FIFA Interactive World Cup upset as Dean Coombes wins UK qualifier

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Dean Coombes is the FIFA Interactive World Cup UK qualifier after an afternoon of high drama between eight of the nation's best players on FIFA '15.

The gamer from Liverpool started the afternoon as an underdog, but would eventually rise to the top with some close victories on a tense afternoon at Stamford Bridge - the home of Chelsea football club.

Playing as Real Madrid, the 21-year-old won his opening quarter-final 2-0, beating Londoner Mustafa Ahmed in relatively comprehensive fashion. A straight knockout format meant it was win or go home, and it showed in the tense, defensive styles on show.

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Coombes was playing five at the back after a late change of tactics whilst practicing the night before, and it proved difficult to break down not just for Ahmed but the other competitors that would meet the eventual winner.

After sending Ahmed packing, it was Nathan Riches next in the firing line in the semi-final, and despite a late scare Coombes came through 2-1. He would meet David Bytheway in the final.

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Bytheway had qualified for the event the hard way, winning the GiveMeSport wildcard qualifier the week before, but after victories against two former Grand Finalists in his opening two matches confidence was rightly high.

However, last year's overall silver medalist couldn't break down Coombes, and a controversial penalty decision would be the decisive moment in an extremely tight 1-0 win.

'Lucky decision'

Coombes reflected post-match: "If I'm honest, I didn't think it was a penalty. I got all the luck and David didn't get any in the final.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to win, of course. David is a fantastic player, as are the others that I've come up against today, and it will be great to test myself against the best in the world."

Bytheway, who had a late free-kick appeal on the edge of the box turned down in injury-time, was left to rue what might have been after his efforts in Rio last year, but it will fall to Coombes to lead the UK challenge in Germany later this year.

Azpilicueta clash

In the aftermath of victory, Coombes was presented with his 'ticket' to the Grand Final by Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who would take on the champion in two friendly encounters on the PS4 console.

Playing as Bayern Munich, the Spaniard lost to the champion in their first encounter, but managed to turn the tables on Coombes with a stunning 3-0 win. Unfortunately the full-back has not attempted to qualify for the main event.

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