Round 14: Joao Coelho vs. Franck Canu

Posted in Event Coverage on March 24, 2002

By Rui Oliveira

Playing a big Grand Prix is very hard work. Joao Coelho battled his way to a 6-1-1 finish yesterday to squeeze in sixty-four. Today he again had to battle to climb up the table into Top 8 contention positions.

In his path sits a player in a similar position. Franck Canu is 10-2 right now and yet needs to win and pray. So after two very long days both great runs of success come down to this last match.

Whoever wins still has a shot. The loser will have to settle for the prize money and the ranking points.

Game 1

Coelho came out with a Basking Rootwalla but Canu had the Firebolt just waiting for it. The French then played a Cephalid Looter. He liked it so much he took five damage to keep it on the table, nullifying a Blazing Salvo.

The Looter soon proved vital helping Canu find a Pardic Collaborator and Mindslicer while the Portuguese could only muster a Pardic Firecat. The French used Innocent Blood to sacrifice his own Mindslicer clearing Joao's hand away.

Coelho found Mad Dog and Werebear at the top of his deck and although he now had a huge bear there was little he could do against the Collaborator and Canu's graveyard (including Firebolt, Crippling Fatigue and Morbid Hunger).

A couple of draw phases later the game was over. Canu's removal machine had been too strong for Joao Coelho.

Franck 1-0 Joao

Game 2

Again Joao came out quick with a Werebear and Possessed Centaur but this time Canu had no immediate answer for it. While these two beasts worked on Canu's life total the French was busy trying to find enough mana to play his hand.

When he finally did a Patriarch's Desire took out the Werebear but the Portuguese wouldn't slow down. Out came a Pardic Firecat and down went Canu to twelve.

Franck's Innocent Blood took out Pardic Firecat and Mesmeric Fiend took out Firebolt over Kamahl's Desire, Longhorn Firebeast and Blazing Salvo. That glimpse made Canu shiver.

Two draws later he knew he had no way to survive. He looked over the table one more time and since his deck refused to help him out conceded.

Franck 1-1 Joao

Game 3

The first two games were so fast they still had thirty-three minutes to solve the round. The third game would be crucial: whoever won the last game of the swiss might still make the Top 8.

Joao's game didn't start well: he was forced to take a mulligan. He was still the first to play a creature: turn three Krosan Avenger. Obviously Canu had Innocent Blood waiting for it. Another Avenger showed up and Canu tried to dig for answers with Unhinge.

Things backfired when Coelho discarded Basking Rootwalla! Canu smiled and played a second Innocent Blood. Keeping with the discard theme Canu played a Mind Sludge for four clearing the Portuguese's hand.

A Crippling Fatigue took out the Avenger and Joao sacrificed Diligent Farmhand to get a second Forest. Finally Canu went on the offensive with Rotting Giant and Mindsliver while, once again, Coelho tried to fight back by playing Wild Mongrel.

When the French dropped Balshan Collaborator things were looking very, very harsh for Joao Coelho. Things were so unbalanced that Canu had two different ways of winning in the last turn.

Final Result: Franck 2-1 Joao

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