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Di Bradini Cup 43/U21WC64 (Everything Thread)

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Mapletish
Minister
 
Posts: 2712
Founded: Feb 26, 2011
Anarchy

Part 3

Postby Mapletish » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:09 pm

OOC: Trying my hands on writing short stories, and this is certainly inspired by the American Sniper
Part 1|Part 2

The Forgotten War – Hammered

There all comes a time when you have to enlist for the military, the police, the fire department or the emergency medical services in Mapletish. The practice of conscription has been in the Maplish culture for a very long time, dating back to the days when kingdoms were scattered in the land to the Unification of the Crown. Deeply ingrained in the culture, it has always been said that a Maplish man plays three important roles, a warrior, a husband and a father. It was thought and is still forms the main foundation of Maplish family and societal values. Young and able bodied men are required to serve once they reach the age of 18, and usually that is when you have completed your post secondary qualification exams.

Joining the military and becoming a soldier, was what I really wanted to do and I jumped at the opportunity when my enlistment package arrived straight after my graduation from high school. Well before all the hammering in the SOF, I had to join basic training and the department of choice was the Navy. I had earlier indicated my interest for the Diving Unit in the Navy. The Military Diving Unit in the Navy specialises in two key areas, special warfare operations and clearance diving. The military did a thorough check on my health and background before approving my application and getting my placement into the Navy.

Basic training at the boot camp was a piece of cake despite the higher training standards expected from a military diver. I was taught were basic soldiering skills , infantry-like maneuvers and transiting my ass to the military lifestyle from a civilian, basically the same thing every Maplish son goes through when they get themselves into the regimentation of the uniformed services, whether they are a soldier, policeman, firefighter or a paramedic, but just with higher standards than the norm. Outside of boot camp, I found time to engage in some of my favourite activities, from swimming, cycling, running to putting in work at the gym to keep myself in shape, at least mentally.

Transiting from basic training to the navy, the Basic Combat Diving Course (BCDC) comes next and that is where the real challenge begins. Lasting for over 6 months, it is extremely demanding both physically and mentally, and only the most motivated will stay. With a dropout rate of over 90%, it is a place where conscripts wouldn't want to be in and I dared to put myself through this journey. Most of the guys around me are either military regulars with around a year or two of military experience after their mandatory 2 years of military service. This is basically an all regular course. The most notorious part of BCDC is the Team Building Week, 168 hours straight of team building exercises and physical activity which will bond the heck out of everyone in your section, that is as promised. It is more than a physical test for everyone but also a mental exercise. Perspective, that is all that matters here.

"The only easy day was yesterday," I remembered the Course Instructor's first words as he briefed us about what was to come. The Course Instructor call sign, "Number Two", was one of the most notorious figures in the military community in Mapletish Armed Forces. A recipient of the highly decorated Medal of Honour for combat bravery during one of his many military deployments. We had mad respect for this man, strict when the time called for and a guardian to all of us when the time called for it. The first phase of training started soon after and I got my butt kicked hard, real hard and it was on a regular basis.

"Drop! Two hundred pushups! What are you waiting for? NOW! NOW! NOW!"

Right at the corner of your eyes, two hundred and fourty something men dropped to the ground and started pushing the ground away from them. All in their combat uniforms and helmets on buckled to their chins. The next thing you know it, you get hosed. Hosed with seawater and it gets everywhere. The pain starts settling in when it drips into your eyes, coupled with your sweat, you will find yourself tearing right when the session got into what would become the longest hour that you will experience. I thought I was physically fit enough to take the hammering but it was not all right down to what your body can handle. It is whether your mind can handle it. Constant harassment can take a toll on the mind and the very next thing that happens, your mind decides to give up and there you go, that is the end of your journey.

"I'm not going to go through this, damn, my arms are falling off, it is hurting everywhere."

Somehow, I mustered enough mental strength to cover those negative voices in my head and kept going.

The first time the water hit me, I turned away. That earned me a lot of affection from the instructors. A lot, with a pinch of sarcasm of course.

"Don't turn away," shouted the instructor, "Turn back and face it, you don't reject your mission when you are given the orders to proceed, don't you?"

So I did. With a mouthful of water when you struggled to breathe, I took on a couple hundreds more pushups, flutter kicks, crunches, squat jumps, or whatever exercises that we were made to do. I do not know what I was facing, my mind at a blank and the will to keep going continued.

Failure, that was not to be, everyday and several times a day.

People often ask me how tough were the exercises, was it really as bad as you made them sound? Surely they are humane enough right? A couple of hundreds here and there, but the numbers were always besides the point, I would answer. It was the constant harassment, repetition and stress that will wear you out, this made the course tough. But it's hard to explain to anyone and even more difficult to visualise, especially since you haven't lived through it.

There's a misconception that most people have and that is SOF guys are all huge muscular guys in top physical condition. The first part is largely untrue, since the guys come in all shapes and sizes. You can be between 1.6m to 1.9m, it all depends. The latter part is generally true and every SOF member is in excellent shape and will still be even after many years they leave the force. The one thing in common wasn't muscle; it was all about the mentality and will to go beyond and do whatever it takes for mission success and come back home safe.

Getting through BCDC and being a special warfare operator in the SOF is more about mental toughness than anything else. "Having a tough neck" as the guys in SOF will say which meant being stubborn and refusing to give up, that was the key to success and that sure unlocked doors. Somehow, that was the formula that gave me the answers.

The first week of training was about being as "invisible" as possible. Not getting noticed. Not getting shelled at. Not getting into trouble. I had no trouble with any of the exercises and I tried everything I could to get under the radar. Getting noticed and being the center of attention was certainly something that you wouldn't want to be in. Any slight mistake that you commit, you are 101% going to get a shelling at. If I did my thing right - and sure I did - they ignored me and went on to someone else. Getting something right, that was expected. On the battlefield, not getting everything right is the same as going back home dead. That was how serious it was.

Despite being under the radar, I got myself into being the center of attention several times throughout the course. I was slouching a little as i was stretching my upper back and they fixed me right there and then. "You having some issues with your back?" The pull up bar I go, "Go stretch your back out on the bar."

Other than land activities, swimming was one of the key components of life in the BCDC. I enjoyed swimming but even though I might not be the fastest, but I was certainly the most resilient. Minimum distances rarely tell you the whole story. A 1km swim in the rough ocean is the standard and you do that all the time. It is when the 4km swims become routine and when the boat drops you 15km out or about 8.09 nautical miles away, that is when the fastest swimmers get their kick, it is not about swimming fast here but it is about sustaining once the mileage gets longer.

"There's only one way home, boys," said the instructors, and you noticed the joy in their voices, as if they were all delighted that we are suffering in the water, "Start moving your asses or you are not going home."

Team Building Week as the week is often called within the force to make it sound less intimidating but it was essentially "Hell Week", who are we kidding here. It's seven days of continuous beat-down designed to see if you have the will and endurance to continue despite everything that is thrown in your way.

Every force member has a different story for the week. And I was not different. I had prepared my mind for this week quite a few weeks back even before it actually happened. It was just everything that we have done, morphed into a week. I convinced myself as the weeks dwindled down to the last week of Phase 1.

That night before Team Building Week, my imagination was all over me. I was nervous, palms sweaty, feet watering. I was psyched up. I knew at some point an instructor will knock down the door, hosed us with water, start firing machine gun and shooting blanks and all our bags would be everywhere, our beds flipped over, belongings flying everywhere and it will be chaos. Beneath the chaos, I will have to run out and assemble at the parade square right in the center of all of our bunk blocks. But when? That was the question. That question irked me out as I felt my stomach churning. I couldn't get myself to sleep peacefully and I could only catch short naps as I drifted in and out of the shut eye zone.

Finally, someone burst in and started shouting. Chaos ensued.

"It's here, oh finally"

It was weird. I'm about to get abused, but I was relieved and happy. As a section, we gathered ourselves in an orderly fashion and duck walked our way to the parade square, with blanks firing, hoses going at full blast and flash crashes everywhere. The test of my will finally arrived. But at the same time, I was wondering, "What the hell is all of these?"

"Will I die?"

On the brink of death but never crossing that barrier, that was the answer that would accompany me for the next 168 hours. We were split up into our boat crews, sent to the different stations to get ourselves wrecked. Boat PTs, normal PTs, sand PTs.

We ran, we swam, we did PT, we paddled. Mostly we were just kept moving around. The level of fatigue reached its peak and we have boat mates who began hallucinating.

Before the Team Building Week, someone told me one of the less demanding ways to deal with the week would be to go meal to meal. Go hard and not give in until you get your asses at the dining hall. We were routinely sent to the dining hall every six hours. So that was where my focus was on. Hunger was not an issue here since we were fed like clockwork and rest was always coming soon as I counted down to the run to the dining hall.

Simple as it might seem, sometimes, I still thought that I couldn't make it. I was tempted to get up and dashed over to the bell that would end my suffering - if you ring the bell, you can end all of the suffering, get a cup of coffee and a warm bun. Ringing the bell, meant you had enough and "I quit". Even as the bell seemed near most of the time, I didn't get my body over to ring it. I was probably too lazy to reach that, or I was just too stubborn to quit.

The pain you feel in your body are just temporary but it became normal and you got used to feeling that way. But the cold was something that not most of us will get used to. Lying out on the beach and getting the surf, freezing and windy, you started shivering uncontrollably with the chills and your teeth starts to "jitter". The only escape from this would be when someone urinates and everyone huddles together and exchange the warmth.

As the days go by, I started feeling I was going to make it. By that point, you have already felt what there is to be felt and the main goal that is keeping people moving and continuing would be to stay awake. The only shut eye I get it during meal times when you are free from the constant harassment and that became a blessing and everyone takes advantage of that period. And when the sirens sound out again, another round of harassment ensued.

It was a mental challenge. "90-10, that is the golden ratio," preached by many instructors and they are right. Mental toughness was what that will keep everyone going. You are not going to ring the bell in the battlefield. No matter the suffering, if your radio breaks down and the air carry is not coming your way, you are going to go back home however you see fit and capable to while everyone thinks you are probably dead.

It is all not sunshine and rainbows and the constant harassment is an effective way of weeding out guys. It all goes well until you see exhausted men. Are you still able to carry on when you have given everything? Can you still dig deep? My instructors in BDBC were always saying things like "If you think this is bad, you can ring the bell, because trust me, you are going to have it tougher in the force. Suck it up."

Bullshit, I thought. Little did I know that I would get to face that situation over and over again and this time in a physical state that was more wrecked and suffering that had prolonged to more than a week. I'd think that Team Building Week was stage 1 to hell.

Eventually, you lived through the week and the week that comes after, you are off to shuffling everywhere, slow jogs, fast walk. It's a concession that the instructors grant to you for staying through. But they will soon beat the hell out of you again.

"You are supposed to be over it, when the week ended. Suck it up."

Phase two was just about to begin and all the harassment started again. That is where you start simulating dives, learn about your equipment, do specific training on the tasks and drills that you are supposed to do and you practise it over and over again. One of the few methods that were taught to us is keeping the pressure in your inner and outer ears. Close your mouth, pinch your nostrils closed and blow gently through your nose. If you don't and or can't clear it properly, you will be in a lot of trouble. You might pierce a eardrum, and get blood coming out through your eyes, nose, ears maybe even through your mouth as you surfaced.

Something similar happened to my batch mate and he got himself rolled back. But he would come back soon enough and recycle to the next batch.

Injuries usually won't disqualify you in your journey of being a diver, unless it is very serious that they end your career. Mental toughness over physical prowess - if you have the mental fortitude to come back from an injury to complete and graduate from the training program, you stand a decent chance to being a good diver and force member.
The Minuscule Nation Mapletish
Pop. 65,000,000 | Capital: Struggait City| Demonym: Maplish/Mapletian| Trigramme: MAP
First - WLC 24, DBC 43 Second - WCoH 22, RUWC 23, CR 24 Third- BoF 44, HWC 11, WCoH 20, WCoH 21, DBC 49 Fourth - U15WC9, RLWC12
Qualified for WC 64, 66
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Qusmo
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 425
Founded: Apr 22, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Qusmo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:11 pm

SPON QUSMA MAGAZINE-DIGEST

It’s time for another edition of Good Day/Bad Day. This time, our theme is the Di Bradini Cup 43 Round of Sixteen. Imitating the eight matches we saw between sixteen teams, we’ll give you eight pairs of facts, for sixteen total.

It’s been a good day for Groups C, F, & H. In each of those groups, both knockout round teams moved on. On the other hand, it’s been a bad day for Groups B, E, & G, as every team from those groups have now been eliminated. Groups A & D both have only one team left in the tournament - &, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, both are their groups’ runners-up.

It’s been a good day for ninety minutes of drama, as six of the eight Round of Sixteen matches were within one goal at the full time whistle. It’s been a bad day for extra time drama, as neither Round of Sixteen match that went into extra time went into penalties, or even was decided by two; the average final margin for an extra time match in this Round of Sixteen was two & a half goals.

It’s been a good day for goal junkies, as the Round of Sixteen saw no fewer than three goals in each of its matches - a feat unmatched since the unfinished Di Bradini Cup 34 - as well as 34 goals total - continuing a recent tradition of high-scoring Di Bradini Cup Rounds of Sixteen, which also saw 43 & 30 goals scored in the Rounds of Sixteen of Di Bradini Cup 41 & 42, respectively. It’s been a bad day for defenses winning championships, as nine of the sixteen competing teams conceded at least as many - or even more - goals during their Round of Sixteen match as they did during the entire group stage, including a majority of beaten teams & fully half of the quarterfinalists.

It’s been a good day for returning U21 tournament participants, as each Round of Sixteen clash between a Di Bradini Cup 42 participant & non-participant saw the returning team advance to the quarterfinals. It’s been a bad day for U18 tournament participants, as of the five Round of Sixteen matches between a Sporting World Cup 6 participant & non-participant, non-participants won four of five matches, including over the winners of the Sporting World Cup 6 third-place match & final.

It’s been a good day for teams with recent U21 success, as the last two Di Bradini Cup champions - Kita-Hinode of Di Bradini Cup 41 & Pasarga of Di Bradini Cup 42 - both advanced to the quarterfinals. It’s been a bad day for teams with recent U18 success, as the past two Sporting World Cup champions - Baker Park of Sporting World Cup 5 & Razenthuria of Sporting World Cup 6 - both ended their Di Bradini Cup campaigns in the Round of Sixteen.

It’s been a good day for Di Bradini Cup 42 destiny, as of the five potential Di Bradini Cup rematches between Di Bradini Cup 43 knockout round teams, four are still possibilities - & one is certain to happen. Though we won’t see a rematch of Cosumar & Taeshan’s thrilling scoreless Group E draw in the final (or third-place match), Pasarga could still play Savojarna (against whom they won 2-0 in Group A) or Kita-Hinode (against whom they won 3-2 in the semifinal) in the final or third-place match, but only if they can get around Abanhfleft (whom they beat on penalty kicks in the Round of Sixteen), who might be eyeing a semifinal clash with Mercedini (against whom they won 4-0 in Group D). It’s been a bad day for mathematical destiny, as the eighth-finals of this eight-squared-th edition of the U21 World Cup saw the champions from eight editions ago (Cosumar, of U21 World Cup 56), eight editions before that (Equestrian States, of U21 World Cup 48), & eight editions before that (Taeshan, of U21 World Cup 40) all lose. (In case you were wondering, none of the other champions of U21 World Cups of multiples of eight entered this one.)

It’s been a good day for the aggregate predictions rate by the folks at Spony Luq Television’s predictions team; they got six of eight results right, & three of the four quarterfinal matchups they predicted really will happen. It’s been a bad day for Spony Luqs Television’s predictions department, however, as their predicted tournament champion lost, & they mistakenly predicted that Qusmo would bow out in the first knockout round - the two predictions most closely watched here at home.

Finally, it’s been a bad day for Qusma tactics, as the much-bantered about “Qusma back three” conceded multiple goals for the third consecutive match against Neo-Romanum. However, it’s been a good day for the Qusma team, as they were able to score four to advance to a quarterfinal against Mapletish at Aranfield Bridge in Everlin, Valanora.
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Abanhfleft
Minister
 
Posts: 2643
Founded: May 26, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Abanhfleft » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:02 am

CRESCENT NEWS NETWORK
SPORTS CHANNEL - OFFICIAL WEBSITE

ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

DI BRADINI CUP 43: ABANHFLEFT VS BLANEU

By Malik Qazizadah

Image
Abanhfleft's Kelly McGinnis celebrates scoring the equalizing goal against the Commonwealth of Baker Park in the round of 16 of the 43rd Di Bradini Cup. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

IANISLE, VALANORA - Abanhfleft have managed to exorcise the demons of their failure to win in the 5th Under-18 World Cup after the Young Revolutionaries came from behind and triumphed over the Commonwealth of Baker Park, who had beaten Abanhfleft in the U18WC when it had been hosted in the Democratic Republic.

Two players who have more reason than most to remember that game in Kelly McGinnis and Karamoko Bakayoko have finally managed to exorcise the demons of the past by scoring against Baker Park and setting up a quarterfinals meeting against Abanhfleft's perennial DBC rivals Pasarga.

However, at the start of the match, it didn't look like fortune was going to favor the Young Revolutionaries as it was the Bees who would draw first blood after Annabeth Westmoreland, one of the unexpected stars of this tournament, pounced quickest on Guildenstern Cardew's parry from an Antonio Sotolongo shot to give Baker Park the early lead.

Abanhfleft struggled to regain the composure that they had manifested over the course of the group stage of this particular DBC, and during that period of uncertainty up to the 35th minute of the first half, Baker Park almost managed to put the game out of reach for the Young Revolutionaries with shots from Sotolongo and DeAngelo Simmons but Guildenstern Cardew now proved impenetrable for the Bees and was able to save both shots.

Abanhfleft did grow into the game as the half wore, and by the end of the first half it was Baker Park's Grant Coffey who was now having to save shots coming at his goal, the most notable being Kelly McGinnis' fizzing rocket of a shot from 20 yards away that Coffey only barely manage to bat away from his near post with the tip of his glove.

But McGinnis would not be denied her goal come the second half after she was hauled down inside the box by Derion Hutchens, and she also took and converted the resulting penalty kick.

Abanhfleft then continued to dominate the match both in terms of possession and shots taken, but the Bees' defense stiffened and the Fleftics found it increasingly difficult to get into the box and get into good scoring positions, although Sohaila Magomedova narrowly missed the target with her curling shot from outside the box just before she was replaced by Amelie Rusev.

As the game headed into added-on time with the prospect of both extra time and penalties looming ever closer, it was Rusev's corner kick, and the final kick of the game, that would prove to be the deciding factor as it was swinging out of the six-yard box but was well-met by fellow substitute Karamoko Bakayoko, who like McGinnis failed to score in that deciding final in the 5th Under-18 World Cup, and this time the prolific Uranium City Radiation striker could not miss from such a distance with his bullet header.

Abanhfleft's victory over Baker Park in the Round of 16 will pit the Young Revolutionaries against another painfully familiar opponent in Pasarga, who beat Abanhfleft on penalties in the previous DBC following a controversial shootout which saw Guildenstern Cardew being whistled for being off his line at least three times against the Pasargans. The Fleftics will hope that they can banish this nightmare the same way that they did to the ghost of the 5th Under-18 World Cup final.

Abanhfleft national under-21 team manager Owen Bevan: "It was a scrappy win, it was a late win, but it also showed the character of the boys and girls to not only get back on equal terms with the Commonwealth [of Baker Park] but also to gain the lead and get the win within ninety minutes. We are one step closer to our goal, which is of course the final."

On Pasarga, their next opponent, and the circumstances around Abanhfleft's elimination by the same opponent in the previous Di Bradini Cup: "Oh, I try not to think about that. Our focus now is the game, the quarterfinal against Pasarga. That's what we want to focus on, and that's where we're going to focus. Anything else is a distraction. We have a game plan and we want to execute it properly against anyone we face no matter who they are."

COMMONWEALTH OF BAKER PARK 1 - 2 ABANHFLEFT
WESTMORELAND (6') McGINNIS (51' pen)
BAKAYOKO (90+3')

ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Cardew
RB: 2 Baum
RCB: 4 Khaled
LCB: 5 Shepley
LB: 16 Kaba
RM: 6 Kleist (Frigo - 65')
LM: 8 Segovia
RW: 7 Magomedova (Rusev - 80')
CAM: 10 Pratt
LW: 11 Roos
ST: 9 McGinnis (Bakayoko - 82')
COMMONWEALTH OF BAKER PARK
GK: 1 Coffey
RB: 3 Harrison
CB: 2 Brightwell
LB: 5 Hutchens (O'Connell - 55')
RM: 7 Miller
RCM: 14 Canderas
LCM: 6 Stone
LM: 17 Westmoreland
CAM: 8 Sotolongo
RS: 10 Simmons (Konowalski - 85')
LS: 16 Blair (LeClair - 60')

MATCH STATISTICS
Possession

Baker Park: 50%
Abanhfleft: 50%
Shots
Baker Park: 15 (8 on target)
Abanhfleft: 15 (7 on target)
Corners
Baker Park: 8
Abanhfleft: 8
Fouls
Baker Park: 12
Abanhfleft: 17
The Democratic Republic of Abanhfleft
Leader: President Rako Novoire

Territories and dependencies:
Trans-Dniesters (Client state)
Oontaz Dert Li Ng
Copper Cuprum
Trendstart
Economic Left/Right: -1.72
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.88
Second place winner in the International Baseball Slam VI
Third place winner in the World Lacrosse Championship XIX
Winner of the Baptism of Iron XVI!
Third place winner in the 33rd Di Bradini Cup!

Third place winner of the International Baseball Slam VIII
Winner of World Lacrosse Championships 22!

I also write stories. Would you like to read my works?

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The South Falls
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13353
Founded: Oct 18, 2017
Ex-Nation

Postby The South Falls » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 am

South Falls’ dreams crushed, after loss 1-2 to Mapletish


By S.O MacIrinsoki


The Pit, Valanora

The South Fallsian national U21 team had their hopes of advancing to the knockout stage crushed by Mapletish, after a 1-2 loss in stoppage time. They finished last in their group, with 0 points. After three straight losses for this team, the South Falls is a disappointed nation. This game was a nailbiter, with the South Fallsian team playing the best that they ever had been playing, but they were not able to overcome Mapletish.

Starting from the very first minute, the South Falls put their hands to their chest, and raised them up in the air. They had their hands in the air as the national anthem played. South Fallsian
spectators jeered the Mapletish players as the Mapletish national anthem was sung. The South Fallsian players walked on the field, with their fist still in the air.

From the first minute, the South Falls’ new 4-5-1 formation seemed to be working better for them. The ‘new’ midfielders Georges de Ramos and Bradi Deptona were holding off the forwards of Mapletish, Jost, Kirk, and Harmut. All five of the midfielders were trying their best to utilize tackles and whatever else they could to steal the ball from these two. At minute four, Ramos stole the ball from Barnabas Hugo, and crossed it towards Dervish. He shot the ball towards Timotheus, in a low-left manner. Timotheus whacked the ball out of the goal, inadvertently directing it towards Deptona’s feet. She shot the ball high and right, and Timotheus again saved it, hitting the ball out of play.

By the 9th minute, the South Fallsian midfield was playing hard, but was still broken through by Mapletish’s Guido Jost. Terezin Velerk tried to outmaneuver Jost, but was unsuccessful in his entirety. He tried a slide tackle, however he missed and fell, Jost shot towards Karlsdottir, but she kicked it out of play.

The game went back and forth for the next 8 minutes, with the most notable thing being De Ramos cramping, and wriggling on the ground for one minute, fourty-two seconds in the 15th minute. He began to flop to the floor, managing to grab his legs as the cramp, according to him “overtook his body”. He still continued the game, however.

By the 19th minute, the Mapletish offense was back again, now with Frank Kirk spearheading the charge. Carrie Page and her running was enough to catch up with him, but not enough to catch up to him. Kirk passed the ball to Jost, and he had his second shot at goal. This time, the result was different. Her curving shot high and right was almost impossible to defend, and Karlsdottir missed the shot, putting Mapletish up 1-0. The South Fallsian fans groaned, hoping they wouldn’t get another washout.

When the clock struck 28 minutes, The South Falls began to rebound. The entire midfield moved upward, and Paula Randzott, a new player, broke forward and outspun Seppel Gottfried, and crossed the ball to Dervish. He shot the ball at Timotheus, hitting the ball into the very back of the net. Dervish ran through the field after equalization. He spun over his head, flipping in the air, and making an ‘eagle’ to the crowd.

Thirty-two minutes in, Terezin Velerk was trying to compete on a run with Jost, and he slid-tackled Jost, but did not make contact with the ball. That contact with Jost’s leg, pushing him down, resulted in a penalty for him. Such a penalty resulted in a free kick.

Hartwig Kurt lined up to take the free kick. His kick bounced off the head of Carrie Page, high into the air. She spun herself backwards on accident, and the ball bounced into the net near Karlsdottir. However, it was bounced out of such a goal by Karlsdottir, using her face. She fell to the ground after bouncing the ball out of the goal, injured.

She, however, got up, and with a small amount of blood streaming from her nose, continued to play. This was at the 36th minute of play. Play continued. She was seen to be slightly dizzy, however she still was played.

Through the 45th minute, Mapletish dominated in possession, and hit 6 goal shots in quick succession. The South Falls’ 4-5-1 could counter with a sheer number of players, which seemed to be the only reason why no balls entered the goal box. Guido Jost and Frank Kirk pressed hard into the defender’s box, however Terezin Velerk and Carrie Page cleared the ball six times.

Going into the 57th minute, Mapletish was still pressing into the box. As the ball rolled off the feet of Hartwig Kurt, towards Kirk, the South Fallsian team finally gained some cohesion, and the four defenders moved forward in a set piece, trying to catch the offense offside. They succeeded, just before Jost passed the ball to Kirk and shot into the back of the net. Jost was determined to be offside, and the goal was voided.

This rule was applied once more in the 60th minute, as the South Fallsian offense managed to kick itself back into gear, as Kleski shot the ball to Georges de Ramos, who took the ball into the six-yard box. The defense of Mapletish moved straight forward, catching Ramos offside, as he tried to shoot the ball directly into the goal. He fell, trying to hit the ball before he was caught, and whacked Barnabas Hugo in the shin.

This gave him a yellow card, going into the 62nd minute. The free kick was then taken by Hartwig Kurt. He shot the ball using his right foot, curving it mid-right. Marina Karlsdottir bumped the ball out of the goal, clearing it from the goal and over to the left side of the Mapletish end of the field.

The game continued it’s back-and-forth pace for the next 28 minutes, with the main highlights being the louder and louder fans cheering. When Gustav Hartmut fired the ball at the goal at minute 78, the stadium reached a record 131dBs. This extreme noise caused a few fans to go temporarily deaf, including Rear Admiral (LH) J.R. D’Wright.

Beginning in stoppage time, the Mapletish offense hit one last push. At minute 90, Seppel Gottfried passed the ball across the field to Seppel Mose, who quickly gave the ball to Hartwig Kurt. He ran the ball up the field, the South Fallsian defense trying to catch up with these midfielders. As the midfield of the South Falls retreated, Mose and Kurt passed the ball back and forth. Starting in the 94th minute, Mapletish made a final push, Kirk taking the ball from Kurt, and sliding the ball into Jost’s foot, resulting in him kicking a close shot, which buried itself in the back of the goal. That was the end. The South Falls was out.

Overall, this was the best game the South Falls, even with the loss. The last minute goal by Mapletish was the crushing of South Fallsian hopes, but it wasn’t the absolute destruction of their defense like in the game against Cassadaigua, and it wasn’t the shut-out against Savojarna. This battle was hard fought by the South Fallsians, but the Mapletish team was just better.

They outfoxed the South Fallsian defense, and the defense walled the South Fallsian offense. The were also faster, and more creative than the South Fallsians. While not entirely humiliating, it is never the best end to a tournament, before the round of 16.

The takeaway from this tournament for The South Falls was one of the worst ever. Not only losing all their games, but having 12 points scored against them, and only putting up four. While it does take a world class team, and this one is quite new, The South Falls should have had better training and circumstances going into this tournament.
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Savojarna
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Postby Savojarna » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:11 pm

SavojarSports.sj - inside reports from all Savojarna
Second-half counter secures DBC-Quarterfinal for Savojarna

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Char Sara, VAL - Benin-Togo had excited many observers with their fast-paced and joyful football, and certainly excited a few Savojar supporters when they saw their octofinal opponents. The fact that the nation is a previously unknown newcomer on the world stage as well as an offensive team meant that some Savojars already had visions of a high victory in their mind, and few saw Benin-Togo as a genuine threat thanks to the Savojar defence, which was extremely stable except for the essentially near-meaningless 3-3 against Cassadaigua. Following a light training injury, the Savojars had to do without replacement RB Sergey Nemtsov, but was otherwise complete, while Benin-Togo could also compete with their best team in this knockout clash. The Benin-Togo coach Jean-Bidel Bommel, however, had prepared his team well for the clash with the fast Savojar players and made his central midfielders Germain and St. Pierre play a lot more defensively, catching the Savojar counters in the midfield and launching fast attacks themselves. On the other side, Kolarov relied on his tried and true tactics and players, meaning that we saw a clash of two 4-4-2 sides.

Expectedly, the match started out with some rather mediocre football in the midfield, with the central four of both sides trading some (metaphorical) blows. In this phase of the match, a rather careful and conservative Savojarna had a little less of the game, while Ndidi St. Pierre and Cyrille Cousineau could take some jabs at the Savojar defence. The best chance, unsurprisingly, also came from those two when Flemming Skov had overreached a little, and thus allowed Cousineau to break into the defence with a brilliant pass by St. Pierre. The fast Benin-Togo winger could use the space to cross the ball to the middle, but there, Chikondi Sauvageau found himself outsmarted by a brilliantly reacting Albin Lindholm, who punched the ball out of the box. It landed right on the foot of Germain, but under high pressure, the midfielder could only get off a hasty shot that flew far over the crossbar. Savojarna's offensive department rarely saw any action in the first phase, but after about twenty minutes a sharp pass by Poulsen sent Kasperi Lehtonen flying down the line in a mirror image of Cousineau's earlier attack. The Savojar could get a cross onto the head of Vilhjalmur Ruriksson, but Savojarna's tall and physical striker couldn't quite control the cross and sent it about a metre to the wrong side of the far post.

The chance, however, seemed to have woken up the Savojar team. With a lot more force and audacity, they managed to actually challenge the Benin-Togolese defence and unsettle them a bit more. The speed of the Savojar side seemed to pose serious problems for their opponents, even though these had shown a high paced game before as well. Alemayehu Mercier was a bit overwhelmed by a run by Jacobsen and held the striker back around twenty metres from the goal, in a central position, allowing for a great free kick opportunity for Morten Poulsen. The Partisan midfielder set himself the ball and tried to put the ball directly into the top right corner, but saw it bouncing off the crossbar into the stands. Where Savojarna got to its chances with clever passing, their opponents often used individual brilliance and their sheer speed to contest the tight defence of the Northlights U21. The omnipresent St. Pierre managed a quick one-two with his partner Germain to completely stun the midfield and dribbled past Vikborg, but his shot was deflected by Eremenko to a corner kick in the last dangerous situation of a not amazingly spectacular first half.

The second half, without any changes to the teams, finally saw the first goal after around fifty-five minutes when Jashkin, who had previously been almost unseen, received a long ball by Loeseth and could pull to the inside, thus opening space behind him for Skov. Laying the ball up for the right back, Jashkin lurked at the edge of the box as Ruriksson and Jacobsen looked for the cross. This slight overweight on the right side threw Benin-Togo off, as Skov was completely open to cross the ball and Ruriksson had pulled into the centre. This move confused the Benin-Togolese centre-backs even more and allowed Jacobsen to find free space at the far post, nodding home the cross by Skov and bringing Savojarna ahead. The lead did only last until the next serious attack by Benin-Togo, when the problems also started on the side. Cousineau had beaten his direct opponent Skov in a one-on-one and could pass the ball back to Jelani Germain, whose carefully curved pass found the chest of Sauvageau. In a quick turn, he managed to get around Eremenko and shot the ball to the far corner with a wonderful shot that will certainly be featured in any highlight reel of the competition. The result of the goal was that the game mostly reverted to the stalemate of the first half, but Pyotr Kolarov showed the will to break it with his substitutions, bringing the more creative Zibo Olberg for Vikborg. He also tuned his team to be more speedy and creative by taking off Ruriksson and replacing him by Shipulin, turning his system into a 4-3-3.

This move first changed the dynamic by opening up the Savojar sides, leading to busier days for Pedersen and Skov. However, the two fullbacks dealt well with the challenge, and in the centre both defenders also regularly cleared whatever slipped through the cracks. The middle was increasingly shut off for Benin-Togo, but perhaps ironically it was an attack through said middle that decided the game in the Savojars' favour. A steep pass by Delacroix found Kwadwo Roux, but he lost the ball to Olberg. Zibo Olberg showed why his strengths are to be seen when he has the ball, despite his position, and played a wonderful 40 metre pass across the field to Kasperi Lehtonen, putting the Benin-Togolese team onto their heels. Lehtonen headed it directly back to Shipulin, creating a five against four in Savojarna's favour together with Poulsen and the three forwards. Shipulin carried the ball forward to the edge of the Benin-Togolese defence and then passed through it back to Pedersen, who cut to the middle and beat Adegoke Bertrand perhaps a little unfortunate in the near corner. Kolarov immediately responded to this development by finally bringing on his defensive midfielder, Baldvinsson, for Poulsen. The Savojars succeeded in shutting down the centre for the remaining six minutes and went through to the quarterfinals, meeting Kita-Hinode.

The Hinodejin were somewhat of a negative surprise in the group stage, being beaten by what may be the surprise of the tournament, Neo-Romanum. Nevertheless, qualifying out of a death group over Anthor and Ethane shows they have to be taken seriously. They had proven that once again in an impressive 3-0 defeat of Cosumar in what may have been the highlight of the octofinals. The somewhat underwhelming performance in the group stage led to criticism in Kita-Hinode, questioning the youth system in the nation, but this discussion never seemed to have affected the team as they went through the rest of the tournament without much trouble. This team had come to win a title, but the Savojars do have what it takes to stop the Hinodejin ambitions. Kita-Hinode play a fairly solid and balanced game with a very slight offensive bias, which we hope may open some ways for the Savojar team. While their official press release doesn't reveal much about their tactics - a commonly employed strategy that may be efficient in the first games, but clearly loses their secrecy advantage by this time - they were mostly seen employing a 4-1-4-1 with a diamond, a somewhat peculiar formation with a very strong midfield axis.

Pyotr Kolarov, asked about the Hinodejin tactics, covered his cards. "I won't say much about how we play against Kita-Hinode, obviously. I also have not analysed them to the usual level yet, as we were focusing on Benin-Togo and everything else would have been respectless and dangerous. But I see that they mostly play with one striker, which should allow Oleg and Rasmus to control our box. In the offence, their centre is clearly very strong, but our team showed that they are really dangerous over the wings. It is going to be a duel of systems of some sorts, I guess. But we will definitely have our chances against Kita-Hinode, and I believe in our team". Other observers have pointed at the inexperience of the Hinodejins, who are all 18 and have only one player with prior experience at the Di Bradini level, while Savojarna have at least three players who graced the Cup with their presence before in Eremenko, Loeseth and Lehtonen (even though they did not play major roles), and overall has a larger and probably also physically superior team. We will stream the game live on our website like all prior games, and for the first time in this competition, STV2 will also broadcast live tomorrow from 20:30 onwards!
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Mercedini
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Postby Mercedini » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:54 pm

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Di Bradini Cup Round of 16
Taeshan vs. Mercedini
@ Metropolis - Ibini, Valanora


It's a big big day here in Ibini as fans from both Mercedini and Taeshan descend on the Vanorian city for their Round of 16 clash in the Di Bradini Cup. Mercedini have given themselves a good showing at the tournament so far, amassing six points in the group stages and only conceding a single goal, with that conceded goal coming in their only loss in the tournament against heavy favourites and DBc juggernauts Pasarga by a goal to nil. This is possible their biggest chances of setting a new associational record for their deepest ever run in the tournament. Taeshan await for the Eaglets after the team in a familiar pinky-purple colour topped a very tight Group E with one win and two draws, which means Mercedini go into the Round of 16 match with more points, yet still enter as the unseeded team. Plenty of big names still in the draw as Mercedini hope to navigate their way through the rounds to see whether they could record a potential podium finish, but there's a long way until that can be secured. Let's see whether the Eaglets could prolong their campaign and earn a historic fifth game in Valanora

Di Bradini Cup: Game Five? Mission Accomplished

FINAL SCORE
DBC | R16

TAESHAN 1
Torres 18'
MERCEDINI 3
Kavlan 10', Spartoni 62', Domacenti 85'

Ibini, Valanora
It was a good time to be a defender in Ibini as Mercedini edged past a stubborn and astute Taeshani side by three goals to one, with two defenders getting onto the scoresheet, sandwiching the Mercedinian goals on the night in what ended up containing a frantic start and end to the match in the highest scoring match featuring Mercedini at the tournament so far. It means that, for the first time ever, the Eaglets have secured a fifth game at the Di Bradini Cup, and set up a date with Semarland for a shot at the final four. Travelling Mercedinian fans have been steadily amassing as the matches go on, with another couple thousand expected to land in Raynor City by the time the quarter finals come around in a couple of days time. Plenty of positives to take into the next match, with the defending and holding midfield play pronouncing themselves as the two things to take away from the tournament.

As for the match, it was certainly an entertaining affair following criticism from some fans that matches featuring the Mercedinian U21 National Team have been some of the most boring matches of the round, rarely featuring more than a couple of goals per match. The two coaches looked determined as the watched from their respective technical areas. The fans had built up since the group stage with stadiums now half-filled, creating a much better atmosphere for the players and the rest of the fans around the stadium. Mercedini remained in their trusted black and blue kits while Taeshan were sporting their brand spanking new purple kits supplied by ediraf, which is widely expected to be contracted in to supply the kits for all Mercedinian National Teams following this tournament. The match kicked of to cheers from both sets of fans, plus the local Ibini crowd dotted around the stadium.

The tens of thousands inside Metropolis didn't have wait long for the opening goal as a well worked Mercedinian move resulted in Ogdenagorv defender Ruslan Kavlan heading in from a couple of yards outside the goal. It was a free kick which was given away after a cynical shirt pull on Nilevian. The Eastern Stars player proceeded to take the set piece himself and began a move straight from the training ground. The ball was whipped in and looked to be overhit and heading out for a goal kick. Graszeszak then made a scything run to catch the ball before it flew out of play unhindered. However, the Longtails striker kept the ball in play and flicked the ball back in the mixer where multiple players were arriving. Kavlan got a flick onto the ball to guide it towards goal, leading to an awkward exchange of bumps and barges between competing players. Foh got a strong hand to the ball but that didn't stop the ball rolling slowly over the line for a goal. There was a period of uncertainty as a Taeshani defender cleared the ball before any definitive call was given by the referee, but Goal Line Technology did show that the ball just crossed the line, so the goal was given and the players could celebrate their dream start to the Round of 16.

The action wasn't done by a long shot as a near instant response from Taeshan tied up the match with a plomb as Cloudesdale Flyers striker Abriel Torres tied it up with a sweet strike from open play to finish of a rapid move upfield. A long clearance from Foh found it's way towards Torres who let the ball bounce and run on. The speed from the Flyer beat Magdanovich who was trailing back as the ball came toward it, and with the speed of the ball from the clearance, there was only going to be one winner to that ball. Torres took a single touch before firing high past Farsal-Smith into the net. An electric start to the match, many fans were expecting a goal fest after the opening twenty minutes of action.

Sadly, the match slowed to a near stop as time began to count down in the first half in Ibini. As fans departed for the half time interval, Mercedini and Taeshan were locked at one a piece with the likelihood of extra time increasing by the second.

Into the second half where Mercedini asserted their dominance on the match by running their opponents off the park. With their efforts coming to a head with Spartoni breaking forward to round the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net. It was a simple goal which had been a staple of youth tournaments across the years. Mercedini had the lead and wanted to keep it for as long as they could, parking the bus as much as they could to reduce the chance of another instant response by the Taeshani team. Trevansek was guiding his team through a tense Round of 16 match with plenty of other matches paralleling this match in Ibini. Taeshan began to wind down as Mercedini slowed down the play purposefully to keep the match controlled and in their favour.

The Mercedinian fans were getting restless as the final ten minutes started to tick down, it was a big moment in the tournament life of Mercedini as they faced their biggest ever chance to reach a DBC quarter-final. It was an unfamiliar face who rounded out the victory for Mercedini as super-sub Harrison Domacenti ran up from right back to finish of a rushing move featuring Misha Spartoni. The Rozzy North End striker caught the Taeshani in defence and took the ball upfield as fast as he could to take the time away from the opposition. Domacenti accompanied Spartoni in the move which would almost certainly finish off the Taeshani quest for a DBC title. Foh came out to narrow the angle but it gave Spartoni the easy option to square it to Domacenti who squared it into the net for a third Mercedinian goal. That pretty much won it for the Eaglets there and then, but the victory was confirmed when the referee blew his whistle for the end of the match. It finished in Ibini Taeshan 1, Mercedini 3.

That's all we have time for you here in Ibini, as we begin our journey to Raynor City for the quarter finals of the Di Bradini Cup. There, they will face Semarland for a spot in the final four which will surely be an occasion to witness if you are a Mercedinian football fan. We hope you will be able to join us for that, we will be giving you live coverage plus all of the post-game reaction of that big match, but from Ibini, have a great night!
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Qusmo
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Postby Qusmo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:20 pm

SPONY LUQ TELEVISION

Hello, all. Welcome to Spony Luq Television, broadcasting from Qanz, Qusmo. After a fantastic match, which saw Qusmo take & then lose a 2-0 lead before scoring two goals unanswered in extra time to defeat Neo-Romanum, Qusmi’y Juzuna are headed to the Di Bradini Cup quarterfinals, where they will face Mapletish. Let’s look back at the Round of Sixteen & look ahead to the knockout rounds ahead.

First, we have a question from a viewer in Regel.
What do you think of our team now?

Yes, we’ll come out & address the elephant in the room: On this show, we predicted that Qusmo would lose to Neo-Romanum. We are glad to see that, in this instance, we were mistaken. Neo-Romanum certainly gave Qusmo a fight, though. Left midfielder Kynda-Sevet Pec put Qusmo ahead into the half, & centre midfielder Yamaj-Blonz Jok seemed to put the match out of reach in the sixty-fourth minute. However, Neo-Romanum would not go down easy, & substitute Gelasius Ameziane made a game of it with a powerful strike in the eighty-third before equalizing on a header in stoppage time.

Of course, it was Brelk-Brelk Ixi who would be the hero of the match, not Ameziane, but it was still a remarkable performance from the bench. Roman manager Justinian Angelus has to be wondering whether the match might have turned out differently if they had been on from the start in place of Adão de Cilpes, who looked utterly forgettable at striker.

Brelk-Brelk Ixi has to be given credit for some great play; despite the high scores, the KF Estraj player has continued to impress throughout the tournament. Brelk-Brelk made a remarkable save just before the end of the first half of extra time that really seemed to inspire their team to go out & win, shifting the momentum towards the stunned Qusmi’y & away from the resurgent Neo-Romanum side.

That led to a Rilan-Jerat strike in the one hundred eleventh minute, which proved to be the winner. There were still some testy moments, as Neo-Romanum desperately searched for another late equalizer & Qusmo tried to avoid penalties at all costs. Memorably, every Roman player on the pitch, including goalkeeper Olympiodorus Vatatzes, went into the box for the team’s last chance: a corner kick in the second minute of stoppage time. However, the delivery was poor, & Brelk-Brelk was able to rise up & catch the service before it could find an attacking head. With all twenty-two players in the box, Brelk-Brelk ran up to the eighteen-yard mark & punted it as far as they could. It was on target & had tremendous range, & it trickled into the goal to seal Qusmo’s victory in remarkable fashion.

Brelk-Brelk had a Pug Qusmyra season to forget, but as the only age-eligible goalkeeper who had experience in a top-tier league as a first-choice starter at all, they were selected as the starting goalkeeper for the U21 national team. Lucex-Kynda Uzo has to be delighted with how that decision has turned out, as they not only have made memorable plays defensively, but have even gotten onto the scoresheet in a close knockout round match. This is a top-class tournament, & Brelk-Brelk will only be hoping it continues.

In fact, Brelk-Brelk’s play might help inspire a call-up to the senior team - although it will be tough to get capped behind Vanza-Jerat Gep & Xynat Evela Cuf, who are still locked in a battle for the number 1 kit. Still, if Brelk-Brelk can show that their form so far at this tournament is for real, they may mount a serious challenge for one of the three goalkeeper spots on the senior team roster.

Ultimately, the Qusma defense did well until the last twenty minutes of the second half, when the team began to become a bit complacent & sit too deep. That is what allowed Neo-Romanum to equalize late - representing the third consecutive opponent that Qusmo has conceded multiple goals to in this tournament. Meanwhile, Qusmo scored four, & they were one of five teams in the knockout rounds to score as many goals in the Round of Sixteen as they did in the group stage; however, it is worth considering that two of these were scored in extra time, including one by a monumental fluke. Still, the fact that three new names appeared on the scoresheet will be encouraging for a team which relied entirely too heavily on Rilan-Jerat for offensive production in the group stage.

Now, Qusmo will prepare to take on Mapletish in the quarterfinals. If Qusmo can win, they will clinch a spot in the semifinals - & have a total of three more matches left to play, which is so important for a youth team to gain exposure. Already, they have exceeded expectations, making it out of a Group of Death & then earning the first win for a Qusma national team in a knockout match against a team which had not dropped a single point at that point. If they can do it again, it would be a wild success.

Now, another question, this time time from a viewer in Vlyv.
Do you want to reconsider your picks after you did so poorly in the first round?

Actually, despite what it might seem, we have done pretty well overall. Our predicted champion did get bounced out in the Round of Sixteen, & we didn’t have Qusmo advancing originally. But it’s worth noting that both of those high-profile flubs were from the same match - which did go into extra time. We were in a hole early, missing on our first two predictions, but we were six for six from there. In fact, three of the four quarterfinal matches are exactly what we predicted they would be. I think that’s pretty good; that said, let’s look at the picks we made & adjust some things for the matches we just saw.

Qusmo v. Mapletish
Aranfield Bridge, Everlin, Valanora

Qusmo - 4-2 (a.e.t.) win v. Neo-Romanum in Round of Sixteen - 2nd in Group D (6 points v. Cosumar, Chromatika, & Alpine Union; 4-4, ±0) - Did not enter Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Round of Sixteen in Cup of Harmony 72 - 83rd-ranked senior team
Mapletish - 4-3 win v. Equestrian States in Round of Sixteen - 2nd in Group C (6 points v. Savojarna, Cassadaigua, & the South Falls; 3-3, ±0) - Did not enter Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Did not enter World Cup 80 Qualifying - Unranked senior team
We have heard criticism from viewers all across the country after we picked Neo-Romanum over Qusmo - especially after Qusmo won to advance to this point. Thus, it would be a really easy decision to avoid that again & simply pick Qusmo. Unfortunately, however, it’s not that easy. Qusmo & their opponent, Mapletish, are both very good teams - & they both have a very similar profile at this tournament. Tactically, they’re led by two young managers, born five years apart, whose highest level of previous coaching experience was at a major domestic club’s youth academy, & who have been focussing on winning in the midfield. For Mapletish, that manifests itself by putting five players in midfield; for Qusmo, it shows by sacrificing some defensive support in order to fit four senior national team players in the centre of the pitch. Looking at results, these teams finished second in their respective groups on six points - two wins & one loss. They conceded as many goals as they scored, & both numbers were low: four for Qusmo & only three for Savojarna. However, in the Round of Sixteen, both teams unseated a group winner in a high-scoring match; for Qusmo, it was 4-2 after extra time, while for Mapletish, it only took ninety minutes to rack up a 4-3 score. For all we know, we could see a similar offensive explosion at Aranfield Bridge. Will we see Qusmi’y Juzuna or the Buio'Dzz in the Di Bradini Cup semifinal? It seems almost too close to call - which, of course, means we have to go with Qusmo & hope we’re not wrong again.
Prediction: Qusmo

Savojarna v. Kita-Hinode
Donna Cathedral, Mar Sara, Valanora

Savojarna - 2-1 win v. Benin-Togo in Round of Sixteen - 1st in Group C (7 points v. Mapletish, Cassadaigua, & the South Falls; 8-3, +5) - Group Stage in Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Group Stage in World Cup 80 - 28th-ranked senior team
Kita-Hinode - 3-0 win v. Cosumar in Round of Sixteen - 2nd in Group A (6 points v. Neo-Romanum, Anthor, & Ethane; 7-5, +2) - Semifinals in Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Semifinals in Cup of Harmony 72 - 40th-ranked senior team
When we were previewing a projected matchup between these two, we said that “despite a tough challenge, Kita-Hinode seems the favourite to advance to the semifinals for the third consecutive year, dating back to their reemergence on the U21 scene with the Di Bradini 41 championship.” Not much has changed in our analysis since then. Kita-Hinode had a thoroughly convincing win in the Round of Sixteen, as they walloped Cosumar to a 3-0 score. Benin-Togo is a tougher team than most would probably think at first blush, but Savojarna was only able to net two against a defense that conceded more in the group stage than any team not named the South Falls, & the 2-1 score was tighter than it should have been. It would take a notable dip in form for Kita-Hinode or a remarkable uptick in quality for Savojarna to prevent the oft-semifinalists from making it to the last four again.
Prediction: Kita-Hinode

Mercedini v. Semarland
The Battleground, Raynor City, Valanora

Mercedini - 3-1 win v. Taeshan in Round of Sixteen 2nd in Group H (6 points v. Pasarga, North Prarie, & Greater Vakolicci Haven; 3-1, +2) - Group Stage in Di Bradini Cup 42 - Round of Sixteen in Sporting World Cup 6 - Champions of Cup of Harmony 72 - 26th-ranked senior team
Semarland - 3-0 (a.e.t.) win v. Razenthuria in Round of Sixteen - 1st in Group F (6 points v. Abanhfleft, Blaneu, & Starblaydia; 6-4, +2) - Did not enter Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Did not enter World Cup 80 Qualifying - 127th-ranked senior team
When previewing this matchup as a hypothetical, we noted that the Semars were attempting “to recreate the same story as Kita-Hinode two editions ago; unfortunately for them, however, we think Mercedini will get their first trip to the semifinals in the same edition as their first trip to the quarterfinals.” Again, Round of Sixteen results seem to point in the same direction. Mercedini may have conceded a goal, but the Eaglets had a great match against former Di Bradini Cup champions. On the other hand, although they got going in extra time, Semarland could not score a single goal against Razenthuria in ninety minutes - & that was a matchup in which they were heavily favoured. It’s entirely possible that Semarland is unable to find the back of the net again after an hour & a half of quarterfinal play, though a second chance would not be likely. Mercedini has been a stingy team defensively throughout this tournament; they conceded the joint-fewest in the group stage, & no team has conceded fewer throughout the entire tournament, including those which have only played three matches. However, Mercedini has also found its stride offensively, which could prove a lethal combination - precisely what is needed for the Eaglets to earn a historic first trip to the Di Bradini Cup semifinals.
Prediction: Mercedini

Abanhfleft v. Pasarga
Hatire Memorial, Capri, Valanora

Abanhfleft - 2-1 win v. Baker Park in Round of Sixteen - 2nd in Group F (5 points v. Semarland, Blaneu, & Starblaydia; 2-1, +1) - Round of Sixteen in Di Bradini Cup 42 - Group Stage in Sporting World Cup 6 - Group Stage in World Cup 80 - 24th-ranked senior team
Pasarga - 3-2 win v. Routcher in Round of Sixteen - 1st in Group H (9 points v. Mercedini, North Prarie, & Greater Vakolicci Haven; 8-2, +6) - Champions of Di Bradini Cup 42 - Did not enter Sporting World Cup 6 - Round of Sixteen in World Cup 80 - 11th-ranked senior team
When we looked ahead to possible quarterfinal matches, we guessed that “once again, Abanhfleft’s knockout match would likely be the most-hyped of the round, as they take a long-standing blood feud with Pasarga to the quarterfinals. It will be a high-octane match, but we think that Abanhfleft will finally be able to triumph over their rivals.” Here’s why. Pasarga had a great group stage, as one of only three teams to take the maximum nine points from the group stage (& the only one left in the quarterfinals) & the only one to have a +6 goal differential in the group stage; however, they did not perform to those standards in the Round of Sixteen. Partly due to some dropoff we anticipated, & partly due to some good play by their opponent, Pasarga only got by Routcher by a 3-2 score. On the other hand, though Abanhfleft only advanced past Baker Park 2-1 on a stoppage time winner, Baker Park represents a step up in quality from Routcher; thus, we rank it as the better performance. While Pasarga has dipped in form to start the knockouts, Abanhfleft has played strongly, & they have all kinds of motivation on their side, after excruciating & highly controversial losses in Di Bradini Cup 36 & 42 - the latter on penalties in last year’s Round of Sixteen. That even sparked calls in Abanhfleft for a boycott of the tournament, but here they meet again - & this time, we think that the Fleftics will get the last laugh.
Prediction: Abanhfleft

That means that we’re predicting semifinals between Qusmo & Kita-Hinode & between Mercedini & Abanhfleft. If that really is the case, Qusmi’y Juzuna would be in a great place. They would be playing against the perpetual fourth-place finishers, giving them good odds to reach the final, where we’d suspect Abanhfleft would likely join them. Just like in our last set of predictions, we’ll peg Kita-Hinode at fourth, Mercedini at third, & Abanhfleft at second. As for Qusmo? Well, we don’t want to put any pressure on them. After all, they have a match against Mapletish to win first.

Alpine Union 2–3 Qusmo
Miner's Haven, Goldsan, Valanora
GK Brelk-Brelk Ixi
CB Axelv-Xilit Ono
- 76' Dalox-Lenpi Mal
LB Forzu-Falax Uzo
RB Yelto-Xilit Jok
DM Dwada-Dalox Wek
CM Yamaj-Blonz Jok
LM Kynda-Sevet Pec
RM Helek-Nenzi Ono
LW Ucyxi-Slokt Eva
- 46' Tlanx-Xeral Miz
RW Upuln-Cralt Guv
- 46' Kepex-Matez Abe
ST Rilan-Jerat Nev (47', 71', 90+3')
Neo-Romanum 2–4 Qusmo (a.e.t.)
Rose Gardens, Kareen, Valanora
GK Brelk-Brelk Ixi (120+2')
CB Axelv-Xilit Ono
LB Forzu-Falax Uzo
RB Yelto-Xilit Jok
DM Dwada-Dalox Wek
- 75' Jerat-Jonto Jan
CM Yamaj-Blonz Jok (64')
LM Kynda-Sevet Pec (38')
RM Helek-Nenzi Ono
LW Ucyxi-Slokt Eva
- 68' Tlanx-Xeral Miz
RW Upuln-Cralt Guv
- 68' Gelan-Ajark Erv
ST Rilan-Jerat Nev (111')
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Valanora
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Postby Valanora » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:40 am

Let's see who gets to the semis.

Quarterfinals
Qusmo 2–3 Mapletish
Savojarna 0–2 Kita-Hinode
Mercedini 4–4(5–4 AET) Semarland
Abanhfleft 3–2 Pasarga

Semifinal Fixtures
Mapletish v Kita-Hinode @ The White Fortress, Gladerial
Mercedini v Abanhfleft @ Artani, Mar Sara
Last edited by Valanora on Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mapletish
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Part 4

Postby Mapletish » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:56 am

OOC: Trying my hands on writing short stories, and this is certainly inspired by the American Sniper
Part 1|Part 2| Part 3

The Forgotten War - The Life of a Force Member

As training progressed and I get myself into Special Warfare Operations, I got the chance to pen my deal as a regular member of the force. A conscript usually serves for around 22 to 24 months depending on the operational requirements as per his unit. By penning the deal I got to stay on in the military for a little longer than an average conscript. The deal would keep me with the military for the next 5 years. It was a lucrative deal for a young man who haven't gotten into university yet and with the signing on bonus, it was good money.

Deeper into the training phase as a force member, you learn not to get too close to anyone until after Team Building Week, which so happened to be the toughest part of training and the period when the dropout rate reaches its high point. We graduated with around 20 guys out of our entire class, less than perhaps 10% of the whole cohort who took part in the training. I was one of the two conscripts in the class and surprisingly both of us graduated from the class.

After BDAC, force members go onto advanced training where they take on advanced skill sets required by the SOF. It was there where I met a close friend of mine, Timothy Jose. Jose was the other conscript who took on the training with me. We weren't close in BDAC but we knew each other existed since there were only two conscripts taking on the training and we definitely stood out in a sea of regulars. Jose and I got along right away, it was only natural: we were right around the same age and we have a keen interest in sports. Maybe it is the shared experiences we shared skippering a team back in High School or the rise and grind of a student athlete or maybe the post tournament beer. We formed an instant friendship. From growing up with a love of hunting too and then getting scripted into the Navy and getting our asses kicked in the BDAC.

A particular incident caught both of us by surprise in one of our training dives. A section mate of ours got an O2 hit, or a condition when too much oxygen enters the bloodstream. It can be extremely dangerous and its health effects are extensive. The day that incident occurred we were on our regular dives to the bottom of a ship in a simulated situation to plant a charge. That was when the other dive pair experienced vertigo. One of the dive partners displayed some of the well displayed symptoms. He was in a daze and didn't respond to any of the signals that his partner had signaled out. We got over to the dive pair and helped his partner get him out before continuing on our training simulation. He got better in the end and was cleared for diving in future missions. That incident bonded us closer as it meant to keep a closer lookout on each other in our future dives together.

Though, eventually we ended up in different teams after we graduated, Jose and I kept in close contact as the years went by. Every time, without fail, I would seem to be relieving him after his combat deployment and we'd have coffee or lunch together and exchange informal Intel and happenings back and forth. It was friendship I treasured a lot and it was genuine brotherhood that kept us together for a long time.

Towards the end of Advanced Training, we got orders as to which SOF team we would be deployed to join right after our training. Even if we had graduated from BDAC, we have not been considered as a SOF force member yet; it was only when we joined a team would we get our combat divers' badge and even so we would need to prove ourselves first and then would be through a range of pre qualification test from the Team that you're assigned to. It could range from fitness test, marksmanship, airborne, dives, combat situational tests and other team specific tests. Right after I got my combat divers' badge, I got myself right into the Combat AIrborne Course to get myself versed in basic airbone, heliborne, military freefall - HALO and HAHO (High Altitude, Low Opening and High Altitude, High Opening) and several other jump sequences such as air to dive maneuvers, strategic insertion, etc. That would officially qualify me for to be a full fledged airborne soldier which was the basic requirement for all SOF force members.

The SOF teams are designated in many areas around the Mapletish mainland. Naturally, I like a temperate environment and I took to picking the SOF team located in the Outlying Territories to the Southeast of Mainland Mapletish or the Southeast Outlying Territories. The small island chains around the Maplish southeast coast has some of the coolest summers and winters that are not brutally cold if you are used to it and the team there are experts in Mountainous warfare, coastal infiltration and even jungle warfare even though the climate might not have been as humid and hot as the jungle terrains as which that they are suppose to operate in. Of course, the team right here also has a niche in desert warfare even though they are nowhere near the desert but this is a team of fierce warriors, the aboriginals, the Manpaelanes are known to have continued to live here as other aborginals ventured into mainland Mapletish and we see a couple of them in the SOF team allocated in the islands here. This would however be the team that is most probably see action in the Middle East and was likely to be deployed with the expertise in the desert.

My next two choices were for the Teams based in the North and the South. Although I'm not a big fan of the winter or the tropics, I felt that if I can't be an all rounder, I could fancy myself to survive in the jungle or the grasslands or maybe even engage in warfare of that scale since the team based in the North are well known for their involvement in local conflicts in the African continent. The team based in the South on the other hand is known for their winter warfare training. Although, they have not been called to action, they were however critical in disarming The Revolutionist who attempted to infiltrate Mapletish from the south, in a daring attempt to cross Maplish waters and into Maplish territory. Despite being heavily armed, they were subdued in lightning fast fashion against a SOF team that is well versed in winter warfare.

Despite or all the drum up, you can feel in the choice of your SOF team, the day you get your actual assignment is exactly the opposite. They get you seated in a big classroom and handed out a paper with our orders. I got my orders and was allocated to the team in the southeast.

If I would say what gave me a greater impact than my military career alone, it was having a change in my life. It was love. It was that heart warming feeling that you feel when you thought that you have fallen in love.

I fell in love.

Was it the definition of love at first sight? I have absolutely got no idea. It could be? Dana was her name. I first saw her sitting at the corner of the bar top, talking with one of my friends. She sported a long, silky hair and had a black leather pants which fitted her really well. She was gorgeous.

I'd just join the Southeast team and we hadn't started training yet and I was enjoying my block leave where i get a week of vacation before settling down in my new home at the Southeast HQ, where I'll get myself wrecked once again, as if BDAC and Advanced Training wasn't enough just to earn myself the right to be in the team.

Dana was working for a pharmaceutical and wellness company as a pharmacist when we met. She had gone through her college in the West Midlands before moving out to the southeast coast a year back before we met. Of course, she was beautiful, gorgeous and eye catching. When we started talking, I found out that we shared the same kind of humour. I would like to think that only some people get my kind of humour and she was one of them.

Dana could gladly summarise what happened to us.

Dana:
That night we met, I was enjoying myself at the bar top with some gin and tonic after a long day at work. Working a 9 to 5 job wasn't something that I like but I guessed, we would all need to get a new adventure here and there right? I was fairly new in the coastal town and still looking for more female friends. Not particularly dating anyone at that moment. Dated several guys and most of them were decent relationships although they didn't last a long time. I just felt that something didn't clicked and I just walked out of them before dragging it on. That was of course before I met Viktor.

As I was deep with my thoughts that evening, this tall, good looking guy came over and started talking to me, he seemed a little jerky just like his friend previously. He introduced himself as he adjusted his collar shortly. Viktor was his name.

"What do you do?"

"I catch fish"

"You what? That's bullshit. You look military. Which service?"

He denied it flatly. He told me a bunch of other stories before he admitted that he was military.

There was one, he tried to protest. He claimed to be a marine biologist and he would study anything from whales to the plankton they eat. When the time calls, he would go for research dives and study the bodies of water and the marine wildlife. He told me that he was a study mission to study the effects of rising sea temperatures on coral reefs. It seemed convincing and professional for a young, naive and tipsy girl. But it was a good one, I suppose.

I could tell he rarely tries his lines with other girls even though he blurted out the story without blinking. There was that convincing tone in his voice and that conviction although doesn't seem practised came out rather naturally.

One look at him and he looked military. Ripped, short hair and an accent that blatantly tells you that "he's not from here".

He finally admitted that he was in the service and he was a seaman.

He answered and I probed and eventually, I got to the truth. He was a SOF force member.

"So you are a SOF"

"Not exactly, I'm a diver first."

"Whatever. Aren't you all a bunch of egoistic, self centered, self proclaimed heroic and glory seeking?"

He scratched his head and adjusted his hair, intrigued by my outburst. He inched a little closer. "Why though," he asked, seemingly puzzled at my outburst.

"Why would you say that?"

I told him about the stories of jerks lying around in the military.

"If I died for my country. Would it have been self centered?" he replied. That was startled me a little as if he laid a great comeback.

We chatted for a while and for every question he answered, I would have a drink. My friend came over later and I turned my attention away from him.

He seemed to want to make a move later on and I asked "Why?"

"Well, considering what you have shown me, you probably wont date a SOF?"

"I said, I probably won't marry one, but I didn't say I wouldn't date one."

His eyes lit up.

"That means that you will get my number?"

We exchanged numbers and we hung around for a little bit. As it was time for me to go, I felt the sudden urge to puke. And I rushed all the way to parking lot and puked my guts out.

"Probably had too much to drink huh?" He patted my back as I puked.

After I was done, he pulled me over to him. He seemed all hard and muscle-y. "Don't think about it, as he inched closer. I'm not going with you tonight."

She would be the one for me. I thought to myself the first time we met. I called her up the next morning and we started talking. It became a weekly affair as we talked about our days and whatever that was happening with our lives.

In my bunk, my teammates would eavesdropped on our conversations and they would start ribbing in in an attempt to find out more.

As our relationship grew closer and closer, Dana and I started spending more time together. We'd spend nights at each other's apartment and we would talk like how we used to over the phone but this time, in person and often over a cup of coffee and toast, one of my favourite ways to unwind too.

I woke up one morning to her nervous voice, "Viktor! Wake up! Take a look at this!"

I rubbed my eyes and tried to figure what was happening. Dana turned up the volume to the television and I saw the Maplish embassy in Mogadishu up in flames as The Revolutionists attacked the embassy. The Revolutionists is a terror group with international presence particularly in the African region, known to be anti-Maplish and believes that the Mapletish state is trying to reestablishing imperialism in the African continent. That belief was however highly erroneous but, there was quite a following in that all around the continent.

"Shit," I muttered.

I stumbled over to my mobile phone and saw a bunch of messages and missed calls.

I grabbed my SUV and went down to the base as fast as I could. Midway to base, I glanced in the rearview mirror and there I saw a set of blue and red lights flashing. I got my ass pulled over by the cop. He came off his car and seemed pissed.

"Any reason why are you going so fast?"

"Yes, sir, I'm in a rush back to base. I just got recalled."

"Which service are you in?"

"I'm in the Navy."

I was running a little out of patience at this point. Just give me the ticket, I thought. But I held it in.

"What do you do in the Navy?"

"I'm a SOF"

He adjusted his sunglasses.

"I will send you your way. Go get it!"

He put his lights on and pulled up in front of my SUV and he sped me down the streets. Then he waved me on.

We were put on immediate standby but we were not called for action at that moment. My platoon would have to wait roughly a year before we got into action and when we did, it was against The Revolutionists too and it was aimed at removing their stronghold in Somalia. They might have spread their wings as far ahead as the Middle East too but we concentrated our efforts in the African continent to counter any threats that may threatened the Maplish homeland.

There's quite a lot of confusion in the civilian world about combat divers and the SOF. What exactly is the connection between the two? Most people think we're strictly sea based commandos, considering that fact that we are the combat divers after all, meaning that we always operate off ships and hit targets on the water or from the immediate coastline. As a naval unit, we involve ourselves with work in the sea.

Underwater demolition, coastline and beach reconnaissance, infiltrating habours and plating mines on enemy ships, those were the work of combat divers and even till this day, the combat divers continue to do what they are set out to do.

In the wake of the modern times, the combat divers' mission have of course expanded. Recognising the need for special operations beyond the sea or the coastline, the divers worked with the SOF which is a combination of the Army's, Navy's and the Air Force's special operative forces. Thus, allowing the SOF to perform operations on air, sea and land. Land warfare has thus overlapped and expanded into the combat divers' mission list ever since.

The SOF has different special operative units within it and each has its own specialty and thus overlap in the training of everyone and the range of the missions involved are pretty similar in many respects. But each service branch has its own expertise. The army commandos are the warriors of the land and they are specialised in both conventional and unconventional warfare, often having to blend in with the local populace where needed. While on other times, we see the commandos go on and establish their foothold as an assault force to take down large and valuable targets. The Air Force special operative unit is the para-rescue unit. Well verse in pulling people out of trouble and administering medical aid and attention to injured personnel.

Direct action is a common core mission for each of these units. It meant a fast, swift, short strike on a small value target. It sounds very much like a surgical removal of a cell, which will cripple the enemy before they even know what is going on. The mission against The Revolutionists is an ongoing warfare between the large terror group and protecting the sovereignty and freedom of the Maplish state. Having established their presence in many areas of Africa, we are tasked to take them down one by one. As combat divers and SOF personnel, we dived, jumped out of planes, take down ships, etc with an increasing focus on land warfare during our work and missions.

Team training was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, even when it was shit. Desert warfare training became a main focus for all of us, after getting exposure in many of the fighting terrains and receiving training on the other aspects of the 2 other special operative units. With those training sessions and exchange of information and knowledge, we were better able to understand the work of our colleagues and to be more flexible in our approach to missions.

Other than warfare training, we given psychological training too. One of the training sessions involved us being captured as POWs, in a POW simulation training which prepared us for when we are captured. Captivity, torture and just short of killing us, this simulated capture and it was done to bring us to our breaking point. I, however, do not wish for anyone to go through that, having gone through it myself. I would have imagined the real thing to be a little more extreme than what we have experienced during training.

Another area would be gas training and you literally suffered the rounds when the tear gas are there right out. But all you can do is to fight through it. An active ingredient called the 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the main culprit in making your eyes run. You basically just suck it up, well not literally but fight through it while you "cough and spit", which is the best way to deal with it. If you rub your eyes it will get worse, so you let them run as you cough and cry. But while you fight through that, you pick up your weapon and continue fighting. Enough self pity if you wish.

Training became competitive amongst platoons as the best platoon would be out for war. You could see it during the exercises as everyone from the officers to the men, giving their all and trying to outsmart and outmaneuver to the other. The other platoon eventually got one over us and they went to war while we stayed home. That could probably be the worse fate that any force member can imagine, considering the amount of time and effort that they have put in and vested into training and drilling themselves to perform to their prime.

With an oncoming conflict in Somalia inevitable, urban and desert warfare were right on the cards for us. We worked hard but we shared many light moments too. I remember one time when we were doing our urban warfare training. We were assigned to take down a warehouse to retrieve a target and to carry on with our mission as we got some roleplayers to act out some of the roles of the simulation exercise.

I got the opportunity to pull out for crowd control. Armed with my rifle, I signaled traffic while the simulation was on going while policemen were by the sideline. That was when I noticed an interesting looking man approaching in my direction. Shined my lights, pointed my laser but he kept approaching. He definitely looked like an actor, I thought to myself. He looked straight down at me and the next thing I knew, he was reaching under his jacket in what could be a weapon. With a sweep of his shoulders and legs, I got him to the ground. He struggled and I got him handcuffed. A big time gangster around the area, he thought he could carry on with business as usual at one of his usual meeting spots, little did he know that he wondered into a training exercise and he was upfront who didn't give a damn about who he was. The policemen on the sidelines clapped and laughed.

The Revolutionists were a tough bunch to defeat. Having established themselves in Somalia and although they were a terror group, they were one of the most organised ones and they operated like a nationstate of their own. Smuggling weapons, oil and other items both into and out of Somalia. Mapletish had to step up to ensure that the terror group does not get their way and we did whatever we could do to cut off their supply lines and keep their influence and spread at bay.

Before we deployed, however, Dana and I chose to get married. A tough decision nonetheless, considering that I might not return to see her again. However, after a chat in the car, we both came to the conclusion that, despite everything that might be at odds with this decision of ours, we were willing to take them on together. Although the divorce rate for SOF force members were not high, it would be difficult to maintain a marriage where one party is committed to his country than his marriage. Nonetheless, the wives of the SOF members stayed close together and provide closed support for each other which probably explained the lower divorce rates.

I do know however that I'm in love and that we both loved each other and this marriage shall happen, be it peace or war. We are going to survive it all and stay happily married for many more years to come.
The Minuscule Nation Mapletish
Pop. 65,000,000 | Capital: Struggait City| Demonym: Maplish/Mapletian| Trigramme: MAP
First - WLC 24, DBC 43 Second - WCoH 22, RUWC 23, CR 24 Third- BoF 44, HWC 11, WCoH 20, WCoH 21, DBC 49 Fourth - U15WC9, RLWC12
Qualified for WC 64, 66
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Mercedini
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mercedini » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:15 pm

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Di Bradini Cup Quarter-Final
Mercedini vs. Semarland
@ The Battleground - Raynor City, Valanora


Good evening and welcome to the historic Battleground Stadium here in Raynor City for what will be a historic match, but for a totally difference reason. This will be Mercedini's first ever match in a Di Bradini Cup quarter final, with the Eaglets facing Semarland in their last eight match for a chance at a semi-final berth. This is new territory for the team with another ten thousand expected in Raynor City to try and grab last minute tickets for the big match. Semarland have managed to traverse the group stages and the early knockout rounds without a hitch but were given a scare in their Round of 16 match against Razenthuria where they went to extra time, where the red and yellow triumphed with three unanswered goals in extra time to run out 3-0 winners, cruising to the quarter-finals. Plenty of big names with plenty of momentum still in the draw, so let's see who will put their name in the hat for the final four of the U21 World Cup.

Di Bradini Cup: Unbelievable Jeff!

FINAL SCORE (AET)
DBC | QF

MERCEDINI 5
Nilevian 31', 35' (P), Spartoni 58', 75', Vacek 114'
SEMARLAND 4
Moss 8', Makeise 20', 26', 80

Raynor City, Valanora
The Battleground has seen plenty of historic matches in it's long time as one of the multiverse's more recognisable stadiums: Champion's Cups, World Cups and Di Bradini Cups have all passed through Raynor City, and it saw yet another classic match as Mercedini ran out victors in a nine goal thriller which would ultimately see a duel national score what could quite possibly be the biggest goal in the history for the U21 national side. It was a back and forth tussle between two relatively evens sides with Semarland scuppering a 3-0 lead less than half an hour in to the match by conceding four further unanswered to the team in blue and black. It was then up to the Mercedinians to defend their lead, but the match would ultimately end all square as man of the match Belgium Makiese completed hattrick to square it up to four goals a piece as the full time whistle sounded around the stadium. But it was Anglatian-born Mercedinian citizen who stole all the headlines as his close range effort with just over five minutes left to go in the match, to score the ninth and final goal of the game to take Mercedini through to the semi-finals.

It was certainly a match for the ages with goals galore and more twists and turns than a Vanorian soap opera, but the team in blue and black won through in the end meaning it was money well spent for the travelling Mercedinian contingency in Raynor City. The winner would play either Abanhfleft or defending champions Pasarga in Mar Sara, another Vanorian city with domestic and international pedigree, so it would be tough run through to the final if Mercedini could make it through Semarland. After a frantic first ninety minutes which included eight goals and an astronomical number of chances, it was a further thirty minutes that would have to be required to find a winner, or else penalties were in the offing for both teams. Extra time was just as free flowing as regulation time with the large pitch proving difficulties for the defences, as they were stretched across the width of the pitch wider than at any other instance during the tournament, or indeed during their pre-tournament preparations.

A long ball forward to Nileian down the wing was enough to send the Eastern Stars winger on his way and to send hearts racing inside The Battleground. Nilevian held the ball up for quite a long amount of time to the frustration of the fans behind him, but enough players got forward to spread the risk of a cross into the box. It was sent in low with plenty of outside whip on it to invite a flick-on in the box. A number of players from both team went for it, but Vacek Jr got a touch that would ultimately be worth it's weight in gold as it crept into the inside post with a slight touch from the Semar goalkeeper, it ignite crazed celebrations on the pitch and in the stands behind the goal. Vacek Jr put his name into youth football folklore, and he was somewhere under a pile of sweaty bodies as the entire team pounced on him to celebrate a crucial goal in the balanced play.

Trevansek stood on the edge of his technical area appealing for calm from his players who now had to steady themselves for the final five minutes of the match. A tough job, but Mercedini slowed down the play enough to limit any Semarland chances coming their way. Makiese did have a chance for a fourth in the match after he was put through following a Magdanovich defensive lapse, but his scuffed shot was beat away by Farsal-Smith in the Mercedinian net. The subsequent corner came to nothing and it was now Spartoni who was rushing up the other end of the pitch to close out the match. He kept it in the corner but relinquished possession after he was triple teamed by the Semar defence, but it was too late for them as the referee blew his final whistle for the end of the match. Mercedini had come through a marathon match with nine goals, and all the drama one would come to expect from the Di Bradini Cup. In Raynor City, it finished Mercedini 5, Semarland 4 after extra time.
.................................................................................................................................
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Postby Abanhfleft » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:43 pm

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ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

DI BRADINI CUP 43: ABANHFLEFT VS PASARGA

By Malik Qazizadah

Image
Abanhfleft's Christy Shepley thanks the crowd following the Young Revolutionaries' victory against Pasarga in the quarterfinals of the 43rd Di Bradini Cup. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

CAPRI, VALANORA - Abanhfleft have exorcised yet another demon of the past following their incredible 3-2 triumph against defending Di Bradini Cup champions Pasarga in a match that was generally described as much cleaner and less controversial than the previous meeting between the two sides in the DBC.

It almost didn't end that way though for the Young Revolutionaries, as the beginning of the match was marked by shifty and testy play with both sides sizing each other up testing the limits of the other side before Nataša Horvat finally scored the opening goal with a clever half-volley from point-blank range twelve minutes in.

As the specter of yet another defeat against the Wanderers reared its head so early in the game, the Young Revolutionaries lost some of their cohesion and began playing hurried and erratic football more commonly seen in the playgrounds and schoolyards, and Pasarga had the chance to take the game to the Fleftics and secure another semifinals appearance.

But both Horvat and her strike partner Adrián Makai missed a handful of chances that could have sent the Wanderers through to the semifinals, and what chances both of them were able to connect with were subsequently saved by the stalwart keeper of the Fleftic goal Guildenstern Cardew.

The Young Revolutionaries eventually got their heads back together and they began peppering the Pasargan goal after that early period of Wanderers dominance, and the Fleftics were eventually rewarded for their efforts with one minute left in the first half through Kelly McGinnis, who beat two Pasargan defenders to race to the ball and slot it in the far corner between the legs of Guglielmo Lo Duca.

The start of the second half saw a repeat performance of the edgy first ten minutes of the game between the two sides, as both were trying to feel out the other side's tactical changes in response to the result of the first half. The stalemate finally broke after Jan Gersten headed just wide of the far post from a Pasargan corner kick, and both teams went on the attack for every time that they had the ball.

It would be a short five-minute period of dominance on the part of the Fleftics which would set the tone of the rest of the match, five minutes in which both Claudia Roos and Sohaila Magomedova scored to give the Young Revolutionaries a seemingly unassailable lead coming into the home stretch.

Roos struck first with a fizzing shot from just inside the edge of the box and then Magomedova doubled the Fleftic advantage after she was finally able to get to the ball after a pinball sequence in which as much as five players from both sides attempted to get the ball under their control, but it would be the winger from Pridnestrovia's Exiles FK who would slam the ball into the roof of the net.

As the prospect that they might not get to defend their title after all dawned upon them, the Wanderers threw all that they had at the Fleftic goal, and by necessity Abanhfleft sat back and defended for all it was worth. Erik Földessy saw his header from his brother Szalyk's cross tipped just over the bar by Guildenstern Cardew, and Réka Szôllôssi put her own headed attempt wide of the near post from the resulting corner kick.

Adrián Makai however would not be denied as the game drew closer to its potential conclusion, and while Makai's attempt took a good deflection off of the back of Wilton Kaba, the goal would still go down as his as it had been judged that it was already on target before Kaba's back applied the deflection that took the ball away from the path that Guildenstern Cardew had predicted it would take.

This set the stage for a frantic and furious final eight minutes (five minutes of regulation plus three minutes of added-on time) in which Pasarga tried to find the third goal that would force the game to thirty more minutes while Abanhfleft, on the rare chances that they had the ball, at least tried to get a fourth goal to finally truly put the game to bed. But despite the Wanderers' best efforts, their Di Bradini Cup defense campaign eventually came to a thrilling end against the team that arguably put them on the path to winning the cup in the previous tournament.

Abanhfleft's victory over the defending champions sees them through to the semifinals where they will face yet another team that has had a storied place in the history of Fleftic youth football teams coming so close to winning the ultimate prize yet failing in the form of Mercedini, who eliminated the Young Young Revolutionaries in the quarterfinals of the 4th Under-18 World Cup in Filindostan.

Abanhfleft national under-21 team manager Owen Bevan: "Yes, it was a tough game, but we finally did it. We finally won against Pasarga. And I have to say that it was a pretty good game overall. I doubt anyone from both sides will find anything wrong that happened in this game. At the very least we didn't have to go to penalties!"

On Mercedini, their next opponent in the semifinals: "They're a great team, a very great team. This is a team that can do wonders. We know what they are capable of, but we also know what we are capable of. I am sure that both teams are raring to go at it already. They have their game plan and we have ours. I am sure that both teams will execute their game plans, but who executes it better? I guess we'll find out in the semifinal."

      ABANHFLEFT 3 - 2 PASARGA
McGINNIS (44') HORVAT (12')
ROOS (67') MAKAI (85')
MAGOMEDOVA (72')

PASARGA
GK: 1 Lo Duca
RB: 2 Topić
RCB: 3 Meier
LCB: 4 Novaković
LB: 5 Szöllôsy
RM: 6 E. Földessy (Müller - 74')
RCM: 7 S. Földessy
LCM: 8 Gölöncsér
LM: 9 Gersten
RS: 10 Horvat (Szôllôssi - 62')
LS: 11 Makai (Acuna - 89')
ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Cardew
RB: 2 Baum
RCB: 4 Khaled
LCB: 5 Shepley
LB: 16 Kaba
RM: 6 Kleist (Frigo - 74')
LM: 8 Segovia
RW: 7 Magomedova (Rusev - 82')
CAM: 10 Pratt
LW: 11 Roos
ST: 9 McGinnis (Bakayoko - 90')

MATCH STATISTICS
Possession

Abanhfleft: 50%
Pasarga: 50%
Shots
Abanhfleft: 9 (5 on target)
Pasarga: 12 (6 on target)
Corners
Abanhfleft: 4
Pasarga: 5
Fouls
Abanhfleft: 20
Pasarga: 15
The Democratic Republic of Abanhfleft
Leader: President Rako Novoire

Territories and dependencies:
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Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.88
Second place winner in the International Baseball Slam VI
Third place winner in the World Lacrosse Championship XIX
Winner of the Baptism of Iron XVI!
Third place winner in the 33rd Di Bradini Cup!

Third place winner of the International Baseball Slam VIII
Winner of World Lacrosse Championships 22!

I also write stories. Would you like to read my works?

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Valanora
Senator
 
Posts: 3965
Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Democratic Socialists

Postby Valanora » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:50 pm

Once more into the breach

Semifinals
Mapletish 1–1(2–1 AET) Kita-Hinode
Mercedini 1–1(1–1 AET)[8–9 PKs] Abanhfleft

3PPo
Kita-Hinode v Mercedini @ The Hatire Memorial, Capri

Final
Mapletish v Abanhfleft @ The Battleground, Raynor City
Last edited by Valanora on Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mapletish
Minister
 
Posts: 2712
Founded: Feb 26, 2011
Anarchy

Part 5

Postby Mapletish » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:37 am

OOC: Trying my hands on writing short stories, and this is certainly inspired by the American Sniper
Part 1|Part 2| Part 3| Part 4

The Forgotten War - Hazed, Beaten, Whacked

As the new guy in the SOF, you do not have everything going for you and the more senior guys in the team made sure you knew your place. The platoons are very tight knitted and they were not a very welcoming bunch if you are new until you prove tht you belong. That usually doesn't happen until well into the first deployment together, if there was. New guys get the shitty jobs in the team, constantly tested, constantly challenged and you are expected to be on the ball often.

During training exercises, you worked hard but you get your ass kicked all day long. Performing well was expected, not performing however was not. Then when you are done, the platoon will go out and have fun. The new guy of course, will drive and that meant he wouldn't drink and he doubled up as the guy who will serve the mates. The aggression that fueled the force members were immense. Even after training exercises, the teams would go out and fight, which was our kind of fun. We would end up at fight gyms and the next few hours were spent sparring, practising moves and drinking. Mixing and blending the different styles of combat were some of the regular staples in these sessions, be it the stand up game, the clinch or going to the ground.

Why do we fight so much? I probably wouldn't have an answer for that. But, it could be due to our pent up aggression and the training that we are put through. Pent up aggression from a broken childhood, growing up in a broken family, a deteriorating neighbourhood, etc. Many of the guys that end up in the SOF are not exactly the best in the things that they do, they are used to adversity and starting from zero and that is probably why they end up in the SOF and form tight knitted relationships with the buddies who had gone through similar experiences as them. We are trained to killed and for that, we will probably be ready to kill at any time, fighting reignites that instinct and probably that is why we fight a lot.

Unlike what others might think, we keep to ourselves when we enter the bar. We aren't there to find trouble and we certainly aren't there to fight. However, you'll always have someone who will poke a shoulder into you or otherwise think that they own the place and that you should fuck off. It happens and for the most part we ignore them until they get physical. A simple turn and knock, you are out, that is what we do to people like that.

We do end up in a lot of fights, but we usually don't start many or even start any at all. Although we dont cower down when we do enter bars, we walked in confidently but we laid low. And most fights happen when people or I should say dumb asses think they have got something to prove and they challenge us for a fight. Usually, such requests are turned down but there are others who would taunted us and start getting physical. Other times, girls gravitate towards us and maybe that makes their boyfriends jealous. And fights happen that way too. 100% of the time, these asses don't get any bragging rights or any of that sort as they would end up begging for their suffering to stop. For that I have been arrested on many occasions but the charges were either never filed or are quickly dismissed.

The best of what I can remember are the hazing, not exactly the bar fights that we are frequent visitors to. And that was during my wedding. We were in the mountains and our accommodation overlooked a large frozen lake. It was snowing and one would not want to end up outside without their coat, but not for me. Chief got everyone in the mission planning room and we were mapping out and planning for the next day's operation then they turned to me.

"Hey, new guy, go get some beer."

I hopped on to get the beer and everyone was sitting in a circle. There was only one chair left and that was the one in the middle. I didn't think too much as I sat down.

"All right, since Viktor has been in the team for awhile, we haven't given him a good welcome party," the chief began.

"Oh shit," I thought to myself, it is not something to be happy about as I turned towards Chief, he grinned back to me.

"For every question, we asked, you have got to answer honestly and drink a shot of Jack Daniels and Coke."

I nodded, what else could I say.

The questions started pouring in.

"You wanted to be a sniper. On what merit?"

"It has always been my dream. I'm a marksman and I am a weapon specialist. 30 shots anywhere and I will get those 30 shots in," I answered with conviction.

"Impressive," the room roared and everyone clapped.

"Are you grateful to be with us?"

That was obviously a trap and however you answer it, you are going to get yourself wrecked anyway. Of course, I was honest.

"I'm grateful working with you all."

"That was a lie. This new guy is ungrateful. Listen to that insincerity in his voice."

I tried to protest but of course, it didn't help.

With all the questions that were piling in, I was pretty wasted. At some point, they stripped me down and I was carried out to the frozen lake. They made sure to drill some holes in the frozen lake and hung me onto a board as my entire body was submerged in the water. They left my head above the water so that I could breathe. They left me out for a while until regained some amount of consciousness. They were nice enough to give me an IV - which helped to cut cut down the alcohol in your system. Eventually, I got carried back to the accommodation still tied to the board. It must have gotten the attention of a few spectators as the mates were yelling, "Nothing to see here!" as they carried me in.

The very next day was my wedding with Dana and of course it was not every bride's dream to have a spray painted and beat up groom but she seemed happy enough to see back in one piece. I have got stitches in my eyebrow, cuts on my upper and lower lip and a bruised rib. The amount of time we had for our honeymoon, though, remained a sore point. Three days, that was all I got. Although I was appreciative of the brief leave, my wife wasn't quite as understanding and she made that clear. Nonetheless, we married and honeymooned quickly and I got to work soon enough.

"Get your ass up VIktor, we have got a ship."

I got myself up from the side of the raft where I have been catching some sleep with the cold wind that kept howling on our backs and the choppy waters that would made any inexperienced sailor vomit. Despite that fact, an essential skill that most of the SOF guys possessed would be sleeping all sorts of conditions, although unheralded, it was a critical skill. Almost unfazed by the waters, I had gotten myself pretty comfortable on the side of the raft, and it was only my first deployment.

A tanker was ahead of us and a helicopter had spotted it, sneaking down the Gulf after loading up in Somalia. Our job was to get onboard, inspect her papers, and if we suspect anything suspicious and violating any UN sanctions, turn her over to the authorities for processing.

We gathered speed on our raft and we boarded the tanker. We have got a portable ladder that we would use to board ships. Once I angled the hook to the ship's rail, and ensured that it was hooked, someone would get the bottom of the ladder and we will all begin boarding the ship. It was a swift action having practised it many times over, not from a raft but from the waters, a task that was more daunting because the ladder gets heavier as it it leaves the water and you would need to have full control over it if not the ladder would not hook properly.

We reached the deck of the tanker and made our way to the bridge of the ship. We moved swiftly and one of the crew members realised what was happening and he tried to lock it but he was neither fast or strong enough, one of the force members bashed the door opened as he forced his way through.

We ran through, gun ready, ready to engage.

We'd done quite a number of these operations and rarely had anyone resisted. The captain on board this ship however decided that he will attack us, probably not the wisest of decisions. He made a run at me.

His biggest mistake.

I took the muzzle of my gun and knock him right at the chest and before he went down, I elbowed him right in the face, it was forceful enough to take him out. I rolled him over and cuffed him. We did a sweeping search of the tanker and they were smuggling weapons out of Somalia for the Revolutionists, what else could we have expected. Crates of weapons hidden in the bags of wheat that they were transporting. Probably moving them to the Middle East where the other divisions of their group are at.

Over the months of my deployment, we worked a lot on taking down illegal smuggling attempts by the Revolutionists. It has never come to surprise me how well connected their network was and the amount of smuggling that they were doing which allowed them to be so heavily armed and they themselves are a mini army on their own.

Generally, we worked off a big ship, which we used as a base for our operations and a parking lot for our rafts or rubber dinghy. Half of the platoon will go out for their mission during a 24 hour period and we would sail off to a designated location and with luck, we will be spot on with intel that there was a ship or boat hanging around and we will board it and take them down. Taking them down were rather routine and we would take down a dozen in one night. Our biggest take down also happened to be in the Gulf that we were operating on.

We were to board a ship which was rumoured to be carrying missile launchers and a whole lot of other parts of missiles. We were tasked for this mission which was our bread and butter. We were to board HES Endurance via a pick up helicopter before continuing our mission on raft to take the ship down. That was the mission right there and it was simple as that, as our Chief would have planned it anyway. We began practising drills at the side of HES Endurance on boarding via our rafts, making every effort to make it swift and quiet.

We were mindful in this approach because there were a lot that could be going behind the scenes onboard the ship. You could have the crew members getting ride of incriminating paperwork and other evidence should we go in loud and from the choppers, which would have removed the element of surprise. Going in, securing the ship and uncovering the missiles and the missiles launchers that they are rumoured to be carrying , that was the main mission.

Finding missiles would be easy, said no one from the team that boarded this very ship. It could not be found anywhere, nowhere to be seen. The ship was full of bags of cement, those 35kg bags, many of them, probably hundred thousands of them onboard.

The thought struck us that it could have been below those bags of cement. There we go, we started moving the cement, bag after bag, no sleep continuous movement of the bags, we were covered with dusts and finally after thousands of bags of cement, we found containers right underneath all of those cement. There we go, we are talking now. We got our saws and torchlight ready as this could be a great find. Out came the saws and we found 30 missiles and parts to 3 missile launchers. Who knew what damage this could have done to us if this ship wasn't boarded.

We got the bomb disposal guys over and made sure they were inert and that we would go on to hand over the ship to the authorities while we went back to Endurance to await our next mission call. We stayed on board for the next two weeks where we rested, trained, waited and slept. We played video games onboard too and we had the FIFA video game on board. Without shame, I became pretty good at it, having practised it over and over. Dana likes to lament how I stay glue to the tv and I'm off duty instead of her.

That December was the first Christmas I spent outside of home, it certainly felt a little depressing. Christmas came and it wasn't exactly that memorable as I was pumping iron away with some of the other guys in the Grekson Base, right in Somalia. We got presents from home so that was a plus, little toy Humvees, how cute, we would play them around the base and they would make good recon vehicles, I thought to myself for the most part. Grekson Base wasn't exactly a very modern place, it was run down. In fact, when we reached we had to build up the fortifications, the watchtowers, get the lights set up and the main offices furnished properly. Our bunk was furnished from whatever was left from the building materials.

I swear if we were attacked any time from that moment, we could have been wiped out, we were completely opened from every direction before the base was fortified. That was how bad it was. I saw my first duststorm too right in the Grekson Base. Sand swirled everywhere and from then on I acquainted myself to the multipurpose sunglasses with googles even though it was an accessory that I hardly liked. The amount of sand that was in the air was terrifying to watch let alone imagine, and you would probably not want to get them in your eyes, because once they do, they never come out.

A 60 gunner, that was what I was carrying as the new guy. M-60 was a general purpose machine gun that was carried by many of the new guys in the teams. It can be mounted anywhere and was a workhorse but the barrel can get really hot and overheated after a few hundred rounds of constant firing, which was not the most convenient in combat. The Navy have it modified to suit us a little better and the barrel was shortened and it was a little lighter, and attached with a scope. I carried it out on our patrols.

An all out conflict was about to happen as everyone was anticipating with the "Boots on the Ground" approach adopted by the Maplish government in Somalia, following the Revolutionists attack on the Maplish embassy in Mogadishu, it was an act of conflict, that the government have not took too well to. Diplomatic solutions for a terrorist organisation hardly worked and the Maplish government skipped past that altogether. We intensified our patrols around the areas in the Revolutionists stronghold, knowing full well that it was their territory and those were places that the Somalian government didn't even bother sending men down. But we did. Our main purpose was to intimidate. Our patrol vehicle was a work of art, modified to carry additional weight, it was a sturdy desert jeep with additional armour, a powerful engine and it was a mean machine. We carried with us combat essentials, such as extra petrol, food and water which will allow us to survive in the desert. Four men men the vehicle, four fully equipped men, a driver, navigator, a gunner and a free man. A four wheel drive vehicle and capable of many different terrains and even in the soft desert sand, it performed well.

We took special care of our vehicle since it was our lifeline. Since we are keen multi-expertise guys, we learnt the vehicle quickly and we are able to fix every little thing that the vehicle might have gotten into trouble with and they ended up working really well. We practised a lot with the vehicle and brought it around through our many patrols and the many simulated attacks that we were put to test on. The vehicle never failed on us, not never but I would say rarely. As the gunner in the four men crew, I had a hell of a good time as I manned the gun and drifted through the desert win. But I worried a lot of the constant dangers that I faced head on, enemy snipers who would blow my head off at every turn of the corner. It was fun nonetheless.

In the build up to conflict, the Revolutionists were not mincing their words as they announced that they will take out every Maplish and push them back to the Maplish state. They would use whatever means they have and they will see to the very destruction of the state. Pretty ambitious I thought. However, that fueled my desire to fight, I have also wanted to defend my country and that was exactly the moment that called for it. It was my duty and my job. I wanted, more than anything else, to experience the thrill of conflict.

Things back home weren't as they seem.

Dana
The entire buildup to war got me worried all the time. I know they were working through a lot of background work to prepare for this conflict even if it hadn't started yet. The news was deafening to the ears, the Revolutionists with their threats again, became a daily occurrence. I knew with Viktor in the SOF, there were many risks involved. I was scared to get a phone call one day, with the news that Viktor is dead. That crowded my mind the entire time. Viktor, however, tried to play things down so I wouldn't worry. I wasn't oblivious to everything and I was indeed worried. I was jumpy and I couldn't sleep at all with all the thoughts that were running through my mind.

He called every night when he was on deployment to assure me that he was fine, but that didn't stop me from worrying. One night, just one night, he would not be able to call back again and that was it, I would have lost him.

"I would like to tell you that everything is alright over here, dear. Just got through the usual training and patrol and everything was good. Not to worry," he would assure me.

One day, I got hold of the news that a helicopter carrying a group of soldiers had gone down and it was reported that everyone had died. Immediately, I jumped to conclusions. He didn't call back that night even though he had promised to call. I told myself not to panic, it wasn't him. I poured myself into my work. That night, there was still no call. I was starting to worry. Then around time for me to sleep, the phone rang. It was him. I was relieved, as tear choked me up.

I asked him about the helicopter incident and it was revealed that the helicopter went down but no one was killed. They all escaped it unscathed. The news was mis-reported. I continued sobbing after finding out the truth.

"It will be alright down here! Don't worry!" Viktor assured me.

From then on, I stopped watching the news and I would wait for his call instead.

Geared Up

Operation Wipeout, it was my war and it finally came. I was sweating, my heart beating and not knowing what was in store for us. We were dressed up in chemical protection suits and with the gas masks we looked like people out of a bio-apocalypse, the only survivors left. We were tasked to wipe out a weapons storage facility. Intel has it that there are chemical weapons stored in there too, thus the need for the chemical suits. We were inserted through choppers.

"Engaging," the radio screeched.

I checked my gun and adjusted my visor, the sun was right in my face. All I had to do was to pull the trigger and take out targets. The Revolutionists were anticipating us as their watch towers pointed their search lights towards us. Rockets started flying towards our direction and gun shots could be heard.

We could get shot down any moment with that amount of resistance. I pointed my gun towards the target and fired a stream of bullets towards it while pointing my laser beam towards the men on the ground. It was exhilarating, as the desert wind blew straight in your face and the chopper kept moving forward.

Somehow, the men on the ground missed us. I do not know whether it was sheer luck or they were just shitty marksmen.

"Stop engaging, stand by,"

We were now overland and twelve of us were tasked to take out the weapons storage facility. Together with the vehicles that we were in, we were dropped into the enemy territory. The vehicle teams checked in with each other over radio and were in formation towards the storage facility. With the sand kicking up right onto the vehicles, it was evident that we were on our way and fast. The enemy knew that and they were prepared for our arrival. Having set up defences outside of the perimeter they knew we were coming, not at them but behind them.

They started firing at us from their positions. We of course, returned fire. There were so many of them and they were all around the front of the facility. Our job was to destroy the storage and get out, but there were so many of them, we called air support.

Air support came within minutes and gunned the rest of them down, with maximum fire power. Zeroed in, zeroed out. Job completed. We went over to destroy the weapons storage facility, turns out there were no chemical weapons in them, just conventional weapons and bullets and all that sort of stuff. Military intel, what an oxymoron.

After blowing the storage up, we were on our vehicles and were driving around the perimeter of the facility, taking a look at what this entire thing was all about. As the flames continued to engulfed the compound we continued driving around and there were of course many dead bodies lying around. Blood spilled everywhere. We took a look at some of the weapons that they have, damn these terrorists are quite well equipped, I thought to myself. They even had anti aircraft guns, although it was destroyed, it also caught me by surprise. What if they took us down with that, we could have been the ones dead.

With our job done, we got out from there quick. We would be needed in our next mission anytime soon, and as the drivers drove the vehicles, the rest of the crew took the time to get a shut eye. I wasn't fond of the killing of course, but I figured it was necessary to defend my country. That thought bugged me a little but I had a mission here.
The Minuscule Nation Mapletish
Pop. 65,000,000 | Capital: Struggait City| Demonym: Maplish/Mapletian| Trigramme: MAP
First - WLC 24, DBC 43 Second - WCoH 22, RUWC 23, CR 24 Third- BoF 44, HWC 11, WCoH 20, WCoH 21, DBC 49 Fourth - U15WC9, RLWC12
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Abanhfleft
Minister
 
Posts: 2643
Founded: May 26, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Abanhfleft » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:40 am

CRESCENT NEWS NETWORK
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ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

DI BRADINI CUP 43: MERCEDINI VS ABANHFLEFT

By Malik Qazizadah

Image
The Abanhfleft national under-21 team celebrates their victory on penalties against Mercedini in the semifinals of the 43rd Di Bradini Cup. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

MAR SARA, VALANORA - Abanhfleft are through to their first ever Di Bradini Cup final after defeating Mercedini on penalties in the second semifinal of the 43rd edition of the DBC, and the Young Revolutionaries are going to meet another up-and-coming nation in the youth football scene in Mapletish.

Mercedini and Abanhfleft have a short but storied history of football together, with their first meeting being in the 3rd Under-18 World Cup in Osarius where Abanhfleft came out the victors after a nine-goal thriller which saw the Young Revolutionaries triumphant over the Golden Eaglets 5-4 after extra time.

Their next meeting would be in the next edition of the U18WC when it was the Golden Eaglets who came out triumphant 3-1 in the quarterfinals that time. After that, Abanhfleft and Mercedini's senior teams met for the first time in the World Cup 79 qualifiers, where the Revolutionaries won 4-3 at Mercedini's home ground before drawing 2-2 at the May 26 Memorial Stadium to nevertheless secure the Fleftics a spot in the World Cup Finals.

Mercedini and Abanhfleft would meet once again in youth football, this time in the infamous 42nd edition of the Di Bradini Cup where an uncharacteristically poor Golden Eaglets side were demolished and swept aside 4-0 by the Young Revolutionaries on their way to that controversial loss on penalties against eventual champions Pasarga. Both teams were drawn into the same group once again for the 6th Under-18 World Cup where it was the Golden Eaglets' turn to humiliate the Young Young Revolutionaries with the latter's first ever elimination in the group stage in an Under-18 World Cup.

A few of the players of that Fleftic team that were unceremoniously dumped out of the group stage by Mercedini were eventually called up to the under-21 squad for the Di Bradini Cup, among them Karamoko Bakayoko, Dario Frigo, and Wilton Kaba, and all of them were surely raring for the chance to get revenge upon the Golden Eaglets in the semifinals.

The game didn't start off that way as both teams were once again hesitant to commit to the attack in the opening minutes, preferring to pass it around in their half and only moving forward into the opposition area when every other player except the goalkeeper was also in the other half.

But play finally opened up after Misha Spartoni, who plays his club football with Abanhfleft's Rosenpfelblatz North End, was able to keep the ball out of sight of Guildenstern Cardew until it was too late for him to react and both Spartoni and the ball had sneaked their way into his near post.

Trailing 1-0 against an opponent which had dealt its fair share of heartache to both the senior and youth teams of Abanhfleft, this current crop was once again in a situation where the Golden Eaglets were in a position to deny them a chance at winning a trophy yet again, and they were determined not to let that happen once again.

The Fleftics pushed for an equalizer for the rest of the first half, with only a stiff defensive showing from the Mercedinians preventing the Young Revolutionaries from breaking through in the first 45 minutes. It would actually take a little helping of luck for the Fleftics to find the breakthrough against the Eaglets, with Claudia Roos' attempt on goal taking a touch off of the back of Jordan Brindliev to take it past Edgar Farsal-Smith for the Fleftic equalizer.

Both teams had a chance to win it in the last ten minutes of normal time, with both substitutes Karamoko Bakayoko for Abanhfleft and Christian Vacek Jr. for Mercedini coming very close only to see their shots saved by the opposing goalkeeper. It was pretty much the same story for the entirety of extra time, with both Bakayoko and Vacek Jr. making themselves nuisances to their opposition, but both teams stood firm on their way to a penalty shootout.

Guildenstern Cardew thought that he had handed Abanhfleft the victory when he saved Mercedini's first penalty from Misha Spartoni, whom Cardew had faced a fair few times before in the Fleftic Premier League. But when Fleftic captain Claudia Roos sent her penalty into the stands, nervousness and anxiety began to creep into the back of the minds of both the Fleftic fans and the players. The shootout went into sudden death after both Sohaila Magomedova and Christian Armani converted their respective spot kicks, and Fleftic hearts leaped into their throats after Cecily Segovia smashed her penalty straight into the chest of Edgar Farsal-Smith, but Miles Taezhong fluffed his lines as well and failed to make himself Mercedini's hero after he sent his penalty just wide of the left post.

Guildenstern Cardew took the eleventh penalty kick for Abanhfleft and slotted it past Farsal-Smith even as the Busembe Timberwolves custodian managed to get a touch on the ball with his shin before Jordan Brindliev cemented his status as Mercedini's own villain after he blasted his spot kick so far over the crossbar that it was actually closer to the camera behind the goal than the woodwork itself, and the young defender from Myrmidon cut a desolate and isolated figure while behind him, Cardew and the rest of Abanhfleft's Young Revolutionaries celebrated their progression to the Di Bradini Cup Final for the first time since Abanhfleft's initial participation in the competition.

Abanhfleft national under-21 team manager Owen Bevan: "It was a heart-breaker. It was absolutely heartstopping. I don't think my heart is actually beating right now. Nerves were most definitely frayed, and fingernails have been chewed right off. But it doesn't matter know. We are in the Di Bradini Cup Final! This is why we play football. Imagine if we had decided to boycott this edition like what Heinrich [Wurzmann] had said we should have done. We wouldn't be in this position right now. It just shows that hard work and perseverance is still the most important qualities to have in football."

On Mapletish, their next opponent: "They are a great team. Every team has to be a great team if they made it as far as the final after going up against the likes of Equestrian States and Kita-Hinode. But we won't let that affect our thinking. We will still play the way we've always played in this tournament: expansive and attacking. God willing, we're going to come home with the Simeone Di Bradini Trophy but personally, no matter the result, I will be satisfied as long as the team puts in their best effort on the pitch."

Image
ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Cardew
RB: 2 Baum (Walker - 114')
RCB: 4 Khaled
LCB: 5 Shepley
LB: 16 Kaba
RM: 6 Kleist (Frigo - 82')
LM: 8 Segovia
RW: 7 Magomedova
CAM: 10 Pratt (Bakayoko - 75')
LW: 11 Roos
ST: 9 McGinnis
MERCEDINI
GK: 1 Farsal-Smith
RB: 2 Di Sansev
RCB: 3 Brindliev
LCB: 5 Magdanovich (Gustanetti - 72')
LB: 4 Kavlan
RM: 7 Nilevian (Armani - 93')
RCM: 6 Badanyik (Alcides - 54')
LCM: 8 Markus
LM: 10 Taezhong
RS: 11 Graszeszak (Vacek Jr. - 80')
LS: 9 Spartoni

MATCH STATISTICS
Possession

Mercedini: 52%
Abanhfleft: 48%
Shots
Mercedini: 18 (10 on target)
Abanhfleft: 19 (8 on target)
Corners
Mercedini: 7
Abanhfleft: 9
Fouls
Mercedini: 16
Abanhfleft: 22
The Democratic Republic of Abanhfleft
Leader: President Rako Novoire

Territories and dependencies:
Trans-Dniesters (Client state)
Oontaz Dert Li Ng
Copper Cuprum
Trendstart
Economic Left/Right: -1.72
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.88
Second place winner in the International Baseball Slam VI
Third place winner in the World Lacrosse Championship XIX
Winner of the Baptism of Iron XVI!
Third place winner in the 33rd Di Bradini Cup!

Third place winner of the International Baseball Slam VIII
Winner of World Lacrosse Championships 22!

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User avatar
Valanora
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Posts: 3965
Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Democratic Socialists

Postby Valanora » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:02 pm

Who is going to put their name down in the history books?

3PPo
Kita-Hinode 3–4 Mercedini

Final
Mapletish 1–0 Abanhfleft

Congratulations to Mapletish and commiserations to Abanhfleft.
Last edited by Valanora on Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65, 72, 83 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXII (1st), WCoH I, XXXI, XL (2nd), WCoH II, XXIX (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
AOCAF 44, 46, 51, & 53 Champions, AOCAF 39 & 43 Runners Up
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