World Cup 85 || RP Thread

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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:22 am


Appendix A: Brief Summary of the Commission's Findings

As the full report of the Independent Cocoa-Bo Commission is 2,367 pages long (not including appendices), the commissioners thought it would be helpful to provide a brief summary of key findings of their thorough cross-multiverse investigation.

1) Is Cocoa-bo Addictive or Performance-Enhancing?
- Yes; for some species, or genetic subgroups of broader species, Cocoa-bo can be performance-enhancing and/or addictive. In an infinite multiverse, almost any product will be addictive or performance-enhancing to someone/thing.
- However, the Commission acknowledges that no more than 10% of species or genetic subgroups of species tested while the commission was sitting proved vulnerable to the more insidious impacts of Cocoa-bo.
- The Commission notes that in some cases a belief that Cocoa-bo can be performance-enhancing could lead to a placebo effect; but this does not confer an unfair advantage.

2) Which Species or Genetic Subgroups of Species Are Known to be Vulnerable?
A- the fluffy bunnies of Fluffy Bunny World [both addictive and performance-enhancing]
B- the teenaged human females of Cheergirls [performance-enhancing]

3) Which Species or Genetic Subgroups of Species Are Not Impacted by Cocoa-bo?
A- Humans of Quakmybush
B- Humans of Petroslovania
C- Humans of Atheist Democratic Freehold
D- Humans of Ko-oren [the commission clarifies at the request of Senator Copronymuso that no dragonflies were tested]
E- Humans of Port Ember
F- Humans of Vlasisitan
G- Humans of Devonta
H- Humans of Daskel
I- Humans of Mattijana
J- Humans of Indusse
K- Rambunctious and enthusiastic Cocoa-bo-swilling humans of Tequilo
L- Immortal Starblaydi humans now residing permanently in the Dreamed Realm

Note that the Commission makes no judgement on whether all humans from the above nations/realities are immune from the negative impacts of Cocoa-bo, only the test subjects. Genetic variation within individual species can sometimes be extensive, and the test subjects came from multiple realities where superficial similarities in species may also mask genetic variation of cognate species between realities.

4) Is Cocoa-bo Performance-Enhancing to Vilitans?
The Commission is unable to answer this question; no Vilitans were tested.

5) Are the Authorities and/or Relevant Corporate Entities in Turori Aware That Cocoa-bo May Prove to be Performance-Enhancing and/or Addictive in Some Cases?
The Commission is unable to answer this question; the witness from Inura Extracts did not expand on this issue, and Professor von Madscientisto explicitly stated that he was unable to establish intent or lack thereof.

6) Which Offers the Most Accurate Reporting on the Commission? The Beet or The Turnip?
The Beet; though Mr Minett wishes to acknowledge the passion of The Turnip's staff.

7) What Are the Commission's Recommendations?
We recommend the following steps:

A- Introduce an immediate rigorous programme of Cocoa-bo testing for all species of those nations reaching the knock-out stages of World Cup 85 (though the Commission acknowledges that the current sociopolitical situation in Farfadillis may make this hard to implement for half of the draw), and all species of those nations not previously tested entering World Cup Qualifiers starting from World Cup 86.

B- Immediate testing of the entire Vilitan national squad - preferably voluntary, but with more intrusive measures to be considered by the World Cup Committee as necessary - in order to set minds at rest on this important issue.

C- An immediate ban on the consumption of Cocoa-bo by all football teams containing players from species or subgroups of species that are impacted by Cocoa-bo; no more milkshakes for the Cheergirls.

D- An embargo on the sale of Cocoa-bo to nations and/or societies where all resident species suffer addicting or performance-enhancing side effects from Cocoa-bo consumption.

E- Where Cocoa-bo is shown to have a negative impact, support for the development of non-Turorian commercial alternatives with a similar flavour profile - but without deleterious side effects. At least one Jeckland company has shown an interest in exploring this option more closely.

F- Ban the use of puppies in the testing or implementation of any of these recommendations.

The commission would like to stress in closing that it has no objection to the continued consumption of Cocoa-bo within nations where one or more species or subgroups of species do not suffer ill-effects from the chocolaty drink. It only wishes to establish which species or subgroups of species are impacted so that the entire World Cup community can trust that World Cup results are not impacted by the negative side-effects of Cocoa-bo shown to exist in a minority of participating species (or subgroups of species).
Last edited by Alasdair I Frosticus on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:47 am

Film Room in Fröndt, Farfadillis

Marcus Waters, alongside the rest of the coaching staff, were doing what they would always do the morning after a match, especially after a major tournament- doing the first watch-through of the film. Of course, they'd need to do a watch-through with players next, but it was much easier to break it down for the players after they had already seen it. Now, for the Banijans, film watching pretty much went like this. The scouts would prepare the raw film of the team's previous match, from kickoff to the final moments. The coaching staff would watch it the next morning, and then go through it for the players. And then, it wouldn't be until the next day when they watched key parts of film from their upcoming opponent.

The Banijans had gotten out of Farolera pretty quickly after their 1-1 draw with Pasarga, and had reached Fröndt, the destination for their Round of 16 match, that very night. It was an ugly point, probably undeserved. It had been a lackluster World Cup for the Kadongo Kamu so far, outside of the first half hour against Sarzonia(that ended up netting 0 points for the Banijans) and the last half hour against the Free Republics, which netted three points. And watching the film against Pasarga for the coaching staff was a painful experience- they, most out of anybody, could see just exactly how this team was struggling, and why a World Cup where such high expectations had been placed on Banija was becoming a disappointing failure.

"Well, at least this highlight was a good one." George Wangolo said when Waters paused the film study at the 13th minute. "Actually generating some offense and scoring, a nice change of pace." And Wangolo, the senior assistant manager, was not wrong. "Look at this backside run-" and he pointed at Ugonna. Here was the scene. 13th minute, the Banijans mostly passing the ball around the midfield. A pass to Namakula Kawesa in the center of the field, received about forty yards from goal by the attacking midfielder, really put the Banijans en route to score. She had turned around right when she received the ball, and taking advantage of a high line from the Pasargans, hit the ball towards the far left corner.

The captain, Gitonga Kahara, had received the ball there. Taking advantage of the space he had, he had whipped the ball across the box. Ilman Jawara was in the center of the box, and he leaped, but the ball was too high for him. But fortunately, Ugonna was there to pick up the scraps on the other end. He whipped it right back into the box, and this time, it would be Mzukisi Nzo who would be in the center of the pitch, ready for the header. He headed powerfully towards the corner, and there was nothing that Galambos could do to stop it. It was 1-o for the Banijans- well on their way to three points, and the knockout stages.

"I'm not sure what happened from this point on." Said Marcus Waters, the manager. "We just... Stopped generating any sort of attack. Players get nervous, I'm not sure what it is? But the Wanderers are too good to be able to sit back and defend for 75 minutes- we've got to keep scoring goals, and we didn't." That's certainly true. The coaches in the room watched mistake after mistake, as the Banijans packed behind the ball and could not put away the Wanderers. Unnecessary long clearances, forgoing the opportunity to play out of the back. Overaggressive challenges that would miss. Not getting forward with opportunities to counter. The whole team, playing on edge, with such nerves.

"This moment gets me right here." Said George Wangolo in the 42nd minute. "It's a freaking miracle they didn't score here." He was talking about a particularly golden opportunity for the Pasargans. A through ball from Mária Vöröss put Alexander Jager one on one with the goalkeeper. The same Alexander Jager that had buried the Banijans in World Cup 82, eliminating us from that World Cup in stoppage time. Of course, the 42nd minute was not the same as the 92nd minute, but still. Francois Tantoh had come out, and made a fantastic save in the one on one situation. But the ball had rebounded towards Magdalena Debeljak who, with the goalkeeper scrambling to get off the ground, had a nice chip to make. But Debeljak could not connect, getting overexcited and blasting the ball about 10 yards over the net.

It was one of those fortunate moments for the Banijans. And as Pasarga had continued to pile on the pressure throughout the match. It would be the 57th minute where Pasarga had equalized, and all of a sudden, the nerves really started to jump. Júlia Müller scored off of a header, a perfect cross from Alexander Jager, where Francois Tantoh didn't have a chance in hell of saving the shot. It was an ugly moment- Jager had beaten the Galactico, Kuma Bultum, on the dribble, and Júlia Müller had left Demba Kinteh in the dust. And now the pressure was really piling on- could Pasarga get another goal?

The nerves were high at the 15,000 seater. And in the film room, They noted breakdown after breakdown, opportunities for Pasarga to put the Kadongo Kamu away. And the Wanderers simply never had the ability to truly bury the Banijans. A 60th minute diving save from Tantoh. A 67th minute play where Tantoh had actually gotten chipped, but Kuma Bultum, scrambling back, had just barely cleared the chip from Jager off the back line. A 76th minute foul by Iruka in the box that looked like a penalty, but one was not given and although all of Pasarga was demanding it, nobody went to the assistant referee. And an 84th minute free kick from Jager that had hit the bottom of the crossbar, bounced straight down, and then bounced away, to be cleared by Bultum. But although they had a multitude of opportunities, grit in the back, with quite a bit of luck, had saved a point for the Banijans on the day, just enough to earn a fourth game at World Cup 85.

The coaching staff knew what the Banijans were- fortunate. But they would not be so fortunate against Vilita, and they knew that. Wangolo put it into words. "If we play like this against Vilita, we're going to get smoked." He told the room. "There's so much pressure on the players, some sort of a mental block- how do we solve this?"

"Well, I think we need to take pressure off of the starting XI." Marcus Waters said. "We've used three different starting XIs in three games for this World Cup, and that extra pressure of your spot being on the line may not be as helpful in the latter stages of this tournament. Let's go with a lineup that has chemistry- although, of course, Tantoh stays in. That may relax the pressure. We'll have to iterate to the team that is the lineup we're running with for the rest of the World Cup. The fact that we're playing Vilita as well, ironically, means less pressure as well. We won't be favorites. And while we want to win, a Round of 16 loss isn't the end of the world. So naturally, that'll help."

And the coaching staff discussed various ways to get the players to really play up to the best of their abilities. What a massive tilt Banija v. Vilita would be- they would make sure to find a way to get their players to stand up, play as a unit, and leave everything on the field in their herculean task to beat Vilita in the Round of 16.

Starters: 4-2-1-3
Players who are based in a foreign league are bolded.
Players who have their first ever competitive callup received in World Cup 85 Qualifying are green.
BSL = Banijan Soccer League, Banija's only national professional soccer league.
GK #35 François Tantoh. Age 28. Plays for Herzegovina City FC in the BSL. Started MD26 of Qualifying and WC 85 MD2.
RB #27 Uzoma Iruka. Age 25(Female). Plays for Hoima Warriors in the BSL.
CB #3 Kuma Bultum. Age 25. Plays for Raynor City United in Valanora.
CB #5 Demba Kinteh. Age 22. Plays for Port Sebastian in Schottia. Captain of the U18 Sporting World Cup 8 championship squad. On bench for first half of Qualifying.
LB #13 Fekati Abdi. Age 29. Plays for the Herzegovina Phoenix in the BSL.
RCM #6 Mzukisi Nzo. Age 23. Plays for Yaton FC in the Taeshan Premier League.
LCM #15 Amadi Uche. Age 29. Plays for Wexax United in Valanora. Started WC 85 MD2
CAM #10 Namakula Kawesa. Age 28. (Female). Plays for Tanrısal in Pasarga. .
RW #12 Nwabudike Ugonna. Age 29. Plays for FC Rotmunde 1932 in the Republikaliga in Siovanija & Teusland. First start of World Cup 85.
LW #11 Gitonga Kahara. Age 32. Plays for OAS Royal FC in the Härlighet Ligan in Cosumar. Captain.
ST #17 Ilman Jawara. Age 28. Plays for Soldarian FC in Valanora.
GK #23 Wanda Kouyaté. Age 23(Female). Just signed by Jungle Strike FC in Vilita. Started MD21-MD25 of Qualifying.
GK #1 Jumu Sanneh. Age 35. Plays for Turoki United in the Vilitan League's Declasse Division. Starter for most of Qualifying and WC 85 MD1.
RB #2 Ephrem Selassiee. Age 33. Plays for Sterling City United in Darmen. First start on MD21 of Qualifying.
CB #20 Kawsu Kaba. Age 29. Plays for the Hoima Warriors in the BSL. Captained Di Bradini Cup 44 side. Starter for first half of Qualifying.
LB #4 Lama Nyang. Age 22. Plays for Jinja City FC in the BSL. Starter for second half of Qualifying.
CM #14 Ablie Kah. Age 31. Plays for Istria City FC in the BSL. First start of the World Cup Finals, on the bench for most of Qualifying.
CM #8 Kizza Okafor. Age 31. Plays for the Coret Hawks in the Nepharim Premiership. Started WC 85 MD1
CAM/CM #29 Kiggwe Basamula. 28 years old. Plays for the Busembe Timberwolves in the BSL.
CAM #21 Enyinnaya Jideofor. Age 26. Plays for Lhor in Chromatika. On bench for first half of Qualifying.
RW/RM #71 Anwar Dawit. Age 21. Plays for Kitara AA in the BSL. Captain of the DBC 47 Championship team. First start on MD21 of Qualifying.
RW/LW #22 Madu Okparra. Age 25. Plays for Raynor City United in Valanora. Starter for WC 85 MD1 and MD2.
ST #19 Idai Uster. Age 22(Female). Plays for AFC Treason in the Nepharim Premiership. First start on MD21 of Qualifying.
President of the World Cup Committee and the World Cup of Hockey Federation. Back to Back defending IBC champions.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports | Map of Banija.
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica), NSCF 21 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. World Cup 86. IBC 30 & 31. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ko-oren » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:50 am

Lunaro Tsukida's Numbers Game

I'm back! I've let my friend take over for a little to describe KPB rankings, not to change them for our benefit, but to change them for the benefit of new competitors everywhere. A noble cause. The KPB aren't the only rankings out there, and we're also done with championing for other causes, so let's focus on another table on which Ko-oren isn't great, but hopefully still rising.

The SRS.

An obscure little table that has 397 entries, despite everything. That's 397 nations that have competed in at least a single World Cup since the beginning of time - up to World Cup 84. Scrolling all the way down, we find Savojarna and Siovanija and Teusland as relatively new additions to the list, along with Port Ember, Polkopia, all on a single point: they've made the World Cup once, and not escaped the group stage doing it. Further shoutouts in this section are for HUElavia and Acapais - but we've surely never heard of the last one. Also, Port Ember is still stuck on that one appearance, courtesy of the Dragonflies putting on a flawless run at the end of the 85th qualification cycle - thanks for that.

The best nations in the SRS are awarded a spot in the Hall of Fame, to which one team per World Cup is added. The 84th addition was Brenecia, the one before that went to Equestria. No, you don't need to win a World Cup to end up in the Hall of Fame. It's just that recently, the bar for entering went up by a lot. That said, Ko-oren is on the cusp of joining the 84 lucky teams. These guys are threatening our entry, though.

Sorted by SRS rank

Mostly known for never playing us, but still sharing 20th or 21st place on the KPB rankings with us for the last decade and a half or so, Sargossa have been in 17 World Cups, during which... they've exited from the group stage 11 times and lost the Round of 16 the other six attempts. Are they us?

Vephrall, Kura-Pelland, Ravenspire
We don't know them, but apparently in the past they've gone to between 10 and 13 World Cups and made a few quarterfinals.

They're a few points behind, having gone to 12 World Cups, like us (well, not anymore, we've gone to our 13th now).

Chromatika, Taeshan
They're a point behind Apox, so as long as they don't go on a monster run in the next two to three World Cups, we're in. Oh, Chromatika have been in the semifinals before. Don't do that again.

So basically, Sargossa will likely go to the Hall of Fame before us. Only if Apox go on a huge run, or if Chromatika make a semifinal again, or if Taeshan somehow escapes the 'defensive team curse', they'll sneak in before us. And that brings me to a small prediction:

Ko-oren. World Cup 86 Hall of Famers. World Cup 87 Champions.

What this list also allows us to do, is to determine the most successful team by average World Cup performance. There's one point for making the big dance, then there's a point for every round you make it to (Round of 16, Quarterfinal), and then you get an extra point for 4th place, 3rd place, 2nd place, 1st place. So a team that finishes 4th gets four SRS points. A team that wins the World Cup gets seven.

By extension, a team that goes out in the group stage, then wins the thing in the next cycle, gets eight points total for an average of four SRS points per World Cup appearance. Not too shabby.

Also not good enough to be the best team by average World Cup performance. For that, you need 5 1/3 points, and that honour goes to Crosshill, for their performances across three World Cups (finishing in the quarterfinals once, then finishing second, and once finishing first). Yes, in order to be the best team by average performance, you need to be in the final eight on all occasions. That's setting the bar quite high, but then again they were entered in the Hall of Fame by World Cup 1. That's it, they're atop the list of Hall of Famers. Hard to beat.

Sorted by points/appearances

The next few are Warnocks Wizards, Ziotah, HopNation, and Terracossa, all known for being in one or two World Cups, and make the semifinals at least once. They're also known for not competing anymore.

The first name we recognise, well, it's pretty much as expected. Behind the big (inactive) names of Aguazul, the Babbage Islands, Polar Islandstates, and Bonesea, it's Valanora. They've been in 51 World Cups. Let that sink in. We've been in 27 qualification cycles. They've been in nearly twice as many World Cups. And we've been around for a while - I mean, plenty of teams are ancient compared to us, but we could fill a World Cup with quality teams that have been in the Baptism of Fire more recently. Valanora are also first on the SRS list, with 7 group stage exits.

In 51 World Cups, they've only gone out in the group in 7 cases. That's 13%, give or take. The mode (most occurring number) is 16, corresponding to their number of Quarterfinal exits, beating out Round of 16 exits by 6 (which occurred 10 times) or third place finishes (9 such instances). And yet, they only entered the Hall of Fame after World Cup 39.

All that, and they're only second in total World Cup appearances. First place goes to the Holy Empire, whom we've beaten in our most recent WCQ85 outing (4-3). Let that be known first. They've also gone to 55 World Cups. That's over twice the amount of our qualification attempts. They're only second on the SRS rankings, with four titles, nineteen Round of 16 exits (which I could find funny if we'd ever ventured beyond that), and 15 group stage exits. With rookie numbers like those you'll never get far.

Sorted by World Cup appearances

They've also been in the semifinals a grand total of 16 times.

Large numbers, man. They'll always mess you up.

Third in SRS and in World Cup appearances is Starblaydia. No surprises there. They're pretty bad on the average finish though, by ending 41 of their 50 World Cup appearances in the quarterfinals or earlier.

Ko-oren is joint 71st on World Cup appearances (12, sharing that number with Apox, Quakmybush, as well as Az-cz and Candelaria & Marquez, names we've only learned by reading obscure foreign wiki entries on ancient footballing powers.

Our Round of 16 opponents, the Free Republics, are joint 82nd in that metric, having gone to one fewer World Cup. The joke is still on us, they've never exited at the Round of 16 - but they've made it beyond on four occasions (QF, 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd). Also, they're in the Hall of Fame.

On average performance (points, divided by appearances), Ko-oren is 167th, right behind (Hall of Famers) Jerusalem.

Sorted by points/appearances

They do keep giving away these Hall of Fame places to everyone who's been here before us, haven't they?

We're 167 for getting about a point and a half for each time we're in the World Cup. That's what you get for losing the Round of 16 every single time you're in it.

In fact, that's our best metric. No matter how we sort this table. No matter what derived statistics we can come up with, the only way to get Ko-oren to show up even remotely near the top of all nearly 400 World Cup competitors is by sorting by Round of 16 losses.

And even then, we're 28th. This World Cup thing has been around for a while.

Sorted by Ro16 exits

Lastly, just to get this stat into the world again: we've never won a Round of 16. But there are many like us. The following table alone gives Sargossa a free pass every single time I want to rip into them. We're brothers in pain.

That said, we're the team to have lost the most Rounds of 16 without ever winning one.

Sorted by Ro16 exits, filtered out everyone with at least one QF or better

Here's to the 8th.

Though it could always be worse. You could've never conquered the group stage, for instance.

Sorted by Group Stage exits, filtered out everyone with at least one Ro16 or better

Jesus Christ, Abanhfleft, Damukuni, and Drawkland. Get on our level.

And now I'll get off Jeremy Jaffacake's seat. He might actually already have done this topic, but better.
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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:24 pm

Twitted - the imperial social media network

Holy Empire Football Association

@LTsukida from @Ko-oren shows Holy Empire most successful nation ever in losing in round of 16! Better than @ESFVanorians! Better than @Starblaydia! Better than @JungleCats possible dope cheats! Let's make it 20 in World Cup 85! Wooooooo!

#WC85 #SirBarsyIsHot #SayNoToCocoaBo
Last edited by Alasdair I Frosticus on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:21 pm

"We're coming to you from La Fantás, where the excitement--and smoke--couldn't be thicker. I'm Stefan Gimbal, this is Katie Cheung, and I think even you must be excited about the stakes today."

"All right, all right, don't rub it in. Last cycle's champs lost heavily to Turori last game, and only managed a scoreless draw with HUElavia, a bit incongruous, so they'll be throwing everything they have at this one. Zwangzug are in if they win and could qualify with a draw, but it depends on the scoreline across town in La Snerra, which is mostly bleacher seating, but then, not on fire."

"Well put, Katie. Let's take you down to the starting lineups. For the hosts, in goal, we have the admittedly transitional Berény Phelede--"


"That's what I said."

"No it's not, you can't put the accent on the schwa."

"I think you will find it is you who cannot put the accent on the schwa, in Farfadillis they can."

"If you put the accent on the schwa it would be, uh..."

"Katie jabbing two fingers downward in an approximation of IPA there."

"Caret, that's the one."

"I'm going to assume that, for once in their country's chaotic existence, the Farf authorities know what they're talking about. At left back, number six, Baldomaydo, with the little tap--"

"Do we have eleven of these to get through? I'm taking a nap."

"Appreciate the support, Katie..."

"...YO-hon IDD-marr. He'll have a tough time matching up against the consistent Marchiondo."

"I don't think so, if someone's 7/10 every time you need to reevaluate your ranking scale, you want to be able to display the whole spectrum--"

"And we're underway! Seventy thousand fans screaming here, what an atmosphere..."

"...With va Drake stepping down from the national team and Corrine Martel-Burns' nation incommunicado, one wonders how much longer Xíxì Êns can keep it up. Alxíkí in possession now, the youngster with plenty of energy, dribbles past Saitta. Drops back now, sends it to Êns. Êns keeping it low--it's a goal! Farfadillis take the lead and the fans roar their enthusiasm. It'll be hard to prevent our bench from scoreboard-watching."

"No it won't, Stefan, nobody can see a thing through the flames in the northeast, they just need to project the Amarillos-Eels score behind that and we'll all be able to focus..."

"...Pamela Scott, of course, hailing from Baker Park, the nation that thwapped Zwangzug and just about everyone else in the group stage behind their Farf management team."

"The brainy Sürgân t'Öéséné in possession, he plays in what has been called the segundo volante position."

"I thought the segundo volante was the connecting flight we took to get here from the main AO hub."

"I don't think that's quite it, Stefan, but here's McCollins, dispossesses t'Öéséné, holds off Marchiondo, still McCollins, he'll aim high--and it's in! Zwangzug have tied it up, and...the fans less excited, but a couple confused Aguazuleños and some Namirites paying homage to the miraculous flames make up for that."

"You have to say Marchiondo trending a bit below 7/10 on that showing."

"I don't have to, Stefan, but really, we're only twenty minutes in! Still lots of time left..."

"...Çídh getting the start today in place of the suspended Holsteiner. Oskar one of those players that's been recognized for being better for the national side."

"Well, if you look at the correlations, or rather the non-correlations--"

"That doesn't apply here, his club is in a different association."

"Well if it doesn't apply, why did you bring it up then."

"Look, never mind. He seems to have provoked Saitta, let's hope Randall doesn't lose his nerve--we still remember that Banija encounter."

"Arokiaraj a clear head at the back, though, those flames seem to be inspiring her. She'll clear it away--no, Çídh comes up with it! And he's passed to Êns, Êns again--and that's a goal! Xíxì Êns, at 32, with a brace for the hosts, and the fans are loving this..."

"...Exciting action in La Snerra, but let's take it back to La Fantás. Zwangzug looking to at least break Farfadillis' momentum, it's going to be tough if they go into halftime trailing."

"It's tough when you're trailing at the half-hour mark, Stefan, or the hour mark, or especially the hour and a half mark, though not insurmountable--"

"Yes, but it's just a natural breakpoint."

"If anything the momentum should reset, so it doesn't really matter--"

"rue Cazade said to be the team's secret weapon and an alleged takilante, the Rejistanian/Spanish portmanteau might be a bit jarring but you know what, it's still better than second flight. But his foul on Friede will stop play."

"The Canbix midfielder sets up to take the free kick. Off a crowded huddle of Farves, it finds Twoni, Twoni up to Idmar, he's onsides! Idmar shoots, and Zwangzug are level once again..."

"...Moisés Fermández on at halftime, Teijeiro hasn't exactly risen to the occasion."

"No, but another plume of smoke has. Zwangzug will be going the opposite way this time so hopefully the flames don't distract them."

"Katie, what do you make of Daunten's performance in the first half? She's the one most familiar with this, uh, precarious environment, but hasn't had much to say for herself so far."

"Well, look, it was never going to be a defensive struggle when Farfadillis are involved--"

"It was with HUElavia, apparently--"

"--but it's really been all Êns, and to get a sense of how he matches up against her, you have to go back to the Nepharim Premiership, where his Athletic and her North Sabrefell drew 2-2 on the opening day of Season 75, and then Athletic won 3-2 to kick off the second half."

"Sometimes it's worth having a nerd like you on staff, Katie...sometimes. Anyway, we're back underway..."

"...Cherenkov-Nguyen one to annoy the IPA guys as well."

"I don't think they can really be bothered."

"Fair. Anyway, after that clumsy tackle from Ûsêtêrnìx, seeming a bit more emboldened at the back. Phelede steps out, still pushing, and Cherenkov-Nguyen will aim high! Bounces off the far post--and it's in! 3-2 Zwangzug, and here in the 49th minute, we've taken the lead!"

"Wild scenes here in Ferdullaele--not the kind of wildness that gives Ferdullaele a bad name, I hasten to add--but Sonnabend's crew seeming in control of their own fate..."

"...obviously too soon to say, but if Zwangzug were to progress out of this group, they would play the second round in either the Rülândéá Çölíséá or the Bojno Polje."

"Is the this country an issue, Katie?"

"I don't know, I've been more worried about Cocoa-bo exposure myself."

"I see. Well. Sibal clears it in the air, but Êns is having none of that, he plays it low and pushes forward. Dribbles past Sibal...shoots...and it's a hat trick for Xíxì Êns! What an astounding day for the Galactico!"

"I would say he's the brightest light shining on the field today, but let's be real, it's still that...whole the northeast stands."

"Ruland's favorite son, at least?"

"I don't know, I think they produced another Galactico too. Pretty good for the crisis-plagued subnation..."

"Well, it was obviously too soon to say..."

"...four points may or may not be enough, it all depends on whether HUElavia are able to run up the score against Turori."

"Zwangzug hoping that the Eels put them away."

"Kivrin on for Banach and Levi-Gold for Saitta, interesting choice by Sonnabend to bolster the defense at a time like this."

"Is it really? The defense might be what it takes."

"Levi-Gold finding her footing, clears a shot from Wìjìnì. Not, I am obliged to point out, the kind of shot from Wìjìnì that has also given Farfadillis a bad name, but...anyway."

"It'll fall to Quîrîjá, the substitute adding some energy. He dribbles, holds off--crosses back to Êns! Who doesn't waste any time in blasting it past Daunten! Four goals from Xíxì Êns! What an honor it is to witness this man play!"

"Not really, Stefan."

"I beg your pardon?"

"We're...supposed to be watching them all play and commentate on the game, that's literally our job. Unless you want to go on sidetracks about, like, the time dilation constant gamma, but nobody does that. And I thought you wanted me to care about football?"

" tends to be a bonus, yes."

"Am I supposed to be all happy and satisfied now that my nation is losing, again?"

"Well, uh, I think we've established that nationalism is, in fact, bad--"

"Make up your mind, Stefan, you're being a bit inconsistent about this."

"Er, Êns 4, Zwangzug 3, here in minute 72, what a game it has been..."

"...Stefred, of course, known to be a late threat. Also known to be a threat to anyone she thinks is going on about the past."

"Without Enitan Maclaurin on the bench to be annoyed with, she's been a less imposing threat this cycle, but don't look past her performance at Arlington."

"Now she dribbles forward, Wìjìnì over to cut her off, he's not afraid of changing up positions. Stefred--will send it forward to Kivrin, Riley of course shorter than even the diminutive Êns. She usually tends towards the defensive, but surging forward now, she's clear! Fermández can't catch her, and--Kivrin slots it into the low corner!"

"Her first international goal, and it couldn't have come at a better time. 83 minutes, and what a scene..."

"...a minimum of three minutes, and when you think about what this half has seen, there could well be more."

"Very true. Arokiaraj flagging, she seems more in the 'destructive' than 'sustaining' phase of Namirite pyrotheologics by now. Êns will challenge her, he's going forward--and he skies it!"

"The Zwangzug fans breathe a sigh of relief and then probably sneeze from the smog. Êns almost did it yet again, but Zwangzug still holding on..."

"...that's it! Pandemonium here in La Fantás, I mean, even more so than usual."

"Zwangzug, who led for seven minutes in all three matches combined, are through."

"And on a night which saw so many heroics, it was Xíxì Êns and Riley Kivrin who stood tallest of all. Thanks for watching, and--for the first time in quite a while--Zwangzug will see you in the World Cup knockout stages."
Last edited by Zwangzug on Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:40 am

Vasillias to call time after WC
Frank Armitage
The Daily Mail Chief Soccer Writer Emeritus

Tracey Vasillias, the Middletown City Women FC defender who has been co-captain of the National Team through two World Cup Cycles alongside Derick Briggs, has decided to end her international career at the conclusion of this tournament.

The 32 year old native of Andover will also see out the final year of her contract at the only club she's ever played for--signed at 18 to Midd City as a trainee 2 months after graduating from Andover-Brice High School, where she was a two-time recipient of All-State scholastic honors in both soccer and softball--and retire with a basket-full of honors and records for both club & country.

She specifically asked to speak with the The Daily Mail shortly after the squad arrived in Mriin.

Frank Armitage: "I know we've had some one on one interviews in the past, so I was slightly surprised you wanted to have a long form sit-down."

Tracey Vasillias: "Since this will be the last time we'll both be at the Cup in our professional roles, I really just wanted a nice story like you've done for the others." (laughs)

FA: "I hope everyone in the squad doesn't want a good-bye interview while we're here, or I'll not get any sleep!"

Vasillias comes from a large, extended Greek family who have been a presence in Andover for 3 generations; her grandparents on her father's side emigrated here in 1961, followed a year later by 2 siblings each from both sides of the family. All of the branches established themselves in a particular line of business, all still operating to this day.

FA: "I wanna talk for a minute about your family--who I've had pleasure of meeting several of over the course of these years--because I know they played a huge part in your life and they also have made an impact on the FAC, as well as Middletown City."

TV: "I think it'll probably come as a shock to people how many Greek families live in the southern half of St Steve's County, and most of them ended up there either directly or indirectly because of my grandparents. By the time I was born, then later old enough to grasp the concept of all these swarthy Mediterraneans (laughs) living in such close proximity to us, the light bulb going off in my head was dimmed by the total absence of anyone joining in with my brilliant revelation!(hearty laughter) My mom is the interloper, as she's the blonde hair, blue eyed German...not that it did me any good--except for the nose. Thanks a ton for that, Meredith!" (more laughter)

FA: "We are still recording this, just for total disclosure. (I smile and Vasillias laughs again)
But they've shown their pride for you in many ways as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the National Team--the first person of Greek descent to wear the armband as Captain, the all time leading goal scorer among defenders. One of the family businesses is an associate sponsor at MiddCity, another has set up an endowment at Broadview AFC to fund places for women in their academy."

TV: "I am continuously surprised--although I shouldn't be--when I'm told by family, or by the beneficiaries of the contributions made."

She has been one of the most consistent selections in the First XI of the National Team, as 60 of her 69 caps have been as a starter. Her 8 international goals is the record for defenders, which brings up a point that is largely overlooked--she has played out of position for her entire NT career.

FA: "You're the center back in a 3 player defensive alignment, which puts a lot of pressure on you to know when to step forward to spring the offside trap. But you play fullback at MiddCity, you were an all-BP high school star at fullback, and frankly could be a starting fullback for almost every other national side in this tournament."

TV: "Thank you for that compliment."
FA: "What's the adjustment like to play with a completely different perspective and responsibility?"

TV: "I think you probably realize as well as anyone, tactically the position has been developed over a long period of time to accommodate fullbacks playing there. It's fundamentally a fullback, playing in between two Halfbacks. I believe that all of the main starters that have preceded me were all fullbacks at club level, although I wouldn't swear to that. Zonal marking, based around providing additional cover against a superior forward, or a late runner from midfield; combined with confidence and technical ability with the ball at feet, with an excellent sense of when to push forward into the attack. That's our brief, even now under Mr T; It was drilled hard into our brains by Trevor and Pam, Jen (Prescott, Women's NT Manager) challenged us the AOCAF to prove we were the very best side in the world at the offside trap. For me, it's not that big of an adjustment."

FA: "You have the freedom to go forward into attack if it feels right to you?"
(she let out a laugh that made clear that my halfhearted question was appreciated.)

TV: "Are you serious? (laughs) Of the 8 goals I've scored, 5 were dumb, blind instinct that I got a tiny amount of grief during the video review. The last one (against Equestria in the quarterfinals of the last AOCAF) was probably the only one that came out of specific tactical organization. It seems like there was another one that was a bit more planned...yes, Saltstead. Pam kept yelling at me to move forward when I had the ball. But it was still just a lucky shot that even surprised me when the crowd behind the goal went bonkers."

FA: "Do you want to say a few words about your teammates, the ones who you've gotten to know and appreciate better over the years?"

TV: "I think both of us have better things to do than sit here for another 2-3 hours while I pour my heart about all of these fantastic men & women who I love like family. I'll give you a couple of thoughts I want immortalized in print (laughs). Derick (Briggs) is my rock, he's like another brother to me, and all of the times we've argued about who was going wear the armband on a given day would be a great comedy series"(laughs).

Briggs and Vasillias together have smashed through the all of the records for defenders over the course of their tenure on the National Team; they share the responsibility of being the Co-Captains and take their role very seriously. Being situated on opposite sides of the country, it allows them to go to the aid of their NT comrades, as well as other players within the Development Scheme, as needed.

TV: "In quali, against Vakolicci Haven (the final match of qualifying), we're literally in a nose to nose argument in the dressing room, throwing the armband at each other. Tony (Weiss, 1st Team Coach) comes in, looks around at everyone else, then says 'maybe you two should go home for the weekend', picks up the armband and walks over to AB. 'Sort this out, warm up in 20 minutes'. We listened to three or four others tell us that we were being stupid, then patched things up. Derick took his rightful place at the head of the line. We're sort of like the older, defensive version of Renz & Roni (Lorenzo Taborn and Veronica Navarro), except we don't have as many inside jokes between us as they do! (laughter)

Of course I have to mention my fellow lefty girls from MiddCity--AB & Days (Annabeth Westmoreland and Daisy Callum, both former club teammates) who both seem to get long pockets and short arms when in comes to picking up the check!" (laughter)

We finish up the conversation, agree to have a post-retirement meetup at her great-uncle's Greek restaurant in Andover and bid each other good luck.
AOCAF LXII Champions
2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF LVIII (co-hosts), LX Third Place
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84/86 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
AOBC 5 Champions
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions

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WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33/35 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Postby Kelssek » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:53 am


Kelssek 2-0 Equestria – Ó Tuathail masterminds upset to put Kelssek in second round

Kelssek’s national football team took another big step in their revival as they beat Equestria 2-0 to claim a place in the knockout round and score a surprise win against the world’s 8th-ranked team.

Colm Ó Tuathail orchestrated proceedings from the left flank and it was a penetrating run into the box that won Kelssek a penalty with half an hour gone as the Equestrian defender could only stop him getting off a shot by clattering Ó Tuathail to the turf. Shaheen Taleb stepped up to the penalty spot and scored his first World Cup finals goal with some impressive nerve to strike the ball hard and straight down the middle to put Kelssek in the lead.

Kelssek doubled the advantage in the second half when Patrice Champetier lost his marker and Ó Tuathail’s precise pass needed just a measured dink from the MTK Kingsville midfielder to find its way past goalkeeper Gentle Breeze.

The remarkable result was greeted with jubilation from football fans. A second-round matchup against Turori comes up next, and while the odds are again strongly against the Voyagers, confidence is high and this World Cup tournament has already seen big names like two-time winners Audioslavia and hosts and defending champions Farfadillis among the unexpected group stage casualties.
KELSSEK 2 – Taleb (pen. 36’), Champetier (51’)

Kelssek: Poirier, Bowler, Halliger, Curtin, Liadon (Douglass 74’), Demetriev, Lapierre (Bogdanor 82’), Ó Tuathail, Champetier, Taleb, Custworth (Langelier 74’)
Adar Jak, Szoirsia (attendance: 29,944)

Mason Curtin didn’t want to go giant scorpion hunting. Heat, sand, and seeking out insects of unusual size armed with vicious claws and stingers. Why did so many of the team want to do this? We just played in a stadium called “Them Mythological Man-eaters”. Surely that was a warning sign.

Anyway, what was wrong about spending the down time lounging by the hotel pool jumping on inflatable unicorns? Not in the pool, since the liquid inside was not exactly inviting and no one was willing to trust that it was actually, technically, water.

Of course Andrea Crowe approved of the trip as “good team-building” and a “welcome distraction for the players.” She wasn’t going on it.

Mason tried to sound out some potential allies who might at least make it more of an optional excursion rather than something he’d stick out for not joining. But Thamior Liadon was no help, in fact he greeted the giant scorpion hunt idea with barely-disguised glee. Like he’d been itching to do it but didn’t want to be the one to suggest it.

Then he’d thought perhaps a sober, sensible, father of three might see things differently, but Kai Poirier’s response was, “I never want to come here again, so let’s make the most of it.” Goalies really were the weirdest ones.

So anyway, at dusk Mason found himself on one of several dune buggies in the desert with his teammates armed with spears and harpoon guns. No actual guns, unfortunately.

“You shoot it with a gun, it runs away and dies,” the guide had said. That’s not the point? “What? No, then how do you get your nice scorpion claws to bring home? And all the juicy inside parts? You got to reel it in. And of course you step back so it doesn’t sting you. Very painful if it does.”

“And then, you take the spear, stab it right there!” He’d pointed on a well-used diagram laminated in plastic. “Get it in the joint of that segment, under the shell, you stop it dead. Cleanest way.”

The dune buggies each went their separate ways, the radios crackling with updates in a language that Mason didn’t understand. The guide brought the buggy to a stop and peered through a battered pair of binoculars. Twilight is the best time, apparently, because it cools down and they come out of the shade to hunt. After a few moments, the guide started up the buggy again. “We’re coming up on the nest in 5 minutes. You’ll see them around that rock over there.”

Sure enough, a black scurrying shape appeared as they crested a dune. Mason had imagined huge, towering monsters but it was really about the size of a large dog. Still freaking big, through. It stopped and turned towards them, assessing this new development in the state of the world. Then it decided to investigate further.

“Ahhh here it comes! Hope I’m better at shooting with this than with a football,” Colm Ó Tuathail laughed as he waved the harpoon gun at the rapidly approaching scorpion. Was that kid actually enjoying this? Thamior Liadon, riding in the front passenger seat, climbed onto the hood at the guide’s instruction and readied a spear.

Colm hit it with his first try, but the harpoon didn’t penetrate very far and the scorpion’s only response was to click its claws menacingly before it scurried away, the harpoon torquing itself loose.

“You have to hit it more square. The shell is thick on the back. Sideways is no good.” The guide revved the engine and they were moving again. “There’s another one. I’m going to come up beside it as it runs. Shoot downwards.”

They caught up to it quickly and then the buggy slowed down to match the speed of the scorpion. Mason made a token effort with the harpoon gun and missed entirely. Then a spear plunged between the scorpion’s front segments and got stuck in. The scorpion reared up, its mandibles clicking together furiously, and flopped sideways onto the sand. Of course Thamior Liadon got the spear in just the right spot. The guide brought the buggy to stop, jumped off and tossed a net over the flailing and very angry scorpion, pinning it to the ground.

“Well done. Didn’t think you first-timers could actually catch one. Job’s not done though. You see the spear’s sticking out? Grab it, push it in and twist. Stand on that side so the tail can’t get you.”

Finishing it off was simple enough. Colm went over to watch as guide began showing Thamior how to gut and prepare the scorpion for transport and storage. Look at him, playing at his untitled elf game. That meant going around villages bothering the residents with pre-modern weapons and taunting them by stealing their keys, right? More like entitled elf game. A horrible smell came off the carcass as Thamior cracked the shell open and began to cut at the scorpion’s innards. Mason looked the other way and vomited.
Last edited by Kelssek on Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby HUElavia » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:29 am

HUElavia gets Eliminated from the World Cup with a Tough Defeat!

Turori 2-1 HUElavia
(Iretziia 18', Inuro'o 45' | Rossi 51' (P))

HUElavia came into Matchday 3 of the Group Stage needing a victory in order to keep their World Cup dream alive. A draw or loss would spell elimination for Os Amarelos. This time they were playing against the #12 team of the multiverse, Turori, who clinched their spot in the Round-of-16 after defeating Farfadillis 0-3 in Matchday 2. Both of the teams wore their away uniforms (HUElavia had their Away Alternative), and both were using their best XI for the match. The match was played in a sold-out capacity of 100,000 at La Snerra in Ferdullaele, with the crowd being 50/50 between supporters of Turori and HUElavia.

The match kicked off and it saw HUElavia making cautious attacks while Turori cautiously defended. Both teams did not want to concede goals in order to keep the advantage. The opening goal would come in the 18th minute, as a long cross by Toru'u met the foot of Iretziia, where he broke past the defense and blasted it past Lobato's fingertips to make it 1-0. The Turori supporters went crazy while the HUElavians were left stunned from the goal. The match resumed and HUElavia went on the attack left and right with shots from Hamada, Cristiano and Navarro, all while Gallego and Rossi would get shots in as well, but it was to no avail as the spectacular goalkeeping by An'maude kept the match at 1-0 by halftime. Turori would get the winning goal as in the 45th minute, as cross from Toru'u met the head of Inuro'o to blast it past Lobato to make it 2-0. The second half came and in the 51st minute, a foul by Mayelli on Cristiano gave a penalty kick for Los Amarillos. Rossi stepped up with confidence and slotted the ball past An'maude to make it 2-1. Despite the attacks from HUElavia for the rest of the match, it was to no avail and the match ended, with HUElavia getting eliminated.

In the other Group A match, Zwangzug and Farfadillis ended in a 4-4 draw. In the end, Turori won Group A with 9 points (3-0-0), and Zwangzug advanced in 2nd Place with 4 points (1-1-1). Co-host and reigning Champion Farfadillis was a surprise elimination in 3rd Place with 2 points (0-2-1), while HUElavia finished in 4th place with 1 points (0-1-2). The team once again showed a banner giving thanks to the fans that visited Farfadillis to support them while giving apologies for the poor performances. With the elimination, the team is projected to drop 2 spots in the rankings to 24th place. Now, the team will rest and prepare for IAC 10. Hopefully the team can do better next time around in the World Cup 86 Qualifiers and qualify to World Cup 86. Regardless, while disappointed with the scores, the fans love the team.

Last edited by HUElavia on Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Starblaydia » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:10 pm

Keeping a Low Profile
Starblaydia quietly progress to Second Round

The experience of Starblaydia at a major tournament finals is a little like driving on the roads of the country. Either everything is a hundred and fifty miles an hour in the most outrageous of modern hypercars with an engine that can shake the foundation of the skies like the rolling thunder of an ancient god, or you're toodling along a single lane road in the countryside, enjoying the scenery and not entirely sure why all the people behind you are angry and beeping their horns as the cyclist overtakes you. There's absolutely nothing in between. All or nothing. Do or die. Go large or go home. In Starblaydia's history, however, they've gone large more often than pretty much anyone else.

They have the most major tournament victories of any nation in history with eleven, counting 'major' as the World Cup Committee-approved tournaments, the 'Big Three' of regional tournaments and the IAC. In total they have eighteen trophies in the cabinet, including World titles in two junior age groups and an Olympic Gold Medal to their name. With this haul, there's simply no-one close in terms of honours won. They form the smokey tip of the so-called 'Torch', in terms of both win percentages and total goal difference. Anyone can stick around for such a long time, but not everyone ends up with the kind of record Starblaydia have achieved. For every Valanora or Holy Empire who can handily claim, with much justification, to be better, there's a Jersuelem or a Krytenia loitering on the sidelines and generally making the neighbours consider putting the house up for sale.

All this crowing, however, is of glories that almost no-one was around to experience. Even the most enduring and steadfast of competitors struggles to remember far back enough to the couple of short periods when Starblaydia count count themselves among the great dictators of the KPB rankings. The first time was a brief spark in the mid-to-late 20s as they were the new kid in the three-way tussle for supremacy between themselves, Bedistan and Liverpool England. Notable, certainly, for denying the greats of Rejistania a fifth title, but, five Cups after their second Championship, three Cups after their third appearance in the Final, they were gone. Surging back at the end of the 30s, it took a record-setting low of just four editions of the World Cup (38-41) to go from zero in the KPB rankings, via Baptism of Fire finalists and World Cup co-hosts to World Cup Winners, beginning an epic struggle with Valanora. And there's just one slight problem with that scintillating series of showdowns with the stated former Security Forces (Elves).

The most recent of these much-vaunted achievements was at the beginning of what we now call modernity.

Almost as many World Cups have gone by as had already took place when Starblaydia won their most recent World Championship. What did they win since? Anything at all?


Sure, they've made the World Cup Final twice in that time, separated by the vast expanses of time in between as they lost to Audioslavia and Equestria, but the modern footing history of Starblaydia is an idling giant with the heavy burden of a glorious history weighing their shoulders down as they saunter their way vaguely up or down the rankings at the whims of who knows what (Margaret probably stopped giving a toss about this team a long time ago, no matter how many rubber chickens are sacrificed or Totally Inflated Yen are used for bribes).

So against all this history, against the backdrop of a team in the top ten almost managing not to Qualify, but coming out of their group on top against a recent World Champion, Starblaydia face the Commonwealth of Baker Park, and the coin toss of do or die begins again. The coin only needs to land in your favour four times in a row. For one of these sixteen teams still remaining, it'll happen. Can it be Starblaydia? It'll take a pretty large amount of luck.

Go large, or go home.
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WC85-MD3 - Group A Sweep & Farfadillis Better with Cocoabo

Postby Turori » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:28 pm



Eels Complete Group A Sweep as Hosts Crash Out

La Snerra, Ferdullaele, Farfadillis :: For the first time in their modern era, the Turori National Team had won its first two matches of the World Cup Finals. No Opening match day defeats putting the team in a hole to climb out of like the Cocoabo Squad experienced during World Cup 79 and World Cup 80 - although both times the Cocoabo fought through the adversity and did enough to advance to the knockout rounds despite the opening match day defeat. There had also been no up-and-down like the Citizen Squad had experienced in World Cup 81, 82, 83 and 84 with alternating results such as the highs of defeating host nation Cassadaigua on the opening match day of World Cup 84 only to lose convincingly 3-1 to Ko-oren on match day 2.

Turori's National Citizen Squad were one of the first teams to play at La Snerra in decades and they were putting the weathered old stadium to good use as their home away from home during these World Cup Finals, having secured two wins from two games to start off the campaign including a Match day 2 victory over the host nation Farfadillis. Not only was the win over the defending World Cup Champions a massive confidence booster for the Turori Eels but it also clinched their spot in the Knockout Rounds after just two match days. It was also the first time in the modern era that Turori had accomplished that feat.

Despite having already been assured a place in the Round of 16 there was still work to be done as HUElavia would be visiting La Snerra on Matchday 3. While there wasn't a whole lot left for Turori to play for, the results on the day would have massive implications for determining which team would advance along with Turori to the Round of 16. Should Turori be defeated it would almost certainly be HUElavia advancing on to the knockout round. With a victory, however, Turori would eliminate HUElavia and ensure that it would be the winner of the Farfadillis-Zwangzug match up moving on to the second round of competition.

With a little less to play for on the day, it was no surprise that the Turori National Team would make some changes to their lineup for the match against HUElavia. However, very few saw the change that was made in goal with Cocoabo #86 leading the team out onto the field and donning the Lime Green goalkeepers top. Cocoabo #86 regularly travels with the Turori National Team even when the Citizen Squad is on the schedule, doing appearances and photo opportunities for fans. While on the road, Cocoabo #86 participates along with Turori's National Citizen Squad goalkeepers in drills to stay fresh. Due to their position in the net the Turorian coaching staff have found through data compiled by Tropicorp Scientists during AOCAF regional competitions that Cocoabo integration at the goalkeeper positions in a squad otherwise consisting entirely of Citizen players is by far the most seamless integration when compared with the effectivity of inserting a Cocoabo to any other singular field position.

It would mark the first appearance for a Cocoabo on the pitch at the World Cup 85 Finals and there would be a plenty welcoming atmosphere for it. Following Farfadillis defeat to Turori, delinquents and hooligans took their turn through some of the shoddy fencing surrounding La Snerra and colored exposed portions of the arena with graffiti marking the stadium as Turorian territory including tags of "Home of Turori", "RIP Farfadillis NT", and, appropriately "La Snerra is Better with Cocoa-bo". As officials focused on scrubbing only the most lewd and potentially embarrassing marks, most of the Turori-referencing graffiti was still visible when the stadium filled up for Match day 3 and the game prepared to kick off.

Thankfully there was not a lot for the Cocoabo to do in the first half with Turori's National Citizen Squad taking early charge of the match and creating a handful of chances to test the HUElavia goalkeeper Jose Antonio Lobato. After a pair of early saves from Lobato, the Eels were able to break through in the 18th minute when Kiidallen Aeroluzzi intercepted a pass from Ismael Hierro-Nadal that was intended for Natalia Ramirez. Aeroluzzi dished the ball off to Wiztsana Iretziia then darted forward up the wing for the elongated 1-2 play. The Rammsissil winger then collected the ball in stride and quickly fired a blistering low shot across the face of goal. Lobato could only get a fingertip on it but it wasn't enough as the ball nestled inside the far post for Turori's opener.

An increasingly raucos section of Nigel's Army erupted in cheers when the goal went in, allaying any concerns that Turori would be backpedaling their way into the Knockout Rounds. While Turori held control in the early part of the game, the match was starting to even out as HUElavia began to re-compose themselves and set up to attack in search of the equalizer. It could be argued that the second goal of the half came slightly against the run of play when a great individual effort from Mbdiai Akarenaa resulted in a corner kick for Turori. Akarenaa themselves would deliver the cross from the corner flag and it would be met by the flying head of defender Amakli Inuro'o who doubled the lead for the Citizen Squad leaving behind eleven stunned HUElavia players in the defensive zone.

While Turori had amassed a 2-0 halftime lead through strong possession and focused attacks, they had up until that point only been minimally tested on defense. With a Cocoabo in net and an unusually young back four with the exception of veteran Mikki Mayelli it would be a test for Turori as HUElavia came out on all cylinders in the second half to try to claw back into the match. Turori were without the services of veteran defender Yitizo Mpala'a following the defenders dust up with Farfazulu attacker Oskar Holsteiner on match day 2. Mpala'a received a boot square to the chest after having fairly dispossessed a frustrated Holsteiner towards the end of Turori's 3-0 victory over the hosts. Holsteiner received a red card for his efforts on the play while Mpala'a was whisked away by stretcher to the club locker room. While the Turori National Team have not commented on whether Mpala'a will be able to return to play in the knockout rounds they have already voiced their support for further action to be taken against Holsteiner.

The absence of Mpala'a was missed in the 53rd minute when a miscommunication between a pair of Under-21's gave HUElavia a chance to get back into the match. Turori were play a somewhat annoying game of keep-away to burn down the clock on their way to the knockout rounds when Inuro'o looked to switch the ball cross field to the other defensive wing where Moumouni Verre'elali was waiting. Inuro'o struck the ball to be played behind Verre'elali thinking the Tropicorp based defender would step back towards the goal to collect the ball but instead Verre'elali took a step forward when the ball was played. Just that one step was enough to lose position to the substitute Samuel Sissoko who stepped to the ball and drew Biliki Rona'atu'i to cover. This left Ayuka Hamada unmarked in the box and Sissoko quickly moved to dish the ball across. As the play developed, Mikki Mayelli - the only experienced defender on the Turori roster for the match, made a rookie mistake tumbling into Cristiano Aveiro-Lima inside the penalty area. While the cross was clearly destined for Sissoko, with no defender near the 21 year old it could have been argued that the ball would have made it all the way to Aveiro-Lima and the referee pointed to the spot before Sissoko could get their shot away.

Cocoabo #86 was sent the wrong direction on the spot kick and HUElavia had clawed back into the match. For the remainder of the second half HUElavia slowly leveled out the possession numbers that they had lost in the first half and earned their chances to level the scores. After their early mistakes, however, Cocoabo #86 and the Turori backline and shored things up and wouldn't allow another goal completing a perfect World Cup group stage for the first time in the Modern Era. With nine points from three matches Turori easily finished atop Group A while back at La Fantás a thrilling match was coming to its conclusion between host nation Farfadillis and Zwangzug. Coming into the match Farfadillis had just a single point from its opening match day draw with HUElavia while Zwangzug held 3 points from their victory over the groups bottom side. A win would ensure Farfadillis advance while any other result would mean an early elimination for the defending champions on home soil. Perhaps still suffering the hangover from their World Cup 84 title, or possibly still out of form after having not contested 24 rounds of qualifying mathces before the Finals kicked off, The Farfadillis World Cup 85 tour was over before it ever left Ferdullaele. The final whistle blew with the scores level at 4-4 and it would be Zwangzug, not Farfadillis, joining Turori n the second round.

Turori [2] - [1] HUElavia

GOALS: Turori :: 14' Kiidallen Aeroluzzi:: 45' Amakli Inuro'o
STATS: Turori :: Possession: 58%:: Shots: 4:: Corners: 3 HUElavia :: Possession: 42%:: Shots: 5:: Corners: 2
Lineup: [GK] Cocoabo #86, [D.] Moumouni Verre'elali, [D.] Biliki Rona'atu'i, [D.] Mikki Mayelli, [D.] Amakli Inuro'o, [ML] Kentu Umaka'a, [MC] Daliora Toru'u, [MC] Mbdiai Akarenaa, [MR] Kiidallen Aeroluzzi, [FC] Nua'oma Aikiki, [FC] Wiztsana Iretziia
Bench: [FC] Meldi'ita Mungwaii, [FC] Kala'a Yuliizala, [M] Naraiza Ruaplal, [M] Nubara Moafalia, [U ] Lulu Pumaziiri, [D] Tarek Edgeli, [GK] Wiyauw An'maude



"Better with Cocoa-bo" Campaign Taking over Surfaces in Farfadillis

Cocoa-bo, Lpaka, Turori :: Shortly before the release of the Final Report of the Independent Cocoa-bo Commission, Cocoa-bo officials scheduled a press-conference at their home facility back in Lpaka Turori. While no additional information was provided most assumed that at long last, Cocoa-bo officials would publicly acknowledge the Commission and, perhaps with some forewarning of what might be in the report, Cocoa-bo may have been scheduling the press-conference to get ahead of some bad information that was going to come to light in the report. The Cocoa-bo commission, however, was not making near as many headlines in the Vilitan Cove region as it was in other more distant lands. In fact, while the initial hearings of the Independent Cocoa-bo Commission were broadcast on communication devices throughout both Vilita and Turori, later hearings were nearly impossible to find as broadcasters had stopped carrying coverage of the Commission due to a perceived lack of viewership. While the publication of the Final Report was likely to be noted on some trivial page within the Turori National, it seemed as if there was little to no appetite to see #CancelCocoa-bo trending within the Cove.

It may be why nearly all of the journalist passes handed out for Cocoa-bo's latest press conference were to members of the foreign media. Of course, this was exactly what Cocoa-bo's Marketing and Outreach team had planned for. They cleverly allowed the media to assume they would finally be making a statement about the Cocoa-bo Commission - a fantastical inquiry into the performance enhancing qualities of Cocoa-bo and its side effects - a commission that had resulted in massive multiverse-wide exposure for the Cocoa-bo brand. Instead, however, Cocoa-bo's Marketing and Outreach team planned to roll out Cocoa-bo's new marketing campaign for the first time with every glossy-edged page of their Presentation being broadcast live without even needing to pay for the commercial time. Of course, they didn't let on to the plan initially.

The presentation started with some pleasantries, thanking all the reporters for coming and ensuring that there would be "a number of things presented at the press conference". First, however, was a summary of ongoing "Better with Cocoa-bo" campaign efforts.

Without directly mentioning the Cocoa-bo Commission, the Marketing Rep noted that a recent surge in Cocoa-bo sales across the board had allowed the company to ramp up its marketing budget in correlation with the World Cup 85 finals. They were doubling their Better with Cocoabo Efforts and had already seen positive returns from their "Zwangzug is better with Cocoa-bo" advertisements". With the increased budget the marketing team was able to introduce some new promotional items which included collectible place mats featuring Better with Cocoa-bo designs past and present. Each participating Cocoa-bo location had received boxes of placements including one of the new designs from the World Cup 85 campaign push as well as randomly assorted designs from prior Better with Cocoa-bo Campaigns. The "Zwangzug is better with Cocoa-bo" design with the first of the new campaign to be immortalized on a placement at given the current spotlight on the company the items were snapped at quickly at participating locations.

While Zwangzug place mats were finding their way to tables across the multiverse and available for trade across various trade and sale platforms, many in the Glorious South West had been waiting patiently for the release of the Farfadillis is Better with Cocoabo campaign including the custom place mats. Those came just in time for the start of the World Cup 85 Group Stage and Cocoa-bo sales at pop up locations throughout Farfadillis skyrocketed once the advertisements started going up in Ferdullaele. Pictures were popping up on twii.tur of fans and locals alike posing along with the advertisement with its signature feature dubbed 'Anarcoa-bo". The bandana-wearing bird quickly became the central focus of memes flooding onto twii.tur picking the Anarcoa-bo off the Farfadillis Flag inspired field and into other pictures showing them in scenes both famous and infamous and wondering if that location too would have been better with "Anarcoa-bo". As the sales representative showed that within the massive sales increase due to C omission, a smaller additional spike could be seen surrounding the activity based on the World Cup 85 Better with Cocoabo marketing campaign, the journalists began to get antsy to see the portion of the briefing that they thought they had come to see. Finally, the first portion of the briefing had concluded and it was time to move on to the next briefer...


:: Cocoa-Bo Eatery
Cocoa-bo, an establishment taking its name directly from the beloved national animal of Turori, started as a small dessert shop in Kionao. However, it was only after they added chocolate topped drinks to their menu that their popularity started to soar. As more and more patrons scooped up their chocolate flavored pick-me-ups, demand for the Cocoa-bo product skyrocketed and soon new franchised locations were popping up all throughout Turori. Shifting to more of a social 'hang-out' then just a casual place to drop in, get a dessert, and leave, the new locations started adding small foods such as Bagels for the morning, Soups and Sandwiches for Lunch or Dinner and Salads for the entire day.

Cocoa-bo has expanded outside of Vilita & Turori. Their first regional location was opened in Andossa Se Mitrin Vega and Cocoa-bo has opened temporary locations during major internationstatal events such as the World Cup Finals with past locations appearing in Drawkland and Cosumar. Cocoa-bo has a permanent presence in South Covello and is also continuing to grow its presence in Starblaydia, the Equestrian States and the Free Republics. The company continues to further increase its image by partnering with Motorsport teams and expanding the company footprint across Atlantian Oceania and beyond. Cocoa-bo are also the kit sponsor for Mliona-Lpaka AFC in the Vilitan League. Cocoa-bo's most recent major expansion was to the region of Rushmore through its hub in Starksville, Cassadaigua. Cocoa-bo has also entered the business of product licensing and outsourcing after establishing an exclusivity agreement within the Commonwealth of Baker Park for bottling, distribution and local product with the BCEL Beverage Company to maintain a product line of Cocoa-bo drinkables in the Commonwealth. Cocoa-bo's current largest current markets are, in order, Turori; South Covello, Cassadaigua, the Equestrian States, and Vilita.

A history of Cocoa-bo's largest marketing campaign, "Everything's better with Cocoa-bo" can be found on the Official Cocoa-bo Factbook. Other historically successful campaigns include "Tastes of the Multiverse" and "The Cocoa-bo Index".

<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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WC85-MD3 - 2-1 v. Main Nation Ministry & Missing Goalkeepers

Postby Vilita » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:01 pm



Bojno Polje, Kruviš, Farfadillis :: The situation heading into Matchday 3 of the World Cup 85 Finals was very simple as far as Group D was concerned. Two Games. Two Winners. Advance. As long as there were no draws, there would be no issues. For the Top Seeded Vilitan National Team, the situation was favorable. They had scored 7 goals in the two games thus far and as a result had amassed a comparatively infinite +1 Goal Difference. They were the only team in the Group that could be completely assured their place in the Knockout round with only a draw on Matchday 3. It was thanks to their 3-1 victory over Ko-oren on Matchday 2 that the Jungle Cats were in that situation. No other match in the group had been decided by more than one goal. There had been no draws. Only winners and losers.

For Matchday 3, the Jungle Cats would also have the most favorable matchup. Their opponents, Main Nation Ministry, were ranked fourth lowest of any team in the World Cup Finals. While both teams entered the final matchday inside the Top 2 with a view to advancing to the Round of 16, the odds were that only one would survive. If either of the two Group D matches produced a winner then that winner would be in and the loser would be out. No scenarios required.

As the start of the match got close, however, there was concern brewing on the Vilitan sideline. Officials from the World Cup Committee were seen speaking with officials from the Vilita National Team. People were scurrying about as if something was wrong but no announcements were being made. Finally, the teams came out of the tunnel and the Jungle Cats were led by.. Jurzen Devmiko?

The 32 year old veteran was certainly a well regarded player, member of three World Cup winning rosters, but was never considered to be Captain Material. Yet in the single most important day of the World Cup 85 Finals thus far for the Vilitan National Team, there was Devmiko... and Striitca Virahat wearing the gloves?! The 22 year old Alikki-Corra Academy goalkeeper wasn't even on the Jungle Cats 23-player roster. While all teams bring extra personnel with them for training purposes and the most extreme emergencies, no one could have envisioned a scenario that would see a player like Virahat taking the field at the World Cup Finals.

Likewise there was no sign of veteran midfielder Cavuna Aquafek and other select members of the Vilitan Squad. While it might be normal to rest some star players ahead of a meaningless match, this game was far from fitting that description. While it wasn't the World Cup Final itself, it was a de-facto final for both teams knowing that at the end of the day only one would still have a chance to lift the World Cup 85 trophy while the other would be headed home, their dreams extinguished for one more cycle.

While reporters flustered about trying to determine what was going on with the Vilitan roster, officials started the match promptly at the advertised time. On the final matchday of competition it was critical that the games started promptly to ensure they also ended promptly and avoid the embarrassing scenario of result-fixing where two teams knowing the result of the other match in their group are able to alter their own playing style based on the known outcome.

About twelve minutes into the match, there hadn't been much to talk about on the field and it was a good thing because the majority of the press corps on site were still chasing the story surrounding the missing Vilitan goalkeepers. As the match played on in the background, the rumors started to pour in. Some unbelievable, some fairly believable. One story that started to rise to the top of the rumblings was that five Vilita National Team players had been kidnapped.

While nothing had been confirmed, the media corps had to change their focus in the 26th minute when the Jungle Cats broke the deadlock through Cywrenta Vlintejni. Very few in the media booth were actually paying attention to the built up but as the crowd roared it was the Rammsissil midfielder wheeling away after a wonder strike from 30 yards out that broke the deadlock. On the replay it was clear that the adventurous effort from Vlintejni caught just the right amount of rotation on the ball and while it appeared to be gliding safely above the crossbar, the ball dipped at the final moment and clipped the underside of the bar on the way into the net.

The remainder of the first half played out with more pressure from the Jungle Cats who had earned themselves a series of corner kicks but were unable to incresae their lead, mercifully allowing journalists to continue making calls and sniffing out the whereabouts of the five missing Vilita National Team players.

While none of the journalists in the media pool actually had any factual and credible information to share, it seemed that two leading theories had bubbled to the top. The most obvious explanation was that rogue Farfadallion Rebels had kidnapped the players to be held hostage while demanding anything from something as trivial as a new copy of a video game, to the extreme rumor of 5000 Wild Cocoabos. Perhaps the latter demand is what sparked the second rumor as the the Vilitan players whereabouts. With the Cocoa-bo Commission having wrapped up earlier that day, the implication that no Vilitan player had yet been tested to see what effects Cocoa-bo had on them had sparked a fit of anger in at least seven citizens of the multiverse. It has been rumored that at least one of them had arranged to have Vilita's star players tested in order to determine whether they were part of the 10% who experienced performance enhancing side effects from the consumption of Cocoa-bo.

Of course, the validity of this theory - or the intelligence of the Kidnappers - was tested by the fact that all three of Vilita's rostered goalkeepers were among those missing while their forwards were untouched and on the pitch. Vilita had one of the worst defensive records in the multiverse during compared with their ranking and have yet to post a Clean Sheet during the World Cup 85 Finals even with their starting goalkeepers.

That trend continued on Matchday 3 even as the unexpected starter Striitca Virahat continued the trend of Vilitan goalkeepers conceding goals. With the scores level, the Jungle Cats were still in position to advance to the second round but it put the Main Nation Ministry in a compromising position as results in the other match of Group D could put them out of the competition.

As Main Nation Ministry pressed forward and dominated the possession in the second half searching for a winner, the Jungle Cats were able to respond and one of their multiversal superstar attackers who somehow managed not to be the focus of "Enhanced Cocoa-bo Testing", would score the goal that would ensure Vilita would be moving on to the Round of 16 and ending Main Nation Ministry's World Cup dream.

The goal was set up by Va'a-Rio Kiwavn who delivered from the edge of the field and Tarala expertly stuck a foot in as Main Nation Ministry could not win the ball in the air. With the win, the Jungle Cats would take their place atop Group D where they would be joined in the knockout rounds by the triumphant Atlantian Oceania rivals Ko-oren who defeated Kita-Hinode 1-0 on Matchday 3. There would be no reward for Vilita during the Round of 16 for Winning their group however, as their Second Round foes would be Eagles Cup champions Banija as two multiversal powerhouses square off in an early power matchup at World Cup 85 in Farfadillis.

Vilita [2] - [1] Main Nation Ministry

GOALS: Vilita :: 26' Cywrenta Vlintejni:: 75' Sipke Tarala
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 45%:: Shots: 8:: Corners: 11 Main Nation Ministry :: Possession: 55%:: Shots: 4:: Corners: 2
Lineup: [GK] Striitca Virahat, [D.] Rojara Tiones, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [D.] Lohani Riiyaaw, [ML] Cywrenta Vlintejni, [MC] Limu Katarakhna, [MC] Jurzen Devmiko, [MR] Jyuola Mtalata, [FC] Linvoi Warazil, [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [FC] Enzoril Alabonni
Bench: [FC] Sipke Tarala, [FC] Fishtii Blikala, [M] Polaox Torerun, [M] Va'a-Rio Kiwavn, [U ] Kudii Davasarii, [D] Linkat Cjinder, [GK] Maratopa Inita-Arua

Last edited by Vilita on Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-¤-¤-¤World Cup 20 Champions¤-¤-¤-¤-¤-¤World Cup 68 Champions¤-¤-¤-
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Postby Mriin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:03 pm

It's time to suss out the contenders from the pretenders. Cutoff for the playing-in-Farfadillis Eightfinals!
Nephara wrote:It's retro as all fuck, and it works like a charm.

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Postby Valanora » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:40 pm

Harlem Saxstrom was not born in the Empire and in fact had not lived in the Empire long enough to properly apply for Vanorian citizenship when the Qualifiers had began. However due to the unusual circumstances following the collapse of the Apox government, she had been granted a waiver allowing her to apply for Vanorian citizenship despite not having the appropriate residency. Was it a selfish move that was made by the government, knowing that the young woman would easily slot into the national football team and give them a better chance of bringing home that sixth title that anyone with a remote interest in the team was hoping for? Yes, obviously it was exactly that, but getting anyone in the government or the VSC to admit such would be like trying to pull teeth without numbing medicine, quite dangerous and unlikely. However he paperwork was rushed through and so was the paperwork that was filed with the WCC officials to grant her a switch of nationality, despite having been part of the Apox two years ago but never really featuring for the team outside a few bit starts and substitute appearances.

Here she was dressed in the navy and white of the Marauders, the traditional colors of one of the most decorated teams in all of the footballing world, facing off against one of their most long standing foes. While she knew that none of her teammates or the staff or the fans or even the press would ever admit to it, the Bulls of Audioslavia were one of the rivals of the Marauders. While the likes of Turori or the obvious in Starblaydia might have gotten more attention by all of the previous, those who took part in these matches could feel a certain something different in the air when the two teams fought against one another on the pitch. The fact that the pendulum seemed to swing so evenly between the two teams was also an observation that any student of the game would be quite astounded by and that the Bulls had seemingly had it swing their way for the past few meetings had to mean that it was only a matter of time before it swung the Marauders way again. To maintain its rivalry status, both teams had to have success against one another, otherwise it was just one of those games that mattered more but was not truly a rivalry.

There was just one problem to all of that, Saxstrom had never been a part of any of the previous battles between the Bulls and the Marauders and honestly did not feel that same imperious feeling that the rest of the team seemed to have. Where they seemed a bit anxious and tense, seeing how the hairs on their arms were on end, she was as calm as one could be ahead of a match in the Finals of the World Cup. This was just another game for her, another game where she could highlight her skills much like she had done in the previous two domestic campaigns in the Empire. In the qualifiers and through the first two matches here in Mriin, she had been finding a good partnership with Thor Møller and something about today just felt like it was going to be a good day. Perhaps it was because the Bulls were setting up to defend their way to another victory and get themselves out of what had been something of a nightmarish group for both themselves and Nephara. All the Marauders needed to advance was a draw, that would secure not only their advancement but also winning the group, leaving whatever happened between Nephara and 95X as just static noise.

The lense flashing was quick to happen as just four minutes into the match she showcased that pace that had made her such a dangerous target with Mar Sara. Ceron and Lomax had attempted to close her down after Hawk put in a through ball for her, which she blistered past the closing in defenders with track meet like pace and agility and neatly put the shot into the back of the net over the right shoulder of Zanardi. Ten minutes later she thought she had her brace and doubled the lead for the team but her shot hit the wrong side of the crossbar and went into the stands rather than the back of the net. The Audioslavia tactic of trying to defend their way to three points was quickly unfolding as her and the rest of the Marauder attack seemed to have the Bulls hemmed in their own half. The Bulls seemed to have broken that press well in the forty-second minute but when the cross in landed at the feet of Knudsen, his shot was easily saved by the outstreched hand of Smørdal. Saxstrom wondered if her opponents actually had a striker up top if the sides would have been level at half, as they likely could have supplied a better finish.

The seventy-first minute was the end of the Audioslavia hope though as Kvaal had sundered his mark on the wing and had sent in a blistering high cross from the end line that Harlem chested down and powered through the box and into the back of the net on a half volley. It was going to be a play that would live on for quite some time as the hearts of the Audioslav team sunk, knowing two goals in less than twenty minutes with their tactic was not going to be coming their way. As the time whittled away and they tried to maneuver their way out of their position and try to reclaim a point and passage out of the group, the rest of the Marauder midfield and defense was up to the occasion. The final whistle came and the whole of the team looked to have a huge amount of relief on their faces and their body language showed that they had spent themselves trying to get this victory. Much to her own surprise, Harlem felt the warm streaks of tears across her own cheeks. It was not that she had forced capitulated her nation's rival out of the biggest stage, it was that she was finally tasting that success that and the vindication that she had chosen the right path to file that switch. Now she and the rest of the team had to do it four more times if history was going to be theirs...
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65, 72, 83 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXII (1st), WCoH I, XXXI, XL (2nd), WCoH II, XXIX (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
AOCAF 44, 46, 51, & 53 Champions, AOCAF 39 & 43 Runners Up
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Postby Mriin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:31 pm


* meowmeowmeow


The Shag Who Shagged Me

Or more like half the Mrii NT, if the tabloids are to be believed. It’s an apropos metaphor for when you look at their rosters side-by-side and realize just how much Mrii talent is concentrated in Nephara and their former colony. The FAs and broader footballing cultures are clearly in bed, and while there’s no doubt the Reavers’ steel benefitted from the sharpening services of the Premiership… one wonders if that puts us at a disadvantage. Nobody knows how the Reavers play better than Nepharim who watched years of Solara, Malia, and Malia tearing things up.

There’s even a strong argument that the Nepharan Way of Play has had an outsized impact on our strategies, with those players plying their trade abroad bringing back ever more effective techniques for throwing satyr bulk around. And that’s even before we mention Tailtiu Brennan coming in and converting the team to a suspiciously Nepharan 4-4-2! The MNL, the Mrii national team, there’s just no avoiding it: Mrii football would not be where it is now without the collaboration and support of Terranea’s crown jewel--wait that’s a bad turn of phrase here. Regardless, this match is the culmination of a lot of history, as much history a nation with as young a footballing culture we do could possibly have. And it’s probably going to be an ugly slugfest. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

A common Fun Fact people like to bring up for these big games is when there’s teammates who’ll be squaring off against each other. There’s too many here to count. Otalia’s upgrade to Brinemouth is still fresh, but she’s been to enough training sessions to get a feel for working with Marcin Close and Ilyana Brosch, fully half of the Cormorant’s back line. Tali’raia has spent years watching Hesterine Mercator come into her own at Eastweald. Solara might as well have raised Tawny Shone and Vivica Muscadin herself, captaining the Moths as both bloomed. These roots run deep. But--perhaps critically--they don’t run deep enough to cover the Nepharan attacking depth.

Aristide Metzger is a well-enough known name in the three isles, a common sight in feature Premiership feature matches we’ll catch on the telly, even if she plays for hack Treason. But Kurtis Bastable? Arista Tzorvas? Who watches the Gold League and the SuperLiga?! Well, Brennan and Joren probably do. And that’s the most important bit. If management can mastermind a way to shut down the Nepharan offense, that’ll be the edge the Reavers need. Do anything to break their confidence, hit them hard on the break, keep them on the back hoof foot. The Cormorants are a brilliant but mercurial side. We can take them head-to-head… but it’d sure be a lot easier if they were in a tailspin.
Nephara wrote:It's retro as all fuck, and it works like a charm.

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Postby Eura » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:05 pm

Attacking strategy works out for Brandon
Report by our Euran international team correspondent Isabel Haynes

The qualifying round and group stage of a World Cup might seem similar with their basic format of a league table from which the top two advance. In practice however they present an entirely different kind of challenge to one another, and not just because the former sometimes requires a playoff for the team in second. The contrast between the two stages is all the more obvious after the twenty four match qualifying journey that the huge field of teams was put through this time. Compare this gruelling march teams had to go through to reach Mriin and Farfadillis, travelling to twelve different countries, to what the lucky thirty qualifiers (and the two hosts) faced in the group stage of the finals; a quick and decisive struggle with almost no margin for error.

In Group G Eura were faced with an achievable but by no means easy task of qualifying ahead of two of Baker Park, Terre Septentrionale – who Eura defeated home and away in qualifying – and Siovanija and Teusland, who Eura shared a goalless draw with in a pre-qualifying friendly. Michael Brandon set out in his pre-World Cup press conference his determination to win these games the right way. “We’re going to score some goals”, he said confidently, “and we’re working very hard right now to make sure we take our chances when they come”. Brandon has always been a blend of Euran and Nepharim traits. Here he was combining Nepharim punchiness with Euran self-belief.

Against expectations the Euran squad changed little going into the tournament, with only Samuel Hopkins (7 appearances in qualifying) and Morgan Fox (4 appearances in qualifying) dropping out, replaced by Jon Haines and Dean Sharp. The starting lineup remained unchanged too although the spotlight was being focused very brightly on Harvey Blake, Stanley Burns, and Rhys Griffiths for improvement. Eura have a strong squad with a lot of quality on offer but the experience in qualifying made it clear that Brian Bond is central to this team. He had scored 16 goals from 19 appearances in qualifying. Fortunately there was more to come.

Siovanija and Teusland 0–3 Eura @ Gold Field, Vidial
Bond 49, Griffiths 55, Bowman 86

Situated on the central island of Mriin, the impressively fitted out Gold Field hosted Eura’s first game of the 85th World Cup. Living up to Brandon’s promise meant his team would have to avoid getting too comfortable amidst this cosy university city and its many amenities. Instead they came with the intention of convincingly beating a potentially dangerous initial opponent, the first step towards getting on a roll of footballing momentum. Siovanija & Teusland came into the tournament under a lot of pressure that was arguably undue. They should have been the fearless underdogs, but instead played the first half like a cautious favourite, failing to register a shot on Eura’s goal.

Eura used this vaccum to seize control of the game and create plenty of chances. Bond, Damion Bowman and Griffiths all came close to breaking the deadlock without quite getting there. Frank Bevan came even closer, forcing Ewald Heuser into a great save with a dipping shot from outside the penalty area that merited a goal to add to the couple he scored in qualifying. The Goldhorns held on just long enough to reach half time unscathed. When the two sides returned to the pitch they remained largely unchanged, both in terms of personnel and tactically. Eura did make a minor tactical change to play their wingers narrower, getting them closer to goal.

As it did in the first half, the status quo benefitted Eura, and this time they took advantage with their slightly narrower formation. Minutes into the second half Moira Woakes dribbled down the left between two defenders like the ball was superglued to her feet, cut inside and set herself to shoot – only to roll the ball away instead for Bond to clip it up and over the keeper from 20 yards. Soon after it was Monica Rowland’s turn to cause trouble with a direct run. She dispossessed a complacent Todor Mihailov in the centre and pressed on into the Goldhorn’s half, running deep into their territory before anyone was brave enough to close down the Euran enforcer.

Rowland exchanged passes with Griffiths and Bond until the ball ended up at Griffiths feet in the box, and the often criticised Revolutionaries attacker did brilliantly to maintain his balance under Raphael Klopfer’s challenge and score. It was another sublime goal. Siovanija and Teusland were at a loss as to how to respond and it looked more likely Eura would score again until they made some changes later in the second half, and started to create a couple of chances. Yet it was nothing that the Euran defence and Kevin Belgrave couldn’t handle. Only a few minutes remained before stoppage time when Bowman beat Heuser with a powerful shot to complete Eura’s victory.

Terre Septentrionale 3–3 Eura @ Gold Field, Vidial
Bond 23, 73, Roberts 59

A strong start against Siovanija and Teusland reduced the pressure on Eura to get a result again the Terre Septentrionale, the least fancied team in the group and one Eura had recently beaten twice. It turned out that lack of impetus for a fully engaged performance was bad news for the team. It’s true that Eura rotated their team partly to cope with the busy schedule and prevent injuries, but nevertheless there was a lot to be concerned about in Eura’s performance as they threw away a lead twice to draw. Bond had put his team in the lead initially with an emphatic headed finish from a Bowman cross, only for Sandrine Fontaine to score an almost identical goal three minutes later at the other end of the pitch.

Roksana Kolodziejczyk had spurned some chances in the first half but didn’t make the same mistake in the 51st minute, taking advantage of poor position by Charles Roberts and Blake to side-foot past a sprawling Belgrave. It was 1-2. Eura responded quickly and in style – Oscar Coltrane delivered a spectacular free kick into the box from almost the centre circle that fell in exactly the spot Roberts needed it to for a brilliant volley. He could have easily hit it far over the bar. Instead the Bastion defender got just the right balance of power and timing to net one of the best World Cup goals a Euran defender has ever scored.

Bond then turned up again to restore Eura’s lead at 3-2, beating Franciszek Niedzwiecki with a trademark dominating run and then creatively choosing to score at the near post with an outside of the boot shot from 10 yards, leaving Georges-Kévin Vainqueur perplexed as to how he had conceded. However the game was far from over and Eura’s defensive frailties would be punished in the 87th minute, as a series of missed opportunities to clear were taken advantage of by Zdzislaw Brzezanczyk, beating Belgrave from a distance of 35 yards.

Eura 3–3 Commonwealth of Baker Park @ Flâneur, Vidial
Woakes 19, Bowman 25, Sharp 64

Eura were in a strong position to top Group G at this point. It was not guaranteed though, and defeat by Baker Park would likely mean a disastrous exit reminiscent of going out to Sargossa on six points several World Cups ago. The Commonwealth were also being forced to look over their shoulders with only three points from the first six available. There was a change of venue for Eura as they finished Group G at Flâneur, which made good use of its retractable roof to see off some nasty weather in the hours before kick-off.

The atmosphere inside the stadium was less stormy as the two nations faced off knowing that avoiding defeat was the main objective. Eura played at a much lower tempo than the previous two group fixtures and didn’t take any risks at first, nor did their opponents who didn’t play like a team that could go out even if they didn’t lose. TV audiences around the world couldn’t have been blamed for moving their itchy fingers towards the remote to switch to the other Group G game. Then the game came alive from nowhere in the 19th minute as Eura upped their game, Moira Woakes crashing in a haphazard shot as she fell under the challenge of Emily Arnold.

The Bees, as the Commonwealth’s side are known, had barely stopped reeling from Woakes’ goal when Bowman added another, cutting inside from the left so quickly that Sarah Foreman spun almost a full 360 degrees trying to keep up, only to dramatically tumble over. He then slid the ball precisely through the gap between the near post and Grant Coffey, leaving the goalkeeper with little to no chance of preventing the second goal. Now that the Eurans had made it a contest and an early tournament exit beckoned, the Bees woke up. They threw caution to the wind and barrelled into Eura’s half repeatedly, getting their reward when DeAngelo Simmons tapped in after an excellent passing move not long before half time.

Both teams made changes at half time which fuelled a frenetic second half. Baker Park’s star midfielder Jamari Bozeman equalised with a stunning shot from outside the box before Euran substitute Dean Sharp, a late call up to replace Morgan Fox, made an immediate impact by thrashing a rebounded corner back through the cluster of the bodies in the box and into the net. Eura should have been able to hold on from this point but they failed in their attempts at game management. It fell to Baker Park substitute Jessica LeClair, plying her trade at Euran club WEA, to escape all of Eura’s markers at a corner to head home an equaliser with less than ten minutes remaining.

In the end this didn’t matter for Eura who would finish top of the group after playing out the last period of the game in a more defensive manner, while Baker Park secured second at great relief to their manager Ichi Tuzzio, players and fans. However it was frustrating from a Euran perspective to watch another lead built upon three good goals not being capitalised on. On the other hand it was the third match in a row where Eura had scored that many adding up to nine in the group stage overall, including strikes from all three of Eura’s main attacking midfielders and three for Bond.

World Cup 85 - Group G Table

- Group G                       Pld   W  D  L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Eura 3 1 2 0 9 6 +3 5
2 Commonwealth of Baker Park 3 1 1 1 9 8 +1 4
3 Terre Septentrionale 3 1 1 1 8 9 −1 4
4 Siovanija and Teusland 3 1 0 2 1 4 −3 3

Player Stats: WC85 Qualifying and Group Stage
Does not include friendlies

1 - Kevin Belgrave - GK - 31 – Directus – 21 apps
13 – Ryan Bull - GK - 32 - Brinemouth (Nephara) – 4 apps
30 – Vance Simm – GK – 23 – Lajuno – 3 apps

2 – Scott Coles - RB - 34 – Ulsa – 20 apps, 1 goal
3 – Stanley Burns – LB – 25 – Holdenberg – 19 apps
4 – Charles Roberts - CB - 29 – Bastion – 21 apps, 1 goal
5 – Harvey Blake - CB - 31 – Spartangrad – 20 apps – 1 goal
15 – Dean Steele – CB – 26 – Brinemouth (Nephara) – 14 apps
19 – Jake Newton - CB - 27 - Baskita FC (Pasarga) – 6 apps
21 – Steve Fox – RB – 28 – Sabrefell Athletic (Nephara) – 7 apps
23 – Ben Hall - LB - 31 – Oakstone – 10 apps, 1 goal
25 – Jon Haines - RB - 31 – Old Boys Club – 1 app
27 – Alex Ingram - LB - 23 – Spartangrad – 4 apps

6 – Monica Rowland (F) - CM - 29 – Bastion – 23 apps, 1 goal
7 – Oscar Coltrane - AM - 35 - Sabrefell Athletic (Nephara) – 11 apps, 2 goals
8 – Frank Bevan - CM – 29 – Holdenberg – 20 apps, 2 goals
11 - Damion Bowman – LW – 25 – Crisisbless (Nephara) – 21 apps, 9 goals
12 - Rhys Griffiths - AM - 29 – Revolutionaries – 21 apps, 6 goals
16 – Anthony Townsend - RM - 31 – Oakstone – 11 apps, 3 goals
18 – Vincent Robshaw - CM - 26 - Northern Union (Brenecia) – 7 apps, 1 goal
20 – Moira Woakes (F) – AM – 26 – Crisisbless (Nephara) – 21 apps, 8 goals
22 – Harry Humphreys – CM – 29 – Raynor City United (Valanora) – 7 apps, 1 goal
24 - Liam Armstrong - CM - 32 – 1830 Cathair (Audioslavia) – 11 apps, 1 goal
28 – Henry Patterson – CAM – 27 – Directus – 5 apps, 1 goal
29 – Freddie Wright – RW – 28 – Brigham – 5 apps, 1 goal

9 – Brian Bond - LW/ST - 29 – Oakstone – 22 apps, 19 goals
10 – Dion Underwood - ST - 35 – Bastion – 12 apps, 5 goals
14 – John Fletcher – CF – 30 – AFC Treason (Nephara) – 11 apps, 5 goals
17 – Tommy Sutton - ST - 24 – Falourr – 3 apps, 1 goal
26 – Dean Sharp – ST – 33 – 1830 Cathair (Audioslavia) – 2 apps, 1 goal


James Howell – ST – 29 – Holdenberg – 1 app
Jarrod Jenkins – CB – 25 – Falourr – 1 app
Adam Woodman – LW – 19 – Directus – 1 app
United Federation of Eura - Sporting achievements
Champions: WC66, WC73, CR23, CR27, CR34, Market Cup I, Next Generation Trophy, Gold Medal (Mens Football) Olympics IX
Runner up: WC60, WC72, WC78, CR16, CR20, CR32, CoH51, COH79
Host: CR24, CR37, BoF60, CR Under 21's and Under 17's

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Recuecn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:12 pm

[OOC: Thanks to Saint Kanye and Cassadaigua for giving me permission to do this and use their characters.]

Not many across the multiverse recognize the name Abdoulaye Goita. Truth be told, even in his home country of Reçueçn, the WGP2 champion is not even a minor celebrity; it has been a long time since any Reçuecians took interest in motorsport at all, let alone at any tier other than the highest. The open-wheel driver, then, is able to maintain his anonymity, at least until he leaves for a country where racing plays a bigger role in the national conciousness. For example, after his WGP2 championship, he received an invitation from GFR Motorsport, a racing team from Saint Kanye, to come drive a race in NSSCRA. Abdoulaye, out of a contract and with nothing better to do before the next WGPC season, happily accepted the offer, as much to the new adventure as for any other reason. He got to know the Kanyean drivers, learn a little bit about NSSCRA, drive in one race, and make some new friends.

A few weeks later, Abdoulaye once more joined up with the GFR team for a race in Guilin, a city in the Sherpa Empire. The race, part of the local Sherpa racing series IRACT, served as a qualifier for the NSSCRA race at the end of the week. Despite a good qualifying lap, Abdoulaye was only average in the race, and so was unable to earn a spot for the NSSCRA race on the 25th. However, he was happy to stay in Guilin and cheer on his GFR teammates as they competed for the NSSCRA championship.

Something else a newcomer to NSSCRA ought to know about is the "Stacemiah" duo. Stacemiah refers to Jeremiah Brooke, one of Abdoulaye's new teammates as a GFR driver, and Stacie Houston, the star Cassadagan racer currently in first in the championship standings. Brooke and Houston developed a strong friendship and amicable rivalry during their time racing against each other. The media is aware of the existence of Stacemiah as not just a strong friendship, but also a powerful duo on the racetrack, and often mentions the two racers in the same breath. There was a great story, therefore, when at the NSSCRA race in Guilin, the two battled it out up until the last lap and Brooke took first with Houston coming second in what was almost a photo finish.

The GFR team, including Abdoulaye, was excited to see one of their own win, and the 'Dagans were happy to take second—if Houston had to lose to someone, at least it was Brooke. The podium celebration after the race became one big party. Abdoulaye was in the thick of it, happy that his teammate and his teammate's friend had taken the one-two. As he thought ahead to the celebrations that would continue that evening, he had an idea. Stacemiah liked the idea, so Abdoulaye let them know he could get everything set up for it. When the podium ceremony ended, he headed back to the GFR trailers to make some preparations.

His plan was nothing too crazy. He knew both teams would be celebrating, or at least the Yeezies would, and the 'Dagans would probably be happy to join the party if they had something to celebrate beside second place. He also remembered that the Cassadaigua-Reçueçn world cup game was that evening, and organizing the party was his chance to make sure that not only he'd get to see it, but he'd get to watch it with some other people who might be invested in the outcome. It wasn't hard for him, having OK'd thinks with Brooke and Houston, to set things up so that the celebrations for the evening—already planned—would happen together, and so that there'd be a big screen to watch the game on during the party. It turned out the teams were more than happy to have their guest trying to co-opt their post-race celebrations for a world cup watch party; hanging out and watching a soccer game would be a lot more tame than some of the things NSSCRA drivers could get up to.

Due to the time difference, the game would start a lot later for the people watching it in Guilin than it would for those watching it from back home in Reçueçn, but that was fine. You didn't want to start a party too early anyway. Abdoulaye got the GFR people to set stuff up outdoors behind their headquarters for the race, and pulled one of the big screens out of the simulator to watch the game on. Guilin was a pretty warm place so hanging out outside in the evening, it would be the perfect temperature. Abdoulaye also made sure there was plenty to eat and drink. All week he'd been kind of worrying about the local food, since he didn't really understand the cuisine, and previously, Sage Caldwell, one of the GFR drivers, had gotten food poisoning and wound up hospitalized, which kind of freaked Abdoulaye out more than it should have. But for once he managed to relax, so in addition to having sort of the typical barbeque options you might expect at a NSSCRA party, there was also a bunch of catered Chinese food. There was also plenty to drink: Abdoulaye didn't drink, but he would've known just from Skip Stiller's twii.tur profile picture that the Yeezies could be big beer drinkers, even if he hadn't met them himself. So there was beer for those who wanted it, but also soda and other drinks.

The Kanyean drivers showed up a bit before the Cassadagans did, since they were the hosts, after all, and all of Goita's new friends were there: Thea, Skip, Sage, Ricky, Daryl, Connor, and Jeremiah, the winner. Stacie Houston showed up not too much later with a few of her own teammates. Abdoulaye already had the TV on to hear the pre-match analysis as everyone began to chat and grab some food.

Les Licornes had won their opening world cup game, in which they faced Drawkland, a team they were pretty familiar with after having met them in the IAC a couple times. Drawkland had beaten Reçueçn in the IAC it had hosted, and then Reçueçn had beaten Drawkland in the IAC it had hosted, and now they made their record 2-1 with a victory in neutral territory. It had been a must-win match for the ÉNRF, since Drawkland was the only team in the group ranked lower than them. Reçueçn managed two goals and a shutout, which was encouraging, but not enough for any real hope since the two games that remained would be against the hosts, Mriin, but before them, the group's highest-ranked team, Cassadaigua, who had eliminated Reçueçn from the 83rd world cup the last time the two sides met.

Cassadaigua, meanwhile, had had a less glamorous first game in the world cup: playing the hosts, Mriin, they'd given up four goals while only scoring one of their own. Now they'd be leaving downtown Maal to come up to the Aerodrome (Les Licornes were getting no such change of scenery, most likely to their advantage). But there was no panic among the Dagans yet, just as the Reçuecians couldn't allow themselves to get cocky after a single win. A loss to the hosts was always excusable, even if the hosts were lower-ranked. Playing against the upstart Reçueçn, against whom the Fillies had easily won two years ago, would be the first of two chances at victory, and the Dagans could be excused for thinking that after playing Mriin, the rest of their schedule was low-hanging fruit. Reçueçn didn't seem to have improved too much since world cup 83: in 84 they'd been worse, and here in 85 they again looked ready to give a group-stage level performance—good for a nation as new to multiversal football as Reçueçn, but not enough to threaten the teams at the top.

The game started, and the drivers settled down to watch as they launched into their food. Abdoulaye snagged a seat next to Jeremiah and Stacie, who were sitting next to each other and laughing over something—Abdoulaye realized it was the amount of food Jeremiah had managed to balance on his plate. Cassadaigua began the game with possession, and began probing the Reçuecian defenses right away. Mattison sent a great through ball up to Schanke, who'd found her way through the Reçuecian back line to get on the end of the pass and send it hurtling low toward the net. A diving Firaut was just barely able to get his fingertips on it and deflect it onto the post. Cutrona managed to win the fight with Martin for the rebound and booted it clear in a panic. Reçueçn was looking shaky.

It was only a few minutes later that the Fillies got another breakaway. Sierra Mattison had the ball again and was sprinting down the sideline with only Raoul Lavigne struggling to stay on her tail. But just as it seemed Mattison was going to get away and take on Firaut one-on-one, she pulled up short and fell backward onto the ground, clutching the back of her thigh. Lavigne raised his hands in protest, thinking she had dove, and cried out in anger when the ref blew the whistle. But when he turned around he saw the look of pain on Sierra's face and leaned over to ask if she was okay.

A hush fell over the celebrants at the party watching the game as they say Lavigne kneel beside Mattison and then wave for the stretcher team. The Dagan midfielder was carried off the field with no hesitation as the crowd in the stadium grew quiet as well.

"Man, I hope she's okay," said Jeremiah.

"Yeah," said Abdoulaye. "I wonder what happened, she was just in a full-out sprint and then she collapsed, no one touched her."

The commentators were looking for answers too. "That looks like it could be a hamstring injury," said one as play resumed with Cassadaigua still a woman down. "Let's hope it's not, that would really hurt the Fillies' chances here at the world cup. Mattison is really the catalyst for their attack."

"I certainly hope it's not that serious," said the other commentator. It looked like she could've just had a nasty cramp in her quads there, and I'm hoping it's not as serious as anything to do with her hamstring just for her own sake, let alone the team's."

"If it was just a cramp I'd expect to see her on the sideline trying to walk it off, but it looks like they've carried her into the tunnel. It may just be a minor sprain though, or one of her muscles is a bit strained, it's hard to tell. After all, we're only speculating from up here in the booth."

At that moment the fourth official held up the signboard to notify that Mattison was being subbed off. Emma McKee would be going on for her.

"We are receiving word now that although Mattison has obviously hurt herself somehow and won't be playing the rest of the match, she's alright. I guess we'll find out exactly what happened after the game."

"Even if it's not a serious injury, it's still a major setback to the Fillies here in this game against Reçueçn. I'm sure they were planning to rely on Mattison: even in the first ten minutes we saw what she's capable of with that great almost-assist to Schanke. And now they've burned a substitution and it's only the 17th, 18th minute now. This game might be a lot more even than we expected."

Abdoulaye, listening to the announcers' voices, was saying a quick prayer that Mattison would be fine, that it would be nothing more than a cramp, and that they'd find out at half-time that what had happened was nothing serious. He didn't want the Cassadaiguan's injury to cast a shadow over the party. He wasn't quite sure what to say to Stacie: he almost felt like apologizing but he knew that would be kind of weird.

To his relief, the game picked right up again, although now it was a bit more of an even match and Cassadaigua didn't dominate quite so much as they had in the first fifteen minutes. Firaut still had the opportunity to get a couple more good saves in, but the midfield was beginning to push back onto the Fillies' half at halftime the game was still scoreless.

At halftime Jeremiah got up to get some more food. Before he'd taken some barbecue staples—a burger and some ribs—but now he loaded up with Chinese food. As he got up, he left Abdoulaye and Stacie sitting next to each other.

"Interesting game," said Stacie.

"It sure is," said Abdoulaye. "Who do you think's gonna win it?"

"I still think we got it," said Stacie.

"No way," laughed Abdoulaye.

"Soccer is a bit like NSSCRA, I think," said Stacie. "You might get beat up along the way, but it's not just about the first lap. You have to keep running the whole race if you want to win. The Fillies are tough, they won't drop out part way through."

"I hope you don't think you're any tougher than the Reçuecians," returned Abdoulaye. "We're just getting warmed up."

"Hey, hey, hey," said Jeremiah, returning with a plate full of noodles and rice. "All trash talk must be strictly NSSCRA related. No soccer rivalries allowed! Here, I brought enough food to share, you want some, Stacie?"

The beginning of the second half, however, seemed to demonstrate that although Stacie's point about endurance was right, this time it was actually the Reçuecians who were outlasting their opponents, just like Abdoulaye had said. Without their play-maker, the Fillies didn't have the same inspired attack they'd opened with, and as Les Licornes' defense solidified, they began to move forward, supporting their midfield further up the field and allowing Franky and Lebo to take more shots on goal.

Finally, in the 64th minute, the scoreless draw came to an end. Robert Chéreau, who had been subbed on for Raoul Lavigne, made it out of the corner past Katie Standish and juking past Kimberley Carson, took a shot that seemed destined for the side netting. Yet somehow it curled into the net, just out of reach of Kelsey Morgan's outstretched hand. And that, as always for the Reçuecians, was all they needed. Instantly, their defense fell back and consolidated. The attacks stopped. Reçueçn had won eight games one-nil just in the most recent world cup qualifiers. They knew exactly what to do in this situation, and it was what they did best.

As the night went on, the partiers continued to eat and drink, and the good vibes continued. The party returned to being a celebration of the NSSCRA one-two, rather than the watch-party that Abdoulaye had set it up to be, as the game grew more defensive and possession-based. In the last ten minutes it began again to return to the initial levels of excitement, as the Fillies, realizing that Reçueçn was about to take three points from them, began to desperately launch attacks. But when the whistle blew, it confirmed Reçueçn on six points in the group and Cassadaigua still on zero.

A week later, the last games of the group had finalized Reçueçn's advancement at the expense of Cassadaigua. Abdoulaye traveled back to Saint Kanye with the GFR team for the next race on the NSSCRA calendar. The Fillies' football team had also come to watch the race, now that they'd been eliminated. They were well rewarded; this time it was the other half of Stacemiah that took first place. Houston ran into Goita after the race. "Who needs the world cup if you can win NSSCRA?" she laughed. Goita laughed too. No Reçuecian would ever be winning NSSCRA—he'd have to content himself with a 1-0 revenge match over the team that had eliminated Reçueçn from its only attempt at the world cup knockouts.
Last edited by Recuecn on Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Farfadillis » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:32 pm

Today I cut off with the machete.
The Outlandish Lands of Farfadillis Ӿ Population: 20,814,000 ± 11,186,000
Capital: not applicable Ӿ Demonym: Farf, plural Farves Ӿ FFL Results by Season Ӿ How to get any WA Category Ӿ Map of Farfadillis Ӿ Name Generator

Champions: World Cup 84 and AOCAF Cups 43, 48 and 57
Hosts: World Cup 85, Baptisms of Fire 54 and 68 and AOCAF Cups 38 and 60

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:52 am

Twitted - the imperial social media network

Holy Empire Football Association

Holy Empire extends amazing record of most Round of 16 losses by any team in @World Cup history! A mighty 20! A record that will take some beating! Congrats to @Sir Barsy and the whole team!

#WC85 #R16-20! #MakeLemonsFromLemonade #SirBarsyIsHot #SayNoToCocoaBo
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:13 pm

(OOC: Juan Tzimisces used with AIF's gracious permission, thank you!)

Allison Munshi was in her element. She was one of a very small number of Zwangzugians who had experience dealing with the Holy Empire's bureaucracy. Even better, she had gotten the blessing of CAMOUFLAGE* to use their slightly more uncoventional formatting in exchange for helping them come up with a pithy acronym.

"Mr. Tzimisces," she said brightly, "while the Independent Cocoa-Bo Commission's findings were quite thorough, are you concerned about their limited sample sizes?"

"Not really," said Juan Tzimisces, who seemed to want to get back to the business of preparing for a second-round World Cup match.

"I mean, given that the nation of Petroslovania no longer exists, it would be hard to replicate those test subjects' data. Does that worry you?"

"On a long enough timescale, most trifling mundy associations cease to be, can we discuss football?"

"And the study mentioned 'Immortal Starblaydi humans now residing permanently in the Dreamed Realm,' does that cohort have a sample size greater than one? Because while I'm aware of your assistant coach's exploits, if your nation has made a habit of granting asylum to self-proclaimed virtuosi seeking respite from the mortal realm, that's the kind of thing that should be documented."

"Well, look," began Tzimisces patiently.

The remainder of the sentence was interrupted by a shrill "bleeeeeeeep youuuuuuuu."

"Er," said Munshi. "I'll just--"

"That is not the kind of bleeping thing that should be bleeping documented," raged Sydney Stefred, "that is the thing that should be bleeping stopped, just because your head is up your bleeping rear doesn't give you the right to bleeping defect into bleeping alternate dimensions to bleeping cheat death. Nor should you be bleeping enabling it. Furthermore, the bleeping documenters need to get some bleeping perspective and focus on the bleeping game on the bleeping field, which--"

Chevanthi and Randall, panting, appeared in her wake. "Pardon our azertienne**," Randall said. "I mean, she kind of has a point, but there are better ways to express it."

"Come on, Syd," said Chevanthi, "we can't have you getting sent off in the first minute, this game's gonna be hard enough eleven-a-side."

Sydney, with obvious reluctance, let the others haul her back to their clubhouse. Munshi, a little sheepish, hastily wrapped up the interview.

The Arlington Moon-Tribune

Emperor Boston of Bostopia gave a state funeral to the Field Marshal Deciduous Leaf that had saved his life. Cafundelense commentatorrrrr Brrrrrreno Gavião drrrrrew out his consonants in the opposite of ourrrrr own norrrrrtheasterrrrrn accents. Candelariasian MP Lyndon Hernández was officially declared dead after falling from a large building, although who really ever knew with that guy. The Imperial Football Association of Daehanjeiguk publicly endorsed the hosting bid of Vephrall and Valanora, who would soon be declared cohosts of the following tournament. The communists of Sorthern Northland refused to pay taxes in notoriously mercantile Cafundéu. Prince Sebard***, from Yafor 2's Golden Wolves, got engaged to Audrey Deguela, the sister of his longtime friend and clubmate Brendan.

For some of our readers, the names and the events of those knockouts will be ancient history. For others, you will feel like you know them well, because that history is yours. The World Cup 42 final was perhaps not the most well-played game of football ever, nor the most unexpected result. But it was our nation's fatídico, for good and ill.

Now? More World Cups have been played since that night in Lasft than had come before it--and certainly more intense qualifiers with higher standards of play. It put Zwangzug in the uncomfortable position of being both lovable underdogs and ancient has-beens, from the perspective of neutral fans. (Admittedly, playing against The Holy Empire is a good way to taper that second perspective.)

With all that as prelude, Brandon Sonnabend's job may have been just getting his players to focus and play their own game. Sonnabend is a pragmatist, though, and just because an attacking approach brought him success in Bassabook doesn't mean he had problems adapting to this team, or revisiting the lone-striker setup. Zwangzug were able to bear down and control the defense, gradually becoming more confident as the first half continued.

Johan Idmar would open the scoring off a crisp pass from Ione Friede twenty-four minutes in. Shortly after, an Edwin Cherenkov-Nguyen free kick fell for Satenik Banach to deflect. The Imperial side looked to take control of a very crowded midfield, but their captain, Sir Barsanuphius, was hampered by playing in a suit of armor that must have been sweltering in the Kruviš jungle climate. Despite this, Pedro Metochites was able to link up with Alexander Ceraluso after a long pass that evaded the midfield cluster entirely, and Ceraluso got his side on the board before the half was out.

But the second half would open with a booming Joshua Twoni goal, and from then on, Zwangzug appeared in command. Jose Sphrantzes converted a Miguel Tzanicites pass near the hour mark, but that was answered by another fine chip from Twoni. Conspiracy theorists took a break from debating the merits of Cocoa-bo to suggest that a Twoni brace, two other goals from Zwangzug, and Sphrantzes getting on the board for the Holy Empire was almost exactly what had been predicted by a Hinode computer program, albeit for the final.**** Whether the real-life equivalent was "a clash of equals," "a duel of talents," and/or "a game to remember" in part remains to be seen, but it certainly made the statement that Zwangzug can hang with anyone.

It didn't really take a computer game to predict that Twoni might be a breakout player, though; anyone who's watched his domestic form knows what he's capable of. Actually, it's been a pretty impressive couple days for all three of our local side's national teamers. Besides Twoni, little Riley Kivrin scored the impressive fourth goal to tie Farfadillis and advance to the knockouts. And Sydney Stefred made it through ninety minutes against the "old farts" of the Holy Empire, only drawing one yellow card in the process, which for her is an achievement.

Some say Arlington is a better picture of the nation in miniature than any other city, all of which have their own quirks. We shouldn't push this metaphor too far, but it's worth considering that Arlington City, the club, were MUFN champions in the World Cup 41 cycle, keyed by a local star***** who didn't even consider the national team because of their goalkeeping...problems. When the league resumed, we were rubbish, spending eleven consecutive seasons in the bottom two. And then, randomness being what it is, we gradually stopped being rubbish. There was Cereal Cup success and a VCI run. And since around the time of Stefred's "shut up and pass" goal in Cup of Harmony 74, Arlington has won two 1./ titles, a Cereal Cup, and a Taça das Confederações. With all the history that could weigh on us, sometimes it helps to have someone who isn't afraid to push back.******

*Candelaria And Marquez Organization of Users of Footnotes, Lists, and Alternate General Esoterica

**or Gallophone, if you're Omerica

***His given name. Not a title of monarchy. I think.

****Zwangzug drew with Banija in that simulation's group stage, but that doesn't really help predict the quarterfinal.

*****Kai Masson.

******It's not all football and old forum archives, of course. We also have lots of baseball fans. And a very robust skyway system. And Union Station and Wilson Station, both of which provide high-speed intercity transit as part of our nation's excellent system of rail lines. And, like the rest of the country, a bunch of stoic, occasionally self-sacrificing but mostly empathy-skeptical people who do their best so that, if four of them should die in one go, it'd be something to honor but not dwell on, that'd be weird.

But then, you knew that.
Last edited by Zwangzug on Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:00 pm

OOC Note: Parts of RP regarding missing Vilitan players written with the explicit consent of both Vilita and Farfadillis.


Banijans down world number one Vilita to advance to third consecutive World Cup Quarterfinal

Banijans celebrate Gitonga Kahara's(#11) opening goal of their World Cup tie against Vilita

Fröndt, FARFADILLIS- The Round of 16. A matchup between two opponents who are quickly becoming familiar with each other. This was the third World Cup meeting between the two sides. The five-time World Champions, who have won three World Cups since 77, in the midst of one of the greatest dynasties this sport has ever seen, and the Banijans, who have come up fast and strong, furiously trying to drive through the gated fence straight into the permanent upper echelons of this sport.

A lot on the line. There's quite a bit of history between the two nations at the World Cup. One of a few nations whom we have faced at the World Cup Finals on three separate occasions, the other being Pasarga. In our first ever World Cup, we played them in the group stages of World Cup 80. Following a highly emotional World Cup opener against Equestria, a nation we were literally at war with, we played Vilita. We needed at least a point, or we would be eliminated. It would be the Vilitans who would down us on the major occasion, as we would fall three goals to two and be eliminated from our first ever World Cup.

World Cup 83 the two sides met under drastically different circumstances. Vilita had come out firing, and won both World Cup 81 and World Cup 82. They were looking to become the first nation since the 20s to get a threepeat of World Cup victories, and also be the first nation, ahead of Starblaydia, ahead of Valanora, to earn the coveted sixth trophy. No nation has ever won the World Cup six times. The Banijans were in drastically different circumstances as well. On home soil, we had won our group with 7 points, and beaten South Covello on penalties in the Round of 16 to advance to our first ever World Cup Quarterfinal. And this was at a raucous Mavuto Field in Hoima. And, shockingly, we dropped them by three goals to two to send the Vilitans home early.

Was the dynasty dead? Not quite. They'd go back to the final of World Cup 84, but they'd eventually fall on penalties to current co-hosts Farfadillis. And they were looking to make a deep run here. But they have encountered a number of challenges in their chase for 6. Specifically, the case of their missing players. Mako Canopii, Vernasa Sanamun, Hanauma Ranbomahi, Cavuna Aquafek, and Tenziki Kulakao. Three goalkeepers, a midfielder, and a striker. Missing, entirely. No word on where they went or how they are, and heading into the match, there was no word.

Just moments before the match started, however, there was a stunning scene. Vernasa Sanamun, one of the top level goalkeepers for the Vilitans, came stumbling through the crowd and fell, face first, onto the field, right behind the Vilitan bench. IT was a wild scene. He was in the midst of being hauled off by security, as a Vilitan assistant coach demanded that the security guard let him go. All of the bench and half of the starting XI, who were just about to kick off, had ran over to their comrade. His face, while all stung up, presumably from the flygande manete, was battered, but it was recognizeable. How he got into the stadium, into the crowd of all places? No idea. The Vilitans were visibly shaken.

But the referee ordered them back onto the pitch. The match must go on, right? And although they had to be quite in a right state mentally, the world number ones had an even bigger challenge in front of them. They just saw one of their brothers come back, who had been missing for nearly a week, literally seconds ago, and then had to then turn around and play a World Cup match. Surely there will be criticism of the WCC and FFFF for this decision-making after the match, but who cares about that now? For the first five minutes, the Vilitans came out racing, seemingly inspired.

But just as quickly as that energy started, it went away. All of them were having their ability to focus on the game at hand challenged, and thanks to that, the Banijans were having a romper of a first half. WE'd been struggling for a number of consecutive games, but thanks to opponents whose minds were elsewhere, we were having a banger of a first half. Ugonna had the first real opportunity for the Banijans, forcing a save from Virahat in the 8th minute. And the Banijans kept pushing forward, as again, Nzo and Uche, for the first time in a while, looked like a lethal combination in the center of the pitch.

The Kadongo Kamu were knocking on the door, and in the 22nd minute, we would burst that door open. A corner kick at the Den Mytologiska Maneter would burst the game wide open. The ball was swung overhead, towards the far post. With their first and second choice goalkeepers not in the match, the Vilitans had an error prone goalkeeper in the back. VIrahat went up for the ball, but unfortunately for him, missed. His fist swung and hit nothing but air, and that left a wide open Kuma Bultum on the back post. The Galactico headed home powerfully, and all of a sudden, it was 1-0 to the Banijans.

The Banijans would not be done scoring in the first half. In the 35th minute, we'd put another one into the back of the net. This time, it was a brilliant through ball by Namakula Kawesa that had unlocked the Vilitan defense, and put the Banijans in on goal. When the goalkeeper came out to challenge Ugonna, he made the unselfish play, and put the ball on the ground towards the middle. The captain was outpacing the field, and he slid to hit the ball into an empty net and give the Banijans, who were suddenly roaring to life, a sudden 2-0 lead.

The Vilitans were on their back heel. Down 2-0, against a side coming as aggressively at them as nobody had in years. And the Banijans would be lookign to make it 3-0, but we simply could not. A long shot from Gitonga Kahara was curled almost into the corner, but Virahat got his fingertips to the ball to just barely push it past the net. Virahat almost had another stunning error, as a Jawara header was fumbled behind him, but Jirak Trikala cleared the ball off of the back line, just barely saving the world number ones from a 3-0 halftime deficit.

It would be 2-0 going into the break. The Banijans well on their way. But the Vilitans haven't spent over a decade at number one because they roll over when things get tough. Nope. They made two substitutions- they brought on Inbekira Ajhabekk and Cywrenta Vlintejni, for Linkat Cjinder and Jyuola Mtalata, respectively. And it was truly a tale of two halves for the world numbers ones. They showed why many considered them to be pre-tournament favorites when they started out in the second half. Lesser teams may have rolled over, and let the Banijans scored a couple of more goals. But not Vilita.

The standard is so high in the country. The talent level. The work ethic. The organization. The chemistry. And they always seem to peak at the right time. It's why they are such a tough out at a World Cup. They came and absolutely blitzed Banija. In the first minute of the half, It would be Milaaso, who scored against Banija back in World Cup 80, who would put an effort on goal. While saved in the 46th minute by Tantoh, it was clear- they meant business. Polaox Torerun, who also played against Banija back in World Cup 80, got the Vilitans on the board in the 64th minute. A header on the back post after a free kick put them on the board, and the Banijans started getting nervous. Could we hold?

The Vilitans then started furiously attacking. We'd try to get them on the counter- but for whatever reason or another, we could not put them away. They could sustain possession, and get a good opportunity on goal, repeatedly. Tantoh had to stand tall, and make all sorts of saves. And that he did. To beat Vilita, you've got to have good individual performances. Just as Lemuel Bereket, in World Cup 83, saved a penalty against Vilita, it would be Francois Tantoh standing tall against the Vilitan onslaught. He made five diving saves in the second half- in the 57th, 72nd, 77th, 81st, and 88th.

The last chance for the world number ones came in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. A corner kick. Everybody in the box. Milaaso rose above the crowd and headed powerfully. Tantoh couldn't get there. But a leaping Kuma Bultum cleared it off the line with his head, and Fekati Abdi was able to clear the rebound. A minute later, the final whistle would blow. Shocking. Stunning. It may be the final death knell of the current Vilitan dynasty- their earliest World Cup elimination since 79, and it may be the first time since World Cup 80 where Vilita doesn't end a World Cup as the #1 overall team in the KPB rankings.

What a win it was for the Banijans! There were upsets elsewhere, as well. The Zwangzuggers beat The Holy Empire by a score of 4-2, so the two teams who met at the end of the group stage in World Cup 84, will meet for a birth in the World Cup 85 Semifinals. They'll play at La Snerra in the former Farf capitol- capacity of 100,000, but 80% of that standing room only. That'll be fun. What a run for Zwangzug. Last time around, they lost all three group games in a group with Farfadillis, Banija, and HUElavia. This time around, they beat HUElavia and had a 4-4 draw with Farfadillis to knock out the hosts and holders. Now, they've got a legitimate opportunity to beat another World Cup 84 opponent.

We'll preview that match later on. Now, let's go back to the humanitarian issue. What in the world had happened to Vernasa Sanamun? There were no answers after the match. But in the middle of the night, just before we went to print, the FFFF had put out a lengthy press release explaining just exactly what had happened. Rather than make you read the PR directly, we'll summarize for you.

Essentially, it turns out that Vernasa Sanamun and the other missing players(Mako Canopii, Hanauma Ranbomahi, Cavuna Aquafek, and Tenziki Kulakao) had all gone, the night before Matchday 3, to a local bar in Kruviš to play against the Banijans. They had been involved in some underground gambling, and when they didn't have cash funds to pay debts they had racked up, all hell had broke loose. They got into a fistfight, and then they had gotten kidnapped.

The kidnappers had driven themselves to be just outside the city of Fröndt. That is where it all gets mushy. According to the FFFF, it looked as if they were trying to collect some sort of ransom for the footballers. That was when Vernasa Sanamum had escaped on the day of the match, had gotten himself into the stadium(without a ticket), and then had made his way through the Vilitan fan section all the way onto the field. Even though he had been stung a bunch of times(he didn't have any jellyfish repellant on him) he had been able to make his way to the field.

This is where the story gets crazier. The FFFF then says that Sanamum remembered how he had gotten to the stadium. After getting on the phone with the FFFF, the FFFF had decided to rapidly hire a team of Farf mercenaries to rescue the other four players. They moved quickly, considering the fact that the captors may have fled. The mercenaries apparently went in, heavily armed, to rescue the Vilitan players. No words on the size of these forces, who they were, or if there were any casualties. However, the FFFF said the remaining four players were in stable condition, and none of them had faced any career-threatening injuries.

The craziness of a Farfadillis World Cup. The Banijan government could not be reached for comment, although one unauthorized source said that it'd be the 'height of being hypocritical' if the Banijans criticized a country they had just nuked. Which, fair. We'll see you in Ferdullaele for the World Cup Quarterfinals!
President of the World Cup Committee and the World Cup of Hockey Federation. Back to Back defending IBC champions.
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Free Republics
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Postby Free Republics » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:09 pm

For the third time in this World Cup, the Republican National Team entered La Gran Avenida with an army of their fans. This time around, they faced a defensive-minded Ko-oren team and the Dragonflies would set the pace of the match. The match remained scoreless for over 70 minutes. When Faith Marshall finally put one past Perry Cholmondeley shortly after she came on as a substitute, the Republican fans erupted in a spontaneous performance of Rule Theriault "Rule Theriault! Theriault rules the world! Republicans never, never, never will be vanquished."

Just a few minutes later, the Republicans would get another prime scoring opportunity. Love Holm's shot would hit the post but bounce back right at Johnny Smith. Smith's shot was on the ground and hit with so much force that it bounced off the hands of Cholmondeley and into the back of the net for the second Republican goal. The Republicans in the crowd erupted into another performance of their fight song. "To us belongs the World Cup. Our cities will in victory shine. All our players will be legends eternal, and every stadium where we play, ours." At that point, everybody in the stadium knew the match was over. Ko-oren was not built to score 2 goals in 10-15 minutes. While Ko-oren would get a few chances at the Republican net, in the end the final score would be 2 goals to nil and it would be Rule Theriault addressing the crowd.

Rule Theriault - And now we have taken down yet another Atlantian Oceania nation and kicked down the door to the Quarterfinals. Ko-oren put up a good fight but the reality is that there are 4 things that are inevitable in this multiverse: Firstly, we will all die. Secondly, we will all pay taxes. Thirdly, Ko-oren will always lose in the Round of 16 at the World Cup. Fourth and finally, the Federation of Free Republics will always win in the Round of 16! Next up for us is the team we beat in the third place match four years ago. I'm sure you're all familiar with Turori. We beat them 2 goals to 1. They're not going to be an easy opponent for us but we'll be playing them in La Fantás, a stadium where part of the stands are on fire. That's fitting because we're also on fire right now!

That line brought a standing ovation from the Republicans in the crowd.

Rule Theriault - This was not our first win or our second win but our third win of this World Cup! As we need to win 3 more times to lift the trophy, we can now say that we are halfway there but we are definitely not living on a prayer! We are back in the quarterfinals for the first time in 4 years. Who would have predicted that after we struggled so much in qualifying this year? Not too long ago, they were saying that we were done and some were even predicting that we wouldn't be back at all for next year's World Cup!

That got loud boos.

Rule Theriault - Well, I have only one thing to say to those people: Your doubts motivate us. Your dismissals of our victories as a fluke motivate us. Your predictions of our demise motivate us. And now we are more motivated than ever. I hope all of you can join us over in Ferdullaele to see us take on Turori. I make no guarantees but we're not going to lie down for them!

Sister Polus's Thoughts

Hello and welcome to Sister Polus's Thoughts. I am Sister Maria Polus of the Ecumenical Coalition for Morality. Today, I am broadcasting from my WOLF News studio in Republica.

Unfortunately, Valentin Svensson was eliminated in the second round of the consul election which leaves Nova Hancock and Samuel Izmailov as the remaining candidates. I'm sure my viewers are waiting to hear whom I will be voting for in the 3rd and final round. I have decided to boycott the 3rd round of the election as I deem both candidates equally unfit to hold the office they are running for! I encourage each of my viewers to make up their own mind, after praying on it and discussing it with their priest.

Lately, I have been busy as an educator in meetings with leaders from the Taiyouese and Ciqian communities. They have been particularly reluctant to send their children to school recently because of the discrimination that they face due to their choice to wear face coverings to protect themselves from the Sherpa virus. After discussing the matter with them, I have come to understand their point of view. Face masks reduce the likelihood that you will catch the Sherpa virus or influenza or the common cold or seasonal allergies and they wish to avoid becoming ill.

In the Book of Lucas, chapter 4, verse 40 it says that Iesus Christus laid hands on a multitude of sick people with diverse diseases and healed them. And then devils came out of many of them. Thus, I have come to understand that what the scientists call "viruses" are actually demons and that wearing a face covering while in public can protect oneself from demonic possession. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to wear face coverings as much as possible.

I now believe that the lawsuit against Burger Czar, in which I won the right to wear the head covering in public as mandated by my faith, was part of God's Plan to open the hearts of the Taiyouese and Ciqian communities to the good news of Iesus Christus. Many of them have gone out of their way to thank me as I've been out walking around Republica and I have been able to convince many of them to join the True Church. I have also spoken with many priests from the True Church who have agreed to start recommending the use of face masks going forward to protect against these demons that are called viruses.

I am also ready to announce that the ECM schools will be mandating the wearing of face coverings where appropriate going forward as part of their uniforms and that we will be providing the face coverings for free to all students just as we currently provide appropriate head coverings to our young ladies. I believe that it is important for all of us to do what we can to stop the spread of viruses. To do otherwise is immoral.

The actions of Senator Izmailov's "Blueshirts" who have assaulted many Taiyouese and Ciqian Republicans for wearing face coverings are disqualifying in my opinion since the Senator has refused to condemn the violence of his street thugs. This is ultimately why I have decided to sit out the 3rd round of the election rather than vote as I deem both candidates wholly unfit to hold the office they are seeking.
Why I left NS Sports
World Cup 85 Champions
1st: DBC 28, X Winter Olympics, Independents Cup 4, CoH 66, WBC 46, World Bowl XXXVIII, World Cup 85
2nd: World Cup 68, DBC 27, U15WC 8, UWCFA Gold Cup I, BoI 15, 2nd Imperial Chap Olympiad, NSCF 11
Host: World Cups 68 & 81, CoH 58, Games of XIII Olympiad, X Winter Olympics, World Bowls XXII, XXXI & XXXVIII, WBCs 42 & 46, RUWC 25
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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:26 am

© Sporting Times Daily 2020
Commonwealth break through to Last 8
by Mindy Cartwright, National Soccer Editor

This one was going to be different. They couldn't just walk empty handed again after four matches, just like all the previous occasions when they had advanced from the group stage.

Over time, one of the quietly discussed aspects about the ascent of Baker Park from newcomers to a spot just outside of the Top 10 and having a successful co-hosting role for World Cup 84 has been how for all the ability, talent, and performances, they have an extremely poor record against other teams in the Top 10, at least in the World Cup; there's also the fact that they have almost no history at all against a few of the sport's main players.

The match against Eura was the first ever meeting, and this fixture against Starblaydia would only be the second time the sides have faced off, the first in a competitive match. They have met Nephara 3 times--all losses--and The Holy Empire just once, and have split a pair games against Vilita, but never faced Turori independently.
They can rightfully say they are the 3rd best squad in Atlantian Oceania by ranking, but even they know that's a bit skewed.

So as the teams walked onto the pitch at Dockside in Hosingr--the Starblaydis in their traditional all white, Baker Park in the gold shirts, and black shorts they've worn throughout the cycle, the early evening sun still shining down--it wouldn't have been unfair to say that this might be the easiest match to handicap of the four Mriin half fixtures.

During the coin toss, Captain Derick Briggs made the choice to defend the south goal in the first half, which was opposite of the alignment of the benches & supporters; this forced the Starblaydi defense to look into the sun for approximately 25 minutes of the first half, as well as to swap ends of the pitch just as they were preparing the Raiigar, their traditional war dance ritual.

The BP squad stayed in their huddle, as Ichi Tuzzio, Friekder Dandalleion, and Tony Weiss continued to go over instructions. There were three changes to the lineup from the draw against Eura--Junior Ngoba on right wing, with Tyrek Jones & Missy Tilton up front.

From the kickoff, it was clear that the Bees weren't going to sat idly by while the opponents dictated play, and the three new faces in the lineup were a key to the Farve style forward assault. Ngoba pushed up on Apollo, while Tilton took up space that forced one of the center-halves to pay careful attention; on the left, Callum, Westmoreland and Jones were playing a similar cat & mouse game with Al-Hashem and Kaumolainen, and this left Ortiz to have to deal with Bozeman and Taborn.

The Starblaydis were under a lot of pressure in their own third, as BP continued to take advantage of having the numbers advantage in midfield; Ázëwyn Fëanáro was forced to have Sarviva and Apelles drop deeper to support the defense, which meant that any possible counter attacks would require the forward trio to come a long way to show for the ball.

A certain amount of equilibrium was restored after the first 14-16 minutes, with more possession for the team in white and a bit more confidence. The lethal aspect of the attack struck home on 22 minutes when Velasquez slid the ball past Gordon, but the assistant referee raised the flag, and VAR confirmed the 24th victim of the offside trap here at the Finals.

A few minutes later, the one way traffic picked up again; from a routine throw in on the right near the halfway line, Taborn skipped past a challenge from Apelles and a moment of indecision by Renatovic when both Tilton and Bozeman crossed his face meant the BP midfielder had an extra moment for another touch, he blasted the shot to the far post with his left foot just wide. From the ensuing goal kick, the Starblaydi defense was under pressure again, Callum & Westmoreland gaining 7-10 yards against the fullback with every touch and run exchange that was knocked out of play. A minute later, a foul on Westmoreland gave BP a free kick from 23 yards away, Callum running through on a dummy with AB quickly pushing the ball towards Bozeman, who sees Jones, and makes no mistake to the low near corner. 34 minutes in and it's 1-0, and then almost 2-0 less than 2 minutes later, with Bozeman blazing one over from 25.

Just 11 minutes into the second half, Sutter McCloud gets the first legitimate scoring opportunity the five time World Champs have had all night, making no mistake beating Gordon to the far post. Tied 1-1 with a little more than half an hour in regulation time, Tuzzio brings on Jessica LeClair, the hero off the bench in the previous match, in place of Tilton; the shape of the side takes on what was normally dubbed "the sidesaddle" under Pam Scott, with one half of the midfield playing further forward and tighter than the other.

As the minutes elapse much too rapidly for Starblaydia's hopes, Maestro Tuzzio sends 4 subs to start warming up, while Fëanáro brings on Marcus Jimenez for an ineffectual Roshanak. At the whistle for regulation time, the body language of Starblaydi XI doesn't seem very confident about 30 more minutes. Conversely, the Bees almost seem like they've already won, and the minutes prior to the kickoff for extra time are increasingly dominated by the senior playing squad--Briggs, Vasillias, Stephens Westmoreland, Bozeman, Taborn--exhorting the others.

Briggs again chooses to attack from south to north in the first extra period, Jake Deangelo comes on for Saraviva and there is almost an exact repeat of the opening minutes of the match; the Bees close in on anyone with the ball in Starblaydia half of the pitch, while another important factor continues to be self-evident: the Commonwealth have won nearly 2 of every 3 headed balls over the course of the contest, as they are on average 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches taller than these opponents across the board.

But the turning point was so sudden, it caused many of us in the media boxes to look at one another just to confirm it actually happened; Taborn once again exerted his physical presence in close quarters, winning a 50/50 ball against the sub Deangelo, then spotting Callum (!) who had drifted to the right side, playing her into a gap from where she flicked the ball on to Bozeman, who one-timed it into the net past Leopoldi, caught slightly out of position.
The nearly 13,000 BP supporters behind the goal exploded, Bozeman running to the corner flag, raising both arms above his head, then tugging the crest on his jersey.

Officially recorded in the 95th minute, now the Commonwealth had to hold out for another 25 against one of the best teams in the world.
Fëanáro is now forced to push everyone forward, Alan Eccleston on for Ortiz, so it's a 4-2-4, and Tuzzio introduces Sotolongo, replacing Taborn, and Fernandez coming in for Ngoba; when the formation settles itself out, a narrow 5-3-2 looks so unnatural, both for a BP national team and an Ichi Tuzzio side.

The BP defense sent every ball they gained possession of far down towards the opposite goal line; time and again, play either was restarted by a goal kick, or by a Starblaydi player running 25-40 yards back to retrieve the ball. Following the switch of ends for the final 15 minutes, the crowd behind the goal kept up a non-stop medley of chants, songs, and encouragement.
Another weapon put to use in extra time was cheap fouls; the women especially took pride in giving away a petty infraction in the middle third of the pitch, although they didn't go the extremes used in the AOCAF against Muridil.

The last exclamation point on one of the most famous victories in the history of the Baker Park National Team came with a few minutes left in the second extra time period, from the player who has made extra time her personal playground showed her flair for the dramatic. Westmoreland saw a gap and let out a shrill scream, Sotolongo leading her into a gap where she advanced on Leopoldi, made him commit early and then stepped around and rolled the ball into the net; her celebration in front of opposing fans included a quick turning of her back and pointing to her name and number.

The final whistle brought scenes close to those displayed in victories over Vilita & Turori and Equestria in the AOCAF.
AOCAF LXII Champions
2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF LVIII (co-hosts), LX Third Place
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84/86 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
AOBC 5 Champions
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions

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WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33/35 Quarterfinal
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:35 am

Mriin 2 - 3 Nephara
(4-4-2) 1 - Mercator; 2 - Stride (18 - Longship 60'), 5 - Thorn, 6 - Brosch (22 - Lockheed 85'), 3 - Close (c); 13 - Saroszi (7 - Kuepper 73'), 21 - Moxham, 4 - Shone, 16 - Deventer; 9 - Bastable, 23 - Lovelace
Goals: Moxham 16', Lovelace 33', Bastable 51'

Strauss was under pressure, but that wasn't the story for long. It was sidelined forcefully the moment the squad selection was released.
Three changes had been made.
One would've been expected by anyone. Chimera Moxham was back from her suspension from punching a guy.'
Another was a little unexpected, but fairly intuitive. Aristide Metzger had been indifferent through the first three matches, and was in any case reliant on an edge of strength that was unlikely to ever arrive against satyrs. Konrad Lovelace, though carrying a certain rawboned muscle, was faster and fresher.
And the last! The last, though! Well! It was unthinkable! You didn't just drop Rowena Strongbow from a crunch match!
It was bold. It made a certain amount of intuitive sense, too; Strongbow wasn't getting any younger, and Deventer was faster in any case. Besides, as Brinemouth's winger, she was hardly a slouch. But she wasn't the best winger Nephara had ever produced. Strongbow was.
People might not have agreed, but the narrative had been seized. No longer was it about Strauss' head on the chopping block; now it was whether her gambit would pay off.
At least she had the chance.

As far as a human side went, the Cormorants could afford to tangle with the satyrs. But a human side didn't go far. Pace and guile would have to be their watch-words, though it took some time for the lesson to bed in.
So the early notes were predictable. Mriin elbows in Nepharan faces, Nepharan studs in Mriin ankles. The Cormorans were not quite giving as good as they got ;a cross from Levaani found Silanii on the edge of the area and a header flashed across the face of goal, but ultimately not on target. Mercator started shouting.
Chimera Moxham knew early on that Malia Yonen had been given a single key role, above all; to destroy her. Staying away from the hulking male Tevainen was also a priority. She was, however, faster than either of them. Faster than any of them.
Tawny Shone knew she could release her with the right ball, but hands were full. Specifically, of Otalia Kasmiir's shirt, and what she was claiming was a love handle as she snarled threats into her shoulder. Kasmiir was in promising space and shifted her weight, practically tossing Shone like a rag-doll, but the bitty Moth kept on, and managed to stick out a boot in the way of the pass, sending it skimming to nowhere.
Ilyana Brosch picked it up, striding out of defence, and kept on striding after a nervous glance around her. She was travelling into familiar ground here; she was Kasmiir's club teammate, and she'd been Yonen's. "Hi, Kas," she said cheerfully as she turned to evade the challenge, hips ground against each other, turning away, seeing her options left. Another Brinemouth teammate, Close, was on the march. She sent it to his feet, he looked up, hooked a pass forward that scythed through the Mriin midfield and yeeeesssssssss...
Moxham was here, on the ball, forward momentum, on the warpath. She raced past Yonen, hurdling the obligatory challenge, kept Tia Mor in her dust, continued to gently angle to the left as she ran, Jaan hesitated as Moxham slowed in front of him, teasing little smile on her face, and they both knew she'd just jink the ball away if he committed, but it was right there for the taking and then it was dragged between his feet, another deft little hurdle, left foot on the ball, right skids a little, Bruun's on her blindside, Lovelace's calling for the pass, fuck that, she went for it, almost sliding the ball underneath Eduun's arms as the Stallions keeper came out, despairing, to try and close her down.
Rest assured her celebration made the most of it, racing across the fans at the other end. Those all around, actually. She'd take 'em all on!

"Show some class, you cunt!" Moxham bellowed twelve minutes later. Mriin were level; Silanii had knocked down a cross from Bruun, Tali'raia had deftly flicked the ball into the path of Kasmiir as she surged forward, this time got the better of Brosch and powered past Mercator, and now it was her turn to make the most of her time in front of the away end.
"We'll respond on the scoreboard," said Konrad Lovelace blandly. It was the kind of person he'd become. Some people need to be shaken up by a move abroad, to learn and grow; in Lovelace's care, national stereotypes had helped. Everyone expected Nepharim to be strong, tough, pugnacious! So, well, that's what he'd become. Albeit a rather Type B form; one who wouldn't start a bar fight, but win it by pulling a knife.
Lovelace was a cutter of Gordian knots, and he planned to do the same here. He was fast. Satyrs were slow. And he was sure if he just lurked in the blindside long enough...
It didn't take long for his chance to come. Deventer, loitering warily on the edge of the box, flashed a low cross across the face of goal, Lovelace dashed inside Jaan and instinctively flicked at the ball. It wasn't quite a backheel, or a flick, or really elegant in any way, but it was enough to bundle the ball past Eduun. That was enough for 2-1.
Nephara could sit on that for a time. Both sides sharpened up at the back; Moxham and Deventer both tried their luck from distance, but failed to hit the target. The impetus was on Mriin, and the home crowd behind them. Here was Kasmiir, striding confidently forward, Shone harrying her-- oh, get up! Don't fall just because there's a boot through your ankle!
Shone escaped the booking, somehow - the crowd was unhappy with that, but they'd get over it. Just as Kasmiir's free kick would get over the wall, past Mercator, slam into the underside of the crossbar and bounce - just - the fair side of the goalline.
Mercator could enjoy her good fortune for about a tenth of a second before Tali'raia steamed in and bundled home the rebound, Brosch dragged along in her wake. The hosts had their equaliser, Brosch had grass burns on her thigh, and both Strauss and Tailtiu Brennan had half-time speeches to rewrite.

"Are you sure it was enough?"
Strauss shrugged at her assistant's question. "When you're getting chased like that, you just need your mind cleared. Just reminded of how good they are, how if they just reset and play like they're capable of they'll put the game to rest..."
"Yeah? Didn't want a bollocking for conceding twice in a half?"
"Yeah, well, we'll call that Plan B, Monica."
That lesson would prove unnecessary. The second half started tight, with the Cormorants calmer on the ball and backing themselves to play their way out of trouble... within limits. Admittedly, Stride got a little too cute as Tevainen pressed forward, allowed the winger too close, and sent her clearance into his knee. The ball bounced sadly towards Mercator, who had a good long time to glare at Stride before scooping up the ball.
It was an ignominious way to regain possession, but it lead to something good. Mercator hurled the ball down the left, snubbing Stride. Close took it on the chest, looked up, trotted forward. To Shone. To Deventer. To Moxham and then, before the Mriin defence could react, up towards Bastable. The stocky forward took it well, trapped it neatly, but Jaan was on his back, but Saroszi was coming across. Bastable fed them; they returned the favour and they were already turning Jaan, already slowing, already letting the ball fall neatly into their stride before fucking leathering it into the top corner.
Technically, it was past Eduun's near post. But who could blame her?

Valeri Longship was on edge.
That wasn't easy. She knew edge intimately, having been involved in a couple of street stabbings in her time. But that was another life, now; she'd arrived on the hour to relieve Rovena Stride, and right across from her, towering over her, was Solara Vol.
She'd faced Vol before; you didn't tend to forget when the Moths' striker came steaming in. Marking her was generally other peoples' job, but it wasn't that simple. As a rightback, she had to stop that cross coming in at all cost.
She did her job flawlessly, with desperate strength, vigour and freshness. Tevainen was eventually hooked for Haart, who didn't make more headway. Longship knew every trick in the book and a few more for stopping someone, even exaggerating what was at least somewhat an elbow in her ribs until the referee pulled the ball back, the one time Haart did get past her. The minutes ticked down. She kept flicking her eyes at the timer. That didn't make her special; everyone was doing the same, it would be impossible not to.
Just hold out. Don't concede in twelve minutes. Just--
It was little consolation that when the cross came in, it was down the left side. Close's problem, not hers, though he'd had been hard-pressed in any case to react. Yonen had won a goal-kick, sent it to Kasmiir, who had played a slick one-two with Mor that left her racing clear down the right, nominally out of position but at the same time the best player to have with the ball in this position, and with a crucial gain on Close, one she used to clip in the high - of course it was high! - cross.
Longship tucked a little inside as if it would make a difference. Vol was there, barely even needing to jump and jumping regardless. Brosch, Thorn, neither could touch her, and Mercator was trying to wrestle past Tali'raia, and the header came down...
... straight into Mercator's chest. Stunned, she almost fumbled it but reacted in a split second to fall protectively on top of it, flinching as Tali'raia's follow-up raked against her cheek. Nominally, it was called off for that foul, but had it been in the net, it could so easily have--
Fuck it. Ball out. No sentiment. There were still five minutes to hold out, and they wouldn't do it through nostalgia. They would do it like they always did it, and did it again today; uncompromising physicality, aggressive pressing and the occasional thrown elbow.
By the end, for all one could speculate on Strauss' relief being for her country or her job, it was the kind of win that felt like it could be a game-changer. Humiliation was off the cards. Now they could look towards the Glory.
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Postby Valanora » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:28 pm

Reçueçn was not the team that the Marauders had expected to face in the second round, as their opponents were still somewhat green behind the ears and had been drawn into a very difficult group. However showing that their greenness was not a weakness but rather a strength with their eagerness, they were able to navigate the group that contained the cohosts of Mriin, former starlets of Drawkland, and former World Cup Champions in the form of Cassadaigua. Defeating the latter two and nearly holding the cohosts to a draw certainly proved Reçueçn's mettle on the grand stage and made the Marauders acutely aware of the difficultly of the task that was ahead of them in the Round of Sixteen. Reçueçn had built its success on a backline and keeper that seemed more akin to a steel curtain than player plying their trade out on the pitch, conceding only a single goal during the group stage, that goal against the cohosts on the final matchday to allow Mriin to advance out of the group as well. With an already impressive clean sheet record to their name before qualifiers, the billing for the match became whether or not the Marauders' vaunted attacking talent could overcome such a cohesive defensive group.

Watching the film to prep for such an important match, the Marauders noticed a few things about their opponents. While so defensively clean and efficient, to the point that one would hardly be remiss for wondering if they were in fact humans and instead were employing some sort of cyborg with a hivemind, they lacked a certain amount of power and thrust when on the attack. It was a bit eerie actually, they seemed to be a very similar system to that which Audioslavia had tried to use against the Marauders and failed to do so. However unlike Audioslavia, it did appear on the tape that Reçueçn would at least employ an actual striker at the head of their formation rather than a pair of attacking midfielders. To that end, they were indeed a marginal amount more dangerous when they were in the opposition third and thus there would be work to do for the Marauders' backline and keeper, unlike for large portions of the match against Audioslavia. It would be a test to see if Sean Smørdal had at long last cashed in on that potential that everyone had seen at him from such an early age or if he and the defensive line would continue to be the Marauders' liability.

Reçueçn did not seem to be shy to the big stage and were standing tall and proud in their white and purple kits, it evoked a sort of eerie feeling that the Marauders were taken on their archrivals of Starblaydia with that kit that their were in. Perhaps that would be a mistake, for after the handshakes and anthems at the start of the match, the Marauders were on the attack and pushing against the steel wall that Reçueçn had set up. Gerauld Firaut was forced into action early and had to produce three saves within the first ten minutes as it was clear that the Marauders were up for this match from the onset. If there had been any sort of plans for mental games in their foes wearing a kit so similar to that of Starblaydia to try to get underneath the Marauders skin or in their minds, it had clearly backfired and they were having to endure a relentless siege from the Marauders. Laborious Hawk thought he had opened up the scoring in the twenty-seventh minute with a blistering shot from outside the box but Firaut was able to tip the shot over the bar and keep the two sides level. Against the run of play, a long clearance found Adams and he quickly put in an ambitious lob, however it had caught Smørdal too far off his line and floated in just before the half time whistle, with the Marauders surprisingly trailing despite a very dominant performance.

Kirkhus made way for Pánfilo Veliz as the second half began and the Marauders picked up right where they had left off, peppering the Reçueçn goal with shots and making Firaut not have a single moment to catch their breath. A breakthrough from the navy and white side was inevitable and came in the fifty-fifth minute, as Veliz floated in a ball from a freekick which Møller flicked on towards the far post and where Harlem Saxstrom was waiting to head into the back of the net as she continued her amazing run of form. With an equalizer now on the board, the side pushed on for a go ahead goal while maintaining possession to keep Reçueçn from having another opportunity to catch the side flat footed on a counter like they had in the first half. The sixty-ninth minute saw Emanuele Cutrona be handed his marching orders as he picked up a second yellow card after taking down Laborious Hawk from behind to prevent a three on two breakaway. Down to ten and facing an inspired Marauders side, Reçueçn knew that there was only one way the match was going to end, even if they were defending desperately to try and get to extra time and then penalties. The Marauders were too prepared though and some clever passing between the midfield and attack saw a clear opportunity that Jakob Larsen calmly passed into the back of the net and put the Marauders ahead and eventually into the Quarterfinals.

A quarterfinal quartet in Mriin that contains three Champions and a Park, a most peculiar of grouping when one considers that there are no former champions left alive in the Farfadillis half of the bracket. It could have been an all former champions' affair in Mriin, but Baker Park erupted against Starblaydia in extra time and prevented a renewal of the Starblaydi-Vanorian rivalry with such high stakes. If one was to compare Baker Park to another team that the Marauders have faced, it feels like they are more clean version of the Nepharim, though that is perhaps a bit harsh on the both. Regardless, when the Marauders step on to the field against their Atlantian Oceania brethen, they will playing against a side that will be more than happy to go goal to goal with the Marauders' vaunted attack rather than attempt to sit back and defend. As a side that has risen up through the ranks a bit quiet, Baker Park are actually ranked ahead of the Marauders and the favorites for the match. Yet with a perfect Finals run already behind them and the growing taste of that potential sixth and record breaking title being within reach, it is hard to see the Marauders failing to find a way to be ready for the occasion. While Sean Smørdal has comfortably answered most questions of him thus far in the tournament, this very well could be his biggest ask and the time to provide the definitive answer as to his talent, to take the Marauders to the heights of another semifinal and two steps away from modern history.
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65, 72, 83 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXII (1st), WCoH I, XXXI, XL (2nd), WCoH II, XXIX (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
AOCAF 44, 46, 51, & 53 Champions, AOCAF 39 & 43 Runners Up
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WC85-MD4 - 3-1 v. Kelssek - Puppy Free

Postby Turori » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:01 pm



Host Nation KO continues as Turori eliminate Kelssek in 'Dialects Haven'

Rülândéá Çölíséá, Rülândéá, Farfadillis :: After setting up shop at their home away from home at La Snerra in Ferdullaele for the duration of the World Cup 85 Group Stage, the Turori National Team's reward for a rare perfect three-win performance to finish atop Group A was a trek all the way down to the opposite end of the Eastern Coast of Farfadillis to Rülândéá. Trading the capital city for perhaps its antipode, the state often blamed as part of the cause of the current climate throughout Farfadillis, Turorian players would trade the somewhat organized capital-city care for a mix of Royalty and Chaos in one of the biggest footballing hot spots in the Glorious Southwest.

Everyone would also need a few extra pens. Rülândésé is one of the most diacritic heavy dialects not only in Farfadillis but throughout the multiverse and the written language is notable for holding several world records for most diacritics in a single word as well as most consecutive letters with diacritics in a single word. It is in fact believed that there are more unique diacritics that could be applied to individual letters in the Rülândésé dialect then there are actual letters in the language to apply them to.

While the players of Turori's National Citizen squad were certainly moving out of their comfort zone, moving from a home arena that had been used more by themselves than any other team in decades with fresh graffiti on premises celebrating their occupation of the facility - to a modern arena home to Mâ Âlâmëómë, there was solice in the fact that their Round of 16 opponents Kelssek would be just as put out by the move. The former Olympic and current Cup of Harmony host nation bounced between the Mountainous and Desert regions of Farfadillis during the Group Stage having to pick up their things and travel once more to square off against Turori in an arena located in the most run-down, unsafe districts in a land of lawlessness. While what is left of the arena has been assured to be safe and well maintained to support fans visiting the 85th World Cup, keen eyed observers will point out the large gaps particularly in the Northern Grandstand where prior bombings have limited the capacity at the arena.

Despite some onlookers having precarious seating locations in proximity to signs of the chaos that sometimes finds its way around Farfadillis, they were assured a decent chance of surviving the 90+ minutes of action at Rülândéá Çölíséá without threat of serious injury. The two teams were perhaps in the safest positions, out on the open grassy pitch and by comparison the pre-game ceremonies were relatively brief for a World Cup knockout round match.

Any question on whether the Turori National Team would be able to adapt away from their adopted home in La Snerra were erased almost as soon as the opening whistle came to start the match. It was Turori who had earned the ball on Kick Off and immediately they charged forward through Mbdiai Akarenaa who forced the ball up field in a gap between a pair of Kelssek midfielders still looking around to assign marking rather than make a concerted effort to dispossess Akarenaa. Then, out of nothing, a quick chip of the ball over the top by the Cosumar based midfielder was able to find Jungle Strike FC attacker Meldi'ita Mungwaii who took barely half a step before firing across the face of goal and past the experienced Kelssek net-minder Kai Poirier. There was some discussion before the match as to who would get the start for Kelssek with the experienced Cosumar based goalkeeper Poirier the safe choice while others were calling for the young and highly talented Cathal Gallagher to get an opportunity after seeing limited playing time since making their appearances during the 76th Cup of Harmony.

Just five minutes later and the opposing coaching staff may have been wondering if they had made the wrong decision sticking with Poirier. While there was little that the 35 year old could do to keep Mungwaii's opener at bay after the defense fell asleep on the opening attack of the game, Poirier did have an opportunity to slow things down when Turori had earned their first corner kick just under five minutes into the game. The cross was delivered by Daliora Toru'u and seemed to be at the right height for Poirier to catch and retrieve the cross but instead the Kelssek goalkeeper punched the ball clear of the box. While it appeared the danger was done for the moment it was once again Mbdiai Akarenaa on scene to change the narrative opting for the quick direct play instead of building up. As Kelssek's defense attempt to push up to clear the area it was Mungwaii who stepped forward to collect the quick service from Akarenaa. As the Kelssek defense stood with their arms up trying to persuade the sideline judge to call the play offside, the flag stayed down and Mungwaii calmly collected their second goal of the match barely five minutes into the game.

It was a dream start for Turori's National Team while almost certainly rocking the confidence of a Kelssek side that had made it only to the Cup of Harmony during the 84th World Cup cycle. While some of the players in blue may have been wondering if they had been punching above their weight just to have advanced to the World Cup 85 knockout rounds, there were others on the squad who saw their place to settle the team down and work to get their side back into the match. WIth over 85 minutes to go in the match there was still more than enough time for other side to string together a string of goals that could easily make or break their World Cup 85 campaign.

Over the remaining 40 minutes of the first half, the momentum of the game started to settle out. While Turori had a few chances to extend their lead further before the half-hour mark in the match, Poirier made amends for Kelssek's slow start with a pair of top-notch saves to deny Mungwaii and Wiztsana Iretziia from close range to maintain the scoreline. As the half time interval approached it was Kelssek who looked the more likely to find the back of the net earning a trio of late corner-kicks to force Timaala Hualtia into action. Ultimately, however, neither side could affect change in the scoreline for the balance of the opening Stanza and the teams returned to the assumed relative safety of the locker rooms with Turori holding on to a 2-0 lead.

The Eels would make one change at the interval with Nubara Moafalia coming in to replace Mikki Mayelli as Turori looked to clean up their underwhelming first half possession numbers. Ultimately the change would do what it intended to do as Turori's second half possession numbers would go up but the change also came at a price. Without the veteran central defender anchoring the back line, Kelssek were able to pull a goal back through Colm Ó Tuathail who used a bit of fancy footwork and devastating acceleration to find enough open space for a clear shot at Hualtia's goal, cutting Turori's lead to just a single goal.

It was a sobering moment for Turori's Yitizo Mpala'a who was making their first appearance since being taken from the field on a stretcher late in the 3-0 Group Stage victory over host nation Farfadillis. The 35 year old Lonngeylin Coast defender, who some have speculated would be appearing in their last World Cup Finals for the team, was the victim of a vicious studs-up tackle from a frustrated Farfadillis striker Oscar Holsteiner that saw the Farfhole's boot end up in Mpala'a's chest. The defender skipped Turori's 2-1 final match day victory over HUElavia in order to recover from the incident though no details surrounding what long term injuries Mpala'a suffered, if any, were disclosed by the Football Association of Turori.

While Turori's historic defense had propelled them to their first ever World Cup Quarter Final victory during World Cup 81, this modern Eels squad had a touch more balance to them and were no where near as effective as their World Cup 85 qualifying Group 1 opponents Audioslavia in keeping the ball out of the net. With Tuathail's goal it was the third time in four matches in Farfadillis and Mriin that the Citizen Squad had failed to maintain a clean sheet.

As time continued to click off the scoreboard, Kelssek's Voyagers began taken increased risks moving forward in search of an equalizer. Fortunately for Turori, it was the Eels that were able to take advantage of the open field first with winger Naraiza Ruaplal taking advantage of a huge gap between the Kelssek Midfield and Defense to carry the ball from one end of the pitch to the other. Then, with a clever play Ruaplal slowed down and appeared to wind up for a cross-field pass to meet the advancing Turorian attackers then instead quickly tapped the ball past their marker and stole space inside the Kelssek area. There was little angle for a shot but Ruaplal took it anyway looking for an opportune bounce and got exactly that as their shot glanced the glove of Poirier then the knee of a Kelssek defender redirecting it back towards goal and mercifully across the line and into the net.

The goal took much of the wind out of the Voyagers sails as they came to grips with the likely end of their World Cup 85 campaign. After taking the 3-1 lead, the Turorian coaching staff made a swap to introduce Lulu Pumaziiri into the match in place of Daliora Toru'u, returning the Eels to the 4-4-2 formation they had started the match in, willing to concede possession to their opponents for the final ten minutes of the match in return for a sound back line. Over the final ten minutes, Turori's defensive corps would bend but never break as they held on for a 3-1 Round of 16 triumph.

Turori [3] - [1] Kelssek

GOALS: Turori :: 1' Meldi'ita Mungwaii:: 5' Meldi'ita Mungwaii:: 77' Naraiza Ruaplal Kelssek :: 52' Colm Ó Tuathail
STATS: Turori :: Possession: 46%:: Shots: 8:: Corners: 7 Kelssek :: Possession: 54%:: Shots: 4:: Corners: 2
Lineup: [GK] Timaala Hualtia, [D.] Amakli Inuro'o, [D.] Moumouni Verre'elali, [D.] Mikki Mayelli, [D.] Yitizo Mpala'a, [ML] Daliora Toru'u, [MC] Kentu Umaka'a, [MC] Mbdiai Akarenaa, [MR] Naraiza Ruaplal, [FC] Meldi'ita Mungwaii, [FC] Wiztsana Iretziia
Bench: [FC] Nua'oma Aikiki, [FC] Mirana Gotuai, [M] Nubara Moafalia, [M] Timi'sala Koarena, [U ] Biliki Rona'atu'i, [D] Lulu Pumaziiri, [GK] Wiyauw An'maude

After one match in southern Farfadillis, the Turori National Team would be headed right back up North returning to Ferdullaele for their Quarter Final match up against the Free Republics. Unfortunately for the Eels this match up would not be at their adopted Farfurorian home of La Snerra but instead would be contested at the home of the Farfadillis National Team, La Fantás. It will be an entirely new environment for the Turori National Team but thankfully one that should be within the realm of adaptability for Turori's National Citizen Squad. One could only assume that there is no chance that Cocoabo #86 will make an appearance in goal for Turori. With La Fantás' Eastern Stand in a state of perpetually burning fire, it wouldn't take much imagination to invision the tragic outcome of a Cocoa-creature being forced in close proximity to the Eastern Stand for 45 minutes or longer. It is believed that Turori has been working with Tropicorp Sports to ensure active measures are available to its players to prevent against any heat effects over the 90 minutes at La Fantás.

The match will also be an opportunity for the Turori National Team to take a step towards redemption against a Free Republics side that denied The Eels a podium finish in the Turori National Team's only ever appearance in a Third Place Playoff match. Of course, a tradition of the World Cup Finals it is also the match that no team truly wants to play. However, during World Cup 81, that sentiment had never been more true. The Free Republics were looking to advance to the World Cup Final on home soil. They were just one win away. The newly restored CoCoCo Stadium in New City, Orlandia awaited the Semi-Final winners. A multi-national holdings company that got its start in Turori, with a Cocoabo as its logo, the arena sponsor of a brand new state of the art arena hosting the World Cup Final in the Free Republics. The stage was set. A Turori-Free Republics World Cup Final seemed inevitable. Yet it was not to be. The host nation was felled by South Covello while Turori, agonizingly, lost their chance at a First World Cup Final appearance in a 5-1 drubbing by neighborly rivals Vilita.

Instead of contesting the World Cup Final on home soil, the Free Republics national team had to pack their bags and travel across the multiverse to Banija to compete for a bronze medal. Turori, for their part, were already in Banija and should have been the better prepared and acclimated side for the match. The game was being contested in the BCEL stadium, sponsored by the Baker Park based beverage company that was a partner distributor to one of Turori's largest exports, Cocoa-bo. After 90 minutes, however, it was the Free Republics team - exiled from their homeland, who had come out on top. After having taken 67 cycles of competition to have their first opportunity to earn a medal at the World Cup, the Turori National Team had failed to bring home the bronze. Now, the two sides will meet again in the World Cup 85 Quarter Finals. One side will advance to the Semi-Finals where, win or lose, they will be guaranteed another chance to fight for a World Cup Medal. The loser, however, will go home empty handed, just as Turori had done the last time they squared off against The Free Republics. This was a fate they would fight to avoid among the fires of Ferdullaele in World Cup 85.


Cocoa-bo Head of Outreach with "Important" Statement

Cocoa-bo, Lpaka, Turori :: While Cocoa-bo's latest press conference had reporters on edge, thinking that the Turori-based company might finally go on the record about the ongoing Cocoa-bo Commission being fronted by the Captain of The Holy Empire, Sir Barsanuphius, the press corps assembled at the Cocoa-bo press room in Lpaka, Turori were instead treated to a slide-deck presentation outlining the time-honored success of the "Everything is Better with Cocoa-bo" campaign and ways in which Cocoa-bo would be expanding their signature marketing and outreach promotions during the World Cup 85 finals in Mriin & Farfadillis. The Cocoa-bo sales representative on the podium flaunted images of "Better with Cocoa-bo" marketing materials currently being distributed throughout Farfadillis, with a smaller selection of materials also being distributed in Mriin. The press corps on hand even learned more than they ever needed to do about the process by which Cocoa-bo created their new line of collectible "Everything is Better with Cocoa-bo" place mats which are being distributed at select physical Cocoa-bo locations throughout the multiverse to all dine-in customers.

Yet throughout the presentation there was no mention of the Cocoa-bo Commission. The press corps were whispering the longer the presentation went on and at least two of them got up and left the room in disgust when the Sales representative reached chart #25 of their presentation.

For those who were patient, however, it was promised there would be an important announcement to follow. Up to the podium would step the current head of outreach for Cocoa-bo, Ijuali Makoa'ao.

"Thank you all for coming today" Makoa'ao would begin with the expected pleasantries and nonsense that after having sat crowded in the room for what felt like an eternity, the entire press corps were just willing the head of outreach to bypass and get to the content they came for.

"Of course as you all know, there have been some very disturbing, disheartening and completely unfounded accusations that have been circulating unimpeded on a number of social communication platforms as well as some entirely unreputable publications which we will not do the honor of naming here today."

Makoa'ao paused. The press corps waited.

"Now I'm not going to take up much of your time but we want to set the record straight. Not as if there was any question to begin with but this day in age, rumors get ahead of themselves before they have a chance to be either proven or disproven."

Another pause. The press corps felt the moment was coming. Something damning was coming out in the Cocoa-bo Commission reports and they were about to find out what it was, and what Cocoa-bo was going to try to say to cover it up.

"I want to make myself very clear so we don't have to go through this again, and I will not be taking any questions on the matter,"

A final pause. This was the moment. No Questions. It must be bad.

"After we are done here, I will make available some pamphlets to show exactly what we are doing to ensure this issue never comes up again"

What is it! What is it! the reporters could hear themselves screaming from the inside

"Absolutely, unequivocally, no puppies have ever been harmed in the production of any licensed Cocoa-bo confection."

A collective sigh from the media corps. This accusation had already been categorically disproven by the Cocoa-bo Comission. There was nothing new here. It wasn't even a direct acknowledgment of the Commission itself. The puppies rumor pre-dated the commission and was circulating on social platforms like twii.tur as a meme. The reporters had a look at the pamphlet which contained little more than a statement that no puppies were harmed in the making of Cocoa-bo as well as a seal that Cocoa-bo would be placing on select products to re-affirm their stance on puppies.



:: Cocoa-Bo Eatery
Cocoa-bo, an establishment taking its name directly from the beloved national animal of Turori, started as a small dessert shop in Kionao. However, it was only after they added chocolate topped drinks to their menu that their popularity started to soar. As more and more patrons scooped up their chocolate flavored pick-me-ups, demand for the Cocoa-bo product skyrocketed and soon new franchised locations were popping up all throughout Turori. Shifting to more of a social 'hang-out' then just a casual place to drop in, get a dessert, and leave, the new locations started adding small foods such as Bagels for the morning, Soups and Sandwiches for Lunch or Dinner and Salads for the entire day.

Cocoa-bo has expanded outside of Vilita & Turori. Their first regional location was opened in Andossa Se Mitrin Vega and Cocoa-bo has opened temporary locations during major internationstatal events such as the World Cup Finals with past locations appearing in Drawkland and Cosumar. Cocoa-bo has a permanent presence in South Covello and is also continuing to grow its presence in Starblaydia, the Equestrian States and the Free Republics. The company continues to further increase its image by partnering with Motorsport teams and expanding the company footprint across Atlantian Oceania and beyond. Cocoa-bo are also the kit sponsor for Mliona-Lpaka AFC in the Vilitan League. Cocoa-bo's largest current markets are, in order, Turori; South Covello, the Equestrian States, Vilita and the Free Republics. Cocoa-bo's most recent major expansion was to the region of Rushmore through its hub in Starksville, Cassadaigua. Cocoa-bo has also entered the business of product licensing and outsourcing after establishing an exclusivity agreement within the Commonwealth of Baker Park for bottling, distribution and local product with the BCEL Beverage Company to maintain a product line of Cocoa-bo drinkables in the Commonwealth.

Cocoa-bo have been a contingency associate sponsor for Vilita & Turori Motorsports since NSSCRA Season 6 which has included prominent placement on part-time entries for Turorian driver #77 iBen Toralmintii as well as full time Vilita & Turori Motorsports drivers. Cocoa-bo is the official sponsor of the Cocoa-bo Speedway in Starksville Cassadaigua that will be home to Race #4 on the NSSCRA Schedule and Cocoa-bo will also be the presenting sponsor of the event as well in one of Cocoa-bo's fastest growing markets. Cocoa-bo's current largest current markets are, in order, Turori; South Covello, Cassadaigua, the Equestrian States, and Vilita

<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p



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