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Cup of Harmony 76 - Everything Thread

A battle ground for the sportsmen and women of nations worldwide. [In character]

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Third ZSeparatists
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Founded: Dec 29, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Third ZSeparatists » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:54 am

Third ZSeparatists wrote:Why am I (ZSeparatists) not in this?



Never mind. I know why now.

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Timuria
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Founded: Mar 25, 2019
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Postby Timuria » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:28 am

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Red Wolves Fail to Build on Opening Win


Timuria 2–4 Pasarga
Ismail Burhan (29), Ertan Renda (72);Petar Galić (23, 61), Alexander Jager (43), Mária Vöröss (87)


by Tufan Nursultan

The Red Wolves lost their second match of the Cup of Harmony, with Pasarga exacting a small measure of revenge upon the Red Wolves for their two defeats at the hands of our national team in the World Cup Qualifiers. While Squornshelous recovered from their defeat with a narrow 1-0 win over Geektopia and Ancherion managed to get on the board with a 4-2 win of their own, leaving everything in the group very finely balanced.

The early exchanges heralded a rather open match, but neither team were able to break through until the 23rd minute when Petar Galić managed to find himself in space and a horrific mistake from Eyup Mustafa and slotted home. This lead would be short lived as Ismail Burhan, starting for the injured Vatan Ercetin, would equalise six minutes after with an excellent header from close range.

The Red Wolves would have a chance to take the lead, but Tekin Yavuz would see his effort clip the bar on its way safely over. Alexander Jager would give Pasarga the lead going into half time with a powerful volley from within the box with Murat Yigithan utterly helpless to stop the shot.

The Red Wolves would open with positive and open play, with several chances falling to Ismail Burhan whose excellent efforts were matched in quality by the saves produced by Thorsten Gerber. The Red Wolves would overextend themselves allowing a rapid counter attack to bear fruit with Petar Galić exploiting the out of position defence making Eyup Mustafa look a step slow before slotting home in the 61st minute. Ertan Renda would pull a goal back with a spectacular free kick that nestled into the top corner from around 30 yards.

Pasarga would secure their win however, when Mária Vöröss would manage to sneak their awkwardly struck effort past Murat Yigithan whose vision appeared to be obscured by his defenders as he seemed to react slowly.

What They Said After The Match:

Bekir Altingunes: "Honestly today it looked like we were lacking a cutting edge in attack and that showed, hopefully Vatan returns for our bout with Gyatso-Kai and we get back to winning ways."

Player Ratings:

Murat Yigithan 6/10

Ozbek Sarikaya 6/10

Eyup Mustafa 4/10

Berker Balkan 6/10

Gokdeniz Dag 6/10

Atilla Acar 6/10

Yusuf Ihsanoglu 5/10

Tekin Yavuz 6/10

Caner Turan 6/10

Ertan Renda 7/10

Ismail Burhan 7/10

Substitutes:

Metin Boz 6/10

Oztekin Timur 6/10

Kartal Unal 6/10

Man of the Match: Petar Galić - He was the difference between the two sides, with his brace securing victor for the heavy favourites.


Schedule and Results:

MD 1: Squornshelous W 4-2
MD 2: Pasarga L 4-2
MD 3: Gyatso-Kai
MD 4: Geektopia
MD 5: Ancherion
Last edited by Timuria on Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ancherion
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Postby Ancherion » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:37 am

With the Cup of Harmony well underway for the Ancherion team, we will look at the team De Mequites has chosen for this invitational tournament. With the retirement of Indin Salivlo, Simon Ado, Jamie Szocsit and Gary Hasle, it meant that two players from the bench has been promoted and who else would get their spot apart from two top performing players during qualifying including Ali Roberts and Fabiano Moon. On the bench, the defense has been boosted with the inclusion of Oldcastle United's centre back, Asad De Longi and then in the midfield Yaqiza Halperin (Zalawi FC), Dru Renault (Ostholden Town) and Riley Burns (Prime Para United) have got their first call up to the national team, so we might expect some big things coming from them during this tournament.

In a group including Pasarga, Timuria, Geektopia, Squornshelous and Gyatso-Kai, the team are expected to finish the group in 3rd place and then just miss out on getting through to the knock out round. The general consensus by the fans and the coaching staff is that the match against Timuria is what will decide our qualification chances which is coincidentally the last match of the group stage. Our first match was against the highest rank team in the whole competition and had also missed out on getting into the World Cup, a feat Ancherion have yet to achieve. This was a promising start in the campaign, even though we lost 5-3 it just shows that we have a fighting chance and hopefully they can keep scoring and get enough points and this was shown with a convincing 4-2 win over Gyatso-Kai. The next match will be against Geektopia in which we will not want the upset to happen so it will be down to minimizing any errors and hope for the good run to continue.

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Kelssek
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Postby Kelssek » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:31 pm

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CUP OF HARMONY
KELSSEK PEGGED BACK TWICE BY SARZONIA IN "SHAMBOLIC" DISPLAY

SARZONIA – 5
Halliger (o.g.) 18’
Campos 36’
T. Benignati 44’
West 82’
Mabree 85’

KELSSEK – 4
Reynolds (o.g.) 25’
Taleb (pen.) 30’
Liadon 54’
Custworth 60’

Comedy and farce characterized Kelssek’s group stage match in against Sarzonia in the Cup of Harmony. After fighting back to take the lead in the second half, the match was capped by a late collapse that exposed this Kelssek side’s astonishing defensive frailty. It was another reminder that the Cup of Harmony is a difficult tournament, perhaps even harder to win than the World Cup, as some former players claim.

Even before that train wreck of a last ten minutes, this was a match full of teachable moments. Damien Halliger opened the scoring when he demonstrated a terrible way to pass back to your goalkeeper, beating Kai Poirier from 30 yards and under pressure from Cayden Aguirre too. Sarzonian midfielder Brady Reynolds levelled the score – for Kelssek – seven minutes later in a remarkably poor attempt to clear a corner kick.

In fairness, the defensive disarray was also evident on the other side as Kelssek were gifted a penalty by Charlie King. His tackle on Brayden Custworth was so late it merited compensation under the new airline passenger regulations, and also completely needless as his teammates had ample cover for the attack. Shaheen Taleb was perhaps the first player in the match to execute a skill properly as he sent goalkeeper Mateo Sandoval the wrong way to give Kelssek the lead.

Then came Kelssek’s first collapse of the contest. Sarzonia equalized as Jake Campos headed in a simple cross from the right wing. Thamior Liadon tried to block but only really enhanced the ball’s loft, and Halliger was simply too slow to pick up the Portland Timbers striker. Kassel Pokorny was then comprehensively outmuscled by Tony Benignati as the central defender scuffed the ball into the net off a corner, giving Sarzonia the lead a minute before half-time.

Kelssek changed tack with Andrea Crowe sending on Remy Dionne for the second half to provide some much-needed offensive spark. Dionne, Colm Ó Tuathail, and Thamior Liadon mesmerized with an excellent passing play to overload the left flank and create the chance that saw the Burnaby SC full-back flick the ball into the net. Kelssek then regained the lead when Brayden Custworth showed his skill from the edge of the penalty area as he wrong-footed Tommy Benignati to make the space for him to wire a blast in off the upright.

But celebrations from the fans in the lighter shade of blue were, sadly, premature. And this defensive shambles exceeded the last in its speed and devastation. Apparently no one picked up the substitute Mek’hi West, who was left on his own in the penalty box to head in a corner. Three minutes later, Ruslan Demetriev was caught playing a poor forward ball that was intercepted and immediately played into the path of the speedster Ernie Mabree, who had clearly been reading the textbook on how to handle one-on-one goalkeeper situations.

"As a team we all agree that this was shambolic as a defensive effort, and everyone has to be better. This is not just a problem for the back four," said captain Ruslan Demetriev. "I have to be better and we all have to be better, it starts with the pressing, we didn't do that, closing down, we didn't do that, so many things we've just not executed properly in our defensive responsibilities."

Manager Andrea Crowe meanwhile was uncharacteristically cagey in her post-match comments. "I said what I needed to say in the dressing room, and I won't repeat it because there may be children watching."

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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:48 pm

Bryan Ostrom may have been a more offensive-minded manager than Kevin Connelly, but even a Sarzonia national team managed by the late Stars field boss would not have expected a nine-goal affair between the currently 110th-ranked team in the world and Kelssek, the world's 41st ranked side.

At least they wouldn't have expected to come out on top of a nine-goal barnburner with a 5-4 victory over the highest ranked team in Group F in front of a stunned crowd of 66,815 at Star Field in Herzegovina City. Nor would they have expected to score four unanswered goals in a span of 36 minutes including a Jake Campos header off a cross from Clayton Wilson with three minutes gone in second half stoppage time to give the Stars (1-0-1) essentially a walk-off win.

They certainly didn't expect the full three points when Connelly benched starting goalkeeper Mateo Sandoval at the start of the second half with the Stars trailing 4-1 after what even Sandoval admitted later was a "piss poor" match for him. Paolo Gomes started the second half and made a routine save in the 47th minute that drew sarcastic applause from the small contingent of Sarzonian supporters who remained after the first half. That applause became polite when Wilson scored a goal from the spot in the 56th minute. It became more meaningful when Brady Reynolds soared in the box for a header in the 64th minute to cut the Voyagers lead to 4-3.

Then in the 78th minute, that applause became raucous when Mek'hi West got his head on a cross from Ernie Mabree to draw the score level. By now, the remaining Stars supporters were buzzing. They knew by now that stealing a critical standings point from the highest ranked Group F side would be huge for the team's psyche if nothing else. They knew that expecting the Stars to win a match against Kelssek was unrealistic going in, and it certainly seemed remote at best with less than a dozen minutes remaining in regulation.

Wilson knew the three minutes of stoppage time that had been added by the fourth official was running out, so when he saw the ball rolling unmolested in the Voyagers end, he knew he had to strike fast.

"The ball just kind of rolled there as if no one saw it. Fortunately, I had time to make a quick run."

He did, then he fired a cross with his right boot right to the chest of Campos, who settled it, then fired past the Voyagers' goalkeeper. When the referee pointed toward the centre circle and blew his whistle, the Stars players quickly gathered around each other in a wild celebration while defender Damien Halliger desperately raced into the net to retrieve the ball for the kickoff. No sooner than Ruslan Demetriev kicked the ball at the centre circle hoping for one last gasp to suddenly wrest back the standings point they were about to lose than the referee blew his whistle again in three sustained bursts. Demetriev looked skyward in frustration. Voyagers manager Andrea Crowe started jawing at Connelly, accusing the Stars of gamesmanship by having their celebration with Campos take place right in front of the ball.

Connelly for his part jawed back at Crowe by reminding her it wasn't the Stars responsibility to get the ball out of the net and fired toward the centre circle for the ensuing kickoff.

"Hey! Calm it down!" the Audioslav referee said, getting between Crowe and Connelly when it appeared the two would continue to jaw at each other and when he thought they were going to come to blows.

"Show some sportsmanship!" Connelly snapped at Crowe.

The two managers then turned away from each other and jogged toward their respective dressing rooms. Connelly was a few minutes late to the post-match press conference at the behest of stadium officials who didn't want a repeat of the scene between the two managers. By then, however, cooler heads had prevailed.

Crowe apologised for her outburst toward Connelly, admitting that her frustration at a blown three-goal lead and a loss to a Sarzonia team nearly 70 places lower than it in the world rankings got the better of her.

For his part, Connelly didn't apologise.

"It's my responsibility to defend my players when they're being attacked," he said. "I may have regretted saying certain things the way I said them, but I will never apologise for defending my team."

As for the win, Connelly said he'd never seen a match quite like that one.

"I mean, they score the first two goals in the third and ninth minutes, we score in the 14th, then they score again in the 22nd and 39th minutes, and it looks like it's going to be a blowout. They're a really strong side and we didn't come in ready to play in the first half. And that's my fault."

When asked what second half adjustments he made to result in the dramatic four-goal comeback, Connelly only pointed to one.

"I sent in Paolo. That's it. We really didn't do anything else until the 66th minute," when he sent in West to substitute for Cayden Aguirre, who'd scored the first goal but was hobbling after an aggressive, but clean challenge by defender Tim Bowler moments earlier.

As for Campos's winning goal with time running out, Connelly said that goal would be remembered for "a long, long time."

And for the Stars fans who remained in the stands at the now appropriately-named Star Field? They were in absolute delirium when the final read Sarzonia 5, Kelssek 4. The Group F table would show them level for third in the group, one point behind both Sajnur and their next opponent TJIN-ia in what suddenly becomes an even more important match for the Stars.

"We knew that match would be important because we felt we needed to get a good result against the only team that's ranked lower," Campos said. "But now, they're in position to qualify for the knockouts by being level with Sajnur for the group lead."

And with that, the match between the two sides ranked in triple figures suddenly takes on new urgency. Eastern Stadium officials in Istria are reporting the match sold out 10 minutes after the Stars-Voyagers match went final. Even the match between the two highest ranked teams in Group F, Kelssek and Hapilooper needed a full 25 minutes to sell out.

Meanwhile, the Stars have an extra day to celebrate their latest stunning victory. They may not have carried the same momentum into the match with Kelssek they had in building a 7-4-1 record in the second half of World Cup qualifying, but they now had a signature moment for this 76th Cup of Harmony.

And that extra day will mean tonight will be a wild night of celebration for these Stars players.
Apparently the WLC President. Member of the FWC Council.

Championships won: World Cup 22; World Baseball Classic 18; Di Bradini Cup 8 (U21 World Cup 29); World Bowl XI & XIV; FHWC 15 & 18; Quidditch World Cup 9; AOCAF XII & XXIX; 3-time IBC champions; 5-time WLC winners and Scott Cup champions

Plus some stuff I've forgotten and has been lost to history?

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TJUN-ia
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Postby TJUN-ia » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:50 pm

TJUN-ia Update: HOW ARE WE LEADING THIS?!?

TJUN-ia wrote:Everyone from FA TJUN-ia would like to apologise to everyone in attendance in our opening game of our first Cup of Harmony.

It was at the Electra Stadium in Mynda, and we were playing Sanjur. It was the most boring game we have played in international football. 0-0. It says it all.


Clearly we were too quick to dismiss that game in Mynda as TJUN-ia beat Schottia 2-1 at the Wolf's Den in Busembe.

Joe Green opened up the scoring in the 32nd minute, but Schottia would find a way back into the game via Jack Avelione in the 62nd. The Jags needed a hero, and it came from the bench. Archer Andrews, formerly of Galar, secured victory with his first TJUN-ian goal in the 79th minute.

Elsewhere in Group F it was chaos. Sanjur, the team we drew with in Mynda, beat Hapilopper 2-1 Jinja City. Meanwhile in Herzegovina City the biggest result of the night (in more ways than one) as the Stars of Sarzonia beat Kelssek 5-4. All these results means, somehow, its Sanjur and The Jaguars tied for 1st place in the group.

Our next game is on Sunday against the Stars of Sarzonia at the Eastern Stadium in Istria, which has somehow become a must-win game for both of the triple digit ranked teams. This is the biggest game of our lives, so far. GO JAGS!

MD1: vs Sanjur (61) @Electra Stadium, Mynda Drew 0-0 (T-3rd)
MD2: vs Schottia (90) @Tiones Lumber Field at the Wolf's Den, Busembe Won 2-1 (T-1st)
MD3: vs Sarzonia (110) @Eastern Stadium, Istria
MD4: vs Kelssek (41) @Lwanga City Arena, Lwanga
MD5: vs Hapilopper (50) @Hangaza Unified Stadium, Aissa
Football: BoF: Round of 16 (71) / WC: Group Stage (Qualifying) (85)/ CoH: Group Stage (76)
Am. Football: WB: 1st Group Stage (XXXVIII)
Ice Hockey: WCoH: ? (39)
NSSCRA - Jaguar Racing: #00 Micheal Stefan (9: ?)/#64 Alfonso Mercado (9: ?)
WGP: #11 Lane Carter (S3: ?)


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"Together, We're Stronger!"

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Terre Septentrionale
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Postby Terre Septentrionale » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:56 pm

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A huge win against Bears Armed


OOC: Bears Armed made a mistake, we won 2-1.

Palace City, West Troy, Xanneria - The level of competitiveness is high at the Cup of Harmony, for their 2nd game, Terre Septentrionale had to play against Bears Armed, who are much better than their rank is showing. The game was played at Golden Gopher Casino - Palace City Stadium and Terre Septentrionale controlled the ball 51% of the times. The Belles shot 12 times on the net with 5 of them were on target while the Nordiques shot 7 times with 4 on target. Terre Septentrionale attacked at the 28th minute when Élisabeth Normandin passed to Sandrine Fontaine who dribbled and made a short pass to Pawel Wawrzynkiewicz who shoots and scores! 1-0 Reprezentacja Nordycki. Bears Armed answered back at the 33rd minute when Harroya o Sarrndale passed to Nerretta Barris who dribbled with the ball and made a header pass to Urrma Kuthbearrh who heads the ball right into the net and the game is tied at 1-1 and this is the score at the halftime.

The score remained tied until the 87th minute when Yannick Ksiezniakiewicz passed the ball to Sandrine Fontaine who passed to Wlodzimierz Waclawczyk, who subbed in for Pawel Wawrzynkiewicz at the 61st minute. Waclawczyk dribbled with the ball and kicks it in direction of Sandie McCracken just outside the penalty area. McCracken uses a bycicle kick to kick the ball and it goes right into the net and it's a goal for Terre Septentrionale! The Northmen are leading 2-1 and it's the final score.

BOXSCORE

28th minute: Pawel Wawrzynkiewicz assisted by Sandrine Fontaine
33rd minute: Urrma Kuthbearrh assisted by Nerretta Barris
87th minute: Sandie McCracken assisted by Wlodzimierz Waclawczyk

YELLOW CARDS

15th minute: Roksana Kolodziejczyk
51st minute: Franciszek Niedzwiecki

61st minute: Steffannee Bruin
74th minute: Krzysztof Blaszczykowski

RED CARDS

None

Filindostan

Terre Septentrionale has now two wins in two games for 6 points and is tied with Filindostan in 1st place. Bears Armed and Xanneria both follows with 3 points. Filindostan are our next opponent. Coach Slawomir Wyrzykowski is considering putting Sandie McCracken back in the starting XI instead of Tymoteusz Swierczewski since she scored a beautiful bicycle goal at the 87th minute against Bears Armed.The winner between Terre Septentrionale and Filindostan will take the 1st place while the loser will be tied with Xanneria and Bears Armed, assuming they both win on matchday 3.

Wlodzimierz Pietruszewski,
Senior writer, La tribune Septentrionale
Nation name: République de Terre Septentrionale | Trigramme: RTS | Capital: Ville Jacques-Cartier | Maps

Ranks: Hockey: 27th | American Football: 24th | Baseball: 29th | Association Football: 42nd | Rugby Union: 42nd

Champions:
Runner Up: Cup of Harmony 76
3rd Place:
4th Place:

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Kandorith
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Postby Kandorith » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:24 pm

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Shinonome Kyoai - International
_________________________________

Kandorith Sent Off


Group G
Squornshelan Remnant States 1–2 Euran Oceanian Territories
Potato Farmers 0–1 Savojarna
Hampton Island 4–1 Kandorith

Group G Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Hampton Island 2 2 0 0 7 2 +5 6
2 Savojarna 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 6
3 Euran Oceanian Territories 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
4 Kandorith 2 1 0 1 3 5 −2 3
5 Potato Farmers 2 0 0 2 1 3 −2 0
6 Squornshelan Remnant States 2 0 0 2 2 5 −3 0


Mynda, Aksum, Distraught and disbelief struck the fans of Kandorith after an absolute disaster struck the team. Nothing went right for the national team in the match against Hampton Island. A game which was supposed to be on the easier side turned into a complete disaster as they were trashed with a 4 - 1 defeat. For Hayabusa the disaster strikes even harder as he is the one who has to keep the team to a certain set standard. With this result is clear something has to change not just in the mentality of the players but certainly the tactics of the manager and coaching team. Fans are shocked and angered with the defeat and have lashed out against the team on social media.

It is certain the squad is not on track and has to perform in the upcoming matches which is an uphill battle. Kandorith is known for taking the underdog position, but this is looking like a repeat of years ago where they only won the opening match and completely crashed out of the World Cup qualifier with one of the worst goal differences in the history of the tournament. A repeat of this debacle would not just mean disaster for the current Kandorese squad but also for Kandorese football as a whole. Hayabusa promised to show more attacking football but the last match the team looked completely defense in a completely horrible way.

The players seemed lost, unable to find their way around the field as Hampton Island played the ball around with few hindrance from the Kandorese side. "The whole display was laughable and simply an insult to football. There's amateur clubs out there which display more satisfying football." Shinji Osako, of Tenkyo TV stated after being asked to reply on the match. Hayabusa finds himself in a difficult place now, after being eliminated for the World Cup, another early elimination would most likely nominate his position for the shortest held in the history of Kandorese football. The upcoming matches will be visited by the imperial delegation and are of vital importance to stay in the tournament. It's well known the Empress herself is a very fanatic football supporter and she has been known to visit almost all international and some domestic matches whenever Her Imperial Highness can fit the events into her schedule.

Hopefully having Her Imperial Majesty as one of the supporters in the stadium will give the team a much needed boost in confidence and playstyle. Another defeat is something to be avoided at all costs. Currently even a draw is something the Kandorese team will be trying to avoid. With only three matches to go, they will have to give their everything and believe in winning at all costs. Our prediction is all brakes will be off for the team and they will play like they have nothing to lose. Technically the team has nothing to lose, but sometimes leaving a tournament with a head held high is more important than participating. Might Kandorith repeat mistakes of the past, they will not leave the tournament with pride; but rather with absolute dishonour.
Current Happenings:
Opening weekend of the First League in football to go on as planned, even in current freezing temperatures.

|Embassy of Kandorith|
|The Great Empire of Kandorith|
|大香余李帝国|
|Dai Kanyori Teikoku|


Maineiacs wrote:But since the sky and land gave rise to Cronus, ultimately the Gods came from Uranus.

Buffett and Colbert wrote:Putin just makes me want swig a glass of Vodka and take the first plane out to Russia so I can fuck get to know him.

Verlorenen wrote:Just from the flag... Soviet version of Japan?
*shivers*
that's a scary-ass thought.

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PotatoFarmers
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Postby PotatoFarmers » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:29 pm

[FYI: For a complete list of RPs for the CoH, you could refer to my roster page for details. 1 year would have passed between WCQ/BoF and CoH in our calendar.]

Savojarna 1-0 Poafmersia
Venue: Eastern Stadium, Istria, Moravica, Banija

Starting Lineup:
Sandi Jaliaha; Alex Pickford, Danzik Hoboson (c), Pasits Rikachz, Denise Pickford; Matthew Tibrise, Gisiik Moonar, Jessie Mchargarita; Joel Haodao, Shakira Handris, Pete Carisa

Substitutes:
Dargis Walshor (Matthew 55')
Daak Kalson (Jessie 70')
Bytia Hisel (Shakira 78')


Poafmersian Team Hotel, Herzegovina City, Moravica, Banija
They simply forgot how to score.
Poafmersia simply was not at their very best today against Savojarna, and the same problems of the previous game manifested itself in a similar fashion today against Savojarna. Despite Shakira and Joel having good domestic seasons before the Cup, they were probably on one of those matches where they were not at their finest and failed to manage many shots on target. Although the defence of Savojarna was quite sturdy, the players did not make the most of their chances, falling behind in the 21st minute to a free kick and never got back.
Adnan gave an exclusive interview to the Poafmer reporters, and gave his insights to the team's performance thus far in the Cup.

Reporters: Having gone through the first two matches of the five Matchday Group Stage, how do you rate your team thus far?
Adnan: A miserably 5 stars out of 10 would be quite a nice rating, in my opinion. If the first match was lost to the referee, this would be a loss to the Lady Luck then? Really though, I think the players performed way worse today as compared to the first match against Kandorith. It cannot possibly be fatigue issues, since we ended our domestic season quite early and has little more other than one or two friendlies. Probably the most tired person here is Shakira, having played through the entire IFCF Champions League from Group Stage all the way till winning the finals with his new club. However, his performance was one of the better ones as compared to other players around.
Reporters: Do you think this is a sign that Poafmersia is falling out of the Cup of Harmony?
Adnan: Possibly. Some self reflection is needed after these two losses. We are falling too behind and if we do not capture 3 points here against Euran Oceania Territories, we might as well pack up and leave. I don't know if this is the teething problems that comes after a lucky run at the Qualifiers last year, but I think something needs to be done quick and fast.
Reporter: Speaking of Euran Oceania Territories, how do you think of their progress thus far?
Adnan: I think they have improved since our meetings in the World Cup Qualifiers. You can look at the match against the (Squornshelous Remnant) States and see how well they did there. If anything we should be more careful about the next match.
Reporters: FC United of Mancodas, among other teams, have been the forerunner in buying foreign talent last season, especially since the whole of the Super League was allowed to buy foreign players and play them. With the opening of the transfer market to the Premier League clubs, do you foresee more foreign talents coming into the League?
Adnan: Definitely. Better still, I think the current arrangement of maximum 3 foreign players on the field at one time is good for everyone. While not restricting the total number of foreign talent, it allows for a fine balance between increasing competition in our league and also ensuring that our players are well developed.
Reporters: What about local players leaving for foreign leagues?
Adnan: I was quite surprised when Sarim Potatoes sold Joel, their up and coming star striker, to the club in Chromatika. I thought many players and clubs would be hesitant about releasing their talent, but was quite surprised to see this coming though. Really, more local players should be given a chance overseas. You look at Shakira and his stint in Audioslavia. That is what players can learn from, playing with and against some of the finest players of the world at the highest level. If anything Shakira should really consider signing a full contract there for about two or three years. He has changed quite a bit and he could only get better.

Lineup for MD3 match against EOT:
Sandi Jaliaha; Alex Pickford, Danzik Hoboson (c), Pasits Rikachz, Denise Pickford; Matthew Tibrise, Gisiik Moonar, Jessie Mchargarita; Joel Haodao, Shakira Handris, Pete Carisa





Fixture List for Poafmersia:
MD1: Kandorith vs Poafmersia - Lwanga City Arena, Lwanga, Buganda, Banija (cap 26,500) Loss (2-1)
MD2: Poafmersia vs Savojarna - Eastern Stadium, Istria, Moravica, Banija (cap 39,000) Loss (0-1)
MD3: Euran Oceania Territories vs Poafmersia - Star Field, Herzegovina City, Moravica, Banija (cap 70,000)
MD4: Squornshelan Remnant States vs Poafmersia - Albert III Stadium, Dodoma, Bunyoro, Banija (cap 48,600)
MD5: Poafmersia vs Hampton Island - Star Field, Herzegovina City, Moravica, Banija (cap 70,000)


For complete list of matchups, tables and KPB rankings for both the Cup of Harmony and World Cup, please visit our microsite: https://bit.ly/WC84CoH76
IC Name: The People's Republic of Poafmersia (Trigram: PFA)
Mainly lurking around in the RP and WA Section (more of WA than RP).
Citizen of The North Pacific (and also The East Pacific and Lazarus)
Ambassador of The North Pacific to Europe
Deputy Minister of World Assembly Affairs, The North Pacific


Achievements:
Baptism of Fire 71 Bronze Medalists

KPB Ranking (Mid-WC84): 76th ranked, KPB = 9.50, Style: +2.67

Check out the latest NSS World Cup/Cup of Harmony results here: https://bit.ly/WC84CoH76

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Vdara
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 120
Founded: Jul 10, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Vdara » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:09 pm

A loss! Again!


Yet another loss today as Vdara lost 1-0 to a relatively weak Busogan team who were gifted an own goal from the seemingly tired Markos Moustakakos.
The own goal in question was from a shoddy clearance that went directly upwards and landed behind Moustakakos, who’s outstretched hands simply bounced the ball into the net.
Busogan fans celebrated wildly, while Vdaran fans were fuming.
Moustakakos was substituted off for Serapheim Metrakis, who kept a clean sheet for the rest of the match. It is rumoured that Moustakakos will not play the next game, as his mistake led to the manager letting out a lot of rage on the touchline.

Cameras nearby caught the image of Sideropoulos raging like a madman, screaming wildly about Markos’ ‘terrible excuse for a clearance’.

“You know, he certainly didn’t look happy,” noted one Vdaran supporter, “and with good reason, Markos should’ve been a lot better out there, no wonder he came off so early.”

After the match, both Moustakakos and Sideropoulos snubbed the press, with Pardakis being the one to comment.

“It’s not easy, is it? He tries his best, but I feel like something might be getting to him. Maybe it’s something in training, I don’t know.”
The Kingdom of Vdara
A unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy situated in the Mediterranean Sea consisting of the islands of Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes, Thera, and Kasos.

Factbook | Vdaran Airlines | National Anthem | Royal Family | Political Parties | Vai News 24

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Filindostan
Diplomat
 
Posts: 675
Founded: Jun 24, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby Filindostan » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:53 pm

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Some netizens see Terre Septentrionale as one of the threats to Filindostan's chances of progressing from the group stages of the CoH, and all pressure is on Krisna Hendra Sudirman to keep the streak alive...
Last edited by Filindostan on Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Artist formerly known as Sangti | Potentia et Sanctitas Populi
Baptism of Fire 66 Winners
Trigram: FID | Demonym: Filindostani | Capital: San Marco | Leader: Dorigo Dutete | Newswire | No Nonsense Sportswear | Esportiva | IUBC Newswires

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Trolleborg
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 100
Founded: Oct 11, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Trolleborg » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:45 am

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It’s our third match in CoH tournament, some sort of watershed. We will play with Vdara – yet another islanders nation, third in row on our way. And yet again we play with team who tended to care for defence more than for anything else. White-blues putting together blend of young and elder, having fast-moving young line of midfielders and perfect balance in every other line, usually very experienced players in their mid-30s, teamed up with promising youngsters. But things looked like luck does not usually favor them, Vdara took only eighth place in recent WCQ, having won 5, draw 4 and lost 11 games, with a goal difference 38:50, and having two rather unfortunate defeats in CoH. They needed victory, and probably give everything to have it in a forthcoming game. Trolleborg team must be on guard whole game. It’s absolutely necessary, especially with a news that our best forward is out of this game. Coaching staff reported, that Stuart Kerr is already fit to game, but medics nevertheless want that he rests a bit so that the injury probable post-effects does not recur.

Our line-up is as follows:

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Image

FTST85:
This day we are in Busembe, third city in as many days. There serious heat added to humidity and rain, since it’s a hottest region in the country. There rules about drinking enforced less vigorously, so local shops having a windfall selling “Banija Varagi” and other drinks which pleased fan’s soul. Local street musicians, especially drummers, which are many, having found appreciative audience, which dancing and singing in tune with their melodies. And many of the fans loaned famous boda-boda, having make a race around the city center with flags and songs. So we now continue on our tired legs right to the stadium, which have a not- promising-much-fun name “Wolf’s Den”. Yes, into Wolf’s Den we enter following our beloved team.

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Trolleborg TV again give us a glimpse of what happened at the stadium, which having a rather long name “Tiones Lumber Field at the Wolf's Den”. Green Sea already roaring, eagerly awaiting arrival of “their lads” on the field.

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Mkabia
Secretary
 
Posts: 28
Founded: Oct 28, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Mkabia » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:05 am

“… And with all this being said, we’re going live to the touchline where Mamadouba Diawara, the proverbial matchwinner with the two goals which brought Mkabia their first point in the Cup of Harmony, is standing. And so is Issa Conteh, take it away Issa!”

The screen switched to a reporter with a comically sized pair of headphones, who still looked slightly bewildered at the realization that every word of him would go into all living rooms of the nation within three seconds – but so would every grammatical mistake and unexpected hesitation.

“Yes, yes indeed, the Stade Djalenga striker is standing here, next to me. Mamadouba, what a magnificent strike for the equalizer, deep into the extra time… It sounds like something from a children’s book or badly written roleplay.”
“I think we deserved that goal, we had put the pressure on them in the last fifteen, twenty minutes… It was bound to happen.”
“Still, the touch from Fodé Siry came a little bit behind you, that looked tough to handle.”
“Look, if you play together for such a long time already – there is a connection between you. Trust. And trust is so important in football, you should be able to trust those around you.”
“And then the shot… Meehan didn’t stand a chance.”
“If you get a ball like that, you just put your laces through it.”
“A brace, your third in international football already. Can you guide us through the first one?”
“A good through pass from Zongo and, well, on speed I can handle these guys, maybe my opponent, ehm… the hairband guy?”
“Mark James?”
“Exactly, he left a bit of space for me and well… He didn’t make that mistake a second time.”
“It must feel good after a rocky start of the Cup for you, ninety minutes on the bench against Mattijana, again not started in the second duel.”

The eyes of Diawara closed a little.

“They say a fox isn’t caught twice in the same snare – but then again, that is a cunning animal. Look, if you want to see goals, there is only one address where you can be. I would have thought that everyone would know that by now but there, I underlined it for the people in the back.”

And with those words, he paced out of the interview and into the tunnel. The reporter hesitated a second, ogled his cameraman nervously who made the reflex to switch a little to the left. Kei Tankary, who had admitted to an interview as well, stood there with an open mouth, gasping for air after the exclamations from his striker. Issa Conteh might not be the best of journalists, but he recognized a shot in front of an empty goal when he saw one.

“Rough words from Diawara and a clear signal to the coaching staff. Will he be overlooked again for the Balqia game?”

Like a fish, Tankary panted for air before muttering some words into the microphone.

“It’s too soon to say something yet, we will analyze the situation.”
“But he did play amazing, didn’t he. It makes you wonder why he did not start tonight? I might even bluntly say that, considering the shots missed by Akakpo, this cost us two points?”

There were ten things to say about these statements – because you could hardly call it questions anymore but none made it from the brain from Tankary all the way to his mouth.

“It’s… ehm… a well-considered decision,” he eventually scrambled together, trying not to think about Franc Strikerpicker, “that didn’t work out as anticipated. Akakpo made a positive effort, so did the whole team.”

At last, Kei felt, he gotten in that platitude-blazing interview rhythm and his pace raised with every word.

“It was one against a difficult opponent, a candidate for the knock-outs with a Scott Coleman keeping up his form. But despite his goals, the team didn’t relent, they kept looking for opportunities and playing our own game,” Tankary hardly wasn’t thinking anymore, he just rambled, “with a lot of vigor. We made some tactical changes which benefited us as the starting side had worn out Flavovespia a little and it paid off. A big effort from all and one that gives confidence for the next confrontation with Balqia.”
“One with Diawara in the starting eleven?”
“Ehm…” his confidence crumbled at once, “we’ll see.”

And without as much as a goodbye, Kei Tankary made his way to the dressing room. He didn’t need to get close to the door to hear the heated discussion indoors.
Last edited by Mkabia on Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Newmanistan
Senator
 
Posts: 4599
Founded: Feb 17, 2005
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Newmanistan » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:26 am

THE ROCKET REPORT

THE SCARPA EMPIRE PREVAILS


by Brianne Henry,

Rockets fans who made the trip to Hangaza Unified Stadium, and many more watching at home could only shake their heads in frustration. Their team had been thoroughly outplayed for the duration of the match by a squad that they should have been well-prepared for, playing them for the third time this cycle. That logic obviously also applies for Brusseldorf to be ready for us, and they were certainly the more prepared team. Newmanistan proved nothing in their opening matchday win over Vdara, as they were supposed to win that match and do so easily. They did, by the score of 2-0. Against Brusseldorf, at least one person proved themselves.

That person would be Aaron Scarpa, the goalkeeper who was admittedly awful down the stretch for us in qualifying as we stumbled home like a damaged race car just logging laps to get an extra point in the standings. Ryan McNamara had done so well, but Scarpa was the polar opposite. I’ve written it enough now that Scarpa would have short leash if he struggled early in the Cup of Harmony, and his clean sheet against Vdara was a positive start. Vindication could potentially come for Scarpa against Brusseldorf, one of the nations that made him look bad at the end of qualifying. The “magic boxes” formation of Los Alrededores was something that seemed to frustrate our team for some reason, as they were dominated in overall possession for the match, 62-38%, a margin that was even a worse 67-33% in the second half. Captain Teddy Wolfenden managed a total of seven shots on target personally, and his teammates around him also did equally well. Newmanistan managed just three shots on target for the entire match. Every offensive statistic was dominated by Brusseldorf except the important one on the scoreboard. That zero just would not go away for the better side as Aaron Scarpa played what may have been the best game of his career, either at home or at the international level. His 70th minute fingertip save on Wolfenden was the best we’ve seen from him, ever, I think. Scarpa was beat, technically, in the 22nd minute, but Wolfenden was offsides, and the linesman and referee were well on top of it to make sure it was disallowed before anyone even thought about beginning a celebration. With Newmanistan unable to get any offense going themselves, Rockets fans just kept hoping to “at least get a draw”. It’s not a mentality anyone wants to have, but it was ours in the dying moments. When the final whistle blew, the sides ended up with a point apiece. For Newmanistan, only Aaron Scarpa really earned the point, but if he had to redeem himself to anyone after qualifying, he may have done exactly that. With this effort, the job his likely his for the remainder of the Cup of Harmony. Unless of course, Bolgano lights him up in the next match.

Bolgano is the next match for the team, and it is the first ever meeting between the sides unless I’m missing something. Graciously, I was informed that it is not necessary to type the nation’s name in all capitals. I don’t know why someone told me that was necessary to do, but we can just write and type it normally. It is not an acronym for Busch Or Logano Give All Nightmares Often. That’s a RL States analogy only about five of you will get, so don’t worry if you don’t.
On to the game!
Six-time World Baseball Classic Champions
NEWMANISTAN SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS:
CHAMPIONSHIPS: DBC 4; 27th BoF; CoH 34, 36, & 37; Oxen Cup 12; WBC 10, 12, 15, 17, 41, & 43; IBC 4 & 5; WLC 1
Runner Up: DBC 5 & 6; Oxen Cup 6; WBC 7,9 11, & 14; IBC 1; WB 4, 6 & 34; WLC 2 & 3
World Cups qualified for: 46, 48 (R of 16), 49, 50, 54
Hosted: WORLD CUP 49, WB 1, 2, & 5; WBC 8, 11, 14, 19, & 38; CoH 33, 35, & 39; WLC 2, 4 & 5; WCoH 10, IBC 24, NSSCRA, Horse Racing

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Flavovespia
Attaché
 
Posts: 86
Founded: Mar 22, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Flavovespia » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:36 am

Image


Flavovespia 3–3 Mkabia
Steven Hall 29' Scott Coleman 35', 59' - 53', 94' Mamadouba Diawara 65' Mamadou Zongo


After the highs of the draw to Mercedini, Flavovespia then experienced the lows of international football, with their 3-3 draw against Mkabia. Flavovespia simply didn’t do enough to put away their opponents when they had the chance, and ultimately paid for it.

The relatively modest sized Velstin Point West Stadium in Xanneria was the venue for this match. An unchanged lineup was announced for Flavovespia, lining up in their yellow home shirts, and black shorts and socks. Mkabia lined up in their green away kits for this match.

The match between the Pot 5 and Pot 6 sides began quite open, with both teams looking to create chances. In the 6th minute, Terence Daley was unlucky to get a decent ball in from Steven Hall caught under his feet, as he tried to control the ball and shoot. Not long later at the other end, Mamadou Zongo played in a good ball towards Idrissa Akakpo, but the Mkabia striker blasted it well wide, not troubling Meehan. Incidentally Meehan was not wearing the green goalkeeper jersey, but the white 3rd kit instead as a backup keeper jersey, to avoid a kit clash.

Both sides continued to carve out some opportunities in the first half, but on the 29th minute it was Flavovespia who struck first. Steven Hall played a quick one two with Scott Coleman to get free down the right wing. Hall kept running into the box, and his curling shot was beyond the reach of Salim Sankaré. 1-0 for Flavovespia, who were happy to take the lead in a close game.

It took 6 minutes before Flavovespia doubled their lead. Feld found room on the wing to get a ball into the box. Coleman, despite leaning backwards, did enough to get solid contact on the ball, and the ball floated beyond Sankaré and into the goal. 2-0 now for Flavovespia, who were now beginning to feel confident in their performance.

2-0 at half time, and although Flavovespia were happy with things, Mkabia certainly wasn’t. The profligacy of Idrissa Akakpo meant that he was substituted off for Mamadouba Diawara in an attempt to claw something back from this game.

The change had a pretty big impact in the early stages of the second half. A through ball from Mamadou Zongo found the substitute Mamadouba Diawara. Diawara used pace to beat Mark James, who hadn’t pressed him initially, and opened up a clear sight of goal for the Mkabia player. Diawara made no mistake with a good shot to beat Meehan, and make it 2-1.

Flavovespia got their 3rd though not long afterwards. This time Coleman through the middle pushed forward. A quick one-two with Daley opened up the space for Coleman to have a go, and he took it well, beating the keeper and making it 3-1. Coleman was once again on a great run of form, fast proving why he will be a vital part of the national team it seems for a while.

The game wasn’t over yet, and in the 65th minute, Mkabia found their way back into it. A free kick wasn’t cleared well by Flavovespia, and in a scramble, the ball fell to Mamadou Zongo, who did enough to get a shot between a few outstretched legs and beyond Meehan to make it 3-2. Nervy times would await Flavovespia.

Crawford began to make changes. Despite improving after his earlier error, Mark James was subbed off for Neil Wright, and Alan Holt made way for Jordaan Wolfson. The emphasis was clearly on defence for the team in the lead, as they looked to try and take 3 points.

The subs unfortunately seemed to stifle the attacking play of Flavovespia. The players struggled to create anything, and as the minutes ticked on towards injury time, Mkabia were looking the much more likely to score again. The introduction of Barkes for Daley didn’t seem to change much for Flavovespia.

There were 5 minutes of injury time, and in the 4th one of those, it all came apart for Flavovespia. A through ball by Fodé Siry seemed to be a bit behind where Diawara wanted it. However he was set up to take a shot with it. The shot was as perfect as it can be, flying off his boot with pace and accuracy. Meehan could do nothing to keep it out, and Mkabia would take their first point of the campaign.

For Flavovespia, a disappointing result, as they failed to hold on to a lead. 2 points from 2 games, they go up against Tamgu next, who themselves have the same record. The group is still very open with 2 of 5 matchdays played, so Flavovespia could very well put themselves in serious contention for the knockout stages, if they can find a win from somewhere. However, they have to get that win first, never an easy task in international football.



A History of Football in Flavovespia


Part 21

The realisation of uniting the 2 separate systems would finally come in the next few years, albeit, the road to that part was somewhat bumpy, and it came with a new set of issues for the league. Nevertheless, for a period it seemed as if football was finally going to come together as one system under the GWNFA in the nation.

11BU in the GWNFA Super League saw Waldster break another one of their ducks to win the title, followed by their Big 3 rivals, St Astons City and Hadford Hill. Abbots Lunsel, Vale and Loxthorpe Rovers would occupy the rest of the top half. Meanwhile the GWNFA Challenge League continued with just 15 teams. Talks of adding a 16th team amongst the GWNFA for 11BU didn’t amount to anything, with the rumour that Hopford, who were still outside the CCGW but won the 12BU United and Eastern Alliance Division 1, were privately blocked from joining. The truth of the matter has never been proven, although some in Hopford were aggrieved anyway.

10BU was the year the agreement between the GWNFA and United and Eastern Alliance was finally met. The GWNFA agreed to allow a new division, the United and Eastern Alliance Premier Division, to be given parity with the GWNFA Challenge League. The agreement would see the 4 former United and Eastern Alliance clubs, Capton Club, Captonbridge Rangers, Croxlich and Oxwich join the Top 8 of the United and Eastern Alliance Division 1. The United and Eastern Alliance pyramid would still exist, albeit with the top 3 divisions (Premier, Division 1, Division 2) only with 12 teams now.

The United and Eastern Alliance had angled for an automatic promotion spot of the winner of the Premier Division to go into the GWNFA Super League, but had to settle for a compromise. The winners of the GWNFA Challenge League and the United and Eastern Alliance Premier Division would play a 2 legged playoff. The winner is automatically promoted, the loser has a 2 legged playoff against 11th in the GWNFA Super League for a spot in the top tier the next season.

There were critics on both sides. Some felt that the fact the GWNFA Challenge League still didn’t have relegation was unfair, although that agreement was one of the ways the GWNFA Challenge League sides agreed to the deal. Furthermore the United and Eastern Alliance was for the first system under the merger, still technically independent from the GWNFA, and still enjoyed a fair level of grandfathered autonomy that the GWNFA clubs didn’t have. Nevertheless, at the end of 10BU, Apsbrooke, North Mayshop, South Maishop, Nailwood Mills, Boll Lake Mariners, Batchingtonwood Rovers, Cartswood Rangers and Sutsyridge joined GWNFA sides Croxlich , Captonbridge Rangers FC, Oxwich and Capton Club to form the United and Eastern Alliance Premier Division.

The question about the teams in the GWNFA Challenge League remained. The division was now down to 11, but the GWNFA wanted to return to 12 teams. The solution was somewhat political in mature. Marthorpe was formerly in the Hadford Hill region, but in 10BU, split from Hadford Hill to form a region of its own, and that region immediately joined the CCGW. The GWNFA accepted a deal by a consortium, backed by the new region, to form a club called Marthorpe City. This didn’t go down well with many sides across the nation. Many saw it as a political move by the GWNFA, both for reasons relating to the CCGW, and to try and bring in commercial opportunities from Marthorpe. Others thought the club had cynically brought their way automatically into the second tier, even though the pyramid had now been linked up. Nevertheless, the club was born, despite all the annoyances and rumours of a boycott.
Formerly the Republic of Greater Waldster, internationally known as Greater Watford. IC It's a long story (OOC I didn't like using real place names)

Credit to designevo.com for many of the logo templates used

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Savojarna
Diplomat
 
Posts: 979
Founded: Nov 11, 2016
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Savojarna » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:27 am

Niklas Hoyman lounged in his chair in a hotel room, topless and with wet hair in SFFB training pants. After dinner, he had been lifting weights together with Simon and Freya, and his roommate Alexey Nurkanen. Since the horrible campaign and their revolt against Olaf Jurtanen, the team had grown together much more, and the atmosphere had changed. They were now in it for real again, and pretty much everyone did something. They had been lifting. Jashkin, Pedersen and Grivoshenko had been out doing extra work on their running and dribbling. The goalies were doing extra units with Valtteri. Outside his window, he could see Maersk and Otalainen jogging along, chatting about the Poafmersia game. The team had been bent on revenge, and they had grown into a true unit over their defeats. Now, Nick was awaiting Alexey to finish his shower, and the two wanted to check out the highlights from the Hampton Islands vs. Kandorith match. The Islands had not been on their radar too much, but they stunned Kandorith and the Squornshelan Remnant States - a victory over them would push Savojarna far, far above two of their close competitors. Of course, Zackrisson would do a proper review with them, but it could never hurt to look at it yourself. He was on a video site, looking for the highlights, when he stumbled upon something waiting for Alexey.

The thumbnail showed a football pitch, clearly not consciously chosen - it could have been any game that has been shown on TV. What caught his attention was the name. “Team Savojarna #6 Nick HOYMAN HIGHLIGHTS”, it spelled. He chuckled and clicked. The most generic video editor title screen glared at him, revealing the video was probably made by some bored Savojar highschooler that had cobbled it together in a boring lesson. The video opened with a shot of his most recent goal in the NT, a strong header following a corner against Welqat, and then descended deep down memory lane. Apparently the bored highschooler was quite good at dragging up video, because as the hectic tune of one of Savojarna’s many, many popular DJs picked up speed, it showed a play he had made at the Baptism of Fire, of all places. He was a lot younger back then, just twenty years old, and the pass shown on the video was a kind of risky play that he wouldn’t dare anymore. Nick couldn’t help but chuckle as he saw his young self in the old Meski jersey - blonde braid bumping up and down on his back, the beard longer and wilder than now, and the jersey not nearly as white as he started out with.

The image brought back memories. Back then, he had shared a room with the young Nils Kristensen, whose career had crumbled before it started. He hadn’t quite been able to handle the sudden fame, and had gone out too much. Didn’t perform anymore and was lent out to Zenit Jegrava to find his spirit again, away from the big lights and crowds, but into a brutally physical league. A defender had broken his knee, and Nils was never the same again. He now played in the First Division, as a semi-pro, but for one wonderful time Nils Kristensen was a Northlight. There were surprisingly many players back then that were broken by the switch to professionalism, Nick thought. Antoni Yoravchuk, a young striker who had been a bit of a hot potato in the SFS because he had disciplinary issues. He was dropped after he ended up in jail for six months after a bar fight - and nobody wanted him afterwards. The clip that was playing showed him in the match against EEC, a country that probably didn’t even exist anymore. He had played that game with his arm all scratched up, he remembered, because Antoni had held his sleeve back time and time again at corners in training. His mind wandered to the night before the match against EEC. He had been sitting in a hotel room like this, over in Bonesea (another one of those nations that he wasn’t quite sure if they even still existed), together with Nils, and they had been drinking cider and watching a game. He remembered the ritual they performed. He hadn’t done it in years, but it felt right. Fitting for this new Savojar team. He knew the clay cup was still in his travel bag.

Digging deep through it, he found it. The triscele with the star etched into it was a bit worn down, but still there clear to read. The number six inside still was shining out to him as he ran his finger over it. The runes made him cringe a bit. “Victory and Bravery”, spelled the top line, with the word “Savojarna” wrapped around the bottom. He took the little bottle of mead out from the bag, good Sjoedrhavener mead that he bought at the airport. Uncorking it, he felt a tingle on his back. He stepped onto the night balcony, feeling the warm Banijan air and the cold necklace with Thor’s hammer on his still topless body. He heard Alexey leave the bathroom, and waved him outside. “Do you remember Bonesea?”, he asked. The Finn chuckled. “Was there once, yea. Those were times. Almost as bad as now”, he said. “I brought this cup. Had it made back then, because I was so proud. Looks kinda funny now”, Nick said, producing the clay cup full of mead. “We used to do a bit of a sacrifice back then. Can’t harm, we can use the help tomorrow”, he said, raising the cup high into the nightly sky. Alexey stood next to him, putting a hand of his own onto Nick’s clay cup as they knelt down on one knee.

Each of them whispered their own God’s names. Nick was praying to the Gods of his fathers as had learned from his father before his first big game as a youth player: Odin would give him the wisdom he’d need, and Tyr the audacity not to stand down. Uller would be gracing him good fates in battle, and above all of them he needed power. The power of Thor. Those were his father’s words when he gave Nick the necklace with Mjölnir that he was wearing now. Good Ejanan silver. Next to him, Alexey mumbled names that were ununderstandable to Nick. Old Sumani Gods, mysterious as the forests they came from. Reaching into the cup, their hands touched as they sprinkled out some mead, reciting the words on the cup. Then, Nick kissed his necklace while Alexey raised his hand to the sky before bringing it down to his chest. Nick drank half the mead hastily, a drop running down his face, before passing on the cup to Alexey, who would finish it. The Gods would look kindly upon Savojarna. They would beat Hampton Islands and punch their tickets, if the Gods will.
Achievements:
Reigning Handball World Champions (HWC 20)
WCoH 34 runner-up
Olympic medal count (winter): 6-2-3
HOSTED:
WJHC 12, WCoH 34, Alpine Skiing World Tour
National newswire

Socialist island state 2018 - Cultural mixture of Scandinavia, Finland and Russia -Exports iron, steel, silver and wood - Low fantasy in terms of animal species - Sports-loving - 22.8 million inhabitants.

The adjective is Savojar; Savojarnan is not a word!
I am 21, male, and study politics and history. I like left communism, foreign politics, philosophy, ice hockey and metal. Feel free to TG me if youre bored or something, I guess.

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Xanneria
Diplomat
 
Posts: 529
Founded: Sep 08, 2018
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Xanneria » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:07 pm

Xanneria takes down Razneta in brutal 1-0 win
By Steve Stevenson


PALACE CITY - A 1-0 victory made the sting of the loss to Bears Armed better. A rough and tumble game that saw three Raznetan players red carded. Also a suspicious deal given that the only score of the game came in when Pete Saigon took a penalty kick off of a controversial call that eventually saw a redcard for Raznetan goalkeeper Ranka Mazioka get redcarded for what seemed to be a simple question directed at a referee. The backlash could be big and will be investigated. The Maroons struggled offensively, having a lower time of possession than young upstart Razneta, losing the battle 58-44. Even with that full twelve minute difference, it seemed like penalties and questionable turnover cost Razneta dearly. Razneta made a couple of pushes but despite Han Golodiva making a couple deep pushes, most of the time of possession was in Raznetan territory. The big issue though was the referees. Jeb Gyorko had said that he instructed all referees in the Xannerian groups to let players play and to allow playing in the style of a traditional Xannerian style of football. A style that involves a lot of brutality and rough tackling, making the amount of yellow cards and red cards somewhat suspicious.

UPDATE: As it turns out the referee in charge of the Xannerian / Razneta game did have Tamgu ties. Jed Gyorko has taken him off the referee roster immediately! The unnamed referee has apparently done work in Tamgu, but is not a Tamgu native. Gyorko has said that "he is sorry to the people of Razneta and Tamgu and Xanneria as a whole and we are looking to make sure the rest of the tourniment runs smoothly and that we won't allow this to happen again!"

XANNERIA - 1

Saigon 52'

RAZNETA - 0
none
Xanneria: My main nation
Teams
NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: Maroons - Record 40-10-38 (W-D-L) (This may not be 100% accurate)
FIRST CONTEST: Copa Esportiva 23
FIRST GAME: Vangazaland 3-1 Xanneria
FIRST WIN: 5-3 vs Qingland
LARGEST MOV: 5-0 vs Pineapple Porcupines
CHAMPIONSHIPS:Baptism of Fire 69 (Nice!) winner / Group Winner CE24
Non Association Football Stats
NSCF TEAMS: Xannerian Polytechnic
NSSCRA: Cars #10,12,16

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Hampton Island
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 132
Founded: Aug 24, 2017
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Hampton Island » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:11 pm

Scenario: A phone call between the Stafford City Stadium CEO (at home) and manager Hannah Sanders in Banija

Sanders: Hello boss!

CEO: Hello, Hannah, congratulations on your second victory. This is already better then we ever could have imagined.

Sanders: Thank you, like they are doing so good.

CEO: You didn’t even have much player diving in the win over Kandorith. What happened?

Sanders: The referee, like, insulted me before the game. So I, like, threatened to like, report him for what he said to whoever runs this thing.

CEO: What did he say to you?

Sanders: So like I was just standing there on the sideline before the game like during the warmup or whatever and like the referee comes up to me and like he tells me that like cheerleaders can’t be that close to the field. And I was like what and he was like cheerleaders can’t be close to the field. And I said like we don’t have cheerleaders and then he was like aren’t you a cheerleader. So I was like oh my God, like how insulting and I then I was like I am the manager. He was then like no you are not the manager so then I was like, uh huh, yes I am the manager and then I like pulled out my credential or whatever and he was like so embarrassed.



CEO: Okay, I think I understood that. So then what happened?

Sanders: Yeah so like I knew that would totally be such an awesome chance to like get all the calls or whatever so I told that I was like very insulted and it was like totally unprofessional for him to like insult me like that so that I was going to report him to the organizers. So then he was like how can I make it up to you and I was like I think you know how you can and then I walked away from him.

CEO: That was very smart. I knew I hired the right person for this job.

Sanders: Yeah and then I like told the team that like the referee like totally insulted me so that I like wanted them to do extra good to make the referee look like really stupid.

CEO: I noticed our actual soccer players were especially good in the match. Some of the Kandorith players really seemed to be off of their game.

Sanders: Yeah I like really thought our guys did really good. Like you know the ones we have on the team because they like actually really play soccer or whatever.

CEO: You’re inspired pep talks really go far, too.

Sanders: Thanks!

CEO: Kandorith is going to send members of the imperial delegation to their matches now.

Sanders: Like what’s an imperial delegation?

CEO: Nevermind. Just that their Empress is going to go the games.

Sanders: You mean like an actual Empress? I bet like she’s beautiful.

CEO: Perhaps in her own way, but not as beautiful as you are, sweetie.

Sanders: Aww, thanks boss.

CEO: How do you like Banija so far?

Sanders: It’s different but kinda cool I guess.

CEO: I am told that the next game you are going to is at a stadium typically reserved for major matches. So it goes to show how much they respect you for the upcoming match against Savojarna.

Sanders: Well like that’s cool and all they like told me its named after a soda so even though I don’t really like soda because I don’t like all that sugar and stuff, I saw they had a low sugar option so I like tried it and I don’t know I like didn’t really like it so maybe that’s just because I like don’t really drink soda.

CEO: Whatever works for you, Hannah. Good luck in the next match!

Sanders: Thank you!

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Hapilopper
Envoy
 
Posts: 322
Founded: Apr 30, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Hapilopper » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:52 pm

BCEL Stadium, Jinja City, Banija
Cup of Harmony Match 2: Hapilopper v. Sajnur
News travels fast, whether you want it to or not. While Dominic Probst had told the reporters from the Hapilopper Television Network and the Hapilopper City Herald that their conversation at the bar was off-record, it didn’t stop the Herald reporter, Billy Alexander, from posting a “rumor” about what he had heard on twii.tur. While the reporter didn’t name Dom in his post, he did state that he had “heard from high-level sources at the HFA that a larger replacement to Capital Stadium is being considered for Conyers.”

Consequently, Dom had to spend all of the next morning on the phone with elected officials from Hapilopper City and the suburban city of Conyers, as well as the federal government, explaining to them that the reporter had made something out of what was mere idle chatter, and the HFA was nowhere near ready to announce anything related to a new stadium, and in fact, the association might even decide against building a new stadium.

Even still, representatives from the Hapilopper City government as well as the federal government travelled to Jinja City to watch the second Cup of Harmony match with Dom Probst. They weren’t in a very positive mood about what they had heard and they wanted an explanation. They wanted to know, straight from the source, exactly what was going on.

As the Haps struggled mightily against the Sajnurans, Dom was struggling mightily to explain the situation to government representatives, who needed a little better explanation than he was giving.

“Look, the fact is, we’d really like to host one of these major tournaments, and we had heard that a 66,000 seat stadium would be too small to host the first match or the final of a major WCC tournament, you know?” Dom explained.

He was getting a little bit nervous. The eyes of the government officials were burning a hole in his head and he could feel it. The officials were not impressed with this idea.

“Mr. Probst, how much are you asking for?” asked Curtis Tompkins, the city manager for Hapilopper City. “Because I can tell you whatever you’re proposing won’t be popular with voters or councilmen.”

“I don’t know,” Dom replied. “I don’t even know if we’re even going to build a stadium or not. All I’m doing right now is the first stages of a study to see what we’d need to do to host a major tournament in Hapilopper. I don’t know if that even means we’ll be building a new stadium or not. We had simply heard 66,000 wasn’t enough.”

“And all I’m telling you is that if you do build a new stadium, it’s going to cost more money than we’re willing to provide,” Tompkins said. “Hell, look at Tyrus County north of Surrey. They built BankTrust Park a few years ago on the back of the taxpayers and everyone hates it. The place cost twice, three times as much as they had originally forecast, it was behind schedule and it’s empty half the time the Wolves play. We’re not going to fund a stadium if it’s going to be like that.”

A representative from the federal government nodded her head in agreement.

“We’re not going to fund something like that either,” said the representative, Alice Purcell. “We’ll do a cost analysis for you, and I’m assuming you will be too, but we’re not interested in building something that’ll likely go for over a billion dollars or more, unless we can get an assurance that this stadium will directly lead to us getting a World Cup or even the Cup of Harmony, or hell, even the AOCAF.”

“Right,” Dom said, a little bit deflated. “I’m sure our research will give us a better answer in due time.”

Dom looked out onto the field, where the Sajnurans were having their way with the Haps. Andre Naulo scored once, in the 42nd and Ahmed Nazar put it away in the 72nd to make it 2-0. An Ernie Stevenson goal in the 79th was all the Haps could muster in what was a very frustrating match for the Hapilopper National Football Team.

In all fairness, though, a lot of the players were, to say the least, distracted. Nothing bad, but they were distracted.

(OOC: The following is based on what I did on Saturday. Thank goodness last night wasn’t a match day!)
The Hapilopper Team Hotel, Busukuma, Banija
The next day
For whatever reason, the online racing simulator “eRacing” was massively popular in the Dominion, and was just as popular among the Hapilopper National Football Team and its staff. Many brought their simulator equipment with them to Banija for the Cup of Harmony, and for good reason. The day after the Sajnur match, eRacing was holding a sim racing version of the Day of the Dominion, the annual 24-hour sports car classic traditionally held on Hapilopper’s Independence Day. Usually, this race was held the week before the DotD, but due to a technical glitch or two, eRacing’s Day of the Dominion would be held while the HNFT was out in Banija for the Cup of Harmony.

Several players were on different teams for the event. Ernie Stevenson would team with his brother Drake and their father Carl. Fernie Fairburn, Auggie Burton, Steve Erickson and Brandon Herbert teamed in another car. Nate Ellis, Kendrick Ayers and national team exile Cooter Harris (living now in Xanneria) were driving another car. Dom Probst, Thom Perkins and assistant manager Buddy Martinez drove another. Because of the immense amount of teams and drivers competing (estimated to be somewhere around 5,000 teams, and 20,000 drivers), the event was split off into a large amount of splits, and surprisingly, a couple of HNFT driver squads were put up against each other.

The Stevenson family, with the assistance of Drake’s old HASCAR crew chief John Malloy, had a great race, competing in the top split of all teams in the event, and interestingly, competing against four drivers from Team Blue: Chris Holmes, Frank Bronson, Chet Byrd and Taylor Henderson. The Stevenson family finished third overall, with some poorly-behaving backmarkers impacting their shot at victory.

On the other hand, the Ellis/Ayers/Harris team and the Probst/Perkins/Martinez team had a real ordeal through the 24 hours, and a little bit of it involved each other. Running 9th and 10th in the 7th hour of the race, Nate and Thom were driving their separate cars on one of the fastest points of the circuit. Thom, using the draft to his advantage, passed Nate for position, and in an attempt to get him back just before the braking point, Nate accidentally rear-ended Thom, sending both cars into a tire wall.

As his car was being towed for a 50-minute repair job, Thom got out of his chair and stormed out of his hotel room. Right across the hall, Dom stepped out of his hotel room, asking about what just happened.

“Nate just dumped me,” Thom muttered as he kept walking. It was apparent he was walking to Nate Ellis’s hotel room to have a little word with him. Unfortunately for Nate, Thom, being the head coach of the HNFT, had a key to his room and could enter at any time if he needed to. Unfortunately for Nate, with his headset on, he never heard Thom entering his hotel room. Nate was trying to drive his car back to the pits. As he was trying to drive back, a shoe flew right in front of him, bouncing off the monitor he was using and startling him to the point that he snapped around the track and right into the path of the race leader, who speared the hapless Nate Ellis’s car, causing a massive accident.

“DUDE! What the hell?!” Nate snapped as he turned around

“You took me out, man, and you did it on purpose,” Thom replied.

“I missed my braking point,” Nate replied. “I said I was sorry. I didn’t mean to wreck you, I misjudged the corner.”

Meanwhile, the race leader, a guy from Kingsland named Jeremy Rodriguez, was screaming and swearing over the radio, and was vowing that he would be protesting what had just happened. When he put the headset on, he realized he had accidentally demolished the leader, who was still going on a diatribe about irresponsible driving. Nate responded by explaining he had a story to tell, and it might sound out there, but all of it was true.
Rodriguez didn’t believe it, specifically the part about Nate wrecking his head coach and his head coach throwing a shoe at him, but it was all true.

Unfortunately for Nate, Rodriguez was streaming the whole thing, and the stream’s viewers quickly let Rodriguez know that Nate actually wasn’t kidding, he really had accidentally taken out his head coach, and that really was Nate Ellis speaking over the radio. When the rest of the HNFT got wind of it, they had a great laugh about it and needled both Nate and Thom about it for the rest of the Cup of Harmony.
Hapilopper: The home of TEAM BLUE and the winner of the 70th Baptism of Fire!
NSSCRA drivers: #8 - Frank Bronson | #73 - Taylor Henderson | #81 - Chris Holmes
WGPC driver: #81 - Drake Stevenson
Made with pride in Atlantian Oceania.

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Mercedini
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Posts: 953
Founded: Mar 05, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mercedini » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:52 pm

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76th Cup of Harmony
Double Ds
@ Cunningham Metropolitan Stadium - Delano City, Xanneria


Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to Mercedini Sports Daily's coverage of the 76th Cup of Harmony, coming to you from Banija and Xanneria. When you left us, Mercedini were just embarking on their journey in the Cup of Harmony, placed into a rather competitive group versus some established names and some up and coming future powers. They went into the tournament as 2nd favourites behind the juggernauts of Pasarga, but went into the group as top seed and looking to rank up the points and qualify easily before the knockout rounds. They were based in Delano City for their first game in Xanneria and faced a dogged and feisty Flavovespia side who were making their debut in the tournament. Following that they faced Tamgu, who were a little more known but were still a side that Mercedini could beat on the best of days. However, in the heat of Xanneria and the neutral ground of Delano City, anything was possible in a tournament where shocks and upsets are aplenty. So, Dini are two games into their campaign at the Cup of Harmony, let's see if they are picking up where they left off from their last tournament, or whether the former winners are making a meal of a tournament where they are the second highest ranked team:

Mercedini 1-1 Flavovespia: It just goes to show that even the best of teams aren't immune to last minute equalisers and dropping points at the death. Dini were at the right end of many last-minute goals to take points from teams up and down the table, but that still didn't help them get to the promised land. Now, karma has come back around to take points away from them, and it came in the form of a stubborn Flavovespia side who stayed in it and got their reward as the match ticked into stoppage time. It took Mercedini less than a quarter of an hour to take the lead in the tournament to give them the best possible start in Xanneria. Dostalok holding off his marker and striking the ball sweetly into the bottom corner. They asserted their dominance throughout most of the first half, but they couldn't make the pressure count as their opposition were holding out for the right moment to strike.

Their advantage was limited to only one as the second half started, which suited the Flavian players as they only needed one chance to get themselves right back into the game, which made it a war of attrition on the field, and the fans certainly knew about it. The front two of Chillotov and Dostalok were pulling the strings up front but were fustrated many times by last-ditch and heroic tackling from their opponents, they threw their bodies on the line for their team and their nation. As long as Mercedini didn't score a second goal, they were in with a crack.

Then the moment came. Plenty of jostling for position as the original ball into the penalty area was blocked was initially scraped away by Toivonen in the defensive line. He charged down the second ball but a brilliant juke from Coleman opened up the space for him to rifle his shot inside the near post. Hosset got a palm to the shot but the ball nestled into the net as the announcement for four minutes of stoppage time rang out around the stadium. The Flavovespia team were overjoyed as they celebrated with their fans in the corner of the stadium. They had stuck in it for most of the match and got their just desserts for their effort. Mercedini had several clear cut chance to find a winner deep into added time, but their opponents dug deep for a famous draw against the Pot 1 side. 1-1 it ended, the difference in emotion was palpable come the end of the match.

Tamgu 4-4 Mercedini: If the pressure was on Lyndainium at the end of that first draw, it was turned up to eleven following the end of their second draw against Tamgu. Four goals were scored by the Pot 1 side against lower ranked opposition, but that still wasn't enough for victory as Lyndainium's bold choice to field younger players and second-choices didn't pay off, with Tamgu taking the opportunity to take points from a weakened Mercedinian side. Feliks Alva was the highlight of a team which seemed out of their depth for the occasion, especially when they are representing a World Top 30 side in a secondary tournament. Alva netted a brace, with Alotic and Karlovic both getting on the score sheet for the first time at the tournament. The neutral turf of Xanneria once again proved an issue for the team, as they couldn't put down a rabid Tamgu side who never seemed to know when they were beaten. Five goals in the first half and a further three in the second saw Dini's lead evaporate and removed any sense of authority they had in the group going into the tournament. Going forward, this could be extremely dangerous with teams now knowing points can be taken from Mercedini, with only one extra chance needed for the Golden Eagles to be overcome and put them in a precarious position in the group. Thankfully, the draw was not a knockout blow for Mercedini, but two opening draws on their return to the Cup of Harmony isn't exactly what the players or their fans wanted.

In a rather open Group D, draws reign supreme, with all but two matches finishing in a stalemate for the teams involved. Dini are one of three teams sitting on two points, becoming simultaneously win-less and unbeaten after two games in Xanneria. The team have three more matches to play before they know their fate in the Group Stages. Remember, they need to place inside the Top 2 to automatically qualify for the knockout rounds, but the top placing teams who finish in third will also qualify, giving Dini another chance to squeeze through if it's too late to qualify directly. The MFA are surely looking closely at the situation and hope Lyndainium can pull another rabbit out of the hat, but the pressure is beginning to mount with results dipping in recent weeks. That's all from us, we hope you will be able to join us for the next update, but for now, cheerio!
.................................................................................................................................
Novapax Founder • Host Portfolio • Trophy Cabinet
World CupBest: Group Stage ('77, '81, '82, '83)
Cup of HarmonyBest: Champion ('72)
U21 World CupBest: 3rd Place ('43)
U18 World CupBest: Champion ('4)
Independents CupBest: Champion ('5)
WC of HockeyBest: 2nd Place ('37)
WJHCBest: Champion ('13)
WorldVision
Best Placing: 1st (Lipa '72)Most Points: 108 pts (Lipa '72)

World Hit Festival
Best Placing: 1st ('34 & '36)Most Pts: 34 pts (Mousiki '31)
Junior World Hit Festival
Best Placing: 3rd ('3, '4 & '5)Most Pts: 26 pts (Tushlark '5)
Mercedini in WVSC & WHFs

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New Lusitania and the Algarves
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Posts: 295
Founded: Nov 02, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Lusitania and the Algarves » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:59 pm

STL|Serviços de Transmissão Lusitana
Sport | Football|
Cup of Harmony


BEGINNING OF THE ASCENT
New Lusitania 3-2 Ziwana
@Air Force Veterans Memorial Stadium, Houston, Tacoma (Att: 40 268)


New Lusitania now travelled to neighbouring Houston to face Ziwana. Ziwana had of course, missed the World cup by four points behind South Covello and Qasden. In Houston, New Lusitania now had to win or face the consequence of being out of the race early. Their team had two change with Vinagrete coming in for Guerreiros and a weak performance Jota brought in Cavalariça to the fold. For Ziwana, Kane in goal as Chirawa, Rateau, Kaphale and Ah Fok formed the back four. Swedi, Thomas and Graham played in the middle of the pitch as Payen, Haqawi and Wilder up front.
The game went under way against a good crowd that expect good football... and that they received. The three forward men on both sides did their best to put the ball forward during the match meaning the game was open and full of chances. New Lusitania managed to score first though as Fernando got his first assist when he put a threaded path into Veiga who put it away into the left side. 1-0. Ziwana wouldn't give up immediately, evidently and by thirty-five minutes of play Wilder shot it away with a curved shot for an equaliser.
At half-time, it was all square and as everyone came back out revitalised. Ziwana would take the lead this time with a cross from Payen into Haqawi who headed it into goal to take the reins of this match. Cavalariça attempted to get his second one but hit the bar and Veiga the post in what was becoming a frustrating game. Nonetheless, on seventy-two minutes, the corner cross taken by Gama saw Cavalariça volleying it in to take the lead once more! With the adversary opening up, New Lusitania saw a chance to run for it and make the third, an attempt that was extremely successful by the eighty-eighth minute in which Fernando passed it into the right hand side to Gama, who promptly put it away. With the game practically over, Ziwana still wanted to show what they were made of and scored a game in stoppages, a world class finish by Payen to give the final 3-2 scoreline. A match that has gotten us back on track said forward André Silveira as three games remain in the group stage and the race for the Cup of Harmony continues. FULL TIME 3-2


THE HUB
GOALS: Silveira, Veiga, Cavalariça, Gama
ASSIST: Fernando (2), Horto, Gama
INJURIES:

LATEST STATS
World Cup 84 Quals
Top Goalscorers: Silveira (10)
Assists: Fernando (8)
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NEW LUSITANIA AND THE ALGARVES


PROUD MEMBER OF THE IDU
Trigramme: NLA
Embassy Program - Closed
Third Place of IA6
Semi-finalist of the WPIC 3 [Water Polo]
Almost made it to World Cup 80 (3rd in Group) as well as World Cup 81 (lost playoff)

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Ziwana
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 59
Founded: Oct 08, 2019
Corporate Bordello

Match Day 2: VS New Lusitania

Postby Ziwana » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:28 pm

OOC: Part 1: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=479512&start=75#p36636500
Part 2: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=479512&start=100#p36639397
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Ziwana suffer lose against New Lusitania

By Chosadziwa Botolo

ZCOMM Sport @ Air Force Veterans Memorial Stadium, Houston, Tacoma (Att: 40 268)

Image

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NOTICE
Our readers will notice that our Ziwani line up features Nicolas Bayaram and Hashaan Casimir instead of Jean Wilder and Abdulaziz Haqawi as shown on the match report posted by New Lusitania's Serviços de Transmissão Lusitana. This is due to Jean Wilder being away from camp due to club commitments with Sandheights City who are playing in the Liga dos Vencedores and Abdulaziz Haqawi has been put on bed rest after collapsing before match day one. Another thing our readers will notice is that we do not have the New Lusitania line up that is because the Ziwani National Team and Cup of Harmony sponsor, Orami Mkango bought the space to advertise and if you are interested in their beers please visit www.Orami.com.

Matches against New Lusitania and Jeruselem were always going to be a challenge. New Lusitania is ranked 47th in the world and even if Ziwana had won or drawn against big sides before the game against number 47 would be different. Ziwana was missing leadership in Captain Jean Wilder and prolific Inside Forward Abdulaziz Haqawi who had scored 16 goals in the World Cup qualifiers. Missing 2 key player, low morale in camp and fatigue from playing a long qualifier were the few woes Ziwana had coming into the match against a strong New Lusitania. New Lusitania had not gotten on position 47 in the World through luck they had a hard working and talented side with names such as Silveira who scored 10 goals in the World Cup qualifiers and Fernando who had 8 assists under his belt. However all hope was not lost as Ziwana still had Charles Payen up front who has scored 7 goals in the World Cup qualifiers and a reliable Hashaan Casimir who scored twice in the previous game against Appalachian Nation. The Akambuku were well known for scoring a lot of goals whilst letting in a lot of goals at the same time, to win games they had to have strong front 3 at all times.

The game started and both teams played exceptionally well with both teams moving the ball in a fluid motion. Both sides had several chances to score which either hit the bar or were saved by each respective goalkeeper. Finally in the 25 minute New Lusitania had a break through when Veiga scored a brilliant goal after picking up an equally brilliant pass from Fernando to put them 1 up against Ziwana. The Akambuku did not lose hope as they seemed to be motivated by the goal and in the 35th minute Nicolas Bayaram had a try on goal that unfortunately curved and missed its target, it did scare the New Lusitanian keeper though.

Ziwana came back after half time with more zeal as they were looking to equalize and they finally got it in the 48th minute from a Charles Payen cross that was headed in by Casimir. This goal had the Akambuku fans in celebration, several women and men were seen with no shirt or blouse with "Casimir Marry Me" on the chest. For the first time The Ziwani defence became tight as New Lusitania was unable to break through and this greatly frustrated the players. New Lusitania's Cavalariça played good football as he got into space but was unable to score with 2 of his shots hitting the bar. All this changed though when in the 72nd minute cormer cross from Gama was volleyed into the goal by Cavalariça to once more put New Lusitania in the drivers sit. Ziwana crumbled after this goal and opened up more leading to Gama scoring a goal in the 88th minute after receiving a pass from Fernando. The goal had Chris Payen very angry at his teammates and had a scuffle with teammate Nicolas Bayaram. In added time Payen scored a World Class goal as a consolation goal to end a match that entertained both sets of fans even though Ziwana walks away with a lose. After the match Charles Payen in an interview apologized for his behaviour and explained that the fatigue of playing the Baptism of Fire, World Cup qualifiers and a Cup of Harmony in just a few months was really taking its toll on the players but they were going to continue working hard to make the fans proud. Whether the Akambuku will make its fans proud or not can be followed on www.zcomm.com and if you need a cold one to help you enjoy your game visit www.Orami.com to order an Orami Mkango golden amber ale.

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Pasarga
Diplomat
 
Posts: 910
Founded: Feb 09, 2009
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Pasarga » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:07 pm

"Do not think that for one minute that the task at hand has been dealt with. While these victories have done us proud and made the side gain a clear advantage on the rest of the group, there is still work left to be done. Enjoy this victory, revel for a few hours in what is a small measure of revenge and venting of the frustrations that were the Qualifying cycle, yet do not let that feeling linger or become grander than it deserves to be. Make no mistake that the other three sides in this group that we have left to play still have all the quality in them to get a result against our side, even if we are projecting a measure of strength and resourcefulness. I need not remind you of what happened against Fujai and what occurred when we let ourselves think to far ahead and celebrate achievements more than ought to be deserved." Srđan Jakšić would keep preaching that message to his team until he believed that it had actually sunk in, even if the side snickered here and there and called him a broken record. He needed to pound it into their minds that the lack of adhering to that advice was why they were in Xanneria instead of Baker Park or Cassadaigua.

For his part, he was proud that the team had in fact found ways to win their opening two matches, as fate would have it they would be the two most difficult matches that his squad would be tasked with playing in the group stages if one measured difficultly of ones' opponents on their WCC ranking alone. Jakšić and the Wanderers were keenly aware of how that idea was far from a fact, having seen all but four of their dropped points in the Qualifiers come not against the sides that were ranked higher or similarly to themselves, but against the lower ranked teams of whom all the pundits and analysts routinely said should have been sides that the Wanderers ought to have taken all six points from. From a certain perspective, they were right, the Wanderers did have an elite squad that had a rich pedigree in the talent and history in it, having won a World Cup and been to three straight Cup Finals. However all the talent in the world can not save you from yourselves and the overconfidence and lack of discipline that comes from believing you are above the competition, an affliction the best players in the pool unfortunately seemed to have.

He was hoping to rid them of that affliction during the run in of the Cup of Harmony, to get the side deep into the knockout rounds so that he may satisfy the distraught PFA and be able to keep his position at least through the Copa Rushmori. His best players needed to be his best players not just against top teams but against every team that the squad came up against, regardless of whatever ranking was put beside their nation name. So far it seemed like Alexander Jager had taken that lesson in, having scored three goals in the first two games for the Wanderers, yet the rest of the squad was still needing to be reminded that they ought not let their ego or pride swell to much. Confidence was a wonderful thing, it was an important attribute to have for a professional footballer, to have the confidence that on their day they could be the best in the world or there among the best. Overconfidence however was a detriment that could undo not just players but empire's, from football to political dynasties, and yet all were susceptible to its lethal kiss if you were not ever vigilant for the signs of its presence and then quick to stamp it out.

Squornshelous was his side's next opponent, though not the Remnant States, which was confusing for him as he had not been able to keep up with the domestic political shenanigans that was occurring between the two Squornshelous. What he knew about them came from what he had read in various historical texts about the World Cup, as the team had quit competing in the tournament by the time that the Wanderers had began. In their history they were a fierce team to come up against and noted for having a prolific attack, though that also had seen them get exposed in the back end from time to time, including a ridiculous knockout round game against Valanora back in World Cup 39. If they were still employing the same sort of tactics, the balance of power seemed to favor the Wanderers, with their strong midfield and lethal, pacy wingers and strikers who could hit on the counter with expert precision. Yet there was a worry about Squornshelous finding a way to disrupt the Wanderers' backline, as it had not yet played up to its caliber. This was the sort of match where in the last two qualifiers they had crumpled, now he needed Berg and Bader to play like two of the best defenders in the game as they were billed to be, to secure three points that would all but guarantee their advancement to the knockout stages.

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Squornshelous
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Founded: Antiquity
Corporate Police State

CoH76 Part 3: I'm a Rumor Weed

Postby Squornshelous » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:11 pm

In the East End hotel room she shared with winger Lucia Krupin, Lyyti was finally getting the hang of controlling the viewer. Tomorrow they'd be on their way to Alexandria City, and she'd have to endure an meal across the table from Melkochuk, but for the moment, she could relax.

Rumors had been flying around that some bigwig from the Confederacy had made some kind of public statement about them, but the details of the story had varied wildly. First, an equipment manager said before the match that there was going to be a friendly played between the Imperium and Confederacy, that one of the hosts would provide a neutral venue after the end of the Cup of Harmony. Then, a ballboy had asked Lyyti whether her government was going to arrest the entire Confederate government, or just the woman on the TV. Postmatch, Lagerkron had taken care to emphasize that, no matter what they'd heard, there was a 0% chance that any meet and greet with anyone from the Confederacy would happen.

Sequestered as they were, no one on the team had any clue what the rumors were really about. Prevailing wisdom was that some Confederate player had said something careless about them, the foreign press had gleefully published inflammatory headlines and conjecture, and that the government was about to overreact. Sarzonia all over again, in other words. Iosif Chaika, one of the team's senior players, had urged the others to put it out of their minds. "If Lagerkron says nothing's going on that's good enough for me. I came here to play football, not gossip. Keep your heads down and your eyes focused on the job at hand."

Lyyti and Lucia both agreed that he was completely wrong. They'd forgone the celebratory outing, heavily chaperoned by security personnel as it was, retiring to their room early and ordering room service. An absurd amount of food was now scattered around the room. Half-eaten dishes all but covered one of the beds, while Lyyti and Lucia sat on the other, fiddling with the remote control. They had attempted to put together a varied sampling of Xannerian cuisine, as best they could from what the hotel had on offer. Appetites satisfied, they were flipped through channels hoping to find some hint of the actual event that had set off the chain of rumors. They had found a channel that seemed to specialize in sports news, but it was bogged down in an in depth breakdown of Xanneria's close victory over Razneta. Apparently there was some dispute about the referee, but from what Lyyti could see in the replays, the bookings given were pretty well justified.

"Glad we don't have to play those assholes. We'd all end up in the hospital after a match like that." She nodded to Lucia.

"I can't believe this hack of a commentator is trying to say those aren't yellow cards."

"It's dangerous, look at that!" Lyyti threw her hand at the screen.

"Ugh, change the channel already, this is terrible."

The next channel was business news, and the one after that had cartoons. Lyyti couldn't exactly blame Xannerian media for not covering every detail of Squornshelan political weirdness around the clock, but it made her wish they were a little closer to the on-demand, personally curated media available in the Imperium. Working like this, there was every chance they'd never find the report they were looking for. Lucia began to look restless after a few more fruitless channel changes, and eventually spoke up after they'd gone past a dozen or so.

"Don't they start their cycle over at the top of the hour, recap the news day and so on? Maybe we should go back to that sports news channel."

Lyyti shrugged, "Worth a try I guess."

Mercifully, the discussion of the Xannerian victory seemed to be drawing to a close. Unfortunately, the top story to start the news hour was not the one they were looking for either. Lyyti set the control down and began to lose focus. The babble of voices coming from the viewer ran together into a meaningless jumble as her thoughts turned to the next day. Maybe I can find a way to make myself sick over dinner, or even just pretend to. Then he'll have to cut things short. Hell, if I can manage to puke on him in public he might lose interest altogether. She had resigned herself to the fact that she was going to have to go to dinner with Melkochuk, but she hadn't given up hope of sabotaging his plans for the evening, whatever they might be. It was going to be a delicate balancing act, brushing him off without being too blatant about it. She didn't need him holding any grudge against her family after all this was done. She'd been in tight spots before though, and come out on top. Plenty of times she'd had an angry mark come after her with more than just getting his money back in mind. If Melkochuk thought she was his mark, all the better. He'll underestimate me, and that's when I'll win.

"Lyyti, look!"

Lucia's voice brought her back to the present time and place. An anchorwoman was presenting on the abysmal start to the Confederacy's tournament. She continued to explain that the president of the SCFA had made a statement speaking critically of the Imperial government, but also announcing her intent to attend their next match, and praising the team. The anchor added some speculation that the announcement was intended to distract from their two losses, and fading chances of advancement, but Lyyti and Lucia were already talking excitedly.

"No wonder Teri said something about a meet and greet," Lucia burst out, "But do you think anyone would actually be crazy enough to try to talk to them?"

"Why not, it'd be a once-in-a-lifetime chance, wouldn't it?"

"Shit Lyyti, don't talk like that," Lucia looked around, as if she expected to find an Imperial Police agent lurking in some corner of the room.

"Why not? It's only talk, isn't it? It's not as if they'd let us anywhere near her."

"And with good reason, do you think she won't be bringing a full complement of guards with her?"

"No more than we are, what of it?"

"Oh come on Lyyti, everyone knows how those Westerners are! Do you think they'd pass up an opportunity to take a shot at us?"

"Take a shot? Please. Listen to yourself Lucia. You sound like a government spokesperson. You think they'd try something in front of tens of thousands of people, in a foreign country to boot?"

"Terrorists don't follow the rules Lyyti, that's what makes them terrorists."

Lyyti spluttered in disbelief for a moment before responding. "Fuck! You've swallowed everything they say about the Westerner's haven't you? You really think they're all a bunch of hate-driven terroristic idealogues."

"History speaks for itself Lyyti."

"History doesn't speak, historians do. Didn't you grow up an outcast because of your family's beliefs just like me? Haven't you seen how our government treats our people?"

"What makes your think your beloved Westerners are so much better?!"

"Nothing. Fuck, Lucia, all I said is it would be interesting to meet one."

"Well maybe you shouldn't have."

"Well we can both agree on that."

A frosty silence fell over the room, broken only by the quite narration from the viewer, forgotten in the argument. The two teammates glared at each other. Finally, Lyyti stood, picking up the remote, she switched the viewer off, then silently began clearing the dishes off of her bed and stacking them on the room service cart. Finished, she turned back toward her friend and heaved a deep sigh.

"I'm sorry Lucia, I didn't mean to start a fight. It's all hypothetical anyway right?"

There was a slight loosening, as Lucia seemed to relax a bit. "Me neither. I don't know, I think I overreacted, I'm not sure why."

"It's ok," Lyyti looked around the room, hands on hips. "It's getting late, we should probably turn in soon. Early morning tomorrow and so on."

"Yeah." Lucia sat still on the bed, looking rather subdued.

"Hey Lucia."

"Hmm?"

"Will you still pass to me next match?"

That got a grin to her face. "Of course, you idiot."

Lyyti returned the grin, "Friends?"

"Friends."

The two went about their evening rituals and went to bed, reconciled, but as Lyyti waited for sleep, she couldn't help but wonder if there wouldn't always be a rift between them now.

Fuck my life.
The Imperium of Squornshelous
Rightful Overlord of the Rogue Provinces of West Squornshelous
Trigram: SQU
KPB Ranking: 6.60 (102nd)
World Cup 31 Champions
Runners Up: WC15 & WC38
Third Place: WC20, WC25
Semifinalist: WC18, WC27
Quarterfinalist: WC5, WC11, WC12, CoH6, WC22, WC30, WC32, WC33, WC34, WC40
Second Round: WC6, WC7, WC9, WC16, WC21, WC23, WC24, WC28, WC36, WC37, WC39
Qualifier: WC8, WC10, WC13, WC17, WC19, WC26, WC29, WC35, WC41
Worst Day of My Life: WC14

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Euran Oceania Territories
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Posts: 31
Founded: Nov 09, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Euran Oceania Territories » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:56 pm

'...so yes, I am deeply, deeply sorry for hitting you. I reiterate it was completely accidental, but my behaviour was nevertheless unbecoming of a man of my stature.'
'Ok. Thank you. And what else?'
'...' Rhea punched Skorji in the ribs under the table and glared at him. Sat opposite was the fourth official from the Aquitlita qualifier, an Askari named Ghislain Pirelli, his jaw still bandaged from Skorji's accidental right hook. He was the Askari Union's top ref and was aggrieved at the former manager of his nation's team assaulting him, accident or not. The now-Expats manager took Rhea's hint pretty quickly. '...and I'm sorry I said, erm, what was it?'
'You told me on the stroke of half time that you would have been my daddy, but a dog beat you over the fence.'
'Yes, that! Sorry. Implied bestiality is a no-go. Absolutely, 100% understood.'
'And that my children were fat.'
'That too. Apologies, sincerest apologies. I didn't know about the glandular problem.'
'Also when you came back after the punch you seemed really insistent on telling me to get a haircut, and that just isn't on, its absolutely my choice to have a man bun and quite frankly none of your busi-'
'SHALL WE LEAVE IT THERE, NO HARM DONE?' Rhea had interrupted with substantial volume at a good time, noticing that Skorji's fist was clenching under the tabletop. The traumatised Askari official meekly agreed and signed the document in front of him.

'I can't believe you made me give in like that. To that little weasel!' Skorji's unhappiness with losing was thinly veiled at the best of times, and this was not one of those times. 'Pah! What a shriveled scrotum of a man he is. Rolling about like that, whining in front of the television cameras.'
'He did require two operations, Skorji. Which we will be paying for. Its not like I wanted us to afford that holiday this year anyway...just be thankful that he didn't press charges.' She had added the last line icily, a tonal change he had no trouble picking up on. 'Darling, I'm a former World Cup winning global football icon. We can pay off the damages easily.'
'Oh really? Because the FA of this shitty little colony are paying you so much are they?'
'Well, no, but-
'Or maybe it'll come from all your investments in fucking fidget spinner manufacturing? A famously resilient industry you fucking turnip!'
'It seemed like a good idea at the time! You do remember that craze don't you? How magnificent it was? It inspired the balloon philosophy Rhea - I'm not sure you realise the importance of it.'
'Yeah, no, I don't.' The moment that they got home, she stormed off to the bedroom and made it clear he'd be on the sofa. His one match suspension and no qualification to the World Cup would give Skorji quality time to get back in her good books at least.

----------


Invitation to the Cup of Harmony was a pleasant surprise for the footballing authorities in Euran Oceania Territories. After the constant antics of their management staff, and to a lesser extent the players, not to mention what was being described as "the jaw incident", the invite was seen by most as something of a miraculous deliverance. For the first time since he had been hired a few years ago, there was a serious discussion about dismissing Skorji Oslograd for his conduct. On the quiet the head of the EOTFA commissioned some polling only to find that, inexplicably, Oslograd was the most popular man in the country bar the Euran Prime Minister Amy Yarley and everyman striker Pierre Louis Le-Tonnelier. As one of them said in the critical meeting deciding his fate; 'say what you like about that madman, he's put us on the map.' They also owed him a favour for his much more professional and appreciated contribution to grassroots football in the Territories, and founding role in the Skorji Oslograd academy. So, Skorji survived. Twii.tur was happy - #SkorjiStays was trending in the Territories, even in Eura proper too.

Being suspended for the first game was very disruptive for Skorji's plans but Rhea deputised well. She had already managed the team through a friendly against Eura in Bastion post-qualifiers, "the motherland" being fresh from thumping their opposition in qualifying. A 4-3 defeat was, in that context, a decent result. Unsurprisingly, they went down to a 2-1 defeat in the first Cup of Harmony game too. Yet that wasn't such a bad result. The opponents had been the highly rated Savojarna, and the boys took them to task, almost getting a point for their hard work. Tom Duffy even got off his lazy arse for once, scoring a nice goal. Defeat though it was, it gave the Expats camp the feeling of a team who had just had a morale boosting victory. Now they moved on to face Squornshelan Remnant States, the highest ranked team in the group, with Skorji back in the driving seat. Some of their team were familiar in passing to the Expats players, particularly Zoban Ajao who played up front for Unioneers in Gold League against most of the Expats squad. They'd face off at a venue more than fit for the occasion, the hugely impressive Stadium of the Restoration. As part of Banija's rapid ascent up the ladder of international footballing respectability, this had been the venue of two World Cup openers, two World Cup semi-finals, an AOCAF final and a royal coronation. It was slightly smaller than the Expats own revamped Flynn Arena of course, but no less foreboding in size and stature. 91,000 people were packed into the stands. A sell out.

One of the most encouraging things for Euran politicians about the Territories was how quickly the young dominion's own identity had coalesced around the conveniently Euran symbolism of its national team, while demonstrating the strength of its multicultural melting pot origins. There were former Apoxian's in the squad, former Syndicatians and Mertagne figures in the backroom staff, Quebecois refugees, probably Banijan's too, and of course converted Euran's - but every banner in their half of the stadium united them under recognisably Euran blue and gold colours. And like homeland Euran's, they knew how to fill out a stadium. There were rumours Expats fans had sneakily got more than their fair allocation of tickets, though these wild claims had no independent verification to rely upon. Skorji wanted to be sure these fans wouldn't have their time wasted, so naturally he did so the only way he knows how - with fire in his belly and a rocket up the arse of his lads. 'We're too fucking good for this lot, you hear me? Ignore "ranks" and other such bureaucratic nonsense! Look at the pedigree in our team! Our quality! Our PHILOSOPHY! RISE!' Without hesitation, every man in the squad responded in one voice; 'LIKE BALLOOOOOOOOOOONS!'

Whatever it was that was guiding these fine young men on a glamorous night in Banija, it had to be blessed from up above. The Squornshelan fans, players or coaching staff couldn't believe their eyes as their side hit the woodwork twice in the opening ten minutes, before Ajao spooned an absolute sitter with Charlie Ross beaten. Their pressure was relentless for the first half an hour until the favourites began to tire. Skorji spotted the opportunity and encouraged his side to get forward. Growing in confidence, they started battering at the door, until one of their number struck gold. It was one of the simplest goals you could possibly witness. George Richards exchanged a quick one-two with Peter Chadwick outside the box to beat a defender, drove inside and past another, then cut back across the goalkeeper for Kasey Fuller to sprint in and finish. Half time soon arrived with the Expats 1-0 up. It was a phenomenal start. Skorji was, well...
'Fucking incredible lads! That was as magnificent as the rising sun!'
...he was himself. Rhea shrugged ambivalently as she stood by his side. 'More of that, and we'll turn them over and tickle their tummy for the next forty-five minutes. Onwards, comrades!'

Up is down and down is up in "Skorjiball", at least according to its critics in the Euran Oceanian press. Likewise, when he called for the team to proceed onwards, they usually went backwards instead. The second half had barely started when the Squornshelan's put together a slick passing move that ended with Ajao skewing a one-on-one finish wide, only for Jinkzta Ulcviecel to make an intelligent run to the back post, beating the sluggish Freddie Law to the ball and finishing with aplomb. Based in Banija, Ulcviecel celebrated wildly in front of both his own supporters and many of the supposed neutrals in the stadium. Disaster beckoned again. Skorji was throwing a shitfit, the defence was unorganised, the midfield demotivated, the strikers simply abandoned to a fate of wandering about up front aimlessly. A third encounter between the ball and the upright above Ross led to drastic changes. Law and the ineffective Duffy came off for Hayden and Potts as the side switched to a 4-5-1. There was five group games to play so a point would be an acceptable result. Slowly the game calmed down and the clock ticked towards ninety. That was until a moment of pure anarchy added one late, shocking twist.

On one of the Expat's counterattacks Le Tonnelier smashed a first time shot from 30 yards without thinking too much about it. The ball seemed to be sailing wide so Stovar Krieven withdrew his arm and let it fly high and wide. Much to the Squornshelan's surprise, the Brenecian referee Conroy Matthews signaled for a corner. Momentary outrage passed quickly, only to resume after what came next. Chadwick's ball in went to the first man, Willem Ajax, the Expats third and final sub on for Freeman. He leapt to head the ball firmly towards goal, just about besting Skumantas Nakhutin to it. Krieven saved creatively with his left hand, sparing his side for just seconds. The ball dropped onto the grass a few yards in front of goal and what can only be described as a furious melee ensued. Several fouls were committed by both sides, too many and in too unclear an order for the referee to stop play, and in the end only Ajax survived. He slipped, clipping the ball up in the air with his left boot. It should have been the worst miss of the decade. Instead it turned into an assist, as the diminutive Timwise Gerduns raced in to haul the ball over the final hurdle with a diving header. The Expats were off the charts in their delirious excitement over the goal and mobbed each other right next to the goal, before being quickly confronted by a furious looking Krieven.

Ajax and Kurt Strong wisely took control of the situation as senior players and stopped any handbags in their tracks. The Squornshelan's turned their wrath to the referee, clearly feeling aggrieved that a corner had been awarded in the first place when their goalkeeper didn't appear to touch the ball, and then that play wasn't stopped during the fracas in the box ending with the goal. Both linesmen ran onto the pitch to discuss with referee Matthews what exactly had happened. After a minute or so conferring, Matthews indicated back to the centre circle. The goal would stand. Gerduns sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the traveling Expats fans, ripping off his shirt and (weirdly) shorts in the process. Matthews booked him with a hint of reluctance. The Expats rode out the last ten minutes to hold on for the win. As they savoured their victory and Oslograd bounced about like a puppy, referee Matthews looked on. The Brenecian wasn't sure he'd made the right call - thinking about it, it did look like the keeper had missed it. Oslograd looked his way briefly and winked. Matthews shuddered, stroked his jaw as if to tell it "you're safe now", and skulked off the pitch without saying another word. A new hashtag was trending on Twii.tur by the end of the night; #SkorjiMindGames. He didn't realise at the time, but the cameras had noticed the wink too.

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