‘The most incredible performance I have seen'
Marcus Gomes had nothing to lose.
Peter Saisanas, the Player of Round 1, had given Perth Glory a three-goal buffer with his 4-1 win over Melbourne City’s Josh Wood in the PlayStation leg.
That meant Gomes needed to beat Perth’s David ‘HighFly’ Cook by at least three goals in the Xbox clash to secure a draw for his team.
But the former FIFA Interactive World Cup Rest of the World Champion had an even bigger goal in mind.
“It was go big or go home,” said Gomes.
“I was hyping myself up more than usual because I knew I had to play almost the perfect game of FIFA to even get a draw.
“Being the underdog and having no pressure was a really nice feeling."
The strategy paid off. Big time.
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Gomes, who typically employs a defensive and possession-based mindset, attacked from the outset and scored two goals with 13 minutes.
“I knew going into the game I needed at least a goal in the first 10 minutes,” he said.
“Those first two goals were huge and gave me a big confidence boost."
HighFly pulled a goal back on the 20-minute mark, but that didn’t dampen Gomes’ resolve.
"When I first started playing FIFA I was a bit of an emotional mess,” he said.
“I would score a goal and go mental. But I've learned over the years to take it one goal at a time."
Moments after HighFly's goal, Gomes hit back. Then he added another before half time and a double in the second half to win 6-1 and claim City’s first points of the E-League season.
The result left the players, fans and commentators in disbelief.
“I can’t believe it. What an end. What a performance,” said Gomes’ teammate Wood.
“He played extremely well. You can see he looked extremely focused.
“The tactics that we did pre match obviously paid off. All his experience. He’s definitely the man for the job.”
E-League commentator Jay Bucks, who named Gomes the MasterBucks Player of the Round, said it was an “extraordinary” and “scary” performance.
“Are you kidding me? That was the most incredible performance I have seen in the E-League so far,” said Bucks.
“We’re only two rounds in. It’s going to be hard to top.
“Even for Marcus himself, it was extraordinary.
“The first half was the highest level of FIFA I have seen played in this competition so far and he was just acting like it was the same old.
“I have never seen a player move about in such a quick tempo and look in such control.
“Honestly it was scary. I think that’s a good way to put it.”
Despite the enormity of the result, Gomes has his feet firmly on the ground as he bids to win the E-League and continue on the pathway to the eFIFA Interactive World Cup.
"We've got the three points but it's a long season to go,” he said.
“The end goal is finals and to win the whole title. Just one game at a time, aim for the top."