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World Cup 81: Roleplay Thread

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

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Mriin
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 196
Founded: Nov 17, 2016
New York Times Democracy

Postby Mriin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:44 pm

https://clickbutt.mrn/TOP_FIVE_MRII_SPORTS_NEWS_OUTLETS


With so much media getting shoved down our throats 24/7, it can be difficult to pick out the quality stuff from the chaff. With World Cup fever at full pitch, we put in the work for you to find the best sources for both accurate information and entertainment value.

NUMBER FIVE) RMAL RADIO COVERAGE
This is both only on the list and this low on the list because it’s kind of a technicality. Of course the best way to absorb the game is to experience it in real time, that’s a no-brainer, but I wanted to give a special shoutout to the folks at RMAL who go above and beyond in an age where radio isn’t the dominant force it used to be. Calling sports without video aides is an artform, and one that I think is severely underappreciated right now--seriously, give them a listen one of these days and experience how vivid a picture Toum Buurk can paint with just his voice. Also give your poor eyes some rest, if you’re reading this article I bet you’ve spent the better part of the last twelve hours staring at one screen or another.


TOUM BUURK: Welcome, one and all, to that most wonderful time of year--the World Cup has come again!
JII TIAAN: It’s Jii and Toum coming to you from Podvez Field, here in the chilly Free Republic of Vorita.
TOUM: Oh, you only think it’s chilly because you barely leave Mriin.
JII: We’re here for the football, not for you to rub your worldliness in my face!
TOUM: Au contraire, there’s no time that such things matter more than when taking in the sights and sounds of the multiverse’s greatest international competition.
JII: You’re just going to stiff Worldvision like that?
TOUM: Hah, Worldvision. There’s a miniature song competition contained in this Cup, so it’s nothing special.
JII: I don’t think anyone’s taking it all that seriously. I heard some weird Covellan propaganda tune there.
TOUM: Alright, that’s enough beating around the bush. We all know why we’re here, and looking down to the pitch there’s already an intensity just to how the Cosumarites and the Mrii size each other up while stretching.
JII: Seems Solara is calling over to a few of the opposition. Probably jabbing at the ones she’s faced in the Premiership?
TOUM: If she’s trying to get them riled up, I doubt it’s working. Peter Svensson of AFC Treason is wearing stone in the face of her laughter.
JII: You’ve got to imagine the veteran captain isn’t going to get himself distracted that easily.
TOUM: That might be why she’s targeting him, actually. Keeping things in good fun by making sure the jab is delivered to someone who can let things roll off their back.
JII: Can you imagine what would go down if she was talking shit to Ruhl’s face? I’m scared to, honestly.
TOUM: Well, good news for you: a distraction! Svensson has shaken Solara off his tail and met up with the referee and Mrii captain Joren Kreuger, readying for the coin toss.
JII: What do you call on a momentous occasion like this, Toum? Play it safe with heads, or go out on a limb and try your luck for tails?
TOUM: It’s a fucking coin flip, Jii.
JII: A coin flip the northeastern Atlantians have won! We’ll have to see how the Reaver midfield and defense holds up to the early pressure. Or perhaps a quick turnover will let Solara back up her words with kicks!
TOUM: I wouldn’t bet on that. Alexander Pearce runs a tight ship, and these are elite players--they’re not going to serve balls up on a silver platter like we saw throughout qualification.
JII: A salient point, as always. The teams have now taken their positions on the pitch, and the Vanquishers line up aggressively--Vega Zeale-Riddick and Romikk Valgard cut an imposing view...


NUMBER FOUR) MAAL MEMOIRS (SPORTS SECTION)
Mrii newspapers in general have been getting a bit rag-y lately, and even the Memoirs isn’t exempt from that--you’ll likely be embarrassed to be seen buying it with whatever is on the front page. But that doesn’t change the fact that Yon Kegant has done a wonderful job keeping the Sports section operating on a different level to the rest of the paper, both in keeping the grubby clickbait-wannabe marketers from invading his team and keeping the standard of reporting high with his own personal articles when he finds the time to follow the Reavers around. His very down-to-earth, by-the-facts writing style has been fairly called a bit dry by his critics, which does drag this ranking down a bit (alongside the aforementioned embarrassment factor)--but it also gets the job done with unparalleled efficiency, which is something I can greatly respect. Bite the bullet and flick a scale to your local newsie, and you’ll get everything you need to know for a game you couldn’t watch live.


Maal Memoirs
Sports
It wasn’t because of the cuts.

Yon Kegant
Vorita, Free Republics

It’s fair to say I don’t really “get” the hubbub you’ll see in certain prominent footballing nations about cutting the team down to twenty-three players. Of course there’s going to be a cutoff somewhere for when you stop including players on the roster, but that so many seemed to fall on that specific arbitrary number befuddles me. There’s certainly no rule about it--Don Mizzet regularly pencils in twenty-five player rosters and the WCC hasn’t come after him for it yet, and I have to admit I’m a sucker for multiples of five. All that said, it’s a bit silly that people would actually pin a loss on the decision of who’s the twenty-second or -third person “on the plane”, as if that would change the average result of any game. These are all world-class players--if you can’t make something work with all that talent at your disposal, a +-2% edge isn’t going to magically turn things around.

It’s a lesson hard-learned for the Cosumarites--well, maybe it’s unfair to say that, as it’s a lesson they’ve been getting whipped by repeatedly in the past few years. They conjure up images of past nations that produced prolific, successful talent but couldn’t put the pieces together consistently at the national stage--Dainer and Falcus and the like. It’s true that Cosumar is a cut above those two, but their glass ceiling doesn’t rise that much further, and it’s for reasons that get displayed in games like the one Podvez Field. It really cannot be overstated how much more talented on the ball the Vanquishers are on average compared to the Reavers--if the game was just a match of dribbling it’d have been a slaughter in the other direction. But as it was, persistent breakdowns in communication among the Cosumarite midfield caused endless mischief. They came out with a plan Don himself has made liberal use of himself--push hard and early to put the game away before it starts. A great team will often morph into merely a good team when you pin them back right away, and from there it’s just a matter of cleaning up the scraps. It’s a good plan... but you know what they say about the best-laid plans of goats and bunnies.

There was a worrying sign of trouble right off the bat. Svennson’s very first touch of the ball was a standard forward pass shortly after the kickoff, but somehow there was nobody on the end of it. It wouldn’t come back to bite them--Serafino quickly noticed the gaffe and beat everyone else to the open ball, but it was curious moment why that was even necessary at all. What happened mere moments later stunned everyone watching--a standard turnover was followed by Malia just walking past Tidesson. This heavy-hooved, inelegant satyr--who’s had both of those traits reinforced in her A-League time--somehow ended up on the other side of the a young Galactico-winning superstar in the blink of an eye. However that happened, what was obvious is that the Cosumarites weren’t planning on it being that easy. Their formation shuddered as they tried to react, but it was all just a bit too slow… and they committed the cardinal sin of letting Solara run free. One smooth cross later and it was a three-minute lead.

That was only one goal, though, and early in the game--there was still a good seventy-five minutes to go, plenty of time for the Cosumarites to wake up. But it seemed they were set in their ways, attempting to shove the ball directly through the midfield and trying to jam it past the Reavers. Which is an… ambitious plan, trying to muscle your way through a swath of satyrs. When you have technical prodigies like Sibučić who would repeatedly cut up Hilda only to find no space because the rest of her team was clumped in the centre, it feels like something critical had been missed. And even beyond that, there was a continued theme of the Vanquishers being very slow to react--or rather, that they’d only react to what had last beaten them. After the first goal they remembered to precisely mark Solara at all times… only for Reina to strip VZR and just run and run and run. Perhaps Geraard & Uhlon have popularized the idea of the slow, lumbering ‘typical’ Mrii defender, but Reina most certainly has wheels. They certainly started respecting her, but only after they’d been burned as she linked up with Tali’raia just before the half...


NUMBER THREE) AROUNDTHEHORN.MRN
This is a folksy website that feels like it was designed a decade ago (I mean, it probably was). It really started to pick up steam in the past few years as it’s just about the only place that consistently produces coherent, comprehensive coverage of the MNL--including super-terse weekly write-ups for those of you that can’t get away from the office long enough to spare ninety uninterrupted minutes. And then there’s the fact that the blogger behind it cuts an interesting character. Their salt-dripped takes will swing wildly depending on which way the wind is blowing, and it’s fun to watch what random thing sets them off next. It’s fair to say they’re a bit of an unreliable narrator--not quite a crackpot, but if you’re after unbiased reporting this clearly isn’t the place.


aroundthehorn.mrn

HOLY FUCKING SHIT WE DID THE THING.

BY THE SEA WE BEAT A SECOND SEED IN THE WORLD CUP. I can’t believe it. I actually can’t believe it. This has been our white whale for the past three cups and not only did we overcome, we did it with room to spare. The Cosumarite juggernaut, rolling into the World Cup off a historic second half of qualifying, has fallen at the axes of the Reavers. The Vanquishers, Vanquished. A handful of Galacticos skewered on the horns of justice.

I don’t even know what I’m rambling about at this point, I’m just shaking. I was all ready to pull out the stock responses, “oh, we don’t have the ‘veteran presence’, that ‘killer instinct’ that separates the Winners from the Also-Rans.” What Electrum, Pasarga, even damn San Jose Guayabal had over us. But not Cosumar. Or maybe Cosumar had it but now we have it too?

Okay, okay, deep breaths. I don’t know who in their right mind wasn’t watching, especially after we were up two-oh at the half, but here’s a rundown of what I can piece together… the first half was honestly just a blur, but Solara’s second right as play resumed is crystal-clear. Hilda hadn’t done an awful lot other than shove people around to make space, but made herself heard with a booming, arcing pass that caught Solara on the sprint already scything deep into Cosumarite territory. She just had to jink past Svensson--and I swear I saw her blow a raspberry at him as she did--before smashing it past Na’Kefir. I don’t know about you, but I was just about catatonic at this point. Three-oh? Against COSUMAR??? A SECOND SEED IN THE WORLD CUP AND WE WERE WINNING???????

Like, I couldn’t even muster my “we’re still going find a way to screw this up!” because, like, come on. You really have to bollocks something up to throw away a three goal lead, doubly so in the second half alone. We might be chokers but we’re not that bad. And especially because, like… they kinda still just didn’t change anything? The didn’t come on until like 70 minutes! Clearly what you were doing was not working at all, why wait so long? It’s gotta be especially crushing to the Cosumarite fans, because Ruhl and Neptune immediately got shit done and scared us straight, made everyone remember that this was, in fact, a game of football. I don’t begrudge them that consolation goal at all, I’m just so glad there wasn’t another so I’d get a heart attack waiting for the ridiculous equalizer in the ninety-fourth minute.

Whew. Fuck. Let’s not fuck this one up this time, please? Pretty please?


NUMBER TWO) THE POST-MATCH INTERVIEW
Look, we all love Don here. We stuck with him when the internet turned after the Darmen draw last World Cup, the ridiculous five-all match that doomed us to a third straight group-stage exit. Because we know he’s smart, and clever, and funny. And you’d also know those things about him if you watched these interviews! The actual content of them can vary greatly, going from in-depth tactical discussion to sardonic jabs at critics, the press, internet trolls, the other team, our team, himself… anything, really. And we were so glad we got to see him keep doing those interviews all the way through the AOCAF, which probably ensures we’ll keep hearing from him for at least a few more cycles!


Don sighed, suddenly hit with an urge to sleep for three years. But there was no getting around it--even more grating than the probing questions after a hard loss, he’d have to deal with the insufferable expectations that comes with a huge win.

“So, we’re winning the whole tourney now, right?” asked one particularly oblivious reporter.

“What--no, what are you--” the dragon choked back another sigh and gave himself a split-second’s pause to reset--”I’m not going to count out any possibilities, but that’s patently getting ahead of ourselves. We still have a match against the defending champions, there’s absolutely nothing we can take for granted.”

“Do you think the Vanquishers will ever get their shit together?” asked one particularly ribald reporter.

“I want to say it’s a matter of when, and not if,” he gave a deep shrug, “but I’m starting to worry for them. The skill is there, obviously; you could even argue this is a golden generation for them. But they just can’t seem to leverage it when it matters most. To be fair, you could say the same of us, but we’ve only had one player to even get mentioned on the Galacticos long-list. Whether that’s a mark against Cosumar for not working with their gifts or a mark against those sportswriters for not valuing our players properly, only time will tell.”

“Do you think the post-qualifying friendlies with the Equestrians had any effect on the result?” asked one particularly observant reporter.

“I--er, hrm. I hadn’t considered that. It’s true both teams suffered a defeat in the Equestrian States, though I’d not normally chalk anything significant to non-tourney matches. I could see an argument that we were ‘hungrier’ or some such bollocks, as that was a rather unceremonious loss compared their closer 4-3 result. But that’s digging deep for a tenuous connection.”

“Do you think Baker Park’s lack of recognition from AOCI will be a morale hit when they play fellow Atlantian nations like Cosumar and ourselves?” asked one reporter digging deep for a tenuous connection.

“...alright, that’s enough questions for today.”


NUMBER ONE) US!
What were you expecting, c’mon.
Nephara wrote:It's retro as all fuck, and it works like a charm.

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Farfadillis
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1745
Founded: Feb 26, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Farfadillis » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:59 pm

While their home country was about to undergo brutal change, the Farves took the pitch none the wiser. Utter destruction was not in front of them yet; it was merely the Eshan national team. The Farves were the group favorites going into the match, despite being managed by a literal madman. The Farves were simply the better footballers, and sometimes it's hard to get past that when making predictions.

The match promised a lot. Two very offensive-oriented teams with some superstars like Fôrté Wínrôuge and Marco van Ciavatinni, to name the two most notable. Even though many expected la Vherderoja to come out victorious, as they eventually did, few must have been surprised to see them struggle to get the result.

At the beginning of the match, the Echani players showed their cheekiness by outdoing the Farves in terms of Kamikaze-ness. While Tíbürçìó's team did not shy away from offensive plays, the Echani were constantly looking for very aggressive plays, with their fullbacks bombing forward constantly and their midfielders drifting up front in the blink of an eye. The Farf defense was ill-equipped to face that but, to be fair, so was the Echani. It was evident to every spectator that a goal would arrive in less than ten minutes if the Echani team continued like that.

So it wasn't a surprise when Eshan scored the opener in the eighth minute. Montanari pulled off a beautiful backheel towards Baudelio, who dribbled past Bájnok. Once through on goal, the striker tried to dribble past Metz. He succeeded to a degree, but found himself without the space needed to score. He passed back and van Ciavatinni connected a powerful shot that mercilessly pounced on the empty goal. "Another World Cup in which a leaky defense would let the la Vherderoja down" was probably what every single pundit said after the van Ciavatinni goal, and for good reason. Despite the two strikers doing a spotless job, the defense had showed vulnerabilities for the thousandth time.

The all-out approach had come to fruition for Eshan, so they were now comfortable to sit back a bit. Well, not really sit back. They just didn't attack like madmen anymore. It's debatable whether that was a good idea. Looking at the eventual result, one would believe it was not. But one could also argue that with such a hyper-offensive playing style, the Farf attack would've eventually ripped their defense to shreds.

But anyway, onto what happened. La Vherderoja progressively pushed back their opponents more and more as the minutes went by. They managed a few dangerous shots on goal, but Aurélian was clearly on a good day. Eventually, possession was all Farfadillis. At some point, probably around the thirtieth minute, it became clear to everyone that Eshan could only be saved by the bell.

They were almost saved by the bell, but it wasn't meant to be. A silly foul on Wínrôuge close to the box (committed by Bambic) put them in a dangerous position. Wínrôuge himself would take the free kick. Anyone with a shred of knowledge of football would know that Wínrôuge doesn't not shoot on goal from the edge of the box. Half the time, he skies the free kicks he takes. The other half... well, the other half of them are the goalkeeper's job. A tough job at that. This one, in particular? An impossible job. A golazo, as the Farolerans would say. A minute later, half time.

For the second half, rue Cazade replaced Wínrôuge in a... questionable move by the literally crazy Tíbürçìó Çötàvíê. The Szoirsian midfielder may be one of the brightest prospects of Farf football, but he's no Wínrôuge. The Eshan national team, visibly more calm with the result, despite the setback, made no changes to their line-up for the second half.

Five minutes into it and they were already regretting it. A lethal combination between Wçêíl and Êns saw the former enter the box with ample space to maneuver. They got past three defenders with two passes. The defense had seemed leaky in the first half; it was full-on hemorrhaging at that moment. Wçêíl looked up, facing the goalkeeper. He placed his shot well beyond his reach, close to the right post. Farfadillis two, Eshan one.

The goal came as a wake-up call for the Echani, as they returned to their hyper-offensive playstyle. One would think the Farves would not be fooled again, or indeed beaten in their own game. Who know, perhaps if you replayed those minutes ten more times Farfadillis would come out on top nine. But well... Eshan equalized quite quickly.

Roland received a ball from Prudenzio and lunged forward, looking for blood. He dribbled past der Pros and saw Cerelius on a good position. A precise through pass saw him through on goal. A badly-placed shot was nonetheless not stopped by Calogero, and Farfadillis went back to square one.

The following thirty minutes saw a Farf side now fully showing off their quality in an attempt to win the game in much the same way that a lazy high schooler hands in his homework. This is not to say the Echani side was not threatening; far from it. Alas, the Farves came out on top.

In the seventy-ninth minute, a fantastic through pass by Sasca found Oskar Holsteiner, who'd been otherwise invisible throughout the match. The striker doesn't forgive mistakes, and Eshan had made a mistake not to mark him heavily on that play. However, he punished them in a very unusual way (for him). Instead of unleashing a precise, potent shot, he turned around, looked up and saw his teammate Êns rushing into the box. With a precise pass, he relegated the task of goalscoring to Xíxì. With the jobs now reversed, Xíxì, the usual playmaker, fired off a missile off his left foot. Aurélian barely even saw it.

The rest of the match boiled down to whether Eshan could outdo Farfadillis at their own game a third time with their hyper-offense. They could not. Holsteiner actually came agonizingly close to scoring just five minutes later, in fact, while the Echani were held at bay with surprising efficiency by the Farf defense, which was showing competence for once. Farfadillis won three to two.

Meanwhile, two to three Farf states were undergoing societal collapse.
The Outlandish Lands of Farfadillis Ӿ Population: 29,814,000 ± 21,186,000
Capital: Ferdullaele Ӿ Demonym: Farf, plural Farves (Yes, really)
ffffofficial.com.fa Ӿ FFL Results by Season Ӿ How to get any WA Category Ӿ IIwiki Article

Champions: DBC 30, AOCAF Cups 43, 48 and 57
Hosts: AOCAF Cup 38, Baptisms of Fire 54 and 68
For: Good things Ӿ Against: Bad things

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Turori
Diplomat
 
Posts: 517
Founded: Apr 03, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Turori » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:43 pm

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Turori Defeat Mercedini top open Tournament... again


Star Field, Herzegovina City, Moravica, Banija :: The Turori National Team arrived in Herzegovina City ready to kick off their World Cup 81 against a mildly familiar foe: Mercedini. It would be the fifth match of the cycle that Mercedini would have contested against a team from the Vilitan Cove though only the second of which against the Turori National Team.

It is believed that the first ever match between Turori and Mercedini took place during the 67th Cup of Harmony in Red Blackiland. Just like in the Cup of Champions and now in the World Cup 81 Finals, Turori and Mercedini met on the opening matchday of the tournament, the 67th Cup of Harmony in Red Blackiland and Super Llamaland. The game itself kicked off during the middle of the World Grand Prix Championship round at the Vilitan Mountain Challenge Course in Rockii Coast, Vilita where Turorian driver iBen Toralmintii was at the peak of his career and competing for the World Grand Prix drivers Championship. As a result, the viewing audience for Turori's opening match in the second chance Cup of Harmony competition was lacklustre at best, at least in the Island Emirate.

It was perhaps disappointing for the fans as Toralmintii ended up losing ground in his drivers championship battle with a fifth place finish in the Vilitan Grand Prix but the Turori National Team opened with a fantastic start thanks to an Inamara Altariiz sandwich of goals either side of Enluta Makakio's 32nd minute tally while G.Q. Disterfred II kept a clean sheet allowing Turori to come away with the 3-0 victory to set the tone for their 67th Cup of Harmony campaign. They would use the momentum to kick off a fantastic campaign, a 2-0 victory over Garifunya and a 3-1 victory over Fluvique at the Red Glorious Stadium finished off the group stage for Turori as they advanced along with Mercedini to the knockout rounds.

While Mercedini would be dismissed quickly in the Round of 16 by Flardania, the Turori Eels marched on with victories over Sameba, Flardania and Anglatia to advance to the Cup of Harmony Final against the Fog Thing of Antiquity from the Holy Empire right back at the Red Glorious Stadium that started it all. The Eels would win the match 2-0 and with it the 67th Cup of Harmony title - which all started with the momentum they put together on the opening matchday against Mercedini. Now, as Turori have won multiple Cup of Harmony titles but never advanced even a single time beyond the Quarter Final stage of the World Cup Finals, the Eels and their fans are hoping that the key to success in finally progressing to the final four of the World Cup is just the momentum gained by both playing and defeating Mercedini to start off their run.

The Citizen Squad arrived in Herzegovina City, the oldest such city in Banija and the religious and educational center of the country home to the Northern Moravica university of College Gridiron fame, via train as flights into the city were not offered by the organizing committee. Star Field, home to Herzegovina City FC, was the venue for the first match but the Turorian squad arrived a few days early and set up shop at the Northern Moravica University using some of their fields as a training ground to prepare for the match.

When they first arrived at Star Field on matchday they proceeded straight to the locker rooms and were unaware of the many upgrades the stadium had undergone since the Turorian and Banijan national teams fought for supremacy during the qualification stage of World Cup 80. As the teams converged in the tunnel and headed out onto the field, however, it quickly became apparent the upgrades that had taken place namely the modernization done by Vilitan companies Lighthouse Lightworx and Arcticala Electrical providing new sustaining energy sources to the stadium allowing a neutral draw effect addition of a number of large screens to provide replays and match facts to the fans in attendance at the stadium.

As the two teams walked down the tunnel there was just one player who remembered fondly playing against Mercedini in the past - Inamara Altariiz. It was a much younger Altaraiiz that had started things off against Mercedini during the 67th Cup of Harmony and now it was Altariiz once again leading the Eels out of the tunnel to play the Golden Eagles. Only goalkeeper Wiyauw An'maude was present during the Cup of Champions when the Turori National Team defeated Mercedini to open that competition as it was primarily Turori's National Cocoabo squad that had travelled to the Free Republics for the World Cup warm up competition.

The rest of the players, surprisingly, would be otherwise unfamiliar with the Golden Eagles though there would certainly have been plenty of tape available to review going into the match considering how often the Mercedini National Team had faced off with either Vilita or Turori in recent history. It was Turori's National Cocoabo Squad that had just played Mercedini in the Cup of Champions while the Citizen Squad - minus goalkeeper Wiyauw An'maude, were back in Eelandii going through team building activities in the build up to the World Cup Finals.

Once the match got under way, however, there were still some familiar straws to grab at. Just as they had done during the opening match of the 67th Cup of Harmony, Inamari Altariiz opened the scoring this time with an 11th minute effort that rang off the inside of the post before crossing the line and finding the back of the net. Turori's National Citizen Squad was on a 9-match winning streak and looking likely to extend that streak to ten games as Mirana Gotuai doubled the Eels advantage in the 29th minute after a shot from Indelli Nura'amura was blocked. The ball rolled at an angle off the defenders thigh and straight into the path of Koshiki who was charging in from the wing. The forward blasted the ball along the ground on the short side and Martin Hovek who had been left wrong-footed by the deflection was unable to get back in time to prevent Turori taking a 2-0 advantage.

Mercedini would fight back, however, pulling within one before the break on a corner kick that was delivered by Electrum based Somer City and Surrounds midfielder Ross Presic who would connect with Langtree United's Callum Aznelik for the 2-1 tally.
Group B
Group B Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Turori 1 1 0 0 4 2 +2 3
2 Nephara 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3

3 Mercedini 1 0 0 1 2 4 −2 0
4 Nova Anglicana 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 0
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After the break, the Golden Eagles maintained the momentum that they had had going into the half time interval and were ultimately able to level the scores at two-a-piece from the penalty spot when Dmitri Levada was adjuged to have taken down Ben Chillotov just on the edge of the penalty area. Golden Eagles manager Elidyr Lyndainium was quite thrilled with the call and the switch in momentum as the defending Cup of Harmony champions could sense their way back into the match.

Perhaps their eyes grew larger than their talent on the day, however, as after levelling from the penalty spot Mercedini appeared to sit back and settle for the point against the very team they would likely need to defeat in order to contest for the second Group B slot in the knockout rounds. As the attacking pressure from the Golden Eagles waned, Turori began to press forward and would re-take the lead shortly after the hour mark through Sunrise born winger Saito Koshiki. The angle of Koshiki's attack was similar in nature to Turori's second goal approximately 30 minutes of play earlier from Mirana Gotuai.

The Golden Eagles tried to fight back but Turori's National Citizen Squad would hang on for the three points, even adding a final insurance goal in the 88th minute from Kentu Umak'a ending any hopes of a Mercedini comeback and giving the Turori National Team one foot into the knockout round if they could just hold true to form over the final two matches of the group stage.


Turori [4] - [2] Mercedini

:: Turori Goalscorers ::
:: 11' Inamari Altariiz
:: 29' Mirana Gotuai
:: 61' Saito Koshiki
:: 88' Kentu Umaka'a
:: Turori Statistics ::
:: Possession: 56%
:: Shots on Target: 8
:: Corner Kicks: 5
:: Mercedini Statistics ::
:: Possession: 44%
:: Shots on Target: 5
:: Corner Kicks: 10



'Turori Eels Lineup v. Mercedini ::
[GK] Wiyauw An'maude, [D.] Tarek Edgeli, [D.] Mikki Mayelli, [D.] Geafi Laina-Sola, [D.] Dmitri Levada, [ML] Saito Koshiki, [MC] Indelli Nura'amura, [MC] Daliora Toru'u, [MR] Kiidallen Aeroluzzi, [FC] Mirana Gotuai, [FC] Inamari Altariiz
BENCH::
[FC] Meldi'ita Mungwaii, [FC] Wiztsana Iretziia, [M] Teliima Loinara, [M] Kentu Umaka'a, [U ] Nua'oma Aikiki, [D] Lulu Pumaziiri, [GK] G.Q Disterfred II





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Last edited by Turori on Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Ethane
Minister
 
Posts: 2331
Founded: Sep 26, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ethane » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:15 pm

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All Eyes To Farfadillis as Red Kites Win First Match
by Declan Fleece

The Red Kites are getting ready to face their toughest challenge in the World Cup so far as they face off against Farfadillis.

Ethane have had a fairly easy ride to the World cup, breezing through their qualifying group, almost recording a perfect record which they held on for longer than any other team in qualifying. This isn't some lucky twist for the team or anything like that, although they did have a relatively easy group and do seem to have a knack for qualifying to the world cup, but is the product of hard work by the manager and the players. That's how they've found themselves in the world cup yet again, despite some of their performances during qualifiers not being the most convincing.

And now, after putting away Sargossa in a 7-goal thriller, the Red Kites look to Farfadillis as their early ticket to the world cup: a win against the world number 2 team would almost guarantee progression to the round of 16, with the only way out through Eshan beating Sargossa and then also beating Ethane in the final match - looking at the form the Red Kites seem to find themselves in at the moment, particularly offensively, this seems like a rather unlikely scenario.

With Farfadillis an all-out attacking team - a philosophy not too dissimilar from the newer Ethanian philosophy under Comi - this should be (in all hopes) a very open and exciting game to watch, with both teams likely to threaten and provide a serious goal threat. The defensive side of these teams will find themselves under a lot of pressure, and who wins will be determined by who can keep the coolest under the intense pressure of a fluid attacking move while under the biggest spotlight in the world - that of the World Cup.

Comi is going to have to make sure his players are fit and on the top of their game, as all players will need to be alert and awake because any mistake will be pounced upon by the opposition. He's probably going to stick to his guns in regards to team tactics and formation, putting trust in his players and his style of play, that they will be enough to get the team over the line at the end of the day.

We fully expect a few changes from the Sargossa game with a few players not really putting the shift in that the manager would have wanted them to do at such a crucial point in the tournament, and with Comi known for being rather brutal in cutting people from the team - a bad performance and you're out - it would be no surprise to see a few slightly different faces in the team. But the team did play as a whole rather well in their first world cup 81 match, and Comi doesn't usually like to upset the group dynamic within the team so will probably keep his tinkering to a minimum considering the team did end up victorious in their game against Sargossa, even if at times it seemed like they were going to really struggle to hold on to their lead.

Defence

The defence performed rather poorly against Sargossa. Throughout the match they looked vulnerable against a team lower-ranked than them, looking exposed against the front free of Sargossa - Mari, Mayoral, and Carceres - who were able to on many an occasion tear open wide holes in the defensive backline, leading to some clear chances on goals which shouldn't have been possible if the defensive effort was more on point. They really buckled under the pressure when it came to the push and shove. Ethane won their game, not because of the performance of the players holding the fort, but because of the strikers who were clinical and clean in their shots, challenging Gonzalez and Parra with almost every ball forward, keeping them constantly on their toes.

The defensive performance creates a dilemma for Comi, who values consistency, especially as teams generally function better together in unity with less chopping and changing, but is also quite brutal in cutting players who are just not performing well enough, warranted by the wide array of players he has had at his selection throughout qualification. Rumours suggest he had considered switching to a 4-at-the-back system to face Farfadillis, but he has decided against it due to it looking weak, and showing a lack of ambition. The nation wants to see the team progress far and maybe even possibly win the world cup, and if they can't stick to their guns and come out in front against Farfadillis, then how will they manage when the pressure really builds up in one of the knockout games where there is no alternative, no other team they can beat to make up lost ground in the group.

With a change in the formation to a more conservative style of play against Farfadillis out of the window, Comi now just has to choose which players can make up that back 3 and form a more impressive defensive line than the disappointment against Sargossa. Particularly disappointing were the performances of Justin Crawford in centre-back and Joshua Cook at right-back, who seemed less alert to danger than usual, with Crawford especially making a number of crucial errors with passes and tackles that could have led to goals or him being sent off. Cook also lacked his mojo to some extent that has been evident in previous games, with him completing a lot less in the way of attacking runs, but also a large reduction in successful tackles. These are worrying signs to see at the world cup, and are surely enough to warrant consideration as to whether they should be first-choice against the best team in the group.

We fully expect Comi to stick with Theresa Desantis, who has been one of the more consistent members of the Ethanian football team in the world cup qualifiers. Despite being one of the first females to play for Ethane (and still one of the only few professional footballers who are female in the nation because a number of teams have decided against playing women on the field for their team) she has thrived in the international competitive environment, proving herself a mainstay for Comi's defence. She performed elegantly against Sargossa, making a number of crucial tackles and providing backup in the centre where Crawford was making his mistakes. Desantis saved Crawford on a number of occasions in the match. She also proved effective on the counter against Sargossa, grabbing herself an assist in what was a very competitive and open fixture, with play moving fluidly from one side of the pitch to the other in a very quick fashion. Not seeing Desantis on the team against Farfadillis, after good consistent performances, would be a shock to us.

Crawford and Cook are much more contentious. They didn't play their best against Sargossa, and with Farfadillis such a mighty opponent, you do wonder whether these 2 can hold up under the pressure.

Cook is a player that, despite not having a good start, maybe a choice that the manager sticks with against Farfadillis. Cook has been known to put in some top-notch performances against top sides in the past, and while he hasn't always shown his best during the qualifying nor against Sargossa, he has had some moments of excellence which may be enough for Comi to choose him ahead of the youngster Ethan Harris, who is only 17 (Bowens wasn't included in the final cut for the world cup). He's had experience on the international stage before whereas Harris hasn't been in such a pressured environment before, so I fully suspect Comi will go for the devil he does know in Comi instead of the devil he doesn't in Harris. He may be in a more experimental mood though, in which case we may seem him gamble on Harris for the first half and if he doesn't pay off, switch Cook back in for the second half. It really depends on how he is framing this game; even we can't read his mind so we'll have to wait and see for the team lists to come out.

Crawford, on the other hand, is a player that I fully expect to be dropped for the upcoming game. He just didn't deliver against Sargossa and looked almost like a fraud on the pitch, constantly beaten by the Sargossan strikers. He just didn't have the spatial awareness or game intelligence needed to perform effectively as a centre-back at this level of football; although he may put in some good performances in the league system, the world cup is an entirely different, more pressurised environment. I reckon Comi will switch back to the older, but tried and tested Darien Fear as the central unit of his defensive lineup; he may be slower but he has the awareness and vision to make up for that and is generally more reliable than other defenders. He may also opt for a slightly more unconventional decision though, placing Eric Morris in at CB despite him being a LB to try to provide some more oomph in the team's counter-attacks, with his pace also coming in useful against the Farfadillis strikers.

Midfield

The game against Sargossa was a very mixed bag for the midfielders, with some really great moments and some really stupid moments. However, they were a crucial link in the chain and provided a very dynamic style of play which released the strikers on to the goal. Games are often controlled from midfield, but never team controlled the game completely with it being quite open, and chances available to all. The Red Kites did have the slight edge though when facing Sargossa - not a luxury they are likely to have against Farfadillis - which allowed them to push for that final goal.

Leyton Underwood was his usual reliant self, commanding play from midfield like he has done in The Flame League so well, and during qualifying for the world cup. He has great vision and great pass selection, so is surely one of the players already confirmed in Comi's formation. Underwood wasn't utilised as much during the qualifiers as you would have expected him to be, but he did play an important role in some of the bigger matches, suggesting Comi may have been saving him for the world cup; therefore, we can fully expect Underwood, as long as he continues to perform for the team, to appear in most, if not all, of the remaining matches in the world cup.

Xavier Rengart was also an important player for the side against Sargossa. Despite not having the pace of other players, Rengart's intelligence and dexterity with his feet allowed him to out-manoeuvre opponents on many occasions. For most games, you'd expect his position to be secure; however, Kyle Ford is also a very reliable choice for that position, but also has the pace with him which may end up being crucial against Farfadillis; Comi fully expects to be playing on the counter against Farfadillis on many occasions which requires pace to work effectively. The choice between Rengart and Ford is a tough one for Comi and not one that I could predict certainly, although I reckon that of the 2, Rengart is more likely to get chosen due to his experience at this level of football in the past.

Josh Montoya also proved an excellent member of the team and integral to the offensive plays of the team, distributing the ball well to the strikers. This is evident in the fact that he assisted 1/2 of the Ethanian goals (2), showing how important he is to the side. It would be a real surprise if Montoya wasn't selected to face against Farfadillis, although Seth Vaughan and Andy Obrien could easily match his performances any day of the week.

Iwan Roberts proved the most disappointing of the midfielders in the squad against Sargossa, but even his performance wasn't bad, with flashes of brilliance against Zevallos and Vecino to set up some extraordinary opportunities for Burgess, Smith, and Hope. Out of the 4 midfielders, Roberts is the most likely one to lose his place but even he doesn't seem that likely to considering the reliability and unity that has been up in this midfield partnership. Christian Ali may make a reappearance in the squad however due to questions over experience.

Offence

Declan Smith is an obvious choice for the manager, considering he did score 2 of the 4 goals against Sargossa, and was prepared to drop back a bit at points to help the struggling defence. Smith has been seen as one of the stronger performers within the Ethani team so far this world cup, especially in the qualifying round, showing his great potential in the future. However, when selecting his team to play Farfadillis, Comi's primary consideration would most likely not have been how much potential he has in the future to be one of the greatest Ethani football players, but how much potential he has now to impact the game against one of the greatest team's in the world, and it is clear, as can be seen from his selection in the world cup squad, that Comi values Smith as an important and invaluable striker within this squad.

Burgess also performed well, and managed to score a goal as well against Sargossa, showing the threat on goal that he can provide. He also has a great relationship with the manager and is one of the manager's go-to strikers alongside Smith, meaning it would be a surprise to see him excluded.

Questions hang over Hope's inclusion though, particularly surrounding his fitness. He took a bad hit on the leg against Sargossa, and while he played on against them he was notably struggling at points, holding his leg as if he was in pain. Unfortunately, Comi had already used all 3 subs so there was no question of him coming off. He was unable to find goal either, despite a number of clear-cut chances, raising the question of form as well. Fully expect Vorbeck or Rodriguez to picked over him.




VS Farfadillis

GK: Jeremiah Shepard
LB: Theresa Desantis
CB: Eric Morris (LB)
RB: Joshua Cook
LM: Iwan Roberts
CM: Leyton Underwood
RM: Rigby Headley (RW)
CAM: Josh Montoya
LF: Scott Burgess
CF: Declan Smith
RF: Dexter Vorbeck

SUBS: Nicholas Reed (GK); Ethan Harris (RB); Darien Fear (CB); Kyle Cooper (CB); Alexander Dyer (CM); Lukas Cole (ST); James Rodriguez (CF)

The team plan is slightly adjusted from usual. Ethane will be pushing for early goals by setting up in a very aggressive formation and pushing with a very high press straight from the off. The selection of Eric Morris in CB, Rigby Headley at RM, and Vorbeck show the desire for a really aggressive start to the game. After pressing, and trying to get a few goals (min. 2) they will drop back and try to play more conservatively, holding the fort down (not park the bus but still rather defensive), only attacking on the counter with Headley and Montoya the prime components of this.

After half-time, provided the team are not in arrears to Farfadillis (Ethane would be winning or drawing), the team will switch formation to a 4 at the back (LB-CB-CB-RB; LM-CM-CM-RM; LF-RF) formation, with instructions to drop deep and conserve the points. The team would not be very ambitious in attacking, looking primarily to defend.

If the team are behind, the team will continue high-press.
<drawk> If the entirety of the nation of Ethane was covered in a single cubic foot of Ethane on its surface, lighting it all on fire would cause a 5.44 megaton blast
<Savalen> Only on NS Sport can watford or peach slices be a hop skip and a jump away from the EU referendum....

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:28 pm

© Sporting Times Daily 2021
Late Show Gives Hope—Brenecia 1-1 Commonwealth
by Mindy Cartwright, National Soccer Writer

Nick Haller was generally disappointed more than the rest of the Baker Park National Team squad that they were drawn to play their matches in the Free Republics; not that he has any animosity towards the hosts, but on the whole, he'd rather be in Banija.

It has been his stellar play for the Banijan side Kitara Athletic Association that has helped to earn his spot on the roster for this World Cup, and he would've loved to be able to play in front of crowds he's grown accustomed to in the Kingdom.

But he didn't let his feelings get in the way when he came on as a sub for Tony Santos in the second half of the Commonwealth's match here against Brenecia, in Santangelo in the FFR. He put in a short shift, but one that changed the complexion of the match and possibly the sides' chances of progressing from Group H, punctuated by his goal in the 87th minute that earned BP a split of the points with the World Champions in front 94,000 at the Nail Frolov Colosseum.

It looked as though the Patriots would continue their march towards another piece of hardware when they took the lead in the 22nd minute and generally clamped down the midfield from that point on. Only the continued work rate of Alex Sandoval and Valerie Agahambri up front gave the Bees a faint glimmer of hope at not becoming another victim of the Brenecian's dominant machine.

Haller's equalizer was the fruit of that labor by the strike duo and the attention they commanded from the back line of the holders, and his shot beat keeper Mathis Woodgate—Brenecia's all time leader in appearances for his nation—by the thinnest of margins.

The draw means that BP will now be able to take a bit of momentum into their next match against Mriin, who were victorious against Cosumar and sit atop the table, rather than having to scramble to get any kind of positive result.

____________________________________________________________________________

The opening ceremonies in Busukuma for the start of the World Cup were a brilliant spectacle, a display of Banijan culture that left Rebecca Schoenlein moved beyond words.
So far, her trip to the Kingdom had come off exceptionally well; a meeting with the Isebantu
and an audience with Kabaka Albert III, a chance to exchange pleasantries with Foreign Minister O'Donohaue from Darmen (not to mention the awkwardness that Leader Tor Tong Lee showed when the two met before the ceremony—the PM tried to put him at ease about the events in Belle Haven) and a chance to speak with South Covello's new President, David Hale, whom Rebecca found to be quite confident and assured for his youth and relative inexperience in political matters.

She had gone to great lengths in her discussions with the Crown Prince to assure him that the Commonwealth would not do anything to create a public perception in the Kingdom that somehow Baker Park were attempting to cultivate relations with the Busogans at the expense of their friendship and support for Banija. She came back to the metaphor she used in the meeting with the political leadership earlier of a divorced couple and choosing sides, which the Isebantu thought a bit humorous. She minced no words in telling him about her planned brief courtesy stop to Busoga and the Isebantu seemed non-plussed by the revelation.

Meanwhile, Hannah Delaney's trip to the Busoga Islands was proceeding smoothly also. The ostensible cover story—about joint military exercises with the Equestrian States—was left fairly open-ended (as she figured it would be) and her meeting with the Foreign Minister, Dr. Dudi, was an open and revealing talk. Delaney was much impressed with the calm and thoughtful academic. Her brief audience with President Ibrahain Razov was cordial and she apologized that the Prime Minister's short stop over was going to be at an uncomfortable hour of the night. The President replied that he was willing to forego sleep for a chance to meet the PM, no matter what hour the flight arrived.

The group that accompanied Schoenlein to Banija was taken back to the plane prior to the opening match & ceremonies, and the PM took her leave of the dignitaries in the Royal Box just after the beginning of the 2nd half, because of course she wanted to be able to make the match in Santangelo in plenty of time. By 11:45, Flight 1192 touched down in Lakiska, the Busogan capital and less than an hour later, she was being received by the President at his residence. Approximately 2 1/2 hours after she stepped off the jet, Rebecca was back aboard and the plane headed for the Free Republics.
Soccer--Under-18 World Cup (Sporting World Cup 5) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
World Cup 81 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football--NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 Mineral Conference Champions

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Free Republics
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Founded: May 03, 2013
Capitalizt

Postby Free Republics » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:51 pm

Soccer Palace, Petrograd, Plymouth

Prior to the 2nd Republican match of the World Cup, all 4 remaining candidates for Consul had a debate at the Soccer Palace before the 111,663 fans in attendance. The Republican National Team watched on the pitch as the debate was broadcast live on every Republican television network. The team from Chromatika did not show up for the debate but would show up in time for the match.

The Republicans were coming off of a tough loss to the Equestrian States, a long time arch rival. They had come out surprisingly flat to start the opener, falling behind early but eventually fighting back due to substitutes Alfonso Sundberg and Dragutin Perkovic, equalizing in the 82nd minute on Perkovic's goal. However, the Equestrian States had a dirty trick up their sleeves as Cloudchaser utilized her wings to head a ball out of the reach of Taras Sergeyev for the match winning goal. Over the following days, Theriault had protested to the World Cup Committee and JLCMIEFFR asking for the match to be awarded to the FFR via forfeit due to blatant cheating but his efforts were to no avail. While some allies of Theriault's in the Federation Assembly had attempted to pass legislation overturning the result of the match, Consul Robert Nicholls had declared his intention to veto, killing these efforts.

Now, Theriault sat, watching the daughter of Consul Nicholls debate 3 other candidates for Consul. The debate quickly became dominated by the larger than life personalities of Scarlett Nicholls and Sebastian Trudeau. The two celebrity candidates simply sucked up all of the oxygen in the Soccer Palace, leaving Julian Norberg and Tsukihiko Fukuhara struggling to get a word in. Eventually the topic turned to the issue of marriage, which hadn't been brought up in the campaign to this point:

Scarlett Nicholls - First of all, I want to say that I think its outrageous that nobody's even bothered to ask me about this issue yet. Of course I believe same sex marriage should be allowed. I think its ridiculous that we continue to discriminate against sexual minorit-

Trudeau interrupted her mid-sentence...

Sebastian Trudeau - I know I've called you Scarlett the Harlot many times but I didn't know you were a dyke too! One of the biggest problems with society these days is the way we allow sluts like you to teach our young men to be sissy boys. Then they grow up hatin' guns and loving other men! We need to get back to the days when men were men and women were women!

A certain portion of the crowd erupted with loud applause.

Sebastian Trudeau - Today, our baseball players are so bad that our best player is some girl who spends most of her time engaging in activism instead of doing her supposed job and playing baseball! God knows baseball has fallen since the days of old. Just look at the teams that dominate international competition these days. They include the likes of Cassadaigua and the current WBC champions Newmanistan, both of which are entirely comprised of girls. Now either baseball is a girly sport that doesn't require any actual athletic talent or men around the multiverse have been sissified so much that they can't even beat girls in sports any longer!

Scarlett Nicholls just stood there glaring at Trudeau as his sexist and homophobic rant continued...

Sebastian Trudeau - Let me tell you what I'm gonna do about faggots, dykes and sissies when I'm elected as your next Consul: As you may know, there are medical facilities that offer therapies and treatments that are scientifically proven to cure homosexuality and make them normal. I believe that they ought to be offered free of charge to all those suffering from the mental illness known as homosexuality.

A vocal portion of the crowd began chanting Trudeau's name. By this point, the moderator had long given up trying to maintain order.

Sebastian Trudeau - Harlot, you can continue talking now.

Scarlett Nicholls - Mr. Trudeau, what in the name of Reino Kulseth has gotten into you tonight? It sure sounds like you're losing your mind!

The Soccer Palace erupted.

Scarlett Nicholls - I knew you were a sexist but you're usually much more polite about it! Oh wait, I know what's going on: You had a bit too much Dixon Light and now you're ranting and raving and acting like a complete fool!

Her words were met by even more thunderous cheers.

Scarlett Nicholls - Don't worry though. I'm not out to oppress people like you. I don't even want to force you to be a decent human being and stop discriminating in your employment practices! I just want a country where everybody has the same rights. That is what I fight for and that is why I support your right to marry anybody you want so long as all parties consent. Yes, that means I want to legalize polygamy!

This got the loudest applause of the night so far.

Scarlett Nicholls - I also want to make clear, and I hope our guests from the Equestrian States hear this, that I believe that all sentient species are entitled to the same basic dignity and the same rights! I do not believe that a pegasus or a pony should be treated any differently from a human. I know that I will lose the votes of some bigots but I'm sure they'd be voting for Mr. Trudeau regardless! But alas, I believe Mr. Norberg and Mr. Fukuhara deserve a chance to say what they think about the issue of marriage.

Julian Norberg - I don't see how my own personal opinions on marriage are supposed to matter! Why is the government involved in a religious sacrament in the first place? I also want to ask my opponents to grow up. The Republican People do not want to hear the two of you call each other names. The Republican People want to know where you stand and what you're going to do to improve their lives.

Scarlett Nicholls - Julian, I respect your opinion but I'm going to defend myself against Sebastian Trudeau's sexism.

Julian Norberg - I'm not suggesting that you stop defending yourself. All I'm suggesting is that you stop allowing your anger at Trudeau to drag you - and this debate - off topic.

Scarlett Nicholls - I pity Trudeau. Not angry at him in the slightest.

Sebastian Trudeau - I do not want your pity, woman. I want you to go back to the kitchen like a good girl!

Scarlett Nicholls - Fuck you!

Nicholls supporters applauded loudly.

Tsukihiko Fukuhara - This debate is exactly why we're regarded as a laughing stock around the multiverse. Rather than engage the community of nations and bring our nation into conformity with global norms, our politicians call each other names and use foul language. I urge voters who are sick of this disgraceful show to vote for me in the second round and help me bring the Free Republics into the international community.

The debate continued for several hours, delaying the start of the match. Finally, some crazy man jumped onto the field and started charging at the candidates for Consul but also potentially toward Theriault and assistant coach Sir Koby Theodore. He pulled out a gun and was promptly shot by a Consul Protection Service (CPS) agent before he could pull anything. Rule Theriault had been planning on endorsing Trudeau before the start of the match but he abruptly changed his mind. The CPS rushed the Republican Team to the locker room and the consul candidates out of the Soccer Palace. Hours later, Petrograd police revealed that the man who had been shot had died in custody without divulging his motives and that he was carrying a Trudeau firearm. Within hours, Trudeau supporters and Nicholls supporters were spreading unsubstantiated claims that he was a crazed supporter of the other candidate who was trying to assassinate their preferred candidate. Against that backdrop, Chromatika's national team finally arrived at the Soccer Palace and the teams stepped onto the pitch for a World Cup Finals match...
Games of the XIII Olympiad Host
1st: DBC 28, X Winter Olympics, Independents Cup 4, CoH 66
2nd: World Cup 68, DBC 27, U15WC 8, UWCFA Gold Cup I, BoI 15, 2nd Imperial Chap Olympiad, NSCF 11
3rd: World Cups 71 & 81, DBC 29, UWCFC Gold Cup III, GCoS 1
Qualified: World Cups 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 79
Host: World Cups 68 & 81, CoH 58, X Winter Olympics, World Bowls XXII & XXXI, WBC 42, RUWC 25, Beach Cup XI, World Korfball Classic III, Runner Cup 7
Current Senior Consul: Kyle Bolton (Liberty)
Current Junior Consul: Scarlett Nicholls (Liberty)
Demonym: Republican
Trigram: FFR
Official Nation Name: Federation of Free Republics
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Saltstead
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Founded: Jun 12, 2018
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Saltstead » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:07 pm

(OOC: I’ve used Chrom’s roster from the last AOCAF as reference and updated my own to reflect post-qualifying changes. Carry on. ;) )
... Seelandės Nyren — the one source for the day’s events in Sealand
Chromatika 2–1 Saltstead: Did Drawkland kill Saltstead’s World Cup dream?

Four players had been ruled out of Saltstead’s début World Cup appearance after a riot in Drawk City Stadium

Samstown, Free Republics. When the Stallions boarded the plane for the World Cup finals, Roger Gaius, Carle de Marcht, Johanna Mårits and Natalia Henriksson were not be with them. A riot which ensued at Drawk City Stadium after the hosts lost 2–1 on aggregate to Saltstead, sealing their first ever failed qualification campaign, had ruled the four out for the final tournament according to manager Gay Ware. All four players received burns from flares on the pitch after the match. Mårits, who scored the winning goal in the 78th minute of the return leg, also sustained a broken arm and a dislocated ankle as she attempted to escape the melee on the pitch.

Fast forward to the opening match and it appears that Drawkland have extracted revenge for their first-ever failed qualification campaign by sabotaging the team that defeated them. Without some of the key linchpins of the team available for the match, Chromatika were able to score a much-expected win over the lowly Saltstead. While Michael d’Angel adjusted to the spotlight well, Valeriė Rotscheud looked moderately uncomfortable in goal and Ann-Claudie Uristssen looked slightly out of place. Jean de Marcht wilted under pressure, ceding one of the two goals that gave Chromatika their win and playing a major role in the other goal.

However, the margin fairly reflected the match, with a Chromatikan team that looked off their game showing up to face a plucky underdog looking to prove to the world that they deserved to be in the finals. Uristssen, for her faults, did contribute to the first goal ever scored by a Saltsteadish player in the World Cup finals when Michael d’ Angel slotted past Jillian Nier, delivering a two-touch volley that beautifully evaded a faltering Chromatikan defence. Saltstead realistically challenged twice again deep into the second half thanks to a potent-looking combo between Kolen and D’ Angel, though Chromatika could easily have had a third if Rotscheud had not intervened.

In all, there are structural deficiencies that Gay Ware needs to address if Saltstead are to have a snowball’s chance in hell and Jean de Marcht may not be ready for the trust that’s being placed in him just yet. Saltstead’s reliance on a set group of players makes the entire structure called “the Stallions” prone to collapse if things go wrong like they did in Drawkland. This group of players have not really had the chance to play at the same time on the same pitch like De Marcht, Gaius, et al have. Combined with a dearth of fresh blood coming up through the youth system and Saltstead’s seemingly upward trajectory is resting on shaky foundations, only to be revealed—rather than caused—by the incident in Drawk City Stadium.

On the flip side, Saltstead held the top seed closer than most anticipated and now face two significantly easier matches. The Equestrians haven’t had the time to study the four new faces in Saltstead’s opening lineup and could easily fall prey to overconfidence. The Republicans, meanwhile, are weaker by a distance than any other team in the group bar Saltstead, relying on their home advantage to carry them forward. It’s important to remember than anything can happen in a World Cup tournament. Saltstead have climbed out of the hole that is a first-day loss before on their way to a trophy, so there’s no saying that the task ahead of the Stallions is impossible.

Our verdict: despite having reasons to be positive, Saltstead are now facing a pressure test that will wind up cooking them. The Ponies will see Saltstead off before the hosts get last pickings off the carcass. Saltstead will crash out winless and the match in Drawkland will have played no small part in that. At least there will always be the next Cup. ❧
This nation does not reflect my actual political views.
Do not use orally after using rectally.
Hosts: HWC 19
Winners: BoF 65
Vanquishers of: Drawkland’s perfect WC qualifying streak
KPB: 28th (22.93)
UICA: 31st (14.650)
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De Såutstedisc Heminėweude
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The Saltsteadish Commonwealth

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Equestrian States
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Equestrian States » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:30 pm

Image
-WORLD CUP 81 - MATCH DAY 1-
Ponies Stun Republicans on Cloudchaser's Late Strike
Captain's 89th minute game-winner spoils Republican comeback in World Cup opener

by Steve McNotapony

Image
Image
Free Republics 1-2 Equestrian States
at Gem of the Oceans Stadium in Republica, Free Republics
Attendance: 101,208
Scoring:
Image Pristina Shine '16 (A. Aiza)
Image D. Perkovic '82 (A. Sundberg)
Image Cloudchaser '89 (K. Bailey)


REPUBLICA, Free Republics - Neutrals tuning into the World Cup's opening match last night between the Equestrian States and Free Republics were certainly satisfied as the long-time rivals put on a show worthy of the prime time spotlight it was given. Expectations of an intense, emotionally-charged encounter were fulfilled and then some, as the match went all the way to the wire, complete with two goals in the final ten minutes which left fans of both teams with sore throats from screaming. In the end, however, it was Equestrian captain Cloudchaser who provided the edge her team needed to claim all three points from a massive rivalry game, leaving the Ponies in excellent position going forward in the group stage.

Ahead of kickoff, it was impossible to miss the energy of excitement which surrounded Gem of the Oceans Stadium, packed to capacity by a sellout crowd that included a full contingent of purple-clad Equestrian supporters in the away section. Security was tight - at least by typically-lax Republican standards - with soldiers of the Federation's army called in from nearby Fort Capital to supplement the standard stadium guards, most of which were deployed around the away section to deter the rival supporters from clashing, not that it kept them from hurling insults and an endless stream of profanities at each other all night. As was expected, the Equestrian team and national anthem was greeted with plenty of booing from the Republican-dominated crowd, reminding any ignorant neutrals of the animosity between the two teams.

Finally, after what felt like hours of endless pre-match ceremonies with no shortage of uninspired jingoistic nonsense, it was time for the match to begin. Energized by the crowd, the Republicans controlled the tempo of play in the opening minutes, pushing for an early goal that the Ponies are occasionally prone to conceding. However, goalkeeper Gentle Breeze was prepared for the onslaught, and made a pair of saves in the first ten minutes which kept the Free Republics off the board. Republican supporters were thrilled by their team's aggressive tactics, but their shouts of joy were transformed into frustrated groans in the 16th minute as the Ponies taught the young Republicans why few teams risk pushing too far forward against the Equestrian States.

The counterattack started with defender Rumble stripping the ball from teenage Republican midfielder Johnny Smith, clearing it out to Aarón Aiza. Aiza, whose knack for spotting scoring opportunities has been perfected in his time with Banijan club Herzegovina City FC, saw Pristina Shine sprinting into the Republican half and wasted no time firing off a through ball that found its way straight to the Ponies' star striker. One-on-one with goalkeeper Taras Sergeyev, there was never any question of if Pristina Shine would find the net. With practiced ease, she chipped the ball over the helpless goalkeeper to put the Equestrian States ahead as the away section erupted.

Lesson learned, the Republicans were much more cautious on the offensive for the remainder of the first half. Though this kept them covered from another lethal Equestrian counterattack, it also hamstrung their chances of scoring as the Republicans found themselves unable to fight through the experienced Ponies midfield. On the few occasions they managed to get a ball into the Equestrian third, the Ponies defense was there to clear it out and begin the cycle anew, frustrating Republican fans and players alike. Of course, the Equestrians weren't seeing many opportunities either, the Republicans quick to fall back whenever the Ponies appeared to be pushing forward, obviously wary of being caught out of position a second time.

After seeming content to let the Republicans dominate control in the first half, the Ponies came out of the gate hard and fast in the second, unleashing a furious barrage which the hosts had little choice but to try and endure. Taras Sergeyev was forced to make several saves, keeping Pristina Shine and Aarón Aiza from blowing the match wide open for the Equestrians. Sergeyev himself was saved a couple times, once by the woodwork when set-piece specialist Rosie Tyler rattled the crossbar, and once by fullback Ralf Schroder who cleared an Apple Cobbler shot off the goal line. As the clock passed the hour mark, the Ponies eased off the gas a bit, falling back towards midfield, killing some time with a more methodical approach.

Free Republics manager Rule Theriault knew his team was getting tired and the Equestrians would be perfectly content to sit back and let precious seconds tick off the clock while the Republicans chased an equalizer, waiting for the perfect opportunity to launch a counterattack and put the game out of reach. An obvious strategy, of course, but an undeniably effective one. Something had change before the Ponies could finish the Republicans off. To provide this change, Theriault turned to Alfonso Sundberg and Dragutin Perkovic, giving his team some fresh legs and a couple of forward-thinking attackers. Clearly, ol' Rule Theriault has learned something since he failed to make a substitution the first time he faced the Ponies.

Revitalized by the changes, the Republicans started to look better going forward. As the match entered its final ten minutes, the Free Republics were on the offensive once again, with the Equestrians valiantly holding out against the onslaught. Gentle Breeze made a spectacular diving save on a shot from Love Holm, tipping the ball over the crossbar before it could find the top corner of the net. It seemed the Ponies had cleared the ensuing corner until Sundberg rifled the ball back into the scrum in front of the goal. Perkovic got a toe on the shot, just enough to redirect it past Gentle Breeze. The crowd went wild, shaking Gem of the Oceans Stadium to its foundations as a furious Gentle Breeze dug the ball out of the net.

The Equestrian States' response was immediate, Pearly White pushing her team forward once more with renewed determination. Attacking midfielder Elaine Everdeen was brought on to provide a fresh set of legs as the Ponies hammered away at the Republican defense. It was an incredible display of the Ponies' offense which had been sorely lacking in the second half of World Cup qualifying. In the 86th minute, it appeared the Equestrians had won a penalty when Pristina Shine brought down by Zak Josef in the box, but their protests were brushed aside by the referee.

That denied penalty shout was sure to be the talking point of the match until three minutes later when Krysia Bailey crossed the ball into the box after running back to collect a Republican clearance. Cloudchaser, the long-time captain of the Equestrian national team and lynchpin of the Ponies' midfield, rose above everyone else and headed the ball back off the post and into the net, restoring the Equestrians' one-goal lead with almost no time to spare. Desperation quickly set in for the Republicans, fighting for another equalizer before the end of stoppage time, but the Ponies' world-class defense wasn't about to let another shot slip through. The final whistle blew to end the match. Once again, the Equestrian States had emerged victorious over the Free Republics.

  WORLD CUP 81 - GROUP E        Pld   W  D  L   GF  GA  GD  Pts        Match Day 1 Results:
1 Image Chromatika (8) 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3 Image Free Republics 1–2 Equestrian States Image
Image Equestrian States (16) 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3 @ Gem of the Oceans Stadium in Republica, FFR
3 Image Free Republics (34) 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0 Image Chromatika 2–1 Saltstead Image
Image Saltstead (38) 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0 @ Milne Stadium in Samstown, FFR

Meanwhile, at Milne Stadium in Samstown, top-seeded Chromatika took care of business against Saltstead, a result which surprised exactly nobody but was far closer than most would've predicted. The Chromatiks did enough to win, but were prevented from blowing out the 38th-ranked Stallions by the typically-solid Saltsteader defense in a respectable performance. Though the Ponies and Chromatiks are in control of their destinies and could punch their tickets to the second round with wins in their respective games against Saltstead and the Free Republics, an upset in either fixture could plunge Group E into chaos heading into the final match day. With strong outings from the group's bottom two teams in their openers, it's impossible to rule anyone out yet.

Elsewhere in the World Cup, there was no shortage of excitement, with half of all 16 matches featuring at least four goals and just two ending without one. Even those two scoreless games had the upset angle for neutrals to enjoy: 40th-ranked Ko-oren announcing their return to the World Cup by holding the famously-aggressive Holy Empire scoreless, and Audioslavia and South Covello playing to a draw in a match which featured two of qualifying's best defensive teams. The first round's most-anticipated fixture outside of the Equestrian-Republican grudge match saw Atlantian giants Vilita and Valanora clash in Busembe, Banija, the Jungle Cats holding on for a thrilling 2-1 victory. Meanwhile, Barunia and Mriin stunned Starblaydia and Cosumar respectively in statement wins that have their fans buzzing with excitement and dreaming of what might be possible. And finally, Baker Park, the lowest-ranked team at the last World Cup, held defending champions Brenecia to a 1-1 draw that will continue to fuel their team's meteoric ascent towards the top of the rankings, assuring supporters that they were no one-hit wonder last cycle.
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Postby Banija » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:19 pm

The World CUp Finals have arrived... Everyone's still in it. All 32 teams have a chance to bring home the world's greatest sporting trophy. We all have hope. We all have joy. And we'll express that by visiting Cote D'Ivoire for today's cutoff.

Don't you feel that magic in the air?
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Postby Free Republics » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:28 pm

Last edited by Free Republics on Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ko-oren
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ko-oren » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:52 am

Still alive, and then some!

The Free Republics are apparently so large that every single group stage match can be played in a different stadium, and even then you won't see capacities under 40,000. Comparing that to Ko-oren, we've got 10 stadiums with a capacity over 40,000, but that includes two cricket stadiums and a baseball stadium. If we're talking soccer-ready stadiums, we're stuck at seven. Interestingly, all seven are used by our gridiron league and just one of those is also used by a soccer team: Aminey SC, playing in Ko-oren's largest arena at 70,000. Back to the World Cup: that 70,000 stadium would be on the small side looking at our World Cup stadiums. The first game was in a stadium just under 100,000, the third will be in a venue just under 75,000, and just the Barunia match took place in a stadium smaller than our very own 70,000 Stade sur la Baie. Within the Free Republics, only Group E's Chromatika versus Saltstead took place in a stadium smaller than 40,000. The Free Republics are huge.

Even in the smallest of the three group match stadiums, it is difficult to notice one single person among the crowd of 44,509. Even a group of, say, seven would be hard to find. But still, they were there.

Having surprised friend and foe with a good qualification campaign, baffled everyone with qualification, and stupified everyone by directly qualifying without the need for playoffs, most in Ko-oren had expected the Cinderella story to sizzle out here. But it didn't: The Holy Empire tied 0-0 to the Dragonflies and we're lucky to make it out with one day-to-day injury. Odell wasn't ready to start versus Barunia, but he was substituted in during the second half and played relatively pain-free for the remainder of the game. In another surprising move, the Dragonflies also took Barunia to a draw, which means Ko-oren now is third in a group where everything is possible for day three. A win over Starblaydia sees us go back to our five-time Waterloo, the Round of 16. Seriously, we've made it there five times but never made it to the Quarters. No doubt that this team has been a dark horse since day one of qualifying, but we're here. A draw or a loss means we go home, but even then we can do so with our heads held up high.

Can all of us be proud? Well, no.

Among the green-blue contingent, we can say that at least seven weren't too happy to be there. Lampshire and his six friends were there, in the Free Republics, taking in how the Dragonflies weren't brutally slaughtered first by the Holy Empire and then by Barunia. The players on strike saw their chance to topple head coach Juliasterinthen, took it, but fell flat almost immediately. Juliasterinthen had done what wasn't possible in too many terrible dreary years prior: World Cup qualification. And the team even holds up against some of the biggest threats the Multiverse could throw at us. This timeline is probably the worst case scenario for Lampshire.

At first he was almost proven right when Theshendan didn't look too confident in rushing from the goal to intercept a cross, got maybe a finger to it at most, and Barunia were up 1-0 after 7 minutes of play. Azarola couldn't quite believe the kind of chance when the ball just shot right past Theshendan, with only an open goal to beat. He controlled the ball easily, then slotted the ball home with 11 in green and blue just staring at it. There was a recipe for disaster and Azarola just supplied all of the ingredients.

Against Lampshire's hopes, Barunia's dreams and our fears, Barunia didn't score beyond that first goal. In fact, it took them quite a while to even cross midfield in possession. In the meantime, Ko-oren didn't really do much either, though Varela and Mizuno put up some impressive passing numbers if you don't look at the origin nor the destination of the pass. Basically, the next 20 minutes were solely defenders passing to defenders, looking for the kind of way out like against the Holy Empire which didn't do too well in advancing the ball after a throw-in. No such cheat was found. After a while, Gicquel took some initiative, giving the midfield an extra man, and slowly but surely Vaugrenard and Duchemin came into promising situations. They took none of those in the first half, but just after the kickoff in the second, Vaugrenard took a chance from outside the box, and to his surprise (and everyone elses) the ball flew in just inside the right post. 1-1.

After this, it was Ko-oren that had the biggest chances going forward. For the first time in a long while, you could even say that Duchemin and Vaugrenard should have scored more. Sadly, it remained 1-1, and that was probably the only good thing about Lampshire's day, who suddenly brightened up after the final whistle. It could have been so much worse for him. Then again, given his behaviour and the current results, it's unlikely he'll ever be called up for the national team again. Terrible luck against Starblaydia and a hopeless exit from the World Cup are probably the only ways he'll ever be considered again... He can only hope.

And so can we: with a win, we're in. Time to either lose the biggest match of our starters' lives, or lose another Round of 16 after that. We can't wait.

Elsewhere in World Cup 81
After day two, most groups have either an eliminated team or a team in the next round. The only groups that don't: E and F. That means that there's nothing you can say about the possible Round of 16 matchups, every single combination is still possible. In Group E, all teams have three points so a team that wins their third match, is in. In Group F, Barunia is first with four points, then Starblaydia with three, us with two and the Holy Empire with just one (!!). Huge scorelines in Group E after those two 2-1s: Free Republics, with home advantage, 5-2 over Chromatika! and then Saltstead with the 2-1 over the Equestrian States.

Kita-Hinode and Cosumar were eliminated in groups G and H. Eura and South Covello are leading Group G with Audioslavia close behind. If you have some extra time after watching Ko-oren v Starblaydia, why not tune in for South Covello versus Eura? Group H has Brenecia and Baker Park in first and second, with Mriin close behind following their loss to Baker Park.

In Banija, Group A is sitting nearly at zero goal difference through the group, just the hosts have won two games by a single goal and are at 6 points and +2. Pasarga and Apox have one point each at -1. Darmen has won by 3-2 and lost by 2-1 and are second, with three points and 0 GD. Banija is in, and it's just Darmen's to lose here.

There's a lot of goals in Group B: Turori and Nova Anglicana supplied another six in a 3-3 draw. Now Nephara is in first with two wins, Turori has scored 7 and conceded 5 for four points, and just Mercedini is eliminated after two losses.

Group C is pretty close, with just Eshan out of the equation: Ethane and Farfadillis both have four points, after a 0-0 tie, and Sargossa took the last chance they had with a 2-1 win and are a point behind the other two.

Group D, then, has Vilita winning the group, Valanora and Cassadaigua joint last at a point and Qasden with the best chances on paper at three points.
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Nephara
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:29 am

Mercedini 1 - 2 Nephara
(4-2-3-1) 12 - Swoboda; 2 - Rafford, 5 - Konoval (22 - Thorn 87'), 6 - Steelhenge, 19 - Close; 4 - Rowland (23 - Misidjan 74'), 8 - Klein; 7 - Fanaiyan, 21 - Gosforth (c), 11 - Strongbow (16 - Staunton 80'); 9 - Hawke
Goals: Gosforth 37' pen, Fanaiyan 50'

Here it was, then. The big 100. Estrella Hawke, in the middle of the cluster of Cormorants waiting to step out of the tunnel, blew on her hands and rubbed them.
"Big milestone, Ms. Hawke?" Well, yeah. Obviously. Though when exactly she'd stopped being a Miss, she wasn't sure...
"Want to mark it off with a goal?" Fucking obviously. But she was nice to the press, a reputation to uphold. She smiled and nodded, the nation's girl next door, a respectable type for a nation that didn't like to think it had a respectable type. Grew up in a nice middle-class family bungalow in northern Crisisbless, she'd since moved to a studio apartment in Sabrefell. The tabloids had never found a sniff of dirt on her, which was remarkable given she had a History with front-page favourite Leona Rafford, but there it was. People had an idea of who Hawke was, who she was... and, well, it wasn't that wrong.
Anyway, she wanted her goddamn goal.
Mercedini were going to have their hands full with her. And the Cormorants, to be fair, were going to have their hands full with Dostalok and Chillotov, young and deeply promising forwards who... well, in four years' time, that might be the sharpest strike partnership in international football. But it was not in four years' time, and anyway, the side was quietly confident they'd be able to snuff them out. The camp was easygoing, in a good mood. The travails of the Cup of Champions was behind them.
It would be a cliche to say they were eleven friends going out to face the world together. That said; they were eleven friends going out to face the world together.

It was a good match, in the event, but more popcorn and beer than wine and caviar, prominent for its pace more than its technique. A good advertisement for ediraf (mind the lower-case, it's on-brand), Mercedini in a slick black-and-blue, Nephara in their crisp terracotta and white, playing The first twenty minutes were used just to breathe, Mercedini growing in confidence going forward, Nephara settling in defence, Klein and Rowland a dominant double pivot. They would be the stars of the day, guiding Nephara to ratchet up the possession stats. Bizarre, right? And the quality of both sides up front, of course, meant that every chance any striker got would be put away.
Inevitably, none of them scored. But, you know, Estrella Hawke liked to think after the fact she'd made the difference anyway.
She'd managed the first shot of the match, though it was a speculative effort - a cross from Fanaiyan evading any defender, but too high for basically anyone to make use of. Hawke had leapt as high as she could and... just about glanced it towards goal, where it floated breezily into Hovek's waiting grasp. Still, it was something, and she produced a much better something not long after, a surging run from Klein culminating n a straightforward pass to her feet. With Toivonen incoming, she had to think fast, move quick, turned and struck low and hard - but Hovek sprawled out a boot to parry the strike, and it almost came straight back to Hawke. In the event, though, Toivonen was able to scuff it away before Nymark, racing to cover, managed to put the ball into touch.
Mercedini had managed a decent chance or two of their own, and Swoboda had been tested by an opportunistic strike from the lively Garzallo he'd tipped out for a corner that had come to nothing. But in the end, the Cormorants were the better team in the first half, and it was thanks to Hawke they got their reward. She had the ball, yet again, through hard work from Gosforth. With her back to goal she came forward to claim a short pass, twisted and went forward into the box, but her heels were clipped by Dosic and she came slamming into the ground, like a poleaxed ox. Nepharim don't dive, at least by reputation, and the referee's whistle came straight to his mouth.
Perhaps some thought Hawke should take the ball for herself, but no, they had a system, and it worked. Gosforth stepped up, hesitated just a trace, saw Hovek waver to his right and smashed it the other way as the goalkeeper's momentum stranded him. 1-0 to the Cormorants.

The half-time talk was fairly straightforward, Brandon could've delivered it in his sleep. Keep it going lads, keep your heads, etc. etc. No cautions (yet), no cause for alarm, just... stay the course. Big tournaments were their bread and butter, and even Marcin Close - making his World Cup debut - could nod firmly after an assured first-half performance.
Brandon had built this team across his seven-year tenure. Brandon knew how to shepherd them.
Mercedini couldn't afford to stay the course, especially not after an earlier defeat to Turori, especially not with Turori and Nova Anglicana having drawn earlier in the day, meaning defeat meant death. Or, at least, elimination. So it wasn't too surprising to see them commit forward, lively, fast, powerful, decisive, a thundering shot from Chillotov forcing a corner as it was body-blocked by Konoval, the breakdown of that corner... well, Kraljic had it claimed by his old teammate Swoboda, who rose highest, then dropped, stable, and wasted no time sprinting forward and lamping the ball forward to Ishtar Fanaiyan, not enough of a physical presence to help the defensive end but more than fast enough to keep Mercedini honest, and when they weren't honest, like now, when she just had to thread the channel between Aznelik and Catessic at blistering pace, she had the cool head necessary to slot the ball low and hard past a charging Hovek.

The game wasn't over yet, but for now they had a two-goal buffer (you sit on two goals - not naming any names, Brenecia) and most of the ball, and started playing the frustrating keep-away mixed with uncompromising brutality (and here the cautions got racked up - Steelhenge, Rafford, Klein) and it almost worked flawlessly. In the event, there was a flaw, coming in the form of Garzallo. The pacy young winger had kept Rafford on her toes all match, but his eventual reward was just a tap-in, Dostalok finally getting the ball in a promising position but instantly blocked by a wall of Nepharim muscle. But he didn't get tunnel vision, looked up, and fed in Garzallo as the winger ran like hell behind the defence, narrowly onside despite Rafford's pleas to the referee (the aforementioned caution), one risky touch to get the ball on his favoured left before hammering the ball over Swoboda's left shoulder.
They hoped to make it two, proven by the way Chillotov picked the ball out of the net and raced for the centre circle... shortly before being hooked for the old stalwart, former Boldsport Galactico-listed Sam Billic. The black and blue in the crowd cheered, an old hero returning, and jeered when he was bodychecked by Monica Rowland shortly after his first touch (she looked innocent enough to avoid a booking, but not a talking-to, thin enough ice that Brandon hooked her in turn). But in the end, there was no way through the terracotta and white, as the Mercedini attack ebbed and flowed.
There was still time for one last chance, though. Deep into stoppage time that both sides thought this was surely the last, the injection of the young and vibrant Karlovic having been a shot in the arm, his long ball to Presic leading to a cross that seemed to evade everyone but Billic, rising high... and heading down, but close enough for Swoboda to claw away, the ball suddenly out in no man's land. Dostalok shot into the body of the diving Steelhenge, it bounced clear enough for Klein, tracking back, to turn on a sixpence and hack the ball clear... to Karlovic, who shaped for one last lump into the box.
Except Estrella Hawke was there, as she'd been since the start. That final long ball? Yeah, she took that right in the goddamn face.
So, sure, she was knocked out cold for a couple of minutes, as the ball bounced sadly out of play and the final whistle blew, and blew, and blew. But there was a smile playing across her lips. She knew three points awaited her on the other side of consciousness - and, hell. She'd earned her rest.
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Starblaydia
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Postby Starblaydia » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:57 am

Simeone Di Bradini blinked and rested the back of his head against the seat of the Nejan Stadium dressing room that the Holy Empire side had been given for the match. It was one of those designed for six feet eight, three hundred pound Sarzoball players instead of the average size of a football player, so he felt like he had an entire widescreen TV cabinet to himself.

Cinnabun was carefully serving tea to Bogart, his equal in rank in the Space Admiralty, who was daintly sipping from the little tea cup with the delicate daisy patterns on the set. Lord Space Admiral Bogart stuck out his little finger in an adorably refined manner as the two decided that Mezna Rayyen's opening goal really was quite the worldy. Cinnabun was very proud of his header from a corner that had made it two-one, though, and Bogart was of equal admiration for the sweet little knee in the groin that Cinnabun had given to Sami Viipuri first, giving the bunny all the space he'd needed to do a little hop and get up to glance the ball into the net.

In the opposite corner First Purifier Snuggles was pulling rank over Second Purifier Pistachio, smashing the latter's head into one of the lockers in a charming fashion for the substitute having caused the foul that let Marcello Di Bradini knock the ball in, equalising from twenty-five yards from a set piece and making it 2-2. It was a rather exciting splatter of jam that resulted on the wall, too. But where were the scones and clotted cream?

Benjy Bunny was being consoled by Juan Tzimisces, although Simeone didn't think that it was having much of an effect, based on the string of four-letter words the High Marshal of the Imperial Legions of Doom was spewing, scrunching up his nose in a manner that would make people around the multiverse think "Awwwww!" as it was explained that the defensive three bunnies were supposed to be covering the Starblaydi attacking trio properly, otherwise it'd be too easy to get the sort of one-on-one opportunities that Kota Sato used to dance around Snowball and make it three-two.

Simeone couldn't help but smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside as he saw hat-trick hero Fluffles in a huff in the corner, sitting with his arms and legs folded and a delightfully sweet frown on his face because the whole team really did let him down, because he put in so much hard work and was so very, very good at this game.

Hokh'Ton Twitch was scribbling in a large ring-bound notepad using a large pink pen with a white feather in the end, planning campaigns of Inquisitorial warfare against whatever war clan it would be that Viola Capodanno belonged to. She'd had been sent off at the same time as Twitch for an appealing spot of tickling in the middle of the pitch with half an hour to go which, had the two had knives, would have upped the stabbing statistics in Oldston by several dozen percent.

And there was Snowball, sharpening the wickedly curved outer edge of an already razor-sharp obsidian techno-glaive, the inside a deadly serrated plasma edge that had parted flesh and armour with equal ease in its long life. Something similar to how the defence in front of him had parted to allow Frederico Esposito to sprint through from the left hand side and plant it firmly in the bottom corner, just so everyone watching on television at home could have their heartstrings tugged by the look of anguish on Snowball's face, a little tear streaming down his fluffy cheek as his whiskers twitched enchantingly.

"I really can't wait for the next match," Snowball said in between bites of carrot, "it's going to be so wonderful when we play Barunia, I can only imagine all the fantastic things we're going to do with them."

Then Wiggles, the captain, hopped over with two carrots in his hand and sat next to Simeone. The bunny's bottom lip was quivering a little, and he offered the nice fresh orange carrot to the assistance coach without looking at him. Simeone took it and took a bite out of the end, and the two sat there in silence, but for the crunching of their tasty carrots.

Simeone reached up and scratched Wiggles behind his long bunny ears, as a delicate little tear rolled down the Captain's face. From a World Cup Final, in Starblaydia itself no less, to this, one point after two games in the Free Republics, staring elimination in the face. But they weren't out yet, Simeone thought, if the Bunnies could thrash Barunia it wouldn't actually matter what the Starblaydia-Ko-oren result was.

From the Starblaydi point of view, they could even get away with a draw to Ko-oren if the Frosticans themselves didn't win. It felt nice to have your destiny in your own hands, Simeone thought, because it was a very rare occurrence indeed.
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Brenecia
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Postby Brenecia » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:34 am

Cosumar 2 - 4 Brenecia
(4-1-4-1) 1 - Woodgate; 2 - Broxham, 5 - Heneghan (22 - Varney 83'), 6 - Szubanski (c), 3 - Quill; 23 - Alweather; 7 - Crowther (15 - Garrard 76'), 21 - Case (14 - Ruskin 81'), 13 - Wheeler, 16 - Keynes; 9 - Riordan
Goals: Riordan 3', Keynes 19', Quill 56', Wheeler 71'

The Vanquishers expected a result.
They expected a reaction.
Sure, they'd come off a bad result, a damaging result, but so had the Patriots, right? Really, the defending world champions were there for the taking; or, at least, as there for the taking as the defending world champions were realitically going to get.
So it was kind of a dampener on their mood when Catsidhe Alweather earned her corn, wresting a marginally loose ball from Isla Sibucic's feet and then feeding Corby Wheeler, who lofted a ball down the middle of the defensive line. Jorgensen couldn't cover, and Svensson could only put a hand on Griffin Riordan as she barreled down their throats and finished off the counter with a wild swing, hammering it past Na'Kefir with... well, with her knee.
It was a time where Cosumar had to get the ball back, keep things calm, relax and regroup - Svensson had kept his head held high after the slip, rallied his squad. Done his captain's work.
And to their immense credit, it worked out. The workhorse Kai-Kai Mokumdarian reasserted a sense of control, and Tidesson and especially Serafino, charging at the young and raw Broxham, began to find some joy down the flanks. Sibucic and Valgard both tested Woodgate, and Zeale-Riddick would probably have scored were it not for an unusually precise covering challenge from Heneghan that lifted the ball out from her feet just as she was on the brink of a close-range shot. The betting odds levelled out, the crowd began to settle into it, and it seemed for a while as though it was the white and blue in control, not the blue and white.
So that's why it really sucked when Corby Wheeler stabbed a ball diagonally inside Pakkanen with the outside of her boot, and Cathal Keynes hurtled into the space and hammered it into the bottom corner with his first touch in the 19th minute.

That said.
Note that name; 'Vanquishers'. It wasn't achieved - and it was achieved, not merely doled out by PR - by being weak. They had pedigree, purpose, poise. And, most importantly of all, a will to win. Arguably more importantly than that, they had Bryger Tidesson, the sort of player who could take advantage of a one-two with Pakkanen to slip by as credentialed a player as Quill and, as the ball bounced a little from Pakkanen's flick, leather it with an almost casual swing of his right. It had no right to go in, but it curled over Woodgate's head and found the net, a genuine screamer. Zeale-Riddick did, in fact, scream, in a wrestling match for the ball with Cheney Heneghan.
But that was just one goal, otherwise known as not enough goals, and they still needed one (ideally two) to prove that 2-0 really was the most dangerous scoreline. Isla Sibucic had to take control, and did so. The lively Pakkanen again setting things up, a lofted ball over the top of Quill's head, and Sibucic sprinted ahead of Alweather and smashed her foot through the ball and Mathis Woodgate, as Woodgate so often did, sprawled down to claw the ball away, Szubanski cleared. But the ball only came as far as Mokumdarian, who really was everywhere by this stage, and noted that the Brenecian defensive block had implacably crabwalked over to his side of the pitch, on Cosumar's right. Therefore the logical thing to do would be to hoof the ball as long and hard as he goddamn could, finding Bellerophon Serafino on the left, taking on Broxham, outmuscling Broxham, riding a spiteful kick to the ankles from Broxham, stumbling a little but finding his feet, Valgard was there and he took the ball, looked up, saw Heneghan in his path, reluctantly slipped it back to Serafino who turned in with his right and then slammed a shot in with his left, but Woodgate didn't get beaten at his near post (except that time in qualifying he had), and palmed the ball... straight back at Serafino, and by this time Sibucic was running like hell, pursued by Alweather like a Winter's Tale scene transition, and Serafino just cut it back to her and she slid it neatly into the net and the Vanquishers' job was half-done, and they could head back into the tunnel with their heads held high.

There's definitely worlds out there where Cosumar close out the game, VZR scores a brace and Woodgate retires on the spot. Unfortunately, Cosumar's momentum would prove their undoing as Brenecia... well...
Brenecia did what they did, which was to just inject that bit more 'underdog spirit' into their play. A term which here means 'physicality', which is a term that here means violence.
Sibucic was first to cop it, a brutal shin-hack from Alweather who looked studiously and effectively innocent, escaping a booking. She dusted herself off, tested Woodgate with the free kick, but the message had been sent, and seemed to get spirit back into Brenecian legs. When had the last Brenecian attack even been? Well, this one started from Broxham and wound up with Griffin Riordan rising majestically to head Crowther's face straight at Na'Kefir and then punching herself in the temple in frustration.
Na'Kefir wasn't exactly a sap, either, as Crowther found out when she arrowed a strike beautifully towards the top corner and yet, mysteriously, it wound up a corner rather than a goal. Keynes missed, so did Wheeler, and while the Brenecian chances were beginning to mount up, the finishing was downright worrying. So it was a little cliche, to say the least, when a broken-down Brenecian attack resulted in Na'Kefir punching out Crowther's cross, and it came all the way to Falcon Case, chesting it, controlling it, and... no, not taking the shot, Case did the simple things. He passed it to Gethin Quill, surging up down the left, trusting him to do a simple thing. He didn't do a simple thing; he hammered the ball goalwards, and Na'Kefir saw it late, couldn't get down fast enough, and despairingly watched it clip the inside of the bar and in.
That set the tone for the last half-hour and a bit, set at fever pitch. Cosumar, of course, had to move forward - Brenecia was in Brenecia 5-4 Vilita mood, Jim Reid looking more than a little nervy on the bench every time Broxham in particular was caught too far upfield, chewing his nails to the quick. Handily, though, Corby Wheeler still had something to say about the country she played her club football. Most Goldstaff fans probably didn't like it, though, given it came in the form of a luscious arcing strike that left Na'Kefir clawing at thin air.
A two-goal lead. A two goal lead, and the Patriots could slip back a bit, hunker down somewhat, still with enough on the break to keep Cosumar honest - indeed, Riordan should probably have made it 5-2 in stoppage time, but Na'Kefir managed to parry her strike one-on-one. Cosumar, of course, had their chances - Neptune came off the bench, livened proceedings up, and a strike she had span off Heneghan's calf and frankly could've gone anywhere past a stranded Woodgate - as it stood, it came to a corner which floated uselessly over everyone. In the end, though, it didn't matter that it was a shame this side ended like this, because they had.
And Brenecia? Well... the sky, worryingly, was beginning to look like the limit.
Puppet of Nephara.

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Audioslavia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:34 am

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 6.5
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 8.5
Episode 9
Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12


“What’s he doing now” asked Rory, still trying and failing to keep track of the action on the field. Betsy, through a pair of binoculars had her gaze set on the opposite side of the stadium.
“He’s got a whiplash in his coat pocket. Either that or he’s got a hip flask-shaped e-cigarette now. Either way, he’s doing nothing in particular.”
“Any sign of our old friend Rubio Sanchez?” Asked Rory. On the field, Audioslavia attacked. Arjen Jensen sent a shot just past the post. Rory barely noticed.
“Negative” came Betsy’s reply.
The two had stationed themselves nearly exactly opposite Jeremy Jaffacake on the other side of the stadium. Though both were football fans and neither had ever seen Audioslavia play in the World Cup before, neither could bring themselves to take their mind off the job at hand.
“Wait” said Betsy, “I see our Republican friend”
“What’s he up to?”
“Nothing. Stood in the tunnel next to the media section. He’s talking to a couple of security guards… one is approaching Jeremy just now…”
Betsy stopped speaking. Rory pretending not to be incredibly annoyed by this, choosing instead to watch a Euran player, he didn’t care which one, blooter a cross-field pass out for a throw-in.
“Someone’s taking Jeremy away” said Betsy, finally.
“Bouchard?” Asked Rory
“No. Security. A guy with a moustache”
“Definitely a security guard if he has a moustache” said Rory, nodding. Betsy put her binoculars down.
“You want to take a look?”
“No” said Rory. “They’ll be taking him to the security centre. There’s a room where he’s said he can get Jeremy for twenty minutes or so. He should be back in his seat by the end of the match”
“How did Detective Bouchard say he was going to do it? Whisk Jeremy Jaffacake away from a football match like that?”
“He was originally going to try to arrest him for something, but we agreed to play it differently” said Rory. “He’s engineered a problem with Jeremy’s press pass. The guy checking it at the gates swapped out Jeremy’s real one for a fake one, under the pretences of ‘just needing to check this with his superiors’. They’ve come to report to Jeremy that his ID is fake, but naturally they won’t be accusing him of everything, just asking him questions. ‘When was the last time your press pass was outwith your possession sir’ and all that. We figure the only thing Jeremy Jaffacake likes as much as football is a mystery to solve, especially when the mystery involves someone trying to get him into trouble. He’ll see Richard as a friendly face trying to help. So we hope”
“And we’re not scared that he’ll see through that in four seconds flat?”
“We’re not ‘scared’, no” said Rory. “I’m not so stupid that I think even a decent plan will work against Jeremy Jaffacake, though. Shit”
Down on the field, a number of Euran footballers were jumping on another Euran footballer. The Audioslavians that weren’t remonstrating with each other were surrounding the referee and expertly jostling him in such a way wherein the ref didn’t know who was pushing him, and so couldn’t send anyone off.
“Aww” said Betsy. “First blood to Eura then”
“Aye” said Rory. “Plenty of time left. We always leave it late”

—-

“What did I tell you?” Asked Rory as he and Betsy left the stadium. The Audioslavian fans surrounding them on their way out had found their voice, celebrating Roddy Fraser’s eighty-eighth minute equaliser that kept Audioslavia’s World Cup chances alive for another game at least. Rory put his hands on Betsy’s shoulders and steered her towards the exit, through the thronged masses of football fans. As they exited the stadium, Rory’s role turned to that of people-plough as he tried to shove his way through to where the security depot was situated, with Betsy slipping through in his wake. Detective Bouchard was waiting outside.
“Thought you’d never make it” said Bouchard. “Enjoy the game?”
“The last ninety seconds, aye” said Rory. “Enjoy your meeting?”
Bouchard answered only with a short ‘hmm’. He held out his hand, in which was a small USB stick.
“The interview is all here” said Bouchard. “Make of it what you will. I’d rather you heard all this for yourselves. We can reconvene tomorrow if there’s anything that you want to talk about”
“Interesting” said Rory, taking the USB stick and pocketing it. “In general? How was his mood?”
“Helpful” said Bouchard. “And then bored. And then suspicious. And then angry. He mentioned you by name. Just the once, near the end”
“Thanks for all the help, Detective Bouchard” said Rory. “I’ll be in touch tomorrow”
“A pleasure” said Bouchard. “First time meeting a celebrity for me. You know how they say you should never meet your heroes?” He asked. Betsy cocked her head to one side.
“Heroes?”
“Well it turns out you should never meet contemptible arseholes either” said Bouchard, smiling.



Rory and Betsy resisted the urge to listen to the recording in the car, instead finding somewhere to eat and go over the match together. Back at the hotel, with a glass of wine each, Betsy plugged the USB stick into her laptop, found the file, and pressed ‘play’.
Last edited by Audioslavia on Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
LEADERS NEED TO BE MOSTLY DEAD. PEOPLE WANT SOLID MONUMENTS TO CLING TO. NOT CONFUSED MEN LIKE T̴̬̀Ḥ̷͐E̴̝̾M̸̄͂̽̔͜S̸̜̜̤͋̎Ḙ̶̫̪̩́L̸̼͓̫̙͋V̶̗̫̠̞͐̐ͅÈ̵͍͖̣͙͚̲̦͂̌̅͗̕5̶̠̻͔̻͂.

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Vilita
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

WC81 - MD2 v. Qasden | Vilaye Energy Drink

Postby Vilita » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:06 am

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Vilita survive Cat Fight in rainy Bunyoro Region


Paa Nyeupe, Dodoma, Bunyoro, Banija :: After contesting their first match of the World Cup 81 Finals at the Wolf's Den in Busembe, the Vilita National Team packed their bags and grabbed their rain coats as they headed off to the Bunyoro region, one of the wettest in all of Atlantian Oceania. The brand new stadium, Paa Nyeupe, hadn't even been broken in by the local Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club yet but would not be hosting its first matches under the White Roof designed to be acoustically amplifying, some suggesting that a Vuvuzela sound from the top row could be heard on the pitch during the final phases of construction.

Despite the heavy rains, the pitch was in decent condition for the match thanks to a high tech drainage system installed at the stadium allowing it to retain a traditional open roof on matchday. It was only minimal consolation for the players on both side of the ball however as their uniforms were soaked even before the match kicked off just from the pre-match photo session and the rain, falling in varied intensity throughout the match, constantly pestering them from above.
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While many of the Vilitan players were plenty familiar with their Qasden opponents the Vilita National Team and the National Team of Qasden hadn't actually played each other in modern day competition. Many of the players were involved when Vilita and Turori squared off with Qasden twice during the 55th AOCAF Regional Competition in the Equestrian States, however.

The Eel-Cat Things appeared to be cruising towards a deep run in the AOCAF 55 competition after making quick work of their group stage opponents Demot, Qasden and Nuova Serone outscoring them by a combined 13 goals to 5. The second group stage matchup against Qasden was by far the most tightly contested affair with Vilita and Turori sneaking through with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Vilitan attacker Linvoi Warazil and Tenziki Kulakao. Mako Canopii was in goal for the Eel-Cat Things and put in a strong performance conceding just one goal. At the end of the group phase both Vilita & Turori and Qasden would advance to the knockout round. However, due to a quirk in the knockout round scheduling, Vilita and Turori would be drawn against Qasden in the Round of 16 and the two sides would do battle once again.

Things wouldn't go as well for the Eel-Cat Things as they were defeated 5-4 by Qasden and were sent home early from the competition. Mako Canopii looked shaken in the match having conceded five goals and perhaps that was a factor in the decision by the Vilitan National Coaching Staff to turn away from Canopii and call on Lonngeylin Coast goalkeeper Cilamara Issah between the sticks for the Jungle Cats second group stage fixture.

In attack Vilita would pair Beralzi Tzufarei with Nii'arala Milaaso putting together their two most prolific attackers from the qualification with a total of fifteen goals scored between the two forwards who each appeared in ten of the Jungle Cats qualification matches.

For the second straight game, however, the Vilita National Teams most prolific goalscorers would be shut out and the Jungle Cats would have to rely on goals from other sources. Of course with over twenty career internationstatal goals for the Vilita National Team, there may have been no surprise when it was the Turoki Tide midfield superstar Polaox Torerun who opened the scoring under the White Roof.

Torerun may have deceived the Qad defenders by appearing to be looking for an outlet in the form of the pacy Limu Katarakhna, but just as Katarakhna committed to their run, Torerun cut the ball back inside and then fired a pacey ball low that skipped across the wet ground and out of the reach of Raynor City United goalkeeper Macron Abbott.

Qasden would level the scores just before half time after a comedy of errors inside the Vilitan penalty area as the water logged Jungle Cat defenders struggled to clear the ball after a Qasden corner kick. It amount to nothing short of a Cat Fight inside the box and finally Cilamara Issah tried to handle things themselves. Instead, however, Issah was taken out by Kwuimekii Hentetii who had been attempting to regain their footing to clear the ball. Hentetii's misplaced whiff kick caused them to lose footing once again and land on Issah. The ball rolled gently to the foot of Onyx Foster who pushed the ball goalward and there were no Vilitan players standing between the ball and goal, eventually rolling across the goal line and setting things back on even terms going into the break.

Some of the players opted to switch out their kits at half time for something a tad on the dryer side while others decided to keep their damp uniforms on under the assumption that they would just get wet again in the second half. The rain was coming down harder in the second half and while the drainage system was doing its job and keeping the pitch playable, visibility and communication were an issue as the sound of the rain falling and hitting the roof and field was reverberating around the acoustically focused arena drowning out the fans, the staff on the sideline and even at times the referees whistle. Under the torrid conditions, the players seemed to dial the match back a bit with some wondering if they were all thinking it was probably better for all involved to see the match to its conclusion as it sat, with both sides getting a point. The torrential downpour that had moved in at the interval finally began to let up about fifteen minutes from the end of the match, visibility improved and the players could actually hear the coaches on the sideline giving them orders.

The rain had reduced itself to a light mist by the time that youthful Marine Coast United utility player Enzoril Alabonni was introduced to the match, the attacker having been sitting on the sideline under cover with a rain coat on the entire match, entered the field as the driest player on the pitch. Thanks to the efficient drainage system, it appeared that Alabonni was playing a different game than the rest of the water logged players around them who had been fatigued from fighting off the rain over the past half hour. Within minutes the move paid off as Alabonni dazzled past the wet Qasden defenders and slotted the ball away to the far post marking the first ever World Cup Finals goal for the Marine Coast United player.

The Vilita National Team hunkered down for a potential onslaught in the final minutes but the threat never really materialized as the exhausted players on both sides were relieved when the full time whistle came, regardless of which side of the result they were on.

Vilita [2] - [1] Qasden

:: Vilita Goalscorers ::
:: 25' Polaox Torerun
:: 83' Enzoril Alabonni
:: Vilita Statistics ::
:: Possession: 58%
:: Shots on Target: 6
:: Corner Kicks: 6
:: Qasden Statistics ::
:: Possession: 42%
:: Shots on Target: 3
:: Corner Kicks: 6



Vilita Jungle Cats Lineup v. Qasden ::
[GK] Cilamara Issah, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [D.] Linkat Cjinder, [D.] Kwuimekii Hentetii, [ML] Limu Katarakhna, [MC] Polaox Torerun, [MC] Cavuna Aquafek, [MC] Jurzen Devmiko, [MR] Kamarul Zaman, [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [FC] Berali Tzufarei
BENCH::
[FC] Sipke Tarala, [FC] Enzoril Alabonni, [M] Tripate Falcon, [M] Va'a-Rio Kiwavn, [U ] Jirijii Januaa, [D] Mileke Drokasorna, [GK] Mako Canopii



As the Jungle Cats dried off and returned to their lodging for the evening, they would be gifted with excellent news from the Cassadaigua versus Valanora matchup where the five time World Cup Champions were held by Cassadaigua in a 2-2 draw which ensured mathematically that the Jungle Cats would advance to the knockout rounds. Furthermore, with their victory over Qasden on matchday two and the fact that Qasden were the only team that could mathematically match the Vilita National Team in the standings, the Jungle Cats were assured of finishing top of Group D which could also mean an easier draw in the Round of 16.

As winners of Group D, Vilita could already begin to have one eye on the Group C table to scout out their potential knockout round opponents, even with one match remaining in the Group stage against Cassadaigua. The Daiguans will know that they need to defeat the Jungle Cats to have any chance of advancing to the Knockout Rounds but even that wouldn't ensure progression depending on the result of the Qasden v. Valanora matchup. The Qasden National Team would advance with any points earned over the Marauders while Cassadaigua and Valanora would not only need to win their matches but also hope that results in the other match went in their favor.

In Group C there are three teams contesting for two spots on the final matchday with Ethane currently on top of the group with Farfadillis level on points and goal differential but inferior in Goals Scored. Ethane will square off against winless Eshan on the final matchday while Farfadillis will take on Sargossa knowing that a draw will see them advance but a defeat to the Rushmori nation would see the Farves eliminated from the competition... unless Ethane also lose and lose by more goals than the Farves lose by. It should all make for a fascinating conclusion to Group C which will have a larger than usual viewing audience from the Vilitan Cove region as a result of the implications on Vilita's knockout round matchup.


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Vilaye named Official Energy Drink of World Cup 81

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Vilisorma, Vilita, Atlantian Oceania :: The Vilisorma beverage company has stepped up production of its top-selling Vilaye Energy Drink as a result of their partnership with the World Cup 81 organizing committee and the announcement that Vilaye Energy Drink had been named as the Official Energy Drink of World Cup 81.

Vilaye Energy Drink is made from "natural extracts" and the Vilisorma Beverage Company (VilBev) prides itself in using minimal artificial processing. While the Vilisorma Beverage Company keeps the actual formula for its top products, including Vilaye, locked away in a vault in their Sorma based headquarters, always reluctant to reveal the true ingredients, it hasn't slowed the market for its products particularly in among sports fans as Vilisorma Beverage Company has long been a supporter of Vilitan sporting ventures particularly through its Vilaye brand. Vilaye energy drink has long been the title sponsor of the Vilitan League's seasonal Tropical Trophy competition, has served as a kit sponsor for teams both in the Vilitan League and even abroad and has also been heavily involved in Vilita & Turorian Motorsports. Vilaye has been a personal sponsor of famed Vilitan World Grand Prix driver R.L. Cruisin and has recently expanded that support to up and coming Grand Prix drivers Juracai Klianiota and Jama'obo Pegasii. Vilaye also served as sponsor of the Vilaye Energy Drink 314 race at the Vilitan Mountain Challenge Course in Rockii Coast during the sixth NSSCRA season which saw Vilaye sponsored driver River 'Shark' Suzgar II claim the championship.

Vilaye drivers R.L. Cruisin and River 'Shark' Suzgar were on hand for the Vilita National Teams opening match of the World Cup 81 finals against long time regional rivals Valanora, signing autographs for fans at the Vilaye Energy Drink booth outside The Wolf's Den stadium where representatives from the Vilisorma Beverage Company were also on hand to deliver free product samples and every fan who stopped by the booth also received a coupon for buy one-get one free on any Vilisorma Beverage Company product.

As the official Energy Drink of World Cup 81, the Vilisorma Beverage Company will have representation at every game throughout the World Cup 81 finals handing out samples and coupons to fans who stop buy their booths as well as stocking limited edition Vilaye cans imprinted with the flags of World Cup 81 nations at Stadium and Local concessions.



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

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Sargossa
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Sargossa » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:27 am

SSM | Sargossan State Media
International Edition - Sport



On A Knife Edge


Blanco Borrayo reports;

Drama ensued at the Hoima Stadium as Sargossa battled back to overturn a first half deficit and keep their World Cup stay alive with a come from behind victory over Eshan. And a victory was essential following defeat in a thrilling opening encounter with in form Ethane.

Having notched up fifty goals in qualifying and then sticking eight past Damukuni across the two legs of the World Cup playoff, scoring has not been a problem for Rodrigo Defederico’s charges. But keeping them out at the other end has been a much bigger issue. Despite being top seeds in Group 14 the Corsairs kept a mere six clean sheets in eighteen matches, conceding two against Altai Almas, Thibaea and The Alpine Union, three against Siovanija & Teusland and five against Kita-Hinode. And against Ethane the strengths and failings were present in equal measure.

At times the front three of Marí, Mayoral and Cáceres ran the Ethane defence ragged but at the other end Declan Smith was putting the Corsairs’ backline to the sword. It was a breathless fixture and one that left both coaches considering their defensive options for the remainder of the tournament. At the final whistle the Ethane travelling support were understandably delighted, and more than a little relieved, following another blistering attacking display from their Red Kites. The Sargossan fans too were in good spirits, sharing rueful smiles and laughter with their counterparts. While the organisers would surely be pleased with the seven goal thriller that also provided plenty for the neutrals in Moravica.

But for all its good as a spectacle defeat in the opening game put Sargossa on something of a knife edge. As were opponents Eshan, following defeat to Farfadillis in their opening fixture. The attacking élan was largely absent as two nation, normally quite comfortable in their offensive styles, settled for a much more pragmatic approach. A beautiful day in Ankole made for a fitting backdrop for a World Cup encounter but the first half action failed to live up to the setting. In fact there was really only one moment of quality to speak of, but what a moment of quality it was. Marco van Ciavatinni, billed as Eshan’s best ever player, showed just way he’s so highly regarded when he received a pass in the centre, turned on a six pence to leave Sergio Espina in the dust and hit a fantastic dipping drive into the top corner from twenty two yards.

After some choice words from their coach at half time the Corsairs re-emerged at the Stadium- PG Arena with a renewed purpose. There was no change to formation or personal but just an increase in tempo that was noticeably absent from the first half endeavour. Suddenly the men in darker blue were pinging the ball around with a bit of believe and causing problems for the Echani defence. Mid way through the half that pressure told as Miguel Marí cut in from the left and, as defenders backed off, struck a low right footed drive into the corner to level up the match. Suddenly the fixture was alive, a draw being of little use to either side. Eshan drove forward, Sargossa struck back, the crowd roared them both on. Eight minutes from time the decisive moment arrived and it came courtesy of an Echani freekick. It was a poor effort that thudded into the wall and was cleared out to the left where Valenzuela lurked. Valenzuela broke quickly, with Echani defenders struggling to get back into their positions. Driving through the centre too was Matías Cáceres who arrived in the penalty area in time to tap Valenzuela’s low cross in at the far post. Now staring at elimination Eshan attacked in desperation but Defederico withdrew Cáceres for the experienced midfielder battler Alejandro Victorino and the Corsairs held out.

A win for Sargossa took them onto three points, a single point behind both Ethane and Farfadillis who fought out a goalless draw in their match. Meaning victory over the Farves in the final group game at the BCEL Stadium will see the Corsairs through to the knockout stages. No easy feat against the second best team in the Sportiverse but a challenge which the side will tackle with relish. Twice before the nations have met, sharing a win apiece during the qualifiers for World Cup 69, but qualification points are nothing compared to a clash that will decide a place in the knockout stages at the World Cup itself.

Group C                Pld   W  D  L   GF  GA  GD  Pts 
1 Ethane 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 4
2 Farfadillis 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 4
3 Sargossa 2 1 0 1 5 5 0 3
4 Eshan 2 0 0 2 3 5 −2 0
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV / Copa Rushmori XX

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Barunia » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:17 am

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Ch 16. East Tildos

The eastern portion of Tildos is one of the oldest inhabited regions in the country. The early Spanish settlers established a town near the mouth of the Rio Verde, probably in the early 17th century. The Spanish influence on this region has continued, and travellers should note that the area is mostly bilingual. In some places though, signs will only be in Spanish. However, if you speak in English, people should be able to understand you and converse in that language fluently. While it has a long history of habitation, the area has remained sparsely populated until the last forty years or so, when the population has risen sharply, and continues to do so. The city of Monte Sol, once a small backwater, is now in the top ten largest cities in the country, with modern infrastructure and futuristic-looking buildings.

Getting Around
The Eastern Tildos Highway runs from Delmars to Monte Sol. Other roads east run from Appleburgh and Port Lincoln. Currently the only rail connection between Delmars and Monte Sol is the overland rail from Appleburgh, although a high-speed train is planned to start construction in a few years’ time.

Monte Sol has 6 underground rail lines, and a single above ground railway that runs to the coast. Small river ferries operate along the Rio Verde from Calabaza to San Javier. Ferries also connect San Javier to Port Lincoln and Northport-San Baptiste in the Northern Isles.

Things to see – Monte Sol
Monte Sol is a modern vibrant city with a rich past. To embrace its current state as one of Barunia’s freshest and most liveable cities, head to the suburb of San Antonio. While there, check out the San Antonio Gallery of Modern Art. The Gallery only displays pieces from the 21st-century, and is always renewing and refreshing their displays. Also in San Antonio is the famous Callejones (Laneways), a series of narrow one-way streets that have been transformed into one of the trendiest places in the city. The lanes are packed with dozens of small cafes, bars, and boutique shops, while the walls are a blank canvas for legal street art. While often considered a modern area, the Callejones are actually one of Monte Sol’s oldest districts, with the dilapidated area undergoing a major makeover to become what it is today. The old architecture has been preserved in parts, with many businesses operating out of buildings that are centuries old. Whether you are looking for the modern or the old, you’ll find it in the lanes.

If you want to explore the history of East Tildos, the Monte Sol History Museum is a great place to visit. Built in an 18th-century library, the museum has a wide variety of artefacts from the early years of the region. The museum is located on the lower slopes of the wide mountain for which the city is named. For spectacular views of the region, head on up the hill to one of the lookouts or parks on the mountain. One of the best views is from Amanecer Point, which face the rising sun and gives you exceptional views over half of the city, and a long way beyond.

Things to See - San Javier and the East Coast
The Rio Verde runs out to sea at San Javier, the oldest settlement in Tildos. San Javier is one of the best places in Barunia to get in touch with that history. You can visit the site of the town’s original chapel, where the remains of the original wooden structure can be seen below the floor of the History Centre, next to the still-standing brick chapel from the 1800’s. The history centre is a great place to explore the past, as they have a wealth of artefacts and highly knowledgeable staff. However, if you really want to explore history, you need to take a trip just outside San Javier to Parque Pionero (Pioneer Park). This park contains a replica 17th-century town, similar to how San Javier would have looked at the time, complete with staff in full costume. Visitors can engage with the locals in the shops, watch the tradesmen, such as the blacksmith, at work, and be driven through the streets in a horse-drawn wagon. It’s a great place to fully immerse yourself in the history of the early settlers of Tildos.

The East Coast of Tildos is a rugged landscape, which soon becomes a mass of huge boulders stacked onto rocky beaches. These jumbles of rocks have caused some interesting geological features, such as the Titan’s Head, a giant boulder that looks somewhat like a human face looking out to see, perched precariously on a stack of smaller stones. There is also Foca Cave, a large cavern that is formed by a large flat stone perched at an angle on top of smaller ones, allowing for a person to crawl in.
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Free Republics
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Founded: May 03, 2013
Capitalizt

Postby Free Republics » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:46 am

40 minutes had elapsed in the Free Republics-Chromatika match at the Soccer Palace and the crowd was already starting to turn on Republican National Soccer Team, LLC. Chants of "Theriault Must Go" started ringing out in the crowd. The scoreboard showed Chromatika 2, Free Republics 0 and it looked like Soccer General Rule Theriault's team was on pace to complete a full decade without a World Cup Finals victory. The Chromatiks appeared to have the match in the bag.

Then, everything changed in a moment. One of Chromatika's midfielders inexplicably passed the ball to Johnny Smith and the Republican CAM sprinted downfield. Seconds later, he placed a precision pass to Love Holm and the 16-year-old 4 year starter placed the ball right on the Chromatik keeper's hands. It deflected off of his hands, into the crossbar and bounced into the net. Moments later, as the referee was about to blow his whistle for halftime, the Republicans suddenly created another scoring chance. Kalervo Peltola had their last defender beat and a 1v1 against their keeper when he was flagrantly fouled from behind in the penalty area. The referee saw it, awarded the Chromatik defender a red card and awarded a penalty kick to the Free Republics. The crowd erupted, all of their anti-Theriault chants now forgotten. Love Holm stepped up to take the penalty. After faking to the left and fooling the keeper, Holm placed a shot on the ground on the right side of the net and the Free Republics went into halftime with the match tied and a 1 man advantage.

The second half started with the Free Republics applying relentless pressure to the Chromatik defense. Johnny Smith's shot on goal set off a series of 3 consecutive corners. On the 3rd corner, Maxim Izmailov leaped for the ball and was fouled in the air by a Chromatik defender. The official issued a second yellow card to a Chromatika defender and awarded another penalty to the Free Republics. Holm took it again and placed it high and in the center of the net. The keeper jumped to the right yet was still just inches away from getting his foot on the ball. The Free Republics led 3 goals to 2 and was up 11 men to 9!

At this point, the complexion of the match completely changed. Theriault took Izmailov, his defensive midfielder, out of the match and brought in a 4th striker in Dragutin Perkovic. He also brought in Alfonso Sundberg and Nicolai Svendsen for Ralf Schroder and Vaclav Urbanek, switching his team to an ultra-offensive 1-5-4 formation. Everybody in the Soccer Palace knew that Theriault smelled blood at this moment. The remaining 40 minutes of the match saw the Free Republics turn up the pressure, attempting to use their 2-man advantage to rout Chromatika and make a statement that the Free Republics were back.

Chromatika's goal keeper would put on a remarkable performance turning away Republican shot after Republican shot but even his 18 saves over the course of the match were not enough to prevent the Free Republics from getting more goals. Johnny Smith would pick up the 4th Republican goal in the 67th minute, assisted by Nicolai Svendsen while Perkovic would score his second World Cup goal in the 89th minute as the Free Republics kept the pressure on until the final whistle. After the match, Rule Theriault grabbed a microphone and spoke to the crowd.




Rule Theriault Speech after 5-2 Victory over Chromatika

That was a remarkable turnaround, wasn't it? In the 40th minute, all of you had turned on me after everything I've accomplished but even in that moment, I knew we were going to come through today. There's a special energy around this team and this generation has already accomplished more at this point in their careers than the previous generation had. This is the third consecutive World Cup Finals for this young team and we have an Independents Cup title! We've also picked up our share of third place finishes in other tournaments over the years.

When you've been around as long as I have, you learn that sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for the process to play out. 13 years ago, we entered the World Cup with a young team in its 4th year together that had accomplished little of note outside of youth tournaments. In those days, it seemed like the entire multiverse was against us. Nobody believed in us except us and all of the foreigners hated us because a few of our star players were accused of engaging in consensual sex while intoxicated. What was done to us back then was a complete disgrace but it just motivated us to prove them all wrong and win that trophy. When we took down Polar Islandstates in the semis, you'd better believe they all knew we were for real even if they'd never admit it! For a few days, they were terrified that we were about to win the World Cup until our co-hosts deprived us of a home final and we came out flat against Vilita. While I don't have any say over the organization of the World Cup this year, I still think what happened with the location of the final 13 years ago was a total disgrace!

It is much too early for us to talk about reaching this year's final but, of course, that is our goal. We want to be playing under those bright lights before the largest crowd to witness a World Cup Final in recent memory at the new CoCoCo Stadium in New City. But there are many other deserving teams in this year's World Cup field and I don't think I've ever seen a tougher half of the draw than what we're offering to you this year. Consul Nicholls and Consul Emeritus Vasin have brought us the very best soccer in the multiverse and it is up to us to prove ourselves against the best of the best.

[Theriault checks his phone]

I have just been informed that Saltstead has defeated the Equestrian States. [crowd erupts in thunderous applause] This means that our next match will be, for all intents and purposes, a playoff match. I am told that we merely need a draw to ensure our spot in the Round of 16 but don't expect us to play for a draw against Saltstead. We want to beat them and earn our spot in the Round of 16. I know you may be surprised to hear this from me but I have the utmost respect for our opponents this year. While the Equestrian States may be a bunch of cheaters, they wouldn't be able to be in a position to cheat to win if they weren't a really talented soccer team. Chromatika is a really good team that made a few mental mistakes today that cost them the match. They do seem a bit distracted at the moment for some reason. I don't understand it but they're still a tough opponent and this match looked for a while like it was gonna go the other way. Finally, Saltstead have shown alot of heart to just get to this point. They beat Drawkland in the playoffs, surprising everybody, and now they managed to overcome the cheating ponies and put themselves in a position to beat us and go to the Round of 16. Its going to be an intense match. The MilaneseDome is getting a knockout round caliber match and I already know its going to be a memorable one.

But that's enough about soccer for now. I want to talk to you about what happened earlier today. Like most of you, I was here watching the Consul debate prior to our match and I could not believe that a would-be assassin actually made it onto the pitch. Since he has already moved on to whatever eternal punishment may or may not await him in the afterlife, we will never know who he was planning on murdering today. I just want to say that people like that are complete scum. This illustrates exactly why we banned gun-free zones last year and also illustrates the need to do the responsible thing and carry your firearm with you at all times. We live in dangerous times. There are far too many criminals and far too many crimes these days. We need to get back to the old days when we had militias and everybody took responsibility for our security.

As many of you know, my family is the most decorated family in the history of Republica's Navy. My grandfather and father were both admirals and my brother Pierre is an admiral. I still remember my father's disappointment when I chose to go into coaching soccer instead of going into the Navy. I come from a military family and I know that our military has long trusted Trudeau Firearms Company to produce our standard issue firearms. While Sebastian Trudeau may be a bit flamboyant, my brother Pierre has assured me that he is a reasonable mainstream candidate who will not do anything extreme as consul. Therefore, I am endorsing Sebastian Trudeau to be the next Consul of the Federation of Free Republics. I believe Scarlett Nicholls and Julian Norberg would also make great consuls but Mr. Trudeau is the only candidate with a proven executive record and a commitment to doing what needs to be done to keep us safe and free! I urge all of you to vote for him in the upcoming second round of the Consul election.

I know that there are many of you that will strongly disagree with my decision to endorse Mr. Trudeau and I respect your right to your opinion. My endorsement of Trudeau does not mean that I am hostile to your preferred candidate or that the entire Republican National Soccer Team, LLC organization agrees with me. I can tell you for a fact that our locker room is split. Many of the players like Scarlett Nicholls because she's beautiful, cool and extremely talented. Many of the players like Julian Norberg because he's experienced and can make change happen. I don't think any of the players are supporting Fukuhara but if you are, that's fine with me too. I'm just speaking for myself here but I want to urge everybody to be civil and respectful towards those with whom you disagree. We don't have to hate each other just because we support different candidates for Consul. And with that, I want to thank all of you for coming out today and I promise all of you that we will be ready for our upcoming game with Saltstead.




Free Republics Starting Lineup vs Saltstead

GK: #12 Taras Sergeyev (19)
RB: #2 Ralf Schroder (19)
CB: #3 Zak Josef (20)
LB: #4 Vaclav Urbanek (19)
CDM: #5 Maxim Izmailov (20)
LM: #6 Usman Eldarkhanov (21)
RM: #7 Lecha Arsanukayev (19)
CAM: #8 Johnny Smith (18)
ST: #9 Dragutin Perkovic (19)
ST: #10 Love Holm (16)
ST: #11 Kalervo Peltola (18)
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1st: DBC 28, X Winter Olympics, Independents Cup 4, CoH 66
2nd: World Cup 68, DBC 27, U15WC 8, UWCFA Gold Cup I, BoI 15, 2nd Imperial Chap Olympiad, NSCF 11
3rd: World Cups 71 & 81, DBC 29, UWCFC Gold Cup III, GCoS 1
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Current Junior Consul: Scarlett Nicholls (Liberty)
Demonym: Republican
Trigram: FFR
Official Nation Name: Federation of Free Republics
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Mercedini
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mercedini » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:42 am

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Talking Points
@ Zoloroni Sports City Stadium - Zoloroni, Mercedini


With Mercedini's effective elimination from the World Cup, it's draws the curtain on what has been an illuminating cycle for the Golden Eagles, marking a new era where Mercedini are now longer a team stuck in mid-table obscurity. This cycle has given Mercedini the chance to play against some of the best established teams in the multiverse, while also testing the longevity of the team's stamina and endurance across the thirty or so games played in friendlies, qualification, their maiden journey in the Cup of Champions and finally their second appearance at the World Cup Finals group stage in Banija and the Free Republics. Mercedini first two losses in the group stage against Nephara and Turori (two of best teams to ever grace the World Cup Stage in Mercedini's time), they have one more game to play against Nova Anglicana before their World Cup journey comes to a close, at least for this cycle anyway.

Their final match against Nova Anglicana will be the final test for Mercedini as they attempt to salvage something from the cycle. Mercedini did manage to record a win in their first World Cup Finals appearance, coming from a 3-1 victory against Flardania to open their account in a group stage where they would ultimately finish third after coming in as a Pot 4 team. Now, they set their sights on a perfectly winnable game, knowing that they can play without any pressure of repercussions, as their elimination ship had already sailed after those opening two losses. A win at the multi-verse's biggest sporting tournament would be welcomed by the rest of the nation plus their KPB World Ranking, which could hit into the top twenty for the first time if everything goes to plan in their third and final match. Dostalok and Chillotov are developing well as they face tougher and tougher opposition at bigger and bigger tournaments. A win against Nova Anglicana would mean they would finish third in the group ahead of their opponents in the final game, with Nephara and Turori already through as they battle it our for the top spot and potentially a more favourable draw in the knockout rounds. Anyway, Mercedini are rising through the ranks once again, so could we class them as a potential power for the future, with their IAC trophy and Cup of Harmony wrapping up a decent couple of cycles for the team in blue and black.

Mercedini: Future Force?

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Now in their seventh cycle of World Cup action, Mercedini are one of the rare teams to have never missed a post-qualification tournament since their debut in the World Cup 75 cycle, qualifying for two World Cups and invited to five Cups of Harmony, with the Golden Eagles winning one of the latter tournaments in the last cycle. Their fast rise and their steady performances have finally given them a seat at the top table for the second time, although experience against the higher ranked teams have been lacking, with Mercedini's record against fellow group-mates Nephara, and the Vilitan Cove proving telling at the World Cup Finals, they have never beaten those teams before (with Mercedini never earning even a point against the Vilitan Cove in their previous nine attempts, 1x CoH, 1x WC and 1v CoC vs. Turori, 5x WC and 1x CoC). It's clear Mercedini troubles against the very best, most do, but if they are to cement themselves within the likes of Nephara, Eura and Vilita, they need to be seriously challenging those at the top at their own game.

We know that the Mercedinian has that fight in them to overcome some of the multiverse's greatest, that was evident during the previous cycle's Cup of Harmony, when the Golden Eagles overcame the likes of Qasden, Kita-Hinode and Audioslavia to win it all and lift the trophy in where else but Vilita of all places. All of those teams mentioned have won multiple WCC trophies themselves, proving Mercedini can at least rise to the top within the scope of the multiverse's second post-qualification tournament. With a number of top-tier nations on a hiatus from international football, it is the perfect time for Mercedini to be on the rise, to try and slide into those places left vacant by the likes of Bonesea and Schottia.

The upcoming transfer window is also another place where upcoming and established Mercedinian national team players can apply their trade and make other nations sit up and listen to the footballers that they are producing. The nations of Cosumar, Ceni and Schottia already have members of the four-horsemen, with the latter two suspending their leagues, allowing for a bigger spread of players for the next season; Billic, Chillotov and Dostalok will all have to move to different nations to continue to play domestic competitive football, which could benefit the players and the national team as a whole in the future.

Despite being eliminated from the group stage with a game to spare, the MFA and the nation of Mercedini would likely see the cycle campaign as a success desipte the rpeeated failuers against the group's top rated teams, as they have upgraded their Cup of Harmony triumph into a World Cup appearance to give their younger players plenty of experiance going into the regional and youth tournaments that will follow this tournament. A win against Nova Anglicana would give a sheen to a camapign which had plenty of positives and negatives revolving around it, and would give Mercedini that lift into third place which could be the spring board needed to record back to back qualifications for the first time, and to lift Mercedini into the top twenty for the first time. Domestic football could also be a new frontier for Mercedini as Elspachia leads the way in the Champions Cup, with eight other clubs entering international compeition for the upcoming season. Football is solidifying itself as the number one spot within Mercedini, with the sport expected to go from strength to strength as the sport develops.
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WC81 MD2 v. Nova Anglicana | Cocoabo Park

Postby Turori » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:30 pm

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Eels let Knockout Rounds slip away... For Now


BCEL Stadium, Jinja City, Hangaza, Banija :: For just one fleeting moment, all seemed to be going well for the Turori National Team as they had found themselves arriving in Jinja City atop of World Cup 81 Finals Group B and scheduled to play the lowest ranked nation in the entire competition, Nova Anglicana. Three points against Nova Anglicana would almost certainly confirm the Eels place in the Knockout Round as they wind up and once again attempt to make a run beyond the Quarter Finals stage in the first time since their first World Cup nearly 70 editions prior.

Unfortunately, the scene at the BCEL stadium was not one of celebration after ninety minutes for Turori's National Citizen Squad as they couldn't find a winner despite pressuring to regain the advantage after conceding a pair of second half goals to the lowest ranked side in the World Cup finals.

Leave it to Turori's National Citizen Squad to nearly self-destruct just at the moment where it had all been going right for them. After being bested by Turori's National Cocoabo squad during World Cup 80 and World Cup 79 qualifying with the Cocoabo earning the right to represent Turori in post-qualifying competition, the Citizens had finally put together a string of good results, winning all nine of their World Cup 81 Qualification matches to sweep past the Cocoabo and earn the right to represent the Turori National Team at the World Cup 81 Finals in Banija and the Free Republics.

While the Cocoabo Squad headed off to the Free Republics for the Cup of Champions, the Citizen Squad prepared for their main opponents in World Cup 81: Mercedini and Nephara. The preparation proved fruitful on the opening matchday as the Citizen Squad dispatched of Mercedini by a 4-2 scoreline and set themselves up perfectly to advance through to the knockout rounds. With Turori being the second highest ranked team in the group on paper and Mercedini being the third, conventional wisdom would have suggested that it would be Turori and Mercedini competing for the second spot in the group and the final ticket to the Round of 16.

Instead, however, it is now Turori and Nova Anglicana who will be competing for the final ticket on the final matchday.

It all came to fruition as Turori's National Citizen Squad let a win against Nova Anglicana slip away in the latter stages of the match, conceding twice over the final 12 minutes of play to let the lowest ranked team in the competition back into the match and ultimately playing into a 3-3 draw that keeps Nova Anglicana alive and will put Turori in a precarious situation in the final match.

Things had started well for Turori who raced out to a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes as 38 year old Inamara Altariiz looked to be well on the way to claiming a hattrick performance in what would almost certainly be the Lonngeylin Coast strikers final World Cup with the Turori National Team. It is probably that Altariiz may have called it quits on their internationstatal career sooner but as Turori had been represented by the Cocoabo Squad during the previous two World Cup's, Altariiz hung on and kept in shape looking for one more chance to compete on the Worlds biggest stage. They led the Eels through qualification and willed the Citizen Squad back into the World Cup Finals and now were delivering on the pitch as Turori had one foot firmly planted in the knockout rounds up 2-0 against Nova Anglicana.

The Turori National team took their foot off the gas and cruised into the halftime interval maintaining their two-goal advantage. Things would change after the interval however as the Anglicans came out strong and pulled a goal back just minutes into the second half creating some tension as they pressed for an equalizer against the run of play. Turori would seemingly put the match away in the 70th minute through a Kentu Umaka'a free kick that restored Turori's two-goal advantage and appeared to be setting up a winner-take-all final matchup between Nephara and Turori at the Hangaza Unified Stadium in Arissa.
Group B

Group B Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Nephara 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 6
2 Turori 2 1 1 0 7 5 +2 4
3 Nova Anglicana 2 0 1 1 4 6 −2 1
4 Mercedini 2 0 0 2 3 6 −3 0

Instead, the mood in Arissa will be much more tension filled for the Eels as defeat to the number 6 side in the multiverse on the final matchday could spell an early World Cup exit for the Citizen Squad. The situation flipped late on Matchday 2 when Nova Anglicana found a spark of energy pulling one goal back through Simon Morin in the 78th minute then the Anglican sideline exploded when Roger Outlet curled in an 86th minute equalizer to stun the Eels. Turori tried to change their normally defensive look to press forward and retake the lead but there was not enough time for them to get going and get the momentum back as Nova Anglicana, the lowest ranked team in the World Cup, had stolen a critical point from the Turori National Team to keep the Anglican's hopes of advancing to the knockout round at the expense of Turori alive.

As a result, the 11th ranked Eels will have their work cut out for them despite entering matchday three with a three point margin over Nova Anglicana and a positive four goals differential that would have to be erased in order for Turori to be overtaken. So long as Turori don't lose against Nephara or Nova Anglicana don't win against Mercedini, the scenarios for advancement are very clear. A win by Turori's National Citizen Squad over the already-qualified Nepharim would see the Eels through to the knockout rounds atop Group B. An "everybody wins" draw between Turori and Nephara would have Turori advancing in second place behind Nephara to the Round of 16. If Turori are defeated by Nephara, however, then the consideration would go back to the Wolf's Den in Busembe where Nova Anglicana will be taking on Mercedini. The Golden Eagles have already been eliminated from the possibility of advancement but will still be looking to steal the show from Nova Anglicana as the defending Cup of Harmony champions certainly envisioned more than back to back zero-point showings when they qualified for two of the biggest internationstatal competitions of the cycle, the Cup of Champions and the World Cup Finals. With five defeats in five major competitive matches on the trot, Mercedini have just one more chance to collect themselves and end their World Cup 81 cycle in a bittersweet fashion instead of a simply miserable one. If they do, then the Turori National Team will be through. If Nova Anglicana is able to win, however, all bets are off and it will be strictly a matter of scoreboard watching as Turori will need to ensure they maintain a positive goal differential advantage in order to sneak through in a worst case scenario.

Turori [3] - [3] Nova Anglicana

:: Turori Goalscorers ::
:: 8' Inamari Altariiz
:: 10' Inamari Altariiz
:: 70' Kentu Umaka'a
:: Turori Statistics ::
:: Possession: 55%
:: Shots on Target: 6
:: Corner Kicks: 4
:: Nova Anglicana Statistics ::
:: Possession: 45%
:: Shots on Target: 5
:: Corner Kicks: 8



'Turori Eels Lineup v. Nova Anglicana ::
[GK] G.Q Disterfred II, [D.] Tarek Edgeli, [D.] Mikki Mayelli, [D.] Geafi Laina-Sola, [D.] Inaosnaa Klanoa, [ML] Saito Koshiki, [MC] Indelli Nura'amura, [MC] Timi'sala Koarena, [MR] Teliima Loinara, [FC] Wiztsana Iretziia, [FC] Inamari Altariiz
BENCH::
[FC] Nua'oma Aikiki, [FC] Mirana Gotuai, [M] Kentu Umaka'a, [M] Aiden Varess, [U ] Mbdiai Akarenaa, [D] Yitizo Mpala'a, [GK] Wiyauw An'maude



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Where are the Cocoabo?





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Cocoabo Enrichment and Enhancement Complex, Cocoabo Park, Cocoabo Forest :: With Turori's National Citizen Squad contesting the World Cup Finals for the first time in three World Cups some curious preservationists have been wondering what are the Cocoabo doing with their time?

Of course, many Cocoabo have returned to the Cocoabo Forest to the Cocoabo Enrichment and Enhancement Project (CEEP) headquarters at the Cocoabo Park where they will continue to refine and enhance their skills following an unlucky goal differential exit at the Cup of Champions in the Free Republics. Cocoabo Park is also the official Educational Resort of World Cup 81 and as the official Educational Resort of World Cup 81, anyone with a ticket to a World Cup Finals match can use it to get 10% off admission price for up to five family members. Additionally, the Cocoabo Preservation Society have partnered with Toys '4' All to include a free child's admission coupon with all purchases of Officially Licensed World Cup 81 merchandise.
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Cocoabo #78 Testing a Stock Car at the Tropicoast Beach Course

Many World Cup 81 venues will have a Cocoabo Park booth where fans will be able to learn more about the Park, travel opportunities and packages and about Cocoabo Preservation in general. Fans will also be able to show their ticket and will be handed a 10% off admission coupon at the official booths. However, a handful of Cocoabo will be on hand at select matches throughout the World Cup Finals at a much larger Cocoabo Park display where the Cocoabo Enrichment and Enhancement Project will be highlighted. Cocoabo #46 has remained in the Free Republics along with Cocoabo #57 and Cocoabo #86 since the conclusion of the Cup of Champions campaigning on behalf of the CoCoCo to negotiate favorable economic arrangements with candidates for council positions in the ongoing Free Republics elections as well as to establish with CoCoCo officials a local presence to cast a ballot for the candidate that best supports the CoCoCo's desired infiltration of the Free Republican market. Other Cocoabo will be migrating back across the Vilitan Cove to Banija once the knockout round of the World Cup begins to further market the project and highlight the partnership between Cocoabo Park and the 81st World Cup.

One other Cocoabo turned heads recently when Cocoabo #78 switched gears, quite literally, in taking on a testing session with Tropicorp Engineering in a stock car with a view to potentially competing in select races during the seventh NSSCRA season. After the successful performances of Cocoabo #23 behind the wheel in the World Grand Prix Championship's second tier for Tropicorp Engineering, with Fast Cocoabo finishing second in the drivers standings of the first World Grand Prix 2 season and currently atop the leaderboard in the second level competitions second edition, Tropicorp Engineers wanted to see if Cocoabo #23 was uniquely talented in the art of driving or if other Cocoabo could also demonstrated speed behind the wheel. With the Grand Prix market already cornered, Tropicorp Engineering procured some extra stock cars from the Vilita & Turori Motorsports team and put them together for Cocoabo #78 to test. They wanted to take the Cocoabo out of their comfort zone, however, to simulate the skills required by Cocoabo #23 to compete at the highest level in the World Grand Prix, so they created a new track right in front of the Tropicorp Headquarters in Tropicoast utilizing the main road leading up to the edge of the forest where Tropicorp's main campus is located and then circling back around on the beach where the sand has been compacted for relatively smooth driveability but still demonstrating a different level of car control than the asphalt road outside the main campus. Cocoabo #78's testing may be expanded as more Cocoabo get brought into Tropicorp's driving tests in Tropicoast.

While the failure to secure the right to represent the Turori National Team at the World Cup finals was a disappointment for the staff and trainers of the Cocoabo Squad, it also seems to have resulted in new opportunities for outreach and training that may ultimately result in a stronger, faster, better Cocoabo sporting presence in seasons to come.



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<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Pasarga
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Founded: Feb 09, 2009
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Pasarga » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:58 pm

Thor sighed, even as he looked at the golden plaque that sat on his desk that was given to him by the Pasargan FA after notching his one hundredth goal for the international team. He had scored the record tying ninety-sixth goal in the second half of Qualifying and then a game later had scored the goal that had let the Zozi striker overtake Tobias Möller as the player with the most goals for the Wanderers. At the time, it felt like a great achievement to have overcome his idol as the most prolific striker in the entire history of the Wanderers, yet now that the squad was in the Finals and was faltering, even nabbing that milestone goal in the draw against Apox, it felt all a bit meaningless. The side had felt a bit defeated after that uninspiring opening matchday draw against one of the sides that they were supposed to have defeated in what a lot of the folks back home had called a very easy and straightforward group for the Wanderers to advance out of and take all nine points from. That draw then seemed to sap all the spirit from the team and they, Thor knew he was a victim of it as well, allowed their regional rivals in Darmen to snatch the win away from them as well and put the side on the edge of an early elimination, with their fate no longer in their own hands.

This plaque was just another reminder for the striker that despite all the individual accolades that he had collected in his time as a footballer, he had yet to taste international success with his national team. Somehow, the side kept faltering short of the mark, even in the Copa Rushmoris, when it was presented with a chance to make some history and actually have a good chance of winning a competition. That cold night in Torgos where the striker was unable to will either himself or the squad to victory over Eastfield Lodge suddenly felt a lot larger and more impact than it had at the time, it was his moment where he could have stood out and declared that he was as good as all the pundits made him out to be, that this Wanderers side was still a fierce force in the world of the beautiful game. Yet like all the times before and since, the team and Thor had faltered at the final hurdle, allowing the Eastfielders to escape Torgos with an unexpected Copa Rushmori and all those in the dual islands wondering what exactly had went wrong with the team and their best player in what should have been a very favorable matchup and easy tournament win.

With his age starting to catch up to him and a likely exit from the Finals after tomorrow's matchday, Thor could not but feel a lot of regret and shame over the way his career had turned out. One of the top five strikers of his generation and not a single winners medal to his name, to be forever remembered by the annuals of the Wanderers' history as an underachiever, as the great striker who might have outscored his predecessor but could never replicate the leadership to lead the team to ultimate victory. For all the grief that Tobias Möller had gotten since becoming a manager, he was still remembered fondly by the Wanderer faithful as the striker who gave the team a World Cup and two Copa Rushmori titles. His legacy as a player was a solid as the foundation of the world itself and Thor had hoped to emulate it throughout his career, it was the reason he had decided to go abroad to ply his trade instead of sign on to one of the big clubs in Pasarga. That was how Tobias had earned his reputation and that was how Thor was going to as well, and for a small amount had, yet the weight of expectaction had seemingly buried him when he pulled on the national team kit when the time mattered most.

There was one last match to go though, one last match while he was still in his prime, and while a victory of the cohosts of Banija would not right the wrongs of the previous two matchdays, of a lifetime of coming up, it would at least give the team a shot and give the striker one last moment in the sun where he could say he was doing everything he could to lead his team to victory. It was not going to be an easy task, defeating cohosts never was an easy task, especially when one had to consider that Banija was playing extremely well, having already secured their passage into the next round with two wins against the two teams that the Wanderers had failed to win against. All signs pointed to a Banija win but with nothing left to lose as a player or as a team, Thor know that the side would be dangerous and would give everything that Banija could handle and then some. Maybe they won, maybe the wouldn't, but they could at least exit out of the group with their heads held high, and if luck was fortunate enough, could still be playing in a weeks time with a shot at redeeming one another.

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Apox
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Founded: Jun 30, 2012
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Apox » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:41 pm

Goalkeeper
Centre Defender
Centre Defender
Right Defender
Left Defender
Defensive Midfielder
Right Midfielder
Centre Midfielder
Left Midfielder


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Apoxian All-Time XI - Striker


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Tolgus Tregajorran
105 caps
5 sub caps
64 goals
2 assists
International Playing Career: WC65 - WC72


Ahhhh, I haven't had to look at that amount of international goals for some time. 64! Oh Tregajorran, how we've missed your enigmatic, energetic presence on the football pitch in the years since your retirement.

The numbers don't lie, if you're not familiar with Tregajorran already (what have you been doing with your life if so?), just looking at them can tell you how strong an attacking player he was. Fast (I think at this point we can just assume all Apoxian key players are fast), tall and rangy, he was very much in the mold of your traditional number 10 - battering down defenses and being an absolute weapon in the air. Not to say he wasn't comfortable with the ball at his feet either, he had the talent and skill to skim past defenders regularly before unleashing powerful shots on to whichever poor goalkeeper happened to be facing him on that occasion.

Tregajorran caught the attention of the higher ups internationally from a young age - mid way through his first season starting in the ANL in fact, gaining his debut in a pre World Cup 65 qualifying friendly against, coming on as a late substitute in the 2-0 victory over Northern Sunrise Islands (remember when we actually used to win against them?). His first goal would have to wait until his first start for the national team, in a 3-0 victory over The Icemark. For many Apoxians watching, this was their first real exposure to Tregajorran and his breathless style of play, but it was apparent from the start that here was a real star in the making.

In World Cup 65 qualifying he was used in rotation with Marlon Vetta and Maxim Kolo as the back-up striker to Keri Ularu, but by the time World Cup 66 rolled around Tregajorran was a nailed on starter for the national team, a role he wouldn't relinquish (barring an injury plagued World Cup 68 qualifying campaign) until his international retirement. Highlights include ten goals scored in qualifying for World Cup 67, at his peak early career form including a hat-trick against the Greater Maritime Union and scoring three out of four Apoxian goals scored in World Cup 71.

Tregajorran played through and made a massive contribution to Apox's most successful period as a national team, playing in five World Cup finals tournaments, although by World Cup 72, the now 35 year old Tregajorran was understandably used more in rotation with Adnan Zozula, Corinna McKenna and the young Alpha Gandhi. Despite this, he was bitterly disappointed to finish his international career with a loss to Kirisaki in the group stages of World Cup 72, scoring the only Apoxian goal of the game.

Domestically, his career was as impressive, if not more so. A stand out first season with Uxminster Athletic where he scored 14 goals caught the attention of Urbanista, who paid a bold at the time record £10 million fee for the 20 year old youngster. It paid off immediately though, with a Golden Boot scoring Tregajorran inspiring his team to their first and so far only ANL title. He stayed for three more seasons at Urbanista, with the club always in UICA football and often challenging for the title, with Tregajorran notching up twenty goals every season, including an impressive 24 in his final season, an ANL record which still stands.

However, it would take a big club to prise him away from Urbanista, but into the fold stepped Dwile Warriors, bidding an outrageous £20 million for Tregajorran, breaking the record again to bring the best striker in the country, and potentially the multiverse to the biggest club in Apox. Tregajorran picked up his second ANL winners medal in his first season, and his third Golden Boot and two seasons later, the arrival of Laborius Hawk made Dwile Warriors unstoppable, with that team being regarded as the best to play domestically in Apox, with Tregajorran scoring 20, Hawk getting the Golden Boot, the team getting the all time points record of 71 as they cantered to the title and then bagged the Champion's Cup next season to boot.

A couple more seasons and Tregajorran fancied one last move away, sitting comfortably as the top ANL scorer of all time with 260 ANL goals. Enter the Harlighet Ligan, which was just about emerging to be the force it is today. He signed for Real Azuris, who had struggled for form the seasons prior to him joining. Not so in that final season, as they won their first of three straight titles, with Tregajorran club captain in his final playing season and Hall of Famer at the club after just one season played there. A fitting way to end a stunning career both domestically and internationally.

After that, he was manager of the Euran Oceanic Territories for a while, doing well but not spectacularly for a literally just founded FA, continuing his mercurial and eccentric behaviour from the dug out (although in comparison to current manager Skorji Oslograd he was pretty tame) before recently returning to the ANL to manage Exton F.C, and in his own words, "change this boring defensive bollocks they've played for years". Only time will tell if the manager can be anywhere near as successful as the player...
The History of Modern NSSports internationalpost.apx (Newswire) The Apoxian Compendium
Winners: Campionato Esportiva IV, V & XVI, World T20 Championships VI, Imperial Chap Olympiad
Runners-up: CoH 58, World T20 Championships V, Campionato Esportiva XII
Third: Campionato Esportiva XIII
Fourth: Campionato Esportiva VII & XV
Baptism of Fire 50, Cup of Harmony 56, World Cup 69, World Cup 73
Friendly Cups 2 & 6, World T20 Championships II, Campionato Esportiva IV, VIII & XII, GCF Season 4 & 8

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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:57 pm

The Tale of the Fluffy Bunnies and the Sekret Teem Meeteen

The fluffy bunnies were ever so sad.

How had it come to this? From World Cup runners up - in a match they had only lost on penalties - to the brink of elimination in the very first round.

Something must be done, all the fluffy bunnies quite agreed.

So after Cinnabun had carefully serving tea to Bogart; After Snuggles had smashed Pistachio's head into one of the lockers in as fluffy and snuggly way as bunnies could do; after Benjy Bunny had consoled by the kindly Mr Tzimisces; after Snowball had sharpened the wickedly curved outer edge of an already razor-sharp obsidian techno-glaive; after that nice Mr Di Bradini had reached up and scratched Wiggles behind his long bunny ear; and after several other events that were described in more detail by the lovely and terribly children's authors from Starblaydia....

Wiggles called a team meeting.

All the fluffy bunnies gathered in a back room of their dressing room, and put a sign on the door.

KEEP OUT it said.

SEKRET TEEM MEETEEN

Once the cute little bunnies had made sure that no one could interrupt them, they took it in turns to speak.

"The Time of Vengeance is at hand!" said High Archon Snowball.

"Verily, we shall lay waste to those who have the temerity to oppose us" said Field Marshal Patches.

"We shall leave the bones of their dead to bleach in the sun; enslave their women and take them back to the ranches where we breed humanoid cattle for meat; sell their children into slavery across the multiverse" said Lord Space Admiral Cinnabun, his whiskers twitching ever so cutely.

"For are we not the leaders of the Bunny Legions of Doom, conquerors of every galaxy across Fluffy Bunny World, with uncountable trillions enslaved to our insatiable bloodlust" said High Marshal Benjy Bunny.

"Can't disagree with the basic sentiment" said Marine Marshal Whiskers, "someone must pay; but who exactly are 'someone' in this scenario?" Whiskers had always been the most practical of bunnies.

"Ko-oren!" said General Snickerdoodle.

"Free Republics!" said Second Purifier Pistachio.

"Starblaydia?" said Deputy Ton Popcorn, uncertainly, for he wasn't sure that the homeland of nice Mr Di Bradini could quite be the enemy, despite the result of the last football match. And indeed, when put to a quick show of paws by the bunnies, they agreed not to lay waste to Starblaydia.

"Barunia!" said First Master of Ceremonies Hopper.

"Oh hush now" said High Archon Twix "we haven't even played Barunia yet".

"The evil cabal of mean and nasty anti-bunny referee men who keep unfairly sending us off for sharing love and hugs and cuddles with the opposition" said Hokh'Ton Twitch, boldly and loudly.

"Oooooooooh" said all the other bunnies at once.

"Yes, it's been clear that the mean and nasty anti-bunny referee men have had it in for us ever since I discovered the mysterious mundy memo" said Field Marshal Wiggles.

"All referees must die!" said Hokh'Ton Muffin, sipping on a nice cup of tea.

"We shall lay them low with fire!" said Lord Space Admiral Bogart.

"And the sword!" High Marshal Prince Fluffles, between bites of a tasty carrot.

"Then we are decided" said First Purifier Snuggles.

"Yes, then we are decided" agreed Wiggles.

Each fluffy bunny then made an incision in his right paw, and as the drops of blood began to flow, the bunnies pressed their bleeding paws together.

For when a bunny blood pact has been made, there is no going back.

And goodness me, when the bunnies left their dressing room, this time there was no cute twitching of whiskers and noses, but only a look of the type of steely determination that had led the Bunny Legions of Doom to victory after victory.

And one thing I do know, boys and girls.

I certainly wouldn't want to be the referee for the bunnies' final match against Barunia....

Hippity hop, hippity hop, into the burrow - perhaps for the very last time.
Last edited by Alasdair I Frosticus on Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

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Mriin
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Posts: 196
Founded: Nov 17, 2016
New York Times Democracy

Postby Mriin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:46 pm

Some time ago...

Nelia Martaan smiled as she retreated to a corner of the luxury box, taking a break from the high-level socializing among the rich and powerful of the multiverse. It was an extraordinary opportunity for her--despite ostensibly being one of her nation's most trusted political experts and being the in-all-but-name ambassador to an entire swath of the region, it was a rare occurrence for her to actually fraternize with the likes of Kings and Presidents. More often the demands of her peers and the Mriinian people had her dealing with finance ministers and--of all things--football association representatives, seeking to slake the nation's historic thirst for mercantilism and modern thirst for putting balls in nets. Add into that the inherent distrust of powerful individuals among satyrs--the oppression of the dragon lords left deep marks despite the centuries that have passed--and there's few that are warm to the idea of buddying up to a "King" or some such. But Nelia knew that Mriin had been lucky to get as far as they have relying on the goodwill of trade partners, and if they were to move forward in the international stage... well, the conversation would have to at least start.

After a short breather, she gave the room another scan--obviously speaking to the Kabaka was highly desirable, but considering the circumstances it'd be a bit difficult to find the time for a proper conversation with him (and even though she could effectively muscle her way through the crowd, that'd come off as rather rude); even the Isebantu would have his hands tied hosting those who they have much more extensive ties to. But just then she noticed a recognizable face aside from the crowd--the Kabaka's other son.

"Greetings, Omugabe Basamula; would you have a moment to spare?" she began as she approached.

"Of course. Miss Martaan, I take it?"

"Naturally," she smirked, "hard to mistake a satyr abroad, after all."

"True, though I have hope that your people may not be such a rare sight in the near future."

"I appreciate the sentiment, and agree. A more worldly set of satyrs would do everyone better, I can confidently say--and on a related note," she segued, clearing her throat, "I wanted to take this opportunity to apologize for my nations' inaction during the series of crises you saw leading up to and including the war. I had a close view of the situation from my seat in Canterlot, but I consider it a personal failure of mine that I could not galvanize our citizenry on the topic."

The Omugabe took a brief moment to process that rather grand statement. "I understand your intent, but I must say it leaves me curious--how exactly is Mrii foreign policy determined, if someone like yourself doesn't have the final say?"

"Well," Nelia sighed, "that's a somewhat lengthy explanation, if you have the time."

"I'm more than happy to make the time to learn such things about our potential partners."

"I'm glad to hear that. The first thing to understand about Mrii politics is that there is no such thing as a 'final word'--save for critical, time-sensitive national affairs like natural disasters or a hypothetical invasion, every decision must be put to vote at some level. And even the exceptions still need to be agreed upon by the parliament, albeit through a streamlined process."

"And that means there would be no facility for a time-sensitive decision involving another nation?"

"Precisely. It's a glaring oversight in our government that I've been pushing to rectify for a number of years, and it seems I'm finally starting to get some more prominent parliamentary voices to agree. However, that doesn't explain everything--the drought was a known quantity for quite some time, so it would have been possible to organize a response even with the minimum three-day run time for national referenda."

"Sorry--did you say referenda? Even foreign policy is left in the hands of the general populace?"

"It's a core part of the Mrii identity that we take control of our fate into our own hands, and that's something that will likely never leave us--for better or worse. There's much historical context to that phenomenon, and there are people much more qualified to speak about it than myself. What this comes down to, practically, is that you need to make people care. Even before you convince them to take one side or another on the issue, you have to convince them that the issue is worth addressing at all. That means campaigning and marketing are a core part to getting anything done, and my field of expertise lies mostly on the... technical side of politics. By contrast, a new bloc--that is, essentially, a party dedicated to a single topic, which is the norm in Mriin--dedicated to foreign relations had recently formed unbeknownst to me. And while my effort to recognize Banija's plight largely flopped, they lead a successful campaign to recognize the new state of Novo Calania and got it on the ballot."

"I see," Basamula nodded, "so while you are bereaved by the failed campaign, there's hope yet that such a situation could be avoided in the future."

"I'm glad that point was clear. But it doesn't make up for the loss of life and the hardship of a dividing nation that your people have already endured, which is why I wanted to come forward with a personal apology. While I can't quite speak for the nation as a whole, know that your family has a friendly ear in Maal."

"You have my thanks, Miss Martaan. I'll make sure that message is spread to those who should know."

"Thank you, Omugabe." With a final smile, she glanced back around the room. "I've taken enough of your time today. I'll leave you with a wish that this hosting effort is a smooth and enjoyable experience."
Nephara wrote:It's retro as all fuck, and it works like a charm.

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