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World Cup 87 - RP Thread

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

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Nephara
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1525
Founded: Jun 06, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:24 am

Nephara 4 - 1 Quemorr Isles
(4-4-2) 12 - Garamond; 18 - Soeringer, 22 - Clevinger, 6 - Verlander, 19 - Strasbourg; 23 - Sauthier, 4 - Shone (15 - Timekeeper 71'), 14 - Fletcher, 13 - Belgrade (11 - Kalevi 71'); 9 - Bastable (17 - Avetisyan 64'), 21 - Basilisk
Goals: Fletcher 32', Belgrade 49', Basilisk 56', Sauthier 70'

Graintfjall 0 - 1 Nephara
(4-4-2) 1 - Provost; 2 - Stride, 5 - Thorn (c), 6 - Verlander, 3 - Muscadin; 7 - Koerner, 4 - Shone (15 - Timekeeper 79'), 8 - Cromwell, 13 - Belgrade (11 - Kalevi 53'); 9 - Bastable, 10 - Lovelace (21 - Basilisk 85')
Goal: Cromwell 86'

Referenced in passing in Graintfjall's RP, Latimore and Roebling were not picked in the 23-man squad for these matches, but their equivalents - Kalevi and Timekeeper - have been subbed on at the same time.


Rashica Horvath thought she'd missed her shot.
She'd been captain of the U21s, once. Felt like a long time ago, now. She'd had her chance to wear the emerald at an international tournament, pull on the armband, do some service for her country even if it was a tournament her countrymen rarely appreciated.
She was beloved back home, though, in Chenoworth. While the Harriers had produced their share of international legends, the academy on the other side of the city was something of a laughing stock. The only Chenoworth Rovers player to represent the Cormorants at any level was Jakob Mortimer, a crafty centre-half who got capped for one of Nephara's first DBC squads, and promptly had his career end through a series of brutal injuries for his club. The fact that Mortimer was an experienced manager by now highlighted how long it had been between drinks.
The Rovers had always said they were responsible for Nephara's rise; it was managing them that the hard-nosed Gethin Ramsey cut his teeth before taking the national team to the Baptism of Fire. They'd reared his granddaughter, but her allegiance remained in the air; Horvath, though, was theirs.
When her agent called her to say Cornellians were interested, she was on the first plane to Schottia.
Yeah... bad call, that.

The Cornellians were Not, it turned out, returning to the world stage.
The SPL was, it turned out, Not returning to its world power status.
Instead of helping a cresting wave, Horvath battled with players beneath her level, on pitches beneath her level, and the hardest fights of all were just getting paid on time. Or at all, sometimes. There was brief talk of interest from Northern Union.. that faded.
So she was here. The heir to Tawny Shone, uncapped. Even as the Eagles' Cup came, and seemingly anyone with a pulse who had ever seen a seabird in their life got called up, multiple people relegated from the Gold League and one from the First Division... no call for Rashica.
She didn't resent it, not truly. She kept training hard, she kept playing hard, she did what she could for the fans. She did her best to be well-loved by the club of Jade Irwin, of Reinhard Shale.
Still, when there was an out...
"Yeah, of course. Of course I'll see them. So what if they're Farfish, you think that matters right now? ... I mean, it's not Ruland, right?"

It felt good to be back.
Not home, not even in Nephara. But with players of quality, of her level. And after the first little yip of impostor syndrome had been brutally flattened, as had anyone who tried to get past her in her first training syndrome, she knew she was of the level.
So she was uncapped. She'd still represented her country at some level, something everyone dreamed of; still walked out as captain, something only a handful ever had. Played in one top league, for one top club and for a re-emerging force with serious history behind it. This was something she could be content with.
And then, just as she'd finally found peace with it all... she got the call.

NEPHARAN NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION - FORTNIGHT 3
Goalkeepers:
1 - Aranea Provost (Holdenberg, EUR), 12 - Raluca Garamond (Sabrefell Athletic), 20 - Fasolt Senninger (Aries Chariots)
Defenders: 2 - Linde Rostock (Stahlburg City), 3 - Bremusa Strassman (Crisisbless), 5 - Roxelana Thorn (Revolutionaries, EUR, c), 6 - Miska Brabanzon (Sabrefell Moths), 18 - Pristina Soeringer (Stein-los Turkish, PAS), 19 - Monika Strasbourg (Myana, CMT), 22 - Reniira Clevinger (Sabrefell Athletic)
Midfielders: 4 - Rashica Horvath (La Nueva Avenida, FFD), 7 - Anselm Koerner (1830 Cathair, AUD), 8 - Lothaire Cromwell (AC Izotz Zubia, AUD), 11 - Chantal Kalevi (Tihon, CMT), 13 - Rasmus Caracole (Cazadores Cathair, AUD), 14 - Exene Fletcher (Hellinic Rouge, PAS), 15 - Rook Timekeeper (Sabrefell Moths), 23 - Janna Sauthier (CASK Thorsborg, SVJ)
Forwards: 9 - Kurtis Bastable (Ulsa, EUR), 10 - Bastet North (Jungle Strike, VIL), 17 - Traudl Mrdja (Vermillion Rage), 21 - Latona Basilisk (Coret Hawks)

SCHEDULE
Baggieland 2 - 3 Nephara
Nephara 4
- 1 Quemorr Isles @ The Iron Hill (Vermillion)
Græntfjall 0 - 1 Nephara
Nephara vs. Pluvia @ Ludd's Hammer (Stahlburg)
Garbelia vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Kandorith @ Farham Arena (Sabrefell)
South Covello vs. Nephara
Sett Forest vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Indusse @ Farham Arena (Sabrefell)
Nephara vs. Baggieland @ The Gauntlet (Treason)
Quemorr Isles vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Græntfjall @ Phoenix Rise (Corvistone)
Pluvia vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. Garbelia @ Eagle's Club (Brinemouth)
Kandorith vs. Nephara
Nephara vs. South Covello @ Eagle's Club (Brinemouth)
Nephara vs. Sett Forest @ The Gauntlet (Treason)
Indusse vs. Nephara
WCC Grand Slam champion.
Accidental Gridiron Championship Silver Belt holders for six cycles??

Masculine, Feminine and Mixed-Sex Name Generators

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Garbelia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 137
Founded: Sep 27, 2020
Left-wing Utopia

View from Venjolath Road: Ep. 9 Hoping not to be crushed. Ag

Postby Garbelia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:59 am

Previews for our next 2 matches!
By Norvis FC legend, Edward Ottero


"The pressure on the manager has been lifted, winning 3-1 at Sett Forest, and only losing 1-0 at Kandorith. We sit at a nice spot in 7th, just a whole 3 places higher than we thought we would end up!"

Team lineup for both games:
Image
Sit back. We just don't want to be humiliated.

Interview with Gero Tisza, thought to be next in line for the international job:

"Hi Gero, thanks for agreeing to the interview."

"Make it snappy Edward, I don't have much time."

"You must feel great, Garvida Revolutionaries being top of the table."

"Yeah, it is good but we have to keep our concentration if we want to win the league."

"What do you say to those who think you could the the back up for the international job?"

"I have no comment. Get behind your current guy. You should be ashamed of yourselves."

"Strong reaction there. Anyway, we'll see you next time (hopefully) we are celebrating a mammoth shock against Nephara!"

View from Venjolath Road will be broadcast on both radio and television daily until the end of the WC Qualifiers, and will be available as a podcast afterwards. Tomorrow, we bring you highlights and reaction for our next two games. PGBS 1 will host our Nephara game, while PGBS 2 will host South Covello. [/quote]
Last edited by Garbelia on Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Murphtannia
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Posts: 84
Founded: Jul 06, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Matchday 2 and 3

Postby Murphtannia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:07 am

WC87 Qualifiers MD 2 and 3.


Disappointing Matchday's 2 and 3 bring Murphtannia down to Earth.


“Hello I’m Phil, and here at Ground Sports we’ve been fighting the Murphtannia times all year for rights to cover the WC87 Qualifiers, so you're damn right we’re going to milk every single game we can.”

Matchday 2

“After beating HUElavia 3-1 in matchday 1 confidence was high amongst Murphtannian fans that they could continue this form and qualify for the world cup, especially when they heard Murphtannia would be playing a national team with mostly semi-pro players, in a backwater nation.

The players and staff were confident too, until they found out about the nation's laws, and the severe lack of technology, which instilled in them a slight bit of fear. Still the government took action to protect their players and Journalists, assigning the Emperor’s Fist, the elite Murphtannian spec ops unit, to protect the travelling team, as well as 100 infantry from the Royal Army, armed with the latest equipment.

Fans were barred from attending the game, not that they could anyway with the stadium only having a capacity of 200, and with the game unable to be televised due to the lack of technology, not even a radio could be used, and so the fans had to go back to the good old days, that being the 19th century, and wait for the Newspaper to print the result.

Meanwhile in Pays Den Huat the backroom staff and the team arrived, and were immediately unnerved, accustomed to the Liberal Murphtannia, the need for an Orange card to speak English was very unsettling, and so was the arrival of a carriage to take them to the stadium, they really were in a land without technology.

As the Carriage could not fit the Guards, the 200 men were left behind at the airport to guard the plane, after awhile the players entered the tiny stadium and got ready, the dressing room was just that, a room with a few benches here and there, the shower was a hole in the ceiling.

As the game started the pitch was about as good as you’d expect from a stadium with a 200 person capacity. There were bumps on the field, a giant hole around the left corner flag. Safe to say it did not suit the fast paced attacking football Murphtannia liked to play, but it did suit the physical style of Pays D’en Haut.

Everytime Murphtannia would make an attack the player woul;d trip over themselves on the pitch, or have the ball wrestled off them by a defender. When it was still 0-0 at half time Haut were happy, and Murphtannia were displeased, this was a game that needed to be won to carry on our momentum.

The second half was no different, however the yellow cards started coming out at this point. The first was when Jean Guy bashed his shoulder into the stomach of Cartlidge, knocking the wind out of him, a second was when Samuel jumped for the ball and kneed Bridges in the face, breaking his nose. The game didn’t get really violent until the last 80 minutes however. Murphy had managed to dribble his way towards the 6 yard box when Serge gave him a swift right hook, hoping the ref wasn’t looking, forgetting that linesmen existed. As Murphy got up he returned the favour, twatting Serge, before Jean-Guy came and tackled Murphy to the floor, bruising a rib.

Jean-Guy was given second yellow and sent off, but on his way back he tried to attack Pallett, with the CB just headbutting him and cracking his head open. Pallet then had something thrown at him by a member of the crowd, and so he responded by jumping into the stands and attacking the fan, beating the crap outta him. Fighting erupted with players on both teams fighting each other, however nobody was seriously hurt and somehow the game continued until the 94th minute, with 1 minute of injury time left and another fight broke out. Brunp hit bridges in the chest when making an attacking run, and Brides responded by pulling him to the ground. As Bridges went to collect the ball he felt a sharp, sudden pain as a crossbow bolt had been fired into his arm. As the 200 fans attending started to join a wider crowd growing outside, the decision was made to end the game early and evacuate the players.

So while the game ended 0-0, the Murphtannian Staff and players ran back to the airport, their carriage abandoning them a long while ago. As the players ran the Emperor’s fist joined up with them, sometimes turning around and firing warning shots into the air to try and scare off the chasing mob, around 1000 people with anything ranging from swords, to axes and pitchforks. The 200 Soldiers that had been left behind at the airport were soon made aware of the situation, moving quickly to take over the air port and set up a perimeter.

The team were evacuated along with the guards without anyone getting hurt, however Bridges and Murphy were injured and would have to miss the next game, a big blow to the team as Matchday 3 was at home to top of the table Sajnur, a game that they were favourites for.

Match day 3


The build up to the matchday was largely uneventful, both teams were going into the match with a win and a draw, so this gave some Murphtannian pundits hope. Both A teams started, however Anothy Boland came in for Murphy, and Jude Elliot made his full debut, coming in for Jack Bridges.

Meanwhile Sajnur manager Kayla Sosarya opted to go with a 4-3-3 formation, Natasha Kirai started in goal, with Taulant Haiji starting at RB, Tomasi vuierev and Hatu Raglan forming the CB partnership and Hella Isahrghie starting at LB.

Christiano Karaji, Sian Levici and Zain Hasan started in midfield, while Parjazu started on the right wing, Ahmed Nazar on the left wing and Ella Ciuru started upfront.
The first half was largely even, Murphtannia keeping up with Sajnur with both teams putting in 100%, however it would be Sajnur that would take the lead, with Ella Ciuru smashing the ball from outside the box, giving Ball no chance, a brilliant goal. However at half time a through ball from Pole split the defence for Boland to slot home his first goal of the qualifiers and to send him reeling in celebration.

The Second half as well was also even, however it all unfolded in the last 20 minutes, Murphtannia had put in 100% effort all game but they were now simply too tired, 3 subs didn’t help as they couldn’t keep up with Sajnur. Ella scored again to make it 2-1, heading in the ball after a superb cross from Nazar. She then made it her hat trick when she out paced Banks and Pallet and chipped Ball. Murphtannia’s misery was compounded when Parjazu made it four, scoring a header from an excellent free kick.

It was very much a game that showed Murphtannia that they still aren’t as good as they would like to be, but they are better than last season and their are positives to be taken away from the game, such as the superb performance from Elliot, and the superb performance from Saunders off the bench, surely he’ll get a start sooner or later, and with the recent struggles for goals, perhaps Saunmders can add the attacking edge Murphtannia need to push on and qualify.

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Brenecia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 666
Founded: Apr 14, 2013
Capitalizt

Postby Brenecia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:28 am

Plane of Possibility 1 - 1 Brenecia
(4-2-3-1) 1 - Wright; 2 - Bravender, 5 - Leadbetter, 6 - Ford, 3 - Roscommon (19 - Watermark 67'); 4 - Townsend (c), 14 - Caitiff (13 - Deal 57'); 7 - Cheney, 10 - Parrish, 11 - Pace; 9 - White (15 - Fife 72')
Goals: Pace 29'

Brenecia 3 - 0 Filindostan
(4-2-3-1) 1 - Wright; 17 - Shepherd (2 - Bravender 76'), 5 - Leadbetter, 18 - Giltanan, 3 - Roscommon; 4 - Townsend (c, 23 - Schofield 68'), 14 - Caitiff; 22 - Waters, 10 - Parrish, 16 - Fletcher (11 - Pace 62'); 7 - Cheney
Goals: Cheney 28' 57' 90+1'

THE ROZELLE OBSERVER
Cheney masterclass proves: a one-man side is no bad thing with a sufficient man
Diarmuid Henderson

It's time we sit back and admit Mhacha White is not the messiah.

Being a serviceable Gold League player is no bad thing, but White was meant to be a world-beater, back in the day. Her career just never quite realised its potential, after those early bumps along the way, never breaking through at FC Endeavour before being shuttled out to the fringes of their long-spanning Centre for Excellence program. As literally nobody has ever shut up about, that's a trajectory that mirrors Ursula Rankin's, and she turned out alright.

Let's stop talking about Ursula Rankin. She would've looked like an abandoned dog against the Plane, too, but she would've made that tap-in at the near post, wouldn't have shot straight down Lamont's throat on the verge of half-time, wouldn't have pulled wide when fed beautifully by Pace's cutback, and if she had, wouldn't've blamed it all on the lack of away fans and called for the opposition to be thrown out of the WCC.

Actually, Rankin never said much of anything.

Point is, it wasn't altogether a shock to see her dropped against Filindostan. But who would come in? Would it be Kitty Hazeldean, the most impressive Brenecian striker in the A-League, a quick-footed, intelligent rover? Or would it be... well, okay, there weren't any other recognised strikers in the squad.

Didn't need to be. How to fit in the best possible squad? Brelk-Xeral, always crafty, decided to just shove reigning Galactico Lauren Cheney up front and hope.

She was brilliant. Everything you could ask for from a striker, she provided. She held up play intelligently, using her muscle and craft to narrowly keep the ball from her opponents and feed in her companions at the perfect time; she had the pace to stretch the Filindostani defence, and when she got chances - bang! bang! bang! - three perfect finishes whipped into the corners left the keeper no chance.

It made all the sense in the world, it just had to be seen to be believed. But it wasn't the only change to what was anticipated to be the 'first XI', with two relative veterans seeming to return to favour in composed, rock-solid fullback Caithe Shepherd, who has been in and out of the team since her emergence, and the seasoned, conventional winger Ceridwen Fletcher, a player whose chemistry with Cheney is unparalleled. Countless times she seemed to flick the perfect pass down the line to where she knew Cheney would be running, and she even hit the post in her own right with a hammered strike from just outside the box.

Terre Septentrionale loom on the fixture calendar, but Brenecia's position in the group is already strong, with Terre and Filindostan already having dropped points twice. A commanding win on home soil would give the Patriots a still stronger hold on top, with the home fixture against Riena to close out the first leg looming as a potential crunch match should their current form hold. Maybe this was just an experiment from Brelk-Xeral, and maybe the pack will still be shuffled ahead of the matches against the second and third seeds. But if it was ever on the cards as a medium-term solution, surely it's passed the test.

BRENECIAN NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION - FORTNIGHT 3
Goalkeepers:
1 - Scathach Wright (Raynor City United, VAL), 12 - Tiarnan Cove (Rozelle), 20 - Cairbre Dundalk (Chenoworth Rovers, NPH)
Defenders: 2 - Clovette Bravender (Ulsa, EUR), 3 - Triss Roscommon (Revolutionaries, EUR), 5 - Finn Leadbetter (Holdenberg, EUR), 6 - Leona Ford (Workers Union, EUR), 17 - Caithe Shepherd (Rozelle), 18 - Casey Giltanan (Workers Union, EUR), 19 - Deimne Watermark (Northern Stallions)
Midfielders: 4 - Finn Townsend (CdF Celtade, AUD, c), 8 - Esther Caitiff (Ulsa, EUR), 10 - Dreigiau Parrish (KT Itzalovalle, AUD), 11 - Tricia Pace (Northern Union), 13 - Cheney Deal (Northern Stallions), 15 - Mathgamain Fife (Rozelle), 16 - Ceridwen Fletcher (Holdenberg, EUR), 21 - Gaheris Archer (North Hall), 22 - Linoan Waters (Istria City, BNJ), 23 - Ronan Schofield (Raynor City United, VAL)
Forwards: 7 - Lauren Cheney (Spartangrad, EUR), 9 - Mhacha White (Farrenton Athletic, EUR), 14 - Kitty Hazeldean (Marque)

SCHEDULE
Hindu Ram Rajya 1 - 4 Brenecia
Plane of Possibility 1 - 1 Brenecia
Brenecia 3 - 0 Filindostan
West Angola vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. Terre Septentrionale
Ranoria vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. Trigel
CRC vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. Riena
Brenecia vs. Hindu Ram Rajya
Brenecia vs. Plane of Possibility
Filindostan vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. West Angola
Terre Septentrionale vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. Ranoria
Trigel vs. Brenecia
Brenecia vs. CRC
Riena vs. Brenecia
Puppet of Nephara.

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San Ortelio
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 113
Founded: Nov 09, 2020
Moralistic Democracy

Postby San Ortelio » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:33 am

To read this, it is advised to read the first two parts of this storyline. You can find them by entering ‘Lanza’ in the search box of this thread. After all, this could be titled as the Lanza Saga.


There had been an uncanny contrast between the kick-off in Zoloroni Sports City Stadium and the post match sentiment. Ahead of the second game of the series, the hosts had boasted their morale with the pumping beats of their World Cup anthem and the end of the lightshow had led to a rapturous applause from the fans who stood as one man behind the troops of Sam Bilic. However, when the last whistle resounded, they remained behind baffled. Whilst all statistics stood in their favor, the key one left them feeling robbed. An early opener from Starling’s Daniel Dostalok seemed to fulfill the anticipated result of all punters: an easy second win on the trot for the Mercedinian side. But Carmine Garofalo managed to exploit a hesitation from Daniel Hosset a few minutes later and even if the game recreated a handball feel, with a screen of nine Ortelians keeping a hive of black bees from penetrating, the goal fell at the other side. Gianmarco Del Prete painted that single free kick on the Mercedinian half perfectly in the top corner and as the home eleven stayed behind with their disappointment, the surprise package nearly demolished their dressing room in celebrations.

A similar paradox developed amongst the San Ortelians. The initial jubilant feeling died out slowly during the plane voyage back home. It is an inevitable effect of the red-eye flight, one might say, but it was also the realisation that in the past two games, despite overturning the odds against two well-noted teams, they had been on the receiving end of a thrashing when it came to opportunities and possession. As unexpected as those four points might have been, they did not align with the gameplay which they had brought to the pitch. No one needed it spelled out by the gaffer: they either needed to improve or their luck would run out. The Swordfishes had left the field as conquerors, but rather felt as imposters by now.

As such, everyone seemed in a hurry to get back home and after a hasty greeting, they searched for their cars and sped off. Only Enrico Lanzafame seemed less pressed for a departure. He had hesitated between a night at his parents, which after all was near the airport, and the tiring trip around the peninsula back home. But just the thought of his last stay in Astello brought a shiver down his spine, as if that clutching hand still laid on his shoulder. I want to see three goals. In your net, the voice inside his head spoke, urging for a decision. And besides, there was not much time to hesitate as the parking lot cleared out fast and Enrico did not feel like staying behind alone.

He stepped into his budget car and left just behind Del Prete. The star midfielder was easily recognisable and as if his roaring Gianculasi with the boisterous paint job did not give away his whereabouts, then the custom license plate told you everything you needed to know about the man at the wheel. Enrico shortly wondered whether he was envious of Del Prete’s obvious star quality or looked down on his constant need for self affirmation. Do I know him well enough, Enrico pondered, to judge him? Or should I just be glad he knocks in vital goals and let him be? His train of thought abruptly came to a halt when, contrary to expected, the Gianculaso turned right on the intersection towards the highway. Huh, he moved away from that Catrallo penthouse to a place near the cliffs, Enrico figured, I really don’t know him well enough.

And so Enrico started his trek across the nation. San Ortelio might be small in terms of territory but due to its peculiar horseshoe shape, it is quite a drive from the airport in the southern tip to Pesari, located in the northern end. Most radio shows were patiently working themselves through the more laid back part of their playlist and the goalie struggled to keep his eyes on the road. To get back in focus, he lowered his window and that might have been what saved him. The breeze from the speed, which was hard to develop considering the winding roads and the various delivery lorries that took over this section during the dark hours, did its bit but more importantly, he heard the roar of the other engine just a second earlier - allowing him to react from instinct.

It happened in a long left-handed turn: a roar, the sound of protesting metal and rubber and then a long, nearly disappointed, hoot of a car horn.

At your left, you could see the bay of San Ortelio in all its nightly glory out in front of you, with the dimmed lights on either side allowing you to position the main hubs of the nation. On the right hand, there was a stretch of about twenty to thirty meters of grass, sparingly used for a few cows that drew the short straw, before a rock wall indicated the start of the rugged hills of the inland. Enrico had never seen him coming as the black car behind him slammed into his ride with its headlights turned off. The impact turned him to the right but you didn’t become a national goalie without quick reactions: Enrico managed to steer it back in parallel with the road before collapsing with the rock wall.

As he turned off the engine, everything which had been bubbling inside boiled to the surface at once: fear and anger gushed out in thick tears. This can’t go on any longer, Enrico realised, I need to find help. As soon as I am home, I am gonna make some calls and… Do something. Find some way out. Even the lorry drivers seemed to trudge by in a respectful silence as Enrico’s sobs filled the night sky.

When Enrico parked in his driveway, the tears had disappeared and the desperation got boiled down to a determined resolution - he needed to involve the police at this stage. Still, there was a shake on his legs when he inspected the damage in the first day light: he truly had escaped far worse. Thinking how he would explain this to the car dealer of the club, he scrambled for his keys to open the front door. Some sleep, he needed some sleep to put everything in place. But as he reached for the handle, he froze in mid-air. An envelope had been pasted against the door, the hastily drawn scribbles across it telling him all he needed to know about the sender. Lanza, the angular capitals yelled.

Lanza this was strike two. On a tird one, we aime to hit

If you like saving so much - cleen sheet against Treekidikistan
Maybe we safe you someting else then

PS Looks like you life in a lovely plaice


It was not the spelling errors which made him shudder. He wanted to crisp the note but first, he needed to find out if the bottom part was a threat or an invitation.

TWO DAYS LATER


Officer Francesco Calcaterra stretched his back with an annoyed gesture, overlooking the deserted second floor of the SONP, the national police force which handled all crime above the municipal level. As its grasp and wealth stood in contrast with the carabinieri who kept themselves busy with traffic and other less intense tasks, the place was littered with state-of-the-art computer screens. Still, only one of them was not yet turned on the default screensaver and behind that one, Francesco scratched the remnants of what once had been a full head of hazel hair. He was the only who had not made it home in time for the game, but this did make it easier to turn on the radio at full volume. The voice of Paolo Del Strada, the emphatic commentator with a penchant for adjectives and nicknames, filled the cold room as a single fluorescent lamp kept him company.

”Buonasera dear listeners, for the second half of what has been a thrilling confrontation. Our courageous Spada still stand tall against the towering Treekidani, but only for Enrico ‘the Wall’ Lanzafame! In these opening minutes since the welcome break, the team in green raised the pressure on our loyal troops but they managed to keep their emphatic hedgehog formation intact so far. It is a difficult night for ‘Il Buffalo’ Garofalo who single handedly needs to take on Schneider and Stillstone, the powerduo in the back for the Baptism of Fire champions…”

Del Strada definitely did his bit, but it did not eat into the pile of administration which still towered over Calcaterra. He had left it late on a few dossiers and the irony of it coming back to haunt him on a night like tonight was a painful one for the avid Catrallo Calcio fan. Next up… A scribbled note of an interrogation that had led to nothing on a research that was closed already… Was this even his handwriting? What a horrendous way to spend a Tuesday evening.

”It’s Kristy Johnson, the elegant striker, who slides through the offside trap, a powerful shot from a sharp angle but no! Lanzafame knocks it away… Elvis on his blue suede shoes from a distance but Enrico Lanzafame is not shook up at all and saves it again! They don’t call him ‘safe hands’ for nothing!”

The sacred sound of Del Strada got blown to tatters by the loud bang of someone rushing into a door. With a mumbled oh right, it’s pull Valeria Romani paced in, a bunch of poorly stacked papers in her hand and a baffled look on her face.

“Hey, Calca! Where is everybody!” she yelled from across the room.
“Home,” Francesco replied, lifting his shoulders.
“What for?” came the swift reply.
“You might not have noticed,” Francesco snickered as the first official home game had dominated the newspapers all week, “but I Spada play an important match tonight. That’s football, Val.”
“Hm…” she stood in contemplation for a second, “and are they done yet?”

It must have been the first time she ever inquired about football, so that question raised an eyebrow for Francesco. Valeria was part of the Intelligence department, which meant they were responsible for cyber crime, sleuthing the laptops of suspects, email fraud and helping out veteran colleagues who had opened a nasty spam letter. In three of those things, Valeria should be considered as the top dog of the office but her natural disdain for the latter task had kept her from climbing the ranks. Being stuck in the lower ranks over for prioritizing real police work over red tape himself – or at least that was the version he shared with friends and family – Francesco had taken a liking to Valeria as soon as she stepped into the office. That she combined witty retorts on her own turf with a complete obliviousness on some other fields only her made her better partner in crime. Or solving crime, if you want.

“Listen for yourself,” he pointed to the radio.
“A scoreless game so far,” Valeria echoed the commentary Del Strada, “that is a good thing. And not, actually.”
“Why did you suddenly get so interested in football?”

Valeria attempted to mimic one of the true crime series she devoured by slapping her pile of paperwork on top of Francesco’s but the only result was that the two spend the next few minutes trying to entangle which belonged to whom whilst cleaning up the floor. As they were done, she turned up the volume of the radio another notch. By now, Francesco had made his peace with it that the paperwork would still be where it was tomorrow and punched two sodas out of the vending machine.

“It’s better with a beer,” he apologized, “but it will have to do on the job.”
“San Ortelio is not going to have a goal against,” she claimed, “I’ll even take you up for a beer on that.”
“Don’t think so,” Francesco grinned, well aware of the way the Swordfishes had been hanging on a thread in the last fifteen minutes.

”A wide ball to ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez, 'Don Diego' Buglia trying to close him down. Buglia has been linked with Graentfjaller club Estdal recently and... Oh! A clever through pass from Gonzalez caught out Moscati, Patel making his way to the goal on his own, can ‘the Wall’ Lanzafame stand tall one more time? No! The nets are rippling, a low, lawnmowing kick from the Treeki- No, nonono. This one is not going to count, the assistant referee indicates, our savior in distress!”

“Still twenty minutes to go,” Francesco claimed, a bit chuffed that someone who couldn’t tell a Catrallo Calcio from an FC Pesari shirt could win this prediction.

The “It’s up to ninety minutes, right?” from Valeria didn’t really help.

“Since when does our Intelligence department got a budget for soccernomics in the first place,” Calcaterra quizzed Romani, “and who on earth decided to put you in charge of it?”
“First of all – that sounds like the kind of decision Roberto would take,” Valeria shared a chuckle over the inaptitude of her boss, “and secondly, it’s a personal side project over…”

She leafed through her pages to find the right one.

“… this. I got a tip from a paper salesman and well, this tells me it’s going to be a zero for the visitors.”

Francesco looked it up and down, a sheet with differing scorelines and the matching odds. Nothing strange on the untrained eye, but he noticed that those which held a zero for Treekidistan all carried low odds – uncanny for a fixture between a minnow and a team which had just shelved a trophy.

“Hmm… Maybe people got ahead of themselves after the win against Mercedini,” Francesco claimed, “a bit of a shock win and now they suddenly think San Ortelio is worth a thing on a global scale. First rule of policing – remember that the majority of people are idiots.”
“It doesn’t explain this,” Valeria retorted, showing a similar sheet with the odds from the previous game. This time, they skewed towards three goals for Mercedini.
“Still,” Francesco tried to divert what she seemed to be implying, “this doesn’t need to be a gambling scandal yet. Three goals for Mercedini is reasonable, maybe some pundit proclaimed that three would make sense an-“
“Exactly three goals?”
“Maybe… Besides, it didn’t happen, no?”
“Jezus, Francesco, you start to sound like Roberto. But that someone managed to put twenty grand on a corner kick from Del… What’s he called.”
“Del Prete,” Francesco added as if he was showing off his knowledge about obscure Tikariotian metal bands rather than posting the name of the most infamous footballer of the nation.
“That guy, indeed,” Romani continued without moving a muscle, “and before you say it’s just dead luck.”

Valeria did not even need to introduce the third page she slammed in front of her colleague but still mouthed, ‘for tonights game’.

Assist          Buglia          52   30 Lire
Throw-in left Curiale 74 100 Lire
Yellow card Del Prete 88 80000 Lire
Corner Treekidistan 6-


Calcaterra turned to Romani in disbelief.

“It could be some madman with too much on his bank account and…”

”We are approaching the final minutes here and Favaro trying to force an opportunity for I Spada. Giacomo ‘Il Fantastico’ Favaro with his dreamy dribbles and powerful rushes, he must be attracting high-profile international interest with these infiltrations and oh! It’s Nawaz bringing out the scythe. Horrible tackle on Favaro, he’s limping away. Behind the ball now, ‘La Legenda’ Del Prete and he doesn’t seem to have time to waste right now. Touches the ball nicely and ooooh! Henmann touches it with his finger tips but that leaves the goal wide open for... It's Romeo Gozzi! The sub opts for a back heel... Why on earth does he... It doesn't matter! It’s one against nil for I Spada and are we on route to the second spot in the group! Gianmarco Del Prete, the hero of the nation, he is ecstatic and celebrates by taking off his shirt and flexing his muscles, oh oh oh! Of course the referee brings out the yellow card but I don’t think he is particularly disappointed about this. What a brilliant free kick and Del Prete looks with satisfaction to the scoreboard. You’ve done it Gianmarco! The neon letters read it loud and clear, San Ortelio one, Treekidistan zero, minute eighty-eight, Romeo Gozzi.”

“That… That’s not possible,” Francesco stared.
“It’s either witchcraft or fraud and I know which of those two has a department in our building. When is the next game?”
"Don't tell me you've got a page for that as well," he groaned.
Last edited by San Ortelio on Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
San Ortelio, your favorite pseudo-Italian, coastal microstate. Less than half a million inhabitants who stand for a rich culture, are governed
by an delicate yet marvellously balanced system and remain economically viable due to fishing and funky tax laws.
But enough about us. Come vai?

We're no international threat, so have our domestic thread.

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Abanhfleft
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Postby Abanhfleft » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:29 am

From the diary of Britt Hanokssen

So Erin just dumped me. Like, literally dumped me on the sidewalk at East Underfell. I can't believe she would do this to me. I was always there to stand up for her when everyone else was ready to write her off and this is how she repays me!? I don't care about her reasons for doing so; she was my friend! And I thought I was her friend too, until... until this happened.

Erin said she sold some bad drugs to the Crows. I mean, you just don't do that to the Crows. They're one of the biggest gangs in Otavice, and some people say they've got people all over the empire. She dragged me right out of the locker room so we could lay low in Underfell, and when we got there Erin told me we can't be friends anymore. Then she left me so she can go alone to Calovice.

Man, I am just so fucking angry right now. I can't believe this is where my whole life has been leading to. I try to do something to improve my life but then other things come along to deny me. I'm always doing everything I can in my power to make something for myself but for every single thing I put in, life comes and takes away two.

I love Hunsen Loggers. It's the only club I've ever known. I bleed green, not red. I've poured blood, sweat, and tears for this club. And how does it repay me? By keeping me in the sidelines and potentially waiving the only real friend I've ever had on this team. And everyone wonders why Valerians are so closed off from each other. If this is how other peoples repay loyalty to them, by abandoning the ones who stuck with them through thick and thin, why bother even being loyal, right?

God I'm just so angry. But I'm also worried. The Crows are very dangerous people. You don't want to be on the wrong side of them, period. And Erin put herself right on their shit list by selling them bad drugs. She says it was an accident, but I don't know what to believe now. On the one hand, I'm mad at Erin for leaving me behind, but on the other hand I don't want her last words to me to be "we can't be friends anymore". How shit must your life be for those to be your last words? I know those won't be my last words when it's my time to go, mostly because I won't have any friends left to tell I can't be friends with them anymore. God, I hate my life. I still hope Erin comes back safe from Calovice though, even if it's just so I can slap her in the face.

Maybe I need a change of scenery. Maybe I need a move away from Hunsen. Maybe I need to get away from Valeria entirely. I don't know. I don't even know what to do with myself now. I don't want to become a drifter, hitchhiking my way across the empire, but if that's what life has in store for me then fuck it. Fuck it all. I'm not going to be a hobo for the rest of my life.

(A pencil sketch of a crow holding an Orthodox cross in its beak, one of the traditional tattoos of members of the Crows mafia, is drawn underneath the previous entry)

- Entry dated 16 June 2019

KONIGLICH WASSERSTEIN 2 - 2 ABANHFLEFT
SCHREIBER (19') DAGEN (35')
ZIEGLER (82') BENSOUSSAN (84')

MATCH STATISTICS
Possession
Koniglich Wasserstein: 52%
Abanhfleft: 48%
Shots
Koniglich Wasserstein: 9 (4 on target)
Abanhfleft: 14 (7 on target)
Corners
Koniglich Wasserstein: 10
Abanhfleft: 11
Fouls
Koniglich Wasserstein: 19
Abanhfleft: 25

    ABANHFLEFT 3 - 0 HAFAMARIMET
TABAREZ (20')
DAGEN (64')
NAGARKAR (80')

MATCH STATISTICS
Possession
Abanhfleft: 61%
Hafamarimet: 39%
Shots
Abanhfleft: 22 (13 on target)
Hafamarimet: 10 (5 on target)
Corners
Abanhfleft: 12
Hafamarimet: 5
Fouls
Abanhfleft: 26
Hafamarimet: 20
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Lorrana
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Lorrana » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:46 am

Matchdays 4 and 5 are on their way!

Starblaydia - Lorrana (broadcast on Newsbit Sports One)

Taking place at the famous Stadii Di Bradini, this game will most certainly go in favor of Pot 1, 7th place worldwide team Starblaydia. Lorrana won't give up without a fight, but ultimately they're playing one of the best teams of all time

Prediction: Starblaydia win


Lorrana - Transvolcanic (broadcast on Newsbit Sports Two)

Transvolcanic are a Pot 7 team who play similarly to Lorrana, albeit with 3 defenders rather than the more common 4. Their goalkeeper is very good, so Lorrana's attacking players will need to be much more clever if they want to score. In terms of performance, Transvolcanic has not been on good form, currently in 9th place and coming off of a 7-1 loss. Considering this, Lorrana does have a chance.

Prediction: draw
NS Stats are sometimes right, but sometimes wrong. TG me if you have questions, but the most important thing to know is that Lorrana is capitalist, even though the stats show otherwise
News Headlines: Bad weather predicted for weeks in Lorrana; Lorrana enters World Cup 88 Qualifiers

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Cassadaigua
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Postby Cassadaigua » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:21 am

Rosenblatt Moving On,
By Chelsea Dufresne, Concord Heights Times


Following the 5-0 rout over Muralos on the road, which I will get to later in this article, it was soon announced that Morgan Rosenblatt would be committing treason.
As in, opting to play her club soccer for Nephara’s AFC Treason, choosing that offer over we believe a bid from a side in Taeshan. This move could just be the tip of the iceberg, as reportedly several players are also about to announce that they will be moving on to play in Taeshan, and we will cover those in a later article. These moves serve as a reminder that Cassadaigua’s reluctance to participate in the UICA is having an impact on our ability to keep our best players at home. Up until now during the modern era of Cassadagan soccer, we have only seen players go to play in Banija, or in Baker Park. Lupe Enriquez was one of the first to move to Banija, and her play led to Meghan Wolcott, and very recently, Madison McClain, moving on to play their club soccer in that country. Now, we are served with this latest announcement, with Rosenblatt moving on. Morgan becomes the second Cassadagan to move to Nephara, but you have to go way back in our history to find our first, that being Erica Kenney.

Rosenblatt has shown tremendous potential at a very young age, and is coming off an excellent Copa Rushmori, leading the team to the semifinals against Nephara, a game that the Fillies lost. AFC Treason staff were certainly paying attention to the performance of Rosenblatt, as was the side 1093 Club de Football Atlantea, out of Taeshan. Both made offers, but Rosenblatt opted for the Nepharim bid. When asked about the decision, Morgan stated that playing in the UICA was a big motivator, “I love playing in Cassadaigua, but I have always been excited about playing the best competition that exists in the World. I get to do that with the national team, but I wanted a little more than that. I am thrilled to be moving on to Nephara and getting to know all of the people associated with AFC Treason, and all of their wonderful fans. It is about opportunity, and this is a chance that might not come again.” Morgan said that she spoke with fellow midfielder Meghan Wolcott a little about making an international move, “Meghan has been very successful with Herzegovina City FC (Banija), and she told me about her experience there, and how they have helped her grow as a player. That excites me, a lot. She also let me know that there will always be time to connect with Cassadagan fans and that it makes these moments of playing for the international team all the more special.” Certainly, there will now be a demand to televise and stream more AFC Treason games throughout Cassadaigua, but those who wanted this coverage have always known where to find it.

This really begs the question then, as more players on our national team roster are declaring to play overseas, of why don’t we play in the UICA. Seriously now, why is the Cassadagan Soccer Association so reluctant about creating a much larger profile for the clubs? Why don’t our clubs ever pursue other players? What about other sports? We boast that we are only the nation to have won the championships in the five major sports, but no one ever knows what is going on within Cassadaigua. Is it time to bring these to the forefront? Taylor Connolly, the president of CASE (Cassadagan Association for Soccer Excellence) points out that, “We feel that we have a system at home that works for our nation.” Now, Connolly doesn’t have authority, per say, over the CSA, but is still an influential presence over the organization, but ask yourself, do we really have a system at home that works for our nation? Sure, the CSA provides a great source of entertainment for our fans, but when we lose our top players to other nations because those players are interested in the opportunities that they can get, then the CSA is suffering. It is also not as good as it could be because it is not attempting to get players from other nations. While there are tons of great players out there, you can’t, at the very minimum, that there are not female players from other nations that would love an opportunity to play professionally in Cassadaigua. I really hope that Rosenblatt move, along with the Wolcott move a few years ago, and the moves of four, soon to be announced, players moving on to play in Taeshan, that the CSA will realize that the system we have had may be something we think is working. But it works like an outdated smartphone. Sure, it does the basics and some neat things, but if you are not making an attempt to upgrade it, then others will look at your phone and shake their head and question the way it works, knowing you could be doing a lot better. Especially when you can afford it.

Now, on to qualifying a little bit, and in the last two games, we have seen the team pick up the six points that we wanted to see, improving to 2-1-0. More detailed and in-depth coverage of these games are found elsewhere on the website. In those wins, the Fillies were strong at home in a 5-3 win over Flavovespia, then took the show on the road to score five more goals, in the 5-0 shutout of Muralos. Scott Coleman had a strong first half for the visitors, with goals in the 9th and 25th minutes, which surrounded a Preston Newfeld goal in the 15th, but from that point it was all Cassadaigua. Rachel Schanke started a stretch of four unanswered goals, including a 39th minute strike to tie the match at 2. In the second half, the Fillies took control of the match, jumping out to a 5-2 advantage, thanks to goals by: Meghan Wolcott (51’), Morgan Rosenblatt (58’) and Wolcott again (67’). Jonathan Feld made the margin of victory a little less in the 80th.

Against Muralos, you had the feeling that the Fillies were looking to make a statement and they simply came out flying against this opposition. Rosenblatt had a great start, scoring in the 8th, then just three minutes later, making a stunning pass to Rachel Schanke to set up the captain for her goal. Rosenblatt assisted on a Meghan Wolcott score in the 19th to make it 3-0, and then Schanke increased the lead to 4-0 with her second of the match in the 29th. Muralos eventually settled in, and the score was 4-0 for a large portion of the match, until Allison Rice scored in the 77th, just three minutes after she had entered the game from the bench. The plan for the team now will be to keep it rolling, and hopefully not allow others in this group to think that we might be a vulnerable frontrunner.
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Specific Titles: World Cup 50, 51; WBC 14, 16, 19 & 50; WB 8, 22, & 40; WCOH 11 & 39; IBC 13.
Also: CoH 39; Swamp Soccer 4, WVE (Vball) 6; NSCAA 3, 5 & 9; NSSCRA 7
Runner Up: CoH 40, WB 21, WcoH 8, IBC 12, WBC 13, 15, 47 & 48, DBC 21. 3rd Place @ WC 86
WC Qualified for: 45, 46, 49-61, 67, 79 (DNP WC 69-77), 81-86.
Games of the XIII Summer Olympiad: Second Most Medals
Hosted: World Cup 54, 67 & 84; CoH 57 & 73, BoF 47, CR 30, WB 16, WBC 18, 26, 40, 45 & 50, Some NSCAA, NSCH 1; WLC 7, 30 & 33.

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Kelssek
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kelssek » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:49 am

Image


Kelssek 2-3 Valanora // Kelssek overawed in high-octane contest

Kelssek launched into their qualifying match against Valanora with a high-energy performance that had the feeling of a modded street racing car running on pure nitrous oxide only to fizzle out and limp to the finish. That was how Kelssek opened the scoring as a sequence of 31 passes ended with a through ball over the top that Brayden Custworth insouciantly volleyed into the net.

But Kelssek could not sustain the pace, and the problems became clear as Valanora pushed back and got back into imposing their gameplan. This Kelssek team relies on Gabriel Lapierre and Colm Ó Tuathail to create from the midfield, but they were mercilessly stymied in possession and found it hard to get the ball into the final third.

Saxstrom levelled the scores with half an hour gone, and Kelssek were the happier team to hear the half time whistle. Whatever adjustments were made in the dressing room did little to change the tide, and Laborious Hawk orchestrated and finished the move that put Valanora ahead. Three minutes later, a deflection helped the ball past a wrong-footed Kai Poirier and Kelssek were two goals down.

Substitute Seamus Wylten, who plays in Valanora for Hondo FC, nipped in to score on 80 minutes, taking Kelssek within one goal. Not having the elusive poacher start the match could well have been Andrea Crowe’s mistake, after Loïc Maçon-Petrault spent most of the match being overrun by the Vanorians every time he came within scent of the ball.

Kelssek pressed forward seized total control of possession for all of seven breathless minutes, when hopes of getting a result were dashed when Damien Halliger picked up a second yellow card the moment Kelssek lost the ball and he barrelled into a cynical foul to stop Laborious Hawk transitioning the ball into a counter-attack. Valanora nearly capitalized on the immediate disarray in the backline but Zahra Solhaug’s excellent interception ended with a shot directed straight at Kai Poirier.

This was Kelssek’s fourth straight defeat against Valanora, an unusually frequent opponent with the draw putting them in the same qualifying or finals group in three of the last four World Cup cycles. While soccer fans in Kelssek have relished the chance to measure their team against one of the legendary national sides in the sport, and the country whose football league has historically been the most popular in Kelssek, probably they’re not looking forward to more matches like this.

“I think simply they made sure our best players had bad games, and then their best players had good games,” said captain Rémy Dionne after the match. “It’s not like you can qualify or not based on one game. So we have to keep perspective and get results against the rest of the group and we’ll see who’s on top then.”

The next international break will see matches against Frestovenia and Icecliff, and getting wins now becomes even more important against the lower seeds. Ruslan Demetriev's federation-imposed suspension expires with this match and it will be interesting to see if Andrea Crowe decides the midfielder's presence will be needed to stiffen some spines in the squad.

KELSSEK 2 – Custworth (3’), Wylten (80’)
Kelssek: Poirier, Shrub, Halliger, Fourtin, Liadon, Dionne (McDonald 66’), Lapierre, Ó Tuathail, Taleb (Yusupov 61’), Custworth, Maçon-Petrault (Wylten 70’)
VALANORA 3 – Saxstrom (29’), Hawk (47’), Nergård (50’)
Kingswharf, Breton (attendance: 40,261)

JABAL AKDAR 0
KELSSEK 3 – Lister (18', pen. 63'), Blueman (33')
Gallagher, Bowler, Curtin, Fourtin, Douglass (Vinter 72'), Blueman, Bogdanor, Lafrenière, Yusupov, Lister, Torshen (Karven 65')



Kelssek 3-1 Darmen // Maçon-Petrault fires up important win to start qualifiers
A new-look Kelssek squad has its World Cup 87 qualifying journey off to a good start as they grabbed what could be a vital 3-1 win against Darmen at Exhibition Place in Kirkenes.

Rémy Dionne was handed the captain’s armband with Ruslan Demetriev suspended from the national team basically for using social media. Tyler Shrub gained his first international cap, a move Rolalas fans will say is long overdue.

Young striker Loïc Maçon-Petrault was trusted to start a big match and repaid the faith of manager Andrea Crowe with a well-taken goal in the 63rd minute to cap off a solid performance. The off-ball movement of the Unioneers forward was a handful for the Darmen defence and while dragging two players out of position won’t be noted in the stats it was the main reason the seas seemed to part in front of Shaheen Taleb for him to dribble into the box and fire in the opening goal.

KELSSEK 3 – Taleb (21’), Maçon-Petrault (63’), Bowler (90’+1)
Kelssek: Gallagher, Shrub, Halliger, Lozić, Liadon (Bowler 81’), McDonald, Dionne, Ó Tuathail (Champetier 68’), Yusupov, Maçon-Petrault (Wylten 72’), Taleb
DARMEN 1 – Mac Pharlain (53’)
Exhibition Place, Kirkenes (attendance: 36,994)
Last edited by Kelssek on Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Savojarna
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Savojarna » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:58 am

SavojarSports.sj - inside reports from all Savojarna
A Look in the Past: Northlights Coaches and their records


With last night’s game against Ancherion, Mikaela Rangren has coached the Northlights for the 76th time in an official match (that is, a WCC-sanctioned event or the Copa Rushmori). Although Savojarna’s 0-0 at the Bjurman may not have been particularly interesting for fans, it is historic, putting Rangren down as the sole record head coach of the Savojar national team, ahead of initial manager Mikkel Pedersen. Pedersen’s tenure had been longer, lasting from Savojarna’s initial competitions in the Copa Rushmori 26 and the 77th World Cup until the end of the Copa 29, when he wasn’t rehired following an octofinal exit to Ceni. However, not only were Savojarna’s campaigns often shorter in his tenure (lacking both the marathon campaign that was WCQ 85 as well as the longer Copa Rushmori campaigns that came with more successful showings in the regional event), it also coincided with the initial forays of the women’s national team, which took over for two Cups of Harmony. We shall use this opportunity to chronicle through the coaches of Savojarna through the days.

The Initial: Mikkel Pedersen
Tenure: Copa Rushmori 26 until Copa Rushmori 29 (75 games; 32W-16D-27L, 1.49 points per game)

Pedersen had been saddled with a difficult task, establishing the initial Northlights, and it can be said that he did alright, avoiding a negative record and managing to almost score 1.5 points per game despite a rocky start. His time as head coach began with some disappointment as Savojarna lost their first games 0-4 against Taeshan and 0-3 against the Eastern Sunrise Islands as well as taking an early exit at the Baptism of Fire. However, he also managed to form a team that would withstand such adversity, and their first victory was a rather surprising one as they beat Anglatia 2-1 in the Copa Rushmori group stage. Under Pedersen, the team had a rather defensive tendency which made occasional upsets a sort of trademark of the side: On the list of their early victims are names such as Mattijana (defeated 5-2 away and 1-0 at home during the WCQ 77), the aforementioned Anglatia (2-1 at the Copa and 1-1 away during WCQ 77), Brenecia (0-0 at home during WCQ 78), and perhaps most notably a 1-0 victory over Eura during the Copa Rushmori 27 group stage.

His side also had consistently managed to pick up points to climb through the international ranks, and Pedersen managed to crack multiple milestones. On the back stretch of the World Cup qualifiers 78, Pedersen perhaps managed to pull off his most surprising feat as his Northlights went unbeaten for nine games in a row, drawing or defeating every single group opponent in the process (including the aforementioned 0-0 with Brenecia). This feat would not be matched for three more cycles, until Arnulf Viljansson’s magical streak during WCQ 81. Pedersen was said to be a disciplinary coach, and could be a sour individual who wasn’t likely to heap praise onto his players or tolerate some more outlandish antics, and it was perhaps this attitude that let him lose some of the support of his players. Nonetheless, the first coach of Savojarna had been a good fit for a side that often needed to be scrappy and rough around the edges in their first seasons, and he had managed to establish a notion of Savojarna as an uncomfortable opponent that few teams would be happy to play against. This, in its own way, was a feat back when Savojarna’s football scene was significantly less established, and he is rightfully remembered fondly by many fans. Pedersen seemed to agree, as he has retired from coaching since, and is unlikely to revert this decision.

The Legend: Lise Asbeck
Tenure: Cup of Harmony 70 until Cup of Harmony 74 (59 games; 30-10-19; 1.85 ppg)

Lise Asbeck will forever be the coach that has led Savojarna to their first World Cup, although her initial signing as women’s coach was not promising. Asbeck had never coached professionally before, as independent women’s football in Savojarna never quite took off. Her previous position at Dynamo Sjoedrhavn was paid, but it was a part-time position supplemented with working as a fitness instructor for the Savojar police force (who are closely tied to the Dynamo organisation). But she proved to have an eye for promising players, and formed a unit out of a team that was often confined to sideshows such as the Cup of Harmony until the somewhat surprising call upon the women’s side to play the World Cup 80 qualifiers. Asbeck’s side, which played more offensively and more daringly than Pedersen’s men, had shocked the world before, drawing Ko-oren 0-0 and advancing ahead of the Dragonflies during the CoH 70. Nevertheless, they were not favoured in their campaign.

Then, Savojarna shocked the world yet again, winning their MD2 away clash with group favourites Vilita 2-1. The Northlights stretched their series to seven consecutive victories, a series that remained unbeaten until WCQ 86, before finally being defeated 3-4 in Darkmania. Still, they would beat Abanhfleft at home with 3-1 in the following game, and confirm their success in Vilita by drawing the group favourites again at the Bjurman (1-1). Another victory over Abanhfleft, 5-2 away, and a playoff win over Eshan secured the Northlights their first ever World Cup, where they played respectfully and drew first Damukuni (1-1), and then Eura (2-2), but had lost to eventual champions Brenecia on the first game. Two years later, Asbeck would come tantalisingly close again, but lose out on the final matchday as a 14-game unbeaten streak (10 wins, 4 draws, including a rematch with Vilita ending 0-0 at home) snapped with a 0-2 away loss to Vilita. It was enough for Valladares and Vilita to qualify ahead of the Savojars.

In between those two World Cup campaigns, of course, fell the legendary Copa Rushmori 31, where Asbeck also was coaching the side. Following draws against Darmen and Oberour ar Moro, the Savojars could beat an already qualified Nephara 2-1 to claim second in the group; going on to beat Qusmo in the shootout and Eura in a spectacular 4-3, the Northlights were facing the Cormorants again in the final. It, too, went to a shootout, where the Savojars prevailed to lift their only international trophy thus far. It is perhaps this competition that most embodies Asbeck’s career. Not only did it lead to previously unknown successes, but they also came mostly off singular, crucial games. Asbeck’s record isn’t stellar, but her team shone when it counted most, such as the games in the Copa against Eura and Nephara, or the final showdown in Abanhfleft that sealed the World Cup 80 playoffs. Ultimately, Asbeck’s tenure ended on a sour note as the transition to a mixed national team left her out in the cold. She broke with the SFFB in discord, vowing to never again work for the national side, and assumed a role in media first, and then in the scouting team of Dynamo. Like all coaches before Jurtanen, she has not coached professionally again since her NT tenure.

The One-Season-Wonder: Arnulf Viljansson
Tenure: Copa Rushmori 30 until Cup of Harmony 73 (27 games, 16-6-5, 2.00 ppg)

Arnulf Viljansson had been the single most successful coach by points per game, and set a still valid record of an impressive 15 games straight without defeat (5 draws, 10 victories) at the beginning of WCQ 81. On the way there, the Savojars defeated Nova Anglicana 2-1 away and drew Chromatika 2-2 at the Bjurman; they also didn’t concede a goal for four straight games against Huffingshire (0-0 H), Shofercia (1-0 A), Pink Floyd FC (3-0 H) and Torisakia (1-0 A). Their downfall, however, was that Nova Anglicana and Chromatika could match that pace and even picked up on more wins than the Northlights, and when they lost 1-3 to both in the respective return legs, the dream was over for the Savojarna Men’s National Team in their last ever official cycle. The Cup of Harmony, too, was disappointing: After three convincing wins over Karulicja (2-0), Siovanija and Teusland (3-1) and Adab (2-1), they fell at the first possible stage to the Main Nation Ministry. Viljansson’s tenure was one of high-flying hopes and failing at the crucial games, the polar opposite of Asbeck’s; too little for the Savojar football authorities, who were happy to let him return to his childhood side of Framfarir Kjefla. Viljansson has since disappeared into the obscurity of second and third tier football with his Framfarir, where he is also in the club’s board; a true one-cycle wonder.

The Revolutionary: Olaf Jurtanen
Tenure: Copa Rushmori 32 until WCQ 84, MD 5 (29 games, 13-8-8, 1.62 ppg)

Jurtanen’s tenure may be short, and have ended in disaster; it is a monumental one in terms of historical importance, however. Nicknamed the Mad Professor of Sumanen, Jurtanen had already been controversial as a hire thanks to his rather unique approach based on a very fluid 4-2-2-2 that many felt does not fully fit Savojarna. Then, he took it a step further by calling up female players into what was expected to be Savojarna Men’s National Team, but never codified as such. Now, one of those changes was reverted quickly, but the other one didn’t last long. His Copa Rushmori campaign, traditionally an opener for Savojar coaches, went alright, going lossless in groups and taking down Cassadaigua. However, then his Northlights got thrown a challenge in Eura, who defeated them soundly - it was not only the second loss to Eura in Savojarna’s fourth game against the Rushmori giants, but also the start of a streak of four games against Eura without a win. Still, an unlucky quarterfinal out at the Copa is well within what new Savojar coaches are allowed to do, and he backed it up with a good start to the upcoming World Cup campaign, only losing to Mriin in the first half.

The back end of this campaign, however, would already show what was ultimately Jurtanen’s downfall. An unexpected home loss to Petrisi, a team that was beaten 4-0 in the away game, marked the second defeat of the campaign - and there wouldn’t be another win in this qualifier. Six games in a row without victory meant that Savojarna would miss yet another World Cup, and this time it wasn’t even enough for the CoH, making Jurtanen the only coach so far who never got to manage Savojarna in a WCC tournament. It looked briefly as if he would make up for it in the Copa Rushmori, opening with three wins in three group stage matches over Schottia, Eastfield Lodge and Nethertopia; however, a 3-5 defeat to Schottia in quarterfinals that had Savojarna in a confused and chaotic mess at times was never going to reflect well on the coach. It was increasingly clear that this authoritarian and tactically rigid coach had lost his team, and things did not get better in the upcoming World Cup qualifier. It was Schottia again to start with, and this time they drew; it would be the best result to come. Five winless games in the beginning of a World Cup campaign is still the worst result a Northlights side ever opened with, and it was not much of a surprise to see Jurtanen sacked soon after. He also cemented his image as a difficult manager when he took over FK Torpedo, only to fail there as well and drive away Nepharan goalkeeper Radu Bartok; in the end, he seemed to have found some peace in Chromatika.

The Hopeful: Rune Zackrisson
Tenure: WCQ 84, MD 7 until Cup of Harmony 75 (19 games, 7-3-9, 1.26 ppg)

Zackrisson came in with high hopes, following his legendary three-peat with CASK in the League. It didn’t fully work as intended, although it could be argued he did the most that was possible in a nearly impossible situation. He took over in what may have been the worst possible moment, ahead of a double-header away in Taeshan and against the Free Republics at home, meaning he was the first Savojarna coach to lose his first two games since Mikkel Pedersen (who, incidentally, also started against Taeshan). Still, Zackrisson managed to stabilise the team, and it even showed some signs of improvement at the end of the campaign, drawing 0-0 against Taeshan and 3-3 in the Free Republics. However, he also didn’t fully manage a turnaround, still overseeing a loss in TJUN-ia and at home against Balqia.

A good Cup of Harmony may have saved Zackrisson, but after a group stage out (including the infamous scandal game against the Hampton Islands, where Matts Pedersen was thrown off the pitch due to a Hampton Islander claiming she was punched by Pedersen, which was disproven by TV images later on) his stocks kept falling. Ultimately, the contract was not extended in mutual agreement; Zackrisson stating in a press conference that he feels more suitable for club coaching. At the time, he is not engaged at any team, preferring to take an extended break after his tenure at the NT, but he is rumoured to return to the SFS soon, having been connected with multiple different teams. Still, his low point average is not entirely fair as he took over a divided team and had little time to bring them into shape; his return to a more stable and more straight forward play also takes away many of the changes that led Mikaela Rangren to success, and perhaps Rune Zackrisson is undervalued for the contribution he made.

The Eternal: Mikaela Rangren
Tenure: WCQ MD 6 (interim), since Copa Rushmori 34 (76 games, 44-17-15, 1.96 ppg)

Having been an assistant coach since the days of Lise Asbeck, and a core reason for the discord between Asbeck and the SFFB (who insisted that Rangren shall stay with the team), Savojarna’s second female head coach got her first taste of management after the sacking of Jurtanen, when she managed to coach Savojarna to a 4-0 at home against Welzat. Initially, she was considered a players’ coach, a person with a good relationship with the more difficult characters in the national team that was supposed to heal the rifts of Jurtanen’s unfortunate departure, and expected to hand over to a more experienced head coach after WCQ 85. However, her new, simplified approach turned out to be very successful as she led Savojarna to a Copa Rushmori final while introducing new stars like Roman Forsberg and Polina Zirkova into the national team. Following a solid qualifying campaign that only turned sour in the final weeks (although Savojarna did end up on a disappointing seventh place, this was mostly the result of an ultra-tight group; results themselves were not extraordinarily bad) her contract was extended.

Rangren’s name remains tightly linked to the Copa Rushmori, where she became the first coach to lead Savojarna on home soil in an international tournament during CR 35. She managed to extend an unbeaten streak after 90 minutes in the Copa to a total of 17 games across three Copas, losing only to Eura in the final of CR 34 (shootout) and Nephara in the famous Bjurman Final of CR 35 (in overtime). The series only came to an end when Tikariot took the final group stage game in CR 36 on home soil, but it didn’t stop the Northlights from going on to the finals for the third time in a row, losing to Nephara in the shootout again. This means that Rangren has reached the Copa Rushmori final in every one of her attempts, although her side lost it in overtime or shootouts every time.

Finally, she has also managed to reach the World Cup in the 86th cycle, being the second coach after Asbeck (whom she served as assistant) to do so. With a streak of nine straight wins, only losing to top seed Baker Park twice (2-3 A, 1-3 H) and to Murphtannia on the final matchday at home, when qualification was already secured, she has managed a great record. Yet, Rangren also couldn’t manage to secure Savojarna’s first World Cup victory, although the squad was close against The Holy Empire, eventually drawing 3-3. The 0-0 to Valanora can also be counted as a great success, as it represented points against one of the best teams in the Multiverse; a good hope for the future. Rangren is known for introducing new players into the fold, and under her eyes Zirkova, Forsberg, Viipuri, Nymark, Dmitriev, and Jacobsen have all taken considerable steps towards being Northlights cornerstones. Her most notable feature, however, is the sheer fact that she has been with the national team, in one way or another, for every cycle since World Cup 82, as well as the WC 80 cycle before that. Not only is Mikaela Rangren the longest-serving headcoach, the most successful one in terms of tournament results and the second-most successful in terms of points per game; she also well and truly deserves her nickname of “The Eternal”.

Rosters for the upcoming matchday:

vs Zwangzug: Pakanen - Pedersen, Forsberg, Zirkova, Skov - Ilkkanen, Maersk - Voynov, Lundell, Jashkin - Nweke
Bench: Larsen, Viipuri, Dmitriev, Palsdottir, Klaebo, Rajala, Poulsen, Östberg, Jacobsen
vs Netop: Pakanen - Viipuri, Forsberg, Palsdottir, Skov - Klaebo, Maersk - Rajala, Lundell, Jashkin - Jacobsen
Bench: Larsen, Dmitriev, Zirkova, Ilkkanen, Voynov, Poulsen, Östberg, Nweke
MT socialist (mostly) island state - Cultural mixture of Scandinavia, Finland and Russia -Exports iron, steel, silver and wood - Low fantasy in terms of animal species - Sports-loving - 22.8 million inhabitants.

The adjective is Savojar; Savojarnan is not a word!
I am a student of (European) politics, ice hockey fan, left-wing communist bordering on anarchy, and European federalist. Enjoy!

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Flavovespia
Envoy
 
Posts: 253
Founded: Mar 22, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Flavovespia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:43 am

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3 goals but 0 points again in Cassadaigua

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Flavovespia’s chances of a good result in Cassadaigua were snuffed out by a collection of errors at the back by the team in yellow. Flavovespia again scored 3 goals against Cassadaigua, repeating the feat of the last cycle, but defensive issues saw them ship 5 goals to lose.

No changes were made to the Flavovespian squad ahead of their match in Concord Heights, the victors over Central Shaneville all started again. Everything was set up for an exciting matchup between the Group 3 top two seeds, with the two sides playing again in a second consecutive tournament.

It took just under minutes for there to be a goal in this game, and it was Flavovespia who surprised everyone by getting it. A long ball forward from Christopher Ace was aimed at Steven Hall. He was under pressure from Katie Standish, but headed it down into the path of Scott Coleman. Coleman’s touch took him goalside of the defence. He then aimed his shot across the face of goal with great accuracy, beyond Tiffany Nelson and just inside the far post. Flavovespia were 0-1 up already, and dreams of an upset looked more real now.

It wasn’t very long until Cassadaigua found a way to equalise. Morgan Rosenblatt lofted a through pass into the Flavovespian box. Preston Newfeld, loitering in a dangerous position near the box was quicker than Tony Gardner and Alexander May to the ball. She leapt up to head it, and floated the ball over the outcoming Aarif Muhammad and into the net. The equaliser, and Cassadaigua had their first goal in this game. 1-1 after just 15 minutes, it was looking like a potential thriller.

Cassadaigua were the dominant side after their goal, but against the run of play, Flavovespia were able to retake the lead to make it 1-2. From seemingly nothing, Christopher Ace broke clear down the wing, and was able to whip a cross in. Scott Coleman was the one able to get to the ball first, holding off Kimberly Carson to get a head on the ball. The header was on target, and beyond the outstretched arms and body of Tiffany Nelson. Flavovespia retook the lead, and the question was now, could the defence of Flavovespia hold up for longer this time?

Cassadaigua were pressing for at least an equaliser in the first half. Both Rachel Schanke and Madison McClain had good chances blocked by some last ditch sliding challenges by Tony Gardner. Unfortunately a clumsy error cost Flavovespia their lead. Aarif Muhammad’s pass out to Alexander May was a little bit loose. However the defender’s clumsy attempt to control it, instead of just clearing it, gifted the ball straight to Rachel Schanke. Schanke now had just the keeper to beat, and with Aarif Muhammad quite far off his line after the pass, Schanke’s lofted shot flew over his head and dipped under the crossbar and in. All square now, with Aarif Muhammad and Alexander May gesticulating at each other, with Tony Gardner also looking on unimpressed. There weren’t any real standout moments for the rest of the half, and it was all square at 2-2 after 45 minutes.

Cassadaigua showed their class to take the lead in the 51st minute. Plenty of quick passing allowed Cassadaigua to get into a decent position, with quick passing that Flavovespia couldn’t get a handle on. On the edge of the area, Meghan Wolcott was closed down by Tony Gardner, but got the shot away before he could block it. The shot was fast and accurate, and flew into the corner of the goal. No goalkeeper can be blamed for conceding those, and it meant Cassadaigua now had a 3-2 lead, they had the edge in this entertaining game.

The fourth goal for Cassadaigua was another effort from outside the box that found its way in. Morgan Rosenblatt is one of the great prospects for Cassadaigua, and showed it with this goal. Outside the box, the long range shot had a wicked curl on it, swinging across the path of Aarif Muhammad. The Flavovespian goalkeeper was unable to shift his weight in time to dive and keep it out. 4-2 now for Cassadaigua, and they were beginning to show some control in this game.

Flavovespia again showed defensive fragilities in the 67th minute. A miscommunication between Alexander May and Kieron Player saw May’s pass easily intercepted by Meghan Wolcott. She charged into the box, and shrugged off the ineffectual challenge of May. She then faked a shot, and performed a roulette to get past Aarif Muhammad, who’d dived down in anticipation. A backheel into the open net finished off a flashy goal for Wolcott, who then ran over and danced in front of the home fans in celebration. That celebration certainly didn’t endear herself to the Flavovespians, in particular Alexander May. Already with his number up on the substitute board, a rude remark aimed at Wolcott saw him manage to get a yellow card as left the field, ending a dismal day for him. In his place was Ian Cohen, making his debut. At 5-2 however, it’d take a legendary performance for Flavovespia to get any points in this game.

Flavovespia were able to put a consolation goal on the scoreboard with 10 minutes to go. Scott Coleman was having a great game, and having found himself in the box, aimed a powerful shot towards the corner to take home the match ball. Tiffany Nelson produced a great save to deny Scott Coleman the hat-trick. She was then powerless however, as the ball fell nicely for Jonathan Feld. The left midfielder aimed it in the space left behind by Nelson’s diving save, to make it 5-3. A somewhat more respectable scoreline, but hopes of a comeback weren’t there. Cassadaigua shut up shop very effectively after that, making a 4th let alone a 5th goal for Flavovespia nigh on impossible.

In the end, the match finished 5-3. Cassadaigua were the dominant side, but were helped in part by Flavovespia falling apart at the back. For Flavovespia, frustration as they scored with a limited number of attacks, but come away from the group favourites with nothing. Alan Young said of the game “It is a bit of a tough loss to take. I won’t lie, Cassadaigua were the better side, but at times it did feel like points dropped. We just need a bit more of the, je ne sais quoi, as they say, against the big boys. Well ladies in this case, you all know what I mean”. Alan Young was relatively upbeat, all things considered, in his post-match press conference, although it was clear he felt some changes were needed.

Flavovespia return home to face Acronius in their next match. Speculation is circulating about who’ll be involved in that game. In particular, rumours of David Meehan returning in goal are particularly strong. Aarif Muhammad had a game where the relative lack of experience internationally, and poor communication with his defence showed. Alexander May as well is likely to be dropped, the hot-headed defender lost his cool with outbursts at both teammates and opponents, culminating in an unnecessary yellow card to top off being at least partially responsible for 2 goals conceded. Although a strong defender on his day, his tendency to become uncomposed in high-pressure games is an issue that even his old club manager Alan Young hasn’t yet seemingly got a grip on.


Frustrated Flavovespia play out no-score draw

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Flavovespia had the majority of possession, passes, shots and shots on target, but couldn’t find a way past Acronius, in a 0-0 draw. After the loss to Cassadaigua, Flavovespia at least got back up to speed defensively, but will be somewhat disappointed to have come away with just the one point.

The loss to Cassadaigua saw Alan Young make some changes to the starting eleven. On as a sub last time out, Ian Cohen got a second cap, this time as a starter, replacing Alexander May. Scott Vaughan was also called up, pushing David Lyons out of the starting eleven. James King made a return to the starting line up, with Kieron Player moving onto the bench. Finally, and maybe the biggest change, Aarif Muhammad was dropped just 2 games in for David Meehan, Alan Young looking for a more mature head in goal. A tough game was expected, with Acronius beating Busoga Islands 1-0 in their previous encounter.

The game was one that had a relatively hesitant beginning. Flavovespia had a fair amount of the early possession, but found themselves struggling to get into good positions with it. The midfield was generally cramped, with little opportunity for Feld or Ace to break down the wings. Steven Hall was the first one to get a shot way, from about 22 metres out. It was on target, but not really anything too troubling for Michael Rowland. Not long later, a similar shot for Steven Hall was more accurate, and tipped just wide by Rowland. The following corner saw Ian Cohen get his head on the ball for a chance at his first international goal, but the contact was relatively weak and easy to clear away.

Acronius were able to create a few of their own. The 4-3-3 meant that, on the ball, they put a lot of pressure on James King defensively, who was more used to playing alongside another midfielder. Jonathan Feld and Christopher Ace were pulled inwards to help in the midfield battle, but the latter struggled in this role, more used to being a speedy, agile winger by trade. It was a counter-attack that gave Acronius their best chance in the first half, David Garner was quick to beat the challenge of Ace, and slotted a pass past James King and into the path of David Pascale. Pascale had Gardner putting pressure on him the whole way into the box, enough to make the shot easier for David Meehan to save. At half-time it was 0-0 in an intriguing game. Not a snoozefest, but one where it didn’t look easy for either side to break through into attack.

Flavovespia probably came closest in the 50th minute of play. Jonathan Feld and Steven Hall played a quick one-two which gave the left midfielder space to whip in a ball into the box. It just evaded Scott Coleman, and although Ramon Martin got to it, he couldn’t steer his first time shot beyond Michael Rowland, who gathered it up. Unfortunate for Flavovespia from a promising attack, something Acronius had made a premium in this game.

Much like the first half, the majority of the chances seem to fall the way of Flavovespia. That said the Flavovespians had difficulty moving the ball out, especially after they’d won it. Acronius had done a solid job of neutralising the wide threat of Flavovespia. James King, a renowned passer, was often pulled out of position in his defensive work, which affected his distribution. Indeed although Flavovespia did have plenty of shots, and many on target, quite a few were weak shots take from sub-optimal positions. Nevertheless, Coleman, Martin and Hall did test Rowland, and the Acronius goalkeeper had to make a real effort to keep a clean sheet.

David Meehan had some work to do, it wasn’t all one-way traffic. Loïc Taubira had an in-swinging effort just inside the box, that moved through the air. Meehan did well to keep track of the path of the ball, to safely parry it away. Other keepers may very well have misjudged it and conceded, but the experienced Flavovespian did well. He also kept hold of a shot by David Pascale drilled pretty much at him with some force.

In the end, the full-time whistle went with this game goalless. Flavovespia arguably should’ve won it, but were somewhat outwitted tactically, and Martin Rowland showed good goalkeeping skills. Acronius have a win and 2 draws, having played 3 teams ahead of them in the KPB rankings, showing they are a force to be reckoned with in Group 3. Post-game, Alan Young chose to remain optimistic, saying “We’d have liked a win, but we always saw teams like Acronius as a tough nut to crack. There’s 15 more games to go, so plenty of time for the group to take shape”.

Flavovespia stay in Marthorpe for their next match against Muralos. After an opening Matchday win, a 4-2 loss to Central Shaneville and a heavy 0-5 loss to Cassadaigua has knocked them back a bit. Flavovespia are under a little pressure to deliver the goods against a side plenty on paper think should be a win. Then Flavovespia travel to Havynwilde. A draw at home to Hispinas 1-1, has been followed up by 1-2 at Nacaltora and a 3-2 win over Central Shaneville. Havynwide now lie second, but do travel to leaders Cassadaigua before facing Flavovespia. For all involved in those games, it could be a key indicator early on as to who could be a contender to make it into the Top 2, and with it potential qualification to the World Cup 87.
Formerly the Republic of Greater Waldster, internationally known as Greater Watford. IC It's a long story (OOC I didn't like using real place names)

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Graintfjall
Diplomat
 
Posts: 664
Founded: Jun 30, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Graintfjall » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:02 am

The front page of græpædia, the online encyclopedia about all things Græntfjall, before MD4. It should be noted that unlike the public access wikipedia, græpædia is funded by Qardinal, hence the tone of today’s featured article. Or not, I don’t even know if anyone is reading this stuff. Blah blah poop farts boobs.

From today’s featured article
The Qardinal National Park is an extensive subtropical biome in the Græntfjaller South Indies. It is sponsored by Qardinal, the Græntfjaller web giant, in an innovative public-private partnership (specifically, the public pays all the costs, and all the benefits accrue to the private side). Featuring volcanic rock mountain rainforests, sea-level mangroves, and several large lagoons, it was described as an undisturbed island paradise replete with biodiversity prior to the arrival of Græntfjaller recolonizers. Concerned that some of the animals, including many threatened and endangered species, might find the rich oil and mineral deposits beneath the Park to be toxic, Qardinal has begun a benevolent program of intensive resource extraction in cooperation with Multinesian Extractive Holdings, as well as clearing vast swathes of oil palms. Even more philanthropically, they have made sure to prevent human interference with the fragile local ecosystem by forcibly displacing the entire native population and finding them rewarding work in the sweatshops of the Export Processing Zone.
Recently featured: Hanna (heavy metal guitarist) · Battle of Kochhavn · Græntfjaller frosted pike

In the news
  • The Laafjörður protests grow increasingly violent and the first death is announced after a bystander is hit by a rock.
  • Catholic Democrats leader Anika Sigurbergursdóttir resigns following revelations she plagiarized her doctoral dissertation (the stick man doodles in the margin were, she insists, her original work).
  • A suicide bombing at a Christian church in Jabal Akhdar leaves 61 dead.
  • Opposition leftists claim victory in the Montaña Verde presidential elections.
  • The GANAX probe Suranga flies past the Burns Comet, capturing images of rock indentations claimed by Græntfjaller astrobiologists to be evidence of EKA (extraterrestrial kraken activity).
  • A court in Montaña Verde issues a multi-billion krónor fine in asbentia to four Überolía executives over illegal waste-dumping.
  • The Western Rifles win the Græntfjaller Basketball Championship for the first time.
  • Hrafnþór Oddsson wins the Háttmark Open golf tournament.
Ongoing: 15th Winter Olympics · Laafjörður protests

DID U NO…
  • … that Græntfjall went for over a year without a formal government after its first free elections?
  • … that prior to acquiring rights to global football tournaments, GTV Sports+ had to limit itself to unpopular and fringe sports such as synchronized Mornington Crescent, ten-dimensional squash, and gridiron?
  • … that the original offices of the Háttmark Harbinger are now preserved as a national historical monument?
  • … that the Bathhouse in Paschvík was originally built as a Masonic Hall prior to the Expulsion of the Masons from Græntfjall?
  • … that over 80% of Græntfjaller forests were privatized in the wake of the fall of communism?
  • … that immigrant street food vendors in Háttmark frequently trade without a license, much to the irritation of established restaurant proprietors, but have succeeded in bringing some welcome spice to the notoriously bland national cuisine?
  • … that Hresstu þig við by G-pop group Tvisvar debuted at No. 1 on the Háttmark Hot Hundred?
  • … that traditional Græntfjaller folk plays are increasingly facing censure for their incorporation of the “blackface” character of The Slaver?

On this day
    Days of Fæ begin (Græntfjaller summer folklore); National Spaceflight Day (Græntfjall)
  • 1637 – The Græntfjaller Athenæum, the oldest natural scientific society in Græntfjall and one of the oldest learned societies in the world, was founded in Háttmark “for gentlemen wishing to inquire as to the range, velocity and habitat of Sea-Beastes”.
  • 1857 – The first known fossil of the dinosaur Twelveinchpenus was discovered in Hamströndtal.
  • 1937 – Æroflug Flight 17 crashed after takeoff from Griesberg with a loss of 28 lives, becoming the largest single loss of life to that point in the history of the nascent Græntfjaller national airline.
  • 1986 – A 6.4 MW earthquake struck the city of Þingsnitz in Græntfjall, injuring over 1,500 people but killing only 3.
  • 1991 – The Ministry of Racial Hygiene was founded in Græntfjall.
  • 1996 – The Outer North People’s Independent Democratic Socialist Collective Territorial Dispensation of the Inner West Undisputed Free Communities of Central Southeast Squastan’s attempt at secession faltered after they ran out of printer ink in the course of making their declaration of independence.
  • 2010 – Vikingland, the largest theme park in Græntfjall, opened in the Háttmark suburb of Lahreich.

Today’s featured list
The Silicon Boot is a retrospective football award notionally recognized by the Arlington Collective, a furtive agency of historians dedicated to preserving the world’s sporting history, based in Zwangzug. The Silicon Boot is awarded to the player or players believed to have scored the most goals in the finals of each World Cup, and has thus far been back-dated to World Cup 75. The Silicon Boot is not officially recognized by the World Cup Committee, and inconsistencies in record-keeping and box score attributions as well as the occasional propensity of nations to inconveniently disappear from existence before they can clarify which of their strikers scored in the course of a 1 – 1 group stage draw, all combine to make the award of unverifiable accuracy. But it’s still pretty sick. The current holder is Faragó rue Cazade, who also won the Silicon Boot at World Cup 82. rue Cazade and Xíxì Êns are the only players known to have won multiple Silicon Boots; both hail from Farfadilis, a nation that has produced Silicon Boot winners on seven different occasions, far more than any other nation. This phenomenon has been attributed to the Statistical Farf Deviation (see also: takil).
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Wotinoceras (not to be confused with wetinoceras cf.) is a genus of acanthoceratid ammonite that lived during the Ljutonian stage of the Late Cretaceous. Wotinoceras fossils feature prominently in the Great Rift in palæontology, dividing Græntfjaller and non-Græntfjaller palæontologists. The former school believe that such species should be classified as “proto-krakens” and can be definitively considered evolutionary ancestors of the krakens whom most Græntfjallers, scientifically inclined or otherwise, believe to be constant roaming threats in the seas of Rushmore. The latter school would like to have some of whatever the former school are smoking, and instead classify them as related to common coleoids such as squid and cuttlefish. This picture is of a well preserved specimen of the species wotinoceras grazvíkense, found in Grazvík, Græntfjall. It is kept under armored guard and 24/7 surveillance at the National History Museum in Háttmark in case it suddenly evolves into a live kraken, a precaution that foreign palæontologists have described as a “probable overabundance of caution”.
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Vilita
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WC87Q - MD2/MD3 - Recycle Time - Have you Ever?

Postby Vilita » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:38 am

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Have you Ever?


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Alright all. So After three matchdays of World Cup 87 Qualifying, our beloved top seeded Jungle Cats have failed to win a SINGLE MATCH! Yes. That's right. The curse is back. I don't know where it went. We were all pretending not to notice that it was gone. Welp the curse is all knowing. It knew we knew and now we know it's back. To make matters worse we've scored just a single goal over three matches! What happened to the "Vilitan Threat"? Of course, to be fair, at the same time, the Vilita National Team remain undefeated so maybe its not time to give up all hope just yet. So we're going to play a game. We'll call it "Have you ever?"

As we all know, the Vilitan National Team does have a bit of a reputation of dropping points at the beginning of a World Cup Cycle. Particularly in the period from the Late 50's through the mid 70's, the Vilita Jungle Cats failed to secure maximum points at the start of a cycle more often than not, despite racking up a handful of World Cup Semi-Final appearances and the World Cup 68 Trophy.

It wasn't, however, until winning World Cup 77 that the Vilita National Team seemed to finally shake the Early-Cup blues. Lets take a little break from the chat here and pop in our pocket protectors. Lets take a look back at a few statistics that might be relevant to how the Jungle Cats have kicked off their World Cup 87 Campaign. Maybe we can pull a few litmus tests out of thin air and use them to decide just how bad a start these Jungle Cats are off to? Is the start the Jungle Cats are off to unprecedentedly bad... or just normal-precedently bad? Or something in between? Lets have a look.

Litmus Test #1: Failed to Win Matchday 1 of World Cup Qualifying:

World Cup 87: Tequilo 1 - 1 Vilita

Last Time it Happened: World Cup 76 Qualifying
WC76Q	H		Anglatia	1	2	L


Curse Worthy?: Yes
Have You Ever?: Yes

To find the last time the Vilita Jungle Cats failed to win the opening matchday of World Cup Qualifying, you have to go all the way back to the 76th World Cup Cycle. After having crashed out at the Group Stage of World Cup 75, the Vilitan National Team were looking to set new expectations when they hosted Anglatia but Kwuimekii Henteti's lone goal for the Jungle Cats was not enough as they were defeated by a 2-1 scoreline to drop points in their World Cup Qualifying opener for the second straight cycle. They would rebound, however, scoring ten goals over their next two games for 11 total goals over the first three matchdays, recovering to not only Qualify for the World Cup Finals but advance through to the Quarter Finals where they would be defeated by eventual champions the Unified Sunrise Islands. From there, the Jungle Cats would win their next 10 World Cup Qualifying cycle openers until the World Cup 87 cycle.


Litmus Test #2: Failed to Score a Goal in 2 Straight Games:

World Cup 87: (MD2) Vilita 0-0 Newmanistan; (MD3) Vilita 0-0 Hebitaka

Last Time it Happened: World Cup 82 Qualifying
1	WC82Q	H	144	Busoga Islands	0	1	L
1 WC82Q A 34 Savojarna 0 0 D


Curse Worthy?: Yes
Have You Ever?: Yes

While the fabled World Cup Qualifying Curse for the Jungle Cats is most commonly said to be afflicting the first match of the cycle, events such as the Matchday 2 defeat to the Giant Bird of Lymantatia have extrapolated the curse to be generally accepted to include at the very least the first two matches of a cycle - typically the first home and road match of the campaign, as well as any consecutive matches that can be strung with dropped points from within those matches. The Jungle Cats draws on Matchday 2 and 3 meet this criteria but are also noteworthy because the Vilitan National Team failed to score a goal in two consecutive matches.

In fact, it is exceptionally rare for the Vilitan National Team not to score a goal in a single match, no less two consecutive games. For a period of 68 matches between Matchday 14 of World Cup 79 Qualifying to Matchday 7 of World Cup 82 Qualifying, Vilita scored a goal in every single match - win, lose or draw. Averaging over 3.2 goals per game in that stretch, the Jungle Cats Score seven or more goals five times within that streak including an impressive 8-3 victory to close out the World Cup 80 Qualifying campaign. When the Jungle Cats goal scoring streak finally came to an end, however, it ended hard as following their 0-1 upset defeat to the Busoga Islands on Matchday 8 of World Cup 82 Qualifying, Vilita would fail to score once more on Matchday 9 with a 0-0 draw on the road to 34th ranked Savojarna.


Litmus Test #3: Dropped points to a team 283+ Ranks lower in KPB:

World Cup 87: (MD3) [6] Vilita 0-0 Hebtika [289]

Last Time it Happened: World Cup 67 Qualifying Matchday 1
10	WC67Q	A	311	Bonny	1	1	D


Curse Worthy?: Yes
Have You Ever?: Yes

While the most famous of Vilita's early qualifying meltdown's remains their defeat during World Cup 60 Qualifying to the Giant Bird of Lymantatia, when it comes to shocking upset results, the opening matchdays of World Cup 66 Qualifying and World Cup 67 Qualifying respectively are easily the most stunning results on paper in the nations history. When 6th ranked Vilita were held 0-0 by Hebtika, a side ranked 283 places below them in the World Cup Committee's official KPB rankings, it set shockwaves through the Vilitan establishment. Five time World Cup Champions held by minnows. Of course, however, it has happened before. Most recently the opponent was Bonny who may or may not have resided over the ocean. We may never know because no one ever knew very much about Bonny. The nation arrived to field a team for World Cup 67 Qualifying, stole points from the Jungle Cats then promptly disappeared. 301 places between them in the rankings, it was not only officially the largest gap to a team the Jungle Cats had dropped points to, but it was the opening matchday of World Cup Qualifying. The Curse and the Record wrapped into one.

Of course, the only reason why Bonny is the record holder, however, is because the all-time biggest upset in Vilitan World Cup Qualifying history does not offer a mathematical equivalent to compare it to. While the Jungle Cats were 301 places ahead of Bonny in the rankings going into their opening matchday fixture during World Cup 67 Qualifying, the greatest shock result occured on the very same matchday one cycle earlier when Vilita were defeated by an unranked pseudo-nation whose players spoke no form of communication other than to utter the compressed word "Iwanawin". Indeed, they accomplished what they set out to do, stunning the Jungle Cats on their home turf with a 0-1 result to open World Cup 66 Qualifying. The Jungle Cats would run the table winning every remaining qualifying match in convincing fashion, averaging over 4 goals per game to close out the campaign, but the loss to Iwanawin stands today as the most substantive exemplar of the Vilita National Team's woes on the opening matchday of World Cup Qualifying.

Of course, there are arguments to be made that 311's ranked Bonny taking points off a 10th ranked 1 time World Cup Champion may not be as big a headline as a 283rd ranked side taking points off a 6th ranked, five-time World Cup Champion, but statistics don't lie. A comparable result has happened before - even if only once.



You didn't think we were done did you?

Oh no. We are just getting started. Sure, the Vilitan National Team has failed to win the opening Match of World Cup Qualifying before. Sure, they've dropped some points early in their World Cup Qualifying campaigns against teams with less than impressive placement in the World Cup Committee KPB Rankings. Sure, It's not the first time they've gone two games in a row without scoring a goal. After all, the Vilitan National Team made its debut over 70 cycles ago. The odd rogue result was bound to happen from time to time in their history.

So far, every time we've asked ourselves "Have you ever?" - even if it felt like the answer should be "No I've never!" - the reality is the stats don't lie. The answer has been Yes, We have. But something about the start of the Vilita National Team's World Cup 87 campaign feels special. Special... in a not good way. But what is it? For as shocking as the Vilita Jungle Cats start to World Cup 87 Qualifying is, what about it stands out as something that we, the Vilitan fanbase, have never before experienced? Lets keep digging next time, while taking a look at the sad, sad stat boxes from Matchday 2 and 3. *wink wink*


Vilita [0] - [0] Newmanistan

GOALS: None
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 53%:: Shots: 3:: Corners: 7 Newmanistan :: Possession: 47%:: Shots: 2:: Corners: 5
Lineup: [GK] Vernasa Sanamun, [D.] Inteali Koranjo, [D.] Inbekira Ajhabekk, [D.] Lohani Riiyaaw, [ML] Limu Katarakhna, [MC] Jyuola Mtalata, [MC] Kudii Davasarii, [MC] Cywrenta Vlintejni, [MR] Trezisi Rokopolis, [FC] Sipke Tarala, [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso
Bench: [FC] Enzoril Alabonni, [FC] Clarana Refiami, [M] Lentali Purama, [M] Polaox Torerun, [U ] Cavuna Aquafek, [D] Jirak Trikala, [GK] Striitca Virahat



Vilita [0] - [0] Hebitaka

GOALS: None
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 62%:: Shots: 5:: Corners: 9 Hebitaka :: Possession: 38%:: Shots: 2:: Corners: 3
Lineup: [GK] Vernasa Sanamun, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [D.] Inteali Koranjo, [D.] Rojara Tiones, [ML] Lentali Purama, [MC] Limu Katarakhna, [MC] Kudii Davasarii, [MC] Jyuola Mtalata, [MR] Intikko Kuhilana, [FC] Sipke Tarala, [FC] Enzoril Alabonni
Bench: [FC] Berali Tzufarei, [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [M] Jurzen Devmiko, [M] Cavuna Aquafek, [U ] Cywrenta Vlintejni, [D] Inbekira Ajhabekk, [GK] Striitca Virahat


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

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Tikariot
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Founded: Jun 06, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Tikariot » Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:23 pm

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The flags of Widaya and State of Trinity are flying to either side of the giant screen behind Alistair McIntosh, Duncan Haldane and Martin Seagrave as the picture switches from the titles. The mood is good as the three men seem to be enjoying a joke, but quickly turn serious as the camera focuses in on them.

Alistair McIntosh: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, match days two and three are in the books and Tikariot is still charging full steam ahead. After beating Zeta Reka 4-2 in the first match, we had the fairly empty pages in international football's grand book of it all, Widaya and State of Trinity, waiting to be filled with more, or any entries, starting with Widaya, who travelled to the Temple of the Crow in Bul Khungur, being greeted with a rather wintry surprise as dense snowfall made things, let's say, interesting.

Duncan Haldane: Once you get into the mountains you can get these little surprises at almost any time of the year and then when you get into a relatively small and tight stadium like in Bul Khungur, the atmosphere and weather and everything together can get quite intense for a new team.

Martin Seagrave: I believe that the Widayans also come from a warmer climate, so I could imagine them feeling a little bit in over their heads. But looking at the game, it was a pretty one-sided affair. We started out with the same starting eleven as against Zeta Reka and the Hugeltaldoms - sounds like an indie band - and pretty much from the get-go built up our pressing set up, playing a really high line and successfully disrupting any kind of flow they--

Remarkably earlier than in the past few instances the image from the studio flickers off to the pulsating graphic of what appears to be an "S".

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Whispered voice: The shadows are here, are you ready to embrace them?

The crackling of fire replaces the voice as the logo remains on the screen.

Whispered voice: Come to me...

The logo remains on the screen for a little longer before switching back to the studio.

Duncan Haldane: --added a goal to his assist from earlier when Connolly received the ball from van Haar and laid it off to the left and Nighthorse just had to put his foot there to make it 2-0.

Martin Seagrave: They make it look so easy at times and it took just seven more minutes until they scored again, when again Nighthorse was fouled just outside the box and Rory McNair stepped up for the freekick. Here it became clear that the Widayans had not heard of his infamous free kicks, but he didn't go direct, maybe also because of the stronger snowfall now, but just chipped it over the wall and right to Knox, who sent his header against the goalkeeper's movement, going right over him in for the 3-0.

Alistair McIntosh: And that obviously was the end of the already almost non-existing will to fight back of Widaya, because--

The static returns, but stronger this time, completely blocking the picture from the studio, giving way to total blackness. The camera turns and the flickering light of a torch can be seen, casting shadows along the wall of rough, wooden walls. It comes to rest on the silhouette of a figure, clad in what looks like a hooded monk's robe, the torch behind it, outlining complete darkness. When the voice sets in, it is barely above a whisper.

"The spectacle, the glamour, the spotlight. The world is looking upon it all with rapt attention, forgetting their worries and their woes. Adversaries become allies as now there is a bigger, common enemy in sight. Or a whole group of enemies in fact, each engaged in one on one combat to whittle down the many to the few. Suddenly you cheer for players that you would normally boo and despise, suddenly they are part of this glorious group to bring splendour to your nation, it could be amusing, if it was not so - hypocritical - sometimes?"

The flag of Vilita slowly comes into view, being raised behind the man's silhouette and the torch. At the same time he lifts a crown high for it's gleaming sides to catch the flickering light of the flames behind him, breaking the light in several large gemstones inlaid into the precious metal.

"Every group has its king of the mountain. The one everybody tries to chase and bring down. The grandest prize within the group. And not only that, but five times actual World Champion. What a shiny bauble to break out of the crown, to topple from the throne. Vilita. A name uttered with hushed reverence in the international halls everybody is moving in at the moment. A name that sends a shockwave through the lesser nations, reeking of defeat, of despair, of hopelessness.

Yet at the same time look at them now. Three contests and three times the wins they had gotten so accustomed to, eluded them in every one of them. Tequilo. Newmanistan. Hebitaka. Each a cut with the knife."

Out of nowhere he pulls a knife out of his robes, curved, with intricate inlays in its wooden handle, which shine in the torch's light as he lifts it up.

"I do not know, if you are familiar with leng-tch-e? The infamous 'death of a thousand cuts' in China. None of them fatal by themselves, yet bringing with them the prolongued agony. The first three incisions have been made, beginning to ever so slowly drain the precious lifeblood away. No matter if it is enough to weaken the king further, pulling him further down or if it would invoke the blinding rage of the berserker, seemingly impervious to the pain, instead, damage has been done. Weakness has been exposed. The wounds have been inflicted.

No matter what the reaction will be, if anything it proves one thing to the next enemies to enter the arena to engage in the dance of the battle: It is possible to administer these cuts. Not even just once as a fluke, but repeatedly. It shows them that the king's armour has its weaknesses. They say 'once bitten, twice shy', yet here we stand, bitten thrice. How deep are the cuts? Only Vilita will know the extent of what has been inflicted. And they will do their very best to conceal the true depth and length of each repeated cut.

So what does that mean once Tikariot shall enter the fray, attempting to wrest away another point, afflict another cut, break through the defenses once more? Will they find the proud king, standing up in defiance against the next insurgent so boldly staring them into the face? Will they find a wounded animal that is at its most dangerous yet also potentially most reckless in its search for revenge? Or will they find a ship that is taking water, with the crew bailing, trying to right the course?

Whichever it may be, they come ready for the hunt. They come in the wake of three victories, poised to strike again, their senses sharpened, knowing of the weakness, like a predator stalking its prey, ready for the fourth cut..."

His voice trails off and he lowers his head before disappearing from view, allowing the camera to slowly zoom into the flickering flame of the torch before blurring up and after some more static the view of the studio fades in again.

Alistair McIntosh: Oh good, we are back! We apologize for the inconvenience caused, we are working on finding the source of the transmission that seems to keep hijacking our frequencies.

Suddenly the whispering voice can be heard loud and clear in the studio.

"Don't bother, you cannot stop the shadows. You can shine a light on us and think we disappear, but we will just be right behind you."

Everybody visible in the camera shot is looking at each other with alarmed looks on their faces. A older, balding man with a headset on, quite probably the director, comes into view.

Director: Who are you and what is your goal with all of this?

"You can call me the Shadow and my goal is to get to the core, to the innermost truth. No analysis of this or that. These are just superficial, trivial things."

Director: There are other ways of doing that, I demand you cease and desist immediately!

"I acknowledge your demand and herewith notify you of my refusal to comply with it. Now be gone..."

The last few words, while whispered, hold so much intensity in them that theyy indeed to silence everybody in the studio. Suddenly all lights go off section by section, plunging the whole studio into total darkness. The sound of a fire crackling returns and the picture slowly fades in to show a large fire burning in what appears to be a clearing in a forest as some bare tree trunks are visible around the perimeter, shadows dancing across them in the flames' flicker. The hooded man is standing behind the fire this time, the hood pulled deep without any of the light able to penetrate the darkness inside.

"Tic toc, tic toc. Or should I say Tik Teq, Tik Teq? The time is ticking, Tequilo. You managed to wrest a point away from the mighty Vilita. No small feat, no matter how talented your players are, also bringing you one step ahead of everybody else behind you, even though Newmanistan did manage to repeat your feat now, so also surely a boost to the egos. But at what price? What will be bigger? The confidence your players have gained or the pressure that they have loaded upon themselves?

It is the blessing and the curse of upstaging the goliath, of wounding the kings of the group. You invoke this sense of danger, this sense of awe, striking fear into the opposition over what you are capable of as a team. You force them to re-evaluate their plans, their tactics, think over their strengths and weaknesses, question every part of their team in the light of what many had not expected. This fear can be crippling, it can cloud the senses, cast doubt into their minds over their own abilities. It can cause hesitation that you an then pounce on like a panther. It can be a powerful ally.

But it also can be a curse. For the upset can cause complacency, it can cause the minds of the players to feel that they are stronger than they really are. It can cause them to underestimate the opponents, especially if they may not have fared as well against the kings as you have. It can cloud your judgement. Where you had gone the extra step against Vilita, you might not take it this time, just look at Zeta Reka, they managed to wrest two points from you, two important ones. Tik Teq, Tik Teq, Tequilo.

So you can see it right in action there. Be it because you feel you don't have to, be it because you cannot. It is also not just a sense of danger you invoke, but you also place a target on your back, because now a victory over you suddenly is worth even more as you have already taken a point, or rather two, off Vilita, despite losing to to Zeta Reka. You give even more of an incentive to make you the next goliath to be taken down, the new crown prince to wound and that makes your opponents even more dangerous to you than you make yourselves to them.

The ones from the ice and snow will travel into your domain, but they will have fire in their heart nonetheless. They know that it will be just one skirmish in the great battle for getting closer to the top of the mountain, but know better than to underestimate the deep lying power of the Tequiloa. Prepare for battle!"

Slowly the camera zooms into the almost hypnotic dance of the flames, until the picture is swallowed by the darkness, leaving the viewer with The Shadow's logo.

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Tikariot - Rushmore - Trigramme: TKT
Sporting achievements:
Football (27th): Ro16 (and group winner) WC87 | Winner - IFC 1 | Quarter final - BoF 73 | 3rd in group WCQ86
Baseball (16th): Winner - International Baseball Slam XI | Round of 16 - World Baseball Classic 49/50
Lacrosse (25th): Round of 16 - World Lacrosse Championships 34
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Frestovenia
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Fresto Sports - 15 January 2021

Postby Frestovenia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:09 pm

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Frestovenia scores three against Barunia but still lose match


The team of head coach Alrik Valatanen had to accept its first defeat against Barunia in this qualifying campaign. Frestovenia scored a total of 3 goals in the match against Barunia. The goals came from: Artvikker, Jartute, and midfielder Palrikken. Despite scoring three goals against the highly ranked team of Barunia, the Frestovenians conceded six goals and therefore lost the match 6-3. After the first half, it was clear that the home team was much stronger. Midfielder Gajetser was send off after taking a red card in the 62nd minute of the match. Barunia scored goal after goal and took full control of the match. Frestovenia did something back at 4-3, but it was not enough to go home with a result.

Weak Icecliff

Earlier that day, Icecliff was the second opponent of Frestovenia in this group 11. A record victory was the result after 90 minutes and a bit. 8-2 was the result in favor of the Frestovenians. Before the match, the expectations were very high and everyone expected a very close match between these two sides. Unfortunately for them, the reality showed a different image. Because of the victory against Icecliff and the loss against Barunia, the Frestovenian team is now in 4th position in the group with a total of six points. With 13 goals the Frestovenians scored the most goals in this group so far.

MATCH REPORT

Barunia 6-3 Frestovenia
@Bayview Stadium, Tildos


MATCH STATISTICS

Ball possession
63% XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 37%
Shots
X25 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 11X
Shots on target
X16 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 6XX
Fouls
XX7 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 12X
Yellow cards
XX1 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 4XX
Red cards
XX0 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 1XX
Offsides
XX5 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 2XX
Corner kicks
XX6 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 2XX

BARUNIA

Goals: Cartwright 22' 71' 86' Cortez 61' Swan 64' Thomas 90+4
Cards: X Thomas 42'


FRESTOVENIA

Goals: Artvikker 43' Jartute 63' Palrikken 83'
Cards: X Ogsen 6' X Palrikken 15' X X Gajetser 62' X Artvikker 90+1


PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Louise Cartwright (scoring a hattrick)



UPCOMING MATCHES

Frestovenia v Kelssek
@Asvard Stadium, Asvard
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Squidroidia v Frestovenia
@Inkopolis City Stadium, Inkopolis
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Last edited by Frestovenia on Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
World Cup
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Best result: 5th in qualifying (WC87)
Cup of Harmony
Debut in CoH 79
KPB Ranking
#132 | 6.00

Hosting
Copa d'Aeia 2018 as Salborga (puppet)

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Dutch - Graphic designer - Road cycling fanatic

A cat or dog may steal your heart, a ferret steals your socks

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Kandorith
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Founded: Aug 26, 2009
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Kandorith » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 pm

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Shinonome Kyoai - International
News From The Empire



Better playing Kandorith or easier opponents?

Two in a row are quite uncommon for the Kandorese team even more uncommon is winning or drawing the opening match of the qualifiers but this time the Kandorese team has achieved quite a milestone. The Lotus Warriors are currently undefeated for three games already and surely are looking for more in the qualifiers. With South Covello, Nephara and Indusse being at the top of the group, Kandorith closes the top four teams with a four point difference to the number five position, respectively held by Pluvia and the Saxean Isles. For the staff, the team and of course the fans the current performance if the team might be a bit lacklustre when it comes to the field play, the results however are celebrated. A goal difference of plus two is not something to write home about as a top 30 ranked team, but two wins and a draw spell a good chance for qualifying for the World Cup if all the pieces fall exactly right.

The game against Garbelia showed a more composed Kandorith after the 4 - 3 goal fest against Pluvia and the Saxean Isles, plenty of goals are of course a spectacle but the Kandorese side made too many mistakes which led to dangerous situations and three goals for Pluvia. The game against Garbelia was more of a defensive approach by Hayabusa as Takahashi made an early goal from a brilliant and well executed corner-kick, the Kandorese team would turn their attention to fully defending their lead. Takahashi being the hero of the story would last until the eighty-fifth minute when the visibly annoyed veteran defender shoved the Garbelia striker to the ground leading to his second yellow card and had to watch the last few minutes of the game from the locker rooms. Hayabusa was not entertained by his actions and called them "reckless" and "outright an insult to the spirit of Kandorese football." The red card for Takahashi costs him the next game against Sett Forest but hearing Hayabusa's words: it might even cost him his starting eleven spot for the upcoming matches.

For now Kandorith seems to be cruising carefully through the qualification campaign and slowly a feeling of careful optimism is starting to be the talk of the day among the Kandorese population. When we look back at the performance in previous qualifiers, this seems to be one of, if not, the best start the Kandorese team has had for their qualification campaign. Hayabusa however has warned both players and fans to not dream too big after the first few games. "We are playing pretty well but we haven't met with any real big teams yet. Our first challenge will of course be South Covello." he stated cautiously. "We have met South Covello on the pitch more than once and they are a very capable team. With us playing a different strategy than when we met them in the last qualifiers, the results might actually very greatly. I have great confidence in my players and surely they will not make any big mistakes during the South Covello game like with the game against Garbelia.

"I have very few things to say about the completely unnecessary red card and will absolutely not be contesting Takahashi's match ban. He made an extremely idiotic mistake and it could have cost us the victory to be fair. He realizes this and I think the match ban if a far disciplinary action to his behaviour on the field. Next to the ban, he will not be playing in the upcoming match and I have not yet decided if he will be starting in the game against South Covello. Surely, we will have a talk in the coming days and I will decide what will be best for the team from there on. I do not expect to bench him permanently but whatever the issue is right now, needs to be cleared up first. For the upcoming match Hisagushi will be taking his spot on the field and depending on his performance a lot might change in the defensive side of the team. Expect some changes to the starting eleven in the up coming matches and some swaps to the regular positions of the field players with the current tactic we are playing."

With Kandorith performing way better than previous years a question remains however, has the Kandorese team really improved and has finally shaped to Hayabusa's vision or are the three undefeated games a result of easier opponents. When looking at the Pluvia and the Saxean Isles match, the first seems to be more likely. Kandorith is a force to be reckoned with in the group, but some smaller teams in the group are showing they have an amazing fighting spirit and a must-win mentality. The question is when the Kandorese players will switch to the "everything or nothing" mentality as they have shown in the past.




The next games will be crucial to make an impact as the Kandorese face Sett Forest and South Covello where the priority for the team is focusing on the South Covello game. Winning there would mean a huge advantage in the qualification campaign and a huge boost for the Kandorese morale. The two sides have met before and in previous games and the last time they met was during the playoffs for World Cup 86, which would lead to the Kandorese qualifying in a convincing way with a 2 - 0 victory. Where South Covello is a known side to the Kandorese for which they can prepare fully and save their strengths for in the match against Sett Forest; the danger lies in the unknown for Kandorith who have squandered victories against much smaller teams in the past. It is expected however that the Kandorese will survive the game against Sett Forest without too many problems and face South Covello with a completely refreshed and fit selection.

Group 9                                 Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 South Covello 3 3 0 0 9 3 +6 9
2 Nephara 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5 9
3 Indusse 3 3 0 0 9 5 +4 9
4 Kandorith 3 2 1 0 6 4 +2 7
5 Pluvia and the Saxean Isles 3 1 0 2 9 8 +1 3
6 Baggieland 3 1 0 2 8 7 +1 3
7 Garbelia 3 1 0 2 5 8 −3 3
8 Græntfjall 3 0 1 2 2 4 −2 1
9 Quemorr Isles 3 0 0 3 4 11 −7 0
Sett Forest 3 0 0 3 3 10 −7 0
Great Empire of Kandorith | 大宮来国 | Dai Kanyori Teikoku

| Overview | Constitution | Anthem | Imperial Anthem | Armed Forces | Foreign Affairs | Emperor

Shinonome Kyoai Headlines:
BREAKING NEWS: Hiyashi Corporation to unveil strategy for the coming year. ● Winter celebrations in full swing throughout the nation, celebrating the ending of the year and asking the gods for a prosperous 2021.

User avatar
Newmanistan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5275
Founded: Feb 17, 2005
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Newmanistan » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 pm

THE ROCKET REPORT

WORLD CUP 86 ECONOMICS


By Taylor Larson,

It has been a couple years since the World Cup was decided at the Proving Grounds, and it can take a little while to analyze all of the data to determine how successful the venture actually was. If you were around any of the stadiums during the tournament, you know that every single game was sold out (regular seating, not overflow), and that is a tribute to the passion of the international fanbases that are preparing to make trips to Taeshan or Ethane as we speak. It also speaks well of Newmanistanians themselves, who filled up as many seats as they possibly could. But the economic success of hosting the World Cup goes well beyond the people that were in the stadiums, but what those people were doing in the host city before or after the game.

In Tundra Falls, there is not as much to do outside of the Proving Grounds, but with that being such a large facility, there were many opportunities for the other venues to get into the action. In one example, the baseball game two days prior to the World Cup final that was played at the baseball facility between Tundra Falls and Centralia was sold out, with analysts saying that, “there were a significant chunk of Banijans who opted to include that game as part of their plan. As we know, they are a baseball-mad nation, too, so why not take in a little of that action. It provided a great way to experience the Proving Grounds facility a little differently than they were about to for the World Cup final.” That quote came from Henry Sullivan, who is a part of the public relations team at the stadium. Sullivan also said that it really depended on the fanbase in question. “When it was Eura against Farfadillis here, they were all business about the soccer match. They weren’t interested in taking in anything else while they were here. They did wander out to the pubs in the area, to take in other soccer matches, or to simply talk about the great game.” One of the best parts for Tundra Falls, economically, will be a long lasting one, with the portal that was connected between Tundra Falls and Drawkland. “Travel between Newmanistan, and Esportiva, and Sonnel, will never be easier. The portal is still seeing a lot of use today, as fans on both sides are still interested in their co-host even now, a couple years after we hosted the World Cup,” said Sullivan.

In Pocono City, there is a lot more that could be done for a tourist, since it is a great city of tourism in its own right. Not surprisingly, all of the popular traps to attract out of towners were full in that city. The story was a little different in places like Southport, where the baseball attractions in that city were overlooked for the beaches and other methods of relaxation. John McMichael, of the Southport Chamber of Commerce, says it can often be hit and miss when you are talking about other fanbases, “This was not a baseball tournament, so no one here was going to be foolish and think that tons of people were going to be interested in learning about Stacey Keisler and her impact on the World Baseball Classic. We did well with some of the Ko-oren fans in that regard, but the beaches were certainly crowded. In the end, it was a great success for all of the attractions that target that demographic. We’ll get the baseball interest when we’re hosting a baseball event.”

However, nearby to Southport, in Putnam Lake, is the city considered to be the “capital of Newmanistan soccer”. There are beaches there as well, but in this instance, fans from other nations did seem a lot more interested to learn about Jeremy McAllister, then they were to any of our baseball players. Hayley Springdale of the Putnam Lake Business Association told us that, “A lot of the Favres wanted to know a little bit about him. They are just soccer mad people, so while they were here in Putnam Lake, why not learn about the greatest player that Newmanistan has ever had. We know how much Jeremy did for our national program. I wish we would have had a few more games here, because I really think we had more to offer, but I understand that other cities in the Empire are a bigger draw. We are simply always happy to be included in any sort of plan.”

A couple cities, Olympia and Centralia in particular, did not report that there was much to be gained outside of the hotel revenue. Olympia reported the lowest percentage of tickets purchased by overseas fanbases, and it is believed that many of those who did opt to travel, chose one of the other games rather than the match that was played in Olympia. This opened the door for Newmanistanians, and according to reports, a lot of our own people bought tickets for these games, at a higher clip than was seen in other cities. For example, if you were a Banijan in the group stage, you have three choices for a game: Tundra Falls, Jessicaville, or Olympia. Naturally, Olympia is going to be option three of those destinations. Fans of Eura also chose between those three specific cities. Regardless, hotels still sold out, and Olympia called it a success.

Cities like Springfield and South Charlotte, or even Nashua, that did not host games, reported that their hotel occupancy was up much more than had been expected because they were “an option to get away from the World Cup.” So, it seems like no matter who is telling the story, everyone is happy with the financial results of the World Cup. Hopefully our current hosts can see the same economic success.
Six-time World Baseball Classic Champions
NEWMANISTAN SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS:
CHAMPIONSHIPS: DBC 4; 27th BoF; CoH 34, 36, & 37; Oxen Cup 12; WBC 10, 12, 15, 17, 41, & 43; IBC 4, 5, & 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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Squornshelan Remnant States
Envoy
 
Posts: 280
Founded: Jun 25, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

WC87 MD2 & MD3

Postby Squornshelan Remnant States » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:19 pm

Three Things
Salwan Mynhier

  1. A Narrow Victory
    Image
    Krytenia may have been among the lower ranked nations of Pot 2, but are still a dangerous opponent, and the odds-on favorites for second in the group. True, with the Dragons' particular history, and Poafmersia and the Confederacy being among the higher ranked teams in their respective pools, they're a popular pick for those looking to establish a reputation as upset predictors. All the same, just because a number of people think Krytenia might be one of the more vulnerable second seeds, that doesn't mean you can just chalk up points against them without going out, putting in the effort, and actually beating them. Likewise the Dragons, after coming out flat against Socialist New Britain to start off their campaign, were perhaps in need of a reminder that rank does not, in fact, win matches on its own. So, the stage was set in Brantisvogan for what would be a very impactful match, whatever the result.
    Both sides were energetic tacklers in midfield to begin with, and neither was able to put much together in terms of prolonged attacking possession. The match didn't really open up much until after the referee decided to rein things in a bit, cautioning Hagaz after a thumping challenge that sent O'Neill sprawling. With possession from the ensuing free kick, the Dragons pressed forward with a steady buildup, before an abrupt switch of play to Smith and a nice turn of skill from him to get in alone against Krieven broke the scoreless deadlock. Smith is apparently well known in his native country for using his feet to open pickle jars, but on this occasion he put his multi-talented right foot to work by dribbling past Valda Harkhan and firing for the top corner. note to self: find out if pickles are actually jarred up individually in Krytenia. Strange practice if so. Delete this before posting. The response from the Black-and-Reds was not immediate, but they did manage to find the tying goal before the half. They earned a free kick in a dangerous area when Sinton took down his Moths teammate Petrov just outside the box. Both Takala and Lomidan stood over the ball as players jockeyed for position, but is was the team captain who took the shot. Cool as the forgotten cucumber at the back of my fridge's crisper drawer, he blasted it under the leaping wall, and with no warning at all of the shot's direction, Carpenter could only watch it go by.
    The second half saw a bit of controversy, as there was a credible argument that Hagaz should've been sent off with his second yellow. Replays shows that he got none of the ball in his slide against Sunday, but the referee kept his cards in his pocket. Groothuis, however, had clearly seen enough, and rather than risk going down a player, had Marrish warm up, and sent her in at the next opportunity. While her departure from Megabrantid has recently been announced, the chemistry she's had for years with Takala is all still there for the moment. Working with Lomidan in more of a holding role, and Marrish slightly ahead, the Black-and-Reds were able to gain a possession edge over the last fifteen minutes or so of the match. It eventually paid off on a play straight from the training ground. Marrish sent the ball forward to Takala, with his back to goal. Takala played it first time through to Starosta, and in the end it was a relatively easy finish, though calmly taken. Groothuis immediately brought Petrov off for Verhulst, no doubt counting on the latter's work rate and backtracking to help close out the match, and interrupted the Dragon's frantic attempts at an equalizer by bringing off Starosta to a long applause from the home fans with just a couple minutes remaining.

  2. A Frustrating Defeat
    Image
    Riding high after defeating Krytenia, the Black-and-Reds headed to Fiskadaha with another opportunity to trip up a team ahead of them in the rankings. They left without a point, with two more players on yellow cards, and a feeling of having shot themselves in the foot. Three times, the Confederates gave up a go-ahead goal to the Red Panjias, and twice they battled back with an equalizer, falling just short of a third in the dying moments. Walda Harkhan, looking for her second goal of the match from a corner, was closely marked by Sanchez and couldn't get the ball down. It sailed well over the bar, taking Confederate hopes with it. To make matters worse, it was revealed just prior to kickoff that Rudi Dalso would not play due to an unspecified injury he had apparently sustained against Krytenia, and aggravated during training. Svenja Baste replaced him in the back line, and while individually there were no glaring issues with her play, the chemistry of the defense was definitely impacted by the absence of its veteran leader. Further, Jirar Lomidan and Valda Harkhan both picked up yellow cards. And Harkhan seemed seconds away from earning her second for dissent after approaching the linesman, insisting the third Poafmersian goal had been offside. Fortunately,her sister was able to separate her from the official before anything unforgivable was said, and for the second match running, the Black-and-Reds narrowly avoided a sending-off.
    There were a few bright spots though. Petrov's goal, the first of the match for the Confederacy, should put to rest any lingering doubts about her fitness, and Starosta continues to be dangerous on the right wing. Vladcik was not his usual self out left, but was a definite focus for the Red Panjia defenders. Naqvi, who replaced him in the second half, fared little better, and both players should bounce back at their next opportunity. Overall, slipping to three points back from Poafmersia is unfortunate, but the Black-and-Reds are still in a strong position after a difficult schedule to open qualifying. There was no time for a feeling out period, no easing into things at all, and to finish with the first sixth of the schedule with two wins and a loss is not so terrible. There are definitely things to build on moving forward.

  3. Two Matches to work out the kinks before Farfadillis
    So, while it would have been nice to escape from Fiskadaha with a point, the Black-and-Reds are in a pretty decent position after three matchdays, holding six points out of a possible nine. They sit in a tie for third in the group with Gyatso-Kai, behind Farfadillis and Poafmersia who remain perfect. Up next is a chance for the team to work out a few of the defensive issues that, while certainly present against Southwest Eastnorth and Krytenia, really cost them against Poafmersia. The next two matches should, should be an opportunity to iron out those wrinkles before the team have to play host to Farfadillis. The match in Damogran will be their best opportunity to take points off the AO giants, but they'll need to be exceptionally well-prepared if that is to happen. Up next is Caryton, a little-known team that are coming off back to back 3-0 defeats, preceded by a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Gyatso-kai. West Zirconia are also losers of three straight to start qualifying, and both teams have allowed 12 goals so far, placing them tied with a few others for second highest in qualifying. Only United Pink States, with 13 conceded, have a worse defensive record through three matches.
    With that in mind, this pair certainly appear to be easier matches than those that bookend them. I expect Groothuis to take full advantage of this chance to tune up the team a bit, and give a couple players who picked up bumps and bruises in the opening slate a bit of a rest. Let me be clear though, that I don't mean at all to suggest the Black-and-Reds intend to take it easy here. On the contrary, if we know anything at all about Anne-Sophie Groothuis, it's that she'll probably be even more demanding of her team against supposedly lesser opposition. Against these teams, no disrespect, but the Black-and-Reds should be able to impose their tactical approach on the match, and should remain in control more or less throughout.

    That's the theory anyway. Hope it holds up.


SRS Qualifying Schedule and Results:
MD1  SWE 1-2 SRS @ First Coast Stadium (cap. 33,000), Auberlin, SWE
MD2 SRS 2-1 KRY @ Megabrantid Financial Field (cap. 69,245), Brantisvogan, Megabrantis, SRS
MD3 PFA 3-2 SRS @ Libira National Stadium (cap. 68,000), Fiskadaha City, PFA
MD4 SRS v CAR @ New Rudlit Arena (cap. 31,200), Rudlit, West Flania, SRS
MD5 WZA v SRS @ Edge Hill, Bradley, WZA
MD6 SRS v FFD @ Bridger Lane (cap. 72,406), Damogran, Algolia, SRS
MD7 GKI v SRS @ Stadia Capital (cap. 78,050), Beijing, Jing, GKI
MD8 SRS v BGJ @ Synesoft Arena (cap. 38,600), Syneca, Sivoliva, SRS
MD9 SNB v SRS @ TBA
MD10 SRS v SWE @ Reinallt Arena (cap. 41,230), Golgafrincham, Megabrantis, SRS
MD11 KRY v SRS @ TBA
MD12 SRS v PFA @ Slavnarzeczpospolitastadion (cap. 61,230), Lublova, Molvania, SRS
MD13 CAR v SRS @ TBA
MD14 SRS v WZA @ Olympiastad (cap. 47,550), Arkintoofle, Megabrantis, SRS
MD15 FFD v SRS @ TBA
MD16 SRS v GKI @ Castle Street (cap. 57,300), Jaglan, Algolia, SRS
MD17 BGJ v SRS @ TBA
MD18 SRS v SNB @ Ralph Wilson Memorial Stadium (cap. 48,700), Han Dold City, Han Dold, SRS
The Confederacy of Squornshelan Remnant States
True Democratic Successor to the nation of Squornshelous
Trigram: SRS
KPB Ranking: 15.10 (60th)
World Cup:
Did not Qualify: WC81, WC82, WC83, WC84, WC85, WC86, WC87
Cup of Harmony:
Quarterfinalist: CoH73, CoH75
Round of 16: CoH74
Round of 32: CoH79
First Round: CoH76, CoH77
IAC:
Third Place: IAC8
Quarterfinal: IAC10
Second Round: IAC6, IAC7
First Round: IAC9
Other:
BoF68 Quarterfinalist

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Busoga Islands
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 192
Founded: May 31, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Busoga Islands » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:20 pm

Bethany Donnell speaking with reporters after the team's tight 1-0 victory over Hispinas


Busoga Chronicle: Bethany, your team had a pair of tough opening away matches to start this World Cup Qualification campaign. 3 points earned from 6 possible- a strong 3-1 win in TJUN-ia, followed by a 1-0 away loss in Acronius, due to a late goal from the hosts, before finally having our home opener and taking our 3 points today. What do you think of this squad after 3 games?

Bethany Donnell: Like most teams, we are not a complete or a finished product after just three Qualifying matches. We've got a lot to work on, but there is a long campaign ahead of us. We're still very much in the thick of things. And, importantly, you can see that we are capable of grinding out points both away from home and in front of our own fans.

That win against TJUN-ia showed the group, and the multiverse, exactly what we are capable of when we are playing at our best. You've seen flashes of it- in our AOCAF Round of 16 match against Audioslavia, in Phase 2 of the AOCAFs against Mriin, you saw it there as well. Some of our biggest wins to date. What happened in those matches? We played our game, and refused to let our opponents dictate the game to us. Holding onto the ball, staying organized, closing down the opposition's passing lanes.

And taking our chances when we get them. We couldn't get any points in Acronius- they took their chance when they had it, and they were deserved winners- they found gaps in our midfield and defense, and hit them consistently until they scored. We recovered nicely for this match. We scored early, in the 13th minute, to go up 1-0, and then we clamped the door on the visitors. They never seriously threatened, so I'm happy about that.

Busoga Chronicle: What will your approach be to the team's next two matches? We've got a pair of games against two unranked sides- Nacaltora, away from Home on Matchday 4, who is winless, and then Central Shaneville right after them, who has won once so far. Should we expect some sort of squad rotation?

Bethany Donnell: Look, this is a long World Cup Qualification campaign. After our failures in World Cup 86 Qualifying- yes, I'm not afraid to talk about it. But after our failures there, we decided that we needed to look at the way we did things. Squad rotation can help keep players fresh. But that's not the only reason to rotate the squad. Another thing it does is fuel competitiveness for playing time. The 30 sides who qualify for the World Cup aren't running out the same XI for all 18 Qualifiers. They've got enough depth to change things up so people aren't exhausted at the end of the line, and they have faith in all 23 of their players, not just the starting XI.

That is something that we are going to work on here. We're going to run out a heavily rotated squad, a different starting XI than we had for Matchdays 1-3. This will encourage better effort and better performance in training, because everyone knows they'll have a shot at breaking into the primary starting XI.

Busoga Chronicle: Everyone around the team is talking about Delbin Kasekende Jr's transfer saga- where will he go? Do you know?

Bethany Donnell: Look, I understand that these decisions are important to players for their futures. While I'd rather have 100% attention focused on the campaign, I understand what these players are considering- their careers, their futures. I've talked to Kasekende Jr., and we've come to an agreement. He's the last player in the squad who needs to find a club home. He's not going to fly with us to Nacaltora on Matchday 4. He'll stay here in Dukuma, he'll figure out who he's signing for, so we can put this behind us. He'll rejoin the team on Matchday 5.

And look- this is not a complaint. I am glad he's getting offers to play. The more players we have at big clubs, the better. I believe national teams are strengthened when their players come from different sorts of clubs.

Lakiska Post: What do you have to say about the looming Cassadaigua match on Matchday 6?

Bethany Donnell: Cassadaigua is a top 5 team in the multiverse for a reason. They're one of the favorites to win the World Cup proper, and they're basically a shoe-in to win this group. The rest of us are fighting for second place, and likely a spot in the playoff. But we can't be thinking about them right now. It'd be disrespectful to Nacaltora, and it'd be disrespectful to Central Shaneville. WE have two World Cup Qualifying opponents in front of us that we have to worry about. And there are no guarantees that we can beat either. Nacaltora just came off of a rough loss, but that makes them more dangerous, not less, right? Playing for pride, in front of their home fans.

All eyes are focused on one thing- Nacaltora. It's way too early in the campaign to be worrying about anything other than the game in front of you. That's all we can control right now- how we face off against our opponent, and how to get three points. We'll worry about future opponents when the time comes. But the biggest game is always the next one.

Starters: 4-3-3.
The six professional clubs on the Busoga Islands are all part of the Banijan soccer pyramid.
Players who received their first call-up during AOCAF LXII are italicized.
Players who do not play within the Banijan soccer pyramid are bolded.
Players receiving their first start of the campaign are colored blue.
BLS = Banija League Soccer, the second from top-flight for Banija & the Busoga Islands.
S-FPL is the Shango-Fogoa Premier League, the joint top flight for Banija, Busoga Islands, and Farfadillis.
GK #1 Mustafa Taal. 25 years old. Banija/Busoga Islands dual-national who is now cap-tied to Busoga. Plays for the Herzegovina Phoenix who just earned promotion to the S-FPL.
RB #16 Abdullah Guennoun. 29 years old. Plays for the Hawabark Boulders in the BLS. Male.
CB #18 Ami Biri. 29 years old. Plays for Bwubanza City SC in the Southern League. Female.
CB #19 Azzoz Tahir. 21 years old. Backup for Lakiska SC in the S-FPL. Male.
LB #4 Mohammed Gassama. 27 years old. Banija/Busoga Islands dual national, chose to play for the Busoga Islands. Plays for Workers Union in Eura. Male. Captain.
CDM #6 Ilke Akgun. 20 years old. Plays for Lakiska SC in the S-FPL. Female.
RCM #23 Kara Yesilnil. 24 years old. Plays for the Busukuma Force in the BLS. Female.
LCM #8 #23 Cicek Aga. 21 years old. Plays for Ausharmuj Marusi in Farfadillis. Female. First tourney as starter.
LW #20 Barkha Visariya. 25 years old. Starts for Lakiska SC in the S-FPL. Female.
ST #9 Sarika Birla. 24 years old. Plays for Suwawa FC formerly in the Northwestern League, now in the BlS. Female. First tourney as starter.
RW #7 Yengi Uzer. 20 years old. Comes off the bench for Dukuma SC in the BLS. Male
Bench
GK #35 Kylian Jawara. 29 years old. Plays for the Tripoli Foresters in the Northwestern League. Male.
GK #23 Izgul Avan. 24 years old. Backup for Suwawa FC in the BLS. Female.
RB #2 Yashpal Gopaal. 30 years old. Plays for The Isipongo Flash in the BLS.
CB #5 Govind Nigam. 28 years old. Plays for Lakiska SC in the S-FPL. Male.
CB #3 Hassan Thiaw. 27 years old. Plays for Aissa United in the BLS. Male.
LB #14 Ibrahim Karakaya. 24 years old. Plays for Lakiska SC in the S-FPL. Male.
CDM #6 Delbin Kasekende Jr. 19 years old, free agent. Son of former NT captain and the present President of the country, Delbin Kasekende. Male. Unavailable on Matchday 4.
CM #14 Osman Baykal. 23 years old. Plays for the Nezrouch Rovers in the Northwestern League. Male.
CM #10 Jay Khano. 31 years old. Plays for Dukuma SC in the BLS. Male. More of an attacking midfielder by trade.
RW #17 Upanshu Paramartha. 33 years old. Plays for Rukunbi FC in the BLS. Male.
LW #11 Kamu Jacobs. 31 years old. Plays for Anomalies in Chromatika. Male. Captain.
ST #12 Servet Ornet. 24 years old. Comes off the bench for Istria S-FPL in the BLS.

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Krytenia
Senator
 
Posts: 4017
Founded: Apr 22, 2004
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Krytenia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:01 pm

Image

Cary(t)on Up The Khazi
By Rami Niblick in Georgine, Caryton

ONCE again, Krytenia have started hitting the jets once the field have shot off into the distance. Sure, they were unfortunate against the SRS in a closely-fought encounter, but the fact remains that we're better than waiting until we face a proper drain-circler at home before picking up our first win of qualifying.

That being said, the performance was at least professional. Alex Parsons, given a chance in the first team after Curtis Sunday suffered a dead leg in the SRS game, made the most of his opportunity. The diminutive striker recently left his homeland to try his luck in Valanora, and any FC Capri fans will be ecstatic at the way he controlled Cormac O'Neill's looped pass before thumping an unstoppable strike in the top corner. The other big money striker, too, filled his boots, as Mercia Bromham's new frontman Alun Belmwr bagged a brace in the second half.

Also of note was the case for the defence. True, they had little to do, but a second clean sheet in three games is nothing to be sniffed at as the Dragons once again showed they are maturing well at the back under the Davis regime.

Things get a little more sticky in Krytenia's next double-header as they face the top seeds on the road. Another strong performance at he back could set the Dragons well for points - though defeat is not necessarily the end of the world - whilst their second match, against Bongo Johnson in Aigburth, has to translate into three points if the men in sky blue are to keep their hopes of qualifying above water. Onward!

CARYTON - 0
- no scorers -


KRYTENIA - 3
Parsons 28
Belmwr 59, 74
KRYTENIA: RIP "Losing in semi-finals" meme. 2004-2020.
Capital: Emberton ⍟ RP Population: ~180,000,000 ⍟ Trigram: KRY ⍟ iTLD: .kt ⍟ Demonym: Krytenian, Krytie (inf.)
Languages: English (de jure), Spanish, French, Welsh (official regional only)

Hosts: Cup of Harmony VII, AOCAF I, Cup of Harmony XV, World Cup XXIV, AOCAF XIII, World Cup XXIX, AOCAF XVII, AOCAF XXIII, World Cup XL, Cup of Harmony XXXII, Baptism of Fire XXXII, AOCAF XXVII, Baptism of Fire XXXVI, World Cup L, Baptism of Fire XL, Cup of Harmony LXIV, AOCAF XLVIII, World Cup LXXV, AOCAF LX
Champions: AOCAF LII, Cup of Harmony LXXVIII
Runner-Up: AOCAF VII, World Cup LVIII
Creator, AOCAF & Cygnus Cup - Host, VI Winter Olympics (Ashton) & VII Summer Olympics (Emberton)

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Hampton Island
Envoy
 
Posts: 269
Founded: Aug 24, 2017
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Hampton Island » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:17 pm

Team owner Hannah Sanders (26 years old) gets a phone call from Edwin Conney, the starting goalkeeper from the World Cup 85 and 86 squads (the “old guys” team). Sanders was the manager of that team and became owner after winning a bet with the CEO.

Conney: Hello, Hannah, thank you for finally taking my call.

Sanders: Yes, I figured I would finally answer it.

Conney: I am just very disappointed how you have not given any of us an opportunity to play in this World Cup. We supported you through so much.

Sanders: There is not anything to discuss.

Conney: We made you what you are, and you just toss on the back burner like this, I know some of the guys are even older now, but I still feel good and would have loved the opportunity to have been back in the World Cup.

Sanders: You guys didn’t win the Campionato Esportiva. You all turned down the offers to play in the Campionato Esportiva, so the guys I assembled were assembled and they went out and won it. They earned it.

Conney: They earned a chance to play, and so did we. We were not even considered, you did not even ask me if I was feeling good enough to play.
Sanders: Why do I need to ask you that? I made my decision when the Campionato Esportiva was over. You are just going to need to accept that.

Conney: Not even a chance?

Sanders: No. You don’t need another chance. You don’t even realize that your team was put together because he (the CEO) wanted you to lose. The team achieved because I made it work for you guys. We got the great sponsor, and it was all great. You were along for the ride, and you know it. If I played all of you against the current team you would be crushed.

Conney: You are taking all that credit, really, Hannah?

Sanders: I am taking every last bit of it, yes. Look at me now. I have made millions and have so much money because I made it work for you. I won the bet with the CEO and now I own the team, making more and more money. And you know what I realized, Eddie?

Conney: Edwin, not Eddie.

Sanders: You going to answer me, Eddie?

Conney: What has happened to you?

Sanders: I’m just fine.

Conney: Money and power has changed you so much. I can’t believe you are the same person. You have become just like the old CEO.

Sanders: Oh, have I now?

Conney: Yes, you are no different.

Sanders: Oh, Eddie, that is where you are wrong. I am much different then he was. I outsmarted him, don’t forget. So, I will play his game and only better. You think I really give a damn about losing Freestyle Mobility as a sponsor? Look at all these exciting modern day companies that are pouring in.

Conney: I hope you lose and the team plays so badly.

Sanders: I don’t give a shit if we lose or not. You’re old Eddie, but one day maybe you will realize that sports aren’t played to win or lose a game. They are played to make money off of. People are suckered into the wins and losses drama to spend more and more money. Money that pads my account, then I get more and more sponsors to give me more money. That’s what sports are all about, Eddie-boy. Now, I gotta be going. (hangs up).
Last edited by Hampton Island on Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Campionato Esportiva 28 Champions
Two-time World Cup Qualifier (85, 86)
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Cascadia Empire
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Posts: 17
Founded: Dec 06, 2020
Corporate Bordello

Postby Cascadia Empire » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:42 pm

Image
“Welcome back to Cascadia News Now (CNN), we have a special report today about World Cup Qualifying. Cascadia has managed a total of 7 points do far during these qualifiers, and they now are tied for the lead if the group as Hapilopper and them sit atop the table. Cascadia has put up an extremely strong showing as of late, which included a high scoring 5-5 draw against the Commonwealth of Baker Park. Baker Park has now defended their interim belt 3 matches in a row, and start with a somewhat rough 0-3-0 record. Now I’ll send it down to Joseph Wilcox who is in Seattle, at a bar before the game in Xanneria.”

“That’s right Dave. People around here are very excited for the next 2 games, as if they win, it could put them as early front runners in the group, and help them get an invitation to the Cup of Harmony, or maybe, just maybe, that one cup. Games against Xanneria and North Japan coming up here will prove what the team has in them, and if they win, they will have 13 points following the first 5 match days. We interviewed Cody Chambers earlier today before the game tonight.”

“Hey guys, glad to be here.”

“Glad to have you Cody. Let’s start with an easy question, how big of a shot do you think we have at qualifiying?”

“I’ll be honest, I think it’s low, I will be extremely surprised if we even are able to finish top 3 in our group, but I have confidence. That game against Baker Park showed what we can do, and we have shown our skill.”

“That’s great. Who is the most influential leader on the team?”

“I think it is Logan Saunders. He had the experience, the skill and the charm to be a great emotional leader. Julian Wood is up there also, he is a great young defender that leads his unit.”

“Interesting. One last question. Why do we have a shot?”

“We have a shot because this team is great. We have showed it in 2 games now, against teams that are better than us. We have been punching above our weight during this entire tourney, and we will continue to do that.”

“Thank you, anything else?”

“Go Cascadia!”

“Thanks Cody. I’ll send it back up to the booth Dave.”

“Thanks Joe. Well, we have our first game of the weekend doubleheader tonight against Xanneria. Go Cascadia.”

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South Newlandia
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Posts: 360
Founded: Jan 18, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby South Newlandia » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:02 pm

Report on the performance of South Newlandia at the World Cup Qualifiers:
Still bad, they can’t find the damn net.



We asked every starter on the South Newlandian national team what their pet is. Number nine will shock you!

Mikhail Trischuk: “I love my dog, honestly. Having a husky is tons of work, but it is also very useful; I can easily go for long jogs to train, build up some stamina. His name is Jack. He’s cute, I had him since he was a puppy. I would kill for him.”
Dhruv Roy: “I have a cat. His name is Nacho, and he hates me. I love the stupid idiot to bits. He tried eating some plastic a few days ago and my wife was really mad about that. Have I told you about the time when he got stuck in a vacuum cable?”
Tommy Anderson: “Well, I got myself some fishes. Not very interesting, I know, but they swim and stuff. I have four of them, named McFin, Lydia, Gertrude, and Yellow. All of them are red, except for Yellow. She’s yellow.”
Mike Sloah: “I don’t have any pets, sorry if that ruins your article. I have a kid if that helps. Same thing basically? Yeah, you’re right, probably.”
Filip Barker: “I am a cat person, so I have three cats obviously, as everyone should. Their names are Meow Meow, Julia and Cabinet.”
Kevin Mohamed: “I’m playing in Jeckland, so I’m mostly busy trying to not fall into the void, but I used to own a dog, a small chihuahua. Cute little guy. He was named Sir Barkalot and did not listen to anything I said.”
Corban Green: “I own a horse, actually. Honestly, its more like a pony, and I can’t ride it, but my wife can. She’s named Harmony, and the horse is named Lydia. Confuses the hell out of everyone.”
Marcus Young: “Turtles are where it’s at, man. I own a turtle, and he’s old as hell. I don’t actually know how old, but his name is Methuselah. Turtles are just too damn cute, don’t you think? No? Okay.”
Finnley Wallis: “I own a large dog-sized lizard, the kind you get in Mriin. It’s basically, like, a lizard but very big. His name is Munch, because he makes cute sounds when he munches food.”
Brandon Irving: “I don’t own any pets, but I have a terrarium with a traffic cone. I don’t even remember why.”
Michael Glossman: “I always wanted to own an exotic animal, like a penguin, or a lion. Of course, you can’t own these as pets, but I have a frog. Not an exotic frog, but a very normal frog. His name is Pepe.”


(this selection of players is also the lineup for the games against Valladares and Bluecliff)
Not a native speaker, but you probably noticed that already
NS Stats apply (except for population) | Trigramme: SNL | Nickname: Elephants | Proud member of Esportiva
WORLD CUP 87 PARTICIPANT (went 1-0-2, last in group)
Hosted: IBS12 (with Tikariot), CE28
2nd place: IBS13
Semifinals: IBS11 (4th place)
Quarterfinals: BoF72
Round of 16: WBC48, WBC49, WBC50, CE27, CE28, CoH78
Current rankings: KPB 31st | Baseball 11th

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Zwangzug
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Posts: 4605
Founded: Oct 19, 2006
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:03 pm

Merano Regency


-Like many of you, I was delighted when Johan Idmar recorded a hat-trick in the opener against Sharktail. And like a few of you (mostly international fans), I was happy that the blowout qualified as a decisive win for fantasy purposes. One thing that did not strike me at the time, however, is that every time Idmar scores for the national team, he is breaking his own record for goals in the modern era. In fact, the third goal brought him to 31 and counting, past Rohit Sharma for fifth all-time.

There are a variety of factors that play into this. The length of qualifiers is perhaps the most obvious; the grueling WC85 qualifiers saw teams play 24 matches in the double round-robin, while Zwangzug's improbable qualification for WC66 saw them play a mere ten games. The second-generation team was stymied by the nation temporarily going gray-and-white after World Cup 69; there's no telling what Arlo Rais-Sonnen's career might have looked like, but it's not unreasonable he could have lasted at least one more cycle. Then there's the matter of formations. Tavish Willow's arrival for World Cup 83 coincided with the time when Kostya Hart-Farm and Gabi Lanius-Sexton's form turned out to be pants, and there weren't really any alternatives, so Willow brought the (1)-4-6-0. This saw players like Joshua Twoni and Jonah McCollins rack up a bunch of goals from the midfield, for obvious reasons. Not until Eagles' Cup 8 (pre-WC85) did Idmar and Gordon Blum make an appearance, and by then the time was right for them to run up the score in game after game. (Just think of what would have happened if we'd stuck with the IAC! ...Okay, maybe not, we're apparently too cool for that kind of thing.)

Of course, the existence of a separate "modern era" leaderboard points to deeper awkwardness. The first-generation team had extremely stratified tactical divisions of labor (lots and lots of goals up front, very few from the midfield or defense), and at least in the earliest years, no substitutes to speak of. And it wasn't like all their qualifiers were brief either; 18 games, while typical now, was somewhat of a marathon when Zwangzug debuted in WC33. The upshot is, while Simon Ryne Olson's record will probably stand indefinitely, the changing state of the world game makes it at least possible that we won't always have to separate out the "old" and "new" tallies. At least, I would hope that Brandon Sonnabend doesn't paranoidly bench Idmar so we don't "embarrass ourselves" with "implausible" tallies, as was rumored to happen with Bridget Scroves.

But then again, it's good to rotate the sides and get various experience. Gordon Blum at least did not hold back, with a brace against Ancherion, though it was up to Nora Kent-Maner to head in the winner off a Lissa Crain cross. For the hosts, Chrisanna Leech's goalhanging paid off when she tapped in a Sikim Arts pass, and Mamadou Kaur smashed in a Fabiano Moon free kick.

-Nice. That was the word for Fedya Troy-Vee's diving save off an Adelle Benton shot that threatened to tie the game at the Palloci Pagoda Park. A late substitute, Benton's attractive play had featured curvy shots that made defenders Simon Gannett and Randal Saitta look frustrated. Fortuitiously, Zwangzug held on, and Edwin Cherenkov-Nguyen's goal from the first half proved to be the difference.

While most of the home crowd was partial to Zwangzug, the Netop side enjoyed a fair bit of support too--mostly for their daring and innovative uniform numbers. "I thought Lawrence Sevvy [defender from the first-generation side] was something else, but that Benton, dang," whistled admirer Ryan Roth-Gayle. "And Hendricks' 123456! You'd think he would have to be wide and bloaty to fit all that on his jersey, but no! He looked good."

"Logan Diaz' 2.5 was a bold and attractive use of the decimal point," noted local fan Jae Ng. "And when Marcus Hussel came on at halftime in his 2π, my heart swooned! I was afraid he was going to go on a rant about how tau was more mathematically elegant, but no, he just neatly dispossessed McCollins and Idmar. If this is what irrationallity looks like, I'll take it any day."

Not everyone was so impressed, however. "At first I thought Johnny Howells' -492 was a colorful contrast to Bertie Gilbert," said pretentious blowhard Maxine Stone. "However, the juxtaposition of Savanna Park's 1776 in center midfield with Gilbert's 1492, as well as the visitors' 'friends' nickname, threatens to create a dangerously myopic historic narrative of what is actionally a traumatizing and disturbing colonialist oppression--" (our reporters gave up and went to go talk about football).

At press time, Zwangzugian numerologists are seeking to build a shrine to their favorite nice numbers, preferably in foreign territory where no hipster history majors can quench their efforts. The Græntfjaller Encyclopædia of Curious and Interesting Numbers was unavailable for comment.
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...using the lens of athletics to illustrate national culture, provide humor, interweave international affairs, and even incorporate mathematical theory...
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Mavinet
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Founded: Sep 08, 2017
Democratic Socialists

Postby Mavinet » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:11 pm

Since my RP is a weekly program, the sequence of the program doesn't follow the WC qualifying schedule on a match-by-match basis. There will be occasional reference to the results where appropriate, but in general each episode should not be treated as a report on the most recent matches.

Football’s Heartbeat – Special series: Đại Hòa 1500 – Episode 2
MBC1 channel
Wednesday, 6pm


*Program starts with a view of the entrance of Văn Miếu ("the Temple of Literature") in Trung Sơn District. Despite being surrounded by modern houses and commercial buildings that sprung up as the capital develops, the temple complex is like a different world, ancient and tranquil, where the spirit of the old days still linger in every trees and structures inside.*

Image
The entrance to the Temple of Literature

Good evening, viewers, and welcome back for another episode of Football’s Heartbeat Special in celebration of Đại Hòa 1500. I am your host Tô Hoàng Linh, and today we are bringing you to a time capsule in the middle of the capital: the Temple of Literature.

This white structure right here, more than a thousand years ago, marked the entrance to the first university of the country. That’s right, the complex behind me was not just built for worshipping the sages and scholars, but also to educate and create generations of scholars who helped built, strengthened and defended Mavinet. Today, the Temple is a popular tourist attraction, one that preserves and showcases the cultural traits of Mavinet’s thousands of years of scholarly tradition.

Let’s walk inside. Now, a little bit of a history lesson: This complex was initially built in 24 QG during the reign of Emperor Trần Thái Tông, the second monarch of the Trần dynasty. The young emperor, who was enthroned 4 years prior, wanted to build a both a temple to honor the old sages of Nhoism and a school for the imperial princes. The temple-school complex was built in one year, and since then, every future emperors went through several years of academic learning here. The school was originally reserved for princes and children of nobility, but as the country expanded and the need for competent bureaucrats increased, in 67 QG, the school was open to commoners who passed three rounds of examination. Ever since that first edition of the imperial examinations, the school carved the names of the students who achieved the highest scores in the final round to both keep a record of the highest Tiến sĩ and honor the talents of the new generation of scholars along with the old sages. The last Nhoist examination was in 1882, just 2 years before the Revolution War, which saw 25 people passed. The new republic did not revive the Nhoist exam traditions, instead prioritized the teaching of modern sciences and practical knowledge. The Temple was thus no longer used as a school, and for about 20 years after the founding of the republic, the Temple was converted to a place honoring the fallen heroes of the Revolution and the republican ideals. Under the direction of the fourth Chancellor Hà Quốc Anh, the Temple was restored to its original purpose in 1908, and the temple complex was made a National Heritage Site in 1911.

Nowadays, the Temple is also open to tourists as a way to showcase the cultural heritage of Mavinet. It is also a spiritual place for students and aspiring public servants to come and pray for good results in their examinations and evaluations. Around December and April, you will see lots of high school students here; June is the time for high school seniors to come before their university entrance exam; and August sees the flocking of young adults who are about to take the Public Administration Proficiency Test. When I was in high school, I was a frequent visitor to the Temple because I was not so bright with academic learning. During those years, I would come here before the first day of the half-term exam and end-term exam to pray to the old sages and get a charm for good luck. If you look over there in the inner courtyard where a lot of students are gathering, that’s where you can get the charms. Whether or not you believe in spirituality, there is no denying that within the space of the Temple, there is an air of sanctity that calm and clear your mind. Because of that, there is a lot of effort put into preserving the atmosphere and visitors as well as tourists are strictly required to obey the rules of conduct within this complex.

For people who haven’t been to the capital, you may not have recognized the entrance structure of the Temple, but you will surely see why the Temple is one of the iconic landmarks of Đại Hòa when you reach the third courtyard. This here is the Hồng Nhật ("Red Sun") Pavilion, the inner gate leading to the main Văn Thánh temple and the Scholar Steles. This structure is one of the landmarks chosen to be printed on the banknotes of Mavinet, in specific the 10 đồng note. Let’s see if I have one in my pocket…Ah, here you go. There, the Hồng Nhật Pavilion on the front of 10đ note.

Image Image
Left: Hồng Nhật Pavilion - Right: the front of the 10đ note

Now that we are in the inner courtyards of the Temple, it’s time to meet the guest of today’s episode. Here I have again the hint envelope from the production team. What do we have today: “Go to the Hall of the Scholars. Find the Headless Stele that carry the scholars. Read the whole third entry on the fourth column out loud. The guest will appear to meet you.” Really? Is this like summoning people from the past? Ok, let’s see what the program has in place for us.

*Tô Hoàng Linh moves past the Hồng Nhật Pavilion into the third courtyard, where Văn Thánh Temple has solemnly stood for centuries. To the sides of it is the Hall of the Scholars, where all of the Scholar Steles are placed. The steles are carved out of limestone from the nearby Thạch Trì village, always in the form of a turtle carrying a tablet. Some of the steles were damaged over many years of weathering or due to conflicts, but there is only one stele that has a headless turtle. Hoàng Linh looks at the third entry of the fourth column.*

Image
The Scholar Steles within the courtyard of Văn Thánh temple

This is the stele for the 1882 exam. Let’s see, third entry, fourth column. Trần Thành Khang, born 1851, passed with the title of Second Class Tiến sĩ.

*Just as Hoàng Linh finish the sentence, a man walks between rows of steles and waves at the host. Hoàng Linh is caught in a slight shock for a few seconds, he realizes who that is. He lets out a sigh of relief, and quickly moves toward the guest.*

Hoàng Linh: “Mr. Thành Khánh! It’s very nice to see you here today. How are you?”

Thành Khánh: “Very good. It’s good to see you again too. I hope you are not too surprised that I appeared out of nowhere after you read the entry? The production team instructed me to do so?”

Hoàng Linh: “I have to admit I was a little scared for a few seconds. I thought I really did summon someone from the past. Is the person named in that entry somehow related to you?”

Thành Khánh: “That was my great great grandfather. He was one of the last Tiến sĩ of Mavinet, and later became one of the officials in the new Ministry of Education.”

Hoàng Linh: “Wow, I really didn’t know. Then it’s clear now why you are the guest of today’s episode of Football’s Heartbeat. Dear viewers, this is Mr. Trần Thành Khánh, Director of Youth Development at the Mavinese Football Association. We have to say he is one of the people that have contributed greatly to the development of Mavinese football over the past 20 years. It’s an honor to have you with us today.”

Thành Khánh: “The pleasure is all mine.”

Hoàng Linh: “Thank you.” Tô Hoàng Linh turns to the camera. “Don’t leave the channel, dear viewers, for we will be right back after a short break. Football’s Heartbeat. at the Temple of Literature, Đại Hòa.”

*Commercial break*

*Tô Hoàng Linh and Trần Thành Khánh are sitting on the steps of the Hall of the Scholars to the right of Văn Thánh Temple. The wind is blowing lightly, dragging the curtain fig leaves across the courtyard in front of the temple.*


Hoàng Linh: “Welcome back to Football’s Heartbeat. I have now sat down with Mr. Khánh in a very tranquil space within the Temple of Literature. Like I said before, when you are in this complex, it feels like a completely different world to the outside. Mr. Khánh, do you think the Temple has a special aura that creates such a different feel in it compared to the outside world?”

Thành Khánh: “I believe so, yes. I think the main reason is that people understand how sacred this place was in the past, and they are respecting that sanctity when they visit. People move slower, talk much less and behave in a calm and collected manner within the boundaries of the Temple. The scenery and architecture are also very reflective of the old days of Mavinet. The combination of its things and people makes the Temple a very different place than the outside world.”

Hoàng Linh: "That’s as good an explanation as we can get, Mr. Khánh, and I think the effort to preserve the sanctity and tranquility within the Temple by the administration is so commendable. The tourists are very well-informed about the rules here and any violations have been met with heavy fines.”

Thành Khánh: “Yes, and as someone who work really closely with colleagues in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, I can say the government at the highest level also place high emphasis on the preservation of national heritage. This Temple definitely is one.”

Hoàng Linh: “Since one of your ancestors is memorialized here, this Temple must have a special place in your heart?”

Thành Khánh: “You can say so. My family is proud of having a scholar that contributed to the development of the country, and we always try to pass down that pride to the next generation by bringing them here every New Year’s Day, on every ancestral memorial occasion, and every May in celebration of the National Teachers’ Day. That’s a good way to teach children and grandchildren the culture of respect. I remember hearing my grandfather tell stories about my great grandfather and great great grandfather, who despite the changes of time, did their best to make Mavinet a better country. You do know about the praying and charm-getting of students? Call me superstitious, but I think my ancestors really looked after me through those charms. I was almost always lucky with the tests. Even in my career, they were the guiding stars for me. They were both great educators and great sources of inspiration for me to pursue my career in youth football.”

Hoàng Linh: “I think in a sense, what you are now doing is also that of an educator, right? It can be said that the educating tradition still flows strongly in your family?”

Thành Khánh: “Yes. People usually think of my job of Director of Youth Development as a desk job that involves mostly of pointing fingers. While I do direct, the way I do my job is usually out on the field, visiting youth facilities, meeting with aspiring kids from underdeveloped areas or working with schools and academies to improve youth development curriculum. If I’m not directly teaching kids how to play football, which I did while I was the Head of Youth Development at LoKa Trung Sơn, then I’m teaching coaches and managers how to build and develop young players. For me, that’s also education, and I’m happy that I’m following the footsteps of my family’s forerunners.”

Hoàng Linh: “How do you gauge the contributions of youth football development in the capital to the rise of Mavinet in the world’s football scene?”

Thành Khánh: “I would say Đại Hòa plays a leading role in that, not because I’m a person from the capital, but because the fact is that about 50% of established footballers in the country, and in the international team right now, were at one point developed in the capital. Vĩnh An Đại Hòa and LoKa Trung Sơn are going in the right direction with regard to youth development. Of course, my job is to also bring other parts of the country up in terms of youth development quality so there are competitions. At the moment, however, Đại Hòa is still the main engine of football development in Mavinet.”

Hoàng Linh: “Where do you envision Mavinet’s youth development and football in general will go in the next few years?”

Thành Khánh: “Although there have been great progress at the senior level, I think we need to be more consistent with our youth football. The generation of the first international football cycle for us was very promising, and they are proving their skills at the senior level now, but the subsequent crops have not had as much success. I don’t think they are poor, but we need to improve on our physicality and mental consistency. I also believe more exposure to more advanced football systems can help our youth development immensely. That was the main reason why we decided to partner with Cassadaigua’s CASE to send a delegate of young footballers to them every year. We want to expand that model to other big football countries in the region and beyond. I am confident we will see the improvement in the near future.”

Hoàng Linh: “Thank you very much for sharing a bit about yourself and the plan for Mavinet’s football today. Before we wrap up, we would like to invite you to say something in the spirit of Đại Hòa 1500 to our viewers. Is that alright?”

Thành Khánh: “Yes of course. I am Trần Thành Khánh, Director of Youth Development at the Mavinese Football Association, and I am very happy to have had the chance to talk about my connection to one of an iconic sites in Đại Hòa. As a son of the capital and in the spirit of Đại Hòa 1500, I wish everyone a harmonious and successful year. Please respect our culture and keep it alive, and please support Mavinet in all of its endeavors. The national team will begin their World Cup qualifying campaign soon, so I hope everyone will support them. Thank you!”

Hoàng Linh: “Thank you, Mr. Khánh. That’s the end of today’s episode. We are grateful for the support we have received from our viewers after the first episode aired, and we are glad to be able to bring Mavinet’s culture to you in a meaningful way. We hope to see you again next week on Wednesday, 6pm on MBC1 in our next episode of the special series Đại Hòa 1500. I am Tô Hoàng Linh at the Temple of Literature, and this is Football’s Heartbeat.”


MD2
EASTFIELD LODGE - 0

MAVINET - 3
25’ Tran Duc Vinh
37’ Mai Trung Hai
66’ Mai Trung Hai

MD3
MAVINET - 3
38’ Lam Tri Thong
64’ Tran Hoang Minh
80’ Vo Thanh Hai

ARKLANDA - 1
51' ???

MD4’s lineup:
Hoang Trung (GK) / Phuoc Long (LB), Hung Dung (CB), Van Thao (CB), Van Hau (RB) / Tri Thong (DM), Hoai Linh (CM), Hoang Minh (AM) / Tien Linh (LW), Thanh Hoang (RW) / Thanh Hai (ST).

MD5’s lineup:

Manh Cuong (GK) / Khang Anh (LB), Duy Hung (CB), Hong Dang (CB), Phu Cuong (RB) / Tri Thong (DM), Hoai Linh (CM), Trung Hai (AM) / Chi Tho (LW), Thanh Hoang (RW) / Duc Vinh (ST).
    Champion: Baptism of Fire 72
    Third place: Di Bradini Cup 47

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