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World Cup 63 RP Thread

A battle ground for the sportsmen and women of nations worldwide. [In character.]
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Wight
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Posts: 1071
Founded: Oct 14, 2011
Ex-Nation

WC-63 Finals G-3

Postby Wight » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:22 pm

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Last edited by Wight on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Vilita
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1493
Founded: Feb 23, 2004
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vilita » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:14 pm

Image

Top Seed Jungle Cats on the Outs

Mitaroka's Meltdown in Turori as Vilita need Miracle Matchday



After being upset by the Yesopalitha Flames for the first time in their history on the opening match day of the World CUp 63 Finals in neighboring Turori, the Vilita Jungle Cats squared off against Atlantian Oceania Regional rivals to determine which team would be fighting for a place in the knockout round on the final matchday and whic team would effectively go home. All the odds swayed in favor of the Jungle Cats, despite the fact that Farfadillis was able to defeat Vilita in their most recent meeting during the second half of World Cup 63 qualification. On paper, the gap between the two sides was vast both in terms of official WCC KPB Ranking and in terms of known international players on the roster. However, the travel gap was quite a bit closer, with Turori being the battleground for a series of Post-AOCAF Regional lash that would be subject to tighter than usual scorelines with the vast numbers of local fans in Turori to give the extra boost to the Atlantian Oceania based sides.

Calaesa Mitaroka and the Jungle Cats had been in this position before. During World Cup 62, the Jungle Cats lost their opening group stage match-up against the Tiger Eaters of Akbarabad before rallying to win four straight matches before to reach the Semi Finals. A pair of post-90 minute defeats after regular time draws with the Holy Empire and The Babbage Islands eventually spoiled an otherwise memorable cup for the Vilitan faithful but the task was unlikely to be repeated without sealing the deal against La Vherderoja.

The stadium in Inura was packed about 50% with Vilitan supporters, 35% with supporters from Farfadillis and a few spotted locals and random foreigners from nations like Legalese and even Falcania, oddly enough.

It was a close match as expected but the underdogs from Farfadillis pulled it out once again, defeating the Jungle Cats 2-1 putting the World Cup 62 Semi-Finalists all but out of the competition. The result was massively disappointing for the supporters who had travelled, not that far, from Vilita. While a small contingent of Farfadillis fans stayed behind the celebrate the historic victory in the corner of the pitch with the players, the Vilitan fans were left stunned. They had just witnessed the Woe in Wunokalsa. How dark a day it would end up going down as in the history books would be determined based on the scorelines on the final matchday but no darker day could be imagined at this point, the number 6 team in the world falling to a team in La Vherderoja ranked outside the top 50 in the world coming into the finals.

Farfadillis took the lead 13 minutes in, silencing the Jungle Cats supporters as a look of frustration was visible on the face of Calaesa Mitaroka to every fan in attendance at Waridi Town Park. Vilita's most capped player in the modern era had one of his worst games in recent memory, unable to handle the runs of Friekder Dandellion who replaced Hulyer at Strike FC when the Jungle Cats flying winger swapped over to Colonial Sile.

Trailing 1-0, a frustrated Mitaroka made the change to a 3-4-3 formation replacing Resaie Kentiak with the resurgent Kristofer Kilpter just 20 minutes in. Kilpter couldn't equalize before the half but the added presence up top was causing some problems in the Farf backline that some of the defenders, Yung Chinsúa especially, found themselves unable to deal with.

Vilita started the second half strongly and looked favored to equalize but continued to find themselves under pressure from the counter attack as La Vherderoja pressured the Vilitan defenders into conceding a series of corner kicks. Proving the old adage true, Farfadillis had the chance to try, try again with the ball at the corner flag and their 8th corner of the match saw them doubling the advantage against the run of play. Once again it was Dandellion getting the last touch wheeling away in pure delight as his side took the 2-0 victory and looked on the way to the greatest victory in National history.

Down by 2 goals and needing at least a draw to keep a reasonable chance of advancing alive, Coach Mitaroka introduced yet another attacking threat, Sirkii Moliaudo, onto the pitch. The formation appeared something of a 3-3-4 and the pressure finally got to the Farfadillis back line with Lita Adjei cutting the deficit 19 minutes from time after an adept over-the-top lob by Ritopa Simafela found Adjei running in stride before rocketing a shot into the lower left hand corner of the goal.

It was all the Jungle Cats could muster, however, despite the urging of the home fans, a second upset defeat was on the cards for the Vilitan National Team. The bed had been made and it was Calaesa Mitaroka's side sitting on the bottom of the table on 0 points after 2 games with only a miracle to hope for to extend their World Cup 63 campaign into the knockout stage. With Farfadillis having beaten Vilita and Wight having beaten Farfadillis, only a three-way tie resulting from a Jungle Cats victory over Wight and a Yesopalitha victory over Farfadillis could even put Vilita in the discussion for a place in the knockout stage with anyone's guess as to how such a tie might be broken.

Coach Mitaroka will need to change things up to put goals on the board as any likely tiebreaker would be held by the Wightlings headed into the final match-day with the Jungle Cats looking for a goal difference of at least +3 against Wight to have any chance at overcoming their regional rivals in the standings.

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Farfadillis
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:: Goalscorers ::
:: 71' Lita Adjei
::
:: Goalscorers ::
:: 13' Friekder Dandalleion
:: 61' Friekder Dandalleion
:: Best Player: Ritopa Simafela
:: Worst Player: Jomur Hulyer
:: Shots on Target: 5
:: Corner Kicks: 6
:: Best Player: Friekder Dandalleion
:: Worst Player: Yung Chinsúa
:: Shots on Target: 3
:: Corner Kicks: 11


Vilita Jungle Cats (3-(1-4)-2) ::
[GK] Nycflala Kater, [D] Niubo Deneli, [D] Ritopa Simafela, [D] Miiara Makose, [DMC] Retiso Buran, [ML] Jomur Hulyer, [MC] Steffyn Siazzu, [MC] Resaie Kentiak, [MR] Manolis Kontalroma, [FC] Lita Adjei, [FC] Viji-mara Lawaai
BENCH::
[FC] Sirkii Moliaudo, [FC] Kristofer Kilpter, [M] Kiroki Mitaroka, [M] Jian Lejsrma, [U] Rexii Tzikas, [D] Uajiala Pulkki, [GK] Aranora Jaded

Vilita Substitutions::
(20) - Resaie Kentiak >>> Kristofer Kilpter
(64) - Manolis Kontalroma >>> Sirkii Moliaudo
(72) - Steffyn Siazzu >>> Uajiala Pulkki


(For Future Statistical Reference)
GK :: Nycflala Kater 7

D :: Niubo Deneli 9
D :: Ritopa Simafela 8
D :: Miiara Makose 8

DMC :: Retiso Buran 8

ML :: Jomur Hulyer 6
MC :: Steffyn Siazzu 6
MC :: Resaie Kentiak 5
MR :: Manolis Kontalroma 6

FC :: Lita Adjei 6
FC :: Viji-mara Lawaai 6

Vilitan Subs Bench:
FC :: Sirkii Moliaudo 5
FC :: Kristofer Kilpter 7
M :: Kiroki Mitaroka DNP
M :: Jian Lejsrma DNP
U :: Rexii Tzikas DNP
D :: Uajiala Pulkki 5
GK :: Aranora Jaded DNP
-¤-¤-¤World Cup 20 Champions¤-¤-¤-¤-¤-¤World Cup 68 Champions¤-¤-¤-
Region: Atlantian Oceania - The Home of Sport

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Turori
Envoy
 
Posts: 298
Founded: Apr 03, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Turori » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:15 pm

Image


Eels Back, Perhaps Not Ready For It


Well, The Eels were certainly back to their old tricks at the World Cup on Matchday 2, playing over an hour scoreless with a very good Andossa Se Mitrin Vega squad. The local rivalry would eventually be won by the Sea Dragons, Bolexii Pol'age's goal just over 10 minutes from time was the difference in a decidedly defensive affair at the Cednia Beach Center.

There were over 100,000 at the Beach and the match went exactly as expected with Ematea Saenu and Mikael Gibbons employing their defensive formation to its perfection, nearly holding on to a much needed point for the Group A table. In the end, however, The Eels would be effectively eliminated from their home Cup with the 0-1 defeat following the 1-3 defeat against Sargossa on the opening matchday.

It was a bittersweet moment, of course. The Eels were so close. They could have beat Sargossa but the inexperienced coaching staff made a few errors that cost the team on the pitch. They could have held the Sea Dragons to a share of the spoils, but a very late goal derailed that dream. The Eels were *that* close to turning things around and kick-starting a path back to the glory days of the '20's of World Cup history. Instead, the Eels will be playing for pride against United Gordonopia hoping to avoid finishing without a point in front of their home fans.

That would be the bitter part, of course. The sweet part, barring a miracle... well, no, if there was a miracle Eels comeback, that would also be Sweet. But, if the Eels do go out as expected, it would open the door for me to get back into the officiating pool for the knockout phases. Getting to officiate the World Cup 62 final was of course, and will of course remain the great moment of the coaching career. However, officiating a World Cup Knockout Match on home soil right here in Turori would also be quite the memorable experience. So we'll see how the results pan out. Either way, I expect to be at one of the World Cup ound of 16 matches, preferably as a fan but as a referee ias I need to be.

Turori Goalscorers::
-None-

Andossa Se Mitrin Vega Goalscorers::
79' Bolexii Pol'age

Turori

Best Player: Yoains Konoaafeo
Worst Player: Hooizo Nuakoi
Shots on Target: 2
Corner Kicks: 2

Andossa Se Mitrin Vega

Best Player: Xataru Enth'umii
Worst Player: Ekeuli Lor'rilo
Shots on Target: 4
Corner Kicks: 6

Turori Eels Lineup ::
[GK] Hooizo Nuakoi, [D] Yoains Konoaafeo, [D] Lioniaa Tana, [D] Diauro Dlaminii, [UT] Restiaa Mumamba, [ML] Rikko Rawaii, [MC] Cediici Tzatzos, [MC] Vrotaoa Lorasoiba, [MR] Raso Tareak, [FC] Liinai Zakazaka, [FC] Loala Kigoouao
BENCH::
[FC] Jukkia Diijelhma, [FC] Anuh Ciniima, [M] Tiika Diirotora, [M] Rutaj Ranaso, [UT] Balariita Muzmaara, [D] Noa-isinao Wioauoi, [GK] Ronji Miiastara

Turori Substitutions::
(63) - Lioniaa Tana >>> Noa-isinao Wioauoi
(65) - Rikko Rawaii >>> Anuh Ciniima

Image
<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Valanora
Minister
 
Posts: 2066
Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Valanora » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:22 pm

"So, after all that, the Wanderers book passage to the second round of the Finals with just the first two matches. I guess the squad's struggles were a bit overblown by the media and fans alike then?"

"No they were not. Even in these victories, they have been by the slimmest of margins and could have just as easily gone the other way. While the side has managed to book this qualification for the Round of Sixteen, it is by no means been a dominant pair of performances that will put fear into whoever they might come up against."

"Yet you have to give credit where credit is due my friend. While the Marauders have booked their passage, other sides that were thought to be contenders to proceed have found themselves knocked out already or on the precipice of doing so, including the very host nation we're in and their former master of Vilita."

"To that end, I suppose I will praise their resoluteness in finding a means to victory, despite my pessimism towards their performances and chances moving ahead. There is something to be said about a side that does find ways to secure the victory even if the performance that is put out is not one that is expected of a championship caliber side. I could make the argument that really the only challenger to the title is The Holy Empire themselves, but that's a bit too defeatist even for me."

"Oh, so there are limits to even your pessimism then? Good to know."

"Don't go making a big deal out of it, even I know when one steps too far over the boundary of merely being a realist and towards a defeatist."

"At any rate, the side will have to improve in the knockout round, I will give you that. However I will say that they have substantially improved their form from the qualifiers, even if it is just a pair of matches. While the affairs were tight and highly contested, there was never any doubt that the Marauders would lose them. While draws could have been possible, you never really could see them faltering into a defeat, which can be something quite deadly in the Finals."

"Fair point, though how they perform in this last group match will ultimately tell the tale of their honest form heading into the knockout stages. I expect and hope that a full strength side is put out and the squad wins the group outright, rather than due to tiebreaker of some sort. That would signal reasons for my pessimism, wouldn't you agree?"

"Partially, but not enough to have the dim hopes you have going into the knockouts. As far as I am concerned, the only reason we should not advance out of our side of the bracket is the Empire themselves, who have had a bit of trouble in their group, with that shock loss to Starblaydia and barely edging out Pasarga. Their progression is far from a secure thing, one of the many interesting scenarios to watch in this final round of the group stage."

"Aye, but my eyes will be on the Marauders, they are where my heart lies."
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII (1st), WCoH I (2nd), WCoH II (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
AOCAF 44 Champions, AOCAF 39, 43 Runners Up
8th & 9th Winter Olympic Ice Hockey Champions
9th Winter Olympic Women's Curling Champion
Co-Hosted: too many events to count

EPL Season 20,057
Valanora Wiki

I am that which I am and choose to be.
AO4Life ~ AO is The Place

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Aguazul
Diplomat
 
Posts: 873
Founded: Nov 06, 2007
Corporate Police State

Postby Aguazul » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:32 pm

"Okay, we've got a read on the fugitive...address was correct, but he's making a run for it."

"Got it, thanks. Why are you telling me this?"

"So you can try and intercept him?"

"Are you in a car or what?"

"Obviously I am."

"Then what do you need me for?"

"To intercept him because he's getting away."

"But I thought you said he's running for it."

"That's exactly the problem!"

"If he's running and you're in a car? He can't be that hard to catch."

"Ugh. No. He's driving. It's a metaphorical run."

"Okay. Got it."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

"Because you could really convince me otherwise."

"I've got it!"

"Good. Stay on this channel, and follow my instructions."

Matchday Three
Last edited by Aguazul on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Astograth: Epée
Astograth: No idea where the tilde goes there
Val|WI: accent
Astograth: Tilde.
Val|WI: Tilde is this one: ~
Astograth: That's squiggly line

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Sargossa
Diplomat
 
Posts: 771
Founded: Mar 08, 2009
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Sargossa » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:44 am

SSM | Sargossan State Media
International Edition - Sport


Corsairs Cruise Through


Gonzalo Pereira reports from Eelandii, Turori;

Here be Sea Dragons. So said the maps belonging to the explorers of antiquity as they charted the misty islands that would become the Sargossan archipelago. It would later be discovered that this was more an aesthetic choice from the cartographers rather than a warning of sinister sea creatures lurking in those murky depths. Little did those mapmakers know that hundreds of years later Sea Dragons would be very much real and they’d seem to favour three centrebacks.

Is it a back three? Is it a back five? Dozens of coaches have tried and failed over the years to unpick the Vegans famous Tidal Surge formation. Martín Tejera is one of them, having poured over the tactics board at the last Cup of Harmony in an effort to find the key to unlocking one of the sportiverse’s meanest defences. He was unsuccessful on that occasion, the Sea Dragons beating Tejera’s Corsairs in the semi-final of that tournament on their way to lifting the trophy without conceding a single goal. This time Tejera shuffled his pack, side-lining his usual 4-3-3 for what was essentially a 4-3-2-1 or ‘Christmas Tree’ if you’d rather. The back four became much bigger and far more burly with nippy fallbacks Soriano and Formica replaced by Trejo and Parra. Parra dropped into the leftback slot while Trejo partnered Cardozo in the centre and Gonzàlez moved to the right. Effectively giving Sargossa four central defenders. Ahead of them midfield battlers Ramís and Caballero played either side of veteran playmaker Landín. Alejandro Echeverría and Matías Montiel took up their positions off of big front man Martinuccio to complete the tactical switch.

The reasons for the changes were twofold. Firstly it enabled the side to exert maximum pressure on the three key points of the Tidal Surge setup, the man in the hole and the two ‘Ups’. Secondly, the introduction of a number of bigger and stronger players was made in the knowledge that when you go up against the Vegans you’re going to be in for a battle. Sure enough highlights packages on football shows around the world revelled in the crunching nature of this Group E encounter. It may not have been the showiest of fixtures but neutrals who worried that tackling might be being eased out of the beautiful game were utterly enthralled by the blood and thunder happenings of those ninety minutes in Turori.

Unsurprisingly the game was won by a single set piece. Corsairs’ captain Echeverría received some typically tough attention from the opposition defence and won a freekick some twenty three yards from the Vegan goal. The penalty area resembled a forest as some dozen and a half large footballers tussled for space. It was Montiel who bent in the ball with his right foot and as heads, feet and bodies went in all directions the ball somehow managed to elude them all, leaving Sithias Zyh'athkim utterly unsighted and without a prayer of reacting in time. 1 – 0 it became and 1 – 0 it stayed as Sargossa recorded a fine World Cup win over the group’s top seeded side. And it was fitting retribution after a 1 – 0 win for the Vegans knocked the Corsairs out of the Cup of Harmony.

It completed a bizarre end to Group E as the other fixture saw hosts Turori edge United Gordontopia in a win that saw both those sides and the Vegans all finish on three points. And when the dust settled, and the tie breakers had been calculated, it was the Gordons who advanced. So, in a group that included the seventh ranked nation in the world and the hosts it was Sargossa, complete with a 100% record, and the lowest ranked team in the competition who made it through. And didn’t the bookmakers love that.

Meanwhile, back home, the Sargossan public were watching in open mouthed wonder as their side who, lest we forget, barely made the playoffs romped away with Group E. It wasn’t that long ago that the Corsairs had to beat Taeshan in the final qualifier just to secure a playoff place. Which they did, and then promptly lost the first leg of that playoff against Kinitaria. A big win in Soluca turned it around and the World Cup actually became something that didn’t just happen to other people. Even then the group draw was decidedly unkind but an excellent opening win over cohosts Turori, themselves suffering from a serious case of stage fright and an ill-advised late change of coach, paved the way for a successful campaign. Here, because we never tire of looking at it, are the final group standings.


Group E                  Pld   W  D  L   GF  GA  GD  Pts 
1 Sargossa 3 3 0 0 6 2 +4 9
2 United Gordonopia 3 1 0 2 7 8 −1 3
3 Andossa Se Mitrin Vega 3 1 0 2 5 6 −1 3
4 Turori 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 3


So for just the second time in their history the Corsairs have reached the last sixteen where they will face a nation who are certainly no stranger to the latter stages of this tournament. Yep, it’s five time champions Starblaydia who lurk in the shadows having quietly and efficiently gone about their business in the qualifiers and the group stage. They may not be the best squad ever produced by the Atlantian giants, at 35th in the world they’re actually ranked below Sargossa, and their world cup winning days are some time ago, the last coming in a heavyweight clash against Valanora at World Cup 47, but the Blaydis are nothing if not tricksy. Underestimate them at your (Purple) peril. The fact that their lone group win came against the best nation in the whole gosh darn universe should be enough to highlight their threat.
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV

" . . . those dictatorship-loving thundertwats . . ."

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Valladares
Diplomat
 
Posts: 964
Founded: Jul 17, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Valladares » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Valladares Sports Network


EURA LOSER, Valladares through to the WC knockouts despite controversial decision

By: Alan Rosero,
Blogger from "The National Kickoff"


VILLAGO, AGUAZUL (VP) - Hola, hola...it's me, your favourite sporting blogger in the whole nation! And we get up with great news (and not-so-great ones, too) for every Valladar football fan as Les Gones managed to make it to the World Cup knockouts after drawing the obnoxious Eurans, while also kicking them out of the competition in the process...which is good!

And now, let's talk about the match against the Eurans, with some extra bad blood at the stands included, which does nothing but prove that the tension between Eura and Valladares goes beyond politics, especially when a berth into the WC's second round was at stake: Les Gones were coming in first place of Group B, with 4 points, and knowing that a draw was just enough to make it to the knockouts, while their Eastern Rushmore rivals came with the need to get a win, as the top seed of the group drew Osarius in their finals début and lost to Chenkorya in their second game. Obviously we couldn't waste the chance to kick them out of this World Cup, eh?

However, what we couldn't allow was letting them snatch a point from us after being 2-0 on the lead at some moment in the match, and that's where I come and blame the coach and whoever thought Miguel Rodriguez was fit to replace Fuentes at the goal yesterday. Seriously, Rodríguez getting a cap because Pradera FC were way less shitty than usual and finished fourth in the last Super League season? You're a genius, Marín...like every Sargossan...

Anyways, the way the Valladars played the first half gave us the hope to see Les Gones steamrolling Eura, with Yoan Gignac, Renato, and Jean-Pierre de Roux firing on all cylinders against the goal defended by Daniel Belgrave. And Marín's mad offensive strategy gave results with the Nacional striker opening the goal tally for Les Gones with his goal in the 30th minute, and Gignac made it two for the Valladars with a 30-meter powerful shot 10 minutes later. And what about Sam Needle? Lee Sharp? Sorry, did they even play the first half? I was at the game and didn't see any of them...or at least didn't see them generating any harm to us.

Oh well, I wondered where the Euran players were during the first 45 minutes of the match, now I wonder where Gignac, Renato, and de Roux went to watch the second half, because the last 45 minutes of the match represented a total turnover for the fortunes of both teams on the pitch, since the Eurans were determined to come back from the 2-goal deficit and now the Valladars were on "defensive mode" (silly Marín, football matches don't last just 45 minutes!). And, with the Valladar offensive line having already parked the bus and slacking, thinking that the match was already secured (since they had to score three goals on us to make us pack up), the stinky Eurans (who were now the ones with the most pressing need to score) went decided to reduce the gap with us. And there goes Rodríguez with his rookie mistakes (let's be honest, the defense didn't help him either) letting Needle and Sharp score a goal each within 5 minutes. The good news were that the Eurans had only 3 minutes to score another one, and (fortunately for Rushmore and the whole multiverse) they didn't succeed and bid farewell to Aguazul with us securing ourselves a spot in the top 16 of the competition.

So, mission accomplished: Yucky Eura out. You can cheer now.

You already did? Ok, stop. The Archregimancy are next on the list...

Drop of Poison: With yesterday's draw and Osarius' win over Chenkorya, both Gones and Firebirds finished on top of Group B with 5 points each. Right? Now let's go back in time to the moment where the Aguazuleños and the Turorians presented their bid to host the World Cup. When they presented their bid to the WCC, they stated in it that (and this is quoted to the letter) "...Tiebreakers would be head-to-head (results and then goal difference), overall goal difference, number of wins, and a playoff if necessary." Right, now where in hell is "coin flip" in that group? For the record, I don't see it anywhere. If they were responsible enough and had properly responded to the trust of those who chose them to host the competition, they would've followed the rules they initially drew up and had made both Osarius and us play again for the right to be seeded instead of pathetically making tiebreakers up halfway into the competition. This isn't even the first time any of them is chosen to host something, and they come up with this amateurish decision? If I were WCC member with right to vote and had a bid from either Turori or Aguazul to host any WCC event, I'd think it twice (or more than that) before voting for it...
THE UNITED KINGDOM OF VALLADARES
Head of State: His Royal Highness, King Charles V
Head of Government: Prime Minister Jefferson Pratt
Map of Valladares | Valladares on NSwiki | Valladares Embassy Program
Champions: I Coupe Pomme D'Or
Runners-Up: Cup of Harmony 49
Fourth Place: World Cup 67, IBC 8, IBC 9
<Zwangzug> And the Alligators already have a Ph.D. at making enemies: <- oh, man, speaking of making expressions up, this is fantastic :D

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Aguazul
Diplomat
 
Posts: 873
Founded: Nov 06, 2007
Corporate Police State

Postby Aguazul » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:28 pm

Aguazul had lost to The Archregimancy before. There was the upset of World Cup 59, the end of the group stage, with Aguazul already through and The Archregimancy already eliminated. There was the cane assist of World Cup 53, with Aguazul on the way to racking up their Trinitarian record. And there was World Cup 50 in the Dreamed Realm, Aguazul's first time at the finals. The only time they'd finished there with less than four points.

Until that game.

With their fans surrounding them, they took the field in tense excitement, setting a determined pace for the first quarter hour. Merlín and Diego Héctor tapped it back and forth, restless, but never breaking through; Fr. Evagrius was able to dart from side to side to make clearances, heading the ball away or passing it to Symeon, who slowly powered upfield. Before long, the Archregimancy was counterattacking, with Fr. Eusebius' controlled dribbles letting him edge past Isidro. A clean, accurate pass saw Fr. Artemius come up with the ball, and the captain approached to score.

The fans sighed, and even Fr. Basil looked arguably pleased. Aguazul, desperate to equalize, fell back on a more individualistic style that saw long, dribbling runs when they had possession. Escobar outran Fr. Symeon, but Fr. Ephraim palmed away his shot. Arturo found himself with no one to pass to, and an unafraid tackle from Fr. Abramios saw him lose possession. Celia jumped for pass after pass, but Fr. Hilarion quickly passed back to Fr. Mark the Hairy, and the Archregimancy took over once again.

The other Fr. Mark, the Goatskin Wearer, would get his chance a few minutes later, but as Gascon approached he quickly changed direction and found Fr. Gerasimus free. A quick pass, a quick turn on Fr. Gerasimus' part, and the New Ascetic gave the visitors another goal. He refrained from excessive noisemaking.

So did the fans.

And halftime was quiet, too, at least in the clubhouse. "This isn't the time for second guessing," said Rebuelta, "you just need to remember how to attack." As play restarted it seemed like she meant it personally. There were no halftime substitutions, no looking back.

But the Archregimancy continued to pass as well as they had been, aware of each other and their strengths, and the substitutions followed in short order; on came Consuelo, Alfonso, Roque, and maybe that had been Rebuelta's plan all along, to give the fans something to applaud.

Roque had been clawing at his shirt as if to feel his heart below the flag on the jersey, but put his hands down and let his feet rise up, darting this way and that as Aguazul were pushed back on defense. There were brief chances, passing back and forth with Diego Héctor as they made their way upfield, but time was running out and all too soon he was on defense, again. No time to appreciate his own play, doing the best to keep the scoreline there, hardly enough time to appreciate the stadium and the moment and being at home. He just had to keep running, keep giving it his all.

It wasn't enough.

Stoppage time passed, the fans screaming, the grass almost too bright but still alive, the opponents keeping the ball low, cautious, refusing to take the game for granted and Aguazul only too happy to refuse to let them. But then it really was over. And whether it was Fr. Ephraim who seemed like he wanted to nibble inside the box or the Aguazul players ready to collapse on the pitch, nobody wanted to leave.

The visitors seemed to take it in stride, honored but relaxed. Aguazul's players were either blank or unabashedly emotional. Perhaps not even unashamed, they regretted their own play, but let it fade from their minds at their teammates' touches. They embraced, or pulled each other up, and did not let go. Celia and Merlín slapped each other on the back, Lita grasped Consuelo's hand and raised it high, there was no room for uncertainty or halfhearted gestures under that many eyes, and Roque hustled to the far end of the pitch, waving Xiomara forward.

"Hey. Hey!" he urged, as she trudged ahead, then picked up her speed. "Fr. Hilarion over there. Do you think I should swap shirts with him?"

She looked over as he nodded. "But he's not even wearing a shirt."

"Exactly," said Roque, reaching down to pull the number seventeen free. Away from the cameras, which still focused on the victors, he waved up to the fans.

Contra la gris y blanca, queda Grisolon, his undershirt read. The team would not be moving on, but Aguazul was still there, unceasing.

By then Rebuelta had made her way onto the field, shaking her head. "I think you'll find the other Roque has beaten you to the punch, over in Group B."

"Yeah, well, what was I going to do? Wait until I'd scored a goal? I'd draw a yellow card!"

She laughed as the team closed in, standing together. "I'm not going to insult you," Rebuelta said. "I'm not going to downplay how this feels."

"And please don't say that you couldn't have coached a better team, blah blah blah," said Gascon, "because you probably could have."

"Well, hey now," she replied, "it's not always clear what makes a team work. Starters, backups, sometimes luck changes things."

"...okay. Yeah."

"But, I am going to say this," Rebuelta went on. "No matter how much it hurts today, every one of you will someday understand what it meant, to see you still trying that whole second half. Not just to everyone here," she gestured to the fans, a few still singing, not wanting to leave either, "but to all of us. You played your hearts out, you never gave up, and I couldn't be more proud."

Ines Rebuelta didn't have her best tournament in World Cup 63. She didn't make all the right tactical decisions, didn't see every play coming. But that promise, she got right.

Astograth: Epée
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Taeshan
Senator
 
Posts: 3917
Founded: Aug 11, 2007
New York Times Democracy

Postby Taeshan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:05 am

The ball was kicked and the 64th match the couple had played together started. The opponents this time were the worthy adversaries from Karditan. From the region of Equestria, the home of many horse nations. That aside it was a very exciting end of the group stage and the result helped out the Knights. Anywho back to the couple as thats whats really important. Anywho it was their 64th game with the national team together and their 3rd straight advancement out of the Group stage with their 2-0 defeat of the sentient beings from Karditan. The real news of the day was the Knights scored two goals, the first Ender Wiggin's second goals of the finals, and the second goal came later in the day when substitute Brian Ibrahim put it in from distance after a nice assist from Mr Jaffacake himself.

Anywho the Knights now head to the Round of Sixteen and a very intriguing matchup with Audioslavia. The Knights are likely to be heavily favored going into the matchup with the Bulls. The Knights though may have a tough time on the defensive side of play as the Bulls have managed to score once and not let their opponents score at all, much like the Knights but with fewer goals on the offensive side. The Knights will have to force the young Audioslavan goalie to make mistakes and the experienced striking corps will have to wear down the Audioslavan center backs who look to be the weakest part of the defense of the bulls. The Knights will have to look to their wingers Gwyn Juniper and Elijah Knickerbocker to force the ball down the sides and forcing the defenders to look to the outside, which should allow the diamonds center points in Xavier Ptolemy and Manny Pato to shred the Audioslavan defense from the center out whilst the wingers are tearing it apart from the outside.

The game also means the Knights will have an interesting dilemma, to wear the Audioslavan Kirola kitmakers jerseys against their home countries side or to go naked. Now that is a real dilemma. The definition of dilemma is to chose between to equally bad choices, so to be fair theirs only one really bad thing in their and lets be fair seeing the Knights naked would be like an open orgy in Estadio Pomorum. It will be a night that the city of Rofi will never forget. But to be fair i doubt they will do that, in case it will be very interesting if say the Knights go in the Peanut Butter Cup jerseys and the Audioslavans roll out one of their original confectionery kits creating a true surprise. Together any of the jersey combinations would really create an interesting Ice Cream Sundae.
Champions-Di Bradini Cup 19, World Baseball Classic 13, Cup of Harmony 35, World Lacrosse Championship 2, Gridiron World Championships (World Bowl 0)
World Cup Qualifications-41, 44, 46, 59, 61(RoS), 62(Quarterfinals), 63 (RoS), 64 (Quarterfinals)
Hosts-Cup of Harmony 55, Copa Rushmori 14

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The Babbage Islands
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Posts: 3679
Founded: Mar 25, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby The Babbage Islands » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:31 am

Overheard in a pub in Longview after the Bumblebees' win over Jeruselem:

"Three-two, damn all that was sweet."

"Sweet? Oh yeah, baby. Hunnerth cap and winnin goal all-in-one. Miller forever!"

"Mebbe not, mate, sez here that Spanisssh babe Carryall or whatever's playin tomorrow."

"That would be Carrizales, friend, as in V-League, as in the next great Babbage keeper."

"Think so, bud?"

"Know so, she shoulda been number one this go."

"Yeah, right, whadda you know?"

"I know I ain't throwin either oneuvem outta . . ."

"Like you'd ever be in the same room."

"Guy can dream, cannhe?"
NS World Cup: Runner-up 55/59; Third place 50/52/58/62/63; Host 49/54/60.
Full member, Global Cricket Federation; 2x Twenty20 world champions.
TBI NSWiki pageRedballer scorinator for test cricket
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Audioslavia
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Posts: 759
Founded: Antiquity
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Audioslavia » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:03 am

Nil Desperandum
Bulls build fortress in Aguazul
Metaphorically. Please don't kill us


In cycle 62, Audioslavia played two games against the dangerous Mytanars, conceding six goals in the process - a 5-1 defeat, followed by a 3-1 win back at the 1927 stadium. That was under former manager Txo Morea, who's efforts to push an offensive style of football on the national team backfired in spectacular fashion. Under Israel Klimt, games involving the Bulls might not be as exciting as they were, but the extent to which the team has become an effective, efficient footballing unit renders the side almost unrecogniseable from the one that capitulated so horribly in the last World Cup qualifiers.

Only three players in the team that took to the field yesterday started in that first, crushing defeat to Mytannion five years ago, and the difference in personel was apparent from the start. Audioslavia, staying with the same side that held Michama to a 0-0 draw five days previously but for Rijsbergen's absense, with Cezanne winning back his place at right-back.

If Klimt sent out a near-unchanged line-up in the hope of achieving the same scoreline, his plan worked perfectly. In truth, if he'd sent out a more experimental, attacking line-up, the men in claret and green could well have posted the win. Mytannion looked every bit the side that succumbed to the Milchamians in that opening day 3-1 defeat; largely devoid of true inspiration in attack or the midfield wherewithal to unlock the Audioslavian defensive puzzle. In a timid first half of anti-football the Mytanars shaded the possession percentages, but Audioslavia had created - and missed - the half's only real chance, Karsten Eiger firing accross the face of goal from an acute angle after latching onto a clever, defence-splitting pass from Van Wildernis.

Weverton, starting two games in a row for the first time in five years, was largely subdued, his thirty-four year-old legs not quite up for the task of playing two games in a week, but the playmaker would still worry the Mytanars in an excellent ten-minute spell at the start of the second half which saw him set up a glorious opportunity for Eiger to fire at the keeper's legs, and almost get on the scoresheet himself with a beautiful control-and-shot which curled round the flailing goalkeeper and skim the post on its way out for a goal-kick.

Image
Weverton is finding form at the best possible time


With an hour gone, it looked to all that Audioslavia would have little difficulty in completing their mission to keep the opposition at bay for the full ninety, but things are never quite so easy. As time ticked on, Audioslavia were pressed deeper and deeper into their own half, becoming increasingly weary of making mistakes, their loose, relaxed passing play gone in favour of nervous, over-thought attempts at fluency and a penchant for booting the ball long when an immediate pass wasn't available. Striker Laze v Tuhinju, largely absent for the first half, would spring to life at the death, intercepting an awkward pass from defence on eighty minutes, turning, making space and raking a low effort past the post with keeper Imaslavii a spectator. v Tuhinju was at it again, two minutes later, jinking past a tired Ruy Garcia in defence and firing in a near-post shot that needed lightning reactions from Imaslavii to tip wide. The Mytannion number ten would be first to the resulting corner, too, knocking the cross down with his head and finding the feet of Snerik Oiskha who, in a crowded penalty area, had somehow found himself four yards of space. The striker, however, struggled to get the ball out of his feet, and a rushed shot rolled tamely into the arms of a relieved Audioslavian goalkeeper.

For the most part, the storm was weathered, and the final whistle brought whoops of jubilation from the claret-clad fans in attendance, along with a chorus of the self-depricating chant "We Want Five, We Want Five", in reference to Audioslavia's infamous four World Cup finals without victory.

Taeshan Test Beckons Bulls

Image

With Audioslavia's fate decided, attention turned to group D, and the two matches that would decide the winners of the section, and our opponents in the second round. The expectation had been that the Babbage Islands, top seeded in group D, ranked third in the world and favourites in their tie against a decidedly non-vintage Jeruselem outfit, would progress at least on goal difference. Instead, the unthinkable happened: Taeshan won a game by more than one solitary goal to nil.

Taeshan's two-nil victory put the Purple Knights in pole position, earning them a shot at our boys in claret and green. The fourteenth-raned Taeshanis will be considered heavy favourites for the game, but pundits are expecting a close, tense encounter, neither side exactly known for throwing themselves forward in numbers. It's likely that, in an attempt to combat Taeshan's positively Karelan 4-4-2, coach Klimt will opt to keep the solid 4-5-1 system, and the players that earned the two 0-0 draws in the last two games. Txordin Velazquez, now recovered after his opening day injury, might have to sit out yet another game in favour of the more defensive-minded James Courier.

This reporter should also note at this jucture that Taeshan centre-half Jordan Jaffacake is no relation. Probably.










Shocks and Awesomes - A look around the last sixteen


Making the headlines after the dust settled on another World Cup first round was the fact that a few unlikely teams have made it through to the final sixteen. Over in Turori, fifty-first ranked Farfadillis have continued the form they showed in reaching the semis of the AOCAF Cup by keeping ahead of the likes of Vilita and Wight on their way to a second round berth against Kiryu-Shi in an all-AO encounter. Another nation enjoying the home-region advantage is a Starblaydia outfit touted as the weakest in the tournament - on the field if not on paper - yet has somehow managed not only to beat the defending champions, but come out of their group without defeat. The Starblaydis may well come unstuck against Sargossa, however, who, despite coming into the tournament at a modest ranking of #28 in the world, beat all-comers on their way to topping group E on maximum points.

Five-time champs Valanora will be hot favourites to win out against a spirited Yesopalitha side who, nevertheless, will hope to repeat their giant-killing antics of World Cup 62, which saw them oust Aguazul in the second round, while reigning champions The Holy Empire will hope to find some of the form that made them utterly irresistable four years ago when they take on a United Gordonopia side that is statistically the weakest in the competition, but are unlikely to go down without giving the orthodox outfit something to think about.

Here in Aguazul, third-ranked Babbage Islands pay the price for failing to top the group by having to negotiate a tricky tie against as-yet-unbeaten Milchama, while over in Ciruelas, Archregimancy take on Valladares in a matchup the Valladar feel they didn't deserve - they scored more goals than Osarius despite having an otherwise equal record, but were given second place by virtue of a coin-toss - but will happily take anyway over what would have been the tie of the round against Polar Islandstates. Instead, the Polarians - billed as favourites for the competition by this journalist - tae on Atlantian Oceanian also-rans Osarius, who showed tremendous character in coming out on top of a group many thought would over-power them.

There may well be no super-matchups in the second round, but all the same, Audioslavia - Taeshan is likely to be the least watched. Two awkward, defensively-minded teams will negate what little attacking threat the other has, and the result? Well, that depends. If Taeshan score, I think they win. If Audioslavia can get the game into extra-time, we may well see a tenth quarter-final appearance for the boys in claret and green.

IBJJ, G'NB
Last edited by Audioslavia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Champions: World Cups 63, 64; Baptism of Fire 46, AOCAF Cups 35, 38, 39; U21 World Cup 1, JJJ1
Runners-Up: WC 12, 19, 20, 29, 67; AOCAF 34, 37, 41; Eagles Cup IV
Third Place: WC 66, AOCAF 44
Fourth Place: CoH 52
Qualified: World Cups 4, 6-29, 63-68
Hosts: World Cups 7, 25, 66
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Farfadillis
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Founded: Feb 26, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Farfadillis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:59 am

Image
Oh, look! The group table is upside-down! How funny.
No, really, how the fuck did this happen?


So... let's recap what's happened with Farfadillis up to now. We faced Wight, got almost thrashed, with a poor performance that was extremely expected. Now, alright, that wasn't really a surprise. Alright, we faced Vilita next, and oh God, we managed not to lose! Whet's even more incredible was that we actually won a World Cup match! And against a top seed. Thank you Dandalleion, thank you very much. Then a vital match against Yesopalitha, a team that bursted into international scene by becoming a quarterfinalist and the best qualifier for World Cup 63, having lost only three points through-out qualification. They had beaten Wight and Vilita, we hoped for a draw, or at least the optimistic did. And we won. We fucking won. And topped the group. Seriously, I can't believe it.

Now let's recap each game with detail! I really am in the mood this time around. Hope I still am against Kiryu-shi. I really hope so.

-VS WIGHT-

So... Tuzzio and Juárez managed to score and all, but Wight tore us apart without much to care about, as I see it. Juñarez was terrible despite his goal, and Tuzzio didn't exactly shine. We very much needed O'rosso, Dandalleion and Mêndêlöíndçêl, but maybe they were too scared for a debút in such a big a competition as the World Cup. I wasn't exactly disappointed, but I must admit I did expect something better than that. Wight is a team with just slightly more experience, and it was even their first win ever in a World Cup, so I can't say I was expecting to lose like this, though I wa spretty aware of the possibility. I really can't believe how we got over this loss and won the other two games to become top, while WIght ended up last, which is slightly amusing, though I really admire their team. Still, who the fuck thought about making ant colonies play football? Furthermore, who the fuck thought about Yung Chinsúa playing football? He was terrible in all games, for fuck's sake! Especially against Vilita.

-VS VILITA-

Have I ever said that I love Dandalleion? Yeah? And how I think he's by far the most talented player of the team,maybe facing competition from Tuzzio? Yeah? And how he saved our asses yet again? Oh, yeah, haven't said that yet. Well, basically, Dandalleion got to score thirteen minutes in after a long pass by Frêndê, who did it perfectly, and outran a Vilitan player, which was followed by a strong shot from the edge of the box before another defender got to him, which ended up being a decisive moment of the game. Nobody can deny Vilita is better than us, and nobody can deny that they were indeed better than us in this game, but Dandalleion and Lisdiren did just about enough to prevent the Vilitans from taking even a single point. Dandalleion also got another goal in the second half from a header, that somewhat differs from his style of play, but a goal's a goal, and we know he's not exactly bad at headers. Vilita then decided to change its tactic to a more attacking one and took advantage of Chinsúa's form to wreak havoc, however, mianly thanks to Lisdiren, we managed to hold on by conceding only once and getting a vital win for our hopes. I wasn't expecting us to have already been eliminated by this match, however, things turned out to be better than I expected, which, to be fair, happens a lot.

-VS YESOPALITHA-

Ad the totalyl unexpected happened. The Yesopalithans, the team that had lost less points than any other team this cycle - only 3 - lost to us, La Verdheroja. To be honest, I couldn't watch the game, but I did watch the replays and everything, and hear opinions from people who know more thanme about the game. Apparently, Rossizzo had a moment of inspiration and decided to play without forwards, by moving Dandalleion to the centre as a second centre midfielder, while replacing Juárez with Mêrí, in Dandalleion's previous position. At first, the change seemed insane, but it turned out to be way better than expected after we turned the game around with a goal by Mêrí and another by Mêndêlöíndçêl. The Yesopalithans held the lead by half time, thanks to that striker whose name now escapes me... Still, we topped the group thanks to H2H results and we avoided playing Valanora. I still can't believe it.

Now off against Kiryu-shi, will La Verdheroja manage an upset yet again or will they finally be eliminated? Truth is, we have turned out to be difficult to wear down, but in knock-out stages, anything, and I mean anything and with that I mean fucking anything can happen. I'm slightly optimistic about this one, but you never know. I'm happy with our progress so far anyways. But I must admit winning this would be insane...
Last edited by Farfadillis on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Di Bradini Cup 30 and AOCAF Cup 43 Champions
AOCAF Cup 38 and Baptism of Fire 54 Hosts

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Kiryu-shi
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 351
Founded: Nov 07, 2005
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Kiryu-shi » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:20 pm

To my readers,

this is not a reflection of the work that I am putting into this current project. Instead, these are my thoughts, unfiltered. Please understand that I don’t expect brilliance or insight here, and neither should you. I only urge that while reading this, you understand the depth of my meaning, the passion I have for what we are witnessing.


Eight years ago, playing in the beautiful Stadii Falcione of Andossa Se Mitrin Vega, a full three years before I started to watch any football to speak of, the Kiri were demolished by Gyatso-kai. To be fair, the Kiri were heavy underdogs. They were the first Kiri squad of this era to make it to the World Cup, and the fact that they escaped the group stage was considered miraculous. Tziganes d'Arányi was just beginning to show her potential, and while she was largely credited with allowing the Kiri to beat both Mytannion and Akbarabad to make it to the round of sixteen, her magic and grit was completely ineffective against Gyatso-kai.

The final score: 3-0.

To say that the Kiri finally overcame Gyatso-kai last week would be an incredible overstatement. In what was one of the most disappointing matches this cycle, the squad was, by all accounts, unable to match the moment. After playing Gyatso-kai close twice during qualifications over the past year, when we managed to draw them once and lost a heartbreaking match in their home stadium, seeing our play in the final match of the group stage was difficult to handle. We should have home field advantage. We are playing in Atlantian Oceania. We should be comfortable in Turori. After 180 minutes, we should know what it takes to score against Gyatso-kai. And yet, we couldn’t. We didn’t have the tenacity, the accuracy, the drive, the focus.

The tactics were there. We were not surprised by anything they threw at us - I could see it in our play, our formations, our reactions - no one could have asked for more on that front. As much as I miss diagraming the plays that materialize on the pitch - my presence was not missed. The Kiri - many of them, on multiple occasions, had the opportunity to score.

If we won we would have been assured a spot in the final sixteen teams. If we drew, we would have had to be lucky, but we still had a good chance. With a loss, we had to rely on a perfect sequence of random events to get us to where we are now.

Let me remind you that the Avatarians were playing putting everything and anything on the line. They needed to win to have a dream, and they needed to win big to have any kind of a realistic chance. The bigger the goal differential, the better. The higher scoring the match was, the more of an opportunity they could have to advance. They were taking enormous risks, playing with fire to try to push the ball into the goal. And our defense, by most measures, played fine. One goal allowed against the Bison onslaught - that was a beautiful performance by Megumi Harris. She lived up to her expectations and more.

But our inability to score, that was bordering on tragedy. Never in my life have I been more despondent and hysterical than those last minutes of the match - a single goal seemed to be of upmost importance and we could not manage it.

Shot after shot.

Opportunity after opportunity.

The moment got the best of us - just like eight years ago. Against the same squad. Gyatso-kai was and is the better team. More capable of winning the big match. More than capable of beating us every time it counts. In three matches this cycle, they have taken seven points total. Us: one. As you are all aware.

And yet, here we are. Eight years ago saw Gyatso-kai handle us to move to the final eight teams to move into the quarterfinals. Now, they handle us, 270 minutes of handling us, to be frank, and they go home while we remain in Turori.

I understand the system. Goal differential. Head to head results. Tie breakers galore as we somehow manage to salvage our one win, −1 goal differential in three matches into a second place position in our group. But in no way can we consider ourselves to be more talented than Gyatso-kai, in no way are we in any way more capable of playing football on the international stage. By and large, we are undeserving of our current position.

This is a preface to On Respect. Regardless of our result against Farfadallis, who have managed to create two incredible victories against Turori and Yesopalitha in consecutive matches, I will give to you all a polished attempt at understanding how the Kiri are where they are now.




I’d like to leave you with one thought. In my initial essay on this World Cup, I brought up the superhuman efforts of Tziganes d'Arányi in our subpar effort against Valanora. Her pride in the way that she singlehandedly clawed back in that match to finish within one goal of a draw. It was that effort - the magic that I thought had fallen short, that has given us this birth in the round of sixteen. Those two goals, magical but thought to have been meaningless, is the difference between where we are and where we should have been.
Champions: Baptism of Fire 21, Di Bradini Cup 24
Second Place: Cup of Harmony 26
Third Place: Cup of Harmony 27, Di Bradini Cup 23
Qualified: World Cup 37, World Cup 61-66

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Milchama
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Posts: 530
Founded: Apr 29, 2005
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Milchama » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:51 pm

"Can you breathe?"

"I think so"

"Are you sure?"

"I think I'm going to need to walk to calm down from that one"

"More than that, it's going to take therapy to calm down from that one"

"Or something, goddamn that was scary"

"Really scary"

"Much too close for comfort"

"Well not technically. I mean if it had played out differently it might not have been so close"

"True"

"We're just in a crazy stage"

"A really crazy stage"

"Quite frankly, a stage I don't want to be at"

"I mean sure. But we did advance"

"In first place too!"

"Yeah first time to octofinals since World Cup 48 or 49"

"That's nuts"

"And we play the Babbage Islands"

"Where we'll lose by a lot"

"Most probably but this World Cup has definitely not been about the probable"

"Very true"

"Well whatever"

"Yeah it will all work out"

"But man we need to actually talk about the game"

"Definitely"

"So up 4-0 after 30 minutes"

"Unreal"

"Incredible"

"That was possibly the best Milchamian 30 minutes ever"

"I mean everything was working at full throttle"

"Cohen with 2 goals, Meloy with another and Jackson with the 4th"

"Seriously some great stuff"

"Awesome stuff"

"4-0 baby!"

"But then, it all went horribly wrong"

"Really quite bad"

"Sure when they scored 1 before the half it was fine"

"Yeah we took our eye off the ball, metaphorically speaking-"

"That's a terrible metaphor!"

"Whatever deal with it"

"I am but I will still complain"

"Ok"

"Thank you"

"You're welcome, anyways, didn't seem like a big deal"

"Until it did"

"Exactly"

"What do you think SunBlessed said?"

"I have no idea but it sure lit a fire under their asses"

"Definitely"

"Or maybe Ursines just have better endurance than humans"

"No idea"

"Me neither"

"Whatever it was, goddamnt did we suck in the second half"

"Sure they score in the 50th minute"

"Yeah and then another one in the 60th"

"And suddenly we're subbing everybody"

"Really, I don't even know our subs"

"Does Milchama ever sub?"

"Rarely at best"

"And here we are subbing everybody and their brother"

"Yep"

"Querk off for Voran and Hemmings off for Dell"

"That hardly ever happens!"

"Exactly"

"Not that it helped much"

"What are you talking about? It was great!"

"Well they scored again"

"That they did but more importantly it wasn't really quickly"

"The 85th minute though"

"Yeah and the subs came on in the 65th"

"Yes but the point was to preserve the win"

"Sure but we got the draw and that means we're through"

"True"

"So then no complaining"

"If I told you we drew Bears Armed you would be fine"

"True"

"Also that second half was sooooooooooooo bad and scary that we were lucky not to lose"

"True"

"So we should celebrate"

"Yeah let's do it!"

"Beat Babbage Islands!"

"Let's Go Milchama!"

"Come on You Warriors!"
Milchama Sports achievements:
World Baseball Classic 23 Champion!

3x CoH winner (29, 46, 50) 3x WBC winner (4,5,23), 1x World Cup host (32) Various other minor trophies there's a football club trophy, a kleptochase trophy, Other minor international football trophies.

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The Archregimancy
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 13522
Founded: Aug 01, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Archregimancy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:08 pm

THE MONASTIC TIMES

MONKS WIN!
Holy Synod Courts Controversy by Celebrating World Cup Success


By Fr. Nicholas the Scribe

Controversy embroiled monastic sports last night as the Holy Synod announced an extraordinary U-turn in sporting policy by announcing that they had "accepted God's will" and were encouraging all Orthodox sporting fans - whether monastics or laity - to celebrate the Archregimancy's unexpected topping of their first round group.

"The ways of the Lord are never unjust, though they are sometimes hard to understand" said a senior archimandrite (speaking on condition of anonymity) said to be close to Metropolitan Mark, Protos of the Holy Synod.

The final catalyst for this unexpected change in attitude seems to have been the Archregimancy's extraordinary 2-0 victory over hosts Aguazul, which neutral observers have reported was "fully deserved" by a "well-drilled, tactically astute team intent on playing a seductive passing game."

The upset caused by the use of the word 'seductive' in application to anything relating to the Monastic Republic has tended to obscure the fact that local media reports have corroborated this analysis, speaking of 'controlled dribbles', 'clean, accurate passing', and an 'honored but relaxed' attitude.

This reporter has learned of the key role played in this transformation by Fr. Basil the Fool for Christ, who - as I can now exclusively reveal - was, prior to becoming a monastic, Jorge Vatatzes, a leading Imperial League manager well known for his unusual tactical approach, his novel faecal motivational techniques and a noted ability to transform struggling relegation-bound teams into championship contenders over just two or three seasons.

"In truth we had no idea" said a Monastic Football Association official (anonymously). "If we thought he was going to take the job seriously, we never would have appointed him; all this time we were trying to ignore the team in the vague hope they would go away in a suitable metaphor for monastic humility, and he was turning them into world beaters while no one was paying attention". The official refused to comment if the team's record should instead be seen as a metaphor for the Triumph of Orthodoxy, simply noting that "there's a lot of football to played yet" and that "Valladares are no mugs".

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Yesopalitha
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Founded: Sep 01, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Yesopalitha » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:28 pm

Nirdasil's Corner

Isn't it funny how the cookie crumbles? Sometimes, all you can do is grit your teeth and move on. You can obtain fifty-one points in the qualifying stage - a national record and one of the highest in World Cup history, I am certain - and then you can win two games in the group stage, convincingly, against those who are supposed to be your toughest opposition, but all you need is a team that's riding their own wave, a team that's also getting really hot... And there you are, left on the curb, licking your wounds and wondering just what happened, and trying to not get intimidated about the giant of an opponent that awaits in the next game.

I am talking, of course, about the loss to Farfadillis that bumped the Flames down to second place, relegating them to a match against the eternal giants of the World Cup, Valanora.

What are you worried about? One may ask. To recap, Yesopalitha did have to face three-time champions Aguazul the last cycle, and defeated them to reach the quarterfinals. But the situation was different back then. Then, we were a young team relishing World Cup Proper competition for the very first time. Then, we were playing with a do-or-die mentality that came from nobody expecting us to make any noise. Then... we were hungry.

Perhaps we've become complacent. Perhaps, the Flames began to think that they could just sleep on Farfadillis and wait for the Farfs to just hand the game to them on a dish. It sure looked that way when Nadya Dostoevich scored her third goal in two games, a easy one past the bewildered Farf goalkeeper.

For once, though, it was Yesopalitha that folded. For once, it was Calhoun that got his number taken. The usually reliable goalkeeper - who's been recently signed by Polarian club Northbrook Diamonds FK after the dissolving of the YPL - gave up two goals in the second half, against midfielders and defenders, all the less. Farfadillis had decided to play the game without any starting forwards, and it worked in the second half as they slowed the pace of the game down considerably, enough to stop the rapid counterattacking scheme of the Flames.

And now... Valanora. Featuring a lineup of elves, immortal to time. Featuring one of the best players to ever grace a football field, Laborious Hawk. But wait, one might say... They've struggled in the group stage. Sure, they've won all three, but it's been by narrow margins! But it's not when a team blows out an opponent that their character is shown; in fact, it is when a team narrowly edges an opponent that their character and experience comes through. Valanora may have escaped group stage with three wins, but those are three wins none the less, and they are one of the most experienced, and respected, sides of the tournament.

I am not sure what Sir James Handel has up his sleeve, but he will need something to get some energy into this team. Farfadillis destroyed all the momentum the Flames had going forward. This may be only the second loss sustained this cycle for the Black and White, but it may correlate directly to the third, if they do not wake up from this stupor.

Does Yesopalitha have what it takes to topple one of the greatest giants of the World Cup, especially after such a devastating, momentum-crushing loss? After all, everyone was expecting to play Kiryu-shi or Gyatso-kai, not Valanora. Or will the Flames bow out after making some noise early, and then crashing out late? As I have said, history will not remember a fifty-one point qualifying stage; no, the only reason history might remember that is to note how Yesopalitha were pretenders, and how, when they finally met competition that were as hard as their own, they folded under pressure.

An entire nation watches with bated breath: Will the Flames take the next step that they need to move one step closer to being one of the elite teams of this generation? Or is there more time to be passed before that happens?

Coliseum of the Inuhratii, Inura Forest, Vilita. Round of 16. Valanora. Destiny awaits.
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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:34 pm

OOC - part of the below is lightly edited from Lovecraft's story 'The Dunwich Horror'.


So here it was, at last.

While Simeone had been leading the team to a dramatic come from behind 3-2 victory over those young elven women from The Sylvanaes Queendom, Juan Tzimisces had been undertaking a lone mission in long-forgotten secret tenebrous passages deep below Kionao, where cyclopean horrors awaited those who had forgotten how to wield a thesaurus to terrible effect.

And after singlehandedly fighting off forty Tzimisces cultists caught between the need to protect their treasure and their desire to worship the individual they believed to be the herald of the imminent end times, he had at last grasped the human leather-bound and metal clasped tome that he had been seeking here in this possibly doomed tropical land....

The Oneironomicon.

As he sat down in his office, he opened the soul-haunted volume to the page that he had been told to seek, and began to read....

Nor is it to be thought that the sentient creatures of the World Cup, whether man, ursine, elf, sondry folk or other, is either the oldest or the last of the multiverse's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can we sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance no sentient creature know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on the multiverse; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Wight in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Wight? The ice desert of Polar Islandstates and the tropic isles of Turori hold stones whereon Their seal is engraver, but who bath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Tzimisces is Their herald, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. The creatures of the multiverse rule now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man and elf and ursine rule now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.


So Tzimisces was their herald (he grimaced at that), Yog-Sothoth was both the key to and the guardian of the gate; and They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.

Maybe, Tzimisces thought to himself, not a little grimly, and maybe not - but if They'd been waiting that long, They could probably wait until the United Gordonopia match was out of the way.

And maybe then he could focus on saving the multiverse.

Again.
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

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Osarius
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Founded: Mar 21, 2006
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Osarius » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:07 pm

"...topping their group against all odds. Sahota's side have been rewarded with a second round tie against a familiar foe in Polar Islandstates..."

OSN's focus on Osarius was becoming more and more intense. Constant bombardment with national team news, and endless replays of World Cup goals and match highlights. Erica Molinaro clicked the channel over, Alessandro wouldn't want to watch. He rarely did these days.

"Ale," she called to him, "are we still going to visit your family today? I took the day off work and everything, come on!"

'Takes longer than my sister in there' she mused. It was perhaps to be expected, though, he took pride in his physical appearance. He didn't respond.

"Ale?" Erica's tone changed. A hint of worry.

Still no response. She began walking up the stairs.

"Ale, is something wrong?" Her voice elevated in pitch. Her steps quickened.

Bursting into their bedroom in a panic, she found Alessandro curled up on the bed with his back to the door. He was visibly breathing, and not obviously injured. 'What the-?'

"Ale..." She spoke softly, and approached slowly. "Ale, my love..." A hand on his shoulder, and squeezed gently. "We can stay here, if you like."

He was still unresponsive. A blank stare at the wall in front of him, nothing more. Something was wrong. Even on his darkest days in the clinic, he was more lively than this. Erica scanned the area, searching for anything out of the ordinary. Anything whatsoever. Her heart was racing, fear building.

Then she saw it. The packet in his right hand.

'Oh, Ale... Why?'

* * * * *


The internet is awash with jokes and theories following Osarius' controversial "conquering" of World Cup Group B. Fans have taken to social media en masse to postulate over the reason for the Firebirds ranking above Valladares in the final group standings, and to poke fun at the media depiction of the squad as "no-hopers" before the tournament began.
Image
Much of the humour is centred around John Holcombe's comment during the build-up to the Eura clash on matchday one, in which he stated that the Osarius squad looked relaxed during their warm-up, and were probably "just happy to be here."

Micro-blogging site natter.osr has seen the "octotag" -- a term used to denote user-defined tags, specified using the "#" key -- #JustHappyToBeHere top their trending table since the Osarius-Eura game. "Fans seem to have really taken to the phrase, and it's become something of an in-joke that's really an out-joke for football fans." Natter's Marketing Director, Simon Lowe explained. "Social media gives the potential for things like this to really blow up really quickly."

Another trend over the past 24 hours -- since the official announcement that Osarius would progress as Group B winners over Valladares, despite having a lower goals scored tally -- is fans' theories regarding the actual tie-breaking method. The trend started after the net-savvy Grasshoppers Turic manager Roberto Cormega nattered this comment on his @academydropout account:

"Not sure how we've come out on top there, but I'm not complaining. Any ideas? I bet Aman feels like a #Winnar now!"


A slew of responses have come in since, using Cormega's "#Winnar" octotag, ranging from the gloriously nerdy...

@RedandGoldMage - "@academydropout Sahota won a game of Risk against the Valladares coach at a neutral location last night. #Winnar"


@AnythingForThreePoints - "@academydropout The team bus drivers played three games of chess to a draw at the Valladares team hotel. Osarius won because of away...er... points. #Winnar"


...to the obscurely statistical...

@ORickle - "@academydropout The WC obviously ranks by efficiency of possession. Osarius: 37.3 minutes of possession per goal; Valladares: 43.2 minutes. #Winnar"


@OldScholastic - "@academydropout the average age of the Osarius starting line up at the final whistle of the Osarius-Chenkorya game was 7777 days #Lucky #Winnar"


...to the downright ridiculous...

@IkuminatiObserva - "The WCC are fixing it so Polar Islandstates win the cup. This is some blatant #Ikuminati sh*t."


@JusticeJones - "@academydropout Firebirds at the World Cup => [F]irst [I]s [R]eally [E]xtremely ad [I]n [R]elation to [D]etermining [S]uccess (at the World Cup) #Winnar"


...and the horrifyingly mundane...

[b]@SuperSteve - "@academydropout wasn't it a coin flip? Something about goals scored not being fair or something #Winnar"


@HeadMundo - "@academydropout pretty sure there was a playoff game clause, but maybe they agreed not to play it and just flipped a coin instead #Winnar"


The real reason is unclear at this point, and probably wouldn't make much difference to the Firebirds' chances; Valladares face the Archregimancy. Osarius would be the clear underdogs whether facing the modest monastic machine or the terrifying threat of the terns. Either way, it doesn't matter to the fans. They're just happy to be there.
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Valanora
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Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Valanora » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:01 pm

Valanora Times
Marauding Away


The Vanorian national team won for the third time in succession last night in their group stage game at the World Cup Finals in Turori. The victory made sure that the Marauders would win their group outright and progress through on the theoretically easier path to the semifinal stages here in Turori. In short, the match with Kulverint was a dramatic and tantalizing affair chock full of goals that made it a salivating fixture for the neutral. Indeed, the match had quite near everything you could hope and expect from a match, whether rooting on the favorite Marauders or the plucky underdog opposition, and it is these sort of matches that make the World Cup the grand spectacle in the entire multiverse and why it is so loved by the masses.

In the end though, the legendary Laborious Hawk once again proved the difference between the Marauders and their foes, with a brace and some sublime tracking back in the eventual four to three victory for the Marauders. While va Drake and Fresco also had solid matches for the boys in their navy blue uniforms, it is this icon among icons that continues to be the catalyst of just about everything that is positive with the Vanorian team and the Vanorian game as a whole. Hawk is quite simply the role model for any and all Vanorian footballers present or future and some could even argue for the entire multiverse.

But enough about Hawk, there are ruors percolating through the VSC that that another World Cup Finals bid is in the works for the upcoming edition. While the VFA has refused to confirm such a bid, there has been the creation of two separate "special events" teams created for the upcoming year within the VSC, which leads to the speculation of a bid for the World Cup and perhaps another event. The rumors are off the charts from another DBC hosting, a World Cup of Hockey attempt, or even an AOCAF bid. The latter would be the most interesting, seeing as how the AOCAF has typically been one of the events least paid attention to by the Vanorian media. Whether there is any truth to these rumors for the World Cup or the AOCAF will have to wait to be seen, but you can guarantee there will be buzz whatever these two teams are revealed to be.

However, we have to keep our mind on the present as well and the Marauders side that is still in this edition of the World Cup. With their win of the group, the Marauders will get to face Yesopalitha in the second round, a side that believed itself to be winning their own group until a loss against Farfadillis on the last matchday. The head to head tiebreaker means that Farfadillis gets Kiryu-Shi, runners up of our group, and we face off against Yesopalitha. There is not a great history between the two sides, but by form, rank, and sporting history, it is a match that Valanora should be winning. No disrespect to the Yesopalitha side, but they are not quite the calibre of competition that should be defeating the Marauders at this stage of the competition.

Which brings me to my next point, the path the national team has to reaching another Final. Winning the group has paid quite well in the dividends, if all things happen as one would expect them to in regards to this match up and the potential quarterfinal matchup. If the Marauders do indeed triumph in their match over Yesopalitha, then they will be getting either a lucky Corsair side who has demonstrated exceedingly well performances in their counter perfect record in the group or the old foe. Yes, the only side to have troubled the Marauders during their prime, the Purple Peril of Starblaydia. Oh what a quarterfinal matchup it would be indeed, the world's two best competitors meeting once again in the kncokout rounds of the World Cup. It is the dream tie. And then, if they reach it that far, it is the new foe in the Holy Empire that likely would await. A chance to avenge the losses that the Frosticans have put upon the Maruaders in recent times.

All that though stands to fall on the edge of a knife that is the knockout round and if the Marauders fail to live up to expectations against Yesopalitha. The captain will have to lead them as he has done but the rest of the team will finally have to match that same effort and drive that Hawk has. Do not overlook Yespalitha regardless of whatever reasons you might have Marauders, be it rank, pride, whatever. They are a side that can defeat us, even if they should not. Play your game and play it to perfection as the march forward towards another run at immortality beckons.
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Polar Islandstates
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Posts: 3100
Founded: Jan 17, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Polar Islandstates » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:19 pm

Image


Well, we’ve managed it again, and for all the moans and groans aimed at Joachim Schwartz over the past two cycles, you have to say that the Terns are looking as good as they have they under his tenure right now. For now, all rebellious or treasonous thoughts are put to the back of the Twitchers’ minds as instead, all thoughts turn to preparing for yet another World Cup knockout stage.

(Not to brag or anything, but that’s eight consecutive cups we’ve reached the knockouts now. Safe to say I’ll be consulting the record books after I’m done here to see whose record we’re chasing down.)

The one downside was that we didn’t qualify as group winners, The Archregimancy beating Aguazul in their final group match to send the hosts out and claim the top spot for the Monks, something they were understandably humble about. That is, when you could speak to one of them who didn’t have their mouth full of grass, or even one that talked for that matter. But no matter, as some rather interesting tie-breaking in the next group means the tougher proposition of Valladares is set to face The Archregimancy, whilst the Terns are left to play Osarius. More on the significance of that particular fixture later.

First, let’s see how we won our last group stage match…

Boring Paradise’s strikers are twelve years old.

The end.

Okay, not really. But still, that was a huge contributing factor. Yes, their midfield and defence were competitive and grabbed them a consolation goal in the dying minutes, but that’s all it was, and in reality the ineffectiveness of the diminutive children that are apparently the best striking talent Boring Paradise can produce meant that David Wien, playing in place of a rested Torre Urfstadt, was able to play a much more advanced role as he left Julius Oyen-Spekke to easily cope with the Paradisean attacks. With Wien pushing up, Jorgen Hauge was free to have a little more fun than he usually might do, and he flexed his attacking muscle with some wonderful direct runs at the opposition defence.

Indeed, one such run was the basis for the first goal, as Hauge ran and caused mayhem in the Boring Paradise midfield, providing the space for van Sorensen to collect Hauge’s pass and delicately put it on a plate for Ellis Elmsvikur to slam home the opening goal. Interestingly, despite the importance of their interaction to the Pythagorean formation, that was only the first time that a Hauge to van Sorensen pass has been directly involved in a Terns goal since the last World Cup.

With the Terns playing well and aware that a win would put them through without any doubt whatsoever, the players continued to press forwards. Marten Cornelius and Diedrich Kvitchenko both tested the goalkeeper with long range efforts, and Wien slammed a header against the crossbar after beating his man with a well-timed run from a corner. Boring Paradise offered the odd sniff of ambition with a few tentative passes that asked questions of Oyen-Spekke, but ultimately the Terns were in full control of the game and when Jean-Eric Villeneuve’s well struck free kick whistled into the net on the stroke of half time it was hard to argue that I was anything less than the Terns deserved.

Boring Paradise started the second half strongly, with Rasmus called upon to make a save for the first time in the match when Harris aimed a header in his direction from a deep cross, and the Terns struggled to make any headway with the ball as the opposition seemed determined enough to win the ball and hang onto it, if lacking in that vital spark required to know what to do with it when they had. They showed flashes of the side that did for Sol Kirkkegaard at the helm of New Montreal States, and they certainly were no pushover, but they were definitely the weaker of the three sides the Terns played in the group stage, and the Terns made the most of this by regaining the initiative after Sudesval joined the action in place of Cornelius in a bid to dictate the pace of play in the middle of the park once more.

With Illich-Svitych also on and wreaking havoc in the Boring Paradise half, the third goal came soon after the hour mark after Zacharias Juul started a move that his opposite full-back Kohev Kungas-Vaga finished. With a long cross-field ball, Juul perfectly picked out a deep-lying Ellis Elmsvikur who in turn laid off to Eyvindur Sudesval. With Jorgen Hauge busting a gut to get up through the middle and score a goal in his last World Cup, Sudesval did what any sentimental player would have done, and passed the ball into the space in front of his captain rather than in front of Vadim Illich-Svitych, who, let’s be honest, is rather more known for his striking ability than Hauge. Nonetheless, Hauge it was who ran at pace into the Boring Paradise penalty box, and then truly unselfishly rolled the ball into the path of Kohev Kungas-Vaga, whose first time shot was hit with such a ferocity that it almost seemed able to break the onion bag. With every match from now on potentially being Hauge’s last in a Terns shirt should we get beaten, this goal just goes to show how much the Terns are going to miss him when he’s gone. A superb servant to the team.

Then some other stuff happened, Boring Paradise scored a late consolation goal, yadda yadda, blah blah, you know the rest.

Point is, we’re through. We’re through and we’re facing Osarius. Without wishing to disrespect Sahota’s side, I think even Osarians would understand if I allowed myself a small smile at that draw.

We’ve played Osarius three times in our history. The first, a friendly after our first even qualifying campaign, ended as a somewhat surprising four-nil victory to ourselves. Goals from Hansen, Marek, Skye, and van Sorensen did for the Firebirds that day, although it is also true that they were not fielding a full strength team at the time.

The second occasion however, was arguably the game that booted our beloved Terns up into the top table of international football for the very first time. Nobody had expected the Terns to do so well as to reach the playoffs, finishing second in what was an outstandingly difficult group. Even fewer people would have expected them to beat the Firebirds in the playoff, with the significantly stronger Osarius side looking well capable of demolishing us. But demolish us they did not, and Kirkkegaard’s Terns side made history by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time ever after goals from Hauge, van Sorensen, and two from Skye propelled the side into an unassailable first half lead from which Osarius could not come back from even with two goals in the second half from Roberts.

That was the result that gave us the belief to believe we could do it on the big stage. That cycle, we finished fourth, and then third the cycle after that. We’ve never looked back since.

Except for now, on that result, I guess. Which we also did on the last occasion we played Osarius – World Cup 59 on home soil, two goals from Amadeus Irndtor slamming the visitors at the Nasjonale and sending them away without any points.

Not that that all means this will be an easy match, oh no, far from it. Osarius are famed for the tactical nous their players show, and they will be a well organised outfit that the Terns may struggle at times to break down, particularly given their high pressing style of defending. They appreciate a good strong tackle and are more than likely to match us for physicality, so natural fitness in itself cannot be relied upon by Schwartz to give us an innate advantage this time. Instead, it will take careful application of tactical decisions and a little bit of individual magic from a player or two. Hauge and van Sorensen, it has already been noted, have both scored against the Firebirds before, and with a few carefully chosen attacking moves we could see if van Sorensen still scares them.

Ultimately though, when it comes down to it, it’s going to be a game of football that all the speculation and statistical observations in the world won’t alter. The Terns will play, and they will win, or lose.

I could have spent this column waxing lyrical over Hauge now that every match is potentially his last, but I deliberately chose not to. There will be plenty of time to focus on the undeniably fantastic record of Hauge once the tournament is over. For now, I’m going to focus on the football. For better or for worse, this has ended up as one of the most open World Cups in a long time, and the Terns are now amongst the strongest and highest ranked teams left in it. In fact, both Audioslavian journalists and Osarian conspiracy theorists are touting us to win the whole thing at the moment. I’m inclined to side with them and agree that it’s the best chance we’ve had in a decade at least – at least on paper. Keep this unbeaten record up, and who knows what could happen.

Kiss of death? Only time will tell…

Up the Terns!

Eff out.

xx


[OOC: No time tonight to conclude the Skye storyline. I sincerely hope I still have the opportunity to do so tomorrow night.]
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United Gordonopia
II Roleplay Mentor
 
Posts: 3931
Founded: Aug 04, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby United Gordonopia » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:39 pm

Elation,
While the nation,
Prepares.



Raleigh Palace
Willingham, United Gordonopia


The chamber outside the Emporer's bedroom was virtually silent, besides a few low whispers, despite the fact that it was virtually packed. The most notable courtiers, as well as a number of ministers of the state, were awaiting news from within. One could cut the tension with a knife.

For some time now, it had been obvious that the Emporer was deteriorating. At almost 75, he was not young by any measure, and unlike many of the world's royals, he had fought for everything he had gained in his life. At the time of his birth, he had been the heir of a long-deposed house; still with some land, some of its members holding military and political positions, but in reality a relic in a Republic. Over the course of his career, he had worked his way to the upper echelons of the armed forces, before the time was finally right to restore the nation to its rightful state: monarchy. Although he ultimately won the popular support, the war certainly took its toll on him. Now, after a decade of rule, it seemed that Gordonopia's first succession in 150 years was just around the corner.

It had been two weeks since William Raleigh VII had made any public appearances, and now two days since he had left his bed. Inside, the Imperial Family and a handful of his most loyal advisers watched as the Imperial physicians tried to discern just how long he had left. No one was quite sure what he was suffering from; perhaps it was just old age. To everyone with access to the court, though, it was a forgone conclusion.

The past few days had seen the Emperor's spirits lift a little, though his strength still deteriorated. When he had heard the news that the National Team had advanced to the Round of 16, he had gone so far as to commission an opera about their success. In all likelihood, he would never see it performed.

While the news to come held the attention of most assembled, there were a few whose minds were shifted to other matters. Arbitrator Ernst Meyer, only outside the bedroom in order to observe those around him, was one of them. Rumors had reached his ear that there was some discontent around the impending transfer of the throne. Although some of it was simply anti-monarchist, more troubling whispers revolved around the crown prince. There were some within the government who were none too happy with Leopold Raleigh, next in line for the throne. While most would back the transfer without hesitation, there were certainly some factions who had only backed the Monarchists in the war out of necessity that were not satisfied. For now, their words were wisps on the breeze; it may have been only two men speaking about it in what they thought was confidence. As the Emperor's spymaster, though, it was still Arbitrator Meyer duty to know.

Meyer was attempting to discern a low conversation several rows in front of him when the doors creaked slowly open. Lord Doctor Fitzwilliam stepped out.

"Our sovereign yet lives," he proclaimed, with a somber tone to his old voice, "Unfortunately, unless God wills otherwise, he has no more than a week. Long live the Emperor."

It was as if a veil had been lifted. Though still in whispers, best not to disturb those in the bedroom, nearly every man and women in the chamber was frantically engaging in discussion. In fact, it seemed as if the only one still silent was Meyer. As he realized this, he resolved to slip out, and attend to other affairs. When every part of the web is moving, a spider has a hard time discerning just where the signal is coming from.
Last edited by United Gordonopia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you ever have an RPing question, please TG me about it.


Host: Baptism of Fire 51
Third Place: Cup of Harmony 56
Semi-Finalist: World Cup 63

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Aguazul
Diplomat
 
Posts: 873
Founded: Nov 06, 2007
Corporate Police State

Postby Aguazul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:30 pm

Emilio's was a decent car, not too flashy, but not too old. He didn't need to be driving that many places, at his age, and it didn't have inordinate speed or let him turn on a dime. To the extent that he was ahead of the crazed pursuers, it had little to do with the car's ability or even him moving too quickly. On one level, he didn't think he could make it very far, not without pushing it way too recklessly and endangering the rest of the roadways. He doubled back, made turns out of the way, knuckles neither relaxed nor desperately clenched, just stiff and unmoving as the wheel lurched underneath them. At times it felt like he was just a passenger, that the rest of the journey was out of his hands.

Then he'd made it out of the city, and the thought that he just might escape came coursing back through him, followed by a whole host of other thoughts: what about his family, where was he going to go, what was the situation like in the Supercentro. And he knew the fact that people were going after him instead of trying to chase down the video game guys was a good sign. The dictatorship was helpless. They were trying to deal out arbitrary vengeance too late, but they couldn't hurt the country anymore.

And then he saw the other cars pull off the highway, coming at him from both directions.

He began swerving madly, but there was no place to turn off. They drastically outnumbered him, he didn't want a fight. And given their rage, that they had been convinced they had nothing left to lose, he didn't like the idea of pulling to a stop and asking to talk things over. They weren't there to talk.

He took another bend, trying hopelessly to evade the second car, and skidded off the road entirely. The car flipped, and before the world went dark, he could see Grisolon, rising out of the sky.

RP Cutoff

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The Bavaria States
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 14
Founded: May 15, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Bavaria States » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:57 am

And then nukes dropped on the sport fields! :clap: :clap:
Heil Bavaria!


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Polar Islandstates
Minister
 
Posts: 3100
Founded: Jan 17, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Polar Islandstates » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:59 pm

Image


Hey guys; I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying this Brand New And Improved Polar Islandstates (TM) side. I'm enjoying it a lot.

Just last cycle it would have been easily conceivable for the Terns to just roll over and give up after conceding in a World Cup second round match. And, indeed, that's pretty much exactly what they did do against Vilita. But apparently not now. Not anymore. Whether they're playing for Schwartz, Hauge, the fans, or just plain pride, I hope the players keep it up. There appears to be a real sense of togetherness in the camp at the moment, and long may it continue says I. It's a far cry from the tabloid fuelled unrest that had seemed to have the fans baying for Schwartz's head at the start of the season, and I like it.

Osarius were strong opposition, as predicted, and the Terns were clearly unsettled by their high pressing style, losing possession several times in the opening exchanges. You can't generally afford to do that against the best teams on a stage so big as the World Cup, and so it proved in the fourteenth minute of the match; the experienced Serenity Miller dispossessing Marten Cornelius in the middle of the park and playing through a perfect ball for Gilberto Cuellar to run onto and finish with confidence past Rasmus. And, here is where the evidence of the 'new Terns' really comes through most strongly. Here, former line-ups might have folded timidly and allowed Osarius to dominate the rest of the match. But not so this Terns side. Marten Cornelius might have had a quiet tournament so far, but he was a terror in the lead up to the second, finishing the move he started as the Terns were forced to grit their teeth and dig deep to draw level again. With seemingly nothing on, Cornelius picked out van Sorensen with a pass into space that demanded a lot from the veteran Terns forward. van Sorensen did well however, and after a quick one-two with Kvitchenko he played it back for Cornelius to curl it around young centre-back Leon Donaldson and into the back of the net from eighteen yards.

Kvitchenko and Elmsvikur both came close before the fortieth minute as the firsts half ended with the Terns in the ascendancy, and ultimately it was Osarius who were the more pleased to see the whistle blow for the interval.

The Terns came out unchanged for the second half, but in the face of more stern resistance from the Firebirds they were forced into a familiar substitution; Eyvindur Sudesval coming on for Jean-Eric Villeneuve in a bid to make the Terns midfield a more formidable beast to get past. Get past them the Osarian players did however, and another wicked shot from Cuellar that called Rasmus into action just on the fiftieth minute of the game should have been a warning sign for the Terns. It wasn't heeded, however, and a slick passing move saw Urbina able to ghost in at the back post and tap in McGregor's excellent cross with Rasmus stuck in no-man's-land.

Ellis Elmsvikur made way for Felix Saarinen on the hour mark as the Terns chased the game, and the extra injection of pace worked wonders for the balance of play, with a rejuvenated and re-energised Terns chased down the Firebirds far more successfully after his introduction brought some directness and focal point for the possession the Terns so badly needed to get a hold of. On about the seventieth minute the tide began to turn back in our direction, and it was Osarius who instead found themselves under pressure.

Hauge and Sudesval were working together well to dispossess the Firebirds in attack, and steadily in line with Kungas-Vaga and Juul, on defensive duties only for the time being, the crucial line across the pitch began to work its way back towards the Osarius goal. The defensive midfield duo for the Terns were soon bossing the game; Hauge in particular was first to every ball as he continued to show why he is still the Terns captain, with Sudesval rising to the occasion and winning 100% of his tackles in the last twenty minutes of the game. Indeed, it was Sudesval himself who scored the equalising goal with ten minutes to go; a Hauge interception and lay-off to Kungas-Vaga turned defence into attack for the Terns, and as Kungas-Vaga turned the ball inside with a cross that van Sorensen somehow plucked out of the air with a deft touch, it was Sudesval who was running into the box, his momentum carrying him far beyond the last line of defence as he ran onto van Sorensen's ball and crashed home the shot to score a rare goal for his nation.

Osarius pressed hard for a third goal in the last minutes of the match, hoping to avoid extra time, but the closest they got was when Cuellar dribbled past Oyen-Spekke and unleashed a shot that Rasmus could only tip onto the bar, the ball bouncing back into the FC Axel Heiburg keeper's grateful arms.

Instead, as the teams kicked off the first half of extra time, it was Polar Islandstates who turned tables on the Firebirds to start the stronger of the two, van Sorensen pushing much further forward as Schwartz adapted the formation to fit a 4-3-3 with a central van Sorensen supporting a wider front two of Kvitchenko and Saarinen. Behind them, a defensive midfield partnership of Sudesval and Jorgen Hauge that was paying dividends for Schwartz were using an advanced Cornelius as outlet, whilst Kungas-Vaga and Juul continued to produce lung-busting runs down the wing.

With the Firebirds tiring, it was left to who else but living legend Jorgen Hauge to take control of the situation and score a goal the very example of determination. With Marten Cornelius in possession, Juul showed wide but was dispossessed and left for dead by the fresh legs of Kristen Rees. And who was there to make the tackle before the centre-backs were forced to choose between runner or marking? Why, Jorgen Hauge, of course. Executing a perfect slide tackle on the advancing Osarian forward, Hauge looked up and played the long ball to van Sorensen as the crowd applauded in appreciation for the sterling midfield job he was performing. On three previous occasions, van Sorensen has proved to be Osarius' chief tormentor, and that was no different this time either, with his knock down to Hauge completing his hat-trick of assists for the match. Hauge, on receiving the ball, still had plenty of work to do, and, not being famed exactly for his first touch, was forced to do it the hard way. Stumbling in his chase for the knocked on ball, twice Hauge played it into an Osarian attempt at interception only for the ball to bounce off the Osarian player attempting to dispossess him, bounce back off him, and continue in the direction he wanted it to go in. Finally, bursting free and clear into the box, Hauge, now visibly struggling for pace, struck out a desperate lunge of his left boot to poke the ball through the legs of the despairing Gareth Mason. Mobbed by his team-mates and exhausted, it was probably just as well for Hauge that the whistle to mark the end of the first half of extra time blew immediately following his goal.

Interestingly enough, Hauge's goal also meant that ten goals have been scored by the Terns at these finals, each by a different scorer.

The second half of extra time saw the Firebirds come predictably haring out of the blocks in search of an equaliser that would take them to a penalty shoot-out against a nation famous for being bad at them, and Hauge and Urfstadt were both called upon to make important tackles in the box as Osarius advanced and turned up the pressure. One particularly hair-raising moment saw the Jan Mayen right back Zacharias Juul stretch out a leg to clear a shot from the line after a corner found Tara Perry embarrassingly unmarked.

Eventually the Osarian legs began to tire however, and when Finnibaturinn was thrown on for Hauge by Schwartz in order to waste some time, it also saw Hauge leave the pitch to a standing ovation from the Twitchers in the process. The waves of attacks from Osarius became increasingly desperate, and a late challenge from Jungas-Vaga allowed Azarai Robinson to have the final say in normal time. When the kick went sailing over the bar, the Twitchers started to celebrate. Sure enough, seconds later the final whistle went. We went ballistic in the stands, partially out of joy with the result and partially also because it meant we didn't need to go to a penalty shoot-out that history has told us would not end well for us.

Osarian hearts were broken, and the Terns are into the quarter finals. We haven't moved further than this since World Cup 57, and I know the players will be determined to do just that as the second round saw the defending champions drop out on penalties. This is a confident looking Terns side, and I think with proper preparation for the opposition, there could be more joy for the Twitchers on the horizon.

"And who is that opposition?" I hear you cry.

Well, none other than Audioslavia.

In case you've been living outside the real world for the last few months or so, we played the Bulls twice in our qualifying campaign, winning both times to ensure we topped the group over our next opposition thanks to our head-to-head records. Beating a side twice before is no guarantee of toppling them again however, and as they've already proved by getting further than even their own journalists could have predicted, Audioslavia are a force to contend with on their day. Our first match in MD2 saw the known threat that is Karsten Eiger of SK Franz Josef City take the lead in Audioslavia before goals from Urfstadt and van Sorensen righted that particular wrong. Our second match was something of an easier match to win, with Elmsvikur scoring either side of half-time to put the Terns into the lead at the Nasjonale. Eiger and the dangerous Velazquez scored for Audioslavia that day, but the goals from van Sorensen again and Cornelius were enough. That was at the Nasjonale however.

The Estadio Conabora in San Pablo will be full of 50,000 screaming fans, and who knows in which direction the always vocal home supporters will shout now that they're technically neutral. It will be a different kind of match altogether. Joachim Schwartz will be desperate to finally emulate Kirkkegaard's best achievements and steward the national side into the World Cup semi finals, whilst Jorgen Hauge will be just as keen to go out with a bang rather than a whisper now that he knows each game could be his last. Audioslavia are a good side, and the Terns will need to draw on every bit of knowledge we already have on them if they are to progress. Progress they could however, kiss of death from Jeremy Jaffacake notwithstanding, and there just might be a proud and happy ending for Hauge on the horizon after all.

All-in-all, the Terns won't have another chance to really push on and make a hefty mark on the course of a World Cup like this again for a long time, and so every opportunity should be grabbed now that we're in that position from which we could strike as other results arguably go our way around us. Last time we played opposition from our qualifying group in the finals it was Kiryu-shi last cycle, where two goalless draws in qualifying translated to another goalless draw in the finals. How dearly would I love to see the terns translate two wins over Audioslavia in qualifying into a third win over them at the finals. How fitting it is, also, that this should all come in Jorgen Hauge's last cycle before international retirement.

Let's not make this his last performance, yes?

Up the Terns!

Eff out.

xx
The Greater Valhallan Federation of Polar Islandstates - Pop. 19,400,000
Capital: Franz Josef City - Demonym: Valhallan (Polarian) - Trigramme: PIS
Road to the World Cup - sportnyheter.vu - Ides of March Cup
Champions: WC67, CR XVIII, CR XV, CR X, CR VIII, DBC20, RLWC11, RLWC10 Runners-Up: WC66, WC65, CR VI, DBC29, WCoH18
Third: WC68, WC57, CR XII, DBC27 Fourth: WC56, RLWC13, RLWC9, WCoH17
“Per Tenebras ad Lucem” - A constituent member of The Valhallan Union
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