Yesopalitha 2-0 Wight
Dostoevich 53’ 90’+3
Tommy Woodroffe the drunken sports anchor at the Wightling World Service summarised the action at Waridi Town Park, Waridi, Turori thus:
Heartbreak for the Sondry Folk against an old rival as Yesopalitha get a second win against Wight in the history of World Cup cycles, somehow it seems like more than that but I’ve checked the records, Con, and apart from a friendly last cycle it was two games at either end of World Cup 58; Wight winning in the Baptism of Fire and then the Flames returning the compliment in the Cup of Harmony. It looks like another short-lived adventure in the finals with the top-ranked team still to play, Nadya Dostoevich putting the Sondry Folk to the sword with two well-taken efforts. Yesopalitha looked good value for their win, as they have all through this tournament so far, and Wight wilted under the pressure.
Next up for the Sondry Folk is a must-win-although-a-draw-might-do-it against the mighty Jungle Cats of Vilita, Con, and while we’ve met them twice with their island partners Turori in AOCAF championships, including a shock quarterfinal win in ’37, this will be the first pairing with the Vilitans alone. It’s practically a home game for them of course, with the boundaries a little blurred, and we can draw a measure of hope from two games unbeaten against Turori in the last World Cup qualifying. Or is that technically illegal, to draw comfort from a completely different team? I don’t know. But like New Montreal States this seems to be one of the nations we’ll run across with some degree of frequency, and that’s the beauty of the World Cup, isn’t it, Con? The Worm Ouroboros, what goes around, goes around, as they say in Wight.
To which the dead Irish commentator and Wightling expert analyst Con Houlihan replied:
“In a word, Tommy? Boustrophedon.”
iii. Goatman Ches & The Exploding Kid
When the goat man Charles ‘Ches’ McCartney finally came to Wight, estimated age 136 years old – according to himself – he saw no reason not to continue his wandering life with a ramshackle wagon pulled by a team of goats. He remarried his first love, Uxía Evangelina Salud, a Spanish knife-thrower from Tiberius Ogden’s Travelling Circus, who used him as target practice, serving as a near-miss target on a giant rotating board. They lived apart for much of the time, as she was always committed to the circus, while he preferred the Lonely Road with his herd of goats, each of whom he could name though there might be a hundred of them, or more. In all of the dark grey corners of Old Wight, Ches McCartney was the goat whisperer supreme, able to coax the most stubborn billy goat gruff down off a remote crag with just the power of his argument and the velvet tones of his persuasion. Wightlingfolk with wayward hircine pets would summon him to assist in their difficulties, and he would often adopt the most troublesome bucks, or convince a frigid nanny to put out in order that a farmer might increase his stock. It was said of Goatman Ches that to meet him upon the road was a blessing, and to harm him would bring terrible bad luck. It was rumoured also, as in his life among the living, that he was fabulously wealthy and extraordinarily eccentric. The difference being that in his blissful afterlife in Wight, nobody mugged him to see if the former was true.
No wonder then, with his gift, the ancient man of goats was requested in Spit to investigate the sudden and inexplicable infestation of the little black things that some thought of as adorable pets, and others as the Thousand Young of Shub-Niggurath. One day he arrived at the gateway to the Back Road to Old Wight, with his ramshackle wagon and a small herd of his own train, and when rumour spread to Spit that Goatman Ches was on the way, there was a great deal of excitement and curiosity. What would he make of the Spit goats?
He was the bearer of bad tidings. At Speaker’s Corner, on Shanklin Circus, he sombrely called together a crowd to deliver his pronouncement. He explained that he had seen one or two of the goats on the way into the city, in the distance, and had instantly suspected something was amiss. The crowd, of several hundred mostly sceptics, muttered sagely that they knew something was wrong with the little hairballs, while the few goat-keepers muttered suspiciously that Goatman Ches was patently barking – or bleating – mad. Ches then explained that he was even more dubious as he came close to the city, and developed the distinct impression the goats were avoiding him. Eventually, he said, he set a trap for them, and caught one. He dramatically announced to the crowd, who were hanging on his every word, that he had conducted a set of experiments on the creatures – quite painless (to goats) – that determined, assuredly, that whatever the interlopers were, they were not goats. There was shock and outrage amongst the crowd.
“Prove it!” shouted an angry Donna Maw, who had become quite enthralled to her little Stokoe McGoat, as she called it.
“Very well,” said Ches, earnestly, producing a small kid from his pocket. It was unmistakably one of the Spit goats – you could tell be the way it held the crowd in it’s peculiar gaze. Ches held the small thing under it’s belly with one hand, at arms length, and turned it to face him. They locked in a staring contest. It was a tense few minutes, and a great hush came over the crowd. Ches frowned, and mumbled, but never lowered his gaze. The goat returned the stare with full force.
And then, suddenly, a loud pop, as of a balloon bursting. The goat exploded in Ches’ hand, showering the goatman and the front rows of his audience in hot blood and entrails. The crowd gasped. All that was left in Ches’ hand was a small dark mass. Ches rolled it thoughtfully between his thumb and forefinger, before holding it up for all to see – a stone, purple-black, perfectly smooth, the size of a pigeon egg.
“That,” said Ches, dripping blood and wiping a gobbet of brain from his eyebrow, “is not a goat.”
Wight vs. Vilita
Looking for a big, you might say impossible, result tonight against the world #6 already smarting from two shock defeats and dangerously close to going out of the tournament themselves, Masvidal has opted for experience at the back, recalling Lucas Finch to the heart of the defense to replace the up-and-comer, M.V. Cabel. Meanwhile it’s experienced lost in midfield with team captain Almost Fabrice Muamba missing through injury. Mardellion Hummingbird takes the armband while Piran MacKenzie gets a call-up against many players he knows well from the Vilitan League.
Line-up: Quentine / Atta, Finch, Friend-Forsaken, Kent / Hummingbird (C), Corfe-Sheviock, MacKenzie, Fosse-Gordon / Pseudomyrmex, Scrivenor