The Enalysis: How Crispy tried to pull off the implausible

E-League analyst Eleftherios Kordabalos breaks down how James 'iCripsy' Williams and Dane  'BossierHickory' Crow approached their matches off the back of first leg results.

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Watch E-League Australia Round 5 on the E-League Twitch channel from 7pm AEDT on Thursday.

Your team is down 1 - 5 on aggregate and you’re about to play one of the best players in the E-League, what do you do? How about if your team scores late in the first match to draw 1-1, leads 1-0 early in the second match and is on course to receiving their first aggregate win of the competition? Would you do everything you could to hold onto that result?

Brisbane Roar’s Cripsy and Newcastle Jets’ BossierHickory found themselves in these positions.

Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City

ol_Mate_ opted to switch to a three-at-the-back formation after conceding a fifth goal on the stroke of halftime against Joshingwood.

In EA SPORTS™ FIFA18, wide midfielders will rarely track back in a back three, so it takes a serious level of coordination to maneuver your center backs to deal with counter attacks.

In the hands of an inexperienced player, this set-up is considered to be the EA SPORTS™ FIFA18 equivalent of a hail mary play.

Ol_Mate had not used this formation at any point in the E-League, but was desperate to score a few back to help Cripsy in the second leg against Marcus Gomes.

In this instance, it was a case of too-little-too-late as Joshingwood calmly held on to set up an incredible advantage for his teammate.

Desperate to earn at least a draw for his team and thus playing into the hands of Marcus Gomes, Cripsy, who often relies on working the ball wide to open up his opponents, completely revamped his tactics and chose the narrow 4-3-1-2.

As discussed in my recent article about Marcus, he is a champion at holding possession and finding openings.

Slowing and drawing the game out, the Melbourne City star cruised to a 3-0 win, scoring arguably the best worked goal of the competition:

Both ol_Mate and Joshingwood had yet to win a match in the E-League, relying on other results to earn the aggregate victory and all-important three points.

Both players recognised the necessity of earning a result to make the job easier for their teammates in the second leg.

Results are defined by how the team performs, and we’ve all seen what Marcus Gomes can do, so the pressure was ultimately on Brisbane Roar to secure the first leg so Cripsy could play through a greatly contested second fixture.

Had ol_Mate shut up shop after going down 0-2 within the opening minutes of the match, perhaps he could have gone on to score a late goal to make things easier for Cripsy.

A 1-2 loss is obviously far better than a 1-5 drubbing, even 0-2 at that point would be amazing, but hindsight is a gift.

Newcastle Jets vs Melbourne Victory

Analytically, these matches had little to offer in terms of playing style and tactics. However, they highlighted the importance of game management and what a lack of it can do to a result.

Total counter-attacking mayhem from both sides eventually led to Mouad Zwed’s Melbourne Victory taking the lead with their very own Mitch Austin.

Off the back of an incredible performance last week on both consoles against Melbourne City, Mouad Zwed was on the way to setting up Melbourne Victory’s first aggregate win in the E-League. All he had to do was hold possession to tee up his teammate Mitch Austin in the follow up match.

With minutes left to play MouadZwed found himself in his attacking half by the corner flag with Ronaldo. Plenty of options to pass back to to hold possession, he instead chose to cross the ball, inevitably leading to another counter and late equalizer by BLfifa.

Despite the 1-0 result for Newcastle Jets, this match would share the same chaotic nature of the first game. On two ocassions, BossierHickory would have possession in advantageous positions late in the match, only to lose the ball.

BossierHickory managed to avoid punishment from Mitch Austin with strong defensive work, but why risk it?

E-League players have a responsibility to do everything they can to secure a result for their teammate. As the weeks progress, I expect to see players adapt and recognize when it’s the best time to control possession, park the bus or score as much as possible.

Here’s a clip of the incredibly experienced xMarkoHD showing how it’s done.

Congratulations to BLfifa and BossierHickory for earning Newcastle Jets their first three points, onto round 5!

Watch E-League Australia Round 5 on the E-League Twitch channel from 7pm AEDT on Thursday.