World Cup 86: Roleplay Thread

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


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Founded: Apr 12, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Eura » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:58 pm

Life in the Seventh Star

Part Six

Deep into the centre of Aspel lies Picturehouse Street. Its name is a giveaway; historically the street has served as the centre of Sameba’s cinema industry and hosted the nation’s biggest classical cinemas. A lot of the older landmarks had been damaged or destroyed during the war. Not Lucio’s Silver Screen though. The eighty year old cinema had survived everything from bombing to a major fire. It also happened to be where Arabella had suggested her and Mateo go, although he’d had to pop home first. Initially his mother was furious at the idea that he intended to go out on his own after getting in a fight at school, but she relented when she realised Arabella would be there. In fact, she started obsessing over making sure he did go. ‘…and remember, stop picking your nose.’
‘I know Mama.’
‘Tuck in your shirt. And where did you get this shirt from, a beggar? Go and change!’
Fine, just leave me alone for a bit so I can actually get ready!’

Eventually he got out of the house and on his way, walking to the bus station and meeting Arabella there. There she was – smiling as she saw him come around the corner, wearing a cosy looking hoodie and some ratty jeans. He felt overdressed. ‘Hey Matty! You look nice. Going somewhere?’ He went red. For fuck sake Mama! ‘I just put on something warm myself.’
‘Yeah, well, this suits my jacket so that’s why I’m wearing it.’
‘What?’ She could barely stifle her laughter.
‘Nothing.’ They were on a bus before long and treated to the various sights of central Aspel on the way. A couple of scruffy looking older men in front of them were smoking something that definitely wasn’t tobacco. Behind them, a young woman scratched relentlessly at her head, trying badly to keep her cool with what looked like a bunch of money in her bag. And either side of them, to complete the trilogy of discomfort, were older teenagers in various stages of inebriation.

It was an unusual assortment of vagabonds and young people sharing the bus together, that was for sure. Sameba was a chaotic place these days a pair of 14 year olds going into a megacity, alone, on a bus full of common criminals and drunks wasn’t as unusual as it should have been. As the bus rolled along its busy route, a question that had been bugging Mateo freed itself from the back of his mind. ‘Bella, why did Sova call you a Southie earlier?’ He’d anticipated she might find the question a bit sensitive, but instead she pivoted around and answered without hesitation. ‘My Dad. He’s Euran. And I guess I am a bit too.’ Mateo had a double take and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He turned away slightly. ‘I see.’ He didn’t have any Euran friends. Not knowingly, anyway.
‘You don’t mind, do you?’
‘No! No, it’s all good.’ He couldn’t hide the hesitation in his voice easily.
‘That’s ok, I get it. I heard what you said about your own Dad earlier. Just don’t be like those twats from school, ok? There’s discomfort and there’s, you know, hatred.’ Mateo relaxed a bit and smiled back at her. ‘Don’t worry, I won’t.’ When they finally arrived Arabella had another surprise in store.


’Mr Duke, you listen here and you listen close. I know what you’re thinkin’. You’re thinkin’, maybe I can get to that door if I’m quick. Maybe this mean son of a bitch won’t see it comin’. Let me tell you son, you ain’t gonna’ make it to that doorway before my lead makes it to your heart. So, go ahead. If you’re feelin’ fortunate. But just know I’m gonna’ stop ya.’
A gun is cocked. Two guns in fact.
’Well, looks like we disagree then.’
‘So it seems.’

Gunshots rang out. A hustler and thief crashed to the floor, smoke breathing from another man’s gun.
’Anybody else want to get in my way?’
Total silence.
’That’s more like it. Barman, pour me a whiskey.’

Arabella stared intently at the screen as Mateo chomped down on another mouthful of popcorn. They were at a half empty Lucio, watching a classic piece of Euran “outlaw” genre cinema – set in the wild, lawless east and south of Eura during the age of federal consolidation, where bandits and bounty hunters roamed freely in a golden age of crime. Mateo couldn’t remember the name of it. By the Gun, For the Gun or some shit like that. Either way he loved it. He looked over at Arabella, and noticed she was looking at him. She leant over and whispered. ‘Are you ok? You looked like you glazed over.’
‘Yeah, it’s really good! I’m just paying attention.’ Like most Sameban’s, Mateo had no issue understanding Euran movies or television, but this film was pretty old and the dialogue wasn’t always the clearest. Another violent scene rattled on, followed by some beautiful panning shots of the Reach region of eastern Eura, doused in sunset.

The movie was now nearing its thrilling conclusion. A beautiful bit of period music cut in, with a recognisably Sameban twang. She whispered an explanation to him. ‘That’s the music of Leo Parella, its really famous. Have you heard of it before?’
‘He was from Aspel too.’
‘Cool!’ A final duel beckoned. The mysterious villain and gruff lawman faced each other down. ’You get out of my way, sir. Or you’re in for a world of pain.’
‘Son, you don’t understand. The only way either of us is leaving here is in a casket. I’ll guarantee you that.’
They reached for their revolvers slowly. Out of nothing, Mateo felt Arabella clutch his hand. He felt that familiar fluttering in his stomach again. ‘Pull yourself together, Mateo’, he said under his breath, almost audibly enough that she could hear it. She hadn’t noticed and was absorbed into the world of the film. As the two fictional enemies went for their holsters, he soaked up a moment he’d want to remember forever.
Last edited by Eura on Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Drawkland » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:03 pm


Cutoff for World Cup Finals MD2

Do Ya want some points tonight? Good luck in getting them!

Last edited by Drawkland on Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:04 am

Original Script
Cassadaigua did have a point. The World Cup would, indeed, not be going to Esportiva. At least not yet. Only New Sideburn would be able to reach the last eight, where defending World Champions Polar Islandstates were waiting.

That’s not to say, however, that Esportiva went home empty handed.

The tide had surely turned in international football, and as such, the World Cup was duly won by… Vilita. The founding nation of Atlantian Oceania.

Esportiva didn’t come out of the cycle completely empty-handed though. Northern Sunrise Islands would have two attempts at winning the Unofficial World Championship, getting the job done the second time of asking and taking the Unofficial World Championship with them to the Campionato Esportiva. For the first time in history, the title would be defended in a regional championship that *wasn’t* the AOCAF Cup.

Esportivan football would only go from strength to strength over the coming cycles.

Nephara took the title from Northern Sunrise Islands and would begin and end the qualifiers for World Cup 69 with the belt. They’d take it to the Cup of Harmony and win it, bringing the title back for the next Campionato Esportiva.

The belt would return to Esportiva in cycle 72, and would be held at various points by Buyan, Gregoryisgodistan, San Jose Guayabal and even ‘Nova Anglicana Admin Zone of Esportiva’, the longest named nation to win the belt. That’s an achievement if ever there was one.

When Atlantian Oceania kept the belt in their borders for a calendar year, it was because the teams winning the regional title weren’t competing outside of their own backyard. That most of the Esportivan winners in the late 60s and early 70s were also competing regularly in international competitions makes their dominance in this period even more impressive, and Esportivan authority was truly asserted in World Cup 74. The final game of the tournament, the World Cup final, would be contested between Unofficial World Champions Nephara and regional rivals San Jose Guayabal. Nephara’s win cemented the rivalry that had blossomed between the two teams earlier in the cycle.

Esportiva ended Cycle 74 with one World Cup and one Unofficial World Championship. They’d end Cycle 75.. With one World Cup… and *two* unofficial World titles.

Apox had been one of the first powerhouses of Esportiva, but the start of this cycle would mark their retirement from international football. They did so in style, winning the Campionato Esportiva 4-3 over Brenecia, taking their first UWC title and taking it with them into retirement.

The Interim Championship is awarded to the winners of World Cup 75: Unified Sunrise Islands. A second World Cup in succession for Esportiva, which now holds both Unofficial World Championships. They’d gone from their humiliation in the mid-sixties to being undeniably the dominant sporting region of the mid-seventies.

The future seemed bright for the region. In reality, the sun was already setting.

Both The Sunrise Islands and San Jose Guayabal departed the international stage after World Cup 77. Buyan returned from a brief hiatus to qualify for World Cup 80, but that was their last act as an international football team. Apox finally returned, lost their title immediately, and have since retired. Nephara turned their back on their regionmates and left Esportiva for Rushmore.

Brenecia’s World Championship in World Cup 80 was a final parting shot for the region, a defiant ‘up yours’ to those that had spent the last ten cycles taking the piss out of Brenecian football. Which was, frankly, everyone. Since Brenecia’s World Championship, Esportivan involvement in the World Cup’s last thirty-two has noticeably tailed off. Six teams in cycle 80, five in 82, four in 84. In World Cup 85, only Kita-Hinode, Brenecia and Hampton Island made the big dance.

This golden age of Esportivan football is often understated, and its very existence is sometimes denied altogether. In NSWC tournaments, the region took four World Cups, two Cups of Harmony and two BoFs over this period. A match for either of the other two sporting regions.

In the realm of the Unofficial World Championship, in addition to a slew of title reigns, there is one lasting legacy from the era. An all-time record that is unlikely to be broken any time soon.

Trivia / Extras
  • I give myself a point every time I make Mriin feel emotional at the end of a video. This chapter earned me a point. Episode 3, Chapter 4 is my best-scoring video in this regard, with three points.
  • Watch the cards closely between 0:45 and 0:55.
  • It kind of sounds like I've said the word 'strength' once and copied and pasted it when I say 'would only go from strength to strength'. That's not the case. I just said both the word eerily similarly.
  • Assorted images from Chapters 6 and 7 including this one, which I'd forgotten I'd made.

Bulls on the Brink
I swear this is the billionth time we've used this headline

Sean Patterick had made his plan clear in the run-up to the Turori game: Audioslavia would do *anything* to *not* lose. And yet. The Bulls defended resolutely, but a sixty-first minute goal scuppered Patterick's plans and the side are likely on their way out of World Cup 86 at the first hurdle.

Audioslavia's record against Turori in recent years falls to 0-1-2, which means the all-time record stands at 8-1-2, but the important stat here is in the Group H table after two matchdays. Audioslavia sit forlornly on the one solitary point - earned from the opening day's frustrating game against Kandorith - and lie two points behind our conquerors Turori, with Baker Park (doot doodle oot diddu) already qualified from two wins in a row. The Bulls will need to beat already-qualified Baker Part in their final matchday to have any hope of progressing whatsoever, and will also require Turori to suffer a catastrophic upset against fourth seed Kandorith.

Audioslavia's chances don't look good, and neither do those of Sean Patterick with regards to keeping his job as Audioslavia manager.

Patterick had been given a target of the AOCAF Cup quarter-final two years ago and over-achieved, instead taking Audioslavia to their first major final since cycle 80. That defeat to rivals Starblaydia, and the way in which it went down, still embarrasses Audisolavians even now, and Patterick's inability to adapt to the change in expectations or deal with the pressure of a big-time rough-and-tumble game very much dented his chances of being given another cycle at the helm of the national team.

A win against Baker Park, and the ranking points that result would bring, may be enough to keep him in the hot-seat for another cycle regardless of whether or not Kandorith can do us a favour (but not *too much* of a favour. Should Kandorith win and make up two goals, they'd go through in second themselves). A draw, while a welcome result were we to play Baker Park on matchdays one or two, would likely see him make a dignified but timely exit.

With the exception of an encouraging World Cup 82, Audioslavia have flattered to deceive in each of the six cycles since our comeback. Patterick, for all the work he's put in, has not yet managed to increase the side's standing on the world stage. It's a results business, and Audioslavia's have been too average for too long.

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Terre Septentrionale
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Postby Terre Septentrionale » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:30 pm


Terre Septentrionale lost a must win game against Pasarga

Owabrok, Drawkland - Terre Septentrionale played one of their most important game in history and lost 4-3 against Pasarga. It's not over but the odds are slim. The Nordiques attacked at the 19th minute when Wlodzimierz Waclawczyk dribbled with the ball and passed to Sandrine Fontaine who kicks the ball and it's a goal. Pasarga answered back almost immediately, at the 25th minute, when Mária Vöröss passed to Nataša Horvat who dribbled with the ball past Franciszek Niedzwiecki. Horvat shoots and she scores, the game is tied at 1-1. Terre Septentrionale took the lead at the 38th minute on a corner kick. Élisabeth Normandin took the corner and kicked the ball in the penalty area and Roksana Kolodziejczyk jumped and headed the ball into the net. The Reprezentacja Nordycki was leading 2-1 at the halftime.

Everything was in control at the halftime, but things didn't go as expected in the 2nd half. Pasarga started strong and Mária Vöröss scored on a free kick at the 49th minute to tie the game again, at 2-2. Yannick Ksiezniakiewicz got a yellow cardon the play. The Northmen took the lead again, at the 64th minute, when Fryderyka Cwierczakiewiczowa scored on a cross from Sandrine Fontaine. The score was 3-2, but Pasarga scored two unanswered goals and won 4-3.

It's not over

it's not over for Terre Septentrionale but the chances are slim. We need a win against Vilita and a draw between Pasarga and Equestria, or a draw against Vilita and an Equestria win against Pasarga.

Scenario A: Terre Septentrionale wins vs Vilita; Equestria wins vs Pasarga - Vilita and Terre Septentrionale are qualified.
Scenario B: Terre Septentrionale wins vs Vilita; draw between Equestria and Pasarga - Vilita and Terre Septentrionale are qualified.
Scenario C: Terre Septentrionale wins vs Vilita; Pasarga wins vs Equestria - Triple tie, tie breaks will be needed.
Scenario D: Terre Septentrionale draws with Vilita; Equestria wins vs Pasarga - Vilita and Terre Septentrionale are qualified.
Scenario E: Terre Septentrionale draws with Vilita; draw between Equestria and Pasarga - Vilita and Pasarga are qualified (Pasarga qualifies on H2H results).
Scenario F: Terre Septentrionale draws with Vilita; Pasarga wins vs Equestria - Vilita and Pasarga are qualified.
Scenario G: Terre Septentrionale loses vs Vilita; Equestria wins vs Pasarga - Vilita are qualified. Triple tie for 2nd place. If Equestria wins by 2 goals or more, they're qualified.
Scenario H: Terre Septentrionale loses vs Vilita; draw between Equestria and Pasarga - Vilita and Pasarga are qualified.
Scenario I: Terre Septentrionale loses vs Vilita; Pasarga wins vs Equestria - Vilita and Pasarga are qualified.

Vilita qualifies with a win or a draw. They still can qualify with a loss under some scenarios. Pasarga and Terre Septentrionale qualifies with a win and a draw or loss by the other team or a draw and a loss by the other one. Equestria can qualify only with a win by two goals or more and a Terre Septentrionale loss.

Wlodzimierz Pietruszewski,
Senior writer,
La tribune Septentrionale
Nation name: République de Terre Septentrionale | Trigramme: RTS | Capital: Ville Jacques-Cartier | Maps
Ranks: Hockey: 20th | American Football: 7th | Baseball: 17th | Association Football: 23rd | Rugby Union: 21st
Runner Up: Cup of Harmony 76, International Baseball Slam XI
3rd Place: World Volleyball Expo X, International Baseball Slam XII, World Lacrosse Championship XXXV
4th Place: Arena Bowl VI
World Cup participations: WC 85 (3rd place in group), WC 86 (3rd place in group)

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:57 pm

World Cup 80 had been a memorable one for both of the teams that found themselves taking the field in Olympia. For Zwangzug, it had marked the "third generation's" return to WCC play, eleven cycles after the nation ceased to exist and the national team had been limited to intermittent Eagles' Cups. Brenecia, well, they'd won the thing.

But that was a long time ago by any reckoning, and of the players who had competed then, only one was left in Gladiator Stadium. It was not the brilliant Lucas Kukiseso, or the perceptive Misako Tsuki, nor the loudmouthed Franziska Schnee-Krull. It was not the speedy and self-assured Brae Crowther, nor the direct and gifted Cu Roi Garrard, nor the physical and powerful Griffin Riordan. It was not, in fact, anyone who had played for the champion Patriots nor the novice Zwangzug side.

It was Kara Ciogach, who had carried herself--all 166 centimeters of her--admirably for Schottia, scoring a brace in a 12-2 demolition of unheralded Lynchberg in the qualifiers. (This, remarkably, failed to be a scorigami; Bears Armed had defeated Sensimillastan by the same scoreline in the World Cup 55 qualifying stage, though whether this was recognized as such by the occasionally-modest ursine press is less clear.) She had then survived her homeland ceasing to exist, acquired Brenecian citizenship, stuck with it even when Schottia re-emerged and then went gray and white again.

"Why," asked Dovydas, "don't we do that."

"Do what?" Cheryl asked.

"Grant refuge and citizenship and stuff to people whose homelands have dissolved."

"We do do that," Cheryl pointed out. "No offense, but have you seen Bigtopia these days, or any days? I wouldn't exactly describe them as a functioning state."

"I mean, like, have them play sports for us."

"Again," Cheryl said, "I'm not really sure how representative our leagues are in reflecting the cultural diversity of the heterogeneous population. But we, uh. Have Bigtopians in sports, too."

"I mean capping footballers," Dovydas pressed. "From other countries that have decent football programs. And that have ceased to exist."

"Oh," said Cheryl. "Well, there are several reasons why we don't do that. Number one, in order for them to be even interested in citizenship in the first place, they would have to be in our country to begin with. Which, considering that we're talking about top-level footballers, means they would have to play in our league to begin with."

"And? We have some foreigners."

"Some. But not that many. Which isn't a surprise, considering how scattershot our league is in terms of chronology and finance and detail."

"Our league is good," Dovydas said loyally. "We're ranked high in the IFCF and everything."

"My team won the Globe Cup," said Cheryl. "Your team is busy scribbling gibberish in the two goalkeeper slots on List A and hoping no one notices."

"It's called the Challengers' Cup now," Dovydas pointed out.

"Reason two," said Cheryl. "Even assuming we got a talented foreigner here, and then their country ceased to exist. We would then actually have to talk to them and find out if they wanted to play."

"That sounds kinda xenophobic. I mean, talking to foreigners isn't that hard."

"No, but asking them about such a delicate subject is...depressing, and emotions are hard. And besides, it's not as if we can get on the phone with their former national team and ask their permission to cap them, because by definition, their former nation is former."

"So you just don't ask. Be bold. Take initiative."

"And just jump to the conclusion that the nation is gone? How do you break that to someone? 'So sorry about your motherland, guess what, we're bestowing citizenship upon you like it or not'?"

"Schottia came back, didn't they? It's not the end of the...okay it kind of is the end of the nation. But they settled it without a lawsuit."

"People get double-capped for nations like The Archregimancy, because they immigrate there for spiritual reasons. Or Cafundéu, because they had a great league that people wanted to play in."

"Or Brenecia."

"Brenecia's league is quite good. Reason three; supposing we ceased to exist? Or our football infrastructure went under? How would you like someone calling up your compatriots and unconsciously molding their cultural identity?"

"Well if we ceased to exist, I wouldn't really have an opinion about it, would I, because I'd be in the netherworld--"

"Look, if you think this is a good plan, name one."

"One what?"

"One player who we could have capped under this scheme, who would be better than their contemporaries who played for Zwangzug."

"Um...does it count if their nation only threatened to recede into isolation, rather than getting around to it?"

"No, of course not. Besides, what kind of unhealthy cultural behaviors would such a player have internalized? Probably bad for team chemistry."

Ciogach, who had come on at halftime, was neatly tackled and dispossessed by her fellow substitute, Riley Kivrin, who stood even shorter than her. "First Êns and now this." Dovydas shook his head. "All she needs to shine is someone else at her level to outduel."

Cheryl blinked. "You know, in World Cup 37 and 38, Az-cz were dominant. They have their old rosters back here, I bet you that would have the details--"

"I was speaking metaphorically," Dovydas said. "I watched the Challengers' Cup, too."
IRC humor, (self-referential)
My issues
...using the lens of athletics to illustrate national culture, provide humor, interweave international affairs, and even incorporate mathematical theory...
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Democratic Socialists

WC86F - MD1 MD 2 - Newmanistan Better with Cocoa-bo

Postby Turori » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:48 am




Cocoa-bo Uncovers Little-known Flag Detail in Newmanistan Campaign


Pocono City, Newmanistan :: When the fans of the multiverse descend on a Nation or Region for any major sporting event, it is almost certain that Cocoa-bo would not be far behind. That has always been particularly true for the World Cup Finals where Cocoa-bo have dedicated marketing, outreach and expansion teams set aside just to focus on World Cup host nations and the influx of fans to leverage as a platform for the expansion of the Cocoa-bo brand. This often requires the creation of new marketing material to accompany the now multiverse-reknowned "Better with Cocoa-bo" campaigns. While Cocoa-bo already had some concept 'Better With Cocoa-bo' material laid out and ready to print, their situation with regards to supporting festivities in Newmanistan was a little different. Corporately, through parent company CoCoCo, the Cocoa-bo Marketing and Event Planning teams had access to a plethora of local, regional and national data to formulate their Better with Cocoa-bo campaign around in Newmanistan. However, the marketing material they had ready to go simply wasn't applicable. The majority of the materials were focused around Motorsports. "Speed on in to try Cocoa-bo today!" or "Cocoa-bo will Rockii your sockii's off!" among some of the more unfortunate marketing undertaken as Cocoa-bo attempted to casually gain a share of the Marketspace. For Better With Cocoa-bo campaigns, however, something entirely different was required.

Historically, Cocoa-bo marketing teams have seeded into World Cup host nations weeks and sometimes months ahead of time seeding "Better with Cocoa-bo" identity marketing in a sort of mass-subliminal approach to taking the countries national flag and in some way altering it to show how things would be with a little bit of Cocoa-bo, often showing the Cocoa-bo mascot, 'bo, prominently featured in the field of the host nations flag in a way that it was certainly not featured previously. For the "Newmanistan is Better with Cocoa-bo" campaign, however, Cocoa-bo officials uncovered something a little different. As travelers from throughout the multiverse descended on Newmanistan, should they stumble across either an authorized or unauthorized advertisement for Cocoa-bo supported by the Better with Cocoa-bo campaign, they would, or into a pop-up Cocoa-bo location or authorized retailer, they would be regaled in the tale of the Truth behind the flag of Newmanistan. Of course, featured on the field of sky blue is a Rocket likely on its way into orbit. Of course, on the flag itself there is only so much detail one could make out about that flag and particularly the much smaller rocket that was otherwise the center of focus on the most readily identifiable national symbol. For their 'Better with Cocoa-bo' campaign, the Cocoa-bo team thanks to the knowledge and research provided by the Esportiva-based arm of the CoCoCo Multinational Logistics and Holdings company were able to do some detailed digging to determine that, in fact, it is no ordinary Rocket with no ordinary payload that adorns the flag of Newmanistan, but a Cocoa-bo powered rocket which is piloted by none other than 'Bo the Cocoabo. A Zoomed in version of the Flag with the Rocket in full view, 'Bo peering out through a navigation porthole, is offered by the Cocoa-bo team as evidence of their newly uncovered ties to the citizens and nation of Newmanistan as proof that even in Newmanistan, Everything is Better with Cocoa-bo.


:: 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


World Cup 86 :: Group Stage Report

Elstrund, Ellzidanet, Drawkland :: The Turori National Team set up shop in the Southeastern Drawkland region of Ellzidanet. While it is far from the sporting capital of Drawkland, the Eels were hoping they could set up a home in Elstrund amongst the trees that provide a familiar feel to some of the overgrowth in Turori's North-central zones and their own Inura Forest. The outdoors also offered a home for the small flock of Cocoabo reserves from Turori's National Cocoabo team that were on hand for the finals in the event something happened that prevented the Citizen Squad from continuing its representation of Turori in Drawkland.

Due to the scheduling allocations and The Turori National Team's status as the highest ranked seed in Group H, the Eels would be locked in to a single venue throughout the group stage of the World Cup 86 Finals in Drawkland and that would be the Root Field. With a more-than-sufficient capacity of over 133,000; there was plenty of room for Nigel's Army to travel in from the Island Emirate to paint the stands Eelskin Brown and Nigel Green.

When the team arrived for their opener against the Commonwealth of Baker Park they were awed at the natural construction of the arena which was built in the space between two massive tree roots - hence the fields name. The field itself was refreshing with pristine grass and purely breathable air which the Eels felt could definitely work to their advantage over the course of the three-match Group Stage.

Unfortunately, however, the Turori National Team could not get their World Cup Finals campaign started on the proper foot. A tense defensive match against the Commonwealth of Baker Park was decided by a single second half goal that slipped beyond the reach of Turorian netminder Timaala Hualtia. Perhaps it was no surprise that the match was a tight affair as it was the only match in the World Cup group stage being contested by two nations ranked consecutively in the latest KPB rankings.

With the Turori National Team currently 6th in the KPB rankings and the Commonwealth of Baker Park just one place behind in 7th, there was virtually nothing separating the two sides on paper coming into the match. The next closest competition between places came in Group D where 4th ranked Valanora would square off against 8th ranked The Holy Empire.

 Turori 0 - 1 Baker Park	
Team: Timaala Hualtia, Amakli Inuro'o, Biliki Rona'atu'i (Mirana Gotuai 45'), Lulu Pumaziiri, Moumouni Verre'elali, Nubara Moafalia, Kentu Umaka'a (Mbdiai Akarenaa 45'), Daliora Toru'u, Timi'sala Koarena, Meldi'ita Mungwaii, Wiztsana Iretziia (Kiidallen Aeroluzzi 69')

While the Eels fought hard in their opener and were only barely defeated, the dropped points on Matchday 1 also forced Turori to shift gears sightly as they had used up 100% of their margin in attempting to advance to the Round of 16. Nothing short of victory in their final two matches could assure their place in the knockout rounds. The first hurdle they would have to clear: Audioslavia. The historians quickly balked at the Eels chances considering their long recorded history of being eliminated by Audioslavia in the World Cup Finals. In fact, no team has eliminated Turori from the World Cup more times than Audioslavia including a stretch in the Early 20's where Audioslavia defeated Turori in the World Cup knockout rounds three times in six tournaments, each time by a scoreline of 0-1. The most disheartening of those was the World Cup 19 Quarter Finals - the first ever World Cup on Turorian soil and some feel was Turori's best chance at Winning the World Cup itself until they qualified for the World Cup 82 Final.

Turori would make a change in goal ahead of the Audioslavia match with Timaala Hualtia having exceeded the pre-set quota of 0.5 allowable goals against per match in the World Cup Finals by conceding 1 goal in the opening defeat to the Commonwealth of Baker Park. With the change, Turori handed the gloves over to the more experienced Wiyauw An'maude of Turorian club Cedniavella. An'maude was critical to the Turorian performance holding up their end of the bargain and not allowing the Bulls to get a tally on the board for the duration of the 90 minutes. On the other side of the ball the Audioslavian's were also doing their part in squashing the offensive power of Strike FC's Meldi'ita Mungwaii but they could do nothing to defend against the towering Biliki Rona'atu'i who out-jumped Anxo Osorio and redirected a Kentu Umaka'a delivered corner kick into the top corner of the net to give Turori an early 1-0 lead. The Eels would play a combination of prevent and keep-away to help keep as much pressure as possible off An'maude for the remainder of the match, holding on for a critical 1-0 victory.

 Turori 1 - 0 Audioslavia	
Goals: :: 14' Biliki Rona'atu'i
Team: Wiyauw An'maude, Yitizo Mpala'a, Mikki Mayelli, Biliki Rona'atu'i (Mbdiai Akarenaa 45'), Amakli Inuro'o, Lati'ala Giaoka, Kentu Umaka'a, Nubara Moafalia, Daliora Toru'u (Mirana Gotuai 45'), Wiztsana Iretziia (Nua'oma Aikiki 72'), Meldi'ita Mungwaii

While the three points earned against Audioslavia on Matchday 2 were critical to Turori's odds of advancing to the Round of 16, it still left little in terms of comfort scenarios for the Citizen Squad who still required a victory on Matchday 3 to guarantee their place in the knockout rounds. Their opponent for the final match would be a Kandorith side that was broken down 3-1 by Baker Park in a match that assured the Atlantian Oceania sides place in the Round of 16. The implications of that result for Turori, however, would be that Kandorith would be desparate for a final Matchday victory as their only possible way to advance while Audioslavia - who could also leapfrog the Eels depending on Matchday 3 results, would be playing against a Baker Park team who could take the opportunity to cycle their starting lineup prior to the Round of 16 fixtures. Of course while Turori can control their own destiny with a victory, they can also control it in a bad way with a defeat. Regardless, the three remaining Group H sides are in a battle for second place in the group with three teams going into Matchday 3 with a chance to finish in the runner-up position but only one who will advance to the knockout rounds in Drawkland.

<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:35 am

Nephara 3 - 1 Trolleborg
(4-4-2) 1 - Mercator; 2 - Stride (18 - Rostock 67'), 5 - Thorn (c), 6 - Brosch, 3 - Verlander; 13 - Belgrade, 4 - Shone, 21 - Moxham (8 - Cromwell 72'), 11 - Deventer; 9 - Bastable (14 - Tzorvas 81'), 10 - Lovelace
Goals: Lovelace 29', Belgrade 43', Moxham 62'

"I feel very... what do the kids say? 'Blursed,' to be here."
"Nobody says that, Cedella," said Bremusa Strassman, laying a soothing hand on Verlander's broad shoulder. "Look, you'll be right. It's just frustrating, that's all. Like any skill you're ba-- you're developing at, at first."
Unfortunately, Strassman was the angel on one shoulder; Vivica Muscadin remained the devil on the other. "If I hear one more word about how you're too fat and slow and shit at crossing to have taken my bloody shirt, I'll skin and kill you."
Verlander pursed her lips. "Don't you mean--"
"I mean the order I said. Now go! Again!"
Verlander ran forward and swung in another cross, which was terrible. Strassman winced. Muscadin made up what was undoubtedly profanity.
"It's your technique," opined the nearest actual coach, Tosca Marlowe. She'd been one of the great Nepharan defenders in the day, back when that wasn't synonymous with being one of the great worldwide defenders. She was a brilliant and observant coach with precisely zero intention of becoming a manager and having to yell at people.
"It's that she's shit," said Muscadin, to whom that came more naturally. "Just put your fucking foot through it!"
"I did. I broke a car window. Remember?"
"Ooh, someone's getting testy. Hey, I'm here out of the kindness of my own heart, y'know! I could have my maimed feet up on a table at some bar, or..."
"It's her technique that she's hitting the ball too high," said Marlowe, just as Verlander snapped and threw herself bodily at the smaller, weaker, limping leftback. "Oh, hell--"

When the assistant Ivy Herrick got the news, she was philosophical. After all, she reasoned, "Vivica was injured anyway."
Tosca Marlowe sucked her teeth. "It's still a bad look."
"It's like a musical. When the emotions get too much, you break into song. Nepharim squabble. I'd rather Cedella work out her emotions beating Muscadin senseless than have them manifest in a poor performance on the weekend."
"Metzelder's not happy," said Marlowe, referencing Muscadin's club manager.
"Oh, she's never happy. Hell, I'm glad she's unhappy. Fuck Metzelder. Is there anything I give a shit about?"
Marlowe, a middle-aged working-class former veteran centre-half, honest-to-God scuffed her boot on the floor.
"No, boss. There's not."
Herrick chuckled. "God, love. You wouldn't have made it five bloody minutes greasy churning... but, look, yeah, I agree we gotta probably fix this one way or another. Let's just... quietly send Vivica home, shall we? And, Tosca?"
"I don't think we need to worry the gaffer with this."

It wasn't much of a ruse. In part because Vivica Muscadin had been unsubtly disappeared from sight, and in part because people kept clapping Verlander on the back and complimenting her on winning not only 'a' but 'the' scrap.
Strauss casually mentioned these little quirks to Herrick.
"Mm?" Herrick glanced over. "Nah. You're blowing it out of proportion. Vivi just left 'cause she was just getting... restless, with the whole..."
"Uh-huh. You're lying because I'd rather not know and it'd just be a distraction."
"Right, boss."
"Good. It's what you're here for." Strauss peered over at the wing of the short-sided game currently occupying a third of the squad. "So how's our middleweight champion doing, anyway?"
"Eh? Oh. Yeah, uh--"
"Great analysis, Ivy, some fucking magnificent stuff here."
"-- knows the defensive part well, that's the main thing."
"Advances confidently..."
"Can't cross for shit."
"Oh, for fuck's sake. I knew we should've brought Marcin back."
"He's internationally retired, boss."
"Yeah, I know. I know! And besides, he'd have disupted the dressing room, or... or..." Strauss fidgeted irritably. "Whatever we discussed. I know we discussed it. Point is, we agreed on her and in large part because she could fill in on the left. We thought."
"Yeah. And there's nothing saying we can't just ... not play her there tomorrow."
"Is the game really tomorr-- oh, shit." Strauss winced. "Well, I'm sticking to the plan. She has a blind spot, but she's bright enough to work around it. Morena will be right there to pass to - God knows she doesn't track back - and I'd rather her figure it out in the groups than the knockouts."
"Assuming we get that far," muttered Marlowe from the fringes of the conversation.
Both manager and assistant glared at the wallflower. "Don't you even dare jinx us," snapped Herrick.

Trolleborg proved resilient opponents, the kind you couldn't allow to get the first goal. Sit back and wait for a moment of magic wasn't exactly a sophisticated counter, and it was a massive oversimplification... but in broad strokes? Yes. Strauss' speech included all the classics, 'keep it tight lads' and 'we know we should be winning this game' and 'don't force it, lads'.
There was no moment at which Cedella Verlander became a leftback, no single moment of awakening. A few tense exchanges which she cut out well, marshalled by the encouraging bellows of Ilyana Brosch to her right. And a half-hour in, the Cormorants may not have had the moment of magic they desired, but they did have the first goal they craved, a deft and near-dismissive flick with the outside of Chimera Moxham's boot played in Bastable past the towering Torgeir Dushegub. The defence that had been so composed from the start was suddenly nowhere to be seen, and Bastable simply rounded Kotsson before cutting the ball across the face of goal for Konrad Lovelace to tap home.
Trolleborg almost hit straight back, and to Verlander's relief it was nothing to do with her - Finnsnes earned a free kick as Shone tapped him to the floor, got up, dusted himself off and slammed the free kick against the crossbar. It caromed back, Skaloed adjusted in flight to angle a glancing header back at goal and Mercator scrambled well to tip the ball over. But once the ball was in the Cormorants' hands again, they exerted calm and, more importantly, control over the game. Little happened for the next ten minutes before Shone dispossesed Finnsnes in a seemingly innocuous position - fairly, this time - and swung the ball down the left to Deventer, who laid it over to Verlander.
Wait, Verlander realised. That was her.
She darted forward out of desperate urgency to just nip in ahead of the winger opposing her, hustled past out of instinct more than anything. Valgren caught off, but Verlander fended him off with a shift of her shoulders, a contest of strength and will playing to her, well, her strengths.
She passed it to Deventer. Deventer passed it back. Bitch! Nothing for it, she had space, she had time, she knew what she had to do...
... she put her foot through the cross.
... it flew comfortably over every green and white shirt in the box.
... and perfectly into Ysabet Belgrade's stride as she pounced on it at the edge of the box, took a single step inside and whipped the ball around the goalkeeper.
Sometimes, Verlander reflected after a match the Cormorants went on to win, it really was just about power, whether in how you struck the ball or how you struck your mouthy teammate. There was no shame in asking an expert, or in her case having an expert decide you needed her expertise and clinging to you like a barnacle to the underside of a boat, but sometimes, you just had to back yourself. For your own sanity, if nothing else...
WCC Grand Slam champion.
Accidental Gridiron Championship Silver Belt holders for six cycles??

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ko-oren » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:22 am

Part I

The Dragonflies' Key Players

Last time we discussed, at a very high level, how the Dragonflies play and how they played in the past. Borrowing some successful elements from formations past and integrating them into a modern playing style capable of withstanding World Cup calibre teams, from the 5D-5O block (five defenders, five attackers) all the way to today's understaffed midfield, and indeed, a five man back line. From a moderately balanced approach to the all-out defence of today. But more important than the formation is the team carrying it out - which players make the 5-3-2 tick?

When describing the Dragonflies, most foreign commentators can't get over that block of centre backs. The impressive unit of Arceneaux, Van Schelven, and Mizuno. And to be fair, most of our results stem from that defence. You don't lose to Banija by big numbers because you never concede more than 1, if that. But as you've probably seen, this Ko-orenite national team isn't one to sit back and let the opponent have 70% of possession. We've had those days, but they've been long gone. You can't compete in the modern World Cup by giving up the ball nearly three-fourths of the game. So maybe we should start somewhere else.

The defensive midfielder, maybe.

Reizo Yokota hasn't exactly been an underrated force on the team - it's very easy to say that his position and the way he's played there has been fundametal to the success of the team. Not only does he occupy a vital position in defence, containing an attack and forcing it to one wing or another, he's also usually the pivot.

What's the pivot?

The pivot is the deepest midfielder who is positioned in the space between the defence and midfield. It's his task is to pick up the ball and distribute it along the pitch. Attack typically start with this position. If you think about it, it makes sense: the defence wins back the ball and immediately plays it to the first midfielder they can find - that's the defensive midfielder, the pivot... that's Yokota.

You quickly run into the next problem.

With Yokota on the ball and five defenders and a goalkeeper behind him, there's just four options left to continue the attack. And that's also the problem Juliasterinthen ran into when he started his managerial career. The defensive midfielder can only find the typical playmaker (Janoreirinthen) or the attacking midfielder (Longchambon), or either striker (Vallotton/Noya). Over time, the team has tried out several ways to get more people in front of the ball. I.e., how to create more options for the pivot.

Here's three options. Starting with the oldest trick in the book, then a hybrid solution that saw some great success (the Dismantling of Mriin #1) and some inventive ways that our opponents countered it, and lastly the Dismantling of Mriin #2.

I don't know what Mriin has done to Juliasterinthen, but he saves his innovations for whenever they're on the menu.

This is the original idea behind making the 5-3-2 offensively viable. Let the pivot drop back to collect the ball, while the central midfielder creeps down to relay the attack. Meanwhile the attacking midfielder and the non-ball side wingback provide width for the ensuing attack. Long story short: it works, but getting into formation takes a long time. It is minimally vulnerable, as the centreback wearing #5 goes out wide and the pivot can drop back into the vacant centreback spot if needed. The only thing that makes this better is that you can obfuscate which defender goes up: in this case, it's wingback #6. You can mirror it and have the left wingback #2 go up. In later versions, with centrebacks that are better on the ball (Lampshire, Parrott, Ardouin), you could even have one of them go further up.

This is the second variation. Unsatisfied with how quickly the first formation could be formed and how little variety it offered while still getting little done in attack, this second version creates a 4-2-2-2. One of the centrebacks (as with the newer generation defenders, we actually have players that can make plays: the aforementioned Lampshire, Parrott, Ardouin but we even see Van Schelven and Mizuno in this position) link up with Yokota to create a double pivot - hardly an innovation in today's game - while the fullbacks can go up to create width. They hardly need to press up much, because the central midfielder (especially Janoreirinthen, who is a right midfielder/winger by trade) and the attacking midfielder (typically Longchambon, but any winger or creative, attacking midfield can do this: Batchelor is a perfect complement to Janoreirinthen for instance) can go out wide or funnel the ball into the centre as they see fit. The pivot (#7) can support the attack while the double pivot (#4 in this case) may drop back, or not.

Whoa, careful who you share that image with. That's a very offensive formation in both senses of the word. At times, this is what the Dragonflies looked like versus Mriin. If the ball was won back, the centrebacks knew they had to stay back and let the rest to the work. The fullbacks push up, a double pivot is formed by the defensive and central midfielder, who at the same time provide some coverage for the defence, while the attacking midfielder can set up either striker. This formation requires the most specific personnel, hence why Juliasterinthen hasn't put this one out on the field too often so far. You need a pivot who knows their defensive role - Yokota knows. You need centrebacks who know to stay back - and every defender of this generation is taught that. The fullbacks need to be pacy, and that's something to work on. Hellegeland isn't a speed demon, while Aelisire can take that physical toll easily. Hellegeland's role on the outside was sometimes taken up by a centreback with various outcomes: Arceneaux mostly just passed the ball back inside. He attempted two crosses, one flew way over the box and the other went straight over the back line. Not great, but it keeps the opponent on their toes. This formation also gives Longchambon a lot of space to work with, which is what he likes best. The strikers are pure finishers here, and that's another skill that every forward of this generation can do. Mriin was completely outnumbered on several occasions, and both goals came from these situations. They simply didn't account for both wings being populated by (full)backs, and with the central midfielder pushing up where necessary. Even Yokota popped a few on goal. Juliasterinthen was visibly concerned with the defensive stability of this formation, but the extra time in possession at least won't trouble the Dragonflies' goalkeeper. We might see more of this if the opponent permits.

Whatever the formation and its application, you can see that the defensive midfielder has to do it all. The true key to the 5-3-2.
Last edited by Ko-oren on Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kelssek » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:28 am

KBC1 coverage: Kelssek vs. Independent Athletes from Quebec
“...and representing the Royal Kingdom of, that is. What are their chances, and will they see Kelssek as an opponent they have a real chance of beating?”

“With all the unknowns circling around them, you have to give them a lot of credit to this team for making it to the big stage, they had to beat Græntfjall over two legs to get here and no doubt a lot of people would think it’s Græntfjall who are the real underdogs against a country that does have a history. Which has made it quite a long way in the World Cup before, so even with all the uncertainties off the pitch, they are strong performers on the field and you know it’s not so long ago that this new generation of Kelssek players were in more or less the same situation, in a strictly on-field sense of course.”

“Does Kai Poirier get the start, for you?”

“Well, he’s clearly not ready to give up that number one jersey and Cathal Gallagher who is the only keeper Kelssek has who I’d say is of the same quality, it just hasn’t shown in the opportunities he’s been given for the national team, in the qualifiers, that he should start over Poirier. I will say though, Poirier is going to be on the move because he needs to be playing in a top league and the KFL Championship is unfortunately not there yet. It’s a real shame how all that turned out in Cosumar, no fault of his of course, and I’m sure he’s going to find somewhere to land with the season he’s had for club and country.”

“Seamus Wylten is going to start up front and paired with Matt Lister. A tactical surprise, do you think?”

“It’s certainly an indication of a more direct tactical approach than we saw against Farfadillis. It looks like the gameplan is going to be a high ball to Lister who will then win the ball and play it to another attacker. Wylten is a poacher-style forward and he’s been prolific in that role helping Clayquot City reach 4th spot and the IFCF Challengers Cup this season. I think Kelssek needs to try and overload the defence. A lot of people consider Lucien Raiff the Royal Kingdom’s best player, but he can’t be everywhere at once. Like with any other team, though, quick ball movement to find their way through the lines is going to be vital.”

* * *
“Yusupov... here’s the cross and Lister heads it!... Great save from the Royal Kingdom keeper! That was goalward bound. A decent early chance for Kelssek and they’re determined not going to let the Royal Kingdom team settle into the match.”
“Lister with the cutback and Seamus Wylten!!! Kelssek takes the lead, seven minutes into the match and that’s just the combination they were looking for!”
“It’s very clever from Wylten, he know it’s up to Lister to win the ball. So he hangs back, that’s nice control by Lister to win that physical battle with the defender and play it into space. Wylten’s quick off the mark, he’s got half a metre of space and that’s all he needs
“Lovely skill from Ó Tuathail...! He’s got the defence scrambling and – Wylten! That’s his second goal! A sharp pass across the six-yard box and it’s a tap-in for the Clayquot City striker! Kelssek lead two-nil and they’re looking very sharp today!”

85 minutes
“patient play by Kelssek... Champetier switches that over to the right flank. Yusupov moving the ball forward... Yusupov plays it inside... Ashley Douglass racing through and she’s got some space! DOUGLASS! It’s lashed into the back of the net! Wonderfully placed shot and there was no stopping that one!”
“Caught the Royal Kingdom defence napping there. And that could be an important goal to restore a two-goal lead because they could smell a comeback, you know, and they’ve stepped up the pressure since they scored that goal.”

90+1 minutes
“And Raiff will try to launch the counterattack… Yi has chested that down well, and he’s away!... Halliger is… Halliger’s chopped him down! And the referee is reaching for… it’s a red card! Just outside the penalty area but Yi had a clear path to the net… Halliger lunged in from behind, and that’s as textbook a professional foul as you’re going to see.”

“No attempt to win the ball, just trying to stop the striker getting through on goal by any means possible. It’s a cynical play by Halliger but if by doing that he’s preserved the lead…? And he will be suspended for the match against Eura, you know, I don’t think players are that calculating in the heat of the moment…”

“You’ll take a free kick in this situation.”

“If you’re playing the probabilities, oh yeah.”

“...that’s been blazed a good two metres over the crossbar, and the Royal Kingdom manager looks pretty annoyed with that.”
“You think Lionel Mah is going to kick a fan?”
“I think that was a typo in the media guide. But some of the Royal Kingdom fans can be pretty obnoxious I suppose.”
“If Kelssek can retain possession for a couple more minutes they’ll have the three points...”

KELSSEK 3 - Wylten (7’, 59’), Douglass (85’)
Poirier, Bowler, Halliger, Curtin, Douglass, Demetriev (Bogdanor 76’), Lapierre (Champetier 68’), Ó Tuathail, Yusupov, Lister, Wylten (Maçon-Petrault 83’)
INDEPENDENT ATHLETES FROM QUEBEC 2 – Hertel (62’), Fillion (88’)
Emperor Michael IV, Pocono City (attendance: 85,719)
Last edited by Kelssek on Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Farfadillis » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:07 pm

(OOC note: because Eura's domestic calendar is a bit behind, a few events here haven't unfolded yet on the domestic end, but will do so in time)

He rinsed his face once, twice. The water could not wash away the dark circles. Lately, his whole life had been turning into a bit of a vicious circle. Perform badly, get depressed, eat less, sleep less, perform even worse, have a drink, eat less, sleep less... He hadn't had the best domestic season, and he was playing badly for the national team too. If the guy second in the pecking order wasn't some random from a middling Taeshani team, he would've lost his starting spot by then.

Ànáxímane knocked on the bathroom door. “Tôsgo, open up!”

“In a minute! I'm washing my face.” He replied absent-mindedly.

“Of course you are! But you've got visits! They say they're old teammates of yours!”

He immediately perked up. He grabbed the towel, dried his face, braced himself, then went to open the door.

“Hey, guys,” was all his muted voice could muster to say. It trembled.

“Tôsgo, nânò*! Long time no see! We were doing some business here in Newmanistan and we thought we could come visit you.”

“Hey, Têrçêr, you mind giving us a second?”

Ànáxímane shrugged, then made his way to the dining room. He could not care less.

“You guys want something to drink? We've got some very cheap alcohol in this hotel. It's the only service they provide besides shit food, shit beds and shit bathrooms.”

“No, thanks, nânò. We've only come here to catch up with you in person. You know, ask you how you've been doing, telling you how we've been doing, giving you an update n your sister...”

He gulped. All of a sudden, he felt cold. “Well, I imagine you guys have been doing fine. The new league brings in a lot of money, doesn't it?” He poured some shit whiskey on his glass. Probably Audioslavian.

“Oh, it does, for sure. For this season, it is going to bring in about one-tenth of what your transfer to Eura could bring.” Xâráks flashed a smile. “So, how have you been? Had a hard time in Eura?”

He smiled, then downed the glass. “Spit it out, you're here to threaten me.”

“Nânò... we would never threaten you. We're here to encourage you. You know how important you are to us.” Rüý brought his close fist to his chest. “We're nânò-sângrà**. And you're important.”

“Look, even if they don't pull the trigger on the deal, I can still be sold for a lot of money. Maybe some Nepharan team, or an Audioslavian one.” His voice cracked. Xâráks shook his head. “A Banijan one?”

“Tôsgo, we cannot wait for that. If we don't hurry up and take control, someone else will. If we don't have the money from the transfer, we can't get armed and we can't recruit. Without that, we're just a football team.”

“Well, then we're screwed, aren't we? You heard the rumors, surely. They're not gonna go for it.”

“We've arranged a little meeting with them. We'll be watching tomorrow's match. We'll take care of the negotiations. You know Rüý over here has a bit of a silver tongue. You just gotta give us something to work with.”

He shrugged. He knew it was beyond him. “I'll give it my best.”

“I'm sure you will. Your sister will be watching from kâsâ***. I'm sure she'll want to see you do well.”

He put away the alcohol. “Okay, I get it. Can you leave, please? I'm gonna need some peace of mind.”

“Sure, nânò. Good idea, slowing down on the alcohol. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.” Tôsgo opened the door for them.

As they made their exit, Xâráks turned around, raising his finger. “Oh, I almost forgot. Happy birthday.”

“Thanks.” He waved them goodbye. It was not his birthday.

*: Rulandese for brother in the Ômên dialect; used as an affectionate term between very close male friends. Essentially like “bro” but even more intimate.
**: Rulandese for brother in blood in the Ômên dialect; essentially means someone with whom you've fought a war, or gone through similarly-strenuous circumstances.
***: Rulandese for house/home; in this context, it refers to Lâ Lüs headquarters, where all of Lâ Lüs' players and their families live.


Now back in print after a brief ten-year hiatus!

Beat Them At Our Own Game

Yesterday, the national team continued their run of acceptable form as they clinched the top spot in Group C with a hard-fought win against Eura. Although la Vherderoja arrived at the game as slight underdogs, being second seeds and infamously inconsistent, as opposed to the Eurans were top seeds and famously consistent, Pam Scott's men managed to imitate the strategy that had given Farfadillis the edge four years ago in the World Cup 84 semifinal: the pigeon approach to chess. Knock the pieces, defecate on the board.

The game started off with both sides trying to grab the game by the throat. Farfadillis coming out all guns blazing is not a rare sight, but for the first time the Eurans tried to match them blow for blow from the outset, perhaps owing to the untimely injuries of Kevin Belgrave and Dean Steele. This approach paid off very quickly: a great through ball from Griffiths found Bond remarkably unmarked, owing to a lapse in concentration from Ûsêtêrnìx. The Oakstone striker fired past Ibrelaná with ease. The Eurans smelled blood after this and opted not to relent. They paid for their hubris. Just two minutes later, rue Cazade tackled Robshaw brilliantly, then lobbed the ball over the Euran defense to find an incoming Tôsgo Alxíki. The young winger killed the ball with a very deft touch, then passed the ball to Röémün Çídh, who was standing by the penalty spot. He placed the ball far from Ryan Bull's reach.

With the game level, Eura decided to pull back a bit, presumably fearing they would not be able to beat us at our own game. Pam's men did not relent, however. The following minutes saw Farfadillis dominate, finally breaking through in the fifteenth minute thanks to a brilliant individual play by Tôsgo Alxíkí, who got rid of his marker on the wing, then curled the ball to the far post with his weak foot.

La Vherderoja could not hold onto the lead for long, however, as the Eurans retaliated almost instantly as Bowman scored what could turn out to be the best goal of the World Cup with a brilliant long-range effort that grazed both the post. Once again, the Eurans couldn't even sit back and breathe, as in the very same play of the kick-off Çí Xôrí managed to send Alxíkí through, the winger's blistering pace leaving Bruns biting the dust. With a soft touch, the winger scored his second of the night, and there would be more to come.

With the scoreline reading 3-2 just twenty minutes in, both sides slowed down slightly. The Farves, surely because they aware that the Eurans would destroy them if they overplayed their hand, as has happened many times before. The Eurans, on the other hand, most likely slowed down because they realized they would not be able to match the Farves at offensive output.

For a few minutes, this seemed to work in favor of the Eurans. Playing a more standard game of football, the Eurans easily took control of the game and snuffed out most Farf attacks. However, everything went out the window in the twenty-ninth minute, as the referee called a very controversial penalty for Farfadillis after Edmün Çídh was brought down by a tackle from Roberts. The Eurans argued he'd hit the ball first, the Farves argued he hadn't. VAR did little to clear up the confusion. It did, however, give enough time for the Çídh brothers to get into a fight with Jake Newton and Charles Roberts. All four got promptly sent off by a referee who was taking no prisoners.

The call stood. Faragó rue Cazade took the penalty, as Pam Scott had prohibited the Çídh brothers and Wìjìnì from taking penalties after the incident against Kelssek. The Szoirsian takilante placed it on the top corner.

The Eurans did not let nerves get the better of them. Despite the obvious parallels with the semifinal from four years before, where a red card apiece led to the game opening up and Xíxì Êns netting himself a hat trick, the Eurans held strong, adhering to their previous plan of slowing things down and beating us at actual football. In the forty-first minute, great link-up play between Bond and Woakes led to the latter slotting the ball past a helpless Ibrelaná. Despite lengthy injury time, there was not time for more. At half time, the scoreline stood 4-3 in la Vherderoja's favor.

The second half saw both teams slow down slightly. Neither team wanted injuries, which were massively more likely to happen with both teams having had two players sent off. Despite the game having slowed down, individual brilliance from rue Cazade seven minutes into the second half led to another Farf goal. He received a great cross from Wìjìnì, chested it down, feinted a shot, leaving freshly-subbed-in Jack Menard lying on the floor, then carefully placed the ball close to the left post.

Holding a 5-3 lead, Farfadillis looked to seal the game by making an attacking substitution: Horacio Bastanchury replaced Vínseslâdís Wìjìnì in order to play up front; rue Cazade was told to play as left winger. This approach saw Farfadillis slowly take control of the game, but wound up not paying off because of an extremely inspired Moira Woakes. In the sixty-eighth minute, she set up Griffiths with a brilliant long pass, netting herself an assist. Her performance wouldn't stop there: she'd finish the game the second-best player on the pitch.

Five minutes later, Farfadillis managed to once again extend their lead in the tug of war the game was turning out to be. Debutant Bastanchury managed to break past the Euran defense—at this point already looking tired—then fire at goal with his first touch. Unfortunately, he was not meant to score on his debút: Bull managed to get a hand on the shot. Alxíkí was there to clean up on the rebound, however, and the game was now 6-4. At this point, it was officially a crazy scoreline, even by Farf standards.

With about twenty minutes to go, four fewer players on the pitch, Farfadillis dominating and his team trailing by two goals, it was no surprise when Michael Brandon decided to once again go on the attack. It was a risky decision: it could very well leave his team with a worse goal difference than Kelssek going into the final matchday. It paid off almost instantly. Henry Patterson's fresh legs gave Farfadillis immense trouble, and eventually quickly gave way to Woakes getting her second of the night. Patterson dribbled past t'Öéséné, then Fermández, then Ûsêtêrnìx—all of which were showing clear signs of fatigue—before passing the ball towards Woakes due to lacking the angle for a shot. She fired the ball straight into the top corner. The game was now 6-5, and had already become a classic.

We do not know what would have happened if Tôsgo Alxíkí hadn't scored his fouth of the night seven minutes after that. It is likely that Eura would have equalized, as the Farf defense was having a lot of trouble withstanding their onslaught, as a product of their tiredness. Fortunately, we will never know, because the truth is the Eura-based winger dribbled past two then put the ball far from Bull's reach. It was evident that it was a very emotional moment for the young winger, who the cameras caught crying profusely after scoring his fourth goal of the night.

The Eurans did not stop, eventually scoring a sixth goal as Moira Woakes completed her hat-trick with a great shot from the edge of the box. Despite la Vherderoja hanging on for five minutes after that to see out the game, it was not a meaningless goal, for two reasons: the goal allows Eura to go through with a draw against Kelssek, and it turned the game into a scorigami. For the uninitiated, this is what infamous Audioslavian journalist, entrepreneur, film-maker, narrator, novelist, broadcaster, podcaster and television presenter and former politician, sports administrator, felon and international football manager[1] Jeremy Jaffacake has defined as a scoreline that happens for the first time in the history of the World Cup—meaning both the qualifiers and the World Cup proper. To this journalist, it seems fitting that Farfadillis would be involved in a scorigami, and even more fitting that it would happen in a game against Eura.

As things stand, Farfadillis will be more interested with what happens with Group D on matchday three. A match against The Holy Empire seems likely, which would give the team a chance for a measure of revenge for the World Cup 80 semifinal, but a Southwestern Showdown is not out of the cards, nor are matches against Reçueçn and Savojarna.
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Postby Valanora » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:47 pm

Coming off of the emotional high of doing so well against The Holy Empire, one might have been able to foresee the troubles that the Marauders would have against Savojarna. The team had done a remarkable job at playing at the top of their game against one of the best teams in the entire world and in the history of the competition, a let down was almost inevitable. Credit is given where credit is due and the Savojar defensive outlook and tactics did exactly what they hoped they would do, they kept the attacking talents of the Marauders at bay and they were able to withstand a peppering of their area without conceding. It is not often that the attack of the Marauders does not find a way to find the back of the net at least once during a match and yet they were kept off the scoresheet by the Savojar defenders and especially Jinja City's Iiro Pakanen in net, who was having a game where he was practically standing on his head with the amount of saves that he was able to make despite the Marauder onslaught upon his net.

If there are positives that come out of the match, it is that the team's tactics through the first two matches have more or less done as the Marauders would have hoped, their possession based attack meaning that their foes are having to chase the game rather than being the ones who get to dictate the pace and tenacity of the match. This makes sure that our own defenders are able to stay fresh and not under pressure, a blessing given that Vanorian defenders are typically not the best of the bunch, even if they are quite capable at their positions. Unlike the midfield and attack, defenders and keepers have been historically the weakest positions for the Empire to produce, even when the elves were making up the majority of the teams. That is one of the reasons why in the Premiership that you see a lot of defenders being foreigners rather than Vanorians, it is perhaps something in our football culture that makes it hard to develop good players consistently in those positions. Fortunately for the team now, Sean Smørdal has been one of those rare gems who exceeds normal expectations, but this is likely to be his last World Cup, with him to be thirty-five at the start of the next Qualifiers.

What went right for the Savojarna? Well, they were able to mark Hawk pretty well for most of the game, denying him the usual amount of playmaking or goal scoring opportunities that the captain has become accustomed to. Similarly, when they were broken down, their goalkeeper was having a very good game and was making stops that on another day probably would have been certain goals. There was a quiet confidence about the Savojarna side coming into the match despite their initial loss to open up group play and you could saw that in the way that they were carrying themselves throughout the match, even when the Marauders seemed to have them hemmed in in their own half. There was never any panic or any show of lack of confidence that they should not be here and competing against the best teams in all of world football. That tenacity and confidence will do them quite a bit of favor, as if they are able to keep it up, I would fancy them be in with a shout to win the Copa Rushmori and be a World Cup challenger within the next decade.

For the Marauders, there were signs that the team was clearly mentally and emotionally exhausted after their emphatic victory over The Holy Empire, and while the letdown was only a draw against the fourth seed in the group, it was still a let down all the same and means that qualification into the knockout stages is not quite assured for the squad, yet. There is work still to be done for the side as they will go into the third group stage match knowing that they will need at least a point to be able to secure their advancement into the knockout rounds. The side will be hoping that they can channel the same sort of energy that they have two years ago when they met Reçueçn in the Round of Sixteen and were able to defeat the up and coming team in the knockouts. With Reçueçn coming off a loss against The Holy Empire, both teams know that they have to get a result to absolutely ensure their progression and is set to build up quite the tense game. The game against Savojarna might provide a blueprint for our next foes to try and use to get that result and the team is going to have to adjust. While Hawk can and will usually be worth a few unexpected results in favor the side, they have to also get better at playing without him being the central figure, as more and more sides will look to mark him out and make the rest of the squad beat them. While the bitter taste of two dropped points against Savojarna might sting, it proves a lesson and one that is better learned now than exploited later in the tournament, should the side get that far.
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Postby Cassadaigua » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:10 pm

Fillies advance early,
By Chelsea Dufresne, Concord Heights Times

Ever since the group draw and the schedule were released, we talked about how good it would be if the final game against Nephara would not have to mean anything other than pride. Especially after World Cup 85, where as I have said countless times now, the team’s early struggle put them in an early hole. It was not official that the Dagans were eliminated after two games last time, but the probability of that was very high. In the first game of World Cup 86, the 4-0 trouncing of Trolleborg put the team in a position, and now, a 2-1 win over Siovanija & Teusland sends them through. Both Cassadaigua and Nephara have 2-0-0 records, and with Group H probably sending Baker Park and Turori, from our perspective, we’ll be an underdog in that round of sixteen matchup, no matter what.

Jumping ahead to that game, both Baker Park and Turori would be a very attractive matchup for us. Now, when I say that I am not talking about our likelihood of winning, but more than general appeal of the match to the Cassadagan fan. As we know, we have a strong relationship with Baker Park, having co-hosted with them in World Cup 84, and it being a place where Cassadagan players have played or coached. We expect to see that number even increase in the future. The two sides played a friendly before the World Cup began, which was won by Baker Park. Turori, on the other hand, has been an achilles’ heel for us, year after year. I’ve commented before that when looking at Turori, we can never get results against them, but do play much better against Vilita. You can’t really have a preference here, so what is the team looking to prove against Nephara?

Manager Stephanie Sweeney has announced that there will not be any lineup changes for the contest against the Cormorants. It’s pretty clear that both nations will be looking to use this match to keep momentum rolling for their opponent out of Group H. Nephara will be the favorite in the round of 16, and us the underdog in that round. They would probably like to see Turori a little more than they would Baker Park, but much like we think, those two nations are so close together in rank that you have to think that it does not really make a difference. Perhaps, either Audioslavia or Kandorith will move into that second position, and if that were to happen then there is enough incentive to win Group G outright. The final matchups in Group H are Kandorith against Turori and Baker Park against Audioslavia. Turori has a two point advantage over the two lower teams in their group, so they are the only ones that control their own destiny.

The Fillies played a gritty game against the Goldhorns of “S & T” to get into this situation. The teams exchanged first half goals, with Cassadaigua getting one from Courtney Graham in the 26th minute, only to be equalized eight minutes later. The match would be 1-1 for a while, until late substitute Ashley Dahlin came in and scored in the 79th, just two minutes after she entered the game. That would be the difference maker, with Tiffany Nelson making some big stops on a flurry of Goldhorns chances in the final three minutes, especially. Manager Sweeney called the game, “Well played by both sides. We had two people step up and get goals for us, proving the balance that exists up and down this lineup. I am excited about the way we played against them. Gavin’s team (Goldhorn manager Gavin Hughes) deserved better and they have played better than the group table shows.” Sweeney referenced that with Graham and Dahlin scoring, none of the teams top five goal scorers (Rachel Schanke, Meghan Wolcott, Madison McClain, Zack Pierce, and Preston Newfeld) did score. That is important production to be getting in a game like this.

Around the World Cup, other nations that have advanced are Newmanistan, surprisingly enough, as well as World Cup 84 Champion Farfadillis (who won a wild one over Eura, 7-6), Nephara, and Baker Park. Therefore, many spots hang in the balance in the third game of each group. Even Banija, who was perfect in qualifying, has to battle in their finale.
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Postby Kandorith » Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:39 pm


Shinonome Kyoai - International
News From The Empire

Hayabusa Talks Positivity and Success

Kandorith was unable to win against Baker Park and not just with a small defeat; a 3 to one scoreline was the story of the night and Hayabusa was at the forefront of this. Of course we asked his opinion on how the Lotus Warriors were performing in the World Cup so far.

"I think the team has been amazing." Hayabusa said in his typical straightforward manner. "I did not expect to win against Baker Park at all and certainly did not expect the draw against Audioslavia. The team has been brilliant and we have been showing a lot of brilliance and significant stalwartness. I think that for me and a lot of the fans that reaching the World Cup once again is a victory on it's own. Personally for me I feel we could have done more but we haven't done any less either. A lesson we can learn from the match against Baker Park is our defense; but eventually scoring a goals against them is one of our greatest achievements in the World Cup for a long time.

"This is a very young team and needs the experience they have right now; we are not a competing team when it comes to this tournament, but we are showing we can hold ourselves together. This feeling is one of the most important things right now and the fans deserve to see a great football playing side. In the upcoming match we will once again show our best and play to the best of our abilities and maybe, just maybe, hope for a small miracle. In the end, a small miracle might just be enough to show our people that hope is still something we have. I feel completely powerless right now as we stand here during the World Cup and can not be with our friends and family in these difficult times. Although one thing is certain, we are standing here for our fellow people and will do everything we can to show them what we are made of."

Hayabusa of course said this in reference to the devastating earthquake and tsunami which swept across Kandorith in the past weeks; leaving many people homeless and in distress. For now the aim of the national team is to create a feeling of unity and strength, to once again bring the people of the Empire together under one banner. The next game will be crucial for the Lotus Warriors and once again everything will come down to the very last game of the group match. If Kandorith wins, it could mean an appearance in the round of 16 for the second time for the Empire; but also a major upset in the history of football.

Imperial Navy Returns For Rescue Efforts

As the devastating Kitano earthquake gripped the north-eastern parts of the nation, the Imperial Kandorese Navy has returned to her home ports of Higano and Higashu. Relief efforts are underway and people have been advised to contact local authorities to inform them of their safety but also to be ensured of much needed aid. For now the nation remains devastated and the Empress herself will visit the victims of the disaster in the coming days. To the many people affected by the disaster the message remains: "The nation has been massively shocked by the force of nature during these times and stands ready to help brother, sister and family during this hardship and trial. The Kandorese Empire is a stronghold and a show of force when it comes to human prowess and sensibility. Right now, the gods have shown us times of hardship and this brings us together more than ever. It is in these times that the gods have also taught us compassion for one and another. From myself and all households across the Empire we can only offer you our sympathy and will reach out our warm hearts to offer our help. Our very capable armed forces have been working around the clock to offer their aid and bring our beloved brothers and sisters to safety, yet this is not enough; I call upon you, the normal Kandorese people to extend your compassion towards your fellow human being. The people in the Northern reaches of our lands need your help right now. Because. where our capable armed forces are not enough, the love of our people and nation is. The current disaster is the greatest destruction in our nation ever since the great war and more than ever should we stand together as one." Which are the warm words from Her Majesty The Empress, Empress Masumi.

The Kitano Earthquake has an estimated death toll of twelve-and-a-half thousand people right now and another one-hundred thousand people still remain missing , while the armed forces are scrambling to seek for survivors. For the Kandorese nation, this has been one of the greatest natural disasters in the past four-hundred years. From most of the national institutions the message remains to stay safe and help your fellow person where you can; but overall it is best to stay inside when it is safe and wait for the emergency services to give orders. From all across the nation, support has been arriving in the form of emergency aid, volunteers and even makeshift emergency vehicles to take people to safety. One thing is certain; the nation shall overcome this disaster as it has done so in the past.

The entire Empire has been affected by the disaster and even normal life has been heavily affected by it, but soon enough life will return to it's normal routine and we shall remain as strong as we always have been. One thing is true for the Kandorese people; that is the fact that the people bow, but never kneel, not even in the face of natural disaster.
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Postby Trolleborg » Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:42 pm

Greetings, compatriots! It's TTV from Drawklands. Yes, we all hope on the best, but we need to come to terms with what happened. During the year we have made a very big step forward, and painful defeats from the best teams of the world should not seriously darken our mood.

You yourself saw everything on the pitch, but it should be noted that our guys looked a slightly more confident than in the first game, and the opponent was the national team which had the second best rating in the world. True, then the advantage in experience and skill affected. But, to the credit of our players, even with a large score, they still didn’t quit playing, didn’t let Nephara score even more, and moreover, they tried to find the key to the defense of formidable opponents, created chances, even though the opponent’s players were by no means relaxed with the score 3:0. And finally, here it is, our first goal at the World Championships – at the 72th minute after an excellent pass of Finnsnes Stuart Kerr jumped over his opponent and delivered an accurate header


Despite the circumstances under which this goal was scored, the fans, of course, greeted him with delight, which you can observe on the cameras of the fans themselves.


But perhaps our guys could not count on more. Game ended with 1:3 – at least slightly better than 0:4.

In general, it should be noted that the game of our team did not produce a depressing impression in any of the two matches, the guys just frankly still lack experience and psychological stamina. After all, we are still newcomers to world football, albeit audacious and sometimes brazen. Yes, we are already dropped out, and we could hardly have counted on more, suffered the largest defeat in history, but it should be remembered that already now we can indicate that our team already managed to get even with many of teams that inflict defeats on us in world football in two previous seasons. The growth of football players' skills is obvious, the ability to learn from lost games and gain precious experience is clearly visible, and, of course, we all hope that this will not be our last trip to world forums. But, it should be noted, tomorrow we still go home, because the last game does not change anything substantially.

However, we are all waiting to be able to see the color of our football on the field. The fans, as always, together with the team, and this time game will be attended by all the country's top leadership, who came to personally support the lads from the stands, refusing to take seats in the guests' box


The match is expected to feature a grand show with torches, fireworks and 1,015 Trolleborg banners.

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Postby Hampton Island » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:01 pm

(Following the Starblaydia match)

Clyde Benner: That was tiring.

Edwin Conney: They are a tough group, just like they were when we played them last time.

Roger Grant: Starblaydia won the World Cup recently, right?

Hank Andrews: No, not recently, Roger.

Roger Grant: Oh I remember them winning something.

Edwin Conney: Probably one of those tournaments for kids. They should have a tournament for older people, as well.

Clyde Benner: There was something for 35 and up, which agree, not old enough.

Hank Andrews: Yeah I remember when I was 35, a couple of decades ago. An over-50 World Cup, now that would be something. Edwin, you would just barely fit under that criteria.

Edwin Conney: That would be fun. We would probably do really well. I wonder if the older people from other nations are rooting for us.

Hannah Sanders; Hey guys, tough game today but we can’t win them all.

Roger Grant: Why not? I want to win them all!

Hannah Sanders: Well, we could, but we still have a good shot to make the round of sixteen. If we beat Drawkland, then we are through!

Clyde Benner: I would like our chances if we did not have to play them in a road game. It is not even home field advantage, it is home planet advantage. By the way, I am amazed by how similar things are in Drawkland, even with their players being taller.

Hank Andrews: Yeah, all those science fiction movies had aliens looking weird, with big eyes, and not speaking English but here you would not really know that you were on another planet if you weren’t told about it. I am sure if I had time to look around, we would notice a lot more.

Edwin Conney: It would be nice to hang out here a couple extra days after we win the World Cup, or if we get eliminated. Hannah, how about it? Let us stay longer.

Hannah Sanders: I have booked up the spaceship for our return home. I am more prepared now. I have heard that there is a consensus to not utilize the portal this time and actually travel normally through space this time.

Roger Grant: Yeah that would be fun. The portal ride was over too fast. I am glad we got here that fast, though.

Hannah Sanders: I am very nervous about this last game. They won’t like it if we eliminate them. They might not let us return home.

Clyde Benner: I am sure that they won’t do that. Drawkland is a classy nation, and I have found the people here to be very friendly. But Hannah, like we said, let us stay a few extra days out here. I want to have the experience of what it is like on this planet, and you know you do too.

Hannah Sanders: Yeah, I think so. We can stay a little longer, but let us make knockouts first. What a great accomplishment that would be.
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Postby Banija » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:11 pm


A tough 2-2 draw with Chromatika leaves the Kadongo Kamu with everything to play for against Mriin

Banijan striker Ilman Jawara(#9) tackled by a pair of Chromatik defenders in Banija's World Cup match

TUNDRA FALLS, NEWMANISTAN- The Kadongo Kamu and The Anomalies (not to be confused with the Chromatik club that goes by the same name, Anomalies) are opponents that, by this point, are expertly familiar with each other. As many of our readers know, this is the fifth competitive match that our two sides have played during this World Cup cycle. First, in the group stages of the last AOCAF, we defeated them. Then, in the quarterfinals of the same tournament, they downed us on penalty kicks. And then, we played them twice in World Cup Qualifying- with the Kadongo Kamu coming out on top both times. So when we drew each other in the World Cup, it was not the matchup the Banijans wanted. Ranks don't matter at that point- everyone knows each other so well, it was always going to be a bare knuckled, tight fisted match.

And that is exactly what we got. The game was always going to be a back and forth battle. Chromatika, who lost on Matchday 1, needed to earn at least a point to give themselves a chance at advancing on Matchday 3. And Banija, of course, wanted all three points, to possibly clinch a berth in the knockout stages if all else went well. And so, even early on, chances were being created. In just the 3rd minute, a through ball from Namakula Kawesa reached Ilman Jawara, who tried to shoot the ball around Chromatik star defender Henri de Aea. It was a shot with great pace, but the only place it had to go was straight into the hands of goalkeeper Mia Ria. Just a few minutes later, another Ilman Jawara shot was deflected out of bounds by Kai Xiao for a corner kick. Kuma Bultum came flying in for the header, beating his man, but headed the ball just over the crossbar.

Banija, obviously, had the advantage in the early moments. But Chromatika wasn't planning to sit back and simply absorb Banijan attacks. They wanted to launch some of their own. And so in the 15th minute, it would be the star winger, Kaytlyn Victoriane, who would have the first opportunity to score for Chromatika. After defeating Fekati Abdi on the dribble, she was able to dribble the ball in towards the box and try to curl the ball in towards the far post. It was a dangerous, bending shot- but Francois Tantoh was on top of it, diving at full stretch and pushing the ball around the post for a corner kick.

The game was like that- decent chances for both squads, but neither team was putting them away. But then Banija would finally take an opportunity for themselves. It was actually after a great stretch of play, where Chromatika had some sustained pressure on the Kadongo Kamu. But a cross in from Victoriane went straight to the hands of Francois Tantoh. But instead of falling on the ball, his head was up. He was racing forward, and saw a wide open Namakula Kawesa in the middle of the field. He threw the ball to his attacking midfielder, who turned and started going up the field.

Of course, Banijan players started racing forward. Kawesa sent a ball down towards the right corner, with Madu Okparra giving chase to the ball. With his own pace, he was able to beat his opponent to the ball, and then he decided to try and dribble it in towards the middle. They were putting incredible stress on the Chromatik defense- up the field, in numbers and with pace. And the Banijans would make Chromatika pay. Okparra centered the ball to Ilman Jawara, who beat Henri De Aea on the dribble and shot the ball. It went straight to the goalkeeper, who pushed it back. However, Madu Okparra was right there, and the Banijan winger slotted the ball towards the far post. It was a brilliant goal for the Banijans, who took a 1-0 lead.

That was the lead going into the break. Chromatika knew that if they lost again, they may as well be as good as dead. Marcus Waters warned his squad of this- "a cornered Chromatika squad is one at their most dangerous", but the Banijans could not contain Chromatika. Those first ten minutes of the half were all about the players in black and white. It was only a matter of time before Chromatika was going to score their first goal, and true to form, Chromatika was able to equalize. Olimpia Vidal, who scored against Istria City FC in the AOCL Final, was going to equalize. She was able to hit a pass on the ground first time, and bury it into the back of the net. Tantoh didn't have a chance- it went with incredible pace towards the top corner. Chromatika fans celebrated deliriously, as they were level at one.

This caused the Banijans to really put it into gear. Banija did not want a draw- they wanted to win this game. They knew that this was the type of game they wanted to show that they could win, if they were to truly achieve their goals at this tournament. Marcus Waters made a change- took off Fekati Abdi, and brought on Lama Nyang. Nyang was a young left back, one who could help get forward, and maybe do a better job marking Kaytlyn Victoriane, who was killing the Banijans on the wing. The decision, at least to start, paid off brilliantly. Fresh legs on the edge brought some energy to the Banijan squad, who were able to create some chances. Bringing off Kizza Okafor in the 67th minute for Amadi Uche helped as well.

In the 72nd minute, the Banijans would find another opportunity. Namakula Kawesa was fouled on the edge of the box, but off to the side, on the goalkeeper's right. Gitonga Kahara would be taking the free kick, but without much of an angle to shoot, he would be lifting a cross into the box. And the captain's ball was a beautiful one. Banija is a dangerous team from set pieces- there are plenty of players on this squad capable of getting on the end of set pieces. But this time, it would be the brilliant central midfielder, Mzukisi Nzo. A man who has dominated in Taeshan, he rose here in the World Cup, above the crowd, and headed home perfectly, just barely beating the outstretched hand of Mia Ria and find the back of the net. Once again, the Kadongo Kamu led, 2-1.

It would be a tough one for the Banijans to hold onto. Against a team like Chromatika, you really have to put them to the sword. You cannot sit back and try to absorb pressure from them- they will make you pay. And while the Banijans sat back, it did not take long for Chromatika to make them pay. And it would be Kaytlyn Victoriane who would do so. She was dribbling down the field on a counter, and was able to beat two defenders on the dribble. She blew past Lama Nyang, and then when she took on Demba Kinteh, she put the center back on skates, beating him on the dribble on a play that will live on in social media for a long time. She then cheekily chipped the goalkeeper for the sublime finish, and the brilliant individual effort made the score 2-2 in the 79th minute.

But the game was not over then- Banija would have one final push to try and get a winner. Enyinnaya Jideofor came into the game for Namakula Kawesa, and he was going to try and lead the Banijan effort to get an equalizer here. And Jideofor, although he was only on the field for a few minutes, was brilliant. He created the golden opportunity to try and find an equalizer. He beat a Chromatik defender on the dribble, and then sent a great, overhead through ball to Ilman Jawara. As the Banijan #9 raced to get under the ball, he was pulled down on the edge of the box by Giles Ken. The referee went to the video assistant referee, and pointed to the spot- penalty.

Ilman Jawara, the man who was fouled, would have a chance to win it. Ilman Jawara has come up in so many big moments for the Banijans. And yet- he hasn't had the greatest World Cup. He was, of course, substituted off the pitch in Matchday 1, a rarity in a big game for this man, as his substitute Idai Uster scored the match winner against Ko-oren. And he wasn't having the greatest game in this one either. But he was staring down the Chromatika goalkeeper, with a chance to score what could be the decisive goal in this group stage match. He looked at the goalkeeper, and went to her right. However, the goalkeeper had studied up. MIa Ria got a great jump on the ball, and punched it away.

A great roar came from the Chromatika fans. ANd that was the last good opportunity for either team- the game ended with a 2-2 draw. "That match probably deserved a draw, even if we had a chance to win." Gitonga Kahara, the captain, told reporters after the match. "Chromatika is a tough team to do battle with- the fact that we've played them so many times recently has made both of our teams battle tested, and both of our teams better off for it. That's what makes this group so tough- playing Chromatika and Ko-oren both in group play, neither give you an inch. We have a lot left to play for, so tomorrow morning we'll watch the film and start to prepare for Mriin."

Matchday 3, we'll go to the Tundra Falls Proving Grounds to play Mriin. It's an adequately named stadium for what has to happen- one of our squads will have to prove themselves on Matchday 3. The gargantuan complex is most famous to Banijans for hosting the NSCAA 10 Final Four, when the University of Moravica went to the Championship game of that tournament at this same complex. But in the middle of this racing stadium lies a brilliant football stadium. Well over 70,000 in the main stand, but well over 100,000 will be at the track, witnessing what could be one of the games of the tournament. Both Banija and Mriin need a result to advance.

Interestingly enough, Banija and Mriin have never met at the senior level. It's an all AO group- and although we have plenty of history with Ko-oren and Chromatika, we have none with Mriin. Although, at the 47th Di Bradini Cup, there was a controversy over Idi Mboge, a player who switched national allegiances from Banija to Mriin at the U21 World Cup. He's not on the Final 23 for the Mriin side(yet), so that storyline doesn't really come into play, at least yet.

Marcus Waters, the manager, had this to say about his Pot 2 opponent. "Mriin is obviously a very talented team, and an opponent that we are wary of. They are one of few longtime Atlantian Oceania nations that we have yet to play competitively, so we are obviously excited for this matchup for that reason. Istria (not to be confused with the Banijan Olympic host city) Saara is a very talented #10, and she's the focal point of that offense. We're going to have to contain her. Of course, we have world class defenders on this team like Kuma Bultum, but we will have to structure our defense around minimizing her attacking threat."

Banija. Mriin. Winner moves on. Loser? Likely goes home. And if they draw? Then they'll find themselves at the mercy of whatever happens in Ko-oren v. Chromatika. With these stakes, this will be one of the more exciting matches of the group stages. Prepare your nerves, it'll be a cagey, yet fun, matchup. And as always, go Banija!
President of the World Cup Committee and the World Cup of Hockey Federation. Back to Back defending IBC champions.
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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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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Pasarga » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:26 pm

The Wanderers knew that they needed to defeat Terre Septentrionale if they had any hope of advancing out of their group on the last matchday. It was not just a matter of pride, it was measuring stick to see just how far the team had come in the last four years, how far had they truly climbed since their dip in from that had seen their qualification streak be replaced by a pair of Finals that they had missed out on in back to back cycles. If they were better than the side that had met Terre Septentrionale in the Cup of Harmony the last time that the Wanderers had failed to make it to the Finals and if their foes were indeed that significantly better as well, given the previous scoreline between the two sides with it ending six to two in favor of the Wanderers. With the Nordiques having bested Equestria in a shock result on the first match of the group, it was clear that they had improved from that last encounter, the question was to what measure and if our own squad had improved enough to defeat them on the heels of a bittersweet defeat against Vilita, a result most of the team felt should have ended with a share of the points.

The Nordiques came out swinging, building off the momentum of having defeated Equestria and were keen to show that it was not a fluke but a testament to how well they have developed their squad over the last half decade. Some good movement and played saw the Nordiques take the early advantage with getting the first goal of the game just shy of the twenty minute mark. It was not a lead that would last long for the Nordiques, as the Wanderers' own playmaker pulled a bit of magic in the middle of the field and was able to slide Nataša Horvat in and the striker calmly put away the pass from Mária Vöröss to level things once more on the twenty-fifth minute. The back and forth looked like it was going to last until halftime, with a dogged game in the middle of the park, yet in the thirty-eighth minute the Nordiques found a way to break the gridlock. On what looked to be an innocuous corner, Roksana Kolodziejczyk managed to get away from their marker for a moment and was able to get above the rest of the crowd to head in the goal, a goal that gave Terre Septentrionale the lead into the halftime interval.

The side needed a spark to get things back going in the second half, to try and not only equalize but find a way to get ahead and stay ahead. A draw would all but eliminate the side and a loss was for sure elimination, it would be a shame too hard to shoulder for a side that had prided itself on being the rejuvenating energy for the Wanderers program. A clumsy tackle lead to a good set piece opportunity for the side just four minutes into the second half and just like in the first half, it was the playmaker of the side who was going to give the team its spark. Mária Vöröss hit a masterclass free kick and there was very little that the keeper to do as they were caught flat footed but watch as the ball rustled the back of the net and brought the sides level once more. Terre Septentrionale was not going to let the Wanderers off the hook and for the third time in the game, they took the lead, this time with Fryderyka Cwierczakiewiczowa scoring from a cross from Sandrine Fontaine, as the scorer of the first goal of the match turned provider for the Nordiques third goal. It was a lead that they hoped would stick and see them through to the knockout stages.

They would be disappointed, with Alexander Jager being subbed on for Nataša Horvat after the Wanderers gave up the goal. His first touch would be a golden one, with Jan Gersten sending in a lofted cross from the touchline that Jager met on the half volley with enough pace that you would think it should have cut through the net, the sides leveled a third time on the seventy-first minute. It took eighty minutes, but Júlia Müller finally was able to get and behind the Nordiques defensive line on a brilliant through ball from second half substitute Zita Szöcs, and the Rozelle used her pace to burn to elegantly round the oncoming keeper and slot home the go ahead goal despite already in the process of falling over from her standing leg having been caught by the rushing keeper. Despite the obvious pain she was in, she was quick to get up and celebrate with her teammates, before being subbed off as the Wanderers looked to clamp down in the last ten minutes. Sandrine Fontaine would get a good opportunity to level things in the eighty-seventh minute but Ambrus Galambos was able to push the shot past the post and then easily caught the resulting corner kick. The minutes ticked away and the final whistle blew, with the side knowing they escaped from the match but where still alive in the tournament.

Equestria now awaits in the last group game, an Equestrian side that has been bruised up through its first two matches and is going to need a minor miracle if they are to qualify out of the group. After being upset against Terre Septentrionale in the opening game, they were then brushed aside by the Vilitans, meaning that the heavy favorites to advance from the group are now in a very unenviable situation. Equestria needs to defeat the Marauders and defeat them heavily and have Vilita defeat the Nordiques in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive. For the Wanderers, their path to qualification is clear, they have to not lose and they have to match or better the Nordiques result against Vilita. However with the desperation that the side is likely to find against Equestria, a team who has recently won the World Cup and has had their domestic league skyrocket up the rankings, it is a tall ask to get at least a point from the fixture. That is the requirement though and it is likely that the side will be without Júlia Müller for the match, as she was seen with an ice pack around her ankle after the victory against the Nordiques. This likely means that Alexander Jager will be slotted into the starting lineup. Can the once prodigal son make good on his last appearance in the World Cup or will the strength of Equestria be a hurdle too high to overcome?

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:03 pm

Part 1: The Barbed Inn, Chromia
Part 2: The Emerald, Ming
Part 3: Killjoy, Cortez River
Part 4: Jordan's Talk
Part 5: Islander Dome, Myana
Part 6: Busukuma/Mid-Qual Thoughts
Part 7: Triple B, Deprí Sanar
Part 8: The Date, Alnio/Chromia
Part 9: Questions and Answers
Part 10: Before the Last Day
Part 11: TJUN-ia Preview
Part 12: TJUN-ia Mid
Part 13: Group Stage Preview
Part 14: Defense, Defense, Defense
World Cup 86 Group Stage, Matchday 2:
Score: Banija 2-2 Chromatika
Scorers: Vidal '52, Victoriane '79
Starting XI: Ria; Xiao - de Aea - Ken - Ilya; Victoriane - Armageddon (C) - Conrad; Mora; Andisori, K. - Vidal.
Substitutes: Nocturne -> Ilya ('63), Dragana -> Conrad ('73), Andisori, B. -> Andisori, K. ('81)

As Mia Ria punched away Ilman Jawara's penalty to preserve the tie, Chromatik fans let out a sigh of relief - they had gotten a crucial point in their group, and would have an outside chance at proceeding to the Round of Sixteen.

What must Landers and Velens's crew do? Defeat Ko-oren, and hope that Banija defeats Mriin. Any other set of results will end up with the Chromatiks being sent home in their return to the World Cup Proper.

Henri de Aea, Mia Ria, Kaytlyn Victoriane, and Olimpia Vidal were the true stars in the match as the Anomalies managed to contain the goalscoring attacks from the top-ranked team in the world.

"I am proud of all my charges," stated Velens in a press conference after the match, "We are getting very used to facing the Banijans, and we were finally able to get a somewhat favorable result this time. It's a step in the right direction, and we will have the chance to actually cash that in. Hopefully, Banija will continue to do what it does by taking down the Mrii, and we will be able to take care of the Dragonfiles."

The Ko-oren Dragonflies - one of the best defensive sides in the entire multiverse with their suffocating 5-3-2 - will prove to be a different class of opponent to the Mrii and the Banijans. "They get you so tied up and frustrated that you lose sight of the goal," admitted Keira Andisori, "You get caught napping and then the counterattack hits you and that's when they're at their deadliest. Facing them for ninety minutes is going to be as much of a mental challenge as well as a physical one."

One this is for certain - this is the best run that Chromatika has had in two years, and if they were to grab the other three points, it'd be the best cycle in four. Since Silian Parker departed from the squad, the team has been in a state of flux - this may be a final exclamation to the fact that Chromatika is, indeed, back on the map.
Rainbow League System Season Nine
Release of Key Players Mark Interesting Transfer Window

For the first time in Rainbow League System history, Chromatika will be having a total of thirty-seven players listed on the wire that played in Chromatika last season. Of those, fourteen are University graduates, seventeen are foreign players, and six are domestic players wanting to move on from their clubs.

The release of all the players that were part of Miners FC and Anchors FC seems to be par for the course - with Willy Koop, Anchors FC's Defensive Midfielder, the most likely to be signed by another Chromatik squad. What is interesting is the release of the likes of Markus Sefton, Jakob Silas, Sigrun Rivers, Jessika Donath, Paula Farquhar, Scout Morwen, Ayn Zwayer, and Alcander Visser. For each, the reason why their team let go of them are slightly different, but the trend seems to be that due to the RLS's rules regarding foreigners - five starters and eight players total - a team has only so much that it can do to grow and get better.

As Alnio looks to seriously contend, it needs shoring up in the back end. For Anomalies, it's necessary for them to start looking past Chromatika and into the IFCF at large. Brisara is looking for consistency, while Chromatik has simply exploded with the letting-go of Didier Jacques. Eyrods is trying to rebrand itself to be more of a fluid squad versus a purely defensive squad, while Urrheddiao is trying to get younger. This new trend of actually being willing to let go of players once a team deems they are past the prime of what the player can do for their team changes the reputation of the Red League from an opportunistic league to more of a cutthroat one, but that might not be a bad thing to be fair.

Of the fourteen university graduates being listed, the two from Chromia Central College University catch the eye. Both Ulrich Slaven and Lisa Elbrook have the potential to be in the Anomalies' pool in the near future if they are snatched up by the right clubs to nurture them. The likes of those two and the University of Myana three are likely to be far more picky about where they end up versus the other players on the list.

For Augustus Humphreys, this transfer window is paramount - he needs to make a claim on the Anomalies' Right Winger/Midfielder pool and needs to be signed by a contender in a minor league or an aspiring team in a major league to help him meet those goals.

Hanna Anglox? A hail May for her career. Xe Xuang? Has a chance at late recognition. Ophelia Crider and Louise Bliase are just being caught in the mess that Jacques's departure brought, while Sasha Kristine is looking for a place to just spend her twilight years.

To whatever end, this Transfer Season will be memorable and have a profound impact in the next season and the seasons to come.
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Regional Tournaments: 52 (2nd), 53 (4th), 54 (QF), 55 (Champions), 56 (Ro16), 59 (Ro16), 60 (QF), 61 (4th), 62 (Ro16), 63 (2nd)
WC Proper Appearances: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79 (Ro16), 80 (Ro16), 81, 83, 84, 86, 87 (Ro16)
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

WC86F - MD1 / MD 2

Postby Vilita » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:59 pm



Jungle Cats on the cusp but still have work to do

Castle Stadium, Raikennax, Drawkland :: After a long history of entering the World Cup Finals as the 7th or 8th highest ranked team in the KPB rankings and being pushed into the second pot of the Group Draw, the Vilita National Team was in a unique position entering the World Cup 86 Finals as they have had a relatively massive fall in the rankings from their comfortable perch as #1 in the Rankings which they had held for 3 cycles, back to a lowly position as the 3rd highest ranked team in the competition. Of course, everything in sports is relative and even the Vilita National Team that won the 20th World Cup would have loved if they could have come out ranked as high as 3rd when they were done but now the media has begun to wonder if this team were "racing along a downhill slope" as the Jungle Cats watched their rankings lead evaporate and fell down two notches behind Banija and Nephara.

The reality, however, is that the Vilita National Team were still very much a force to be reckoned with and they proved as much by winning their World Cup 86 Qualifying group. While not quite as impressive as #1 team Banija's perfect 18-0-0 record, the Vilitan National Team was one of the top performing Nations in the Qualification Phase of World Cup 86 suffering just a single defeat. The one blemish on the Jungle Cats record was a spectacular one, however, a 6-2 reversal on Matchday 6 that temporarily dropped Vilita to the second spot in the Group 8 Table. It was part of a two match stretch where the Jungle Cats struggled including a 3-3 draw with Jeckland. From that point forward however Vilita would post an overall record of 11-1-0 to easily overtake The Sarian by Matchday 13 and coast along to a return appearance in the World Cup Finals. There were certainy a number of highlights in the qualification for the Jungle Cats including an 8-0 thrashing of a respectable Staypuftonia side but the Jungle Cats still could not find away to hit double digits in an official match - still living in the shadow of their all time record 9-0 scorigami performance from nearly 70 cups prior. By the time the 18th matchday was completed Vilita held an 8 point advantage over The Sarian and a group-best +42 goals differential.

While supporters of the Vilitan National Team may lament their fall from 1st to 3rd in the KPB rankings since their most recent World Cup title 3 cycles prior, the situation is even worse for fans of 15th ranked Equestria - the Jungle Cats closest challengers in Group F. Having just won the World Cup two cycles prior the Equestrians are clearly on a downward path from their peak and many have suggested that Group F is the most competitive group in the entire World Cup finals from a standpoint of competition for the second place in the World Cup Knockout stage. There are just 12 positions difference in the KPB rankings between the 2nd highest ranked team in Group F - Equestria in 15th position, and the lowest ranked team in the group - Terre Septentrionale at 27th. The 12 ranking place difference between the 2nd and 4th ranked teams in the group is the same as the difference between the top seed Vilita and second seed Equestria. Only group B has a higher rankings gap between its highest and 2nd highest ranked teams while no group in the World Cup finals has a smaller difference in ranking between its second and 4th ranked teams. Where the difference in Group F is just 12 places between the bottom three sides, other groups have gaps as large as 43 ranking places

Due to their position in the group, each of the Jungle Cats group stage matches would be played in the same arena: The Castle Stadium in Rakennax. Home of the Raikennax Charge, the Castle Stadium reflects the appearance of an historic castle. However, unlike the Lirai Asku Castle in Yeaddin, Vilita - Castle Stadium in Drawkland is a purpose-built reproduction meant to both inspire and entertain at the same time. The home of the Charge boasts a capacity of approximately 150,000 fans and it will need every one of those seats as it is one of the most popular spots for the neutral in Drawkland to catch a match due to its proximity to the local Airport.

Vilita [3] - [2] Pasarga

GOALS: Vilita :: 1' Cywrenta Vlintejni:: 50' Enzoril Alabonni:: 81' Sipke Tarala
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 57%:: Shots: 9:: Corners: 16 Pasarga :: Possession: 43%:: Shots: 4:: Corners: 3
Lineup: [GK] Striitca Virahat, [D.] Linkat Cjinder, [D.] Rojara Tiones, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [ML] Va'a-Rio Kiwavn, [MC] Polaox Torerun, [MC] Cywrenta Vlintejni, [MC] Jyuola Mtalata, [MR] Jurzen Devmiko, [FC] Sipke Tarala, [FC] Enzoril Alabonni
Bench: [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [FC] Tenziki Kulakao, [M] Cavuna Aquafek, [M] Limu Katarakhna, [U ] Kudii Davasarii, [D] Inteali Koranjo, [GK] Mako Canopii

The Jungle Cats would kick off their World Cup 86 campaign against a Pasarga side looking to redefine their identity after bouncing between World Cup Qualification and the Cup of Harmony. Pasarga knew coming into the match that a result against the Jungle Cats would go a long way in ensuring it was them advancing to the knockout rounds and not either Equestria or Terre Septentrionale. For the Jungle Cats, however, they were well aware of the Banana peels that have previously haunted them on the opening matchday of the World Cup Finals and were looking for a smooth transition into the knockout rounds. While not prudent to look too far ahead there was no secret that the Vilitan National Team was looking to make up for their early exit from the World Cup 85 Finals at the hands of Banija. With Banija being placed in the Newmanistan half of the World Cup 86 draw, the only way to make amends for that result would be for the Jungle Cats to run the table and meet their higher ranked regional foes in the World Cup Final.

To win first you must advance and Vilita had a job to take care of in the Group Stage. Within minutes Vilita had the lead through Cywrenta Vlintejni and looked set to run off with the three points. Pasarga would fight back, however, with a Júlia Müller brace otherside of the half cancelling out Enzoril Alabonni's goal from a 50th minute corner kick. The match had become closely contested and it seemed it was destined for the match to end in a hard fought draw. That was until Sabrefell Athletic's Sipke Tarala latched on to a through ball from Polaox Torerun and broke Pasargan hearts, undoing all the hard work the Rushmori side had done to keep pace and leaving them nothing to show for their efforts.

For the Jungle Cats, however, it was a crucial victory that represented their greatest threat to an early elimination. Having defeated the third ranked team in the group, the Jungle Cats had built in the flexibility of dropping points to the groups second highest ranked team - Equestria - and still have a match against the groups bottom side, Terre Septentrionale, with a chance to win and secure a place in the knockout rounds.

After another 90 minutes at the Castle Stadium, however, the picture would become even more rozy for the Jungle Cats. While unexpected opening matchday starter Striitca Virahat was relegated to the bench in favor of Yeaddin Owls netminder Mako Canopii whose reason for missing the opener was not disclosed, Vilita still struggled to keep the ball out of the back of the net conceding twice to the Equestrians. Despite the leaky defense, the Jungle Cats were never under threat having rushed out to a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals from Linkat Cjinder, Nii'arala Milaaso and Cywrenta Vlintejni. The Equestrians got one back just before the half and temporarily made the match close through Lunar Shadow's riccochet'd effort in the 72nd minute. Though it temporarily appeared that Shadow's goal would set up an exciting final 20 minutes, this time it was the Jungle Cats who would respond to the situation they were presented when another Yeaddin Owls player made their impact felt as Tenziki Kulakao made a rare substitute appearance and laid down a pair of quick goals to put the game out of reach.

With a 5-2 victory over Equestria when the final whistle blew, the Jungle Cats were on the cusp of the Round of 16 with only one of 12 possible Group F scoreline combinations on the final matchday being possible to eliminate Vilita. Any points earned on the final matchday by the Jungle Cats or by Equestria would see Vilita through to the Round of 16. The only scenario that could see the Jungle Cats eliminated would be a defeat to Terre Septentrionale by 2 or more goals as well as a Pasarga victory over Equestria by the same amount. While the ultimate goal for the Vilita National Team is revenge against Banija in the World Cup Final, they can not overlook the task ahead with at least a point required against Terre Septentrionale on Matchday 3 to avoid an early trip home from Drawkland.

Vilita [5] - [2] Equestria

GOALS: Vilita :: 7' Linkat Cjinder:: 23' Nii'arala Milaaso:: 32' Cywrenta Vlintejni:: 78' Tenziki Kulakao:: 79' Tenziki Kulakao
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 61%:: Shots: 14:: Corners: 28 Equestria :: Possession: 39%:: Shots: 5:: Corners: 8
Lineup: [GK] Mako Canopii, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [D.] Linkat Cjinder, [D.] Inbekira Ajhabekk, [ML] Cavuna Aquafek, [MC] Polaox Torerun, [MC] Cywrenta Vlintejni, [MC] Limu Katarakhna, [MR] Lentali Purama, [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [FC] Sipke Tarala
Bench: [FC] Tenziki Kulakao, [FC] Enzoril Alabonni, [M] Va'a-Rio Kiwavn, [M] Kudii Davasarii, [U ] Linvoi Warazil, [D] Rojara Tiones, [GK] Vernasa Sanamun

Last edited by Vilita on Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-¤-¤-¤World Cup 20 Champions¤-¤-¤-¤-¤-¤World Cup 68 Champions¤-¤-¤-
-¤-¤-¤World Cup 77 Champions¤-¤-¤-

Region: Atlantian Oceania - The Home of Sport

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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Newmanistan » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:03 pm



By Brianne Henry,

From start to finish, it was a well played game by the Rockets, looking like a well-oiled machine in World Cup play. Against The Sarian, a nation that was very impressive in qualifying, especially the first half of it, Newmanistan had the chance to go 2-0-0, and that would mean advancement to the next round once it became official that Zwangzug and Brenecia had finished in a draw. The Rockets will still need to play Brenecia, and the best soccer nation of Esportiva (using Campionato Esportiva titles) must get at least one point to secure themselves a round of sixteen berth. Should they lose, they are vulnerable to Zwangug if that one defeats Brenecia. They’d finish in a tie in the group, leaving things settled by goal differential. That is something that Brenecia would rather not have to deal with. Both Newmanistan and Brenecia certainly would love to avoid playing Banija in the next round, but with the way Group B looks, you can’t say right now that Banija will win the group. They aren’t even locked in to begin with, but you have to think that a team that was so dominant in qualifying will find a way to get into that top two or else they would go down as one of the biggest disappointments in World Cup history.

Enough about them, though, because they probably will be fine. Let us think about our own team for a moment and what this can do for us. In the rankings, it will certainly help, as in theory, the better you are ranked, the better your chances are of qualifying for the World Cup. Newmanistan was #38 for this tournament, and that would have had them in pot 3. If they can move up just enough to get into pot two, then chances of us actually qualifying in future Cups will seem better. Doubters will say that they will still find a way to blow it, because they would probably be pot 2 next time, and get drawn in with someone like Tequilo, and then that nation would qualify, but we can forget about that at least for right now, I hope. This is the minimum hope right now. Ideally, we win this group and take care of business in the knockouts.

A good run in the World Cup will do wonders for Newmanistanian soccer. The ENSL is a competitive league, and most teams draw very well, but will a point come again where the league might appeal to top flight talent from overseas? In the old days, in its heyday, we did get some people to come to the Empire from nations like Candelaria And Marquez and Cafundeu, who were big at the time. Not stars from those teams, but quality players that certainly have the opportunity to flourish here. Momentum from a successful hosting of this tournament may make ENSL organizers decide to enter Newmanistanian clubs in the domestic club competitions that are very popular. Can’t you just see it now, Pocono City vs 1830 Cathair? That is a matchup that will never happen now but could be. There are some rumblings out there that we may do this, so we will see what develops.

World Cup fever has been strong throughout all of the cities hosting games, with the Proving Grounds hosting that wild 7-6 Farfadillis win over Eura. If anyone thought that soccer was boring because there was not enough goal scoring, just look at that scoreline. Eura missed the extra point, so it appeared. Games are sold out all over the Empire, and not only because of the traveling fanbases. Putnam Lake was a tough place to get a ticket for the matchday 2 game between Valanora and Savojarna. Brett Young, a Putnam Lake reporter wisely pointed out, “Laborious Hawk played against Jeremy McAllister back in the day. How can anyone not be excited about seeing him play? Then, against an exciting up and coming side like Savojarna, that is a can’t miss!”

For Newmanistan, they got to play in Southport for the second game, the 5-2 win over The Sarian. The game sold out almost as soon as it was announced, and festivities began as soon as the traffic from Valanora vs The Holy Empire made their way out. However, many Rockets fans bought tickets for both games, pointing to the obvious appeal of two the longest tenured and most successful soccer nations. Like in the first game, when the Rockets jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime against Zwangzug, the sky blue did the same in Southport. Paul Lombardi scored in the 6th minute, then goals from Allister Levy in the 31st and Vinny Donaldson in the 36th did the deed this time. Newmanistan made 4-0 on Madison Desalvo’s 55th minute goal, as the member of the Southport Tigers scored in front of her home fans. Lach Houten and Hugo Sint Lo scored in the 67th and 73rd to cut the lead to 4-2. Kenzie Miller, who entered the match in the 78th minute, scored the final goal of the match in the 88th minute to secure the win.
Six-time World Baseball Classic Champions
CHAMPIONSHIPS: DBC 4; 27th BoF; CoH 34, 36, & 37; Oxen Cup 12; WBC 10, 12, 15, 17, 41, & 43; IBC 4, 5, & 29; CE 26; WLC 1
Runner Up: DBC 5 & 6; Oxen Cup 6; WBC 7,9 11, 14, & 45; IBC 1; WB 4, 6 & 34; WLC 2 & 3
World Cups qualified for: 46, 48 (R of 16), 49, 50, 54
Hosted: WORLD CUP 49, WB 1, 2, 5, & 35; WBC 8, 11, 14, 19, 38, 44, & 46; CoH 33, 35, & 39; CE 25, WLC 2, 4 & 5; WCoH 10, IBC 24, NSSCRA, Multiple NSCAA Basketball Tournaments, and a horse racing series

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Founded: Nov 17, 2016
New York Times Democracy

Postby Mriin » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:08 pm


5 Lessons To Learn From the Dismantling of Mriin #2

1. The Ko-orenite Press Has A Sense Of Humor

2. Satyr Physicality Can Be Countered
Many a pundit were quick to dismiss Mriin's fortuitous rice in the WCC rankings as an "uh doy, they're seven-foot-plus behemoths. They can just run human teams over and bully them off the field." And like, yeah sure, sometimes that works if they've never seen a satyr before. And that's true for most teams in qualifying! But it's progressively less true for teams in the finals, who've now had over a decade a watching us play at the highest level and seeing how the Reavers tick. God forbid they're also an AO nation so they watch our deep AOCAF runs too. (Bar Chromatika, for some reason. They still can't figure us out.) A smart team with a clever manager that knows what to look for can...well, not easily, but feasibly can alter their strategies to diminish the very polarizing style of play satyrs leverage.

Look at our bogey teams: Farfadillis, Vilita, and now Ko-oren. They just get how we play. And they each adapt to it in their own way. The Farves play marginally less suicidally aggressive, forcing us to create our chances rather than punish theirs--and then they take that tit-for-tat play and triumph with their superior hoofwork (err, footwork) and technicality. The Vilitans calmly control the flow of play the gentle waves of the cove, depriving the Reavers of the momentum swings they often need to break through. And the Ko-orenites? They fuckin' rewrite the playbook every time, apparently. The Karelan Devotees themselves flinging their wingbacks forward all willy-nilly and catching our front line not reacting fast enough to drop back. Bah.

3. This Isn't Going To Stop Happening
Kadongo Kamu manager Marcus Waters had a voice clip going around about how the Banijans will be altering their statagems to put undue pressure on Istria Saara. It was a little interesting to hear that in this day and age; it was a strategy that's been employed against the Reavers before, defenses going out of their way to shut down Solara specifically. And while it's true that our offense is less multi-pronged than back in the day--dropping a striker will do that, even when your midfielders are more than credible scoring threats--it's also much less one-dimensional up front. Solara was clearly the best of the three strikers any time she was on the field; that's much less true of the modern team. Istria is a world-class talent, no doubt, but so are Tali'raia and Mako Silanii and Beiren Reiger and Äzyr Fæwin.

It's my opinion that the "cut the head off the snake" strategy won't fair so well in the face of a hydra. But then you also have to consider that this is Banija doing it. World Number Ones, the favorite to win the whole shebang according to many sources. If anyone can pull it off it's them. That underscores the line from before: when you face the satyrs, you need something extra. And these top teams are never going to stop looking for the next leg up they can get.

4. Omuul Alkiina Needs More Time
Losing the tactical acumen of Joren Kreuger is no easy thing for a team to handle, now that he's off managing in Ethane. There were rumors that Tailtiu Brennan was going to import a new assistant from Brenecia, and then there were further rumors that this was overruled by the MNL who had their own candidate they wanted to push up the ranks. Enter Omuul Alkiina, a (junior) professor at the Universy of Mathematics in Maal. His work has been heavily invested in sports analysis, especially in the ways it interweaves with sports physiology and sports sociology--all of which require sufficient time to bear fruit. The players don’t know him well after being with the team for just a few months--only since Joren internally indicated that his departure might be imminent--and he doesn’t know them back. That trust needs to be built, the report needs to be developed, and the data needs to be taken down and run through the ringer.

This all wasn’t going to happen in the break between qualifying and finals. Not to mention it means the team is without Joren’s extraordinarily in-depth opposition analyses and marathon video session. There’s no doubt Brennan is doing her best along with the rest of the Reavers staff, but losing the guy who was really good at that shit makes it much less efficient. It’s a long-term appointment that needs to get long-term results. We might suffer in the short-term because of it. And that’s always a bitter pill to swallow.

5. We Should Have Brought Idi Along
How fucking hype would it have been to have the first human Mrii international footballer make his debut against the nation he declined to play for? It’s always been MNL policy to trust in experience, but we’ve seen what experience gets us in the World Cup: a lot of group stage and round of sixteen exits. Let the kids have a chance to play, especially when it’s narratively convenient! Not to mention bringing in younger, more dynamic players would make it harder for opponents to perfectly plan out their counter strategies. It all comes full circle.
Nephara wrote:It's retro as all fuck, and it works like a charm.

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Founded: Apr 14, 2013

Postby Brenecia » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:24 pm

Brenecia 0 - 0 Zwangzug
(4-3-3) 1 - Wright; 2 - Bravender, 5 - Leadbetter, 6 - Costello, 19 - Roscommon; 8 - Matheson (c), 4 - Townsend, 14 - Caitiff (21 - Parrish 78'); 7 - Cheney, 9 - White (10 - Ciogach HT'), 11 - Pace (16 - Fletcher 67')

MINUTE-BY-MINUTE: Brenecia vs. Zwangzug, World Cup 86
Diarmuid Henderson

5.40pm - So already this shapes up as a crunch tie, two games into the World Cup. Brenecia, second seeds but the highest-ranked side in the group, have a chance to make sure of qualification before the march to hosts Newmanistan. Zwangzug, after a damaging defeat in their first match, need a result. This is a match between arguably the strongest second and third seeds in the tournament, and there's little doubt this is the most open group overall. Every neutral's eyes should be fixed on this match.

5.50pm - Lineups are released! It's about as expected for both teams, with Clovette Bravender, Esther Caitiff and Tricia Pace brought back into the fold. Mhacha White remains up front. For Zwangzug, despite promising recent form, it appears Kivrin will remain up Sonnabend's sleeve for the time being.

6pm - KICK-OFF!

6.45pm - 45 mins - And that's still scoreless at half-time. I could've sworn I'd written something. Surely something happened, at some point. I'll try and be more active in the second half.

7pm - Both teams come out for the second half. It appears that Mhacha White's been hooked for Kara Ciogach, who isn't coming off the best of seasons with Lajuno but did at least reliably start. Zwangzug need a goal here; as things stand they're relying on beating the Sarian and Brenecia losing to Newmanistan, though this is far from impossible. Look at how the shags got out of jail last tournament, and now they won't shut up about making the final as if they hadn't massively lucked out to even make the knockouts.

7.13pm - 58 mins - Finn Townsend gets a yellow card for knocking Banach to the ground. That's him out for the Newmanistan game, given his booking against the Sarian earlier.

7.18pm - 63 mins - Ione Friede shoots wide from the edge of the box, not quite catching the ball right. It looks like that's her last action of the game, Kivrin coming on to replace her.

7.22pm - 67 mins - Ceridwen Fletcher's coming on for Tricia Pace, who has had a poor game down the left wing for the Patriots, very much in Saitta's pocket. In the white and black, Burkhart is warming up on the sidelines.

7.24pm - 69 mins - Burkhart replaces McCollins after a foul throw is called on Triss Roscommon, who is incredulous.

7.29pm - 74 mins - Ciogach shoots wide from the edge of the area, but was offside anyway.

7.33pm - 78 mins - Parrish replaces Caitiff, right after a booking. Blum replaces Cherenkov-Nguyen to give Zwangzug another body up front.

7.40pm - 85 mins - A looping header from Ciogach is comfortably saved by Paige Daunten.

7.44pm - 89 mins - One minute of injury time has been signalled. Burkhart is booked for dissent; it's unclear what she was upset about, precisely. I'm pretty upset about watching this dreck.

7.45pm - 90 mins - We have entered the final minute of the footballing purgatory that has been this game.

7.46pm - 90+1 mins - One final attack from Brenecia. Fletcher smacks a cross into the box. Stefred heads it clear.

7.47pm - And that's the final whistle, thank Christ for that. I'm off to the bar.
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Newmanistan » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:33 pm


This cutoff will eventually send eight nations home. If that is you, thanks for coming.
Six-time World Baseball Classic Champions
CHAMPIONSHIPS: DBC 4; 27th BoF; CoH 34, 36, & 37; Oxen Cup 12; WBC 10, 12, 15, 17, 41, & 43; IBC 4, 5, & 29; CE 26; WLC 1
Runner Up: DBC 5 & 6; Oxen Cup 6; WBC 7,9 11, 14, & 45; IBC 1; WB 4, 6 & 34; WLC 2 & 3
World Cups qualified for: 46, 48 (R of 16), 49, 50, 54
Hosted: WORLD CUP 49, WB 1, 2, 5, & 35; WBC 8, 11, 14, 19, 38, 44, & 46; CoH 33, 35, & 39; CE 25, WLC 2, 4 & 5; WCoH 10, IBC 24, NSSCRA, Multiple NSCAA Basketball Tournaments, and a horse racing series

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Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Recuecn » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:28 pm

Reçueçn was to play two games here at The Firepit in Centralia, Newmanistan, but now only one was left. The players had already trudged off the field. There would be no celebrations for les licornes tonight: a hard-fought three-four defeat at the hands of The Holy Empire had put everything in doubt.

It had certainly been a fascinating game. Reçueçn had faced The Holy Empire twice before; only once had the ÉNRF made it to the World Cup and then not faced off against the dreamed realm in the group stage. On the first occasion Reçueçn had somehow managed a draw. On the next occasion it had been a loss. Now they'd come so much further as a team, but they still faced an uphill battle if they wanted to win the game to tie up their record.

The Holy Empire opened up with its traditional, all-out attack against Reçueçn, who quickly settled into its own traditional defensive position. The Holy Empire controlled the pace of the game and had possession for most of the game, but with a breakaway from Franky, a beautiful free kick from Lebo, and a great attack led by Saunders, Reçueçn managed to keep the score tied the whole way through. This continued up until the point where it was still drawn three-three when the game went into stoppage time.

This, however, was when fate intervened. On yet another Imperial attack, The Holy Empire sent the ball forward a little too quickly, so that it passed their own attackers ball wound up in licornes goalie Gerauld Firaut's possession. Firaut played it on the ground, preparing to kick it back down the field. However, as he set up the kick, Imperial forward Alán Belmores grew impatient and ran at Firaut hoping to perhaps get lucky and steal the ball, deflect a kick, or at least force him to make a play—after all, this was stoppage time in a tied game that Belmores had been expecting to win.

However, the Reçuecian fans didn't like seeing Belmores running at their goalie and began to whistle and boo. One or two fans began to throw their drinks at Belmores. Meanwhile, Firaut, seeing the approaching attacker, finally wound up to take the kick, somewhere on the edge of the 18-yard box. He launched the ball toward the far end of the field and Belmores began to turn to run back toward the action. At that exact moment, a Gatorade bottle that had been thrown from the sideline toward Alán Belmores flew over his head and slammed full force into the now airborne soccer ball. The throw must have been a powerful one, because it deflected the kick and pushed it 120 degrees backward the direction it was coming from. The helpless Firaut could only gaze in shock as it bounced into the open net.

Tremblay, the manager, instantly appealed for VAR, but the referee said since there was neither a "clear and obvious error" or a "serious missed incident", VAR could not be used, not that it mattered. Everyone knew exactly what had happened. The goal stood, and as soon as Reçueçn had kicked off again, the whistle blew to signal the end of the match. Commentators agreed that The Holy Empire had thoroughly deserved the win, but that it was entirely bizarre how it had actually happened. The goal was credited as an own goal against Firaut, although a few diehard Reçuecian fans marked it down as "Margaret, 90+1'". Others blamed the disease spreading through The Holy Empire, 'MARG-20'. Stadium security tried to find the Reçuecian fan who had accidentally doomed his own team, but all attempts to find the man failed. No one in the stands remembered seeing who had thrown the Gatorade bottle either.

Jacques Tremblay was left sitting at the edge of the field by himself, wondering if anything could ever change.
Last edited by Recuecn on Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Founded: Aug 27, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Drawkland » Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:07 pm


Cutoff for World Cup Finals MD3

You may be a Long, Long Way from Home, but 8 lucky nations will get to stay here a little longer. Last cutoff of the group stage!

Last edited by Drawkland on Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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