defenders all around, and I can only thank (1) luck, (2) my son that kept on telling me to "skjuuut långskott, skjut långskott!" (must have been disturbing for Gianluca), and (3) unlucky finishing by Gianluca which helped the scores staying on close 3-4.
My hands was all wet after the first match, so I needed to wash them before I could start the second match. - Great memory of Ko2-tension! Going into the second match with the same lockout-attitude would just not work - It would end up with Gianluca again having all possession and as a result of that more desperate defending would be needed. So I decided to follow Thor´s advice = using a more attacking formation. But I skipped Falcon and used a bit more balanced 4-2-4 instead, and I used It much more than I did in the first match, maybe 50/50. I had my 8:th or 9:th beer of the day and I would suggest that (1) very effective blc-finishing was one key in this second leg as well as during the extra time, and, also (2) It should be said that Gianluca continued missing very good chances in this second match was absolutely decisive.
To summarize: taking a super player like Gianluca, even if untrained, to extratime after two matches and by that reaching the 5:th place is without a doubt the best I have experienced concering Kickoff2. Take this as a compliment Gianluca, that Im delighted of reaching even scores after 20 minutes should tell how high I regard you as a player. (Sorry for the wall of text about this encounter, it´s all because this was somewhat special for me).
It felt bad leaving before the semifinals and when I sat on the train and saw flashes on the phone about Fabio provided a huge upset vs Dagh, then I realised I had missed something special. Bad planning here. What If I would have reached the semifinals for the first time? Then I would have missed my train! I´ll never leave on a Sunday again. Again, It was absolutely great to see you all again! I´ll do all I can to travel to the next Wcup of 2015. Also, thank you Jörn for providing us this and for letting us stay with you early on.