An entertaining Round of 16 saw some of England’s finest footballers face off against each other on the virtual pitch for a FIFA 20 Esports event with a difference.
With a fundraising rally the main aim, there was plenty of banter between players from the Premier League, Bundesliga and Women’s Premier League as some of the best players in the Men’s and Women’s (and Under 21’s) England squads did battle for bragging rights in the Round of 16.
The first match-up was a clash between two of the best right backs in the country as Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool took on Max Aarons of Norwich City. While it might have been expected that Alexander-Arnold would take his club form into the game, it was the exact opposite as Aarons put in a convincing performance to win 3-1.
Next up, it was a clash between two of North London’s finest as Tottenham Hotspur left wing-back Ryan Sessegnon took on Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson. The bragging rights would go the way of the former Fulham forward as Sessegnon won out by the same scoreline as in the first game.
This season of FIFA has seen the gameplay stay just as brilliant as ever, but it does seem way easier to find the net, as was evidenced by only one of the players in the next game as Norwich City saw a second of their players reach the quarter finals. Todd Cantwell might have gone into the game against Chelsea’s midfield maestro Mason Mount as a slight favourite, but he ended it as a favourite for the tournament in general. A masterclass of attacking football saw Cantwell thrash Mount 5-0 in a result which will scare a few of the remaining players.
Next to play were two crowd favourites at their respective clubs, with Bournemouth goal machine Callum Wilson taking on Leicester City number 10 James Maddison. It was a very close and could have gone either way, but ‘Madders’ nicked it with the odd goal in five as his England team ran out 3-2 winners.
Each player had their pick of England’s finest in either the white classic kit or red away shirt, but in the next game, the players were all change, as Lucy Bronze edged out Ellie Roebuck 1-0 in added time to progress. She will be the only Lioness in the quarter finals after Jordan Nobbs was given a FIFA 20 lesson by Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
The next game was the most goal-packed of the Round of 16 with Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi sharing seven goals in a thriller. Sadly for Abraham, the hare was hardly fair as he was well beaten, the final score 5-2 to Hudson-Odoi, who will be hoping to make the final.
The final game was arguably the match everyone was looking forward to as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford took on Borussia Dortmund and England wing-forward Jadon Sancho.
With many rumours circling that Sancho will join his international teammate at Old Trafford this summer in a deal worth up to £100 million, Sancho and Rashford clearly got on as good friends. Eventually, it was Sancho that got the win, nicking a 2-1 victory in a hard-fought battle.
A wag of the finger at the camera upon the final whistle will be one that Rashford – and United fans – will hope is given a chance to be replicated on the Old Trafford pitch when the 2020/21 season eventually takes place.
You can watch all the action of a fun-filled Round of 16 right here:
We’ll be sure to bring you all the action from the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself as the Football’s Staying Home tournament reaches its conclusion.
Football’s Staying Home Round of 16 Results:
Trent Alexander-Arnold 1-3 Max Aarons
Reiss Nelson 1-3 Ryan Sessegnon
Todd Cantwell 5-0 Mason Mount
Callum Wilson 2-3 James Maddison
Lucy Bronze 1-0 Ellie Roebuck A.E.T.
Jordan Nobbs 0-4 Eddie Nketiah
Tammy Abraham 2-5 Callum Hudson-Odoi
Marcus Rashford 1-2 Jadon Sancho