The relaxed atmosphere which had characterized the FIWC11 Grand Finalists arrival in Los Angeles on Tuesday was temporarily replaced by a tense few moments as the draw for the group stage of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2011 took place.
Looks of disbelief shot across the room as American soccer legend Tom Dooley showed up at the Hollywood mansion late into the evening to conduct the draw. Tom Dooley made more than 80 appearances for the United States national soccer team, captaining the side at the 1998 FIFA World Cup™. Dooley was also a highly successful club player, winning the German Bundesliga and German Cup during his five-year spell at Kaiserslautern, and the 1997 UEFA Cup with Schalke.
Optimism all round
Each of the twenty four finalists were on the edge of their chairs, eager to see who would face-off in the group stage and calculate their chances of making it into the sudden death round. The players‘ faces were glued to Tom Dooley throughout the draw. Once all of the names had been drawn, the players discussed the groups and appeared to be quite content with the well-balanced result.
"It’s no easy group, but I think I’ve got a good chance of getting through this tough competition and making it through to the quarter-finals,“ said Australian champion Mark Azzi. Returning champion Nenad Stojkovic also appeard to be confident, "It’s an interesting group, which is definitely going to be a challenge.“
The tournament begins in earnest on Wednesday and we’re looking forward to witnessing some exciting group stage football. Be sure to follow the FIWC on Twitter for the latest tournament news.
Group Stage Draw results:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Nenad Stojkovic|| Ty Walton|| Robert Brewster|| Manuel Waibel|
|Adrian Esteban|| Ahmed Dergham|| Sergei Polichnoi|| Alfonso Ramos|
|Dennis Correia|| Andre Buffo|| Rafael Sanchez|| Mark Azzi|
|Michael Ribeiro|| Julien Testevuide|| Patryk Urbanek|| Ruben Zerecero|
|Andre Sousa|| Javier Munoz|| Wbeimar Forero|| Felipe Moura|
| Tyronne Allen|| Adam Winster || Francisco Cruz||Adel Daher|