Phoenix fall short of E-League finals

Noah ‘Noahja_’ Abrey and Campbell ‘airbrn’ Knowles have missed out on a place in the 2022 E-League finals.

Noahja_ was on track to advance from group D in his maiden E-League campaign. He convincingly won his opening two matches and remained unbeaten through three rounds after a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC representative Futwiz Marko.

A 2-1 defeat to eventual group winner Mark11 (Newcastle Jets) left him needing a final round win and results to go his way to advance to the final eight. Unfortunately, Noahja_ lost 2-0 to VNuggzy (Adelaide United) to finish fourth in the group.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with how the tournament ended considering I was tied for first place after three games,” Abrey said. “But I’m proud of how I played and what I achieved.

“Some things that I took from this tourney is that I proved to everyone that I can compete with the big names of Oceania and that there’s still some things I need to work on mentally and in-game for the future tournaments.”

Noahja_, who turned 18 on Monday, will now turn his attentions to the FIFAe Nations main stage qualifiers, which start on Friday, but hopes to get another opportunity in Phoenix colours.

“I just want to say thank you to Wellington Phoenix for giving me the opportunity to represent them in this year’s E-League. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue representing the Phoenix in future E-Leagues.

“Thank you to everyone who was there supporting me all night and for all the nice DMs afterwards. I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Airbrn finished fifth in the “group of death”, with one win from his five matches.

He played the eventual finals qualifiers in his first two matches, with two defeats virtually ending his hopes of professing to the final eight.

Airbrn saved his best for last, beating Futwiz Jamodo (Sydney FC) 2-1 in his final group match.

“Not the way I envisioned my third E-League campaign going,” Knowles said. “I was up in four of the five games and only turned one of those results into a win.”

“Back to the drawing board to prepare for whatever lies ahead.

“Always an honour to represent the yellow and black of the Wellington Phoenix.”

The eight qualifiers will now contest the finals on Wednesday, May 25, with the grand final to follow on Saturday, May 28.

The grand finalists will secure two spots in the EA Sports FIFA 22 Global Series Playoffs and the winner will take home $4,000. 

The E-League finals will be broadcast live on Twitch.