World Cup 93 - RP Thread

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

WC93 MD2 v. Ochre Islands - Lumber Rebels

Postby Vilita » Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:10 am


Lumber Rebels part of Top 10 Massacare at Finals

♫ You gotta be bad to be good ♫ If you know what I'm talkin' about ♫
♫ So I say it again ♫ You gotta be bad to be good ♫

Umbar Ultima, Umbar, Chromatika :: On paper it should have been a fairly straightforward matchup. Vilita against the Ochre Islands. Vilita seemingly outmatched their opponents in every possible way. Vilita were higher ranked. Vilita had more fans in the stands. Vilita had a better all time record. Vilita was better rested after having to do no travel before the game.

The Ochre Islands had no White Kit Available
and struggled to avoid clashing with the "Lumber Rebels"

Yet, when you are in Umbar, no one gives much concern with the paper you bring with you. They make their own paper in Umbar, and they certainly did so again on Matchday 2 of the World Cup 93 Finals. From the start, things were looking good for the Vilitan National Team who despite being without Top Goalscorer Treasvo Tlikara got goals from Nii'arala Milaaso and Jakku'u Naboyavi inside the opening ten minutes to take an early 2-0 lead and seemingly set marching on their path to a critical group stage victory. The Ochre Islands would fight back in their brown uniforms much to the delight of the small but more colorful section of Ochre fans in attendance and the scoreline would stay 2-1 until nearly the stroke of half time when a stunning goal was scored by the Lumber Rebels Fyin Miateal. After receiving the ball in stride from veteran Rojara Tiones, Miateal quickly took an ambitious shot from 35 yards out and caught Leora Softstep sleeping for just a moment. However, with the placement of the ball, it is possible that the 25 year old Ochre netminder would have had no chance to prevent the ball entering the net regardless of their starting position.

With the goal, the Lumber Rebels were cruising with a 3-1 advantage heading into the half time break. Head coach Endur Rotropii saw no need to make any changes and would send the exact same side onto the match for the second half. The tone of the match would shift greatly, however, just three minutes into the second half when Ochre defender Jordan Willingham went down with an apparent Hamstring injury. Krytenian Manager Richard Valens took the opportunity to make some changes to bring some new players onto the field including Arto Newcomer in place of Willingham, and the fresh legs quickly caused problems for the Lumber Rebels. The match would change entirely just before the hour mark when an odd sequence resulted in the Vilitans being reduced to 10 Players.

The Lumber Rebels had sprung out on a counter attack and were looking to add to their lead when Clarana Refiami was sprung through and appeared to have sealed the game for the Rebels, just getting a touch on the lofted ball and sliding it past Softstep. The flag was up however and the goal was called back for offside. Refiami and the Vilitan players were stunned and the Eura based attacker confronted the line judge directly about the call, ultimately taking the outstretched flag and stomping on it in disgust. The act would earn Refiami a booking which, probably forgotten by everyone on the field at the time, was their second of the game after picking up a booking for a trivial foul early in the first half. With that, Refiami was off to the lockers and the Lumber Rebels were a player down for the rest of the game.

The damage would come quickly. Having already been pressuring the goal, the Ochre Islands now moved forward with confidence and just 10 minutes after Refiami's departure, the Ochre's had tied the game at 3 goals a piece. Ultimately, they would find a winner from substitute Carl-James Lucksmith who seemed to waltz through the Vilitan Defense with an impenetrable shield before firing past a hapless Zelkki Mliake Jr.. It would be the last goal scoring action of the match as Vilita would end up losing a second player to the baths in the frustration of going down, with Rotropii shaking their head on the sideline as a lack of discipline had cost their team a chance to fight back against a weaker opponent. After the full-time whistle, Rotropii spoke to reporters about the incidents that led to the Lumber Rebels defeat:

"You know I think our players need to do a little better in some of these situations. For the record, the linesman has definitely gotten it wrong. I've seen the replays and Clary's goal should have counted. That said, the linesmen are not infallable and they can make mistakes as we've seen. Its up to the players to keep their heads down and keep playing. I think Clary was a bit frustrated not getting on the scoresheet during qualifying and thought they'd broken the duck and to have it taken away like that... I understand the frustration but you just can't react like that its always going to be a card"

When asked specifically on the referee's decision:

"Like I've said, clearly it was wrong but I dont think there was any malice in it. The organizing committee do a good job finding neutral referees from nations all over the multiverse. I think the ref and this linesman were from Bostownia? Bostopia? something like that. No where I've ever been and they aren't even a nation competing in the World Cup so you can't suggest there was any impropriety there. If anything maybe you could question whether there should be refs with such inexperience at the World Cup Finals but its a multiversal game and having those refs from third party nations adds some attachment beyond the fans of the 32 qualifiers, so I get it. In the end, we still had a shot to win and we did not. Now we have one more chance and we can't throw it away like we did this one."

 Vilita 3 - 4 Ochre Islands	
Vilita Goals: :: 6' Nii'arala Milaaso:: 8' Jakku’u Naboyavi:: 44' Fyin Miateal
Stats :: Vilita :: Possession: 54%:: Shots: 6:: Corners: 8 :: Ochre Islands :: Possession: 46%:: Shots: 7:: Corners: 10
Vilita Lineup :: Zelkki Milake Jr., Injyua Klizlo, Narri Sebapilo, Rojara Tiones, Mikele Alasita (Hothat Iciiplak 67'), Jakku’u Naboyavi, Trezisi Rokopolis, Fyin Miateal, Clarana Refiami, Nii'arala Milaaso, Kunaro Tlikara

While the Lumber Rebels faltered against the Ochre Islands in one of the great upsets of recent World Cup history, the signicance of their defeat has been largely overshadowed by the poor performances of Top 10 ranked nations across the board in Chromatika and Tumbra. After two matchdays of World Cup competition, Six of the Top Ten ranked nations in the multiverse had failed to win a single game including the Top 2 Nations in the World Cup Committee Rankings heading into World Cup 93, Valanora and Turori.

While it has not been an easy time thus far for the highest ranked nations, most were still positioned in such a way that they could fight their way out of the holes they had dug on the Final matchday. Only Group F - where 6th ranked Pemeuctan have already been eliminated, and Group G where one of the join-all time World Cup Winners from top Ranked Valanora and 7th ranked Vilita are assured an early exit, is it already certain that Top 10 sides will be eliminated.

Vilita National Team head coach Endur Rotropii knows that the Lumber Rebels will have their work cut out for them and even victory won't be enough on its own to see them through to the knockout rounds:

"Well we'll be playing Huayramarca on the final matchday and that should be motivation enough for these guys. Huayramarca is the reason we're here. The reason why we train in an isolated academy in the middle of the old Forest away from any distractions. Some of these guys were on the field that day - the final matchday of the World Cup 90 Group stage when Huayramarca embarrassed them in front of their home fans at their home World Cup, defeating them and sending them home without getting to play a knockout match - without even a single victory in a home World Cup. I shouldn't have to motivate anyone for this game. They will want to win it - and they need to win it."

-¤-¤-¤World Cup 20 Champions¤-¤-¤-¤-¤-¤World Cup 68 Champions¤-¤-¤-
-¤-¤-¤World Cup 77 Champions¤-¤-¤-

Region: Atlantian Oceania - The Home of Sport

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tumbra » Fri Mar 17, 2023 7:00 am

Cutoff for the Chromatik half.
Tumbra - a sprawling, modern federal democratic republic located in Esportiva. Strong economy, strong civil rights, strong freedoms.
Population: 121 million | TLA: TMB | Capital City: Straton | Largest City: Couno
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Postby Banija » Fri Mar 17, 2023 10:28 am


"When the Going gets tough, the tough get going" - Banijans slog past Ko-oren, 2-1, in the final group stage match to win their group and reach the World Cup 93 Knockouts

CUONO, TUMBRA- Off to the largest city in Tumbra! The Banijans came to Tumbra's largest city certainly with a lot to play for. With them being level with the SRS at 4 points(with a GD advantage, admittedly), they had more than a tricky tie against Ko-oren on the final matchday. The Dragonflies would be looking for all three points- maybe they'd be forced to be a little more adventurous than they normally are. But you've got an entire 90 minutes- not like they were going to be throwing 8 forward in the 3rd minute, for example. Banijans had a slight advantage to win the group- but nothing was guaranteed.

Think- for the last three odd-numbered World Cups, Banija has not reached the knockout stages. World Cups 87 and 91 saw group stage eliminations on the final matchday. 87 was a remarkably similar moment to this one. We had four points after two matchdays, with a win over a Pot 4 side on MD1, and a draw against the Pot 2 side(Baker Park) on MD2. A draw would have been good enough for us to reach the knockouts for the fifth straight cycle- but instead, Savojarna ran us out of the building with a shock 2-0 upset win, which sent us packing. 89, of course, we didn't even qualify. 91, we also had a strong opening win, against Mytanija. But we could not hold up- falling to Quebec on MD2, and then Zwangzug on MD3, to get eliminated in Farfadillis.

Pam Scott wanted to stop that whiplash of World Cup Banija, and establish more consistency. "if we want to be every year contenders, we don't want to be whiplashing between GS knockouts, and semifinal appearances. If we want to win more Cups, we need more deep runs- not just in even years, but every single time. This is a great chance for us to show the world that sort of whiplash is dead, and we are establishing ourselves as a stronger, more consistent side. We've got to go out and get these points." Her players largely echoed her in press conferences, talking about the importance of taking this really a game at a time.

But the Kadongo Kamu really heded her advice- start fast, and finish strong.

Start fast- the record opener

There's nothing like an early goal to kick off a World Cup match, right? And that's exactly what happened here in Cuono. We took Pam Scott's words to effect, quite literally, to start the game. And a lot of it? Was just brilliant, individual skill. The kind of talented players you need to make a deep run at a tournament like this. At about the 20 second mark, our own right back, Tairu Conateh, had the ball on the Banijan side of the pitch. He switched it over, playing a perfect ball to Lolong Bokate, who received it with his chest and dropped it straight down.

An impressive ball and impressive control, these pro players making it look way too easy. And that's when we started firing the danger shots. Bokate beat a Ko-orenite defender on the dribble, and then, coming up the sideline, saw Gereh Kama coming towards him. He played the pass. Kama let the ball roll by him, and turned and ran towards the 18. Behind Kama to receive the ball was Tijan Sowe, who played it right back to Gereh Kama. He hit the ball first time, facing goal, and blasted it into the upper corner. Ko-oren's goalkeeper didn't have a chance. Banija's fastest goal in World Cup history- just 37 seconds into the match, it was 1-0 to the Kadongo Kamu. Learning from their last game- doing exactly what the Confederates had done to the Banijans with the incredibly early goal.

It was a shocking goal. People still getting into their seats. But the speed of the goal saw the Banijan fans leap out of their seats in celebration. Everybody loves an early goal, and scoring on your first opportunity of the game is a good way to rattle a team who is as good defensively as Ko-oren is. Barely allowing their defenders to settle into the match, and suddenly, the Dragonflies were down 1-0 early. For a team that already needed a win, that suddenly meant they needed to get two goals- making an already difficult task that much more difficult.

The Perfectly timed run- and the spot

Playing against their vaunted post football style, the first minute goal was a way to try and negate that. They already had to chase today- but now, they had to chase even more. They were clearly uncomfortable trying to force the issue, but they had to try and do so. But it would be the Banijans who would force the issue once more, just 6 minutes into the game- and bury their opponents with it.

The Revolutionaries midfielder, Maximilien Longchambon, tried to play long early, but misplaced the ball. The Banijans, who are no slouches on the counter-attack themselves, were ready for the moment. Demba Kouyaté played a short ball, and with Ko-oren getting a few players forward early, we were forced to counter with pace- something that we are more than capable of doing. The centerback played his ball to Gereh Kama, who passed it back to Tairu Conateh. He played it long down the right sideline to Sarafina Ikpeazu, who was actually able to run underneath it.

She, with a defender in front of her, somehow whipped the ball around the defender, towards a slashing runner, Aquila Hongo, who was right around the near post. But Ethan Benjamin, their right back marking Hongo, was a step behind him. He tried to cut in front of Hongo and dive to try and clear the ball, but he got it all wrong- he ran straight into Hongo trying to get around him with the ball in the air, basically running through him inside the 18. The referee had no choice- pointing to the spot, awarding a penalty kick.

6th minute of the game. Abel Wesoloski-Okafor steps up to the spot. He's absolutely clinical from the spot- and the Banijan #9 drilled his penalty kick, making the score 2-0 in favor of Banija, just 6 minutes into the match. Shocking. "When was the last time anyone scored twice against Ko-oren that early?" Said the TV commentator. It's certainly a rare sight. But alas, it's probably the only way to beat the post football style- if they get settled in, comfortable in that style, they'll always be able to break through.

Rest of the Game

It was not built for 2 goal comebacks, even if you had nearly the entirety of the match to do so. Ko-oren settled back into their post football style- but with the Banijans leading, it meant that there was a lot of calm for huge stretches of the game. It got tense when Hannibal Sawyer came off the bench to head home for the Dragonflies in the 67th minute, as they wanted to try and come back. Not quite the intensity you'd expect, however- a draw would do them no good. They had to continue chasing from behind, and they were not really built to do that.

The Banijan defense had a great go of it, with Pam Scott bringing on a fifth defender, Bbale Luboobi, to simply help see things through(Bokate came off the pitch at that point). They could not get high percentage opportunities in the box after Hannibal Sawyer's goal, and the Banijans were absolutely pleased at their defensive effort. When the final whistle blew here, the final score was 2-1- Banija had 3 points on the day, 7 points from the group, and would advance to the knockout stages as group winners.

Turns out a draw would have also won us the group, as Yuezhou triumphed 5-3 in the group's other game in this exact same time slot. Next, we've got a mouthwatering matchup against Nephara. Rematch of the World Cup 86 Final(which, admittedly, was a fairly long time ago). WC86 champs v. WC87 champs. Two nations who, politically, have seen their relations deterioriate due to being on opposite sides of the Nyowani Kitara civil war. But football wise, plenty of opportunities. Sarafina Ikpeazu, of course, plays in Nephara, while Radeka Lind plays in the S-FPL.

It'll be a great matchup- two footballing nations, both confident they can beat the other, with a berth in the World Cup Quarterfinals on the line. Doesn't get better than this, right?

World Cup 93 Finals

Starters: 4-2-1-3.
Players who are based in a foreign league are bolded.
Players who have never participated in World Cup Qualifying before are italicized.
BSL = Banijan Soccer League, Banija's second tier. National league. S-FPL is the joint first tier soccer league for Farfadillis, Banija, and the Busoga Islands.
GK #23 Hebron Rao. Age 30. Plays for Jinja City FC in the S-FPL. Female.
LB #44 Opio Ssambwa. Age 20. Plays for Kitara AA in the S-FPL.
LCB #4 Demba Kouyaté. 33 years old. Plays for Istria City FC in the S-FPL. Called up for first time at midway point of World Cup 89 Qualifying.
RCB #3 Adin Wasawo. Age 26. Plays for Spartangrad in Eura.
RB #2 Tairu Conateh. Age 34. Plays for Raynor City United in the Elven Premiership in Valanora. Became a starter for the first time at the midway point of WCQ89.
CM #8 Aquila Hongo. Age 24. Plays for Busukuma AC in the S-FPL.
CM #14 Tijan Sowe. Age 30. Plays for Herzegovina City FC in the S-FPL.
CAM #10 Gereh Kama. 32 years old. Plays for Herzegovina City FC in the S-FPL.
LW #11 Lolong Bokate. Age 27. Plays for Dí Maozöxê(Farfadillis) in the S-FPL. Can play on both wings.
ST #9 Abel Wesoloski-Okafor. Age 26. Male. Plays for Tanrısal in Pasarga.
RW #7 Sarafina Ikpeazu. Age 32. Plays for Sabrefell Athletic in the Nepharim Premiership. Female. Captain.
GK #35 Hebron Yiena. Age 28. Plays for Busukuma AC in the S-FPL. Female.
GK #39 Burama Kinteh. Age 30. Plays for Kitara AA in the S-FPL.
LB #20 Sohna Kolley. Age 28. Female. Plays for Istria City FC in the S-FPL.
CB #30 Bbale Luboobi. Age 23. Plays for Istria City FC in the S-FPL.
CB #5 Opio Bikya. Age 22. Plays for Jinja City FC in the S-FPL. Has never before played for the NT in any capacity.
RB #15 Festus Hera. Age 27. Plays for Herzegovina City FC in the S-FPL.
CM #6 Momodou Jassey. Age 33. Plays for the Hoima Warriors in the S-FPL. Briefly retired after the following WC, but changed his mind and now is back.
CM #25 Oguta Achuka. Age 27. Plays for Istria City FC in the S-FPL.
CAM #15 Sergius Atieno. Age 26. Plays for Kitara AA in the S-FPL.
LW/RW #21 Dembo Savaneh. Age 26. Plays for Istria City FC in the S-FPL.
LW/RW #22 Odongo Kagenda. Age 19. Plays for Herzegovina City FC in the S-FPL. Made his international debut at the Mihaly Invitational.
ST #12 Eli Aero. 25 years old. Plays for Mynda Electra in the S-FPL. Not really as good as Banijan strikers of the past, but with the severe lack of depth at the #9 in Banija behind Wesoloski-Okafor(although some young teenagers impressing throughout the pyramid), Aero is the 'last man standing' to get this role.

World Cup 93 Finals Goal Tracker
Group Stage MD2 Goals against the Squornshelan Remnant States
Demba Kouyaté(15')
Gereh Kama(88')

Group Stage MD3 Goals against Ko-oren
Gereh Kama(1')
Abel Wesoloski-Okafor(6')

Total Goal Count Tracker
Sarafina Ikpeazu - 2
Abel Wesoloski-Okafor - 2
Gereh Kama - 2
Lolong Bokate - 1
Tairu Conateh - 1
Demba Kouyaté - 1
Former champion of quite a few things. Former President of even more things.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports | Map of Banija
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica), NSCF 21 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria)
Sporting World Cup 8. WBCs 47 & 51. Di Bradini Cup 47. World Cup 86. IBC 30, 31, 32, 33. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Boot It!: What Do We Have To Do...

Postby TJUN-ia » Fri Mar 17, 2023 12:33 pm

F: TJUN-ia 2-3 Chromatika
TJU: Malhrani al-Kalhrani (22', 76')
CMT: Lavrentiy Xuen-Zhukov (27', 43', 67')

By Peter Davis

And that was that.
Jeruselem was the deciding factor after all.
Just like we all thought.
The hosts deserved to go through...and we did not.

Maybe we are just imposters on the international stage.
A team who claims to be "ones to watch for the future", but is destined to sit in the background for eternity.
We fought like hell for this 3rd appearance at the big dance...and now we feel it was all for nought.
Andrade Ñunezo, Hwang Syong-ya, Kofi Marshall, Captain Peter Ørberg, Petor Szektkovsky, Kelo Ngwemanagawa and Vladzov Błaszczykowski will all not be with us next time.
Their efforts in this TJUN-ian Revolution will not be forgotten at all.

Back into the darkness, we must now go.
See you at the next IAC.

WC93 Schedule (Group E, All games at The Shock, Wirr Tsi, Chromatika)
MD1: vs Jeruselem (40) L 2-3 (4th)
MD2: vs Savigliane (14) W 2-1 (3rd)
MD3: vs Chromatika (18) L 2-3 (4th/1-0-2/3pts/-1GD)
Last edited by TJUN-ia on Fri Mar 17, 2023 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1st: ECC4/5, NSSCRA13
2nd: NSCF24/26, ARWC4, WC:TOTS, IBC34, IBS17, RUWC33
3rd: ARWC3, IBC32, ECC3
4th: WBC50/52, IBC31/33, RLWC20/21
T1: #07 Michael Stefan (S13 T1 Champ/8W)/#64 Alfonso Mercado (2W)/#03 Maddison Riley-Jones (S10 T2 Champ/1W-T1/3W-T2)
T2: #96 Alice Jepkosgei (3W)/#70 Gongming Gao [NCR] (4W)/#79 Axel Chase

WGPO: #11 Lane Carter (1W)/ #9 Batu Tüvshinbayar (WGP2 S5 Champion/1W)
NSTT: 4 S-Titles (3 RU)/2 D-Titles (5 RU)

UN - U1
TJUN (Ta-Jun) - An organ of the UN that focuses on "international role-play" (i.e. USA = Fang the Sniper) (U2)
TJUN-ia (Ta-Jun-ee-a) - The testing grounds of TJUN members, but operates as an independent nation. (U3)

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Ochre Islands
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ochre Islands » Fri Mar 17, 2023 2:56 pm

Page 64


Five past Valanora

At the final whistle in the Frozen Stadium, the jaws of world football dropped in shock. Not since their beating of Vilita in the previous game had there been such an event that would make a lot of people suddenly sit up and pay attention. A simple win over the best side in the world would have been something, but putting five past them at the same time was nothing short of remarkable. It had been an auspicious start to the game, quickly going down 2-0 to what looked like superior opposition, before aging captain Carl Walker spurred on the comeback with a solid header from around the penalty spot into the back of the net. As half-time approached, it was none other than Blue Gibson who found an equaliser, running in from the edge of the area onto a perfectly placed pass that was behind and through Valanora's defenders, leading her to only have to make decent purchase on the ball with the inside of her foot to guide it into the back of the net and see her team into half time holding into a draw.

Felswyr saw a much different second half, the Ochres spurred on by their performance at the end of the first and making sure they pressed the advantage on the field they worked hard to get prior to half-time. Of course, it was Blue Gibson again who took the game by the scruff of the neck and forced her way through into the box where she put a placed shot below the oncoming goalkeeper. Raptuous cheers had barely had time to die down before the Ochres scored their fourth, not laying up from kickoff and winning the ball back. Even the Ochre manager, Richard Valens was stunned, finding his team up 4-2 before he had chance to prepare a defensive substitute. Valens was spotted looking up from his notepad in shock before running down the sideline to meet his players in their celebrations. Even though the Valanorans pulled a goal back, it wasn't enough for them and 4-3 turned to 5-3 with ten minutes to go when D'Entro scored a scrappy goal following a goal-line scramble after an Ochre corner. Regardless, Ochre attention now moves onto their first ever Round of 16 apperance, playing against Kelssek.
Last edited by Ochre Islands on Fri Mar 17, 2023 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tumbra » Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:25 am

MATCHDAY! Magazine — World Cup Box Scores
Brenecia 1-0 Tumbra

TMB (4-2-3-1): 1 - Nick Barker; 2 - Chris Finney, 4 - Stephen Kerr, 5 - Ian Ashburn (20 - Wendy Pritchett, 82'), 19 - James Green; 6 - Trudy Harrison, 8 - Vincent Hicks, 10 - Phil Cole (23 - Susan Monaghan, 45'); 17 - Rebecca Haines (7 - Valerie Wells, 75'), 9 - Lynne Crossley (21 - Robin Vaughn, 68'); 22 - Charlotte Henshaw (11 - Nick Riordan, 45')

TMB scorers: Nil
BRE scorers: Lienke Covolan (62')

Player of the Match: Lienke Covolan (BRE)
IT WAS, AS PROMISED, an ill-tempered affair that never managed to fully settle into a rhythm; the fourth meeting between Esportivan powerhouses Brenecia and Tumbra ended up being a grindingly tiring affair as both sides attempted to wear each other down. Lienke Covolan, half-Nephar, would end up scoring the only goal of the game to secure Brenecia qualification to the second round of the World Cup, and, in doing so, enrage the crowds of Farves who had showed up to see their team valiantly put down minnows Delte, only to realise that they were eliminated from the World Cup still.

Playing a first-choice midfield but a distinctly second-choice attack, Tumbra were stifled offensively from the off; despite maintaining most of the possession, the Black Eagles were unable to break through for most of the first half. A hard-tackling Brenecia side closed down Charlotte Henshaw effectively; Rebecca Haines, despite providing an additional midfielder through dropping back, was ruthlessly dispossessed by Caomhin Hadley seemingly every time she tried to make a run. Lynne Crossley ended up being the main offensive outlet for the country, but even she was limited to limp shots off the right flank. Tumbra, thankfully, were doing the same for Brenecia's offensive personnel; Chris Finney was doing a relatively good job keeping Maerhen Wake quiet, even if the two did feel like they were about thirty second away from coming to blows every time they interacted; James Green's tackle on Irina Alderwood as she sped down her own left flank broke up one of Brenecia's biggest chances in the first half, and while Mor-Rioghain Stokes got herself tangled up with Stephen Kerr every so often, she still posed the most attacking threat to the Tumbrans.

The half-time break saw the big guns of Nick Riordan and Susan Monaghan come on for an ineffective Henshaw and a slightly-injured Phil Cole; the Osarese Marcadia attacking midfielder coming off worse after a clash with Tamara Seager slightly before half-time. Little changed in the second half, however; while there were constant stops in play, the referee did not seem to be partially inclined to handing out cards to players from either side. They were roundly criticised after the game for not controlling the game enough; Yuan Zilai would remark blithely about how for every foul that stopped the game, there were two that went un-noticed.

Lienke Covolan would score the only goal of the game just after the hour mark; Vincent Hicks' attempted pass to Haines being intercepted by Iseult Conway, who then sprung the ball forward to Covolan. Neatly sidestepping an attempted tackle by Kerr, who'd left it too late before committing, the curved shot proved to be too much for Nick Barker to deal with. And just like how Tumbra had closed up shop after knocking three past Farfadillis on the first day, Brenecia would treat the Eagles with that same ruthless efficiency; ruthlessly dedicating the last half hour of the game to keeping the Eagles out of their net. And it would work; despite Robin Vaughn and Valerie Wells being sent on to try and unlock the Brenecian team, the Patriots defence would hold still. In a performance that, depending on your football persuasions, could have either be a continuing sign of the waning of Robin Vaughn's power or proof that he was still the difference-maker on the team, Vaughn would become the most dangerous man on the pitch for the last twenty-two minutes of the game; but his three shots wouldn't find the back of the net. The first was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Cessair Meade, intent on keeping her first clean sheet of the World Cup; the second was parried, forcing a fingertip save; and, heartbreakingly, the third would have slightly too much curve on it.

The press, typically the loudest critics of the national team, were unusually reserved after; putting the loss down to a "disciplined Brenecia side that held on for dear life" rather than any purported offensive or defensive failings on Tumbra's part. More coverage was focused on the surprise eliminations of five-time world champions Vilita in the group stage in Chromatika; the entire press corp dedicated to football seemingly having decided that the best way to deal with this defeat was to quickly sweep this one under the rug, chalk it up to a bad day at the office, and move on. All, of course, but one.

MATCHDAY! Magazine World Cup Previews — Turori

Previous Appearances: 43 First/Latest Appearance: 17/92 Best Result: Champions (88)
Manager: Tarek Edgeli Key Player: Nua'oma Aikiki
vs Tumbra: Round of 16 @ Serrapince

LOSING TO BRENECIA WAS ONE BLOW, but the eventual realisation that Turori had finished second in their group at the final whistle must have felt like, to the Black Eagles, the equivalent of rolling snake eyes when they needed anything but this. The prospect of an early elimination from the World Cup against the world's number two side looms large, when just one matchday ago the side were riding high; but the entire Tumbran half of the bracket has turned out to be something of a gauntlet resembling the one Tumbra needed to punch through two cycles ago.

That is, of course, the obvious comparison, and it has already been made several times by the press. Then, the Black Eagles played Pemecutan after winning their group; now, the Black Eagles play the similarly-ranked Turori after achieving the same feat. The one-time world champions have gone for continuity in their squad, with nineteen of the twenty-six members also having been present for the team's triumph at World Cup 88 ten years ago. The oldest member of the Turorian World Cup squad, Meldi'ita Mungwaii, is over forty-five, and easily takes the record for the oldest player at the Finals. Having battled their way through a Group D that thankfully ended up fairly straightforwardly, their only sin seemed to be failing to score enough goals against a spirited Juvencus team. Still, though, with zero goals conceded throughout the campaign, the team still retains a defensive nous that can only be matched by some of the best in the world...though most defensively-inclined sides in the World Cup have already been knocked out.

Coached by World Cup-winning manager Tarek Edgeli, the Turori team are coming off a quarter-final finish in the previous edition; their worst finish since World Cup 87, twelve years ago. An unparalleled period of success has followed; a win, fourth, a quarter-final elimination, the runners-up, and then the quarter-final exit to eventual finalists Banija. The odds are stacked against the Black Eagles, both by most pundits' predictions and by most of the betting markets. Turori are the favourites to progress, on evens; Tumbra are at 2/1 on, while a draw after ninety minutes has been given a surprisingly low 5/1 line.

But Tumbra are seemingly used to being the underdogs. And the solution might just be under their noses. When all the other papers were more content to cover the end to Group G which saw two of the pre-tournament favourites eliminated, or Chromatika's victory over TJUN-ia that sets up a rematch against nemeses Nyowani Kitara in Alnio, rather than focus on Tumbra's defeat to Brenecia, the Lakewood Evening News took a different tack. Splayed on its front page the very next morning was a picture of Robin Vaughn, not from the previous day's game, but from Tumbra's first-ever World Cup Finals game against Omerica. His back faces the camera; and with the ball at his feet, he stares on at six Omerican players, ready to take them on. As with every piece of journalism that seems too good to be true, the photo is partially out of context; Vaughn is staring on at a broken free-kick wall, not six Omerican defenders looking to dispossess him.

Yet, the symbolism remains. Even at thirty-six, Robin Vaughn can confidently claim to still be one of Tumbra's best players. Three appearances off the bench have seen him be the biggest threat to opposition defences despite his limited time on the pitch; and there is a feeling the time has come for Vaughn to be given a start against Tumbra's most important match since the semi-final against Graentfjall four years ago. Beneath it, the headline.


Only time will be able to tell if he truly is.

TMB (4-2-3-1): 1 - Nick Barker; 18 - Annie Renton, 4 - Stephen Kerr, 20 - Wendy Pritchett, 3 - Tracey Mercurio; 6 - Trudy Harrison, 8 - Vincent Hicks, 23 - Susan Monaghan; 7 - Valerie Wells, 21 - Robin Vaughn; 11 - Nick Riordan
Last edited by Tumbra on Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tumbra - a sprawling, modern federal democratic republic located in Esportiva. Strong economy, strong civil rights, strong freedoms.
Population: 121 million | TLA: TMB | Capital City: Straton | Largest City: Couno
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Sat Mar 18, 2023 7:47 am

The Spenson Star

Metaphorically speaking, there isn't a lot of "bad blood" between Zwangzug and Nyowani Kitara. The Kitarans got the better of Zwangzug in the World Cup 92 group stages, but Zwangzug's ire was directed mostly at the referee and the team's own missed opportunities. Zwangzug avenged that outcome in the semifinals, but when the emotional comedown was over, Nyowani Kitara were able to step back and celebrate their surprisingly successful campaign. And while it feels like half the sporting world had a grudge against one of the factions in the unpleasant Kitaran civil war, Zwangzug was able to stay outside the fray, while the 1./ appreciated the talents of both Nordlander Catarina Malmquist and Kitaran Zhou Mushonga.

A 3-3 draw to close out the group stage does not break the tie between these sides on the grand stage, but it did add more blood to the proceedings--this time, of a slightly more literal nature, as both sides sustained too many injuries than seemed strictly necessary for a match in which both teams had already guaranteed advancement. But, as Jordan McKinney said after limping off at halftime with a strained hamstring: "Meatsacks are dumb, and it do be like that sometimes."

The first half-hour saw a relatively crisp, low-stakes encounter. Ryota Imamura opened the scoring for Zwangzug, off a pass from Vilita-bound Saroj Kinnar in the twelfth minute. Nine minutes later, wunderkind Kuma Negasu would equalize for Nyowani Kitara. [The journalist refers to everyone who has a listed, young age as a "wunderkind," "prodigy," or the equivalent. There are no non-wunder kinds in Zwangzugian journalism. -ed] But while both coaches would have been content with that scoreline, the referee rudely decided not to blow her whistle after a mere thirty minutes of play, and the toll would be unsparing. McKinney collapsed after a lightweight challenge from Arvid Handsdotter, who protested when the ref tried to make sure he hadn't fouled him or anything; VAR confirmed that Handsdotter was in the clear and McKinney's leg just decided to give out on him. [Handsdotter is a male name, really? -ed] Yeah, we can't all have Jorvelki/Græntfjaller patronymics.

After the restart, Meghna Imomenba emerged into the spotlight, for better and for worse. Named to the Testículos starting XI for her solidity and reliability on defense, she can nevertheless be somewhat of a bruiser when she misses a step. So it was that she clumsily tackled Owino Odede when the latter was attempting a shot. While there was no malice in it, it was nevertheless enough to take him out for the rest of the game; Odede Angonga (no relation) stepped in, while Negasu stepped up to take the penalty. Ketevan Igreli, being Ketevan Igreli, made a save with all the control and finesse of a train derailment. This time, while she got up under her own power (with a little help from the goalpost, as one does), she was clearly unable to play on. Kate DiMarini, trying to suppress her expression of "what did you think was going to happen," called upon Helen Pimbura to take over.

Pimbura is no slouch--she was the starter last cycle, for crying out loud!--but the abrupt thrust into action was unexpected, and she was out of position for a goal from Angonga in minute 53. Zwangzug, knowing they were through anyway and hoping to prevent further damage, tried to park the train. But a misplay from Mbũgua Kanj in midfield allowed Sofya Turmal-Hence an opportunity, and she broke forward to equalize in minute 66.

With the score all square, both sides--though depleted--felt the urge to go for it, and the last half-hour was full of daring individual runs but sloppy, inconsistent, possession. Keppal Cosmos' fans hopes plummeted again in minute 72, when Zhou Mushonga--who's usually not even a starter, and got to play in part because Nyowani Kitara had already clinched--developed a strain in a discreet location. Adding insult to injury, Valerie Waugh scored for Zwangzug two minutes later.

Given all the stoppages, there was, unsurprisingly, no shortage of injury time. Negasu's header in minute 90+7 should have been the stuff of headlines--a sensational last-ditch equalizer, making it a brace for the teenage phenom [you see what I mean?! -ed]--but in reality, was something of an anticlimax; Zwangzug were already winning the group on tiebreakers, and despite the high score, the match was defined more by its losses than its gains.

Liang Wei has not announced a lineup for Nyowani Kitara's round of sixteen match against hosts Chromatika. It's likely that Igreli and McKinney will both be out against Savigliane, with the latter marginally more likely to be available from the bench, both because his injury was less severe and because substituting midfielders is less weird. Zwangzug have no history with i cigni, but the Swans' time-portal-induced trauma is sufficiently terrifying that the Zwischen New Courier staff will probably be watching from between their fingers. Too bad, because with Ichi Tuzzio's attacking style, this could be another goalfest.

Still, for a team that's used to putting up with "dumb meatsacks" like Subroto Parida's migraines and Satenik Banach's intestines--to say nothing of the Rovers--it's somewhat of a relief to have people getting hurt where they're supposed to, out on the pitch.
Last edited by Zwangzug on Sat Mar 18, 2023 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nyowani Kitara
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Nyowani Kitara » Sat Mar 18, 2023 8:14 am

WC Ro16 Preview: A lookback- Why Nyowani Kitara's last match against Chromatika was 'an inflection point' in the development of our NT

ALNIO, CHROMATIKA- It's a whirlwind to even say that we are here. Five cycles ago, the KWFA started to finally get their shit together, hire a real manager(a dedicated communist, of course) in Liang Wei, and say that we need to, and are capable, of entering the world of international football. No tournaments won yet, no. But Nyowani Kitara entered with some solid players(quite a few of which are on this team right now), organized by a brilliant tactician by the name of Liang Wei, and we've absolutely made a name for ourselves on the international stage. Outside, of course, of the civil war that had engulfed our nation at the time. On the pitch, we have proven ourselves formidable. We're in the knockout stages of our second straight World Cup- there are 160 teams in the world who have entered World Cup Qualifying. Only 8 have put themselves into the knockout stages for both World Cups 92 and 93. We are one of those nations.

That's the point of international football- joining smaller and smaller lists, until you can be on a list of 1- world champion. Despite our semifinal trip, we're probably still a bit away from that point in our own football development as a nation. But we have to look back. At what point did Nyowani Kitara start to get taken seriously as a football nation? As a national team? Much more known for our political situation. Admittedly, that has calmed down, which has helped. We've proven ourselves capable of the big moment, on the biggest stages, over and over again. But what was the very first time that we forced the world to take notice, and they said, 'oh shit- this team is actually capable of something?'

There is only one inflection point that can seriously be pointed to. And that, is our final game of World Cup 90 Qualifying- Nyowani Kitara's shock upset 3-2 away win over Chromatika, in Lhor, to knock them out of World Cup Qualifying and into the Cup of Harmony, and launch ourselves into the World Cup Qualifying Playoffs, to take on Ethane.

Setting the Scene for that match- On the Pitch

There's a lot of context you need for the importance of that match. Both political and on the pitch. The first thing that we'll talk about, is the first time we played each other in that cycle. Due to the civil war, the national team played every single home qualifier in World Cup 90 in Tikariot. So on Matchday 7, at the Thunderome in Tovaca, Tikariot, we took on Chromatika at 'home'. And the Chromatiks crushed us- a 6-3 shellacking, that was supposed to serve as Chromatika's true statement of intent within the group. We were still only one spot behind them in the group table after that- 1 point behind them. But that's about as dominating as a road win as you can get. Six goals? Doubling them up? Many thought we weren't capable of handling the big time- couldn't beat the big teams, not when it mattered. At least a cycle away from doing anything of relevance.

It was an absolutely brutal draw as well- a group with Sargossa and Eura, as well as Chromatika. Our expectation was not to do much of anything- score quite a few goals, maybe spring an upset here or there, and try to get to the Cup of Harmony and make a run. Of course, there is some on the field/off the field context to this. With the civil war going on, and the KWFA fervently in the hands of the pro-Akongo Communists(and still very much is, in a way), we had four starters actually defect from the national team- three in the leadup to that matchup. Johannes van Weber, Vilgot Westermark, and Arendt Sundin, all starters at LW, RW, and CM, all defected from the NT after Matchday 5, in opposition to the regime(and fear they would get arrested, or worse, after speaking out publicly against the regime).

But nothing matched Omollo Ayange. We'll talk about him momentarily- but he played in that match. That was the last match he'd play for the national team in quite some time, we'll leave it at that for now. But on the pitch, going into the return leg- we couldn't pair good and bad results. Huge wins over Sargossa and Eura- paired, of course, with tough losses to Taksylvania and Al Qurija, teams who weren't even in the conversation for finishing top 2 in a group that, in retrospect, was certainly a Qualifying group of death. The standings going into the final qualifier.

Group 6                           Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Eura 13 8 3 2 32 15 +17 27
2 Chromatika 13 8 3 2 35 25 +10 27
3 Nyowani Kitara 13 8 1 4 37 30 +7 25
4 Sargossa 13 7 2 4 28 25 +3 23
5 Taksylvania 13 4 5 4 29 28 +1 17
6 Al Qurija 13 3 3 7 13 23 −10 12
7 Geisenfried 13 2 4 7 16 24 −8 10
8 Good Samaritans 13 1 1 11 13 33 −20 4

Setting the Scene for that match- Off the Pitch

Now, back to Omollo Ayange- the only defector from that cycle who has somehow made it back to the national team. After that Matchday 7 game, he was very much against the regime himself. He felt as if he could no longer play for a NT that was solely a representative of the Akongos. So, working with Chromatika's footballing authorities, and government, he made a daring escape- escaping with the Chromatika NT, and claiming asylum in Chromatika. Arendt Sundin had found his way to Chromatika as well- two guys who used their standing as athletes, to stand against the former regime.

Yes, they left holes for the NT at right back and CM- but the Chromatik government, determined to prove themselves on the world stage, brought the two defectors to the match. Guests of honor, alongside their Premier at the time, Keri Wyse Aart, and the Banijan Ambassador, Dr. Kekoto Mansaré. Liang Wei told reporters, now, what he thought of the stunt then. "An absolutely ridiculous stunt." He told us a few days ago. "Bringing our own defectors- look, it blew up in their face. I can't be mad at that." Said Liang Wei. It made the match into a highly, emotionally charged event.

As you can see with the above table. An away win, and nothing less, would put Nyowani Kitara into the top 2, and the playoffs. If we drew or lost- we'd tumble into the Cup of Harmony for the second straight cycle. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad result- it was our second cycle ever at the time, you know. But that gives you the scenery for the match.

Players who were there- talking about that match

Here is the match summary. We talked to a few players on the NT now, who were there for that moment, and asked them for their thoughts on the game.

Owino Odede, who scored the match winner that day wrote:Look, it was obviously a highly emotionally charged match for many reasons- especially bringing out the defectors to the match. We all thought it was an act of disrespect by Chromatika- holding themselves as a 'better' nation than us, simply because of what they thought of our President. We absolutely had to get a win for that reason alone, and the stakes just added to it....

Look, I thought that mentally, on the day, we were simply better prepared for the moment. Yes, they were at home, more experienced... But they really felt the pressure. And we think that it got to them. Enigma Armageddon had one of the most reckless challenges I've ever seen- the easiest straight red card that I've ever seen given. It showed that they couldn't handle the pressure. They got too petty, they got too pissed, they could not keep their cool... And we could. The world saw that play out live, on that fateful night in Lhor, and said, holy shit, Nyowani Kitara showing brilliant composure and skill under pressure, in what was, at the time, the biggest ever match in the history of our NT- and we found all three points.

Mhara Vera, the teenager who was called up to replace Arendt Sundin on the roster wrote:It was probably the most insane environment that I've ever seen for World Cup Qualifying- and I'm now in my fourth cycle. Obviously, the chaos of being called up to the NT for the first time ever, mid-cycle. And seeing the guy that I replaced, who hates his country, being brought about as a guest of honor- at the time, it made my blood boil. But I knew that if we wanted to complete our task, reach the playoffs, we had to focus on the match.

I wasn't on the pitch for that long, just a few minutes towards the end. But even then, I knew I had to prove myself- we didn't need Arendt Sundin. For all I care, he can stay in Chromatika. We'd be just fine without him and the other defectors- and it turned out, we were.

Tendenka Mutsekwa wrote:The match intensity was absolutely through the roof. The talk on both sides was palpable throughout the whole match- obviously, not what the Chromatiks usually do on the pitch, or on the playing surface of any sport, for that matter. Losing on that match night, was simply not an option. It was absolutely a tough win, let us be sure. But for us to find a way back, to claw into the game, Owino Odede's winner... His goal is one of the craziest goals, emotionally, that I've ever felt in my life. I felt like a child, the way I was leaping up into the air and celebrating.

Fast Forwarding to the Present day- The Round of 16

The knockout stages upon us! We've got a rematch with Chromatika, also in Chromatika- this time, in Alnio. But the scene is similar. A huge match for both teams, taking place as a home game for Chromatika. The stakes are even bigger this time. Last time, it was to reach the Qualifying playoffs. This time- a berth in the Quarterfinals will be earned by the winner of this match. At a home soil World Cup, Chromatik fans are going to be loud, they are going to be energetic, and they are going to dominate this stadium.

It'll have to be a siege mentality for this NT. But, of course, with all sorts of distractions. Remember, Omollo Ayange was one of those defectors sitting in a box with the Chromatik Premier at the time- but he's the only one of those four who has been invited back to the national team by Liang Wei(the other three ain't ever coming back). And now, he's going to start in this match against Chromatika. Perhaps not surprisingly, he didn't exactly pour out his soul on his feelings on the last match, or how that effects this one- he simply said that he was 'forever grateful to the Chromatik government' for their support at the time, and that now he was 100% focused on the task at hand.

Despite earning 7 points in the group stages, it wasn't enough for us to win the group- so we'll play against the host nation. We've got some veterans on this team, including Armoni Okombo and Wang Jiahui, who might see this as their last ride, their last chance to really make an impact on the NT at the highest levels, deep into the game's biggest tournaments. It's also, once more, a chance for this NT to really prove themselves- although at a much higher level than before. In a way, we already have- we went to the WC Semifinals last time, and many thought that us not winning our qualification group showed that was a fraudulent run. But the tournament came around and we're back in form- 7 points from 9 is an excellent group stage return.

But we can really show that we belong as one of the game's elite nations if we return to the last 8. Especially if we eliminate the host nation along the way. There can be no doubt among our placement in world football if that happens- we want to be considered one of the world's best teams, and a win here against Chromatika will show, unequivocally, that we belong there. Can we get win here in Alnio to move into that upper echelon of nations? Or will it be Chromatika who will truly unlock World Cup fever here at home, and their hopes to win this thing, by reaching the quarterfinals?

Roster for World Cup 93
Players are italicized if their first callup is World Cup 93 Qualifying.
The KWFL is the country's domestic professional football league. Players are bolded if they are based abroad.
Starters: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Oduor Bigombe. 34 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for 1896 Ebor in Mytanija.
RB #2 Omollo Ayange. 25 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Defected during the civil war halfway through World Cup 90 Qualifying, and banished from the NT since then until now.
CB #19 Catarina Malmquist. 26 years old. Nordland ethnic group. Female. Only woman on the team. Plays for FTC United in Zwangzug.
CB #3 Tendenka Mutsekwa. 28 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Red Star Karora in the KWFL.
LB #4 Armoni Okombo. 35 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Captain. Plays for 1923 Esca in Mytanija.
RM #7 Wang Jiahui. 32 years old. Plays for Litala '93 in Mytanija. Former Yue national who has been naturalized.
RCM #6 Arvid Handsdotter. 24 years old. Osterland ethnic group. Plays for Montreal Koreana in Quebec.
LCM #10 Mhara Vera. 25 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for the Dewayo Mustangs in the KWFL.
LM #20 Olaf Svante. 31 years old. Nordland ethnic group. Plays for North Sabrefell in Nephara.
RS #9 Odede Angonga. 31 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Jinja City FC in the S-FPL>
LS #11 Owino Odede. 31 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for East Dewayo in the KWFL.
GK #35 Lukusa Balela. 20 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Gugola United in the KWFL.
GK #23 Bakaji Mambuyi. 18 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for CSKA Dewayo in the KWFL.
RB #33 Jekuche Jokonya. 28 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Red Star Dewayo in the KWFL.
CB #18 Obasea Somayina. 26 years old. Kitaran ethnic group. Plays for the Viljan Vultures in the KWFL.
CB #5 Örjan Qvist. 30 years old. Osterlander ethnic group. Plays for East Dewayo in the KWFL.
LB #14 Zhou Mushonga. 30 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Keppal Cosmos in Zwangzug.
RM #39 Christian Pichard. 21 years old. Nordland ethnic group. Plays for Red Star Dewayo in the KWFL.
CM #8 Kamzuni Chinwemwe. 29 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for the Busukuma Force in the S-FPL.
CM #13 Mbũgua Kanj. 22 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Red Star Karora in the KWFL.
LM #22 Rudolph von Katzenstig. 25 years old. Osterland ethnic group. Plays for Ibarnet City FC in the KWFL.
ST/CAM #23 Josef Sparv. 24 years old. Nordland ethnic group. Plays for the Bujukamba Stallions in the KWFL.
ST #12 Kuma Negasu. 18 years old. Kitara ethnic group. Plays for Mubeza United in the KWFL.

- Our free kicks are taken by Wang Jiahui. Penalties are taken by Odede Angonga.
English pronunciation- "New Chee-tar-ah"

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Savigliane » Sat Mar 18, 2023 11:52 am

z'ai'ai field, z'ai'ai
before the World Cup 93 Round of Sixteen match between Zwangzug and Savigliane

"Alright, muchachos," Ichi Tuzzio said with a touch of irony, stepping into the dressing room and observing the anxious faces around him. "Soon, we play Zwangzug, of course, the defending champions of the world. Of course, I am not a Savigliano, just a foreign coach peering into your little country from the outside. But from my point of view, it seems to me that Zwangzug is a worthy opponent for your nation's final World Cup match." He looked around again, seeing the likes of Celestino Dutto and Anaïs Genet flinch, and became confident that he had chosen the right thing to say.

"Thank fuck it wasn't Jeruselem, eh? What a way to go out that would've been, going winless in your final World Cup. But of course, you all knew that that wasn't your final World Cup match. That's why you played so shit. That first half was some of the worst I've seen from you as manager - and I've seen some real lowlights. Just completely, thoroughly sloppy, like you forgot the type of upset Jeruselem are capable of. But you always had that second-half comeback in your pocket, of course, because you knew this would be your final World Cup match. The former champions, and another country that's dabbled a little in multiversal shenanigans. What a great way to line it up! I can see why you fucked up the TJUN-ia match so badly now."

"Uh, sorry, coach," Thea Squarciafichi interjected. "But what the fuck are you talking about?"

"Oh, you would know, Thea," Ichi responded with a chuckle, "and Toscani, of course, not to single you out. It seems pretty likely that this will be the last football match you guys play here. Ever. This is how the world will remember i cigni. So a hard-fought loss to Zwangzug in the knockout stages - that's a solid legacy. We've seen it before, the last few times this team got to the octofinals - Savigliane always go down swinging, whether it's Starblaydia, Vilita, or Zwangzug. You may not be World Cup winners, but you're fighters. So I want you guys to keep fighting, to fight and fight like it's your last match ever. Because, you know. It is."

"But that's not a bad thing! It means there's nothing left to hold back for. If you want to beat Zwangzug - I don't know why you would, though, it's only a quarterfinals berth on a wide-open half of the bracket - it'll be important to give every bit of effort you have. Every single one of you has a role to play today, and I expect you to fulfill it to the best of your ability. I'm not going to hesitate to pull you after half an hour if you're not up to it, but I know I won't have to - what kind of a last match would that be? So you're going to go out there and fight until the last man. I know we're good enough to do that. And I won't have this team send itself off any other way."

"Uh, coach," Luca Cambiaso piped up from the back, "What if we win?"

"You just focus on keeping Cixin Nguyen under control, Luca," the best manager in Savigliano history replied. "I'm giving you a rare opportunity here. As for if we win...we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

WC93 MD3: Jeruselem 1 - 2 Savigliane
Starting Lineup: D'Ambrosio; Tibère, Dutto (Toscani 55), Blanco; DuBois, Chastain, Arnaudo (C. Dutto 55), Esposito (Palomer 86); Roux, Squarciafichi (Bernard 72), Gastaldo (Rossi 72)
Goals: Chastain 49, Toscani 67

A poor first half saw a nervous Swans side concede early and nearly go down 2-0 several times. But whatever Ichi Tuzzio said at halftime must have worked, as Savigliane came back with a pair of goals - first Óceane Chastain bursting into the box to latch onto a cross from Anne-Marie Roux, and then the substitute Adrian Toscani curling a remarkable free-kick into the back of the net from a narrow angle. The Swans even threatened for a third, thoroughly dominating the tail end of the game after Jeruselem's energy ran low, but could never quite put the game away. The tumultuous end to Group E saw multiple teams find second place behind Chromatika over the course of the day, but when the dust settled, the results had fallen just right for Savigliane to sneak into the knockout stages.

Starting Lineup, WC93 Ro16: D'Ambrosio; Garcia, Dutto, Blanco; DuBois, Chastain, Arnaudo, Cambiaso; Roux, Squarciafichi, Gastaldo

Valérien Tibère is unavailable after picking up a second yellow card in the win over Jeruselem, and Luca Cambiaso comes on at right-back for more solidity, but Ichi Tuzzio will otherwise play his strongest lineup. Notably, his refusal to switch to a three-man midfield to match Zwangzug's suggests that he'll be going for the win, although Leo Castagne and Gabriel Buvalelli both remain available as substitutes if the midfield is overrun. Instead, Tuzzio will seek to overload Zwangzug on the wings, relying on the individual quality of Anne-Marie Roux and Nicolas DuBois to target Zwangzug's right flank. On the other side, Gastaldo and Cambiaso are a less dangerous duo, but Tuzzio will hope to leverage this asymmetry to throw Zwangzug's defense out of balance - and the legendary manager has a lot of options in his back pocket if the Zebras do adjust.
Last edited by Savigliane on Sat Mar 18, 2023 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:01 pm

Igrene Cantor closed her eyes and sighed.
Half an hour in, needed a result against Milchama - a draw would do, but they didn't know that yet - and the universe was not being considerate enough to cooperate. In a tough, physical opening half-hour, there had been few openings Kouriea had found a bit of space and whipped one into the bottom corner. Copperhead and Levering were each blaming the other for giving her too much space. And worse, Arachne Loeher - their best player against Flavovespia - stretched awkwardly, limped away from a challenge before taking a knee. She was able to limp off the pitch, eventually, but the physio shook her head at Cantor.
So now, Cantor had to consider her options.
The obvious one, the like-for-like, was Xanthe Hauser. If she just wanted a slightly inferior clone of Loeher, with the advantage of not having played as much football, Hauser was right there.
... Or.
Well, this wasn't working. She let her eye rove across other options. Lindse Kvasina was there. She could play on the left, though she didn't usually; she'd come on towards the end of both games, been pivotal in the buildup to the leveller against Graintfjall and set up Nephara's goal against Flavovespia. And that tempted her until something else struck her.
Loeher had been their best forward against Flavovespia. Madita Brewer had been imperious against Graintfjall. But Felixe Vetiver, her crown jewel? She'd been pretty poor in both games, despite scuffing in a goal against the Snow Wolves. And, okay, strikers who scored a goal didn't exactly have a bad game if they hadn't missed sheafs of chances prior... but.
It was pretty clear, understandably, that high-class defenders could stifle Vetiver out when she acted as a lone pure striker. And, frustrated, she dipped deeper and deeper in search of the ball... and further from goal, with no clear spearhead.
But Bravura Harper was right there. And while 4-4-2 simply wasn't getting the business done for Nephara lately, what if she shifted Vetiver down the left? Sure, they'd have no orthodox wingers left, but Levering and Lind could smack in crosses on the overlap.
Also, Milchama wouldn't be expecting that... probably.
So Harper it was, and for a moment she looked as surprised as anyone to be stripping off her jacket, but she was enough of an egomaniac to quickly get over it and seize the chance. Felixe Vetiver cocked her head quizzically at the fourth official's board, frowned... then shrugged, and hustled off down the wing.
"Really?" asked assistant Valery Cain, once she'd worked out what was going on. "You're really just saying 'fuck it' and trying something for the first time in a do-or-die World Cup match?"
"Vivi'll adapt," said Cantor dismissively. "We all will."
"Or we're fucked."

But they did, and it didn't take long. Harper's first shot came just a minute and a half later, as Vetiver slipped away between her confused markers and teed her up, and the Ulsa striker clipped a deft half-volley just ever so slightly too near Entersher, beaten away forcefully. But seeing that they had a way forward, the Cormorants pressed on.
It was Vetiver that eased them ahead in the end, taking advantage of the Milchaman defence not quite getting a handle of her yet. They might not have known where she'd be, but Madita Brewer did, threading through a pass that caught her perfectly in stride, clipped effortlessly past Entersher, but 1-1 wasn't enough; it still left them reliant on other results, still left them, for that matter, winless.
So it was key for Brewer to rack up another assist, this one slightly more directly. The canny half-Schottic playmaker dipped her shoulder inside and twisted Elkenstall, trailing a foot cynically to catch his clumsy hack and collapsing like a sack of potatoes. Time was, Nepharim took pride in never going down easily. But the national spirit had evolved; gamesmanship beat sportsmanship any day. Renate March stepped up and buried the penalty, and the fans could sigh with relief; Nephara had the advantage.

If the Cormorants were hoping that the timing would put the wind out of the Warriors' sails, they would be gravely disappointed. Elliot Flok shot straight from kick-off as a statement of intent; of course it was trivially saved, but the point had been made. If anyone missed that point, they sure as hell got the message a few minutes down the track. Kyri Levering chopped down Millie Kouriea not far out rom the box, and the goalscorer this time played provider, an immaculate delivery taking ruthless advantage of Nephara's apparent weakness to set pieces, Dervan Kelliers outjumping the competition to crash home an equaliser.
A moment to breathe. A moment to take stock. Vetiver tapped her head, bellowing to all the green shirts around. "Still all to play for, so stop treating them like they're invincible! Let's fucking... vince them!"
So they did, as shame and hope spurred them on equally. Madita Brewer scorched Entersher's palms, before a forceful downward header from Harper shaved the outside of the post. But the Cormorants were banging on the door. They had a dubious penalty shout turned down, then Entersher stood up firmly to Vetiver one-on-one, timing his lunge perfectly to slap the ball out from her feet.
But Vetiver did not let frustration take over. The next time she found herself in possession on the edge of the box, March ceding the ball and responsibility, Vetiver licked her lips. So many white shirts between her and goal? No problem. This was what she thrived on.
She beat Elkenstall with a feint then nutmegged the covering Cekarn, pace and power letting her brush past her and barely, narrowly nip onto the ball before Kelliers could cover, flicking the ball away from his sliding challenge and now suddenly there was only Entersher to beat, and a low, calm sidefooted finish did just that. That was it, the moment of individual quality they'd been waiting for, but she wanted more. They needed a fourth, given Milchama easily possessed the quality to conjure a goal from nowhere, particularly with the lethal Kouriea and the mercurial Interlasskoti on the pitch, with the experience of Dee Schneider entering off the bench.
The fourth did come, but in the end it would not secure Vetiver's hat-trick. The chance was there, and with a run like she'd managed for her second, it could have been seized... but the easy option, the smart option, was to lure out the white shirts before simply cutting back for Bravura Harper to hammer past Entersher with her first touch. And then, at last, they could breathe.

Banija would be the next name out of the hat, not the name anyone hoped to see. Not least because they were ranked third, and deservedly so, but also Banija were one of the few sides in world football to have generally had Nephara's number... including in a World Cup final. You didn't soon forget those.
Worse, while Solblindi Rake returned from suspension and Southsea and Xu had benefited from a rest, they would miss three key players. For Constantine and Copperhead, the Cormorants' physicality had caught up with them, while Loeher wouldn't be fit until the semifinals, if Nephara could make it that far.
But none of that would matter, if Felixe Vetiver could produce another performance at her best... and on the basis of her showing against Milchama, she was finding it.

Nephara 4 - 2 Milchama
(4-3-3) 1 - Strand; 17 - Levering, 18 - Copperhead, 6 - Scales, 3 - Lind (c); 24 - Sebold (4 - Southsea 68'), 15 - Constantine (19 - Rosziter 76'), 8 - March; 13 - Brewer (7 - Anharbour 76'), 21 - Vetiver, 11 - Loeher (10 - Harper 34')
Goals: Vetiver 41', March 45+2' pen, Vetiver 58', Harper 73'

Injuries: Loeher (thigh)
Suspensions: Constantine, Copperhead

Lineup vs. Banija
(4-3-3) 1 - Strand; 2 - Rake, 5 - Roback, 6 - Scales, 25 - Xu; 4 - Southsea, 19 - Rosziter, 8 - March (c); 13 - Brewer, 10 - Harper, 21 - Vetiver
WCC Grand Slam champion.
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:53 pm

Part I
Part II
World Cup 93 Group Stage Matchday 3: TJUN-ia 2-3 Chromatika @ The Shock, Wirr Tsi, Capital District (Cap. 51,350, 18,000 Seats)
Goal: Xuen-Zhukov 27', 43', 67'
Starting XI (3-4-1-2): Fillar, J. (C); Ansov - de Aea - Anbient; Fillar, G. - Larriet-Cortes - Hauser - Fillar, E.; Kuznetsov; Xuen-Zhukov - Delaya.
Substitutes: Coulibaly -> Ansov (50'), Fillar, B. -> Kuznetsov (53'), Killian -> Delaya (53'), Aimée -> Anbient (68'), Kruetzberg -> Fillar, G. (68')
World Cup 93 Round of Sixteen: Chromatika vs. Nyowani Kitara @ @RCK Field, Alnio, Capital District (Cap. 100,400, 32,000 Seats)
Starting XI (3-4-1-2): Fillar, J. (C); Ansov - de Aea - Anbient; Fillar, G. - Larriet-Cortes - Hauser - Fillar, E.; Kuznetsov; Xuen-Zhukov - Delaya.
Substitutes: GK Kathie Begley, GK Lorée Bautista, DCR Ami Coulibaly, DC Klavida Régine, DCL Ipati Aimée, DC Cylie Nodis, WBR Emlie Kruetzberg, WBL Ha'nei Ighv, BWM Kateryna Zuniga, BWM Mare Si, AP Baillaire Fillar, AM Alissar Phoen, SS Kara Oveni, P Sandara Park, AF Hank Killian.


The Shock
Wirr Tsi, Capital District, Chromatika
Half hour after TJUN-ia vs. Chromatika

"They like having visitors - especially after they've won and had a chance to wash up. They know that we don't let anyone in that isn't affiliated to the Anomalies in some way, so you don't have to worry about them turning you away. If they lose, we may have to ask, but if the Anomalies pull this off, don't worry about going in to talk to them at all, all right?"

The words from Keira Andisori from four hours prior rang in Gabriella Antonio's head as she led her twins, Jayla and Claudia Lethbridge-Antonio, down to the away team's locker rooms. Their visit in Chromatika during the World Cup had proven to be very fruitful so far. After her enshrinement ceremony, the Lethbridge-Antonios had watched all three games for the Chromatik National Team (two wins and a draw, so that was a lot of fun for the twins), spent a lot of time with Erika Morningstar, who had volunteered to be their driver for their entire stay, had couple meals here and there with Keira Andisori - which had led to Claudia asking all the questions she had as she remained star struck the entire time. Keira had been accommodating, per usual, and told Gabriella that it reminded her of how excited she had been during her early days.

The Lethbridge-Antonios had also met with Shelby Aarling, the Anomalies' Social Media Coordinator, and the twins had learned the importance of their social image. Unfortunately, the schedules didn't work out to meet the head of Chromatik Youth Development, but Gabriella held onto hope that that visit would happen before the Chromatik leg of their trip was over.

Cormak had also been very accommodating - agreeing that they would only fly to Cosumar after the Anomalies were eliminated or after the Semifinals - as it would be very hard to fly to Straton, Tumbra for the World Cup Final when they needed to also get to Cosumar.

"Come on, Mom, I can't wait any more!" Jayla's loud voice snapped Gabriella back to the present, made even more amusing by the fact that usually, Jayla wasn't this animated. No, it was obvious that they were about to go meet some players that Jayla looked up to - which was even more ironic because none of them even played her position.

The security officer posted at the away team locker room door noticed who they were immediately and waved them through with a smile and bow, signifying that the players were decent. Making sure to head off the twins, Gabriella entered the room first.

There was Lavrentiy Xuen-Zhukov in a corner - the man of the hour - who was excitedly going over some things with Candice Delaya, Sandara Park, and Hank Killian. Juxon Fillar was at the opposite corner with Kathie Begley and Lorée Bautista, probably going over what had happened to let in the two goals. Both groups snapped around to see Gabriella come in, but it was the young Defensive Midfielder, Kaia Larriet-Cortes, that greeted the Lethbridge-Antonios.

"Hello, Gabriella," she said, holding out a hand, "We heard you were coming. It's an honor to meet you. These two must be your twins - Claudia and Jayla, right?"

The rest of the meeting was a whirlwind. Jayla was able to meet with not just Kaia Larriet-Cortes, but all four Fillars - Juxon, Grayson, Bailalire, and Edith.

"I had two role models growing up when it came to football," Edith told a Claudia and Jayla that were holding on to every word, "One was the first short speedster of our generation, Meagan Kelly. And the other was a player who showed the country and its sportspeople that our individual happiness is more important than any other metric."

Claudia was a bit quicker on the turn, looking at her Mom, who blushed.

"Yes," Edith laughed, "Your Mother. Gabriella Antonio."

It was a lengthy, fun, heartfelt, genuine visit. The young Lethbridge-Antonios not only learned about football, but also learned about what footballers were like as people.

Next on the agenda? A short drive to Alnio, where the twins would get to see a World Cup Knockout match for the first time.
On Nyowani Kitara
By: Enigma Armageddon

I've been asked a hundred times since that fateful slap that led to a straight red card if I regret the decision. My answer, time and time again, is that I do not. I regret the consequences of that decision, the fact that we lost, the fact that it sent us to the Cup of Harmony, that it led to me being taken off of the team for the only football trophy that we've won at the multiverse level, but I do not regret the action itself. No, the fact remains that Angonga deserved it. We were being accommodating, we were being to some of the Kitarans what the Quebecois had done for us during the height of the Rainbow Revolution, and they were absolutely disrespectful.

Do I think that the consequence was too harsh? No. I did knock out a player. I deserved that red, I deserved that time away from the team. However, I stand by my decisions and my actions. Through the grace of the Chromatik Football Federation and our new Manager, Lev Repin, I was able to see out the final days of my career, even getting to represent Chromatika during the last World Cup Qualifiers. I don't have any bad blood with anyone on the team or with the Federation.

With that out of the way, let's talk about this upcoming match against Nyowani Kitara, to take place in Alnio.

Ever since they qualified to the World Cup after going through the playoff in that fateful cycle, the Kitarans have become a mainstay in the World Cup Proper. Their government, their infrastructure, and their people have all had significant upgrades, updates, and changes - most for the better. I applaud those that are making a difference there, and I applaud how their people rally around their team, just like how Chromatiks rally themselves around the Anomalies, for better and for worse.

However, when it comes to the team, when it comes to the fact that Omollo Ayange, who had political asylum status during that match and currently plays for Pria City in the Red League, starts for the Kitarans, when it comes to the fact that there will be familiar faces on both sides, I want to make one thing very clear: Chromatika needs to beat them. Not only beat them, but completely trounce them.

There was a time where the average Chromatik fan felt sympathy for the plight of Nyowani Kitara. There was a time where Chromatika even allowed some players to seek asylum.

No longer. The Chromatik government will do what it does, but make no mistake - when these two teams take to the field in Alnio, there will be little or no goodwill toward the Kitarans for the next tw or so hours.

The world has no idea what a Chromatik revenge looks like. We're not a very vengeful people.

it's time they found out. The most impactful forms of revenge aren't loud, rambunctious, nor grand. No, it's far better to be clinical, silent, and just simply deadly.

Game on, Nyowani Kitara. Either a new rivalry is born, or Nyowani Kitara becomes the #1 most hated team in Chromatika.

I'm fine either way.
Last edited by Chromatika on Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Regional Tournaments: AOCAF 55 Champions, 52 & 63 Runners-Up
WC Proper Appearances: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79, 80 (Ro16), 81, 83, 84, 86, 89, 92 (Group Stage), 87, 88 (Ro16)
CoH Appearances: 77 (Ro16), 85 (Ro16), 90 (Champions), 91 (QF)
KPB Ranking: 26 (Pre 93)
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kelssek » Sat Mar 18, 2023 3:30 pm

New Saintsport Harbour is not technically a white elephant, the Northern Noua Cymru Port Authority insists. NCNorthport rejects this media-driven characterization by pointing to the fact that it has added badly-needed capacity to the republic’s port system and it does in fact turn a profit for the state. The initial plans for cargo handling capacity 1.5 times that of Port Kirkenes, the country’s busiest container seaport just 250 kilometres away, were overly ambitious, yes. But once the Noua Cymru government realized what a boondoggle it was turning into and cut off funding for further construction, the resulting facilities were the right size for the job, even if it did leave large expanses of bare concrete that is yet to become proper docking and container handling space.

Moreover, the ample supply of warehouse and storage facilities helps keep NCNorthport cost-competitive and has certainly relieved the capacity constraints in Kirkenes. The opportunity for organized crime to appropriate some of the low-rent infrastructure for their own use is usually not mentioned in this context.

Things going on at the port had something to do with the unsolved deaths – which hadn’t officially been reclassified as possible homicides yet – of three Mytanija nationals and one Kelssek citizen who owed the Mongrels a bunch of money. The problem for someone trying to probe one set of potential crimes, and not just suspicious but nevertheless legal activities in general, was that a lot of it was going on. There'd been a report of blood splattered boxes having been seized by customs, which sounded lurid and interesting enough.

But Myriam shook her head as the customs officers unpacked the seized contraband. Not the Medium Iron Pipes Not Otherwise Classified that had been declared, more like Other Arts and Antiques. They looked like very ominous artifacts – some kind of grails? And the customs officers seemed very pleased with themselves for finding them, but it wasn’t the lead that it had sounded like back at the station.

And now because of that unplanned excursion it was time to go pick up the kids and her car was back at her place of work, so she took one of the patrol cars. Ollie always got excited on the rare times when this happened, insisting that she put on the lights, and threatening classmates that his mum would put them in jail. Myriam had found it funny until the nursery teacher informed her that another child, actually believing Ollie’s declarations that the carceral state would forever grasp him in its maw for breaking one of the toy dinosaurs, had a tear-filled meltdown. So no more of that, Ollie.

Then Myriam saw her – the girl with the prisoner tattoo, walking along the service road on the way out of the port gates. It took a few seconds to put two and two together, because it wasn’t quite how that officer had described it. It was, indeed, a spiky-haired man in an orange jumpsuit, but it wasn’t quite a prison inmate. Myriam couldn’t quite put her finger on it but it looked familiar somehow, like something she ought to know.

She slowed down and rolled down her window and slowed down. “That’s some nice ink there,” Myriam said.

The woman ignored her.

“Can we talk for a minute, ma’am?”


“I just want to ask a few questions.”

“I ain’t got anything to say, officer.”

“Well, you don’t know the questions yet.” Another car came up behind and there was the brief bleat of a horn as its driver suddenly realized angrily honking at a police car was not a good idea. Myriam waved to let the other car pass.

“Okay, so ask.”

“What’s that tattoo of?”

“Dragon balls.” The woman picked up her pace.

Myriam nodded as if she understood perfectly. “Can you tell me anything about someone who fell from a condo tower?”

The woman shrugged theatrically, and then abruptly reversed direction. Myriam could only watch in the mirrors as she disappeared between the stacks of shipping containers.

KELSSEK 1 - Lambert (74')
Terlock, Buené, Lambert, Lozic, Holman, dí Völará, Lafrenière (Camserhe 87'), Ó Tuathail (Heer 79'), Hartpoach (Mann 66'), Maçon-Petrault (Ahmad 66'), Maradrogba (Breault 79')
CABO AZURE 1 - Maciel (61')
KELSSEK 3 - Branco (o.g. 14'), Breault (49'), Ahmad (79')
Mrythe, Earrach, Camserhe, Bream, Barris, Breault, Lafrenière (Lapierre 70'), Ó Tuathail (Heer 55'), Hartpoach (Mann 70'), Goh-Lemaire, Ahmad (Maradrogba 83')
Last edited by Kelssek on Sat Mar 18, 2023 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Brenecia » Sat Mar 18, 2023 6:49 pm

Erin Camden watched, with the confidence of someone who knew a secret.
Thing was, Brenecia was a worldwide joke. Always an awkward fit at the top of the chain, loitering at the bottom of the top tier. A minnow of eight million in a wide, wide sea, and football was pretty much all it was known for; if not that, then alcoholism, generational poverty, coal lung, brushes with authoritarian government and terrible weather. Brenecia was a shithole, but not in an interesting way, like Farfadillis. It just kind of lingered, as a nation, as a people, much as Brenecia did around the fringes of the World Cup.
... But they were at the World Cup. They still had a gold star. How could that not be source for pride?
So what was their secret? How could they hang with the old money?
Part was, of course, being out of place. That lack of expectation. Brenecia looked uncomfortable when they had to play the part of the big dog, the first seed in qualifying. But here? Free hits as far as the eye could see. Farfadillis? Brenecia had dragged them down to their level, and now Tumbra, a top side on the rise, with hosting advantage? They were next.
It was a brutal, attritional match, this, but with a share of openings being made. Katua Byrne writhed unused on the bench, but Irina Alderwood's freshness was preferred, at least for now.
No longer writhing unused on the opposing bench were Nick Riordan and Susan Monaghan, a sign of Brenecia's success. If you could force the opponent into half-time substitutions, particularly of key players they didn't intend to use, then something was going right. The referee was trying their level best to let the game flow, and as a result, letting a lot of flagrant gamesmanship go unpunished; it took over an hour for Hadley to pick up the game's first card, though it would rule him out of the knockout game.
But by then, Brenecia had their edge. It had come off a hard-won Tumbra turnover, Conway jumping on a loose pass and slipping it to Covolan just outside the box, and she wasted little time whipping a shot low and hard beyond Nick Carver.
A rare moment of quality, enough to basically earn her MOTM honours on its own. But for Camden, the real quality was shown in killing the game. The quality was Meade's sharp saves, not many, but always telling, certainly atoning for her shaky start to the finals; the quality was the team's shape off the ball, and Conway's quick thinking in springing forward to snap up the loose ball. The quality was Tamara Seager's intelligence and anticipation, with 90 minutes of perfect professional fouls. Proper shithousery wasn't so easy as just kicking everyone wearing the wrong shirt. It took work. Serious effort on the training pitch. Trust in the manager, to make it all happen.
And that was the secret behind the victories like this, that made it all worthwhile.
Erin Camden smiled.

Brenecia 1 - 0 Tumbra
(4-3-3) 1 - Meade; 17 - Hadley, 18 - Wheater (22 - Killen 90+3'), 6 - Jeong, 25 - Chalk; 8 - Conway (14 - Cheschon 86'), 19 - Seager, 11 - Covolan (23 - Sitko 75'); 15 - Wake (7 - Wakering 86'), 13 - Stokes, 16 - Alderwood
Goals: Covolan 62'

Injuries: N/A
Suspensions: Hadley

Lineup vs. Kandorith
(4-3-3) 1 - Meade; 2 - Cooper, 18 - Wheater, 6 - Jeong, 3 - Culpepper; 8 - Conway, 4 - Briggs, 11 - Covolan; 15 - Wake, 13 - Stokes, 10 - Byrne
Puppet of Nephara.

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Squornshelan Remnant States
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Left-wing Utopia

WC93 GS3

Postby Squornshelan Remnant States » Sat Mar 18, 2023 7:20 pm

The date set for the appointment of a new president for the Squornshelan Confederate Football Association is fast approaching, and the field has narrowed to three apparent front-runners. One, as expected, is current SCFA Executive Secretary Ivar Saranov. The second, also not much of a surprise, is Deputy Secretary of Arts and Culture, Morwen Vilane. Sport, in Confederate government terms, falls under the heading of arts and culture. The third candidate, something of a dark horse, is current Megabrantid SC Financial Director Maimu Lagopol, who has run the business end for the wildly successful club for over a decade. We posed a single question to each of these three: “what is the immediate objective for Confederate Football?”

Ivar Saranov
"We've set a good course here, all that's needed now is to follow it through. The national team has an excellent core of prime aged players, more deserving ones than can be named to any single tournament’s roster, as a matter of fact. The league still has work to do in the areas of financial fair play. Despite recent progress, membership in the top two tiers of the league is still significantly skewed toward Brantid and Algolian clubs. Of the 38 clubs in the Superleauge and League 1 this past season, 18 were based in either Megabrantis or Algolia. Just 4 hailed from Molvania, the second-most populous state in the Confederacy, while Han Dold, and East and West Flania had just 2 each. I do not mean to suggest that a football association can do everything necessary to address the systemic inequity that persists still today as a relic of the old Imperial political, economic, and social order. Rather, a holistic effort across all areas of our nation is required to address the root causes of this unequal distribution of money in Confederate football. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the SCFA to continue to act as a moderating force in Confederate football, ensuring that deserving, but small clubs are not buried under the massive weight of money that so often prevails at the highest levels of this sport. This initiative will also continue to serve the interests of the national team. Worthy prospects so often arise in seemingly unlikely places, but too often only gain the experience and exposure necessary to fulfil that potential with a move to a big club, rather than the opportunity to rise along with their hometown team. Football is for everyone, not just billionaires.”

(Saranov did not elaborate further on what additional restrictions he would add to the existing foreign player limits and homegrown player requirements already in force in SCFA leagues)

Maimu Lagopol
“The national team is making fine progress, but the restrictions that the SCFA has placed upon its member clubs have caused a regression in the quality of football played here, and the result is clear in recent IFCF performances. The days of Confederate clubs making deep runs have passed us by, let alone the prospect of new championships. The last Squornshelan triumph in an IFCF Competition was eight cycles ago now, and the past two cycles have been a low ebb for Confederate club football in the IFCF era.* We must roll back these misguided, regressive policies, which profess to promote the development of domestic talent for the national team, but have in fact stunted our growth. Our national team is not well-served by a league that clips the wings of its clubs and forbids the sort of dynamic roster building that brings both excitement and talent to the league. Our own football pyramid’s lower echelons have long been neglected as talent pools and the potential of the second, and even the third tier to develop top young talent is woefully underutilized by selection committees that have at times seemed more concerned with the crest on a player’s kit than with the quality of their play.”

(Lagopol declined to engage with a Brantid Times journalist who pointed out that his own Megabrantid SC are the current AOCL holders, and clearly not suffering quite so terribly)

Confederate Deputy Secretary of Arts and Culture Morwen Vilane
“For some time now, the SCFA, its leagues, and its national team have not had a well-managed image, nor any compelling visual marketing presence. The lone shrewd move in that area was the kit partnership with uni-q, put in place nine seasons ago but never followed up on. There is no consistent identity for the league system or unity of style among clubs and leagues. The Superleague and the National Team have reached a point of excellent quality, but are still not particularly well-known or regarded. Oh sure, people know Megabrantid and Yassaca, hard to ignore the Challengers Cup winning clubs, but how many across the multiverse could actually name half the clubs in the Superleague at any given moment? It’s not a deficit of quality; the teams both club and national are excellent. It’s a failure by the SCFA to sufficiently promote the superb brand of football played here. While continuing to promote the excellence we’ve achieved, the SCFA must prioritize a coordinated effort to rebrand our clubs and league, and concentrate on international placement of our broadcasts and publications.”

(when asked if she really thought trendier logos and more Confederate football on foreign televisions was the biggest priority facing the SCFA, Vilane sort of sniffed, and ended the interview)

YUE: 5
SRS: 3

YUE: Liu 14’, 18’, Zhang 28’, Dong 47’, Liang W. 83’
SRS: Bondarov 25, Damnagoras 50, Fridtjofs 66

Lineup: Shimski; Nyberg (Norling 20’), Titov, Yarlut (Nisarizo 80’), Halfariani; Hashemi, Zazagan (Damnagoras 45’); Bondarov, Volam, Yonte (Maksimov 45’); Ness (Fridtjofs 60’)
History did repeat itself, far too closely for the liking of any Squornshelan. Having drawn Banija, we've also managed to back into the second round where we will have the dubious pleasure of facing a seriously daunting opponent. It got off to an ugly start for the Black-and-Reds, followed by an ugly middle part, a brief glimmer of hope, and finally an ugly finish. Nyberg looked badly out of sorts, no comment as yet from Penrooke as to why, and his Moths teammate, Liu, took full advantage of the opportunities he allowed Jiang to create. Quite possibly playing her last match for her country, Liu made the most of her chances, burying the opener and then following it up with a second less than five minutes later. Penrooke brought Nyberg off, and a closer eye kept on Liu by the center backs stopped the bleeding, but the damage was done, and the Black-and-Reds would chase the match for the remaining time.
Bondarov clawed one back only for the team to surrender a third almost immediately on a quick counterattack. Penrooke’s pair of halftime changes signaled an intent to go for the two goals needed to even the score, with a pair of attacking minded players entering the field. The tactical adjustment wasn’t made immediately though, and the unbalanced midfield failed to break up the Dragons’ attack off the restart, conceding again with Dong slipping in for a wide open shot that left Shimski punching the ground in frustration. This time, it was the Black-and-Reds’ turn to respond quickly, this time off the foot of Damnagoras, whose aerial control of the ball while on the move got them in past Hu for a well-placed shot. Perhaps encouraged by the striker back, Penrooke sent on Fridtjofs, as Yuan clearly had Ness’s number today, and was rewarded as the Kyethas striker pulled the Black-and-Reds within one goal. It was one goal that was never to come, however, as no matter how the team pressed, the Dragons’ defense always seemed to be just quick enough, just strong enough, just prescient enough to deny each chance. Liang came on late for Liu, who received a thunderous ovation from the Yue supporters in attendance, and when she poked the insurance goal past Shimski on a goalmouth scramble, it didn’t feel like the end. Rather, it felt like the end had passed some time in the previous ten minutes, and Liang’s goal was just the scoreboard catching up with the flow of the match.
Now it’s off to the second round, for the second time in the modern era, and once again advancing on poor form. Once again a daunting foe, this time fifth-ranked Græntfjall led, at least in the headlines, by much sought after midfielder Kæja Finnvarðsdóttir. If Penrooke can find the lessons in this letdown loss, the Black-and-Reds might stand a chance, but if the same side that fumbled their way to a 3-5 result today shows up, it won’t be as bad as this loss was. It’ll be worse.

Schedule & Results:
MD01: AUD 0-1 SRS @ Arena Kirola (cap. 72,000), Cathair, AUD
MD02: SRS 3-1 RYF @ Flanoil Arena (cap. 50,350), Traal, West Flania, SRS
MD03: STR 1-1 SRS @ TBA
MD04: VEZ 0-1 SRS @ Fate Stadium (cap. 333,000), Naypyithaw, Burma, Val Z
MD05: SRS 6-2 AER @ The Lutenstaad (cap. 75,000), Lutenblag, Molvania, SRS
MD06: ASG 1-0 SRS @ TBA
MD07: SRS 4-2 EQS @ Olympiastad (cap. 47,550), Arkintoofle, Megabrantis, SRS
MD08: OBR 1-3 SRS @ TBA
MD09: SRS 5-1 BRP @ Pheldagriff Stadium (cap. 45,620), Yassaca, Sivolvia, SRS
MD10: MUR 1-6 SRS @ TBA
MD11: SRS 3-1 ESL @ Admiral Cherenkov Stadium (cap. 71,200), Santraginus, Isle of Squornshelous, SRS
MD12: SRS 1-0 AUD @ Vogsphere Arena (cap. 90,000), Vogsphere, Isle of Squornshelous, SRS
MD13: RYF 0-2 SRS @ TBA
MD14: SRS 4-2 STR @ Sunergy Field (cap. 37,550), Hunian, Algolia, SRS
MD15: SRS 3-1 VEZ @ Bridger Lane (cap. 72,406), Damogran, Algolia, SRS
MD16: AER 3-1 SRS @ Centerby Stadion (cap. 36,000), Vorácy, AER
MD17: SRS 4-1 ASG @ Megabrantid Financial Field (cap. 69,245), Brantisvogan, Megabrantis, SRS
MD18: EQS 0-2 SRS @ TBA
MD19: SRS 3-0 OBR @ Malgacorp Arena (cap. 29,350), Hensha, Megabrantis, SRS
MD20: BRP 2-1 SRS @ TBA
MD21: SRS 4-2 MUR @ Green Heart Center (cap. 20,760), Han Wavel, Han Dold, SRS
MD22: ESL 0-1 SRS @ Eshialand City Superdome (cap. 75,000), Eshialand City, ESL
GS01: KOR 0-2 SRS @ Fletcher Park (cap. 45,000), Kingsbury, TMB
GS02: SRS 2-2 BAN @ Two Rivers Stadium (cap. 42,000), Millsburgh, TMB
GS03: YZH 5-3 SRS @ Stokers' Park (cap. 52,000), Fontwell, TMB
R16: GRÆ v SRS @ The Eagles' Club (cap. 88,000), Straton, TMB
The Confederacy of Squornshelan Remnant States
Successor State to the Imperium of Squornshelous
Trigram: SRS
KPB Ranking: 30.77 (13th)
World Cup 31 Champions
World Cup:
2nd: 15, 38
3rd: 20, 25
SF: 18, 27
QF: 5, 11, 12, 22, 30, 32, 33, 34, 40
Ro16: 6, 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 24, 28, 36, 37, 39, 90
Group Stage: 8, 10, 13, 17, 19, 26, 29, 35, 41, 88, 91
DNQ: 14, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89
Cup of Harmony:
QF: 6, 73, 75, 81
Ro16: 74
Ro32: 79
Group Stage: 76, 77
2nd: AOCAF65
3rd: IAC8
2nd Round: IAC6, IAC7, IAC12
1st Round: IAC9, IAC11
BoF68 QF

Squorn is an unknowable entity -Mriin

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Postby Graintfjall » Sat Mar 18, 2023 9:14 pm

Græntfjall – 2 (0)
Björnólfur; Hermione, Eyvar, Asbjørn, Jan; Valtter Image (71’ Erin Image); Rebekka Image (62’ Vanessa Image Image (90’)), Kæja Image (26’) Image (83’ Steinar Image), Danny Image (71’ Tom Image); Mímir Image (78’) Image (83’ Röskvi Image), Sara K (c)

Flavovespia – 1 (1)
Bagshaw Image (29’)


The mysterious Johanna Álvgeirsdóttir

What do Squornshelan Remnant States, Ko-oren, and Brenecia have in common? They’re the only teams ranked in the world’s top 20 that Græntfjall have never played against in football. Of the three, the Squornshelan Black-and-Reds are the highest ranked, though they’ll lose that distinction tomorrow night when they square off with the blue-and-whites at the The Eagl’e’s’ Club field in Straton. For the winner, a forbidding match-up with either hosts Tumbra or the highest ranked remaining team in the finals, world number #2 Turori; for the loser, a trip home, and the question of when again these two teams might have the chance to meet. The nature of international football scheduling, with World Cup qualifying group stage seedings, means that high ranked teams can go years without meeting, especially when in – as in the case here – they represent different regional confederations. Short of a quick helicopter relocation to Atlantian Oceania, Græntfjall may not line up against the Squornshelan side again for some time. They will be determined to make the most of this one-off encounter. And the match will be watched keenly by the one player who has a much closer association with the Remnant States: Johanna Álvgeirsdóttir.

Despite the lack of direct meetings, the Squornshelan Remnant States and the White Winter Queendom have not trod entirely different paths during the last few years. A number of Squorn players have played important roles in developing the standard of football in the GPL, such as Helder Geurkink, Khajag Albani, and Palla Jagidar. Græntfjallers, too, have travelled to play in the Squornshelan Superleague, none more notably than Álvgeirsdóttir, who has become one of Græntfjall’s most successful international club footballers with Megabrantid SC. Álvgeirsdóttir, who emerged amid the first slate of players nurtured by Tequiloan manager Sopo Chacuzca for the national youth team, was earmarked for success from an early age, and has been a loyal and solid presence for Megabrantid since leaving her home club of Folte. Her international career never quite reached the same heights.

Álvgeirsdóttir played over 100 games for Græntfjall and scored more than 20 goals. Effective as a central midfield or playing in a more attacking role, from set-pieces and the penalty spot, she had more physical presence than Amanda Guttisdóttir, better ball skills than Jade Miansdóttir, and a higher football IQ than Natasja Hólmarsdóttir. The four, along with Sara Kristoffersdóttir, often formed the core of Igrene Cantor’s midfield diamonds. Still there is a sense Álvgeirsdóttir, for all her gifts, underachieved at the international level. Sigurkarl Kristiansson, arguably Græntfjall’s most successful ever club football manager export, has managed Chalesm in the Superleague and had first hand experience of Álvgeirsdóttir. “She had the misfortune to overlap Amanda Guttisdóttir and Kæja Finnvarðsdóttir,” he says, also likening her – because, in this fantasy universe we’ve constructed, managers don’t just say “men against boys” and “control the game” over and over on barely syllabic loop – to Schrödinger’s cat. “When she was in the team, the fans wanted someone else. When she wasn’t in the team, the fans wanted her. Græntfjaller fans were more interested in the idea of what she should be than what she actually was as a player.” He did however add that she occasionally put in the odd “bang average” performance that undermined the good faith she’d built up.

Her career roller coastered from reaching the final of the Di Bradini Cup, to losing it, to San Ortelio, in a game in which she was criticized for disappearing having been marked out as the best of the bumper midfielder crop taken to the tournament by Chacuzca. From being dropped from the national team under Kang Guilin to winning her place back under Igrene Cantor. She won the Cup of Harmony but found herself drifting back out of the starting XI a year later. She was part of the World Cup 91 team, but was pictured crying in despair as she suffered a serious knee injury against Squidroidia. Though she lingered around the squad for the remainder of the tournament, she was never able to play – despite reportedly breaking out of medical confinement and tearing off the cast on her leg – and had to watch a nerve-wracking penalty shootout against Valanora in which she surely would have been called upon (her replacement, Danny Oddkellsson, missed his kick). The team did eventually win, and went on to triumph in the final. Álvgeirsdóttir has a World Cup winner’s medal to her name – but she was notably absent from the celebratory parade in Steinaux when the team came home, preferring to head to medical rehab and then back to the Squornshelan league. By then, Kæja had arrived, and Johanna was back to being considered a reserve.

The last cruel twist came when she was named national team captain. Not counting Emeli Vilbertsdóttir’s brief tenure, she was the first woman to be named full-time in the role. Yet by the end of the Copa Rushmori 41 she was no longer in the starting lineup: Grímúlfur Gunnþórsson wore the captain’s armband in the final, even when she finally came on after 76 minutes as a substitute. Another winner’s medal left to gather dust in its unopened box followed, and shortly after that, a modest announcement that she had stood down. Sara K took over, and Johanna’s status as specialist captain was confirmed as she was quietly dropped from the next international squad. But after that twist, there was one last moment of redemption, as she was brought back to captain the Eagl’e’s’ Cup XV team while Sara K was on club duty with Wirr Tsi. It was the trophy Græntfjall had craved. She warmed up by scoring twice in the Cocoa-bo Challenge Trophy final against “Class of 73” rivals Pemecutan, and then continued on to the final, where she scored again as she led the team to a 3–2 win over World Cup 92 champions Zwangzug. This medal box, she ma have actually opened.

Hjörleifur Reynarsson was her national team captain for a number of years. “Johanna was the ultimate teammate. She would do anything, she played in a holding role, attacking role, center of the park, right flank. I think she would have played center back if we’d asked her to. She was never selfish, always had a good word for the young ones, got on with everyone. She was always the model pro.” But he also acknowledged that she did not capture the hearts of fans in the way that Amanda or Kæja did. “I don’t know why. She was a bit shy, maybe, or she rubbed some people the wrong way with how intense she could be. Megabrantid don’t have a huge following here, either. I don’t know.” Football journalist Olle Tobiasson has a more esoteric theory: her Folte origins. “Folte straddles the river, it’s a place that’s always between two places. Northerners say people from Folte are southerners, southerners call Folte part of the north. Westerners don’t trust people from Folte, they think they’re part of the eastern bloc, and easterners think they’re too western. As maybe the most high profile footballer to come out of Folte,” he began, before having it pointed out that Emeli Vilbertsdótti was a Folte product, and making an emergency escape by throwing his hairpiece out of the window and jumping through the hole.

Álvgeirsdóttir herself is in Tumbra for the game; as the captain of Eagl’e’s’ Cup winning side, she has been invited to a VIP box at Tumbra’s Eagl’e’s’ Cup stadium in Straton. She reports no sense of mixed loyalty: “I’ve played with a few of them [the Squornshelan team] but of course I’m supporting my country!” Her reflections on her own career are, as ever, more mixed. “First, I don’t consider myself retired from international football so it’s strange to be talking about this in the past tense. I think it’s absolutely possible I’ll play in blue-and-white again.” She smiles sadly, sips her complimentary wine at a reception ahead of the game, and then admits: “But it’s probably not going to happen. I have some regrets, of course I do, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be human.” She does not wish to discuss her World Cup 91 injury but acknowledges being “heartbroken” at not playing a more direct role in that campaign, but she’s more equanimous about her captaincy. “I always knew I was just a caretaker until Sara was ready.”

Attending with her is her girlfriend. Johanna has never formally ‘come out’ as gay but her sexuality was known to her teammates and according to her has “never been an issue”. She reflects that she’s glad her relatively lower profile “allowed [her] to enjoy a little more private of a private life”, in Græntfjall’s conservative society. Olle Tobiasson notes that Amanda Guttisdóttir endured harsh scrutiny throughout her career, while Kæja Finnvarðsdóttir is now receiving the same; Johanna says she wishes Kæja luck managing the current stormy waters of a media storm embittered by her transfer window decisions (and lack thereof). “I didn’t have the same kind of stuff they had to deal with, have to deal with in Kæja’s case,” she says. “Paparazzi rooting through my trash, people following me everywhere I go… none of that. The other day a fan gave me a camera, I assumed for a selfie with him: turned out he didn’t recognize me and just wanted me to take a picture of him and a cardboard cutout of Sara. There’s actually a certain amount of freedom in that.”

This season with Megabrantid, they have slipped from their usual heights: a third place finish, missing out on Champions League football, and a quarterfinal knockout in the Cup. In keeping with her “not retired” status she says she intends to keep playing “as long as Megabrantid let me”, and that this little diversion to Tumbra to watch the match is no more than a brief holiday before the rigors of off-season training resume. (She offers a diplomatic silence when asked how much company she expects on the flight back to the Remnant States.) And, though she does not expect to feature in Thor’s future plans – but, she adds, “he knows where to find me”. Olle Tobiasson says her legacy as a player is far from certain: “Perhaps in fifty years, we’ll have figured out Johanna, and just what we had in her. But I wouldn’t bet the house on it.” Johanna herself is more modest. “In fifty years, I think they’ll have more interesting things to talk about.”

Also in the paper:
  • NEWS: Prime Minister defends police arrest of teenage activist as “proportionate response” to “breach of the peace”
  • BUSINESS: Anti-obesity drugs could save government “billions” a year in healthcare costs
  • POLITICS: Reform 30-30 call on government to press Bundoko government on detention of civil liberties campaigner
  • FASHION: Five stylish and kraken-safe beach looks for your summer break
  • SPORT: Platinum toes? Seven Græntfjallers tied for lead in finals goal scoring with one goal apiece
Solo: IBC30, WCoH42, HWC25, U18WC16, CoH85
Co-host: CR36, BoF74, CoH80, BoF77, WC91
Champions: BoF73, CoH80, U18WC15, DBC52, WC91, CR41, VWE15, HWC27, EC15
Co-champions of the first and second Elephant Chess Cups with Bollonich
Runners-up: DBC49, EC10, HWC25, CR42
The White Winter Queendom of Græntfjall

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Democratic Socialists

Preview: Turori v. Tumbra: Tea Time Tee Time for Two

Postby Turori » Sat Mar 18, 2023 9:15 pm


Turori v. Tumbra: Tea Time Tee Time for Two

[bKensington Stadium, Ridgewell, Tumbra ::[/b] After narrowly advancing to the World Cup Finals by virtue of the playoffs, many were skeptical that the Turori National Team were worthy of their #2 World Ranking heading into the World Cup 93 Finals. To some extent, the Eels Group Stage performance confirmed what those skeptics were thinking as the Turori National Team were winless in their first two Group Stage matches against Kandorith and the Commonwealth of Baker Park. Staring at the potential of an embarrassing early exit, there was a ton of pressure on the Eels to deliver on Matchday 3 against Juvencus, and Edgeli's Eels did just that.

It took just 11 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Cuoabaza Orani'aoa scoring the Turori Nationaal Team's first goal of the World Cup Finals and the first goal of the game. From there, Edgeli's Eels did exactly what they set out to do in the three games that preceded them: Shut things down, deny quality goal scoring opportunities and keep a clean sheet.

Turori would hold on for a critical 1-0 victory that helped break up the log jam in Group D, where in the end the two highest seeded nations would advance, though not in order.. It would be Turori's opening matchday opponent Kandorith who would come out on top of Group D thanks to a 5-3 defeat of the Commonwealth of Baker Park. The difference between Turor iand Kandorith was just a single goals differential but that was enough to give Kandorith the top spot in the Group and its slightly more favorable draw against another Esportivan nation, Brenecia.

 Turori 1 - 0 Juvencus	
Turori Goals: :: 11' Cuoabaza Orani’aoa
Stats :: Turori :: Possession: 56%:: Shots: 3:: Corners: 1 :: Juvencus :: Possession: 44%:: Shots: 6:: Corners: 10
Turori Lineup :: Derizi Amatopa, Karek Edgeli, Moumouni Verre'elali (Tsinuzpa Rana’aiao 45'), Planio’o Nrujsa (Lutara Makakio 75'), Biliki Rona'atu'i, Cuoabaza Orani’aoa (H’munao Cagomia 67'), Kiidallen Aeroluzzi (Kinabo Telioa 67'), Tulaki Rauogba (Amakli Inuro'o 45'), Naraiza Ruaplal, Turakia Diijelhma, Nua'oma Aikiki

After conceding five or more goals on multiple occasions during Qualifying, There were major questions entering the Finals about the Eels normally solid defensive record and the performance of Euran goalkeeper Derizi Amatopa. Those feared proved to be entirely un-grounded in the group stage as the Turori National Team completed the Group Stage without conceding a single goal - the only team at the World Cup 93 Finals to accomplish this. While the Turori National Team failed to concede a goal in the group stage, there would be one team that nearly matched that feat was the host nation Tumbra who had posted a clean sheet in each of their first two games before dropping their final group stage match 1-0 to Tumbra

While the 0 Goals Conceded by Turori in the Group Stage is impressive, their record of having scored just 1 single goal in their first three matchups is also topping the charts in Chromatika and Tumbra as the team with the Lowest Goals For. They will likely need to work on their shooting one way or another if they are going to advance beyond Tumbra and into the Quarter Finals. If there is any match that seems destined to end 0-0 in the World Cup Round of 16, it will be the matchup between Tumbra and Turori at the Serrapince Park. Hosts Tumbra have already played a match at the venue earlier in the campaign, coming away with victory over Delte on Matchday 2. Unlike the group stage however, 0-0 is not enough to settle a game and if the two sides completely shut each other out throughout the duration of regulation play, it could result in a Penalty Shootout of which no one in Turori is exactly sure how to handicap such a situation for their team. Though the Eels will enter the match as the higher ranked side it would be foolish for anyone to suggest that Tumbra do not have an opportunity to pull off the paper upset as even the bettors line currently favors the home nation who will have their supporters filling the stadium in droves while Nigel's Army is limited only to its pre-match allocation. The Island Emirate of Turori National Team have thus far been kept away from the brand new Eagle's CLub complex in Straton which will instead host the Round of 16 between the most recently crowned Eagles Cup winner Græntfjall in their bout with the Squornshelan Remnant States.

Still, there was plenty of intrigue back in Turori in the matchup as Tumbra continues to encroach on Turori's claim to being the best "T" nation in the multiverse. At least one local company is looking to take advantage of this battle for "T' Supremacy with some heavy marketing, as well as new promotion offering bespoke prizes to the winners of their competition.

The Inura Tea Company - a local group with a dedicated following within the Island Emirate for both traditional and iced tea products has kicked off a "Tea Time Tee Time for Two" promotion to try to leverage the unique clash of the "T"-tans of the late-alphabetical zone. The prize includes a free round of golf at the Inura Country Club along with a pallette filled with Inura Tea products for the winner. Inura is a region in central Turori consisting of lush Forests and many ancient sites. The Inurahtii (Inuh-ra-tee) were the most prevalent pre-Turorian culture to occupy the Island lands. The Inura (Inuh-ra) Tea (tee) company takes its name as an audible copy of the name of the sometimes mystically considered ancient culture of central Turori and uses some of the symbols and sites of the culture on its packaging. It ius also believed that the origins of the Turorian Language come from the Inurahtii.


So Vilita's totally unexpected early exit at the World Cup Group stage put me in a bit of a pickle. I kind of told a whole bunch of people that I couldn't attend a whole bunch of stuff I didn't want to do because I was going to be busy covering the World Cup Finals. Then the lowest ranked team in the whole dang tournament has to come in and upset my plans knocking off two five-time champions and sending the Lumber Rebels spinning completely out of the tournament. Let me tell you, I've already spent over a week in Umbar. I've been to the Logging Museum twice. I'm pretty sure I'll be signing up for the Axe throwing competition at the next Vilitan Mountain Games and who knows, I might just be able to compete with the Moraia Sisters as Vilita's for a spot on the Archery team at the next Olympic Games. So yes, I have seen everything Umbar has to offer and then some. I may not want to go home quite yet, but I'm not going to do much staying here any longer. So I've got my bags packed. I've got my special edition Lumber Rebels Jersey on because honestly it might be the last chance I get to wear it - It's certainly not going to bring up any good memories when I get back to the Tropics. For now, however, I'm headed to Tumbra and Serrapince Park where the host nation will be taking on a very difficult opposition, our very own neighbors the Island Emirate of Turori.

So, for me, thats it from Umbar. I'm going to once more refer you to the twii.tur account @funwithflags to check out during the down time as I heard Soktiti is at it again.

Image Sokiti Amakra

Well I wasn't planning on peering into the wormhole this early in the competition, but we've got basically an early World Cup Final taking place in Tumbra with #2 Turori and against the #8 ranked Host Nation - one of the few other succeful sporting enttities start with the Letter. #FunWithFlags #Wormhole #WC93


<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Sat Mar 18, 2023 9:39 pm

Cutoff for Round of Sixteen of the Tumbran half.
Former User of the Nations of Yesopalitha and Falconfar

Champion: WBC 52, NSCF 24 & 26, CoH 82
Regional Tournaments: AOCAF 55 Champions, 52 & 63 Runners-Up
WC Proper Appearances: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79, 80 (Ro16), 81, 83, 84, 86, 89, 92 (Group Stage), 87, 88 (Ro16)
CoH Appearances: 77 (Ro16), 85 (Ro16), 90 (Champions), 91 (QF)
KPB Ranking: 26 (Pre 93)
RP Population: 20 million

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sat Mar 18, 2023 9:52 pm

Prescott to Leave National Team

Scott McCrae
The Mail on Sunday Chief Soccer Writer

Jennifer Prescott, the winningest manager in Baker Park National Team history will step down from her position after the team failed to advance from the group stage for the third consecutive time and fourth time in five cycles.

“We're no closer to winning the World Cup than we were when I started this job so maybe it's the right time for a change. I didn't just come to feel like this yesterday or a month ago. We've invested a lot of resources into trying to unlock the formula to get back to reaching the last 16 or last 8 at tournaments and we're just not quite ready to cross that threshold", she said at a press conference at FAC headquarters in downtown Belle Haven, the same venue where she was introduced as Ichi Tuzzio's replacement after World Cup 87.

"I thought my connection with the sport ended at age 19 when I was released by Riverside City Ladies after just one season and two years at Crusaders Academy prior to that; the fact that I have had the pleasure to work for the FAC for over half of my adult life alongside some of the very best managers and coaches in the sport has brought me nothing but grateful happiness. I have worked with hundreds of players over that time, and I will never forget any single one of them; I've given everything I'm capable of giving for my country but gotten it back in return ten times over. I think I'll steal a line from Pammy (Scott) in her farewell address by stressing this is not farewell, but more of til we meet again."

FAC Executive Director Steven Fleming paid tribute to Prescott and her legacy.
"If there was something physically or as an administrator I could do to convince her to stay, I'd do it in a second. We are not only losing a brilliant woman who has contributed as much to the overall advancement of the Development Charter's goals as she's contributed on the pitch to the success of our National Teams, but we are losing a stalwart friend, mentor and role model. She has to be considered part of the pantheon of visionaries who brought Baker Park from obscurity to what we've achieved in the mixed-gender era."

Prescott has remarkably been in charge of fully 25% of all the matches played in the history of the National Team (257 of 1002); won 28% (154) of the country's 544 international victories; and lifted the AOCAF Cup in Banija as winner of the first ever senior team competitive trophy for the FAC.

FAC Chairwoman Cheryl Livingston also made an appearance to praise the former manager.
"When I was first selected to the (FAC) Board as an outside director, the first meeting where the department heads--Technical, Player Development, Marketing, Sports Medicine, so on--participated included several of the main assistants and Jen was Pam Scott's #2. I remember her giving a report about the women's technical department and I came away very impressed with this person I hadn't ever met before. But that was a circumstance that I learned was my own fault, as I'd been at RivCity Ladies in the business department the season Jen was under contract, which I realized when she and I had lunch one afternoon not long after that first encounter. I have been her unconditional fan and unyielding supporter since that time, and although it breaks my heart as her friend and in my official role I cannot deny her the freedom to make a decision about her career. I know we will continue our relationship regardless of what happens from here."
Livingston walked straight towards Prescott and the two women embraced to an ovation from the assembled crowd.

Allison LeFleur, the FAC General Secretary, made clear following her own lengthy tribute that the search for a new National Team boss would be comprehensive and open to candidates from across the multiverse, as well as close consideration to the remaining staff--Assistant Manager Darren Kirby, 1st Team Coach Tony Weiss, Senior Team Coach Hailey Reinhart-Zavaros and Goalkeeping Coach Elaine King, as well as the youth team management staff.
AOCAF 62 & 66 Champions
2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
DBC 53/74th U21 World Cup Champions
Eagles Cup 13 Runner-Up (Cup of Champions Winner)
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF LVIII (co-hosts), LX Third Place
World Cup 85, AOCAF LXIII, Women's World Cup 15 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 & 90 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84/86/87/88 Round of 16
World Cup 80/89/91 Group Stage
AOBC 5 Champions
NSCF 5x Mineral Conference Champions (18/19/20/21/23)
1x playoff semi-final
1x playoff quarterfinal

WLC President
WLC 38 Third Place
WLC 34/41 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33/35/36/37 (host)/39 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

Rugby 7's AORC 1&2 Champions

AO Twenty20 Runner-up

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Founded: May 02, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Huayramarca » Sat Mar 18, 2023 10:38 pm

The Condors were having special feelings for the match against Vilita, a decider in the group no matter what. Huayramarca had to seal their qualification as first or second placed team, while Vilita was in the same scenario as they were in World Cup 90 casually, win and qualification or defeat and elimination. Bryan Tello was already sitting in the bench, contemplating the grass at the big Umbar Ultima stadium at Umbar, then Ian Mamani showed him a post on Twii.tur and said “Man, check this out!” He took Ian’s PearPhone and read “It’s a matter of altitude. Huayramarca has had altitude on their side for the two first matchdays at Felswyr, now they won’t have that ally on Umbar.” Bryan then laughed and said “That’s like thinking we all live at the Sierra the whole year.”

Continuing with the conversation, Orlando Mina appeared from the dressing rooms and asked “What’s the laughter?” Mina read and said “Oof, do they know that we spend most of the season playing at sea level? Well, there’s another reason to fight for.” One of the staff members called the players back to the dressing room, the game was about to start and it was the moment for the tactical conversation with Blâás Âgínsôgnó. As usual, Âgínsôgnó motivated the players to do their best, then Ian Mamani took his phone and showed the picture to the manager, who read and then said “Well, I’ll talk of it, but later we will talk about you and your phone… You shouldn’t have that thing here!” the manager continued and said “It’s not a matter of altitude, it’s a matter of grit, talent, and capacity to be shown in the pitch. It is your time to show it up in the field, go there and shut some mouths!”

The team was welcomed in the pitch, as usual, by the big white and red spot in the stadium; the big group of Huayramarcan fans that are always present supporting the team, no matter where they play nor when. As they started to sing ”Muchaaaaachoooooos” Tello told the group “Let’s go. As usual, have faith in God and your talents. Do it for your family, for those fans here and in Huayramarca. Give it all!” The team fielded up and was doing their warm-up for the match. The Vilitans were in the other side, with a visible desire of revenge for what happened in World Cup 90, Huayramarca was there waiting to enjoy and play as they usually do as children.

The referee started the game, Bryan Tello was walking around wondering what to do with the Vilitan defence, with Klizlo, Sebapilo, and Tiones waiting for him; according to some conversations with Âgínsôgnó back in the day, he told to attack Tiones due to his lack of speed, making him the weak link in the chain for the Jungle Rebels. Endur Rotropii was making gestures to their defenders on “going hard” vs Tello. The first couple of chances were for the Vilitans, Kevin Quispe had some heavy-duty things to do with the onslaught made by the Tlikara brothers, as Treasvo and Kunaro were receiving good passes from Rokopolis, Quispe had to tackle several times in order to stop the brothers to do the final pass, hence avoiding a 1v1.

Âgínsôgnó was screaming to Orlando Mina and Nicolás Allauca “Reorganise the midfield, we’re being vulnerable” Allauca decided to pull back and act as a second line of defence in case they managed to get through Orlando Mina. Mina was able, with his great talent, to nullify Miateal and Vulitn, forcing the Vilitans to use their right wing to attack. Felipe Fernández, one of the key players back in that World Cup 90 match, wasn’t being able to hold to that standard, Milaaso was moving pretty fast down the wing, exerting some mental games on him to make him eat the bait and get carded, simplifying things for the Vilitans. Ian Mamani was noting the instructions from Rotropii asking for it, Ian came to Fernández and told him “They want to eat your mind out, keep concentrated.” What it was a simple match, it was turning slowly into a mental battle in the right wing, with Fernández restraining himself to avoid getting baited.

First chance for Huayramarca, Ian Mamani collected a loose ball from a wrong pass made by Rokopolis, the midfielder controlled the ball and went through Miateal and Vulitn, then passed to Sayritupac, the winger got near the corner and crossed the ball to Tello, but Sebapilo cleared the ball, then told Tello “You need a bit more to get past. We’ve been training in an old forest for this moment.” Tello simply ignored, as they knew what they were trying to force against the Condors. Near the end of the first half, Vilita hit first with a solid goal from Kunaro Tlikara, he controlled a complicated ball from Naboyavi, who crossed it to get through the whole Huayramarcan defence… Âgínsôgnó started his typical rant with multiple hand gestures against the defence “They can’t fool you like that! Keep your heads in the game!”

Football is a game of momentum, and also from creative sparks looming in the pitch waiting for somebody to create a fire from it; right during a key moment, in the stoppage time of the first half, Ian Mamani found a gap in the left side of the Vilitan defence, passed the ball to Abraham Mendoza, the winger controlled and passed the ball to Bryan Tello, who was between Tiones and Sebapilo, he placed his body in the right spot for a shot, he slotted the ball home between the left post and Zelkki Milake Jr. Equalisers right before the end of the first half are one of the best experiences for a manager, as pressure looses up and lets the team get in a better momentum for the second half.

Âgínsôgnó told them “See how they tried to get us out of our minds? Don’t fall for it, get your mind in the game and let’s do what we love to do, to enjoy this game.” As the team relaxed, Bryan Tello talked with Felipe Fernández and said “We have been good, we can be better in the second half. We are here to enjoy football, not to get into issues with anybody, so let’s keep having fun!” The team entered into the field once again, now with a clearer view on what to do and what not to do; as soon as the referee whistled, the Condors pushed the Vilitans back in their own area, trying to keep possession and break their defence when given a spot for it, and they found it fast, Ian Mamani passed the ball to Nicolás Allauca, the midfielder went near the area, then passed the ball to Gabriel Sayritupac, the winger controlled and got near the edge of the small box in the area, then shot and slotted it home at the 47th minute.

The whole bench jumped in celebration and Âgínsôgnó asked the team to “keep pressing”, but it had some risks coming from the Jungle Rebels. Endur Rotropii had no chance than doing some substitutions, Tero Alatalo had to come instead of Sebapilo and Kamarela Dzzara for Rojara Tiones; then, he asked to press harder, even if that mean some hard tackling, to recover the ball and get back into action. What it came next, was Ian Mamani motivating Allauca, who wasn’t having a particularly stellar role as of late and told him “It’s your time to shine, Nico.” Allauca then said “Let’s try it. Nobody said it will be easy, but let’s give it a try.” Allauca was able to work with Mina and get that destructive midfield duo to a new level of intensity; Nico noticed that Miateal was now trying to deliver filtered passes between the midfield and defenders of Huayramarca, hence he decided to press directly the Jungle Rebel to nullify him as most as he could do. Some proper struggle, shoulder vs shoulder, made Allauca get more confidence, enough for him to say “Well, seems that I’m in the right path to what I was used to be.”

The cherry on Nico’s cake was at the 63rd minute of the game, Naboyavi tried to pass a ball for Milaaso, but he intercepted and started a counterattack by passing the ball to Ian Mamani, the captain holds the ball and then tried to find Abraham Mendoza, the winger was near the box, he controlled and then faked a dribble to Dzzara, he shot between the post and Milake Jr in what was a carbon copy of Tello’s goal in the first half. Âgínsôgnó fist-pumped the air, Ian Mamani screamed to the cameras while Mendoza kissed one of those. Rotropii was now in frustration, asking the Jungle Rebels to keep attacking harder and harder. Allauca got into masterclass mode, controlling tempo like he hasn’t done before, to a point that Ian Mamani just had to cede back to Allauca’s usual position because he didn’t want to hinder his state of trance.

The time was passing, Huayramarca just controlled the ball and tried to do some more attempts, those going wide for a couple of meters. The Vilitans were attacking as a horde, their defenders were close to the centre of the pitch and the midfield was lingering the box, attacking altogether with the Tlikara brothers. Some chances in the dying minutes for the Vilitans kept the Huayramarcan bench near the bench limit line waiting for the final whistle… One that wouldn’t come with some suffering as Treasvo Tlikara smashed a ball in the crossbar after receiving a beautiful in-depth pass from Rokopolis. The whistle came, the Huayramarcan bench jumped and got into the pitch to celebrate with the fans, nine points out of nine, a performance that no Huayramarcan had even dreamt of prior to this World Cup. Âgínsôgnó celebrated with the players and fans alike the special moment, then got back into the dressing rooms.

Âgínsôgnó told them “We have finished the group stage in a great fashion, but we aren’t done yet. We have played three finals, there are four more finals left. Seems that our rival is Cabo Azure, they’re a young squad with thirst of victory such as us, they will be somewhat fast, especially Vasco Cardoso and Vasco Gouveia… They’ll try to provide some good balls for Nicodemo Corte-Real, which is a typical centre forward… They’re reliant in their midfield, we have to exploit their gaps in the midfield, we need to overflow Narciso Maciel and Seth Rathbone with our strong-paced game. You’ve already noted that this isn’t a matter of altitude, it’s a matter of attitude and mística, it’s about the love we’ve found, let’s live our lives now we’ve come this far; we won’t stop now, we are Huayramarca! Time to fight for more, my guys.”

Population: 36 million, demonym: Huayramarcan, capital city: Huayramarca D.M. Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara.

Starblaydia: "That's a Mister Burns nefarious scheme mountain, why is it dark at 2pm?'
'Oh, you know, Huayramarcan geography, is all'"

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Founded: Aug 29, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tumbra » Sat Mar 18, 2023 10:45 pm

MATCHDAY! Magazine — World Cup Box Scores

Tumbra 1-2 Turori

TMB (4-2-3-1): 1 - Nick Barker; 18 - Annie Renton (2 - Chris Finney, 70'), 4 - Stephen Kerr (5 - Ian Ashburn, 73'), 20 - Wendy Pritchett (24 - Raymond Perry, 70'), 3 - Tracey Mercurio; 6 - Trudy Harrison, 8 - Vincent Hicks (16 - Andrew Fisher, 80'), 23 - Susan Monaghan; 7 - Valerie Wells (17 - Rebecca Haines 73'), 21 - Robin Vaughn; 11 - Nick Riordan

TMB scorers: Robin Vaughn (40')

TO BE ELIMINATED FROM THE WORLD CUP IN THE SECOND ROUND is no sin. Sport is harsh; for every winner there must be losers — usually several of them. Of a hundred and eighty-two hopefuls, who can truly say that they are one of the top sixteen in the world, anyway? But, as with every disappointing performance, there must be changes. The end of Tumbra's World Cup saw five people depart the national team set-up. Joel Tyler, critically underutilised during the prime of his career (to some, anyway). Raymond Perry, with his half century of caps spread over nine years of service. Andrew Fisher, Casari army knife, citing a desire to extend his career at the club level for as long as possible. And Robin Vaughn, scorer of Tumbra's only goal during the game, proving once and for all that he was one of the best to ever pull on the black of Tumbra. A hundred and ninety-seven caps. Sixty-nine goals.

These records will be broken within the next few years. Nick Riordan remains only two goals behind Vaughn with far more left in the tank; Vincent Hicks is twenty-seven caps behind Vaughn and has announced that he has no intent on retiring from the national team any time soon. But it is a marker that Vaughn has set down; a mark of greatness. He leaves the Tumbran national team set-up for the final time respected, globally known and is practically a shoo-in for the country's first inductee into the World Cup Hall of Fame when it happens.

The fifth exit was one that some expected, but still came as a surprise; Tumbran manager Yuan Zilai announced he would be leaving the set-up after ten long years with the Eagles. The departure was full of mutual respect between the players, Federation, and the manager; every single one posted tributes to the man who had, nearly single-handedly, made Tumbra a footballing force to reckon with. A hundred and ninety-nine matches; a hundred and twenty-four won. The future is uncertain — Peter Gabriel has been given the temporary reins of the national team — but this era will be remembered fondly. As, of course, will Yuan.

The end of an era is near. In the short span of fourteen years, Tumbra went from minnows to near-worldbeaters; a meteoric rise enjoyed by few others in the game. Someday, most expect, the country will return to that stage — and maybe go one step further.

Until then, the country continues to dream.
Last edited by Tumbra on Sat Mar 18, 2023 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tumbra - a sprawling, modern federal democratic republic located in Esportiva. Strong economy, strong civil rights, strong freedoms.
Population: 121 million | TLA: TMB | Capital City: Straton | Largest City: Couno
Constitution | Domestic News | Domestic Sports | Wiki Article | A Timely Reminder
President: James D. Clark (Green/Independent) | Prime Minister: Stephen Williams (Liberal)
U-18 World Cup 13 Champions/Di Bradini Cup 51 Champions

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Founded: Aug 29, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tumbra » Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:00 am

Cutoff for the Round of Sixteen of the Chromatik half.
Tumbra - a sprawling, modern federal democratic republic located in Esportiva. Strong economy, strong civil rights, strong freedoms.
Population: 121 million | TLA: TMB | Capital City: Straton | Largest City: Couno
Constitution | Domestic News | Domestic Sports | Wiki Article | A Timely Reminder
President: James D. Clark (Green/Independent) | Prime Minister: Stephen Williams (Liberal)
U-18 World Cup 13 Champions/Di Bradini Cup 51 Champions

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Founded: May 27, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Savigliane » Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:06 am

OOC Note: This RP takes place immediately before the start of the quarterfinals. Some background information might be useful to read this - short summaries of each RP in the previous line can be found here, and short summaries of each RP in the current line can be found here, which should help.

7. vedo la nascita e la morte dell'universo nuotare nei tuoi occhi

The Bonmaison Portal Institute, Ritorno, Grande Cucina, 3:15 pm

Jason Jegou projected calmness wherever he went. It was a useful trait to have when you were the #2 to Lorenzo de Rossi, arguably the most volatile physicist in the country. And it was especially useful now, because under the cool, collected exterior, he was terrified.

A few days ago, his office had been burned to the ground by Bianca Fiore’s muscle, and his boss had been arrested. Maybe thirty minutes after, a mysterious phone call had instructed him to activate the portals that he worked on in a very specific way. He couldn’t help but wonder if the two were related. But the reward was too great to pass up.

“Jegou calling for a final check on the portal,” he intoned into the microphone. Around him in the makeshift control room they’d set up after the original one had been smashed to pieces, the beeps and whirs of panels coming to life surrounded him. The skeleton portal crew remaining did their best to check the system with the remaining diagnostics - not ideal, but given how likely the government was to come back if they went public with any activity, somewhat of a necessity.

“All systems good to go,” came the response. Jason sighed, tried to quell the tremor in his voice, and replied: “send it.”

One floor below, the portal machinery began to glow a bright blue, and a pleasant hum emanated into it. The operators exchanged wary glances as the hum crept into the control room, even though it was expected behavior. “Systems are launching,” one of them said. “Thirty seconds until full input power, then two minutes to system startup.” They sat for a moment, the hum rattling all of their stomachs.

“Full input power reached, two minutes to system startup,” Jason said. They continued to sit in silence as the system began to launch. The hum had taken on a distinctly sinister undertone. There were no other warning signs. By the time Jason noticed that the power levels were still climbing, it was too late.

“Might’ve, uh, had some issues with power spiking-” he got out, before the shock wave from the first explosion turned him to ash.

Stadio del Piero, Acqui Bollente, 3:18 pm

Thea Squarciafichi squinted up, eyes carefully tracking the lofted cross, then cushioned the ball on her left boot before squaring and thunderbolting the ball past Mercedes Susa. “Your move, Rossi,” she said, turning to her egotistical strike partner, before feeling a buzz on her thigh. “Bathroom,” she added abruptly, before heading back to the dressing room.

She felt the piercing gaze of Minerva di Marzio on her back as she left. The ACAB manager had a well-deserved reputation as a strict disciplinarian, which had carried some not-especially-talented squads to the SavigLega title. But now, her team had a front three of Bonagiunta Rossi, Thea Squarciafichi, and Calliope Montevecchi, backed up by the world’s least balanced midfield, which featured Golden Ball winner Giovanna Agliotti and Celestino Dutto, who were both 10s. So she’d had to pick and choose her battles a little more carefully. The amalgam of attacking stars had worked in the league so far, at least, and di Marzio’s job remained safe.

Once inside, Thea pulled out her phone to find three missed calls from Joël Bonmaison, with a fourth on the way.

“Hey, sorry. Training. How’d the test go?”

“See for yourself,” the once-affable construction magnate said, hanging up. Confused, Thea checked her text messages to see that Bonmaison had sent her two pictures of the Ritorno facility. The first showed a somewhat fire-damaged but still upright set of buildings. The second showed a crater with a rapidly-growing blue orb on top of it.

Thea’s eyes widened in disbelief. Fumbling for her phone, she called Adrian Toscani - to no response.

portal test failed. I think it’s out of control, she texted while the second call was busy not being received. To her surprise, Adrian texted back. To her even greater surprise, it read: I know. omw to talk to bianca now.

With nothing else to do, she sighed and took a few steps in the vague direction of the practice field, even if there wasn’t much point in practicing with the end of the world imminent. Then, another thought came to her, and she pulled her phone out again.

Tlanx-Nulzk Hal picked up on the first ring. “Thea? What’s going on?”

“It’s happening, coach.”

“What’s happening…ah. Is it time for the Swans to fly home?”

Thea chuckled. “More poetic than I’d say it, but it looks like it. There was an incident with a portal, and it seems like the entire country will be returning to the oldworld in a few minutes.”

“Fascinating. How does Bianca Fiore feel about all of this?”

“We haven’t spoken, but I can’t imagine she’s a fan. Knowing her, she’ll try to escape. Maybe the two of you can talk about us after we’re gone, huh?”

“Perhaps,” Tlanx-Nulzk said ambivalently. “Well, I appreciate you calling, Thea. And I genuinely wish you and your country the best. I fell in love with your story, and I’m glad to see it’s finally finding its happy ending.”

“Thanks for everything, coach. We wouldn’t have become what we are without you, and I’ll imagine you’ll have two worlds singing your praises soon enough.”

“Always one of my favorites, Thea. Goodbye to you and to Savigliane.”

Zonza, Savigliane, 3:20 pm

One thing that the Bonmaison Institute had done correctly was install guardrails to prevent the Portal from affecting the outside world too much. Aside from a small strip of farmland roughly two miles long on the Grande Cucinan border, the guardrails ensured that any portal incident would only affect Savigliane. In theory, they should’ve ensured that any incident would only affect the immediate vicinity of the portal, but with all the fire damage, something had to give.

As such, the Portal only maintained its orblike shape for the first few minutes of growth. After this phase, the big, blue orb began to stretch out, as it reached its tentacles across the Savigliano border. In the border town of Zonza, residents looked up in the sky in wonder as the portal cupped them in its arms, then shielded their eyes as it blotted out the sun.

A lone farmer, three miles away, was able to capture a video of the portal spreading across the town and slurping it cleanly off of the ground. His video was texted to his family just seconds before the portal took him as well. In the following minutes, the video spread rapidly, first in texts, then on twii.tur. Almost everybody had heard about the Bonmaison Institute at that point, and the internet pieced things together pretty quickly.

The ensuing panic was inevitable.

The Office of the Prime Minister, Acqui Bollente, 3:25 pm

Bianca had just returned to her office from a meeting when there was a pounding at the door. She barely had any time to react before it was thrown open.

“I’m so sorry, Prime Minister,” her assistant said, “but he just butted in. I tried to-”

“Really sorry to interrupt, Bianca, but I need to tell you something.”

“...Adrian? What are you doing here?”

“There’s been a containment incident at the portal facility. We have maybe fifteen minutes before it reaches Acqui Bollente.”

Bullshit,” she snapped. “I-” Adrian pulled out his phone and showed her the video that Thea had sent him. Her mouth snapped shut in shock.


Adrian shrugged. “A certain someone smashed up the containment equipment, I suppose, and Bonmaison rushed into a second test to recoup his investment.”

“I told you I had nothing to do with that, it was Evangelista’s work-”

“Sure, sure. It doesn’t matter now, anyways. Believe whatever you’d like.” The two lapsed into silence.

Bianca broke it first. “Why tell me right away?”

“You’re the Prime Minister, Bianca. If anyone needs to know, it’s you.”

“ that it? What do I do with this information?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Adrian said. “Like I said, you have fifteen minutes here. Maybe twenty on the eastern coast. That’s nowhere near enough time to evacuate the country, even if you wanted to. And it’s not going to affect any other countries, so there’s no need to warn anybody.”

“Does it hurt, when those people…”

“I don’t know. I think they just went home. I’m pretty sure, even. But there’s no way of verifying that.”

Bianca nodded, then walked to her office phone and picked it up. “I need my private jet readied, immediately. Can we take off within ten minutes?” She paused, then nodded. “Good. I’ll meet you outside my office,” she added, then hung up.

“Come with me, Adrian,” she said, to her ex-teammate’s surprise.

“...and do what, exactly?”

“The oldworld is hell. You don’t know what they did to the refugees then. How do you think they’ll react to an entire country returning to reality? If there is someone up above, they did this for a reason. They wanted us to be safe here in Anaia.”

“Then run,” he said, walking away. “My home is here.”

He put one hand on the door, then turned back again with a sigh. “I didn’t just tell you because you’re the Prime Minister now. I told you because you wouldn’t have had time to escape otherwise. And you deserve that choice.”

Bianca nodded again. “Thank you, Adrian. I’m sorry it ended this way.”

The two made eye contact for the final time. “Good luck, Bianca,” he said, and then he was gone.

The northern Sea of Champions, 3:41 pm

Bianca had told herself that she wasn’t going to look down as the plane flew out of Savigliane. But they had barely escaped the ever-growing portal - it turned out that the pilot had refused to fly a mission that would permanently separate her from her family, so they had found someone a little more misanthropic to do it on short notice - and it was as much a practical decision as anything, seeing if she would make it out in time.

Below, the blue haze that had enveloped Savigliane was beginning to clear in the west, having just reached the eastern seaboard. Somehow, the natural flora had been preserved - she saw the lush rolling hills of the east, the rocky plateau of the north, and the verdant coast of the south. But all without a single trace of human life, which had all been stripped clean off of the rock that they had called home.

Adrian had been right about the portal. Grande Cucina seemed fine enough, as did Kotzellach. The further they flew from Savigliane, the less you could tell that anything had happened at all.

“Have you decided where you’d like to land, Miss Fiore?” the pilot said from the cockpit. There were no flight attendants - the entire crew had refused to board such a doomed flight, and Bianca had had neither the time nor the inclination to force them on.

She sighed. “Not yet.”

“Well, we still have enough fuel in the tank to cruise for a few hours, so just let me know.”

“Why did you fly me out here?”

The pilot chuckled. “Nothing for me back there.”

“Me neither,” she said softly.

She turned back to the window to see the last of her country vanish and felt the trickle of a single tear on her left cheek.
Last edited by Savigliane on Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Republic of Savigliane • La Repubblica Savigliana • done wandering
Leader: Prime Minister-in-Exile Bianca Fiore • Capitals: Acqui Bollente, Villenueve • Population: ~8,000,000
WC87 Video • WC88 Video • WCQ93 Video
RP History: A Moment Apart • Worlds Away • Find YourselfEscape
Property of Yue Zhou

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Founded: Oct 19, 2006
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:14 pm

"Greetings from zee-aye-aye! I love that it's actually pronounced that way. Um, enjoying the giddy mountain heights, I'm Melinda Pross, and this is Tobias Hilbert. Tobias, what can you tell us about the Savigliane team?"

"The Swans are led by Ichi Tuzzio, formerly a gifted player for Farfadillis. Tuzzio has managed the national team of Buyan as well as his homeland. With Valérien Tibère suspended for accumulated yellow cards, i cigni will compensate in Cabañas effect by bringing Adélaïde Garcia in on defense."

"For Zwangzug, Helen Pimbura and Jude McWaler will start after Igreli and McKinney's injuries in the previous game."

"Do you think it's creepy and weird that DiMarini is substituting one Bigtopian in for another?"

"Who are you, Ígnîgo Xôjálá? And, no. There's a forty-percent chance you hit a Bigtopian if you're shooting into the midfield substitutes, that's pretty high, and I think DiMarini's decisions are substantially more thoughtful than random."

"Just saying. Okay, let's get ready for the whistle..."

"...yet another cautious Jackson-to-Imomenba long pass, I feel like we've seen that same play several times."

"Yeah, really a weird mismatch so far, as Zwangzug have had by far the better of the possession, but seem content to listlessly pass it around at back, unbefitting their status as defending champions. Meanwhile, Savigliane have had very few opportunities, but they've gone on dynamic, spellbinding attacks when they get the ball. Melinda, can you explain this?"

"Savigliane have that dawg in them?"

"What dawg?"

"The dawg that's in Savigliane?"

"I know the local cuisine is hot and spicy, but I didn't know you could prey on domestic canines."

"It's a metaphor, Tobias, Savigliane have the will to win."

"Oh. Well. Zwangzug also have the will to win, I mean, they've won lots of times--"

"Hang on, that was offsides from Thea Squarciafichi, Zwangzug will get a free kick. Fairfax-Hazy to take it...and she taps it low."

"Dang, Tuzzio needed a better free-kick-lying-down-guy there."

"Helsen-Roan to come up with it--and he scores! After looking lethargic for 37 minutes, Zwangzug take advantage through the set piece..."

"...Tuzzio reacting to the deficit in inherently Farf style--"

"That's a bit stereotypical, Tobias."

"--by removing the defensive-minded Luca Cambiaso in exchange for Leo Castagne."

"Okay, yeah, that's fair. DiMarini taking advantage of the break to bring on Ashley Fillmore-Gaul for Imomenba.

"Fillmore-Gaul hasn't seen a great deal of playing time this campaign, since she normally backs up Jackson, the captain, so a slightly unexpected choice--but she can provide more endurance and fresh legs at the back."

"Nguyen to restart play...over to Arnaudo...dribbles forward--and finds the oncoming Castagne! Castagne redirects it to Anne-Marie Roux, who scores! We're all tied up here in the 51st minute, and Ichi Tuzzio's genius shines through, with Leo Castagne making a dramatic impact just moments after his arrival..."

"...Tuzzio gesticulating from the touchline with his cane, in a manner that's probably common to all World Cup managers and has no correlation to his nationality whatsoever."

"Okay, Tobias, you don't need to bend over backwards--getting shot in a mugging attempt shortly after your country wins a regional tournament is probably statistically correlated with being Farf."

"You just said we shouldn't stereotype."

"Yeah, well, statistics don't lie."

"You're being weird about this, Melinda."

"Hey, it's useful to have experience with apocalyptic-scale events. When you give a pep talk to a team that's threatened by another interdimensional portal, you can speak from experience."

"Is this just a weird hypothetical edge case about things that inexplicably happen in football sometimes?"

"No, Savigliane is being threatened by an interdimensional portal for the second time in its short history. You haven't heard?"

"That's not the kind of scouting reports I generally work on, Melinda."

"Oh. Well, keep up!"

"I'm not sure I like this. It puts Zwangzug in the position of being not only the defending champions and the team everyone wants to take down, not only having an excruciatingly long history no one wants to hear about, but also, the meanie fourth seeds potentially giving the underdog Swans an unceremonious sendoff into the void."

"Arson, murder, and jaywalking?"

"Hey, this is Chromatika, jaywalking is a big deal!"

"Thanks, Tobias. Also, Farrokh Sokhi has just given Zwangzug the lead again in minute 57, that didn't last long..."

"...butmaybeIdon'twannabeabadguyI'mjustsaying, Idon'tthinkI'dbeverygoodatit."

"Oh, quit mumbling. That's full time, as Zwangzug overcome a narratively inspired Savigliane team to take their place among the unlovable antagonists of the world. The Bulls, the Cormorants, and--"

"Hang on, now, Melinda, what do you have against the Bulls?"

"Well, they play very defensively, no one likes that."

"Lots of people love defense, Namiri Forest in particular are quite keen on--"

"That's different."

"Is it? And Nephara, I think their unequivocal republicanism is quite admirable in the modern world--"

"You know what, fine. Whatever. Let's just pretend everyone likes us and we're all happy, cosmopolitan, chums who tolerate putting words in each other's mouths--"

"Ooh, I hate that, Melinda, nobody else is allowed to put words in my mouth but me. That's why I became an announcer!"

"Whatever. I'm Melinda Pross, this dejected mumbler is Tobias Hilbert. Join us next time in Sanar where Zwangzug attempt to crush another lovable underdog's hopes and dreams."
IRC humor, (self-referential)
My issues
...using the lens of athletics to illustrate national culture, provide humor, interweave international affairs, and even incorporate mathematical theory...
WARNING: by construing meaning from this sequence of symbols, you have given implicit consent to the theory that words have noncircular semantic value and can be used to encode information about an external universe. Proceed with caution.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:46 pm

World Cup 93 Group Stage Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 3-1 Nyowani Kitara @ RCK Field, Alnio, Capital District (Cap. 100,400, 32,000 Seats)
Goal: Fillar, E. 14', Kuznetsov 27', Xuen-Zhukov 83'
Starting XI (3-4-1-2): Fillar, J. (C); Ansov - de Aea - Anbient; Fillar, G. - Larriet-Cortes - Hauser - Fillar, E.; Kuznetsov; Xuen-Zhukov - Delaya.
Substitutes: Coulibaly -> Ansov (49'), Zuniga -> Larriet-Cortes (55'), Fillar, B. -> Kuznetsov (55'), Park -> Delaya (71'), Aimée -> Anbient (71')
World Cup 93 Quarterfinals: Chromatika vs. Kelssek @ @United Center, Urrheddiao, Urrhed Island (Cap. 120,000; 28,000 Seats)
Starting XI (3-4-1-2): Fillar, J. (C); Ansov - de Aea - Anbient; Fillar, G. - Larriet-Cortes - Hauser - Fillar, E.; Fillar, B.; Xuen-Zhukov - Delaya.
Substitutes: GK Kathie Begley, GK Lorée Bautista, DCR Ami Coulibaly, DC Klavida Régine, DCL Ipati Aimée, DC Cylie Nodis, WBR Emlie Kruetzberg, WBL Ha'nei Ighv, BWM Kateryna Zuniga, BWM Mare Si, AM Vasiliy Marten Kuznetsov, AM Alissar Phoen, SS Kara Oveni, P Sandara Park, AF Hank Killian.

One of the beauties of sport is that an event can happen and be remembered completely differently, depending on what angle they viewed the event at, what perspective they had during the occurrence, or what the event meant for them - either in the moment or even going forward. Many saw Enigma Armageddon's straight Red Card against Nyowani Kitara as a point of disgrace, a reason why they lost the game, a reason why Sandra Sybill and Rachel Hellion lost their jobs, or even part of a series of events that led to Lev Repin coming on board as the Chromatik manager; however, for the very Anomalies themselves, for the ones that remembered that game as having played it on the pitch, it was very different. It was very fresh, and there was a chance for them to finally put that to bed with a match against Nyowani Kitara in Alnio.

Both the Kitarans and the attending crowd were surprised by the intensity with which Chromatika started the match. Whether it be something that Lev Repin had told them, or if it was just because the players themselves were so bent on revenge, nobody will know, but Chromatika began the game with such fire that it took the Kitarans back. Kaia Larriet-Cortes held court at the middle of the field, dictating the defense and not letting anybody get past her, while allowing the likes of Haley Hauser, Grayson Fillar, Edith Fillar, and Vasiliy Marten Kuznetsov to go forward. It helped that even Ansov, de Aea, and Anbient played with plenty of space between them - and when Chromatika lost possession, Grayson and Edith would fall back to defend, allowing for Kuznetsov and Hauser to remain up the pitch. They knew that they couldn't keep that up for the entirety of the match, but as the Kitarans couldn't make the adjustment needed, Chromatika was capitalizing by peppering the Kitaran defense with plenty of shots.

Sure enough, Chromatika would score the first goal of the match - something that they usually don't do. It was Edith Fillar with the goal, having received a neat pass from Haley Hauser and striking the ball cleanly from just inside the left corner of the box. Bigombe guessed the right direction, but the ball went above his diving form for the initial goal. For her celebration, Edith saluted at the VIP box in RCK Field, where many of the Chromatik dignitaries were present - including the flag raiser for the match, one Enigma Armageddon. After the match, she clarified that the salute was meant for Armageddon, stating, "He took a lot of flak for what happened in the past. Some of it was deserved, but most of it was just being the most readily available scapegoat out there. This was our chance to set the record straight, and I'm happy that I was able to contribute."

If the fact that Chromatika started the game strong and scored the first goal of the game was a surprise, the fact that they kept that intensity going was almost unheard of. Chromatika would not back off, and the Kitarans looked shell-shocked. What Chromatika usually did in the second half, it was doing in the first half! Winning on time of possession, outshooting the Kitarans almost three to one, and making it a nightmare to play the ball out past midfield, the Anomalies were swarming in a way that they usually did not. Soon enough, their efforts were rewarded when Lavrentiy Xuen-Zhukov, the Golden Kid, was tackled right outside the box by Catarina Malmquist - a needed challenge to stop the flow of the game. As expected, Haley Hauser took the kick - and though the header off of Henri de Aea was parried away by Bigombe, the rebound fell, amidst the scuffle, to the left foot of Vasiliy Marten Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov buried the ball to the left side of the net. Two-nil, Chromatika.

Bedlam erupted. Fans had to remind other fans that there was sixty-three minutes to go, and that the Kitarans were a side that could really score. Understandably, Chromatika started to back off and play the usual, free-flowing style that Repin had installed. The Kitarans started to possess the ball more, but it was all in a way that Chromatika liked to play. Juxon Fillar would be called into service three times before the halftime whistle, but never in such a way that he couldn't handle. The game went into halftime with the score being 2-0 to Chromatika.

"We had to make sure that we weren't going to be complacent heading out," remarked Haley Hauser about the halftime break, "It's not often that we play with a two-goal lead. It felt good, but we knew that they [the Kitarans] would not take this sitting down. Liang Wei was too good of a Manager to do that." Her words would prove to be prophetic once the game went back under way.

Nyowani Kitara weren't a side that was going to be shut out. Not by this Chromatik team, at least. The ten minutes after halftime were all the Kitarans, as they went at the Chromatiks with increased vigor. Battering the Chromatiks with shots from range, it would be Wang Jiahui to break the goose egg for Nyowani Kitara - a neat, curving shot from range that Juxon Fillar had no chance to get a hand on. Suddenly, the Kitarans had life.

That was when Lev Repin made a move that changed the tone of the game. With the fact that five substitutions are now allowed per side - as long as it's done in the usual three substitution windows - Repin took off Kaia Larriet-Cortes for Kateryna Zuniga and Vasiliy Marten Kuznetsov for Baillaire Fillar. This would allow for Chromatika to play far more defensively, utilizing the shooting prowess of Hauser and Baillaire being on the field at the same time while Zuniga, the wily defensive veteran, would concentrate more on working with freshly substituted Ami Coulibaly, Henri de Aea, and Keira Anbient.

The fact that Zuniga came into the game was bittersweet in itself; her status as the starting Defensive Midfielder was finalized when Armageddon was forced off the team after the previous Nyowani Kitara incident. Now, she entered to preserve a one-goal lead, to make sure that the Kitarans' comeback would fall short.

Sure enough, the double substitution did wonders to stabilize the situation, especially coupled with Coulibaly's presence. As time went on, the Kitarans grew more and more desperate, and started to sell out for more and more aggressive tactics. When Sandara Park and Ipati Aimée came in in the seventy-first, Chromatika started playing in such a way to invite the Kitarans forward before trapping them between the half-field marker and the box, looking to counterattack using one or two key passes and the speed of one Lavrentiy Xuen-Zhukov.

Juxon Fillar proved his mettle in the second half. Despite conceding the lone goal that robbed him of his first clean sheet this tournament, the eldest Fillar did stop six other shots on goal as Chromatika looked for the right moment. In the eighty-third, that right moment came.

Henri de Aea and Kateryna Zuniga had combined to dispossess the ball from Odede Angonga. Zuniga's pass found a streaking Edith Fillar, still running hard despite the fact that she had been running all game long. A simple through-pass to Baillaire Fillar led to the ball being dropped at the foot of L X-Z, Lavrentiy Xuen-Zhukov. The Mytanar-Chromatik Striker, who had already scored six goals in three games of the group stage, picked his way through a depleted Kitaran backfield that had sent numbers up front for the tying goal. Bigombe gave it his best shot, but Xuen-Zhukov wasn't deemed the best Chromatik striking talent since Keira Andisori for nothing. His goal, a crisp, matter-of-fact shot that sent the keeper the wrong direction, effectively sealed the game for Chromatika, sending them to the Quarterfinals for the first time in fifteen World Cups and giving them revenge on Nyowani Kitara for the first time since that pivotal defeat.

"It was a game plan that the players came up with themselves," Lev Repin said through a translator after the match about the way that the team began the match with such intensity, "They knew that their opponent were the type to try to dictate the pace early, and with having a reputation of being a team that can have slow starts, they wanted to show that they can prove otherwise."

"It feels good to get this win," admitted Zuniga, "Hopefully, it can propel us to having a rivalry with them instead of just having to talk about the one incident. More importantly, we've finally made it to the Quarterfinals for the first time in fifteen years, and that's the most important thing."

Chromatika will next take on Kelssek at the United Center in Urheddiao, Urrhed Island. Kelssek defeated Ochre Islands by a score of 6-3 at the Anomaly Tower, and the six goals scored make them a formidable foe.

"We know that we'll have our hands full," remarked Juxon Fillar, "If we win, we get to move on to Myana, and potentially beyond. We get to play two more matches, and match the best finish in Chromatik history - fourth place."

Now that they've made it this far, the sky's the limit. How far will this edition of the Anomalies go?
Last edited by Chromatika on Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Former User of the Nations of Yesopalitha and Falconfar

Champion: WBC 52, NSCF 24 & 26, CoH 82
Regional Tournaments: AOCAF 55 Champions, 52 & 63 Runners-Up
WC Proper Appearances: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79, 80 (Ro16), 81, 83, 84, 86, 89, 92 (Group Stage), 87, 88 (Ro16)
CoH Appearances: 77 (Ro16), 85 (Ro16), 90 (Champions), 91 (QF)
KPB Ranking: 26 (Pre 93)
RP Population: 20 million

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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Graintfjall » Mon Mar 20, 2023 10:06 am

(Note that, just as in Icelandic IRL, the ‘ll’ sound is pronounced closer to ‘ts’, and thus ‘fjall’ as ‘fjats’.)

Græntfjall – 4 (2)
Björnólfur; Hermione, Eyvar, Asbjørn, Jan; Valtter, Kæja Image (73’) Image (80’ Lotte Image), Steinar Image (65’ Danny Image Image (88’)); Vanessa Image (65’ Rebekka Image), Mímir Image (22’) Image (65’ Röskvi Image), Sara K (c) Image (18’) Image (62’ Þrastar Image)

Squornshelan Remnant States – 3 (1)
Ness Image (16’), Titov Image (54’), Nisarizo Image (90’)

In World Cup 91, a daring bunch of rogues pulled off a brazen heist and stole from under the noses of a far more powerful adversary a trophy they had no rights to. It was the scrappy 20th ranked Snow Wolves, in just their third World Cup finals – and first time ever getting past the Round of 16 – up against 2nd ranked Turori, whose squad featured players who had in living memory won the World Cup (88, in Chromatika). Græntfjall were wet-behind-the-ears pretenders who had only appeared on the scene at World Cup 86. Turori were decades – perhaps centuries, depending on the ripples of fluid time – old fixtures of the World Cup, two time hosts, one time champion, former world number ones. The Snow Wolves had limped out of the group stage having managed to score just a single goal in three matches, and survived a nervy 1–0 over Nephara and a penalty shootout over Valanora. Turori by contrast had blasted 11 goals en route to a 9 point group stage, and added 6 – to zero conceded – as they cruised through the knockouts. It was an epic mismatch. It was a heroic upset. It was…

The ’Fjall and the TURious

Or at least, that’s how it was portrayed in Græntfjall. In Turori, and perhaps in neutral international arenas, there was a little more balance to how the match was perceived, not least the forbidding home advantage imposed by the Græntfjallers hosting the tournament in late-summer-cum-autumn, with near-to-freezing temperatures, frequent rain (that marked such matches as their Round of 16 clash with Nephara) and occasional snow (as seen during the semifinal with Tumbra), a particularly brutal contrast for the Eels, more used to temperature jungle conditions. How significant that home advantage – and its other facets, including players rested from the qualifying period, support in packed stadiums, and a hand-picked travel schedule – weighs in the matter is a subject of debate (not since World Cup 83 had a host won the World Cup on home soil) but it does feature a little larger in the conversation for neutrals as compared to Græntfjallers.

Nor were Græntfjall really complete nobodies. They had by that stage accumulated a Baptism of Fire, Cup of Harmony, and two age group World Cups titles, though their Copa Rushmori form remained sullenly mediocre. Some of their players, such as Sara Kristoffersdóttir and Amanda Guttisdóttir, were listed among the world’s best in high-powered and high-profile leagues, while others, like Hjörleifur Reynarsson and Emeli Vilbertsdóttir, had made their names in the GPL (which was, back in those heady days, considerably higher ranked by the IFCF than its contemporary nadir). Græntfjallers who had gone to play in Turori, such as Elektra Lúthersdóttir, had acquitted themselves well enough. And in the teams’ meetings in the Eagl’e’s’ Cup*, both had drawn a little blood from each other: though Turori held a winning record and had the most recent win to their name, the Snow Wolves had held their own, including winning the Challenge Trophy final of Eagl’e’s’ Cup 10 against the Eels.

* However, these games are considered non-canonical and not part of The ’Fjall and the TURious Cinematic Universe.

Was it really so great a mismatch, or was it just continuing the long tradition of Græntfjall skáldr (epic saga poets) exaggerating for dramatic effect? The same bards who first proclaimed the “land of the green mountain” (which turned out to a flat, snow-bound lowland hemmed in by a series of high alpine peaks, none showing a single blade of grass) and warned of the “deadly kraken” (which sceptical modern historians now believe to be either poetic references to stormy seawaters or grotesque caricatures of fairly placid giant squid) would, a millennium later, perhaps see a little of themselves in the newspaper editors and television producers who set up the clash as some kind of Davíð vs. Goliath spectacle. When, after the final whistle sounded, it took Farf and Turorian football statisticians all of a few seconds to bicker over issues of parity and whether world ranking was now immaterial rather than allowing the Græntfjallers half an hour or so to at least enjoy their victory, it illustrated how little the ranking disparity of the two finalists really featured in the international calculus.

Another interesting statistic skewers, and in fact reverses, the notion of the new hot young things taking on the experienced ancients. Of Græntfjall’s World Cup 91 final starters, only four players are likely to start this time: goalkeeper Björnólfur Ernestisson (who plays in the Vilitan League and whose career renaissance – at least, until he conceded a late goal against Squornshelan Remnant States to briefly throw the Snow Wolf Pack into nervous apoplexy – has been one of the biggest positives of this tournament for manager Ingþór Auðbjörnsson), captain Sara Kristoffersdóttir, who scored the opening goal of the World Cup 91 final, and midfield mæstro Kæja Finnvarðsdóttir, about whom enough ink has already been spilled this tournament. Vanessa Marvinsdóttir is also a possible contender to start, competing for the right wing role with the young Rebekka Kajsdóttir. Danny Oddkellsson – who came off the bench to score a late insurance goal in the World Cup 91 final, and who came off the bench to score a late insurance goal that turned out to be the highly necessary winner once fellow sub Talia Nisarizo pulled one back – is also likely to start. Röskvi Tyrfingsson and Alyssia Noahsdóttir are now on the bench.

But the Eels they face at the Cuono Port Stadium will be more familiar – far more familiar. Turori’s starting lineup during World Cup 93 has regularly been identical to that of their lineup from World Cup 91, and all 11 players are in the squad. Legendary goalkeeper Derizi Amatopa (who actually made their debut against Græntfjall, back in Eagl’e’s’ Cup 9) is back in #1 after Timaala Hualtia ‘failed successfully’ in the dreadful performance against Mytanija that ended 5–4. Other incidental changes, such as Biliki Rona’atu’i featuring instead of Amakli Inuro’o in their Round of 16 win over Juvencus, and Kinabo Teliao being preferred to Planio’o Nrujsa against Kandorith, have not drastically shaken up the basically similar look of the team.

The contrast with the Snow Wolves is instructive. That World Cup 91 squad featured greats who would never play again in blue-and-white, such as Reynarsson and Vilbertsdóttir. It was Guttisdóttir’s last ever World Cup match, too. Jason Þórhallursson, who came on as a substitute and scored the goal to give the Snow Wolves the second half lead – in the biased Græntfjaller telling of the story, this is where the saga reaches truly færytale proportions, with Igrene Cantor turning to the grizzled old-timer for “one last ride” – did manage another World Cup cycle, as did Grímúlfur Gunnþórsson, and Johanna Álvgeirsdóttir, injured and confined to the sidelines for that game. Arinbjörn Markusson was winding down his career and found himself chasing AOPIC-funded paychecks in Banija’s second division; Tinni Grímólfursson is missing presumed very confused. On a closer inspection, it’s the Snow Wolves who were the team of graying veterans – the last gasp of the first generation who first appeared on the world stage at CR35 – and the Eels whose fresh young crop was coming through.

It’s an inspection that will not be given much of a chance in Græntfjall, where the final has been memorialized in everything from a fizzy wine-soaked victory parade in Steinaux to a series of garish and chintzy memorabilia that we might dig up for the right Eagl’e’s’ Cup prompt to a maudlin film (The Last Wolf Pack, featuring a bizarrely-accented Igrene Cantor delivering a ‘stirring half-time speech’ over heart-tugging string crescendos – in the actual retelling, the words she delivered at half-time would have earned the film a fairly hard 18 rating). Demographers even point to a mini ‘baby boom’ nine months after the final. In many decades perhaps there will be a more even-handed reappraisal, some footballing appreciation that might even boost up some of the more understated aspects of the final, such as the excellent performances by Vilbertsdóttir and a then largely unknown Finnvarðsdóttir, both of whose roles have generally taken a backseat in the popular imagination to that of Þórhallursson, who played barely 30 minutes of the final and made only one noticeable contribution, and Reynarsson, whose injury-blighted heroism made relatively little defensive impact (and whose stubborn insistence on playing the full 90, given his post-career health struggles, appears terribly short-sighted).

Or perhaps, by then, football fans will have moved on to the sequel…

2 ’Fjall 2 TURious
Solo: IBC30, WCoH42, HWC25, U18WC16, CoH85
Co-host: CR36, BoF74, CoH80, BoF77, WC91
Champions: BoF73, CoH80, U18WC15, DBC52, WC91, CR41, VWE15, HWC27, EC15
Co-champions of the first and second Elephant Chess Cups with Bollonich
Runners-up: DBC49, EC10, HWC25, CR42
The White Winter Queendom of Græntfjall



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