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World Cup 84- RP Thread (IC)

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Sarzonia
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Posts: 5757
Founded: Mar 22, 2004
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Sarzonia » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:42 am

This World Cup 84 qualifying campaign is remarkable for a number of reasons.

For the Sarzonian national football team, their away result in defeating Crystalline Caverns 2-1 behind goals from Mek'hi West and Clayton Wilson with five saves from Paolo Gomes checked off a few boxes. The unranked Stars saw their record improve to .500 with their fifth victory against six draws and five losses. It saw their goal differential reach zero.

Those facts saw a rare public display of levity for manager Kevin Connelly, who quipped that the .500 record and even goal differential were "the definition of mediocrity."

Perhaps they are. But for a Stars team that needed its 10th match to notch its second victory against four losses and four draws against fellow unranked side Atlantic Republic, it was merely another sign post for their progress as a side. Their record in the second half of qualifying improved to 3-1-2 with the lone blemish being at home to world No. 5 Banija.

Read that again. Only the fifth ranked team in the world were able to walk off the pitch as victors over the Stars in the seven matches since the team languished at 1-4-4. Their run of better form included a 2-2 away draw against Abanhfleft that severely damaged the 42nd ranked team in the world's prospects at qualifying. It included routs of 4-1 and 3-0 with the first away victory of the campaign.

And now, it includes the second away result. It includes winning both legs against the 66th ranked team in the world, the team these Stars defeated for their first victory of this qualifying campaign. Little did anyone know at the time it would be the first of several.

The Stars return to Woodstock to face Brigantii with the news that faulty wiring at Nottingham Pavilion has resulted in the match being moved to a venue the Stars haven't used in years: Bryan Marshall Memorial Stadium, seating 88,920. Connelly said he was told the Incorporated Football Federation, the sport's governing body in Sarzonia, were considering moving the match anyway because of the demand for tickets.

"Nottingham Pavilion can barely seat 18,000," Connelly said. "We were considering options including Franz Braddock Memorial Stadium and even Hendrix." Stadium authorities for Franz Braddock Memorial Stadium nixed the idea of a lacrosse venue being repurposed for football, but Hendrix Stadium is in line to host The Sherpa Empire for its final event in Matchday 21 before its planned demolishing.

However, protesters objected to the plans to tear down the stadium and called on Vice President for Internal Affairs Carletta Grayson to declare the stadium a national historic landmark, which would preclude its ever being torn down. The IFF already announced that maintenance for the dilapidated old stadium was "cost prohibitive." Declaring it a national historic landmark would turn the maintenance costs over to Internal Affairs, which can include it in its budget as opposed to spending dedicated funding on the stadium. A spokeswoman for Grayson declined to comment.

Bryan Marshall Stadium was the home field for the Stars until Dave Wilson Stadium was built with the largest capacity of any Sarzonian stadium. It's the only stadium in Woodstock available for football that's not part of the overall Dave Wilson Athletic Complex. It was recently renovated, although stadium officials noted that maintenance of that stadium was "a lot easier" than Hendrix Stadium.

Regardless of venue, the Stars, who now sit fifth in the table in Group 2, will be happy to see how far they've come since the beginnings of the World Cup qualifying campaign, both as a team on the pitch and as men and women off it. Above the din of grief and controversy, they've come together in a magical way that has seen them play to stronger form than even their record over the past eight matches, including an away draw against The Sherpa Empire in Matchday 10, would indicate. Including that match, Sarzonia's last eight matches have seen them play to a 4-3-1 record.

It's also led to some of the power structure within the IFF sending feelers to Connelly to ask him to reconsider his decision to step down.

"He's been a rock for this team. He's been exactly what we needed," said one source who asked to remain anonymous to allow for frank discussion of the thoughts within the IFF. "Even when the team was at 1-3-4, they were playing well. They were playing together. They were united. They became a cohesive unit under Connelly. That's worth something." The source added that they haven't received serious enquiries about the managerial position from foreign sides, and they've only put out tentative feelers among Sarzonian or Delaclav managers.

For his part, Connelly has remained firm about his decision to walk away.

"I made a decision that's best for me, my family, and my own mental health," he said. "I've had to shepherd this team through something that tested each player's mental health, and it's time I look out for my own." When he was asked if he simply needed a vacation and could come back after time off, he shook his head.

"Vacation? You don't take vacations as a national team manager. There's a lot of work that goes into managing a national team. It's why I only agreed to come back as an assistant manager. I didn't intend to take this job."

However, the source within the IFF would have likely said the job chose him.
Apparently the WLC President. Member of the FWC Council.

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

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

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Schottia
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Founded: Feb 20, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Schottia » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:02 am


SBCNEWS Online...
Football special - The Road to Cassadaigua and Baker Park. Part Two

After a start to the campaign that exceeded all expectations, hopes were high that Schottia might be able to sneak something out of the bag after all. Valentine Roxel had been a revelation in the midfield, while player such as Jack Jevđenijević, Kelly McInnes, and Bonnie McGillivray had all made a positive impact on the team. There were signs of strain, however, and with the Auks facing a tough run of fixtures with a wafer thin squad, it seemed inevitable that something was going to have to give.


Schottia 1–3 Free Republics @ Harbour Hill Stadium
Line-up: Lorrey, Corello, McGillivray, Hare, Koller, Bronte, Roxel, Soria Luna (Loweson), Cnocstanger (Larsen), Avelione, Martel-Burns (Bestatter)
Goals: Martel-Burns

Optimism couldn’t have been any higher as Raven Cullen’s charges welcomed the Free Republics to Harbour Hill Stadium, having just ground out a win over a very highly rated Taeshan side. The side got off to the best possible start with Directus striker, Connie Martel-Burns, putting the home side ahead to rapturous applause. Despite Schottia going in at half-time with their noses in front, the Republicans took full control in the second half, winning 3-1 to establish a commanding lead at the top of Group 11.


Nahkistan 2–1 Schottia @ Mokhmad Gatayev International Stadium
Line-up: Lorrey, Corello, Morham, Hare, Kamara, Bronte, Bánach, Soria Luna (Donaldson), Larsen (Roxel), Avelione, Jevđenijević (McInnes)
Goals: Avelione

Schottia hangover from the shock win in Taeshan continued, as they were left to rue missed chances at the Mokhmad Gatayev International Stadium. There are no easy matches for Schottia at the moment, but Nahkistan are the kind of team they need to beat, if they are going to make it back the World Cup finals. Despite Martel-Burns’ absence, Jevđenijević and Larsen looked effective in a makeshift front two. The pair gave Tashtemir Gelayev the run around in the Wolves defence, but ultimately failed to find the target in a fast paced first half. After the break, Nahkistan came out the blocks far quicker, with star striker, Sirazdi Ibragimov, doing the damage. Jack Avelione pulled one back late on, but it was too little too late, as Schottia saw their good run go up in smoke.


Savojarna 1–2 Schottia @ Unknown
Line-up: Lorrey, Hordern, McGillivray, Hare (Roseroot), Koller, Roxel, Donaldson, Soria Luna (Bánach), Larsen, McInnes, Martel-Burns (Kupper)
Goals: Martel-Burns, McInnes

Right in the middle of tough run of fixtures, Schottia were extremely grateful to have had Martel-Burns back for the trip to Savojarna. In other areas of the pitch they were far less fortunate, however, with Corello, Avelione, and Maeve Bronte all missing through injury. Crisisbless’ Bronte was going to be a big miss, going up against such a strong attacking side. With Colin Lawson also out, there was a lot of responsibly on the shoulders of Valentine Roxel, and the Starling man had to be at the top of his game. Schottia are not a perfect side by any miens; but right now, it seems that ‘where there’s CMB, there’s a way,’ as the striker scored one and set up another to give Schottia a third win on the bounce over their Rushmori neighbours.


Schottia 3–3 Jeruselem @ Harbour Hill
Line-up: Lorrey, Hordern (Meyreani), McGillivray, Hare, Koller, Bronte, Roxel, Bànach, Cnocstanger (Donaldson), McInnes, Martel-Burns (Avelione)
Goals: Roxel, Martel-Burns, Koller

Schottia and the Princesses seem inseparable at the moment, with the two sides playing out another entertaining draw at Harbour Hill. McInnes was the stand out performer for Schottia, with the Treason winger having a hand in the first two goals, as the match flowed from end to end. Defending has been a big problem for Schottia over the past year and a half, but it hasn’t stopped the fans taking big Michael Koller to their hearts. The towering centre-half cemented his hero status late in the match, with a bullet header to earn Schottia a share of the spoils.


Geektopia 1–1 Schottia @ Unknown
Line-up: Lorrey, Corello, McGillivray (Meyer zu Heide), Hare, Koller, Loweson, Roxel, Soria Luna, Cnocstanger (Larsen), Avelione, Martel-Burns (Renshaw)
Goals: Renshaw

Schottia had failed to take a single point when the two sides met in Handon last May, and for their reason they would have been acutely aware as to how tricky this fixture was going to be. Indeed, it was the home side who drew first blood, with Octuple-hyper-terinngathordeus converting, after latching onto a cross-field pass from Pentacthulteron-turreted-horriocterated Pentacthuldekon to turn the ball past Ed Lorrey. Schottia responded though, and with the introduction of Kati Meyer zu Heide and Annlaug Larsen in the second half, they looked more of a threat going forward. Larsen did well to bring down a forward pass from Loweson, before teeing up Ross Renshaw for the equaliser.


Schottia 4–3 Galar @ Harbour Hill
Line-up: Lorrey, Corello, McGillivray, Roseroot, Koller, Bronte, Roxel, Bánach, Larsen (Bestatter), Avelione (McInnes), Martel-Burns (Jevđenijević)
Goals: Roxel, Avelione, McInnes, Jevđenijević

Schottia’s slim chances of qualification were slowly slipping away, meaning that a failure to take all three points from their match with Galar would essentially spell curtains. Dilon Bánach was drafted in to replace the suspended Camila Soria Luna, and Harvey Roseroot made a first start in place of John Hare at centre-back. This was a match where we saw the best and worst of Schottia. Free-flowing attacking football, and high pressing in the midfield meant that the side were ruthless in front of goal and made the most of their chances. There was more disorganisation at the back however, and the two late goals that they conceded will have take the gloss off of what would otherwise have been a strong win.


TJUN-ia 2–4 Schottia @ National Stadium
Line-up: Lorrey, Corello, Morham, Hare, Koller, Bronte, Roxel (Innescourt), Soria Luna, Avelione (Larsen), McInnes, Jevđenijević (Renshaw)
Goals: Jevđenijević (2), Soria Luna, Renshaw

There was no Martel-Burns for this one, but the impressive Jevđenijević was handed a rare start, and with it, a chance to shine. The Jaguars put up a strong performance against Schottia at Harbour Hill, and without their striking talisman, there was every chance that this game might have been a bit of a slog. Schottia have been looking for another striker to really step up to plate for a while, and fortunately, it looks like they might have found one in Jack Jevđenijević. The Oldhem Knights man was cool and clinical as he found the back of Harold Gylfisson’s net twice in this impressive win.

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Bolgano
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Posts: 365
Founded: Oct 20, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bolgano » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:29 am

Euran Oceania Territories 2-2 Bolgano

Goalscores
EOT: Duffy '36
BGN: Evans '43
EOT: Ajax '57
BGN: Razor '60
The National team returned to get a draw, now it was against the EOT team, the team showed a very good initial 11, before the team that just announced their Rosters, despite that, Duffy and Ajax got their goals, Evans also He scored again in another game, remembering that in the 2-1 victory against The Macabees he managed to score the 2 goals and Daniels Razor scored from outside the area and reminding us that we must never let him free in a kick from afar, EOT kept looking for another goal but Bolgano's defense was enough to leave the tie at 2.
Ranking KPB: 105 (6.29)
Trigram: BGN
Titles: Wonder Cup 1, Beconailles (Andres Da Silva)

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Filindostan
Diplomat
 
Posts: 672
Founded: Jun 24, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby Filindostan » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:04 am

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NATIONAL | BUSINESS | PROVINCIAL | INTERNATIONAL | SPORTS | ENTERTAINMENT | SPORTS PORTAL


FOOTBALL
Filindostan Football Federation announces intention to bid for Campionato Esportiva 26

SAN MARCO - Hours after Filindostan suffered their fourth defeat of their World Cup qualifying campaign against Squonshelan Remnant States, Estie Barzagia, the president of the Filindostan Football Federation, have announced their intention to bid for the hosting rights of the Esportiva's biggest regional sports tournament, the Campionato Esportiva.

In a press conference at their Calle Sturiaga office, Barzagia announced the Federation's intention to host the regional tournament for nations residing in Esportiva, and the formation of a task force that oversees the preparation of the FFF for the tournament, which includes planning and improvement of the venues which the matches will take place. It is expected that at least two to three stadiums per island will be planned to be included in the hosting venues, and will make the other football fields available for the participating nations to make football camps or bases.

In the preliminary planning, rumor from the insiders show that there is a debate on where the first match of the tournament be held, if Filindostan wins the bid for the tournament. One camp has lobbied the use of Jakulta Esportiva Stadium to be the venue for the opening match, a move which will necessitate the expansion of the stadium to 50,000 seater capacity. The other camp are pushing for all matches involving Filindostan to be held in San Marco's Filindostan National Stadium, a move the other camp is avoiding, as it will involve monotony in the Filindostan's home matches. More information is being ironed out, but Barzagia has green-lit the most ambitious project of the Federation since the nation hosting the Under-18 World Cup eight years ago.

Filindostan is not new to hosting major events; in addition to the aforementioned event, the home of the Pula Garudas have co-hosted the International Basketball Championships with Banija in 90005, and with Abaja in 90008.

Written by FSNA Staff.

Schedule - WC84Q
MD01: vs South Covello - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Win, 2-1
MD02: at Qasden - T.V. City (Royal T.V. Stadium) - Loss, 0-1
MD03: BYE
MD04: vs Furby Island - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Draw, 1-1
MD05: at Bliuji - undisclosed city (Domitia Stadium) - Draw, 2-2
MD06: vs Squornshelan Remnant States - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Win, 2-1
MD07: ar Ziwana - Birnin-Likulu (Izula National Stadium) - Loss, 1-2
MD08: vs Mitra and Soma - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Loss, 2-4
MD09: at Flavovespia - Marthorpe (City Arena) - Win, 2-1
MD10: vs Mustardy - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Draw, 1-1
MD11: at Vakolicci Haven and Celeria - venue to be confirmed - Draw, 0-0
MD12: at South Covello - Riverview (Revolution Stadium) - Draw, 2-2
MD13: vs Qasden - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Draw, 3-3
MD14: BYE
MD15: at Furby Island - venue to be confirmed - Win, 4-0
MD16: vs Bliuji - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium) - Win, 2-0
MD17: at Squornshelan Remnant States - Lublova (Slavnarzeczpospolitastadion) - Loss, 0-2
MD18: vs Ziwana - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium)
MD19: at Mitra and Soma - venue to be confirmed
MD20: vs Flavovespia - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium)
MD21: at Mustardy - Héronne (Johan Speck Nationalstadion Héronne / The Speck)
MD22: vs Vakolicci Haven and Celeria - San Marco (Filindostan National Stadium)
The Artist formerly known as Sangti | Potentia et Sanctitas Populi
Baptism of Fire 66 Winners
Trigram: FID | Demonym: Filindostani | Capital: San Marco | Leader: Dorigo Dutete | Newswire | No Nonsense Sportswear | Esportiva | IUBC Newswires

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Bears Armed
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 19152
Founded: Jun 01, 2006
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Bears Armed » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:55 am

Bears Armed vs. Razneta
Venue: Northlands National Stadium, NorthPort.
Score: 1-0.

Goals
Bears Armed (1): Kuthbearrh (#N) @ 39’ (assist: Errinth’hrra Russett [#4]).
Razneta (0): (none)

Red Cards
Bears Armed (1): Bruin (#6) @ 73’.
Razneta (0): (none)

Substitutions due to Injury
(none)


(reporter’s notes)

Drizzly rain already underway before match opens.
Raznetans start off looking very determined – they’ve risen from “predicted” level closer to base of group, like urrs, after all — but their highly defensive tactics give the Belles a clear advantage; They win toss, striker Tolokovsa (N9) takes kick-off and passes it back to captain Golodiva (N10), he begins run forwards but is dispossessed by Russett who passes it “out & up” to Barris {#7); ball is kept in visitors’ half (at the “Dockyards end”) right through first half of match from then; Belles have two shots on target (Kuthbearrh [#10] @ 07’; Brent [# 11] @ 23’) before Russett’s successfully tackle of Tolokovsa just past the halfway line… Russett passes to Kuthbearrh (who was chasing Tolokovsa), who wheels neatly and returns upfield; Raznetan defence can’t stand in her way, and are distracted by several other Bears already upfield as well, probably expect her to pass to one or another of those but she takes the shot herself and Mazioka [N1] goes high to left when he needed to go dive right: Goal!
Razneta responds to this by tightening up defences further, as rain gets heavier & blows more strongly into their faces, holding on until the break and not giving the Belles any more chances.
Rain even heavier in second half, this & resultant muddiness impedes movement for humans more than for bears (bad for Harr’aynau too, of course: Nennu Rangh’harr [#17] is on bench, but doesn’t get sent into play) but fact that it is now blowing into advancing Belles’ faces maybeso balances that factor… some to-&fro, but Razneta are still playing verrry defensively, probably waiting for Belles to slip up; Belles seem a bit warier than usual too, but enjoy most of possession and nip the visitors’ only attempt at a counter-attack neatly off before Golodiva even gets the ball into the Belles’ own half (“Landgate end”)… Bruin {#6) gets red-carded for “unnecessary roughness” in her tackle on him, @ 73’, but his free-kick shot to Kiminelo [N17] is intercepted by Urrswald’s-Stone [#20] — who had been brought on, to replace O Sarrndale (reason why not yet explained; maybeso just to give this Northlander player an active role in Belles’ Northlands appearance, please the crowd, & encourage crowd to roar even louder for the Belles? Please local members of BAAS, too?) just moments earlier — using her height to good advantage. Belles protest that ‘red card’ verdict as unjust, referee gives yellow cards to both Russett and Brent… and then, also, to Northgate for coming onto field from technical area during this argument!
Razneta defensive, dampened, maybeso getting dispirited by now; Belles down to ten players on pitch, can smell that lead is secure unless they slip up, maybeso a bit warier now about referee; rest of game verrry “quiet”, as World Cup qualifying matches go.
So, a win’s a win, and that’s five in a row for the Belles now — hrright since the mid-qualifiers break, and bringing in enough points to more than double their total from the entire pre-break series in only half as many games. Losing the use of Bruin for the next match (More? What are NSWCC rules on red cards?) if appeal doesn’t work this time might upset some plans, but it’s not as though the Belles don’t have other good players waiting for places in starting line-up…


_______________________________________ _______________________________________


Location: NorthPort, “backstage” at the stadium
Time: just after the game


(Urrsarra Northgate) “Urrgah! Bear-on-a-stick! Was the hrreferee blind, or an idiot, or something? That should never have been a red card, nor even a yellow one, neither. Steff’ee tackled that fellow cleanly and got the ball, and then he ran on and tripped them both up hwhile she was off-balance… and landed on top of her just as she was trying to get back up: It was just bad luck that her fist caught him in the stomach… Hrright?”

(Greenfinch O Barrdenn [defensive coach]) “Ayyuh, an EightSquared-in-the-Yonkh, that’s hrright.”

(Urrsarra) “And it wasn’t even as though he was hurt badly enough to leave the field, neither. Fleas-and-fur-loss!”

(Marra Moon [Chaplain, ‘One Plus Seven’]) “Although it did smell for a moment or so that the hrreferee might maybeso have got that hurt…”

(Urrsarra) “Urrgah! I wouldn’t have hit him. I stopped, and went back off-pitch hwhen he rreminded me that I’d gone too far myself, hrright? It’s just…. Hwhat an idiot! ”

(Jharge Potter [Chaplain, Ursion]) “I think that maybeso this wasn’t just his first match officiating at a match involving Bears, the trip here was the first time that he’d even seen any of urrs, and maybeso he was a bit nervous.”

(Urrsarra) “Hr’rmmph!
“Anyhows, we’ll
appeal on Steff’s behalf, of course. I’ll get the paperwork started as soon as I’ve thanked the girrls for their performance out there.”

(Karra’harrna Thunder [Chief Coach]) “And for their rrestraint in not punching the hrreferee, too, maybeso?”

(Urrsarra) “You as well? Urrgah!
“Hokay, I’ll add a hrremark about that.”


(Greenfinch) “Presuming that the appeal doesn’t get processed and approved before we have to go to Port Ember, hwho shall we field as ‘Midfield Right’ in place of Steff? I would hrrecommend Nennu Rangh’harr as the best bet, not just on talent but also because her being Harr’aynau hrrather than Ursine might be a benefit for coping in the heat that we expect there.”

( Urrsarra) “Prrobably that will be Nennu, ayyuh, but let me think about this for a bit longer…”


(Your view of this discussion, as an observer from beyond the ‘Fourth Wall’, fades to black…)



_______________________________________



OOC Footnotes

Yes, in case any of you are still unsure, Urrsarra Northgate does regard that match’s referee as an idiot — or, at least, regards the decision that he made about that tackle by Steff as idiotic. [i](Yes, her getting a yellow card here was inspired OOC by [Spurs’ manager] Jose Mourhino getting one for his “conversation” with one of Southampton’s staff in the technical area during the recent match between their teams… a carding about which Jose allegedly remarked recently was [i]”Because I was rude… but I was rude to an idiot”.
If any of you wants to claim that referee as one of your people, and RP about the situation from his viewpoint, then as far (as I’m concerned) feel free to do so.

What is the NSWCC’s rule about suspensions for a red card during WC Qualifiers (& in actual ‘Cup’ tournaments, too), anyway? One match? Two? Three? More?
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(includes The Ursine NorthLands) Demonym = Bear[s]; adjective = ‘Urrsish’.
Our population is approximately 20 million. We do have a national government, although its role is strictly limited. Economy = thriving. Those aren't "biker gangs", they're our traditional cross-Clan 'Warrior Societies'... and are generally respected, not feared.
Author of some GA Resolutions, via Bears Armed Mission; subject of an SC resolution.
Factbook. We have more than 70 MAPS. Visitors' Guide.
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Author of issues #429, 712, 729, 934, 1120, 1152.

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Taeshan
Senator
 
Posts: 4611
Founded: Aug 11, 2007
New York Times Democracy

Postby Taeshan » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:03 am

"A necessary 2-1 victory over Nahkistan, if not an impressive one Miles. What can you take from this"?

"I rotated the squad a bit. Gave Larson, Victor and Giacomo starts. I figured it was a chance for them to show me what they had. Larson continued to impress, but the other two lacked the skills I really wanted to see."

"Was this rotation expected, or just a part of having a solid lead in qualifying"?

"I figured I'd give the squad players a chance to show something. A weaker side in Nahkistan. Larson's a good player, the other two are big parts of the squad, but maybe not starters."

"Must have been scary knotted 1-1 for most of the second half. Needed Wilhelm to come on and score late to get a result, at home as well."

"Not exactly what I wanted, or expected. It happens sometimes. You lose games, or tie games you shouldn't. Free Republics winning isn't a shock. But the side has twice tied weak sides, and lost to a deceptively good Schottia. Things happen, but the resiliency to get a 80th+ winner. That can go a long way in the world cup."

"What do you expect in the next match against Savojarana"?

"Well they're officially eliminated. Can't catch us, but they can play spoiler. Taking points against a regional rival trying to qualify, i'm sure they will give it their all."

"Any changes to be made to the lineup for that game"?

"Well unlike most teams it is hard for us to go more defensive on the road, but i'll definitely have the normal starters back in. It was good to give Daigo and Alson a full game rest even if Wilhelm only got a good hour off the field. We'll throw everything we have at them."

"The new magic number is 8. Do you feel you can get that."

"Well if we beat Schottia and Jeruselem we've got 6 of them against both side. We have every chance to do so. We earn this qualification one step at a time. I think we have every ability to be in the World Cup. The first half of qualifying was one of the best campaign starts we have ever had. If we match that the rest of the way that would mean 50 points, qualifying, and heading to a world cup on a 5 game unbeaten streak."

"Do you think you can win the final 5"?

"As a coach if I say I can't I should be fired."
Champions - Copa Rushmori 22, Di Bradini Cup 19, World Baseball Classic 13, Cup of Harmony 35, World Lacrosse Championship 2, Gridiron World Championships (World Bowl 0), World Bowl 34

World Cup Qualifications-41, 44, 46, 59, 61(RoS), 62(Quarterfinals), 63 (RoS), 64 (Quarterfinals), 83, 84 (RoS)

Hosts-Cup of Harmony 55, Copa Rushmori 14, Sporting World Cup 10

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

Postby Flavovespia » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:38 pm

Image

Flavovespia 3–4 Vakolicci Haven and Celeria


Another narrow loss for Flavovespia once again pushes them further away from the middle of the pack in Group 8, as the team struggle to find the form needed to try and improve their position. Although a closely fought game, the inability for Flavovespia to take anything from it, despite playing at home, was a frustration for the fans and follows the trend of the qualifiers.

The same starting XI from the win at Mustardy was announced for Flavovespia. James King was still absent, and declared not fit before the game began, and Maddox remained on the bench. The team lined up in their yellow and black kits in the second of 2 games in Loxthorpe.

The game almost began with a first minute goal for Flavovespia. From the kickoff Steven Hall got free down the wing. He whipped in a cross that flew dangerously close to the far post. It was narrowly tipped away by the visiting goalkeeper, and just beyond the reach of David Michael, who came sliding in to try and knock the ball into the goal.

Vakolicci Haven and Celeria were not phased, and in the 11th minute, they were the ones to take the lead. A corner was whipped in from the right, and #16 of the visitors rose highest to knock the ball past Meehan, Pitchford and James, to give the visitors a 0-1 lead. Disappointment for Flavovespia who had started brightly, but now found themselves with work to do.

The visitors looked relatively composed on the ball following their goal, but Flavovespia weren’t struggling to get it back at times, and the game still felt as if it was up for grabs. The 35th minute would see Flavovespia equalise. David Michael broke down the wing and cut inside. His fierce shot was parried away by the goalkeeper, but only as far as to Scott Coleman, who made no mistake from a short distance from goal, to equalise for Flavovespia.

5 minutes later and Coleman would be the provider. A good dribble into the box saw him forced out wide by the visitor’s defence. Coleman did enough however to turn the ball into the path of Steven hall, who hit the ball in stride and straight into the goal. 2-1 for the hosts, who had turned it around to take the lead.

Flavovespia hoped to go in at half-time in the lead, but it wasn’t to be. In injury time, an attack saw Tony Gardner challenge for the ball. Although he initially won it, the striker kept his run up, and got his foot on it again before going down. A penalty was given, to the fury of the home supporters and the Flavovespian defender. Meehan dived the right way, but not far enough, as a well-taken penalty flew just inside the right-hand post (Meehan’s left), making it 2-2 at half time.

Vakolicci Haven and Celeria kept up the momentum after the break, and took the lead 4 minutes into the second half. A quick break saw their #10 get goalside of the Flavovespia defence. It was then a matter of scoring a one vs one against David Meehan, which they did. 2-3 now to the visitors, who had now also turned around a one goal deficit to a one goal lead.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 61st minute. This time the Flavovespia defence held off the attackers of Vakolicci Haven and Celeria. However the ball was played back to their star midfielder on the edge of the box, who then hit a curling shot straight into the corner of the goal. 2-4 now, and Flavovespia and their fans were fuming that another game saw so many goals conceded.

Flavovespia weren’t done yet. On the 70th minute, substitute Jonathan Feld sent in a high cross towards the penalty spot. Terence Daley rose highest, and headed the ball down. The bounce was tricky for the keeper to deal with, and he didn’t get enough on the ball to keep it out, as Flavovespia reduced the deficit to one goal.

Despite valiant efforts by the Flavovespian attackers to find a fourth, Vakolicci Haven and Celeria did enough to continually prevent them getting a clear cut chance. Some half changes by Daley and Coleman were saved, and the game would finish 3-4, with Vakolicci Haven and Celeria largely content to defend as opposed to push on and go for more goals towards the end.

Flavovespia now go up against South Covello (A), Qasden (H) and Filindostan (A). For several fans, they’re taking the attitude that any point there is worthwhile of celebration, given that the same “gauntlet” resulted in 0 points last time. A sense still lingers on after today’s game, with even 8th place now 5 points away, that this set of World Cup Qualifiers have been a disappointment, and much change will be needed.



Post Match Interviews


Richard Crawford on defensive issues “It’s 13 goals conceded in 4 games now. Clearly this isn’t acceptable, and I can only apologise for the fans for it. Much improvement is needed, and I think the payers do know that. For now though, I’m not looking at any more call-ups to the side at this stage.“

Richard Crawford on the upcoming games “No doubt it’s a tough run. You can’t just say ‘play with no fear’, but you have to have a realistic game plan. We go into every game wanting to win, and I hope we can at least give ourselves a chance of that”

Steven Hall on the performance “I think the defence are getting blamed, but it’s not all about them. They could concede 7 every game, but we’d be champions if we then scored 8 every game. The lads win and lose together, and it’s up to us to work it out.”

Terence Daley on his strike partnership “I am pleased that me and Scott are working well. Along with Steven, I think it is a good part of the team. For sure it would be nice to be winning more, but I am pleased with my performance and that of those around me.”

Tony Gardner on the penalty decision “Absolute f***ing bull***t! Is it now a penalty as soon a bloke falls over in the box? I win the ball, he falls, kicks at it, and then gets a penalty. For f**ks sake! How do you defend that?”

(The FFD would like to clarify that all interviews are the opinions and words of those giving them, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or language of the FFD).

A History of Football in Flavovespia


Part 15

34BU saw another expansion of the GWNFA Super League. Rather than use the Gold Cup, which by now was beginning to show its age, each of the winners of the 4 winners of the 4 professional leagues below the GWNFA Super League would compete in a home and away Super League Qualifier. For the first Super League Qualifier, the teams were Towerhaite Sports Society (Waldster League), Captonbridge Rangers (Eastern Alliance), Butterfield Rovers (United Football League) and Havermilly (Western Association). It was Towerhaite Sports Society and Havermilly, the latter surprising quite a few, who made it into the GWNFA Super League.

33BU would see another Super League Qualifier, and this time Hampridge United (Western Association) and Vale (Waldster League) edged out Butterfield Rovers (United Football League) and Sutsyridge (Eastern Alliance). Sutsyridge were somewhat surprise division winners and were unlikely to make the top flight, yet for Butterfield Rovers it was another bitter defeat. That same year saw Abbots Lunsel win their first GWNFA Super League. The Lunselbury derby was looking like it was now on par with the Big 3 derby at the top of the nation’s game. The fierce nature of the rivalries certainly helped that.

32BU saw a major dispute break out amongst the GWNFA. Hudson Harrison had now stepped down as GWNFA head at the end of the previous year. He wanted the GWNFA Super League to expand to 16 teams in total, despite some, especially a handful of clubs wanting to remain at 12. Stephen Parks initially seemed to back the 16 team proposal. However, the planned 3rd edition of the Super League Qualifier didn’t happen in 32BU. Officially this was supposed to be a temporary moratorium to expansion. However, there was scepticism that TV companies, clubs and other officials in the GWNFA pushed this decision. There was considerable concern over the qualifying teams, with Leabury (based in Galling) and Slaton (St Astons) both looking like they could qualify, and there being major reservations about multiple teams in one city.

33BU also saw the start of a 7 year period where Hadford Hill and St Astons City would exchange the top two positions between themselves. The 2 rivals, especially the latter, both see this as one of their golden ages of domestic football. This was also a dark period for Waldster. The team from the capital would end up in a fierce fight to even stay in the Top 3, and had some terrible seasons by their standards in this era.

At the end of 31BU, Stanmorn and Henhaven Islanders both decided to switch from the Waldster League, to the United Football League. Due to the expansion of the top flight, 3 of the 4 outer Waldster sides were now no longer in the Waldster League. Stanmorn and Henhaven Islanders felt the league was no longer at the standard they wanted to compete at, and saw better opportunities to compete in the United Football League. This move would see the Waldster League, although still officially “professional” as players were paid, drop out of recognition as one of the professional leagues below the GWNFA Super League.

Sadly for clubs of the smaller teams, the GCC announced that the 50th edition of the Gold Cup, in 30BU would also be the last edition of the tournament. Faced with the GWNFA imposed boycott, a waning interest, especially in the earlier rounds, and a lack of profitability and interest, the GCC saw no way forward. For the amateurs, it was a sad day for them, as their main chance of major recognition had faded away. Although the GWNFA Super League was now a major product, and there was a fair interest in the other professional leagues in their respective parts of the nation, the Gold Cup was still seen by many as a nostalgic by-product of football past. Bavingtor would win 3-1 against Captonbridge Rangers in the final ever Gold Cup Final, the end of an era for many.
Formerly the Republic of Greater Waldster, internationally known as Greater Watford. IC It's a long story (OOC I didn't like using real place names)

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

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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:41 pm

The Knights of the Oblong Table In....

THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL

of World Cup qualification

From the Journals of Sir Pellehan

I am Sir Pellehan of the Dolorous Stroke.

This is a nickname I have gained for the many occasions upon which I have been struck in what might loosely be termed 'the groin' while practicing this 'football' game that so exercises Lord Tzimisces.

'Tis true that I have then been struck in 'the groin' during each match this qualifying campaign, to the extent that my team mates have engaged in much witty banter over whether I maintain the capacity to father children. Rest assured, maidens and comely wenches of the multiverse, that Sir Pellehan has lost no capacity in that regard!

Not most of the time, anyway. I mean, every now and then there's a bit of bruising (following away matches where no Dreamed Realm healing applies) that temporarily impacts my ability to reach the full pride of manhood; but it's a temporary thing, mark my words, and in way, shape, or form explains my unwillingness to help show Sir Therapon the Chaste what's what, and all that (in a chivalric manner that maintains the highest standards of the Oblong Table, I hasten to add).

Yet the recent silence in these journals stems from another source. For most of the recent matches, I have been laid low, with Sir Esclabor the Exotic deputising for my role on the field.

Lord Tzimisces has had me examined by the finest doctors in Christendom, and it seems that I suffer from a surfeit of white blood cells - a most dolorous stroke indeed. This in turn makes me more susceptible to infections, and following a recent away match I caught what I thought was but a passing case of the sniffles, but instead turned into a most chastening chest infection.

For days I was bed-ridden, blood-stained mucus streaming from my nose, fevered and on the borders of delerium, rendered unable to sleep by a convulsive hacking cough that was not just a source of some frustration, but also left me weakened and unable to take the field of play for over a week.

Sir Mirax the Noble tenderly cradled my head each day, favouring me with a concoction of lemon and honey that he had prepared personally in the hope that it would ease my pain. Alas, it made little difference, and my desmesne withered alongside my health.

I sense an obscure Christian metaphor; that my illness is a sign that I am unworthy, that I shall not attain the Holy Grail of World Cup Qualification; that instead the Knights of the Oblong Table shall be doomed to stumble into the playoffs, and then fall at that hurdle - where, because my illness has led to a dearth of match reports, we shall be considered unworthy to even enter the Cup of Harmony. That we are currently second in our group is surely a sign that this scenario - nay, this prophecy - shall come to pass.

Now that I rise from my sickbed once again, perhaps I might engage in a side quest that shall seek to restore my purity, and indeed the purity of the whole team, in the hope that this prophecy might be overcome.

I shall speak to the Lord Tzimisces this evening in the hope that, as a boon, he might grant me this side quest in order to overcome this my prophecy, and attain the Holy Grail of World Cup Qualification despite my clear unworthiness.

It must be a difficult quest of convoluted plot, illogical goals, and uncertain outcome - but if any footballing knight can succeed despite the odds, it is I, Sir Pellehan of the Dolourous Stroke!
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

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Sargossa
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Postby Sargossa » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:58 pm

SSM | Sargossan State Media

International Edition - Sport



The Grateful Eight


Blanco Borrayo reports from Greater Cebu;

The Greater Cebu Football Association is ready to fight both battles and wars. That was the bold claim made by the hosts as they threw their names into the World Cup hat. Since then the fight has been somewhat lacking, with eight defeats from their previous fifteen matches. They’d been turned over pretty tamely in Jucaro too earlier in the campaign. So Sargossa arrived with somewhat of a swagger in their steps. A swagger that lasted precisely seventy two seconds.

Some nations around the sportiverse have recently been celebrating their festive seasons and in keeping with that the Sargossan defence presented the hosts with a gift. Hugo Galán played a blind pass back towards his own goal. A pass that slowed down on the less than pristine playing surface, which allowed a Greater Cebu forward (the local media department have been somewhat sketchy on the details regarding their national side) to nip in a slot the ball past Roberto Penedo.

Players in dark blue were left staring at each other aghast while, on the bench, Rodrigo Defederico turned away with a shake of the head and a rueful smile on his face. He needn’t have worried. Perhaps anticipating their coach’s thoughts on the opening minute and a half the Corsairs accelerated up a couple of gears. To devastating effect. An unmarked Juan Esnáider powered in the equaliser from a corner, before Diego Alejandro Costa swept in a second from Escribano’s low cross. Costa, fresh from netting a crucial winner against Audioslavia, bagged his second and Sargossa’s third from another poorly cleared set piece. He then turned provider, sliding in strike partner Tomas Murillo to clip in the fourth. When a speculative effort from Esteban Pomar caught the keeper napping four minutes from the end of the half Sargossa reached the interval with a surely unassailable 5 – 1 advantage.

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, Costa winning a sprint with the defence before clipping the ball over the onrushing keeper to make it six. It marked a huge personal achievement for the Sportivo Soluca frontman, as he registered his fourth goal of the game. The travelling fans were enjoying their night too, breaking into a rousing chorus of ‘Are you Lesser Cebu in disguise?’. Their volume rose another level when Saúl Escribano cut in from the left and curled a wicked drive into the corner with his supposedly weaker right foot. Somewhere in the mix the hosts strung together a slick passing move, particularly impressive given the state of the pitch, which culminated with the ball being stuck firmly in the back of the net. But that was largely forgotten as substitute Miguel Ángel Berganza fired home Sargossa’s eighth.

Sargossa 8 - 2 Greater Cebu
Esnáider
Costa (4)
Murillo
Escribano
Berganza

Well the Corsairs were scoring eight for the third time in their international history group leaders Audioslavia were kindly dropping a couple of points during a crazy eight goal thriller in Brusseldorf. Newmanistan sadly were not so kind, hanging on to take all three points against Acronius. Elsewhere Pius Desurongcrandis avoided defeat for only the second time in this campaign following a very creditable draw in Kandorith and, largely unnoticed, Islas Aaland beat Joyea in a battle of the minnows.

Group 1                            Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts
1 Audioslavia 15 12 2 1 39 17 +22 38
2 Newmanistan 15 12 1 2 36 15 +21 37
3 Sargossa 15 11 1 3 47 26 +21 34
4 Brusseldorf 16 9 1 6 26 24 +2 28
5 Kandorith 16 7 4 5 30 22 +8 25
6 Acronius 16 7 1 8 30 33 −3 22
7 Islas Aaland 15 5 2 8 24 32 −8 17
8 Greater Cebu 16 5 2 9 25 43 −18 17
9 Joyea 16 5 1 10 22 34 −12 16
10 Aimena 15 1 4 10 13 27 −14 7
11 Pius Desurongcrandis 15 1 1 13 18 37 −19 4


Increasingly Group 1 is looking like a three-horse race. But with only two World Cup slots up for grabs something has got to give. Newmanistan are the spoilers. The fifth seeds have enjoyed a magnificent campaign so far, with twelve victories from fifteen matches and just a single point separating them from Audioslavia at the top. The Rockets are flying but over their shoulders lay the top seeded Corsairs. Sargossa have never been great frontrunners (this campaign being a case in point) but they’ve proven pretty good at chasing down a lead in the past. The onus now will be on keeping the blade firmly between the Newmanistani shoulders, ahead of what is looking increasingly like a winner take all encounter in Soluca later in the campaign. Up next though, it’s off to Maturín to face Brusseldorf.
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV / Copa Rushmori XX

" . . . those dictatorship-loving thundertwats . . ."

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Port Ember
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Postby Port Ember » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:44 pm

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Six In a Row For Our Dragons!


Port Ember 6 - 2 Xanneria

By Erica Davies - Port Ember Times Sports Section

The Port Emberian Dragons pulled off yet another consecutive victory in the second half of the World Cup 84 Qualification Season, when they defeated the XanneriaNational Team in an away match this past Match Day 16.

The second half of the qualifier season sees Port Ember facing off against all the teams they have allready faced in the first half, allowing the oppertunity to exact revenge on lost matches - or reprove themselves. This second match against Xanneria was a chance for our young team to prove to themselves and the world that it was not luck that brought them their previous 2-1 victory.

This win has resulted in propelling Port Ember into the hotly contested second place on the group table, which is a Qualification spot. Altough qualifying now seems to be a reality, the road ahead is boding to be a hard fought one, as the closest competing teams played on less match than our Dragons.

This win now sets our national team on an impressive six game winstreak.

This home match was played at a fully packed XANair National Stadium II, situated in Domonica City; Xanneria.

The Game - Summary

This match marked the sixth match of the second half of the qualifier season, following the Holiday Break. This game will be remembered for many years to come by the fans of Port Ember, as it was arguably their greatest performance to date in international football.

The match commenced with the Maroons swinging for the fences from the very moment of kick off, displaying the very finest definition of 'overwhelming and thundering attacking football', launching a barrage of attacks with their unique 5 man strong frontline. This sudden and constant pressure paid off for the Xannerians as they managed to overwhelm the Port Emberian defence in minute 13, with striker Glenn Hailey slotting in the opening goal when he burst through the midfield.

The Maroons did not slow down after this goal and again launched a legion of attacks on the defending midfield and left flank, with the Dragons defending like there is no tomorow - displaying the greatest defending play and skills they have ever displayed, normally infamous for their lack of defending skills. Although the defenders worked their hearts out, the Xannerians again broke ranks as striker Henry Clayton struck gold in minute 36. The estatic home crowd was estatic and felt that the game was in hand for their beloved Maroons. Unfortunately for them - the Dragons did not have enough yet. As the Xannerians launched yet another overcommited attack upon the Port Emberian lines to grab a last goal before half time, the signature 'bait ambush' was struck - with the Port Emberian midfield stole posession within their own box and launching a deadly counter attack, linking up with striker Leon Moult, outrunning his opponents and slotting the ball into the net with a kick straight from hell in minute 45! Thus the first half was concluded with Xanneria leading this home match 2-1.

The moment the game restarted for the second half, the Port Emberian Dragons changed into something divine, as they appeared to be a true well oiled footballing machine. The team used their midfield to shut out the opposing forwards, keeping the ball in play deep, nullifying numurical advantaged striker core. The fast paced and technical midfield play ensured a 91% posession rate for Port Ember in the second half, and the Xannerian Maroons had no awnser to the following onslaught, conceding an embarrasing 5 tries in this half before the ending whistle saved them from further slaugher. Midfielders Ray Reddington and Eric Tosaír each grabbed a goal, whilst 'Golden Child' Danny Nicovic once again earned the match ball when he slotted in his hatrick.

The Fans

The 10 000 Port Emberian fans in attendance were back to their standard noisy and passionate antics, cheering and energising their young team.

Port Emberian Player Scores

Goalkeeper (GK)(#1): Peter Smith - 7/10. The 'Rock' had a busy day between the sticks, working overtime to overcome to hyper attacks at goal, stopping 7 of 9 shots at goal.

Center Back (CB)(#2): Josh Richards - 7/10. Josh was a solid defender, executing brilliant tackles when required for the full 90 minutes. Although not the most technical player, his physical strength and fitness got the job done in a manner which could inspire many future footballers.

Center Back (CB)(#3): Jason Lee. 8/10. 'The Backline Prince' did what he does best for the full 90 minutes - organise and rally the backline. Surely responsible for assisting his side in keeping the opposing score low.

Full Back (LB)(#4): Alex Kuhn - 6/10. The opposition mostly avoided the left backline for most of the match, giving Alex a peacefull match, which was not his mistake. When shots were taken into his reach, Alex managed to hold up his own.

Full Back (RB)(#5): Russel Pierce - 7/10. Was a solid defender, executing brilliant tackles when required for the full 90 minutes. Although not the most technical player, his physical strength and fitness got the job done in a manner which could inspire many future footballers.

Attacking Midfield (AM)(#10): Ray Reddington - 8/10. Brilliant day for the Captain on the field. Never failed to exploit potentiol gaps during offences and managed to create gaps when there was none. Scored an excellent goal due to good midfield-striker chenistry.

Defensive Midfield (DM)(#6): Steven Packard - 8/10. Great day for Steven as he worked hard, and managed to link up well with Reddington to create counter attack oppertunities.

Wide Midfield (LM)(#8): Jason Chamberlain - 6/10. Had a peacefull day as his flank was mostly left untested. The few chances he got to prove himself, he displayed solid passion and skill.

Wide Midfield (RM)(#11): Eric Tosaír of the Tribe of Waterford - 7/10. Had a excellent field day and proved his worth as the newcomer to the team. Scored an excellent goal due to good midfield-striker chenistry.

Central Forward (CF)(#7): Leon Moult - 7/10. Seemed to be back to his normal and brilliant form as he posed constant threats to the opposition defence. Scored an excellent goal.

Central Forward (CF)(#9): Danny Nicovic 8/10. Proved to the world that he is deserving of his Star Status, picking up his hatrick on the way of doing so. Well deserved Man Of The Match Award.

Match Stats

Match: Port Ember Vs Xanneria

Location: Xanneria

Result: 6 - 2 Win for Port Ember

Goals - Port Ember: Danny Nicovic x 3; Leon Moult; Ray Reddington; Eric Tosaír

Goals - Xanneria: Glenn Hailey; Henry Clayton

Man of the Match - Port Ember: Danny Nicovic

Aftermatch word from the Coach

"What can anyone expect me to say after such a moment truly? The lads have played to their full extent of their hearts and skills, and it paid off. I can only really say that I am proud of these kids, and so should the entire nation. They made me proud to be a Port Emberiam today." Coach Baxter

Article by Erica Davies
Port Ember Times
Sports Journal



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Port Ember Times
Sports Journal


The Port Emberian Dragons prepares to face off against Bears Armed as part of the World Cup 84 Qualifier Season!


Pre Match Analysis & Interview

By Erica Davies - Port Ember Times Sports Journal

The road to World Cup 84 Qualifiers is in full swing as Match Day 18 is upon the Port Emberian side.

Port Ember's national team will square off against Bears Armed in their seventeenth match of the World Cup 84 Qualification Season, to be played at the Waterstad International Stadium, - the traditional home of the Dragons, located in the Waterstad Borouhh, of the Capital City - Port Ember Megalopolis; Port Ember.

This match marks the second time that these two teams will meet on the football field, Port Ember having won their first encounter earlier this season with a narrow 3-2 score.

Team Stats Analysis

Bears Armed:

This team is currently unranked on the international ranking system, but posesses a decent footballing history and a strong and developed football culture and infrastructure.

This team is currently placed in position 5 of 11 on the qualifier table - with 26 points ammassed so far, with 8 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses, scoring a total of 31 goals while allowing 27 goals to be scored against them.

Port Ember:

This team is ranked as the 86th best team in the world currently and has proven to be a formiddable and adaptable new team on the international field prior to the start of this season.

This is only the second international season in which Port Ember is partaking, and they have managed to jump to their current ranking in only that short period. The international sports media have regularly called this team the 'Dark Horse' of the group due to them making a name for themselves so quickly.

Even though the team has struggled to find their rhythm in the first half of the qualifier season, it appears that their old and dangerous form had reappeared after the Holiday Break, as they now are on a 6 game winning streak.

This team is currently placed in position 2 of 11 on the qualifier table - with 31 points ammassed so far, scoring a total of 38 goals while allowing 28 goals to be scored against them.

Team Analysis - Port Ember

Offense:

This team is known for their highly aggressive offences and legendary counter attacks, with world class strikers. The striker duo also seems on excellent form lately.

Midfield:

Traditionally the strongest component of this team, under command of the amazing Reddington. The midfield is a dangerous element to its oponents, acting as an attacking defence and sets up the front line well with attacking oppertunities.

Defence:

The backline is displaying a better form than normal, yet is still not its strongest compoment, focussing more on fluid attacks and counter attacks.

Goalkeeping:

Analysts have nothing but praise for Peter Smith the starting goalie. The young man is a legend in the making.

Substitutes:

The team has a impressive line-up of substitutes, whom have received field time recently, adding possible depth to the team when needed. The extra attention they have received from the assistant coach is sure to play a important role as well.

Team Morale & Cohesion:

This team seems to have regained their composure and morale, standing united against any opposition. Their previous six wins in a row, three of those against much stronger opononents, have boosted morale immensely.

Current Form:

L-L-L-W-W-W-W-L-L-D-W-W-W-W-W-W

This team is on a current 6 game winning streak, and has the looks of a champion team at the moment.

Typical Gameplan: Their typical system of tiring out and frustrating their opponents in an attempt to pull their 'Bait Ambush' is a risky play which can easily go wrong and concede a goal. However when it works, it is highly effective.

Team Analysis - Bears Armed

Offense:

I have been... "requested" to inform our readers that this team is indeed composed of actual sentinent bears. So to dispell the rumours, these are NOT large humans in bear costumes, but actual.. talking and soccer playing bears.. What has become of our world?!?

Anyway, this team plays a well balanced game of soccer, ensuring constant pressure and possession is build, defending their pitch until an oppertunity arises to push hard and deep. Thus, this team is not overtly aggressive, yet their strikers possesses solid skills and drive.

Midfield:

This team's midfield is solid and supports both the front and backlines with decent technical skills.

Defence:

This team plays a well balanced game of soccer, ensuring constant pressure and possession is build, defending their pitch until an oppertunity arises to push hard and deep. Thus, this team is not overtly defensive, yet their defenders possesses solid skills and drive.

Goalkeeping:

Analysts have nothing but praise for the starting goalie, and have proven to be a goalkeeping machine between the sticks.

Substitutes:

The team has a impressive line-up of substitutes, whom have received field time recently, adding possible depth to the team when needed.

Team Morale & Cohesion:

This team has had a solid season, entering the season as underdogs, yet have managed to become a well deserved feared team, known for causing upsets.

Current Form:

W-L-W-L-D-L-W-D-L-L-W-W-W-W-W

Much like our own team, they have dominated their run of the second half of the season, now being on a 5 game win streak (compared to our 6 game win streak), and has clearly found their rhythm. The term 'Clash of Titans' comes to mind..

Typical Gameplan:

Solid and technically focussed balanced play

Starting Line-Ups

Port Ember

Goalkeeper (GK)(#1): Peter Smith.

Center Back (CB)(#2): Josh Richards.

Center Back (CB)(#3): Jason Lee.

Full Back (LB)(#4): Alex Kuhn.

Full Back (RB)(#5): Russel Pierce.

Attacking Midfield (AM)(#10): Ray Reddington.

Defensive Midfield (DM)(#6): Steven Packard.

Wide Midfield (LM)(#8): Jason Chamberlain.

Wide Midfield (RM)(#11): Eric Tosaír of the Tribe of Waterford

Central Forward (CF)(#7): Leon Moult.

Central Forward (CF)(#9): Danny Nicovic.


Bears Armed

Due to certain reasons?, I am not allowed to publish the starting roster of this team.

Team Kit

Port Ember have announced that they will play with their primary kit in their upcoming match.

Image


Pre Match Interview with Coach Stuart Baxter:

Erica Davies: Coach, first off, congratulations are in order - the hard fought for victory over Xanneria is the talk of the entire nation!

Coach Baxter: Thank you Erica! It was a good match, as was our last encounter. That team truly always brings forth a big and hard fight, and our young team is forced to be at their best in order to bring back the rum, which they truly did, and played their best game yet in our young history.

Erica Davies: Thanks for that Coach! So does this amazing 6 game winning streak change your opinion on the possibility of qualifying for the World Cup Proper? I know you always say no - but we are now in the qualification spot!

Coach Baxter: We are indeed now placed second in the group, which gives the entire nation hope of actually qualifying. I wont lie and say that I am not hopefull, but..the fact remains that Ethane is one game behind us, giving us some false hope. To actually qualify, we will need to win each and every game ahead, and pray that Ethane loses a game or two at the same time. Qualification remains a distant dream sadly.

Erica Davies: So coach, Bears Armed is next. How are you feeling?

Coach Baxter: I think this is going to be a tough and exciting match. Our opponents is a very good team anf they are on steamrolling form. Yet - we have allready beat them on their own turf, and this time we will have the home advantage - and we are highly motivated since every game from now on is a must win of we wish to qualify.

Erica Davies: Well said coach! Well thats all for today - and we as a nation hope you all the luck and fortune for tomorow!

Article by Erica Davies
Port Ember Times
Sports Journal



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Port Ember Times
Sports Journal


The World Cup 84 Qualification Season


A Closer Look at Group 9 Results

By Gerhard Black - Port Ember Times Sports Journal

This article aims to take a closer look into the broader events and results relating to our opposition whom also forms part of Group 9 of the World Cup 84 Qualification Season.

Match Day 17 Results & Analytical Opinion

Bears Armed 1–0 Razneta

A hard fought win for the sentinent bear squad, yet unsurprising. The Bears are steamrolling their opponents at the moment. Can we stop their excellent form?

Xanneria 2–6 Port Ember

Well what can I say what was not allready said? In fact I still hung over from the victory party.

Five Cities 1–1 Lisander

Lisander should have won this one, yet they seem to struggle lately.

Appalachian Nation 1–1 Ouna

A solid performance from both sides.

Kelssek 2–4 Valanora

The masters of group 9 has probaly slain Kelssek's hope for qualification with a master class performance.

(Nations listed first was the host of the specific match)

An Analysts opinions on Each Team After Match Day 16

Valanora

This truly legendary team dominated this group before the Holiday Break, yet is currently stuggling in the second half. Their loss against Port Ember was followed with 2 consecutive draws, followed with a masterclass victory against an impressive Kelssek side. Even though they are going through a rough patch, I am confident that they will recover and will still end this season on top. Its simple providence.

Ethane

Although qualification seemed garuanteed for a long time, since the end of Match Day 17, they have lost their spot to our Dragons. They will have to bring forth something hard and special to reclaim their spot from a determimed Port Ember.

Kelssek

They started off slow but have gained massive momentum and is looking dangerous. One of the three teams with a realistic chance to grab the second qualification spot.

Port Ember

Our young Dragons do not have a true hope of actually reaching a qualification spot, although with a perfect combination of the right blessings & curses it might even happen. But this aside, our national team is on their best ever form, and is making our nation pride.

Bears Armed

A team who is making waves and causing some brilliant upsets. Definitely a side to keep an close eye on.

Razneta

No longer has a chance to qualify, yet has proven to be still dangerous. An exciting team delivering exciting matches.

Xanneria

One of the strongest teams having a terrible season. They have the potentiol to still make some absolute and awesome comebacks.

Lisander

A team who has once shown potentiol of greatness, but keeps having nasty setbacks.

Ouna

A weak side whom is known to cause huge upsets when unprepared for, but its too late to do anything meaningfull this season.

Five Cities

A weak side whom is known to cause huge upsets when unprepared for, but its too late to do anything meaningfull this season.

Appalachian Nation

A side whom does not belong in last place. I have watched both games between them and our own national team, and they play their absolute hearts out. Someone needas to fix what ever is broken and fast - such talent and latent potentiol is too good to throw away.

Current Group Standings

Group 9                         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Valanora 15 11 2 2 54 20 +34 35
2 Port Ember 16 10 1 5 38 28 +10 31
3 Ethane 15 9 3 3 40 26 +14 30
4 Kelssek 16 10 0 6 42 32 +10 30
5 Bears Armed 15 8 2 5 31 27 +4 26
6 Xanneria 15 6 1 8 34 40 −6 19
7 Lisander 15 5 3 7 28 39 −11 18
8 Razneta 16 5 2 9 18 29 −11 17
9 Ouna 15 3 5 7 19 34 −15 14
10 Five Cities 16 3 3 10 29 47 −18 12
11 Appalachian Nation 16 2 4 10 31 42 −11 10


Article by Gerhard Black
Port Ember Times
Sports Journal

♤ I use NS stats - see my Wikipedia Factbook for the juicy bits.

♤ And my proudest work - Hydra Industries - I created all my own military equipment.

♤ A great RP resource -The Average Port Emberian

Port Emberian Embassy Program

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Kelssek
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Posts: 1625
Founded: Mar 19, 2004
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Kelssek » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:45 pm

Image
Kelssek takes lead, then gets steamrollered by Valanora
KELSSEK – 2
Custworth (pen.) 33’
McDonagh 81’
VALANORA – 4
Møller 44’
Nygård 49’
Soldarian 52’
Bowler (o.g.) 74’

For ten glorious minutes the crowd at Exhibition Place could believe that Kelssek might actually beat Valanora. Then for ten hopeful minutes they believed Kelssek might scrape a draw against Valanora. Those fevered dreams dissolved in the cold rain as the Vanorians turned on the class and put four unanswered goals past a defence that crumbled before the onslaught.

Although they began the qualifying campaign with nine straight wins, in their last few matches Valanora lost to Port Ember and dropped points against Lisander and Ouna. Optimistic punters talked of a sense of vulnerability that has supposedly crept in to the Vanorian camp in the past few months. There was no evidence of that in Kirkenes, and once their first-half lead was overturned, it was Kelssek who wilted alarmingly.

“Of course we came in knowing that this is one of the strongest teams in the world, but it’s the hope that kills you,” admitted captain Ruslan Demetriev after the match.

But it was all so real in the moment. Colm Ó Tuathil’s pace down the flank worried the Vanorian defence in the early going. Salverda seemed furious with the referee’s call that he had tripped the Issington winger in the penalty area, but with no clear and obvious error the decision stood and Brayden Custworth held his nerve to place the penalty hard, low, and beyond the outstretched left arm of goalkeeper Sean Smørdal.

The capacity crowd found its voice with “Cycle of 46” and a reprise of “Maybe Tomorrow” as the home team pushed for the second goal. But the Vanorian backline held firm and denied the efforts to find supply lines to the forwards. The air war, too, was convincingly won by Strømmen, and it was from one of these clearing headers that Valanora struck back just before half-time. Mason Curtin missed his first tackle of the night and it was costly as Laborious Hawk poked the ball through for Thor Møller to strike past Normand.

Kelssek devoted greater attention to covering Møller as the match resumed, but in doing so space opened up for Olivia Nygård. Christian Arbour was lost at sea as she went wide, cut back in, and scored the go-ahead goal with a curving shot that eluded Normand. Kelssek were reeling and three minutes later, Faeron Soldarian curled a half-volley into the top corner to give Valanora a 3-1 lead.

It had been an efficient and mostly effective performance from Kelssek for just about 50 minutes, and suddenly nothing seemed to be working. With Shaheen Taleb being stymied by the close attention of Fjørtoft, Andrea Crowe responded by switching him for the out-of-form Matt Lister. He had broken his goal drought in the league last weekend, but it was move that in the circumstances smacked of rolling the dice.

The fourth goal was somewhat farcical but resulted from Valanora’s merciless pressure. Marc-Henri Normand parried a powerful long-range effort by Espy va Drake but only manged to direct the ball into the full-back’s shins and then into the goal. Bowler, who was tracking Faeron Soldarian’s run into the box, could do nothing but throw up his hands in disgust. Substitute Blake McDonagh finished a well-worked passing move in the 81st minute but Valanora was too far ahead at this point and the goal simply served to remind them to close up shop. In fact, it was Kelssek’s last touch of the ball in the opposing penalty area as Valanora put the match to bed.

Fortunately, Kelssek's four remaining fixtures will be against teams that are not Valanora, and Andrea Crowe will probably have her first-choice centre-backs return for injury for the last three of them. But the battle for second place is now wide open and the Voyagers' qualification fate depends on others slipping up.

Valanora: Smørdal, Fjørtoft, Strømmen, Salverda, va Drake, Hatsune, Hawk, Lithvathar (Larsen 84’), Soldarian, Nygård, Møller (Gundersen 70’).
Kelssek: Normand, Liadon (Douglass 81'), Curtin, Arbour, Bowler, Demetriev, Lapierre, Ó Tuathil, Canning-Meagher (McDonagh 75’), Custworth, Taleb (Lister 58’).
Player of the match: Faeron Soldarian (VAL)
Attendance: 38,509

Previous match
Ouna 2 | unknown
Kelssek 3 | Wylten 26, Liadon 61’, Kuelvic 87’

Ouna: line-up not available
Kelssek: Normand, Liadon, Pokorný (Arbour 72’), Bowler, Ó Tuathil, Demetriev, Dionne, Lapierre (McDonagh 70’), Wylten (Kuelvic 78’), Custworth.
Player of the match: Seamus Wylten

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Zwangzug
Issues Editor
 
Posts: 4070
Founded: Oct 19, 2006
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:49 pm

"I'm Catrina Murray-Tam, occasionaly op-eder for the Bassabook Baritone, and now apparently on some podcast which I'm sure will be down with the youth and not at all cringy or dated. This game was a dire display of defense from both sides, and frankly, no one wants to talk about our national team, or--"

"I think Maclaurin's been a fascinating if shaky influence, Catrina. Uh, and I'm Elmer Parkins."

"--so we're here with a far-too-early preview of the upcoming UICA transfer window."

"It's called the IFCF now, Catrina."

"Technically the window isn't affiliated, it just happens to run coincidentally with, yada yada. Do you think Zwangzug could be signing the versatile Jinpachi Mishima out of the imploded Qusmo league?"

"No, Catrina, I think you just found that player by control-Fing for Zw in a hope against hope there was something interesting to see."

"I mean, a player with goalkeeping experience who can also fill in as a defensive midfielder, they'd be useful for Ephesian to have on their goal kicks and stuff, right?"

"Is that an ambiguous they or that person's stated preference?"

"...Uh...this player...would be coming out of Qusmo, so I don't know."

"Mishima's a Kita-Hinode national, and look, Bassabook has enough problems already, we don't want to have this fight on our hip and cool podcast."

"Right. Let's talk about Ancherion, then, you need to credit--"

"--although I think there are a couple Qusma kids who came through our collegiate system, they're probably met the WCC standards to cap by now. Can't be much worse."

"I suspect either of them would have some culture shocks here, Maclaurin or no Maclaurin, although who knows, maybe they acculturate quickly."

"Daniel Snowden, now, offers a wide range of experience and even takes a more defensive approach to nominally forward-heavy formations. Do you think we could see him thrive at a club like Arlington now that they're consistent challengers?"

"I really don't, Catrina."

"Well that's awfully provincialist of you, surely they could benefit from a diverse management--"

"I don't think they're at all interested at looking outside their snowy little bubble, and I think you're just desperate to fill air time."

"Well, so what if I am? Jack Miller, now, with his Christmas tree--"

"What Christmas tree?"

"Oh, the (1)-4-3-2-1, it gets narrower as you go up, like...a Christmas tree. And the goalie is the little stump."

"Well there's lots of triangle-shaped things, why a Christmas tree? Isn't that a little specific to one religion and culture?"

"It's a thing real football fans say, Elmer, now go with it."

"Shan't."

"Now, someone like, I dunno, Sibal, might try to take the leap to a league like Micka--Macaw--Macaque--"

"It's Mkabia, Catrina, and what possible evidence do you have linking him to the Premier League?"

"Well he's bound to blend in at Namiri Forest, isn't he, maybe he wants to stand out more."

"I think you're rumormongering."

"There's a bloke from Tout-Puissant Outremont, is that the Cotdelapoms side...it is! I didn't know they were still around."

"I don't think they are, Catrina."

"And, uh, here's a guy named Theold Bracewell, d'you think--"

"He probably hasn't scored a brace well since middle school, Catrina, he's a goalkeeper."

"...That's not what I was going to say."

"Yes it was, you're just superficially looking over these names for pun potential."

"No I'm not."

(podcast abruptly ends)

(Kukiseso 17, Friede 41, Angier 80; Leech 14, Garcia 35 and 77, Kaur 60)

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Busoga Islands
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Posts: 94
Founded: May 31, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Busoga Islands » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:00 pm

The Busoga Chronicle
The Islands #1 News Source!

Islamic University of Busoga looks to the NSCF to save their gridiron football program

Image
Islamic University of Busoga football team


LAKISKA, SOUTH ISLAND- The independence of the Busoga Islands from the Kingdom of Banija has generally meant the split of sporting institutions between the Islamic Republic and the Kingdom of Banija. Largely, the splitting of sporting institutions came with some adjustments, but now, nearly 14 years removed from the conclusion of our War of LIberation, known most commonly internationally as the Banijan-Equestrian War, things have settled down on that aspect. The split of sporting institutions has meant multiple things. The first thing, of course, it has meant, are less institutions. For now, at least. The Busoga Islands is a small country- just 6 million people. The Kingdom of Banija, on the other hand, is 100 million strong, and with their recent oil discoveries, are a burgeoning power. Whether or not that's a good thing is best left outside of the sports sections of this newspaper, but it cannot be dnied.

The definition of less institutions, means literally that- we field less national teams on our own. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The three most popular sports on these islands are soccer, cricket, and rugby union, although that is not necessarily in order. We are fielding national teams in all three sports, and strive to be competitive in all of them. But considering the size of our nation, what this also means, from a functional standpoint, is more collaboration. What does that mean, per say? Well, we'll take the point of view from soccer first. Of course, World Cup Qualifying is going on, and we are going down a path that leads only at the Cup of Harmony, even though our upset victory over the Main Nation Ministry keeps us alive, mathematically speaking. But what happened to the 6 professional clubs that were in the Banijan system? Well, the newly formed BISA(Busoga Islander Soccer Association) and the RBSA(Royal Banijan Soccer Association) worked to hammer out a deal to keep the Busoga Islander clubs in the Banijan system. Most of BISA's goals were accomplished- keep their clubs access to a high quality league, ensure that they were treated as first class citizens by the clubs themselves keeping membership in the RBSA, and ensuring that Busoga Islander players have access to youth development.

There are not generally complaints about the system devised. The close work between BISA and the RBSA on many issues ensures that this is a setup that can continue. Of course, there is no need for outside approval by any kind of outside body, like the IFCF, for this to happen. As long as BISA and the RBSA can agree, this can continue, and it seems as if both are committed to each other as partners. They even devised a rule system regarding dual-nationals, and who is allowed to play for who. Lakiska SC competes in the top flight Banijan Soccer League, while Dukuma SC, Jaribga Soccer Club, Tezirbu Foxes, the Tripoli Foresters, and the Nezrouch Rovers compete in the Northwestern League, which is in the second tier. Analysts from all across the spectrum in both countries are generally happy with the deal. Of course, the deal prevents BISA from establishing some sort of all-Islander cup competition, and prevents the formation of some sort of national league, but overall BISA came out a winner. There are rumors that BISA will try and negotiate a way to establish an all-Islander cup competition in lieu of their 6 clubs' participation in the RBSA, although it is likely that they will have to forego any potential berth in the Cup Winners Cup. We'll see if that can happen. Regardless, they find themselves in a good position.

As for cricket, there is collaboration as well. Not just on the other side of the water, as our neighbors and former nationmates have no interest in cricket. But much farther away. The Busoga Islander Cricket Board were operating a 6 team league in Twenty20 cricket. A 6 team league is fine, of course, but it is still small. But they worked with the Damukuni Board of Control for Cricket, and have established the The Combined Associations Twenty20 League. A joint domestic cricket competition between Damukuni and the Islamic Republic. Many regard that to be a success as well. Lakiska SC made it to the Final in their first season in the league, and although the Islander clubs lacked top level competitiveness in the Champions League Twenty20, the Busoga Islander cricket fans are very confident that this is the right move for the long-term growth of the game in the country, at least from a competition standpoint. There are also Busoga Islands national team players who ply their trade in Siovanija & Teusland, as well. But you see it- for two of the three major sports in the country, colloboration is the way.

In many other sports where there is less interest across the country, that is seen at the top level. They, of course, left Commonwealth sporting organizations when the country left the Quebecois Commonwealth. There are no plans to enter an Islander delegation to the next Olympiad. They tend to work well with others, and on the college side of things, many expected some sort of deal that could keep the 6 BCSG Universities competing in Banijan athletics. But alas, it was a surprise for many when the BCSG(Banijan Collegiate Sports Group), the governing body in Banija for college athletics, voted to kick out all 6 Busoga Islander member institutions. There was shock and disappointment, even going all the way the chain of command on the political side, with President Ebrahim Razav saying the move was a 'nakedly political attack' on the Busoga Islands for pursuing sovereignty.

But the decision stood. Despite efforts by the Islamic University of Busoga, far and away the country's flagship school, to ensure that they'd be able to rejoin the BCSG, those efforts were to no avail. That left college sports in the country in quite a conundrum. How were they going to play? Teams that were previously in smaller athletic associations joined, and the Busoga Islands College Sporting Association(BICSA) was formed, with 13 members. But it was clear, fairly quickly, that BICSA would be lopsided and non-competitive. The other 5 former BCSG member institutions were smaller institutions, and although they joined with even smaller schools, competitive balance was soon found. Athletes that couldn't cut it in Banija started to see the Islamic Republic as a nearby option to go to school and play college sports, and the 13 member BICSA had, over the last decade, developed a decently competitive landscape in most sports.

Keywords- most sports. The one sport where they haven't found competitive balance is the sport where resources means the most- college football. The Busoga Islander schools have traditionally struggled at football, but playing against Banijan teams meant the endeavor was financially viable, considering how big the sport was over there. But outside of greater Lakiska, there really isn't a ton of sustainable interest in the sport in this country. We Islander tend to prefer rugby, or cricket. And most alumni bases, outside of the Islamic University of Busoga, simply didn't care about the sport. So as sporting and athletic investment grew from other schools in the country to other sports, the Islamic University of Busoga continued to expand their competitive advantage.

It was getting ugly. Season after season, the Islamic University of Busoga continued to pound their opponents. And it was getting uglier and uglier. The Caracals haven't lost a game in 4 seasons. 2 seasons ago, when the Caracals won the national championship game by a score of 56-0, the next BICSA Board of Governors meeting was convened on how to find competitiveness in the sport of college football. Quite surprisingly, a number of schools voiced the idea of getting rid of football entirely as a sport. And although the country's biggest university vehemently objected, it was getting harder and harder to do so. The sport wasn't competitive on the field. Interest was dwindling across the country, outside of Lakiska. Football is an expensive sport to support, and more and more schools were claiming that they were losing money on their programs. Their resources could be better invested elsewhere, and frankly, why pay a bunch of money to field a football team for you to get smashed by the Islamic University every year?

At those meetings, they reached a compromise. They'd sponsor football as a sport for 2 more years. They gave the Islamic University of Busoga the opportunity to seek BCSG membership for football only, which would be absolutely unprecedented. The BCSG rebuffed the Islamic University's bid, maintaining that the BCSG was for 'Banijan schools only', and refusing to work with the Islamic University. So the Islamic University became quite desperate. How could they keep the sport going? Another season, another national championship. But then, of course, Athletic Director Nuray Dervis, decided to really think outside the box. The Islander was himself a big fan of the NSCF, and he began to inquire into NSCF membership. Could the school join? Would the BCSG member schools support its inclusion?

Nuray Dervis then announced his decision to save the football program- take them into international competition. "We have made repeated overtures to the Banijan Collegiate Sports Group- it is a shame that they have blocked us from joining." Said the Athletic Director at a press conference. "We have a historic University, and are a founding member of the BCSG. Cross-strait relations are possible. But moves like that, just dilute the well and make things more difficult on all sides. It is disappointing and sad. But, of course, they have made their decision. We are looking beyond Banija. I would like to announce that we are officially applying to join the NSCF. Assuming our application is successful, we will vote with BICSA to dissolve gridiron football as a BICSA sponsored sport. That is best for the schools in BICSA, and it is the best move for the Islamic University of Busoga.

Caracal nation wants competitive football. Our gridiron team has been an important part of the tradition at the Islamic University for many years, and it should continue to be. Now, of course, no application is guaranteed- we must get dispensation. But as BICSA supports the move, we believe that we are fully capable of joining and being competitive within the NSCF. The standard of excellence here is high, and as we have seen, the Banijan schools have been able to establish success. Why can't we? There is a market here, and there is a strong alumni base that has a strong support for gridiron. We do not believe that there will be much opposition from Loyola-Istria and Northern Moravica for this move, either." Of course, questions started flying out at that press conference. Questions about recruiting, questions about this move's look for the University as a whole, and whether the BCSG would change its mind.

The BCSG won't change its mind- but sporting observers believe that they don't have the power to block such a move. They could ask Loyola-istria and Northern Moravica to block it, but sources say that is 'unlikely' as they would see that as a likely losing effort. And of course, with rumors about football going to the NSCF, of all competitions, the Islamic University is going to be recruiting players from abroad. There are rumors that, pending NSCF application being approved, that they have commitments from as far away as Chromatika, but of course, recruiting regulations do not let coaches talk about unsigned recruits. It will certainly be fascinating. Will they play one of the Moravican Big Two? Can they even compete on the same field as these NSCF schools? The answer is unclear. But this is, of course, a groundbreaking moment as the Islamic University, for the first time since our independence, will take their place on the world stage.

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Newmanistan
Senator
 
Posts: 4595
Founded: Feb 17, 2005
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Newmanistan » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:01 pm

In the Rocket Report office, Brianne Henry looked at her keyboard and monitor following the Rockets big win over Acronius by the score of 2-1. The victory allowed Newmanistan to get revenge on one of the two teams that had beaten then in the first half of qualifying. It was time to write the recap. To her left side was Taylor Larson, her younger colleague who mainly focused her writing on the social scene surrounding a game. Taylor seemed to be looking at her monitor with the same blank stare.

Brianne smiled at her, and Taylor smiled back, and they each looked at their computer screens again. Brianne took the scoresheet for the match, looked at it and put it down. Looking again at Larson and seeing she was doing the same, she said to her co-worker, “Give me something. Anything?”

Larson looked over to her side and fought back a chuckle. “I was going to ask you the same thing.”

Henry grinned and shook her head. “This is a long qualifying campaign. Writer’s bloc stinks. How do the other international media sources who put out something everyday do it over all of these matchdays?”

Larson shook her head. “I have no clue, Bri. Maybe we could tell a story where every day it is a new chapter of some entertaining tale. That can keep some of the media sources busy.”

“Yeah, but that’s not The Rocket Report,” Brianne replied, “What kind of thrilling story do we have to tell anyway? Give foreigners a lesson of the royal lineage of Newmanistanian Emperors?”

“We could talk about how each of Newmanistan’s past Emperors were impacted by sports in their lives. And the gutsy moves of Empress Jessica I to enter Newmanistan into international and interregional sports for the first time. Though, I don’t think that would get many hits. It beats listening to democracies babble about election results though.” Taylor answered.

“Our own readers don’t need more history lessons going back to Empress Jessica I. Or maybe we could just do a top ten of Newmanistan’s greatest sporting moments of all time?” Henry asked.

“That’s not bad, actually. Problem is that it is probably too late to start that now. That would have been better for the beginning of the campaign. Maybe the next World Baseball Classic we can do something like that. After all most of them would be centered around the World Baseball Classic anyway.” Larson answered.

“Number one, definitely would be, well, if we did that I don’t to be a spoiler right now. I wonder how many foreign readers out there would venture a guess about what the greatest single Newmanistanian sporting achievement, in our mind, would be. I guess we can put a poll on the website about that and see where the responses come from and take a look about where international voters might be voting.” Henry stated, “At least that can be a start of us getting going today.”

“I think I will put up a little mini-game on the website too: how many words can you make using the letters in the word, “Desurongcrandis”. That will get some feedback, too. Pretty boring, but it beats calling them Pius D or Pius Delongname.” Larson mentioned.

“You can spell out Acronius in Desurongcrandis.” Henry replied.

“Wow, you were quickly on the ball with that one!” Larson exclaimed.

“Now if only the subject of good material could be so easy. I hate talking about Loudon. I have spent a lot of time in these articles talking about the cities that the games were in, and while I am glad the Loudonites lived up to their loud reputation, talking about Loudon just gives me shivers.” Henry said with a smile.

“It’s better then talking about Pocono City Tech, or maybe not. What do you say?” Larson asked.

“I have nothing against Pock City Tech. Alright, I guess it’s time to stop rambling and start writing!” Henry stated.

“It’d be cool if we could just use our conversation for the article, then the creative juices don’t have to flow too much.” Larson replied.

“Yeah, but if we did that they would have scrolled through this as fast as they could to get to whatever article is next. Unless they had to read it, in which case I feel sorry for them.” Henry laughed as she answered.
Six-time World Baseball Classic Champions
NEWMANISTAN SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS:
CHAMPIONSHIPS: DBC 4; 27th BoF; CoH 34, 36, & 37; Oxen Cup 12; WBC 10, 12, 15, 17, 41, & 43; IBC 4 & 5; WLC 1
Runner Up: DBC 5 & 6; Oxen Cup 6; WBC 7,9 11, & 14; IBC 1; WB 4, 6 & 34; WLC 2 & 3
World Cups qualified for: 46, 48 (R of 16), 49, 50, 54
Hosted: WORLD CUP 49, WB 1, 2, & 5; WBC 8, 11, 14, 19, & 38; CoH 33, 35, & 39; WLC 2, 4 & 5; WCoH 10, IBC 24, NSSCRA, Horse Racing

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Recuecn
Diplomat
 
Posts: 513
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
New York Times Democracy

Postby Recuecn » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:14 pm

(A note from the Reçuecian press corps: when we previously mentioned them, we misspelled Nooooooooooooooo as Noooooooooooo. We're deeply sorry for this and would like to apologize.)

A loss to Nooooooooooooooo had been very disheartening for the Unicorns in the first half of qualifying. The assistant coach had lost his shit over it. "How can you lose to Nooooooooooooooo!?" he had screamed rhetorically, albeit with some expletives sprinkled in. This time, he was very happy.

"Yesssssssssssssss!!" he cheered, as the final whistle blew. A couple draws for Reçueçn recently had been a bad sign so a win was what was needed to get the RNFT back on track. But this was more than that. At the same time, Damukuni had dropped points, so this meant that as things stood, it would be the Reçuecians who were in second in the group and would potentially qualify for the world cup. Of course, that was "as things stood." Reçueçn still had to play Eura in a couple matchdays, and it would be difficult to not drop points there and go right back down to third place. But it would be a close thing. Group 13--the cursed group of the cursed cup--would be tight right to the end.
rəswɛsən

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Valanora
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Posts: 3648
Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Democratic Socialists

Postby Valanora » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:01 pm

Valanora Times
United Stands Tall As Changes Loom


While most eyes in football are currently attuned to the national team and the efforts of the Marauders as they attempt to close out their qualifying campaign in the same vein of form that they had played the first half in, you could be forgiven for somewhat overlooking what has been happening in the domestic game here in the Eternal Empire. Another season has come and gone and the financial might of the Elven Premiership was put on full display during the previous transfer window, with no side flexing that financial muscle more than Raynor City United, as the holders of both the league and domestic cup took the window by storm slamming down several large bids on high profile players. Getting in the likes of Karl-Heinz Jager, who was sent back in a season long loan as part of the negotiation with his previous club, as well as Domé Odóma and Kuma Bultum showed a sign of looking forward to what is yet to come by the club rather than merely resting of their laurels. It is that kind of attitude that has let the Rockers become the best club in the Empire and one of the best in the entire game.

The rest of the league was not about to be simply swept away and all the main contenders put in their attempts to curtail at the dominance that the Rockers hold with their own shrewd moves in the transfer market. The squad who looked the best to contend with the Rockers after the window was Mar Sara FC, although there was talks that a renewed energy around Ibini, despite the announcement of the impending retirement of their star striker of Allendren Fresco, could see them be there around the top at the leagues end. Soldarian had also made a few moves but most believed that the second capital club was not deep enough to contend with the Flames, Islanders, and Rockers for a top three challenge and would have to fight for a spot in whatever secondary ICC competition was to be about, despite their second placed finish in the lost played season. However what proved to be the most interesting purchases came from Wexax United, as the Hammers added a pair of elder strikers and a strong new center mid to strengthen the spine of their squad and give renewed hope of a top half and ICC placed finished.

In the end, United did stand firm, managing to hold onto just not the league but the cup as well, even as domestic football is set to undergo some major changes. Their strike force was lead by the Vilitan Linvoi Warazil, but all four strikers listed in the senior squad had plenty of goals to their name and the new defensive unit played as if they had been playing together since childhood. Ibini tried to nip away the title from their rivals but were just not able to keep up with the Rockers depth and had to finish in second place and two points off the title despite holding United to a draw on the last matchday of the season. The talented Cosumarite Lemons helped secure a top three finish for Hondo who had an otherwise mediocre season in the grand scale of things, while Juavi came out of nowhere to finish in the top five and Wexax made good on their signings and snatched a spot in the ICC places as well. The latter two managing to finish in ICC spots is a testament to the depth of the league and that with a few right moves, any of the teams could be in contention, and why the Premiership is able to court national team caliber players from across the footballing world and some even staying if the squads do fall into the second tier. The Empire's domestic football is strong and getting stronger, as the first club from Sabine and Caddonia will be playing in the League next season, as Club Atlético Bexar earned promotion out of the Conference Premier. We anxiously look to see how the squad will do with its new status and the logistics of flying to the main continent for away days.

However change is on the horizon in domestic football, as the UICA has suffered in languish over the past few years as no one is quite sure what has transpired and several editions of the Champions' Cup and Globe Cup having not been run, in addition to the other competitions organized by the UICA. In its absence, a new organization has stepped forth to bring international domestic football back into the fold and get those level of competitions rolling once more, in the form of the IFCF. As one of the leaders in both the international and domestic game, Empire representatives were sent to the new organization to help establish the rules and proceedings as well as help with organizational movements within the new infrastructure. The IFCF looks to be continuing on the two top level international competitions in the form of a Champions' League and Challengers Cup, as well as a League B Champions' League. The Cygnus/Cup Winners' Cup also looks to be brought under the new IFCF fold, with the Valladar caretakers apparently being withdrawn from their positions to deal with their governments' collapse. It is an interesting dawn for domestic football, as another transfer window draws near and everyone involved looks on with curiosity as to what the IFCF will be, with Empire citizens wondering if their clubs can have the same level of success in this new era as they enjoyed in the last.
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65, 72, 83 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXII (1st), WCoH I, XXXI (2nd), WCoH II, XXIX (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
AOCAF 44, 46, 51, & 53 Champions, AOCAF 39 & 43 Runners Up
Co-Hosted: too many events to count

EPL Season 20,073

I am that which I am and choose to be.
AO4Life ~ AO is The Place

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Audioslavia
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Posts: 2584
Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:48 pm

Image


Original Script
Key:
[what the camera will be showing]
<notes>
*emphasis*
/pronunciation guide/
… <— pause for a beat

Chapter 5.1 Brought to Earth

<optional: reintroduce yourself>
[slow pan over a graph]
We skipped ahead a little.

World Cup 47 was our final Scorigami of the 40s. Qlumez was cycle 54. Bears Armed’s fourteen-goal games were from World Cups 55 and 56.

Did cycles 50 to 53 give us any Scorigamis?

It appears they did.

[WC50]
A Krytenian World Cup gets us an opening-matchday Scorigami once again, with Vephrall thrashing Eenen by nine goals to two. Later on in that same tournament, Sarzonia score ten away from home.. yes Arroza, ten.

[WC51]
Tretskivucia and Andrewboy are both rightly enthralled by their six-all draw, halfway through World Cup 51’s qualifying period. Days later, The Holy Empire and Catmeowland join them in the twelve-goal-games diagonal, and bring us a step closer to filling in our eights column with a fantastic 8-4 result. Not counting World Cups one to four, The Holy Empire are the first team to be on the winning side of two Scorigami wins.

[Delaclava RP + all-time biggest win record list]
There are no Scorigamis in World Cup 52, before Delaclava get a record-breaking win over <>. A twelve-goal winning margin. This record will be equalled but, as we now know, it will never be broken.

Also wait… Audioslavia got a Scorigami in World Cup 6… and Jeremy didn’t mention it? For another video, maybe.

We achieved Scorigamis four cycles in a row between World Cups 53 and 56.
In the tournaments between cycles 30 and 56, we achieved 17 Scorigamis. Before that, from World Cup 4 to 29, we got only 13. This shouldn’t happen. Records like this should be harder to break as we move forward through time, yet this period seems to be the most fertile in Scorigami history.

So how fertile is the earth in the following years? How many more Scorigamis can the World Cup give us, between World Cup 56 and World Cup 84? How many more can we get before we arrive to the present?

Two.

Chapter 5.2 Much Entertainment. For Everybody.

There are two reasons why this new Scorigami chart is better than the old one.

One: It’s prettier.

Two: As well as following the bars towards each number along the top and left, we can travel vertically upwards from the top edge of the field to find the total amount of goals in that game.

A look at the Scorigami chart at World Cup 60 shows us that every possible eleven-goal game has been done. There have been six eleven-nil wins, three ten-ones, five nine-twos and so on. 7-4, highlighted here, was done in World Cup 36. Coverage of Demot’s victory over The Western Afghanistan ended up on the cutting room floor for Chapter 2.2. Apologies to both teams. To make up for it, look at this.

In the 12s column, we’re missing one. 9-3.

[PIS 9-3 Backyard Sports, WC61]
Polar Islandstates’s 9-3 win over Backyard Sports in Qualifying for World Cup 61 means that, of The Idiot Project’s three narrators, only one has never gotten a Scorigami <grumble something>. The result fills our final spot in the 12s column. To even have a chance at Scorigami now, a game needs at least thirteen goals. One strike every eight minutes.

Over the following twenty-two cycles, this will happen exactly once. Fortunately for us, it involves one of the greatest - and most under-appreciated - World Cup teams of all time.

[graphics showing Åsløtten-Bëðerbørg så Cesky stuff]
Åsløtten-Bëðerbørg så Cesky /AZ-law-ten bother-borgsa CHESS-key/ <trust me> graduated from the class of BoF53, doing so alongside future hall-of-famers San Jose Guayabal, eventual Baptism of Fire winners Welsh Cowboy and the famous Evisceratomatoes.

[Evisceratomatoes and Snub Nose 38 RPs from WCs 8 and 9]
What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Evisceratomatoes? They were a team of sentient vegetables. The Baptism of Fire was their third major tournament. They endured a tumultuous rivalry with Snub Nose 38 back in World Cups 8 and 9 . In one game, several of their players were splatted - yes, splatted. Like I said: vegetables - after a rogue set of Snub Nose 38 cheerleaders enticed them with the promise of a large Bloody Mary and then splatted them with an EMPAM. What’s an EMPAM? It’s the precursor to the WAMAM.

[scroll over a post below an Evisceratomatoes post in WC9. It’s by The Weegies]
Man, the early World Cups were weird. So many strange teams. I mean, here’s a team called ‘The Weegies’ that I’m sure will pose no threat to anyone in the future.

[more Åsløtten-Bëðerbørg så Cesky stuff]
Back to Åsløtten-Bëðerbørg så Cesky. Why are they so special? They never qualified for the World Cup. They have no silverware to speak of. They were here for three cycles and then they went back to the diacritics factory from whence they came. In 40 World Cup games, they were beaten by three goals or more on ten occasions. They had a win ratio of 37.5%. Their kit looked like *this*.

Why are they special? Two words.

[various William Čalrek stuff]
William Čalrek /CHAL-wreck/. /‘CHAL’ rhymes with how you’d pronounce ‘mall’/

Čalrek was a club legend at Nephara’s Maximum City. Partly for his goalscoring prowess. Partly for his temper. Partly for his appetite for violence. Quite a large appetite.

He left Maximum City at the age of 36 and did what about three thousand other players did around the time. He moved to a team in Semarland. Even at 39 he was still sought after, spending a final season at Tiamare Zekroni /ti-a-MA-ray zeh-CROW-knee/ in Kita-Hinode.

Calrek was a key player for the Ceskian national team. You know how you can tell if a player is important for a team? If their coach holds a press conference when they get injured, then they’re a key player.

You know they’re *really* important if they hold two press conferences.

You know how you can tell if a player is *really really* important? It’s if they get to record and publish their own podcast *during* a major tournament. Here’s William Čalrek reporting from the Cup of Harmony after World Cup 66. A peek inside the mind… of a legend.

[This is what Čalrek says on the audio. It’s Maklohi Vai doing a very good impression of an eastern-european accent. The following will appear on the screen, hopefully in time with the audio clip.
GOOD DAY THIS IS WILLIAM CALREK I PROVIDE ANOTHER PODCAST FOR MUCH ENTERTAINMENT
FOR EVERYBODY
I FIRST WANT TO ADDRESS
SOMEBODY FROM OUR GROOOOOOOOP
THE LICENTIAN ISLES
A
CERTAIN PLAYER NAMED THE
ALEX
HEY
SHUT UP
NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY NOBODY CARES
EVERYBODY WANT TO LISTEN TO ME
WILLIAM CALREK PROVIDES THE VOICE OF OPINION THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
YOU THE PROVIDE NOTHING ALL YOU SAY IS YOU SAY THAT I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I AM DOING YOU SAY THAT I AM
WANKER
YOU LZ ARE RIDICULOUS THATS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT YOU YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE SAYING THAT TO ME
I AM WILLIAM CALREK
I AM ACCOMPLISHED NATIONAL TEAM PLAYER YOU ARE A NOBODY
NOBODY YOU NEED TO STOP TALKING BECAUSE NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY
NOW SHUT UP AND GO HOME

ON A MORE VIOLENT NOTE…]

[zoom out to score, as rant continues, to the scoreline
Åsløtten-Bëðerbørg så Cesky 11-3 The United Squiggles]
[New Sideburn quotes comment and says ‘Jesus Christ!’
comment also mentions Number 1 ranked PIS’s loss to a team called The Weegies]

The World Cup’s last ever Scorigami.

No match report was written for this game. I submit that we make it canon that William Čalrek scored every goal. Even the three for the United Squiggles. And then he got sent off. For excessive violence. Against the catering staff. At half time.

Was Čalrek normal? One of a kind? Or were there hundreds of players like him? Another video, maybe.


"Yeah you're right, that's it for Scorigamis" said Jeremy, his phone held between his right ear and his shoulder in a way that is only possible if you own a phone made before 1997. He nodded at whoever was on the other end of the line. "Uh huh. Who got the final Scorigami? Yeah Ass Logjam Butterbean So Flexy got the final ever Scorigami... until Banija popped up unexpectedly the other day... yeah I mean it would happen during the series, wouldn't it. Not before or after. It's lucky we found that old video... yeah it was eerily prescient yes."
Jeremy found a bowl of peanuts, grabbed and a handful, and threw about 70% of them into his mouth. The remaining thirty made a play for their freedom, but found only rug, sofa or, in one case, spider-plant.
"Nomflom off boffleflomp ischschs" said Jeremy, finally putting his phone in his hand and turning away from it in order to chew on the peanuts that had made it into his mouth. He narrowly avoided choking as he swallowed them. "I said next one's the final chapter of the episode".
Jeremy rummaged around the insides of his cheeks and back teeth for bits of trapped peanut. There were many.
"How long will it be? Yeah I've got ten minutes. Half of it is a montage. It rounds things off reasonably well. I finally got a reply to that request I'd made but.. a future chapter maybe. We're just too close to the end to change anything."
Jeremy grabbed a bottle of water and poured 70% of it into his mouth to wash away the remaining peanuts. 29% found only Jeremy's beard, shirt and face. Most of the rest went in his eye, but for a couple of confused drops that splashed onto an equally confused spiderplant peanut.
"Episode 2? Well let's just say I have a few things up my sleeve" said Jeremy, using his sleeve to dry his shirt.
"What's that?" said Jeremy, still concentrating on his shirt. "Why am I repeating every question you ask? Well, funny you should say that.."
Jeremy looks at us, and we feel uncomfortable.

Bonus Content
Low-quality test version of Chapter 5. Includes un-cut William Çalrek rant

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

Postby Ziwana » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:58 pm

ZCHAT

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Brusseldorf
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 427
Founded: Dec 19, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Brusseldorf » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:01 pm

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THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

Overnight Craig Foster led the troops to a impressive draw against World Cup heavyweights Audioslavia. The home game saw a record-breaking crowd turnout of 59,000, thanks to the recently finished upgrade to Fennec Stadia. The goals flowed freely, with Audioslavia beginning the tally on a scoresheet that would finish 4-4. Woman of the Match, Andrea Zidane, spoke to the Locale shortly after the game.

“We were in a good position starting the game tonight; no injuries or suspensions and we were all well rested after the break. I think too there was definitely a sense of that underdog spirit that helped us in the first few tournaments.”

Rickson Marañón opened the scoring for The Bulls in the 11th minute, striking a searing half-volley into the top netting from close range. Giroud Sidi retaliated with a neat tap-in in the 20th minute, thanks to a curling cut-back from Sarah Pickett. With Audioslavia edging for a second goal, they broke through the Brusseldorf defence with seconds to spare, Desya Kuznetsov scoring after an impressive solo run to make the score 2-1 to the visitors just before half time.

Los Alrededores diehard, Mario Sánchez, commented.

“Derrre was a berrry big noise at jhalf time. All my brrrotherrrs ant sisterrrs, dey werrre cheerrring forrr ourrr team. I was dinking we can win. De Audioslabia, dey arrre berrry goot but I dink ‘we jhabe a chance’. Crrraig Fosterrr put de fearrr of got in dem *laughs* because dey scorrret again in de secont jhalf ant den kept scorrring! I am sat dat we dit not win but I’m jhappy dat we drrrew with a big team.”

Image

Teddy Wolfenden was happy with his second half brace, whilst two impressive plays from Audioslavia saw them equalise 4-4 late into the game.
Last edited by Brusseldorf on Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Morocco-Algeria ~ Democracy ~ Prime Minister Abelt Nejem ~ Spends on Defence, Information-Technology, Protecting the Environment, and Spirituality
The largest military in the region
Of course I use NS Stats, what do you think I’m doing here?!
Etymology: Brussels + Dusseldorf = Brusseldorf!

The Pacifican Islands said: all transit is green if there is no transit
taps head
The Grand Empire of Andor said: You can’t pollute the planet if there is no planet
Hits head with hammer

Quelsh said: "COOL FLAG BRUZELDERF"
Tattland said: "Did I just accidentally attack Quelsh"
The Garmillas Empire was an intergalactic Empire. A remnant group of the Garmillan people crashed on earth, where they were given refuge by Brusseldorf.

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Chromatika
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Posts: 868
Founded: Aug 05, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:03 pm

MD17: Plane of Possibility 0-3 Chromatika
Goals: Andisori, B. ('29), Croix-Pierre ('48), Kim, M. J. ('73)
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Nichols; Xiao - Ken - Baugh - Nocturne; Ingalls - Kim, M.S.; Etienne (C) - Kim, M.J. - Croix-Pierre; Andisori, B.
Substitutes: Non -> Andisori, B. ('51), Rowles -> Nocturne ('69), Avis -> Ingalls ('77)
Projected Starting Lineup vs. Northwest Kalactin: Nichols; Xiao - Ken - Friedman - Rowles; Anisov - Kim, M.S.; Etienne (C) - Kim, M.J. - Reynolds; Non.

Football Part 17: @ Plane of Possibility

Image


Jillian Nier, Football Correspondent

It took a total of sixteen matchdays, but the Chromatiks finally pulled off a win by more than two goals as they won by a score of three-nil away at the Plane of Possibility. Perhaps it was the lack of a crowd - only the press was there, and the only reason I was there is because I guess I am now considered to be a part of the press - but the Chromatiks' game was sharp and clean, the Planers couldn't get anything going, and young Mi Jung Kim scored her first goal of her young career. Chromatika is very close to clinching qualification - they have an eight point lead over Busoga with twelve left - and nine point lead over Main Nation Ministry with fifteen left for them. With Northwest Kalactin looming, the Chromatik Managers have decided to keep Nichols in goal and pepper in the likes of Friedman, Rowles, Anisov, Reynolds, and Non. By keeping the core of the team that handled the Planers rather easily, the hope is that the consistency in chemistry will continue to foster betweeen the players that are playing with each other.

In other news, the Rainbow League System formerly finalized the rules regarding the next offseason before their advent. Each team will be allowed three and only three foreign players on their roster, regardless of their pedigree or the amount of cash spent on acquiring them. This will lead to a very interesting offseason where the Chromatik clubs will focus in on specific players that fit their area of need and really hope to get them. The bursts of excitement and disappointment that will come from teams going all-in on certain players only for the same players to be snatched up by rivals or other teams from other nations will be exquisite.

I agree with the premise of it all - domestic players will get a chance to play in a competitive league and develop into homegrown stars. There is somewhat of a concern regarding most of them going overseas directly afterwards, but that is to be addressed later...

For now, we have waited long enough. Football is returning to Chromatika - the wait is almost over.
Part 16: The Explanation

Part 17: The Planes

The idea had been Ven- no, The Black Ma- no, The Skilled's. The rescued Enlightened had told Keira Andisori, Joan Myrtle, and Alina Krasnikova that the only way he knew of to get to the plane of The Enlightened to confront The Three and put things to rights was through the realm known as the Plane of Possibility. Coincidentally, the Chromatik National Team was set to travel to the Plane of Possibility soon for their match against the Planers; it was easy doing to get access to the group that traveled to the Plane via the Gate Scroll, and to be whisked there in the magic that was produced.

Once in the Plane of Possibility, they had shed their humane forms and escaped the grounds, heading to The Tower of The Hand to meet The Keeper. The Skilled was adamant that The Keeper would know of a way to get into the plane of The Enlightened, as The Keeper was one of The Enlightened. He wouldn't disclose why he thought that The Keeper would ever listen to them instead of The Three, but Joan - or The Hope in this form - decided that it was worth a shot to give The Skilled the benefit of the doubt now that they were going to be on the same side.

It wasn't too hard to enter - there were only minimal protection systems, which were bypassed in contemptuous ease. Would it really be that easy?

In a white cathedral adorned with stained glass windows, atop a resplendent throne, clad in a long, sequin white dress, sat a High-Elf, a crystal diadem upon her porcelain-white forehead, her white hair reaching the floor of the cathedral. She looked... Ridiculous, yet serene. With a name like The Keeper, she had been hiding in plain sight. But was it at the direction of The Three? Or was The Keeper actually the first of the ones that had escaped The Enlightened?

"Ah, you've finally come," she intoned in a small, shrill voice, "I was wondering if you'd make the trip. Interesting, isn't it, that the ragtag team I put together ended up drawn with you?"

"Do you mean to say...?" stated The Skilled, tilting his chin.

She laughed, rather unsympathetically.

"No, I do not have any control over fate. But it was a nice little thing, for sure," responded The Keeper.

"I do not wish to tire you in diatribe," she continued, "Let me just get out of your way. I do not have the powers you need to do what you want to do, but I can get you there."

She waved a hand, and a gate opened in the far corner of the room.

"When you confront them... Tell The Split that I send him my regards," stated The Keeper with a sinister undertone, motioning for the two to continue.

So, aided by an unforeseen ally, The Hope and The Skilled went through the gate to The Plane that housed The Enlightened.
Rainbow League System Preview

17. Anchors
Image
Nickname: Anchors
Fans: Shipmen, Anchors
Location: Myana, Myana Island, Chromatika
Stadium: University of Myana Stadium (22,350)
History:
League Chromatiks Season 1: N/A
League Chromatiks Season 2: N/A
League Chromatiks Season 3: N/A
League Chromatiks Season 4: N/A
League Chromatiks Season 5: N/A
Chromatik League Season 1: N/A
Chromatik League Season 2: N/A
Chromatik League Season 3: N/A
Chromatik League Season 4: 4th Second Division
Chromatik League Season 5: 12th Second Division
Manager: Evaline Sanders, 50
Formation: (4-4-2)

Background: Biggest port city in Chromatika. Second biggest city in Chromatika. Naval headquarters of Chromatika. Second biggest fishing town of Chromatika. Tourist attraction. Anchors FC is a small club that is owned by a group of cruise ship owners. Sharing the stadium with the University of Myana, Anchors finished fourth in their first run, but struggled on both sides of the ball. They did win the relegation playoff, which is all that really matters - but will need a lot more work to maintain their stay.

Preseason Grading: brought to you by ChromatikBet.com

Fanbase: 3/10: Anchors FC hasn't had a lot of luck with generating fans. The owners like to give out tickets to their employees, but the lack of results has led to a very small following.
Manager: 7/10: Things are up in the air for Sanders - in the first season, she finished fourth. After retooling with some foreigners, she then finished twelfth. Was the last season an anomaly, or a true testament to her skills? This coming season will tell.
Keepers: N/A: Anchors is lacking a starting keeper.
Defenders: N/A: Anchors is missing a starting defender. Izbetbegovic has been around for ages, and can still generate decent enough pace, while Wool and Courbis lacked experience.
Midfielders: N/A: Anchors is missing starting midfielders.
Strikers: N/A: Anchors is missing a starting striker. Deleon is near the end of her ropes, but can generate opportunities here and there.
Greatest Need: When the Chromatik League disbanded, all foreign players were let go. Anchors was one of the Second Division teams actually affected. To promote into the Red League, they'll need some retooling and motivating, along with technical genius from Sanders.
Next: Deprí Sanar
Last edited by Chromatika on Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Former User of the Nations of Yesopalitha and Falconfar

Regional Tournaments: 52 (2nd), 53 (4th), 54 (QF), 55 (Champions), 56 (Ro16)
WC Proper Appearance: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79 (Ro16), 80 (Ro16), 81 (Group Stage), 83 (Group Stage)
KPB Ranking: 37 (Mid 84)

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Equestrian States
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Posts: 3513
Founded: Dec 15, 2011
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Equestrian States » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:06 pm

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-WORLD CUP 84 QUALIFYING COVERAGE-
Hot Take's Hot Takes: WCQ84 MD17 Edition
Ponies' return to form against Hapilopper a welcome reminder of their ability

by Hot Take

After dropping two close matches against Acapais and Darkmania that they really should have won, Equestria traveled to Hapilopper needing a result to maintain their grasp on the top spot in Qualifying Group 6. Manager Pearly White has been awfully fond of playing the kids and outcasts against her opponents this cycle, but with first place at stake and an eye on avenging her loss to the Haps earlier this campaign, the Equestrian manager finally fielded a full-strength squad.

She was rewarded with a comfortable 5-2 victory that frankly could have been much worse for the hosts. The Ponies dominated from the first minute until the last, Pristina Shine completing a hat trick against the hapless Haps before the end of the first half. By the hour mark, the score was 5-0 and the Equestrians eased off the gas. To their credit, the Haps kept giving their all until the final whistle and scored a couple consolation goals. However, they were just that: consolation. Thus, the Ponies enter the final stretch of qualifying firmly in control of their own destiny, with a relatively easy final set of fixtures which they ought to be able to sweep.

Although the Ponies' superstars haven't had many opportunities to shine together this cycle, their dominance against a side which upset them previously on home soil was a refreshing reminder of just how good this Equestrian side is when they're firing on all cylinders.
President of the NS World Cup Committee
83rd World Cup and 58th & 59th AOCAF Cup Champions
5x World Cup, 2x Cup of Harmony, 1x Baptism of Fire, 2x World Cup of Hockey, 3x World Baseball Classic, 1x World Bowl Host

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Freeport Isles
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Founded: Sep 21, 2017
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Freeport Isles » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:30 pm

Twilight Striker stared at her hooves as the final whistle blew, bringing an end to an infuriating 1-2 defeat against Nirvacana, and with it the end of Freeport's qualifying pipedream. The odds were never going to be the Condottieri's favor with this group, but she was nevertheless disappointed to be mathematically eliminated so early.

Five matches left. I think the last time I had a qualifying campaign end with so many games left was back in the early days with Equestria...

All that's left to play for now is pride and a spot in the Cup of Harmony, but honestly I don't know if I would invite us to the Cup of Harmony at this point. We've definitely taken a step back after last cycle and are still nowhere close to qualifying.

At least my job's probably safe. My contract's for at least one more cycle and we did better than ever at the last AOCAF, so the FHA should still be fairly content, even with an underwhelming qualifying campaign.


She sighed, listening to the smattering of boos from the Condottieri Coliseum crowd as the supporters dejectedly filed out of the stadium.

Well, it did take me seven cycles to qualify with Equestria, and this is only Freeport's fourth. There's still a few years before the Freeporters will have to deal with being mocked by the Equestrians for taking so long to qualify.

Still, what to do now? Play the kids and give them a bit of experience before the Cup of Harmony or AOCAF, whichever comes next? Or do we go all-out to impress the Cup of Harmony host committee with a hopefully impressive enough final few games?


As her players trotted over to the tunnel leading to the locker rooms, Twilight began her own slow trek into the bowels of the stadium.

Whatever we do, we've still got a long way to go before we'll be competitive in the World Cup. The Freeporters have seen their neighbors hoist three straight major trophies, after all, and it's only a matter of time before they start demanding one of their own.
The Confederation of Freeport
Capital: Freeport | Demonym: Freeporter | Trigramme: FPT
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Commonwealth of Baker Park
Diplomat
 
Posts: 963
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:53 pm

We're in the home stretch. Are your opponents going to be Heartless Bastards to you?

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Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF LVIII Third Place (co-hosts)
World Cup 81/82/83 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football--NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions

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

Postby Euran Oceania Territories » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:53 pm

The ghosts of Tom Duffy and Willem Ajax approached Skorji Oslograd with pained howls emanating from their white, gaunt faces, closing in fast. Their goals against Bolgano had been wasted by the Expat's shoddy defending, and their haunting spirits were blaming him. You did this to us. Suddenly they were plunging knives into him. Burning hot knives, flaming swords of fire - oh, the agony!
'Skorji...'
The agony, seriously, its bad.
'Skorji.'
THE NEVER ENDING FURIOUS AGONY!
'Skorji wake up for fuck sake!' The Expat's absolute boy Skorji Oslograd (or as he was more commonly known, the manager) was rudely awaken by a fulsome slap across the face. The love of his life Rhea Fianchetto, at least until his next divorce, was staring down at him with fury behind her eyes. She happened to be his assistant manager as well, and so understood and empathised with his torment. 'You're not having those stupid dreams again are you?' Well, ok. Maybe empathised was the wrong term to use. Tolerated would be more accurate. Skorji was drowsy but the slap gave him enough of a wake up call to respond. 'Fuckin' Duffs and Will again. Bloody hell. Argh.'
'Whatever. I'm going back to sleep.'

A few hours later Skorji woke up alone. He hauled himself out of bed, staggered into the kitchen and found Rhea there, quietly eating her cereal. 'Morning love.'
'Hey.' He'd usually say something witty here but nothing came to fruition. Skorji simply sat in silence, staring into the distance. 'Weather's pretty grim isn't it? Rainy Fligsive really is a miserable sight.' Rhea's attempt to provoke conversation came to nought. 'Look, babe, is everything ok-'
'I'm a fraud.' Skorji let it slip out like he was a different man. She was taken aback. 'What?'
'You heard me. I'm a fucking fraud.' Rhea hurried over to her partner. It wasn't the first time he'd had a crisis of faith brought on by a heavy night drinking, but this was something special. 'What on earth do you mean? That's ridiculous, don't be so hard on yourself.'
'Look at it.' He pointed at the tablet computer on the counter. The Group 5 table didn't lie - Euran Oceania Territories, his project, lay 8th from 11 teams after 15 games, with only 5 remaining, and they hadn't even played their second game against Nephara yet. 'Several campaigns of hard work and where are we? Somehow shitter than when we started.'
'That's not our fault Skorji. The lads have always been reliant on the older players and the Rev's pair at the back. They're mostly in their thirties now, some decline was bound to happen.'
'And what have I done about it?'
'You've laid the seeds for the future! The Oslograd Academy, EOTLeague. None of that would have happened without your impetus. In time we'll have that core of good players.' She helpfully turned off the tablet so he'd stop obsessing over it. 'Of course we'll probably be retired by then but hey, at least someone will benefit right?'
'Right.' He didn't sound convinced.

As they continued to sit in silence, Skorji got thinking. In the past he'd found the best way to get out of these funks was to think outside the box. This was one of those times. 'Rhea, what's the tallest mountain in the Territories?'
'Err-'
'Hurry woman! Where is it? What is it?'
'I...wait, hold on.' She grabbed the tablet and plugged the question into a search engine, doubtless confusing some poor sap at the Office for State Intelligence curiously monitoring Oslograd's internet traffic. 'Ok so there isn't one as big as the northern or western mountains back home, its all glorified hills really. With one exception - Mount Judge.'
'Ah, yes, named after the bleach.' He reeled off the jingle before she could interject. 'Mr Judge Bleach, it'll make your bathroom smell like peach! Eura's finest. Can't get any of that here for some reason.'
'...no, its named after the wartime Prime Minister.'
'Right, yes, of course. Was just testing you.'
'...'
'You passed!'
'Oooo-k. Its 1,970 metres high, and down by the coast. A bit of a gnarly walk in parts but not a huge climb. Why do you ask?' Without saying another word, Skorji took the packet of cereal and downed it in one go. He then marched out of the door leaving Rhea in a spin.

----------


Training had been dire that morning. The Nephara game was three days away and confidence was low. The lads were not feeling it. To top it all off, the gaffer was late. 'I'm gonna' say it.' Ed Pollard was one of the less indoctrinated players in the team and knew his time in the side was limited anyway, meaning loyalty didn't matter anymore. 'The gaffer is leading us nowhere. He's gone twirly up there. Someone's got to say something to the FA.' Kasey Fuller was the exact opposite of Pollard - young, fully committed to the cause, an Expat in his heart and a big fan of the manager who had given him a chance. 'You don't know what you're talking about! Skorji has lead us out of the darkness, and into the light. Its thanks to him any of us have international careers. You should be grateful.'
'Grateful for what? Getting battered by the top seeds and then churning out the odd point against the rest? Let's be honest lads, we're not all on the same level and it shows. Some of us are wasting our time on this shite project.' This was a below the belt dig at the handful of players in the squad who plied their trade domestically in EOT. It wasn't fair or comradely, and the other senior players were quick to call it out. Willem Ajax told Pollard to pipe down. Kurt Strong shook his head, er, strongly. But the undecided middle of the team remained noticeably quiet as the pro and anti Oslograd factions stared each other down.

As if destiny had called him, Skorji arrived and marched onto the training pitch. Pollard decided now was the best time to make his feelings clear. 'Gaffer! Where have you been? We've been waiting in the cold for two ruddy hours.' Skorji kept marching towards them, unperturbed by Pollard's intervention. 'Oi boss, are you listening or what?' Out of nowhere Skorji drew a walking cane from inside his coat and smacked Pollard silly across the left cheek. He crumpled to the ground and rolled about like he did every time a fullback so much as breathed on him, except this time the pain was very real. 'Look Poll, when I need your input I'll give you the special signal, which is me being sectioned. GENTLEMEN, ASSEMBLE!' The other twenty two players folded into line without a word of dissent as he spoke. 'I know we have gone through some tough form recently. But today I come to you not just as a manager, but a fellow troubled soul. Troubled, until I realised, that there is a source for divine inspiration just a half hour drive away...plus a bit of a walk. Also I necked a packet of EuraFlakes this morning so I'm currently breathing sugar.' The squad gave each other odd looks like they were unsure where this was headed. Given Skorji's history, it could literally mean anything. 'Gents, if you look inside the back of my truck, you'll see I have brought some equipment for the task that is to come. Let's move.'

----------


It was quiet and peaceful atop Mount Judge. Overlooking the otherwise flat coastal region of the Territories mainland, the mountain was a pleasant spot visited by many pilgrims for reflection, spiritual healing and meditation. Today it was also the spot for twenty three footballers and a deranged middle aged man to have a heart to heart. 'Onwards gentlemen! The pain is just weakness leaving your body! We're almost at the summit.' The entire squad were knackered, surprisingly so considering these were allegedly professional athletes who had only been climbing for about six hours. Even energetic youngsters like Fuller and Joel Conway had become rather tired. As the clock struck four, Skorji submitted first. 'Victory! Oh, glorious everlasting victory! Feel it lads, embrace it, become one with it! Inflate!' None of them had the energy or patience to make such a show of climbing a small mountain and looking like old codgers doing it. One by one they reached the top and settled square on their arses, content to take a lengthy breather as their boss ranted away. 'How are we all feeling? Enlightened, I hope.' A muffled murmur of disagreement surrounded Skorji, just as he expected might happen. 'No? Well then, let me liven up your imaginations.' He took out a small packet from his coat, and poured out twenty three pills into his hand. One for each player. Tricking them into accepting a mug of warm coffee each, Skorji had given them all an involuntary little push towards a zen state.

A few minutes passed before all of them were semi-conscious. Skorji had been told by the healer who had sold these to him at the market that this would definitely work, as long as the players were programmed - or re-educated, as the self-defined "space therapist" had put it - at least twenty fours before the match. They couldn't play if they were still not quite all there, and another doping scandal had to be avoided after the "Shrooms and Tamiflu Against Siovanija & Teusland" incident. 'Alright, is everyone calm?' His question was met with silence. 'Good. Ok, here goes nothing. Ahem. You're at peace, on the great mountain. Feel the wind and the clouds, let them take you, and...you're all under. Right?' Skorji looked around to see his entire team had closed their eyes. 'Ok great, now listen. For the next few days, you're not yourselves, right? You're not even your spirit balloons, inflatable and glorious as they may be. You are much better players.' He wandered over to Tammy Barton. 'Tammy, you are not a shitty part timer from Fligsive, you're the hellchild of Daniel Belgrave and Robert Griffin.' Next up was Peter Chadwick. 'Pete, okay, you're pretty fancy with you're feet. But you've been about as resilient recently as a tank made of cheese. What you're going to be now is Laborious Hawk if Simone di Bradini ate them and absorbed all of their power on top of their own. And we're on PEDs. Pierre...' He was about to address the cult icon of a centre forward only for the Farrenton Athletic man to turn to Skorji, completely wide awake. 'Sorry boss, I know its hard to tell when I've been on it but I'm absolutely smashed. Don't think your gimmick worked on me.'
'Ah, fuck it. You won't need it.'

Skorji proceeded to speak to every single zoned out player before finally addressing them all as a group. 'Shortly, we will play Nephara. Yes, ok, they have inexplicably bested us before. But they shall not again. Not as long as there is passion in our veins and steel in our hearts! Wait, that might be the wrong way round.'
'Does it matter?' Pierre had obtained a croissant from somewhere and was being unhelpfully logical in his non-drugged up state.
'Shut up! Ok, so. Nephara bad. Expats good. We're all winners. Stop being so shit. Now...rise like balloons!' Unified as one, the squad rose to their feet and suddenly came to their senses. A few moments of confusion passed while Skorji acted like nothing had happened. 'Alright lads, I think that's enough. Time to go back down.'
'Boss, I don't get it. Weren't you going to do a big speech?' Pierre was playing along nicely. 'No need Tonny, no need. I think we've all learned something about ourselves today. We just might not realise it yet.' They began walking down the mountain, and as they did so, Skorji began to feel something like hope. His heart fluttered with joy even further when Rhea's text came in. Fligsive Stadium sold out. Finally, a coliseum full of adoring fans rather than the patchwork of empty seats they'd been used to. Nephara were coming to town, and Skorji intended to come away with something for once.

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Nephara
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1283
Founded: Jun 06, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:18 am

The Macabees 2 - 3 Nephara
(4-4-2) 1 - Mercator; 18 - Longship (2 - Stride 65'), 5 - Thorn, 6 - Brosch, 3 - Close (c); 7 - Kuepper, 4 - Shone (15 - Rauch 77'), 21 - Moxham, 11 - Strongbow (16 - Deventer 83'); 9 - Hawke, 10 - Metzger
Goals: Strongbow 37', Hawke 47', Moxham 59'
Nephara 4 - 2 Siovanija & Teusland
(4-4-2) 1 - Mercator; 18 - Longship, 5 - Thorn, 6 - Brosch, 3 - Close (c); 13 - Saroszi, 4 - Shone, 21 - Moxham (8 - Chalk 66'), 11 - Strongbow; 9 - Hawke (17 - Bastable 71'), 10 - Metzger
Goals: Saroszi 15', Close 32', Hawke 41' pen, Metzger 76'

Daniella Strauss wasn't about to hesitate. After all, she had nothing to lose but her job... and seventeen minutes in against the Macabees, that looked likely.
This match had worked out perfectly for the press, in her mind. The Cormorants: a tentative start. The Macabees: revitalised after a deflected strike left Mercator sprawling hopelessly the wrong way and put them in the lead. Rowena Strongbow looked unimpressed with her hands on her hips. She probably wanted this. Strauss knew she was unimpressed, and knew as well she could not afford to make an example of her.
The point was underlined twenty minutes later, and God bless her for it.
A long diagonal ball from Valeri Longship appeared to float gently over the entire midfield. Strongbow, a sullen figure to that point, doubled back to meet it, cushioning it gently on the chest and then suddenly driving in on goal, at pace, towards the corner of the penalty box and slowing just outside the lines to shape for the shot, like a basketball player going for a three, and letting fly an immaculate strike into the top corner. That was what Strongbow gave you; that was why she was worth it and, with respect to the excellent Morena Deventer, she was irreplaceable.
In the interval, Strauss said many confident words about victory. The lads seemed receptive, except the checked-out Strongbow, who proceeded to cross beautifully into the heart of the area with her first touch. That cross met Hawke's forehead in flight, and the header rippled the net with violence. Hawke's lead over Penumbra Amokachi just got bolstered by another mark.
Moxham made it 3-1 soon after, and from there it was defence and game management. Hesterine Mercator did well to save one-on-one against Yusek and went down heavily like she'd been kicked in the ribs, and in fairness she had but she took her sweet time getting up. Marcin Close delayed over a throw-in long enough to get a caution. Tawny Shone was Tawny Shone, treading the line right up until Strauss hooked her for safety's sake, and thirty minutes to get two goals somehow became thirty. Yusek got one. It would not be enough.

Now the narrative was victory and recovery; that was a strong performance, suddenly vindicating everyone's faith in Strauss, though a few still criticised the supposed defensive openness. No matter. The side would be almost unchanged against Siovanija and Teusland, the true crunch match in her eyes. To the point where Monako Saroszi had actually been rested for this.
And Saroszi looked fresh. Boldly, Steimle remained in at leftback, and he would prove far less obliging in Sabrefell than he had in Stahlberg. But he still didn't quite have Saroszi's measure, though the casual little dink between his feet was egregious. He turned, they blazed past him and cut inside; he practically gave himself whiplash trying to stop in his tracks and follow, by which point Saroszi had reviewed and rejected their passing options in favour of simply curling past the young Ewald Heuser, who brushed his fingertips against the ball as it passed him by and lay on his back contemplating his life decisions.
Steimle redeemed himself soon after - his cross set up Ribbeck, who showed why Coret Hawks were supposedly interested in him by killing it dead with a delicate touch and slashing it past Mercator in rather more utilitarian fashion. A bullet header later on tested Mercator sharply, but at the other end, Nephara hit right back. Close found himself the furthest man forward in the aftermath of an attack he'd started, rounded Klopfer and hit and hoped, low and hard, a strike smashing into Heuser's instep on its way into the net. Chimera Moxham won a penalty soon afterwards; perhaps a hint of gamesmanship there. Nepharim, famously, did not dive. Nepharim, apparently, were okay with flicking the ball into someone's arm, but with Klopfer's silhouette he left himself open to the call. In any case, Estrella Hawke's nerve held and she did what she always did, smash it hard into the corners.
3-1. But strangely, there were two happy sets of fans in the crowd, both the hosts in green and black and the Goldhorns, their section lead by the guys who had wound up in the wrong Stahlburg in the reverse fixture, handed complimentary plane and match tickets by the NFA as a publicity stunt. Midway through the first half, the final whistle had blown in Squornshelous, their 4-2 win over the Macabees confirming that they could not catch up to Siovanija and Teusland. Poafmersia could, in points, with victory over Lochario (one they would ultimately secure, as neither Nephara nor S&T had managed to date) but the primacy of the head-to-head tiebreaker meant that they would always be half a point behind. In short, Nepharim victory here would mean that both sides went through.
The Cormorants continued to play well in the second half, but the Goldhorns sharpened, too. Kramer and Metzger traded goals, and both sides would be present at the World Cup. Deservedly so, though both Squornshelous and Poafmersia had without a doubt kicked down the door and slammed down their markers. Indeed, in retrospect, this looked something of a group of death. But no matter.
Strauss debriefed her squad, but they were all mostly just relieved to have navigated two rough fixtures and kept their considerable pride. Offered a ride back to the hotel, she demurred. This was Sabrefell. Not her home, originally, but it had become one to her after Raven River had accepted her into their hearts. That was the club she had made her name for. These streets were the ones she knew.
She wore a heavy coat, a buffer against the winds, and cut a low, understated profile as raucous marchers and travelling fans discovered a mutual love of carousing. All the press in the world could say what they liked about further expectations, but perhaps they had let themselves become jaded. Getting to the big dance itself would always be special, and tonight, she could call herself a hero.

NEPHARIM NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION - FORTNIGHT 10
Goalkeepers:
1 - Hesterine Mercator (Eastweald, COS), 12 - Sigurd Rustwyth (AFC Hosingr, MRN), 20 - Fasolt Senninger (Creed United)
Defenders: 2 - Rovena Stride (AFC Treason), 3 - Marcin Close (Brinemouth, c), 5 - Roxelana Thorn (Revolutionaries, EUR), 6 - Ilyana Brosch (AFC Corvistone), 18 - Valeri Longship (Crisisbless), 19 - Sander Katarec (Vermillion Rage), 22 - Gabriel Lockheed (AFC Treason)
Midfielders: 4 - Tawny Shone (Sabrefell Moths), 7 - Marica Kuepper (Jungle Strike, VIL), 8 - Malachi Chalk (Falourr, EUR), 11 - Rowena Strongbow (Directus, EUR), 13 - Monako Saroszi (Ulsa, EUR), 15 - Ferena Rauch (AFC Treason), 16 - Morena Deventer (Brinemouth), 21 - Chimera Moxham (Crawford City FC, COS)
Forwards: 9 - Estrella Hawke (Directus, EUR), 10 - Aristide Metzger (AFC Treason), 14 - Kurtis Laiota (Crisisbless), 17 - Kurtis Bastable (Hornchurch, EUR), 23 - Konrad Lovelace (Starling)

SCHEDULE
Nephara 1 - 1 Bolgano @ Phoenix Rise (Corvistone)
Monso 0 - 3 Nephara
[Bye]
Nephara 2
- 0 Squornshelous @ Ludd's Hammer (Stahlburg)
Aquitlita 0 - 2 Nephara
Nephara 5
- 4 The Macabees @ The Gauntlet (Treason)
Siovanija & Teusland 1 - 4 Nephara
Nephara 5
- 3 EOT @ Farham Arena (Sabrefell)
Anthor 2 - 3 Nephara
Nephara 0 - 0 Lochario @ Godswatch (Crisisbless)
Poafmersia 0 - 3 Nephara
Bolgano 1
- 0 Nephara
Nephara 3 - 0 Monso @ Ebony Lane (Cranequin)
[Bye]
Squornshelous 2
- 0 Nephara
Nephara 3 - 0 Aquitlita @ The Iron Hill (Vermillion)
The Macabees 2 - 3 Nephara
Nephara 4
- 2 Siovanija & Teusland @ Farham Arena (Sabrefell)
EOT vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Anthor @ The Gauntlet (Treason)
Lochario vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Poafmersia @ Eagle's Club (Brinemouth)
WCC Grand Slam champion.
Accidental Gridiron Championship Silver Belt holders for six cycles??

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