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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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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:01 pm

OOC- this RP is based on an idea from Zwangzug, and - as specifically requested - builds on (and extensively quotes from) this RP from World Cup 58.

Clearly Juan Tzimisces had no intention of making this easy for himself, but the 3-2 victory over Zwangzug had at least left qualification in his hands. A draw against Vdara - the lowest-ranked team in the group (and with two losses after two match days; never mind a -4 goal difference), would see the Holy Empire through to the second round. And yet... and yet... If there was one traditional weakness of Dreamed Realm teams (one that the Archregimancy had been particularly prone to, but which was also an occasionally issue for the Holy Empire), it was losing the easy matches against teams they should be beating easily. Tzimisces wanted to believe that they could put Vdara away, that Cassadaigua and Zwangzug would cancel themselves out, but even a coach and player of his stature could admit to doubts. Meanwhile, he had cause to remember an incident from World Cup 58; well, we write 'remember', but it would never be clear to mundies whether the incident described here was taking place in Tzimisces's past, present, or future - even if it definitely took place in their past.


"it took you this long to find a lefty guitar here" said Sosimo Lissón

"I'll make up for it now" Eusebio Nadol smiled and started to sing...

When you cannot tell who cares about, who even knows the score
And you don't voice that question because what if there's no one more,
When you'll play for pride or anything but fear to be too proud,
When the world is too cacaphonous and everywhere is loud,
When all the noise makes you afraid you can't hear yourself think,
And some would say that that's a sign that you should start to drink
And some say you should lose your faith, some say pick up a bong,
I'll sing lullabies till you dream. But this is not that song.

This is not that song, this is not that song.
This is the one you forgot that you knew all along.
Your ears stand open to the world, it seemed like the world drowned
It out but listen, it's still here. They'll never touch this sound.

When you're silent for a moment and and it's not by your own choice
And you fear that you won't be able to get back your lost voice,
When you make the game look easy and can't quite explain it's hard
When nobody will listen to your whispers once you've starred,
When outside something's flying like a gunshot or a missile
But through the noise you still haven't made out the final whistle,
And you know that however you feel, the time's come to stand strong,
I'll sing the notes they can't shut up. But this is not that song.

This is not that song, this is not that song.
This is the one you forgot that you knew all along.
Your feet stand open to the world as you play through the pain
In mind or body, but you can keep time to this refrain.

So when you feel as overwhelmed as you did as a rookie,
When you get booked because you talk too often with your bookie,
When there's no one you can trust because the world looks too disloyal,
When they confiscate your trophy since they think it looks too royal,
When you're bruising even well after bodies' or souls' collision,
When you give up nine to nobodies in the second division,
When everything that you can do won't matter or feels wrong,
Then I'll scream back your broken chords. But this is not that song.

This is not that song, this is not that song.
This is the one that you remember, you can sing along.
Your heart stands open to the world, the world can do its worst
But deep down they know it too; second verse, same as the first.


History would record that Aguazul would then go on to win the World Cup 58 final at Stadii Se Draggonnii Arcea 3-2 on penalties after the match itself (not, it had to be said, a classic World Cup final) had ended 0-0 after extra time.

History would also record that Eusebio's song right after the quarterfinals had played a key role in building Aguazul's morale before their World Cup final triumph against the hapless Kryties.

But questions remained...

Just where had Eusebio managed to find a left-handed guitar in Andossa Se Mitrin Vega at improbably short notice? Because there hadn't been anywhere obvious to buy any guitar - never mind a left-handed one - in the days leading up to the match.

Except for... well, history doesn't necessarily record anything about the little details, but there was that weird music shop on the corner that wasn't there yesterday. You know, the one with all of the gold and red guitars; right-handed ones, left-handed ones, top-handed ones, other-handed ones, and eight-handed ones. It certainly seemed to be the most convenient music shop in the multiverse for someone seeking a left-handed guitar; and so close to the Aguazul training ground too!

And then the shop-owner... that kindly gentleman of indeterminate age, yet obviously physically fit - and so familiar; his name tag just reading 'Juan'.

"Are you looking for anything in particular, Mr Nadol?"

(How he knew Eusebio's name never quite seemed to be something that the player worried about)

"Well, you certainly seem to have a lot of guitars here..."

"Indeed."

"Do you have any left-handed guitars."

"Indeed; perhaps a 'morale-boosting before a World Cup semi-final left-handed guitar'?"

"I... well, yes."

"I believe I have just the thing."

The guitar was perfect. Eusebio had never held such a brilliant guitar; it was almost as if it had been made for his hands; deliberately made to help him inspire his team on; made to make sure that Krytenia wouldn't defeat Aguazul in the final.

And the funny thing was, when Eusebio went back to the shop to thank the shopkeeper the day after the final, the day after Aguazul had raised the trophy....

It wasn't there anymore.
Last edited by Alasdair I Frosticus on Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zwangzug
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:12 pm

The Kerlagrad Courier

According to The Idiot Project's immense wallchart collection, The Holy Empire are the one current powerhouse that Zwangzug have a positive goal difference against. This is not to say that visiting the Dreamed Realm is, or has ever been, a relaxing and tranquil experience, only that on neutral ground our team can hold our own against the Imperial side. Just two cycles ago, Zwangzug upset the Holy Empire in the round of sixteen. And in World Cup 66, the "second generation"'s first match back in the World Cup proper, Zwangzug, er, held the top seeds to a respectable 1-goal defeat.

That game loomed large not because of Zwangzug's current roster, but because of the Empire's; like their World Cup 66 side, they claim to have a team consisting entirely of the same person from different appearances throughout the space-time continuum, a claim that the World Cup Committee is content to accept at face value because it makes publishing programs and replica kits easier, probably.

The collective Tzimisceses seemed a more cohesive side, and could perhaps have run up the goal difference, were it not for a factor more threatening than Zwangzug's defense; the refereeing team who were completely uninterested in speculation on the nature of the Stairway to Heaven. "Are you not aware that sometimes words have two meanings?" pointed out the midfielder who had come from Bostopia, to the bemusement of the assistant referee. "And isn't it important to specify which ones are being used in Taeshan stadiums, particularly in light of the [redacted] controversy?" Riley Kivrin was able to sneak past him and set up Johan Idmar for a shot that hit the crossbar.

"Does the feeling you get when you look to the west have important implications for narratives of migration and renewal in Vanorian culture?" demanded the midfielder from the distant futre of the Atlant'Oc galaxy; the fourth official gave him a yellow card for wasting her time.

"There are actually more than two paths you can take to get to where you're going," said the coach. "At least in my case. And the inherently unstable nature of reality being what it is, there are, will be, and will have been many opportunities for changing them." The video replay guy told him to leave him alone, and also questioned how he'd gotten into the video replay room anyway.

"Is the 'lady that we all know' an allusion to Margaret and her sacrifices to the random number gods?" inquired the defender alleged to have created the multiverse. "And if so, what does that mean about the nature of oral tradition and various interpretations of religious texts?" Edwin Cherenkov-Nguyen took advantage of this opening to score in minute 75, while the goalkeeper was distracted making whooshing noises with a nonexistent weapon.

Despite, or perhaps because of, this challenging environment, the Imperial attack was nevertheless at full force. The attacker linked to the Rainbow Revolution scored in the twelfth and thirtieth minutes, while the captain "Barbarian" blasted a long shot in in minute 63. For Zwangzug, Nora Kent-Maner converted a Jonah McCollins pass in minute 51.

The Tzimisces linked to an Al Quds folk song struggled in front of goal, in part due to Lissa Crain's elegant tackling and in part due to taunts from fans who decried him as a mere imitator of the Earent league. (The nature of nonlinear time suggests that any coincidence is likely just that, rather than conscious repetition.) Similar fans also demanded why Zwangzugians didn't take advantage of the creatively-named stadium to do a "World Cup 87" tribute, but apparently our contract limits us to one parody per cycle because of broadcast rights or something.
Factbook
IRC humor, (self-referential)
My issues
...using the lens of athletics to illustrate national culture, provide humor, interweave international affairs, and even incorporate mathematical theory...
WARNING: by construing meaning from this sequence of symbols, you have given implicit consent to the theory that words have noncircular semantic value and can be used to encode information about an external universe. Proceed with caution.

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South Newlandia
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Founded: Jan 18, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby South Newlandia » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:34 pm

Image
About dead rubbers, honour, and copyright

Precitably, the Elephants lost their second game as well. At least Siovanija and Teusland didn’t completely blew them out, but they still were without a chance. The silver lining to the game was a late score by Brandon Irving after a corner from McMora in the 90’ minute, but by then, it was too late to matter. Nevertheless, it made Irving, who had been a heroic figure for South Newlandia countless times before, the first player to ever score for the Elephants at a World Cup match.
He couldn’t save the team from elimination, however. The team will go into their last game against their Esportivan region-mates, the Patriots from Brenecia, with not even a theoretical chance for advancement. Worse, the Brenecians have also already won the group; so South Newlandia cannot even play spoiler for the Patriots. There is nothing to be gained in this match; the Elephants will finish last in any case.
And yet, the team will try their best. It may not be relevant for anything real, but it is a matter of honour and sportsmanship. The team will be completely free of any pressure, and will be able to show its skills to the rest of the world. They will field their best team, which the Brenecians might not do, and hope to at least contend with a Brenecian side that will probably rest some key players.
That, and it might be the last World Cup game in South Newlandian history, so we need to make it count.


In other news, The Ko-orenite Football Association has made bogus claims that the new South Newlandian jersey is supposedly partially copied from the Ko-orenite “Yellowsash”.
These accusations are clearly false. The colours on the jersey, while they are the same as on the Ko-orenite one, are taken not from there, but from the South Newlandian flag. While some style elements may look similar at first glance, that is more a sign that both designers were good at their jobs in showcasing good work with the colours at hand. Otherwise, a big number of differences becomes apparent.
Starting with the colours themselves, while they appear similar, none of the colours are actually identical when viewed more carefully. Yellow is used as the dividing colour in both works, yet it couldn’t be used more differently. I mean, look at it. It’s not even close to identical. For your viewing pleasure, we have incircled all the differences in the two jerseys. Decide for yourself whether you think they are copies of one another.
Image

We would like to finish this by saying that we support copyright of artistic work, but the claims of the KFA don’t have a leg to stand on. The SNFA is ready to defend itself in court, but hopes that they will not have to go that far. After all, South Newlandia considers Ko-oren a friend.
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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Squornshelous
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Corporate Police State

WC87 GS MD2

Postby Squornshelous » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:35 pm

Coincidence, Part 11
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10

"Gentlemen, we have come, I believe, to a decisive moment."

Sweyn Petrov addressed his three principle co-conspirators, once again in the sumptuously appointed boardroom of Striterax Cybernetics. Around the table with him were Minister of Defense Irakliy Solberg, Foreign Minister Feliks Yakovlev, and former High Minister Bjarni Riihijarvi, in whose boardroom they were meeting.

"Our preparations, I judge, are as complete as they can be without revealing our purpose. Our plans are sound, and timing our move to coincide with the final match of the group stage will allow us to act while the vast majority of the nation is deeply distracted." He looked around the table, making eye contact with each other man in turn. "Are we in agreement?"

Solberg was first to speak. "My teams are ready. Those who might have doubts or divided loyalties have been weeded out, and I have every confidence in their ability to complete their missions."

"The performance of your troops is crucial, if you have any misgivings at all, I now is the time." Riihijarvi's fingers worked restlessly at the edge of the table as he spoke.

"Taking the High Minister will be easy, as will cleaning out Fedotenko's loyalists in the Foreign Ministry," he nodded to Yakovlev. "Feliks has given us detailed enough information that we can have them all in hand in a single night. After all, none of them have any reason to request a security detail."

"And the Imperial residence?" Petrov noticed Riihijarvi and Yakovlev leaning forward over the table as he spoke. Ensuring a smooth transition hinged on establishing control of the Emperor, and access to him.

"I have set aside my very best. Troops absolutely loyal to me. Security around the Emperor is second to none, but we will have surprise and numbers on our side. Also," Solberg brought a closed fist down onto the table with a soft thump, "Our fallback plan of bombing the residence with a small scale nuclear device remains as a last resort."

"An option to be avoided at all costs, and to be abandoned if we should fail to capture Minister Fedotenko." Petrov's voice was even, but there was a note of command in it that did not go unnoticed.

"My operatives are also ready to move against either of their objectives," Riihijarvi chimed in. He seemed anxious to be included, and had volunteered Striterax Cybernetics' own covert operations teams to help. Their task, depending on the need, would either be to support Solberg's commandos in seizing the Imperial Residence, or to move against the Ministry of Security. Which task they took on would depend on Petrov's own work.

"Very good. I have invited Minister of Security Shevchuk to attend a private screening of the match against Pasarga at the Ministry of Sport. With some persuasion, she has accepted. I will arrange to speak privately with her during halftime, by which point Fedotenko and those loyal to him should be in our custody. Presented with a fait accompli, I have little doubt that she will fall into line. And if not," Petrov's smile was thin, "She will also be in our custody."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Andreas and Kij jogged down the narrow alley and around the last corner to reach the door to enter the complex housing the cell's safehouse. They had just returned from a successful infiltration of a MinSec office. Not a particularly important facility, nor a glamorous target, but it did have a connection to MinSec's servers that Fingers had been able to exploit while the others covered for her. On the way back, the team split up to attract less attention. Kij and Andreas were the last two to return, having taken a laboriously winding route through alleys and tunnels. It reminded him of the first time he'd met the cell, following Shura down a similar path. Once inside their pace slowed, and he drew up alongside Kij when the hallways were wide enough.

"That seemed like it went pretty smoothly."

"Yes, by the numbers. Viktor will be happy about everyone's performance. Always better when there's no shooting." Kij glanced over at him and smiled, "when a mission is really boring like that, it means we did our job right."

"Makes sense I guess."

"Trust me, excitement usually means someone is about to get killed."

"Have you, umm, had much excitement."

"Enough to know I don't like it."

He fell silent at that, and they proceeded for a minute or so without speaking.

"Kij, can I ask you a question?"

"Shoot."

"What exactly are we doing here? Sometimes it seems like we're just escorts to bring Fingers from place to place."

"Information is power, Andreas. We're lucky to have her as a cell, it means we get tabbed for a lot of these type of jobs, less front-line work."

"Any idea what we were after this time?"

She looked at him, sidelong. "You wondering if you made a mistake coming here?"

"No, I don't know. It's just hard to feel like I'm doing something worthwhile when I never know what we've accomplished."

"That's fair I guess," she stopped, and turned to face him. "You didn't hear it from me, but the rumor is we're after prisoner records. MinSec has a lot of people locked away. Some are ours, or people who can help us. Others are just people who don't deserve to be in a cell for the rest of their lives. The more records we can recover on that, the more clear this governments crimes will be to the world."

"And if we know who they have and where, maybe we can do more than just tell people about it."

"Maybe. That's what people are saying anyway."

"Thanks for telling me that Kij, I'll keep it to myself."

"Appreciate it newbie, now lets get going."

As they resumed their walk toward the safehouse, Andreas spoke up again.

"I have one more question Kij, different subject."

"Shoot."

"How come no one told me about Fingers?"

"Wasn't ours to tell."

"I guess so, I just could've avoided embarrassing myself if I'd known sooner."

"You'd have found some other way to embarrass yourself. Call it the human condition, just one of those things we do. Anyway, its no good you getting all mopey about looking dumb. Now you know, and nothing has really changed except in your head, right?"

"It feels like something has changed."

"You had your hopes dashed is all, get over it. If you make things weird and awkward for Fingers I'll twist you into a pretzel." Kij gave his shoulder a friendly punch, and he nearly staggered into the opposite wall. She grinned, and then they had arrived. No more time for conversation. But I have the best intel to pass back to the Ministry yet. Who could've known the team's muscle could be my best source.
The Imperium of Squornshelous
Rightful Overlord of the Rogue Provinces of West Squornshelous
Trigram: SQU
KPB Ranking: 22.41 (32nd)
World Cup 31 Champions
Runners Up: WC15 & WC38
Third Place: WC20, WC25
Semifinalist: WC18, WC27
Quarterfinalist: WC5, WC11, WC12, CoH6, WC22, WC30, WC32, WC33, WC34, WC40, CoH77
Second Round: WC6, WC7, WC9, WC16, WC21, WC23, WC24, WC28, WC36, WC37, WC39
Group Stage: WC8, WC10, WC13, WC17, WC19, WC26, WC29, WC35, WC41, CoH76
Worst Day of My Life: WC14
Other days that were not the absolute worst, but when we also didn't qualify: WC84, WC85, WC86

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Pasarga
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Pasarga » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:43 pm

After the beautiful performance that the side had put up against the cohosts, the match that happened between the Wanderers and the Dragonflies was anything but beautiful. Both sides had set up in way trying to force the other out of the defensive shell and into an attack, looking to break on the counter and catch their opponents on the wrong foot. While Griffiths had hoped that the tactic that he had developed to take on Reçueçn in the Playoff would see dividends against a fellow conservative and heavily defensive team, the Dragonflies had other ideas and instead were coercing the Wanderers to be the side on the front foot despite their desire to absorb pressure. Unlike against Ethane, the five at a back system that Ko-oren was using was far more coordinated in their movements and efforts, not allowing the pacy players of the Wanderers' attacks to get through the channels and instead bringing the game to a chugging clog of a midfield battle. Kuruc and S. Földessy were hellbent to win that battle but it also seemed as if the Dragonflies midfield and centerbacks were fine to concede the possession to the Wanderers when challenged for it, making it a very odd affair for the engine that runs the Wanderers' team.

Attempting to take it out wide with E. Földessy and Csapó was thought to try and stretch out the Ko-oren back line and get them to show some cracks in their defense, yet the wingbacks of the Dragonflies were up to the task of shutting down the Wanderers' secondary tactic to try and break through the Ko-oren defensive unit. It was in this match that one could see the difference between a side that had learned the mastery of playing from the back and those who were merely trying to use a defensive stance to cushion against powerful attacks like Ethane and Reçueçn had done in the Wanderers' previous three matches leading up to this point. All of the attacking prowess of the Wanderers was met with precisions and cohesion that was not evident in those previous fixtures and even the places where the Wanderers had the advantage, which was their dynamic pace, was being put out of the game by the Dragonflies' magnificent defensive work. While defensive football is far from popular in the dual islands, fans of teams like Duke of the North and Sardin United could appreciate just how well the back five of Ko-oren was able to play in this fixture and keep the Wanderers from getting on the scoresheet.

Griffiths would have been content with a nil-all draw with the Dragonflies, as even though it would be far from the preferred result, it still would have had his charges in a wonderful position to win the group and avoid the group winner from Group F. Though with it looking like it was going to be Banija or Baker Park, a pair of top ten nations with Baker Park in ninth and Banija in first as the current holders of the trophy, neither seemed a good matchup for whichever two teams managed to emerge from Group E. However the Dragonflies are not a team who are going to sit completely behind the ball for ninety minutes, they are team that are too good for that and too well versed in how to play the defensive game to know that sort of play can be sustained for a full ninety and they would probe at the Wanderers' from time to time. It was just after the hour mark that they had a bit of a seize on the goal, and would get a fortuitous situation where they were able to send in a cross and Watanuki able to put it past Mezei. It was further evidence that Mezei is the second choice to Galambos and Griffiths would have to wonder if playing Mezei in the biggest group stage match was going to come back to bite him.

It was ugly, it was unfortunate, but it was a defeat that the Wanderers were going to have to accept that had occurred and try to recover quickly in order to keep themselves in the tournament past the group stages. There was no time for moping around or pointing fingers at one another, they had to get on with it, and unlike during the qualifiers where he might have made the side train after a result like this, Griffiths instead opted to merely have a match review session with the team the next day. There was no point in tiring the team out any further, they had but a few days to try and recover before a pivotal match that was going to decide whether or not they would advance. They would spend two hours reviewing the footage from the match against the Dragonflies to try and point out where the team could do better in order to not just get a result from the upcoming match but for any matches that were to come after. At this point in the tournament, being mentally and tactically ready was almost more important than anything they might have achieved on the training pitch anyways and this would be the best answer to that, as well as letting the team have a light duty day.

In three days time they were going to have to take on Squornshelous, a team that had not been expected to make it to the Finals and yet had found themselves very difficult to be beaten now that they were here. This was not a team that had taken the idea that they should have merely been happy to be in the competition, they were out here to get results and had done so with a very unexpected opening match dray against the Dragonflies, having been able to do what the Wanderers could not and get a goal past that elite defensive unit of Ko-oren. They then were able to match the cohosts goal for goal in a six goal thriller, leaving them with two points and a shot at advancing out of the group if they managed to defeat the Wanderers. For Griffiths, his side had it slightly easier, they needed but to find a way not to lose against Squornshelous and they would advance, but as was evidence by the two first matchdays, that was far from a given even with the rank difference according to the WCC. The margin of error was slim and the side was going to need its best players to rise to the occasion, the side needed Júlia Müller, Galambos, and Szalyk Földessy to put in a shift, to build the side from the spine out. Good performances from those three and a result was theirs and that was all that could be asked for, to get into the knockouts. Hopefully Squornshelous would not fit in to any glass slippers.

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Vilita
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vilita » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:51 pm

Image


ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


Matchday 2 Victory Sets up Winner-Take-All Clash against Kelssek


Fadrön University Field, Taehsan Island Taeshan:: After an opening matchday defeat to Starblaydia, the Vilitan National Team had their backs up against the wall needing to turn around and win their final two matches against Savigliane and Kelssek in order to progress to the World Cup 87 Round of 16. For a team that had been to three World Cup Finals in the six editions preceding World Cup 87, the thought of crashing out in the Group Stage was not something that was considered an acceptable result - even for a rookie coach in Cavuna Aquafek, leading the Jungle Cats at the World Cup Finals for the first time. The Jungle Cats hadn't been knocked out of the World Cup Finals in the Group Stage since World Cup 79 in Drawkland when they were ousted by Pasarga, a nation which the Vilitans had considerably more history against. It was the third time in ten seasons that Pasarga was directly responsible for Vilita's early elimination from the World Cup FInals.

During the subsequent World Cup 80 in Starblaydia and Equestria - jovially known as "EqueStar" - Vilita made it back to the Quarter Final Stage before losing out to Eura - another team that had been responsible for their elimination from the World Cup three times over the prior eight cycles.

Of course, World Cup 81 and 82 were the pinnacle of Vilitan Footsport, winning rare back-to-back World Cup titles with South Covello and Turori on the losing end before being ousted by Host Nation Banija in the Quarter Finals of World Cup 83, denying the Jungle Cats a chance at becoming just the second nation to ever three-peat as World Cup Champions.

The Golden Era of Vilitan Footsport may have come to an end with Farfadillis' upset victory over Vilita in the Final of World Cup 84. Still, while the Jungle Cats haven't been back to the Final since World Cup 84 nor Champions since World Cup 82, they have managed to escape from the Group Stage each cup since, losing to eventual champions Banija in the Round of 16 during World Cup 85 then being eliminated in the Quarter Finals of World Cup 86.

One thing in common with all of those runs for the Jungle Cats: They did not play Savigliane. In fact, in the World Cup or in World Cup Qualifying, the Vilitan National Team do not have extensive exposure to either Savigliane or their matchday 3 opponents Kelssek. Unlike their opening Matchday opponents, Starblaydia, who the Jungle Cats have been fighting for trophies against since literally the first kick of the ball in the history of the Starblaydia programme at the World Cup.

While Vilita were favored on paper, when two sides with no history or familiarity with each other clash on the pitch there is no way to predict how the on field pairings will match up.

One thing is for certain about the Jungle Cats matchday two contest, neither side decided to bring their best defensive posture with them to the match. The scoreline was 2-2 after just 37 minutes of play. Vilita's Eastal Lunar FC midfielder Limu Katarakhna set the tone in the 16th minute getting set in over the top by Lohani Riiyaaw and poking the ball out of the reach of a diving D'ambrosio. Savigliane would respond with two quick goals to take the lead leaving Mako Canopii shaking their head and yelling at the Vilitan defenders. After getting chewed out by Canopii for their positioning that lead to Savigliane's second goal, Veteran defender Linkat Cjinder marched up the field and proceeded to make amends by leveling the score at 2-2 which would then hold through to the half time interval.

Vilitan head coach Cavuna Aquafek - wearing a track suit on the sideline and not among the players eligible to come onto the pitch, made the first substitution over the interval taking off Jirak Trikala in place of utility player Va'a-Rio Kiwavn. Aquafek wanted Kiwavn and Jurzen Devmiko to sit back on the wings but support the attack in an effort to distance themselves from Savigliane. It worked, if only temporarily, when Kiwavn pushed up to support the attack then delivered a smooth cross that was met by Sipke Tarala putting the Jungle Cats into the lead for the second time in the match.

Savigliane would respond once more to level the scores at 3-3 but the Jungle Cats would get the last word, delivering Cavuna Aquafek their first ever World Cup Finals victory when Tenziki Kulakao rose highest to head in the corner kick delivered by substitute Kudii Davasarii with less than twenty minutes to play. Vilita would escape the high-action matchup with the three points they needed to stay in contention heading into Matchday 3. The result would eliminate Savigliane who had already been defeated on the opening matchday by Kelssek and turn the Matchday 3 clash between Vilita and Kelssek into a winner-take all matchup for one spot in the World Cup 87 Knockout Rounds.

Vilita [4] - [3] Savigliane

GOALS: Vilita :: 16' Limu Katarakhna:: 37' Linkat Cjinder:: 52' Sipke Tarala:: 72' Tenziki Kulakao
STATS: Vilita :: Possession: 56%:: Shots: 6:: Corners: 13 Savigliane :: Possession: 44%:: Shots: 10:: Corners: 6
Lineup: [GK] Mako Canopii, [D.] Jirak Trikala, [D.] Lohani Riiyaaw, [D.] Linkat Cjinder, [ML] Jurzen Devmiko, [MC] Limu Katarakhna, [MC] Trezisi Rokopolis, [MC] Polaox Torerun, [MR] Lentali Purama, [FC] Tenziki Kulakao, [FC] Sipke Tarala
Bench: [FC] Nii'arala Milaaso, [FC] Fishtii Blikala, [M] Intikko Kuhilana, [M] Kudii Davasarii, [U ] Va'a-Rio Kiwavn, [D] Inbekira Ajhabekk, [GK] Vernasa Sanamun


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

Region: Atlantian Oceania - The Home of Sport

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Kelssek
Minister
 
Posts: 2070
Founded: Mar 19, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kelssek » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:19 pm

It was all entirely Moonbeam Infantino’s idea. Andrea Crowe made a mental note to emphasize this point if anyone ever asked in the future. Friends, distant relatives, journalists, independent prosecutors appointed by Parliament, whomever would be doing the asking.

In theory, flying in one of the players from the time Kelssek beat Starblaydia on penalties in its first ever international match was not a bad idea. Motivation, confidence, and perhaps someone the players might have looked up to as kids, or maybe their parents did. Moonbeam had suggested it, let’s see... at around 2:15pm, on the bus between the training ground and the team’s base camp, she typed into the document she named “moonbeam BS.rtf” and later backed up to several USB sticks. And he did not suggest it, as much as announce it.

It was entirely reasonable that the former player should be transported and accommodated in Taeshan in the kind of business class comfort to which current players are accustomed. And of course, given the advanced age and health issues that those still alive might be coping with, family and caregivers should come along, too. The part where things started to get a little sketchy was the sheer number of those coming along, as well as the tenuous nature of the ties to the player in question.

Also, it turned out that the player in question, whose name she might have forgotten but could equally be because Moonbeam Infantino had been careful not to say out loud, had not actually come to Taeshan. Instead, she’d blocked off an hour of the team’s time for a nephew, apparently, to do a show and tell with a family photo album and an old football boot. None of the players seemed particularly inspired by this.

Seething at the sheer waste of time for the team, she’d managed to find Moonbeam before he could disappear afterwards. “He never left Kelssek? Is he alright? Remind me his name, I think it’d be a nice gesture if I sent a personal note.”

Moonbeam put on the most obsequious tone he could. “Health is such a dear and precious thing, isn’t it Andrea? Alas, he was not feeling well when the driver came to take him to the airport. But at Football Kelssek we do the utmost for excellence, do we not? We shall discuss this further, not to worry,” he said as he briskly left the premises.

It seems the dozen people who came to Taeshan anyway weren’t needed, but at least the suites booked for them at Taeshan’s fanciest hotel didn’t go to waste.

* * *

“Give me some movement! Come on!” yelled Andrea Crowe from the touchline. “We just talked about this!”

Damien Halliger was waving his arms to indicate just about the same thing as he trotted forward with the ball. Starblaydia’s defence hung back, cutting off any passing lane. After being pinned back for most of the first half, the Kelssek team seemed frozen by the prospect of Starblaydia abruptly letting them have the ball.

Damien Halliger took the ball into the opposing half, still looking in vain for someone to make a run, drop into space, anything. Shaheen Taleb darted around a bit, but was struggling to stay on-side. Halliger trotted forward some more. The Starblaydi defence rearranged itself to deny him any passing options.

Halliger came forward some more. The defenders adjusted again. No passing options presented themselves. Halliger suddenly realized he had a clear path to goal. April Hoyt made the same realization a half-second later, but that was enough. With a entirely unpracticed and very lucky dink, centre-back nutmegged centre-back. Halliger was through. He struck the ball as hard as he could. At least the goal momentarily gave the fans in blue something to believe in.

KELSSEK – 1 Halliger (47’)
Poirier, Bowler, Halliger, Fourtin, Douglass, Blueman, Demetriev (Dionne 68’), Ó Tuathail, McDonald (Yusupov 81’) Taleb (Wylten 70’), Maçon-Petrault.
STARBLAYDIA – 2 Galdarhim (23’), Jetvanna (64’)

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Vdara
Envoy
 
Posts: 237
Founded: Jul 10, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Vdara » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:37 pm

Down, And Definitely Out

The hype for the World Cup was immense. Many citizens across Vdara were led to believe that they would be “competing” against the best sides in the world. It’s a shame that the Vdarans were unable to really compete, as they were easily dispatched 4-1 and 4-3 by Zwangzug and Cassadaigua respectively - bringing a quick end to any knockout stage hopes. How did this happen? WHY did this happen? Would Væñøœrëñbérghüïś keep his job after such lacklustre displays in the group stage? Well, erm, no. It would be stupid to sack a manager of his calibre, especially since this is Vdara’s best performance since, well, ever. Vdara had never reached a group stage until this tournament, and if anyone was expecting great things from Oi Magoi they were dreadfully mistaken.

Væñøœrëñbérghüïś wasn’t in bad spirits, though. In fact, he was pretty chuffed with how the players had done against Cassadaigua, despite the loss. This is what he had to say when he was interviewed:
”Truth be told, the group stage isn’t over yet, although it may certainly feel like it is. However, there’s still one more game to play - and it’s going to be another tough match against... aw fuck, it’s The Holy Empire? Are you serious? You telling me that we’ve already had two juggernauts and that we have to play another?! Damn, I really need to look at group draws more often. Anyhow, I’m sure our lads will be able to put on a show, if anything. We don’t go down easy!”

If the match against Zwangzug was anything to go by, Vdara looked like they would definitely “go down easy”. They had managed to let in EIGHT goals in two group stage matches, and were already packing their bags for the flight back home - unlike similarly-ranked Tikariot, who had already secured qualification to the knockout stages of the tournament. Boo. Hiss. How dare anyone outdo than the almighty Vdarans, who valiantly defeated Baker Park, who triumphantly made it to their first World Cup, and who would exit the World Cup IN STYLE. I’m telling you now, there’s going to be style in the game against The Holy Empire, otherwise Vdara risks being overtaken by Krytenia. A fate worse than death, some may say. Anyhow, after these two losses, things were going to change. They had to. If these changes were unsuccessful, they’d show in the game against The Holy Empire. If they weren’t, well... you’ll see.

Things Can Only Get Better from here on out.
The Republic of Vdara
An idyllic archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea consisting of the islands of Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes, Thera, and Kasos.

Factbook | Vdaran Airlines | National Anthem | Royal Family (dead) | Political Parties | Vai News 24
World Cup:
WC84: 7th in qualifying
WC85: 5th in qualifying
WC86: 4th in qualifying
WC87: 1st in qualifying, 4th (last) in group stage

Cup of Harmony:
CoH 76: 6th (last) in group stage
CoH 77: Round of 16
CoH 78: Quarter-finals

U-18 World Cup
U-18 WC10: 4th (last) in group stage
U-18 WC11: CHAMPIONS (1st ever title)

Campionato Esportiva:
CE27: Quarter-finals (lost 2-0 to Esportivan Darmen)
CE28: can’t be arsed checking (lost to Esportivan Darmen)
CE29: [REDACTED]

AOCAF:
TBD

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Siovanija and Teusland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 598
Founded: Mar 01, 2017
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Siovanija and Teusland » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:39 pm

RBC Sports

Pre-Match Report: Siovanija & Teusland vs Taeshan


Stepan Stelik: Good evening Siovanija & Teusland, and welcome to Taeshan, where tonight the Goldhorns will take on the host nation at the absolutely massive, 550,000-seater, the Atlantea Coliseum. It’s all to play for here - the Goldhorns need a win to advance to the Round of 16. Joining me tonight are former FC Teussen Stelburg player and manager Joseph Grassl, as well as former national team and Energija Chernovets forward Miroslav Dinev. Gentlemen, how are you feeling tonight?

Joseph Grassl: Feeling good, I think the team recovered well from the harsh defeat against Brenecia and they should be in good spirits tonight.

Miroslav Dinev: What an atmosphere here, such a massive stadium, and the home fans plus the small but proud travelling number are giving it their all. You can barely hear yourself!

SS: What was that Miro? Haha, yes, it’s definitely a roaring atmosphere here, and all behind the home team. How big of a boost will this be to Taeshan?

JG: You always love home advantage, but there’s times when you can be negatively affected by it too. When I managed Teussen, I always said the worst place to be was the old Teussens-Arena when you went down a goal. The silence was more deafening than the noise, and that was a stadium of 44,000. It’s all going to be about how these teams handle the pressure. For Taeshan - a massive crowd expecting a performance and a result, while for the Goldhorns, hundreds of thousands of people who would love to see you fail. I think if the Goldhorns can get in early, they can make a big change in the setting.

MD: And at this level - you have to learn to block out the noise, too. My favourite place to score goals is always in front of the other team’s fans - you know you’ve just made them have to sit back for even a few minutes, and it can be hard to get them back into the game after that.

SS: Pressure - who does it lie on mostly tonight?

JG: Taeshan. Hosting your first-ever World Cup, after a disappointing performance in World Cup 86 where you didn’t qualify, and now looking to get back to the play-off stages here. They only need a draw, but that can hurt you too - if you sit back too much, you might just get burned.

MD: I have to say the Goldhorns. You almost missed the tournament as a whole, if not for some last-minute heroics, and this might be the end of an era. The story of international football is full of teams who looked good, but never quite got the job done. With some of these players - this might be the last chance to make some noise before you fade off into the night.

SS: Gavin Hughes is sticking with Stanimir Ilev up top, after a goal in the win over South Newlandia, but Michael Ribbeck will remain ready off the bench. Is that the right call?

JG: I think Hughes is keeping Ribbeck ready to go, and I think it’s likely you see Ribbeck come on and it become a bit of a 4-4-2 depending on how the game goes. Taeshan, you know - the very defensive style, they like to absorb, and I think you’re going to need that fresh option to come on later on.

MD: It’s a great debate to have - which one of your Golden Boot winning strikers in some of the best leagues in the world do you start? I think Michael is obviously one of the best forwards, but Ilev is just in such insane form at the moment - it’s not really form though, is it, because it’s been years now, and honestly, you can’t bench either one of them - I agree with Joseph, you’ll see both of these guys at some point tonight.

SS: Other than that, who do you think can make the biggest impact on the game for the team?

JG: Thorsten Kramer. Do I have to say anything else? The man got the team here, he was the best player on the pitch against Brenecia, two assists in the win over South Newlandia, I mean, what can you say? Taeshan will be sitting in their room right now, and probably a good half the planning for this one will be how to stop him. He’s always the x-factor.

MD: I agree that Kramer is the biggest threat - but I’d like to venture out the two wingers, Kokalj and Tauscher. I look at the Taeshan backline - and I look at the fullbacks as the weak points. Now, Sullivan Garrett, I’m sure all the Olympia Borograd fans back home have seen all the highlight packages in anticipation, and he’s obviously a great player - you don’t play for your country at 20 if you aren’t. But I remember another great fullback - Edgar Steimle - getting played off the park by Nephara when he was 23 or so. Experience is so important in that position, especially since he isn’t a natural LB, and I can see Lukas Tauscher salivating at that matchup. On the other side, Santiago Santiago, there’s talk of him retiring internationally, and his legs aren’t quite there anymore - which is why I think the younger, quicker Kokalj gets the start.

SS: Gavin Hughes’ team tonight does look pretty clear - it looks like the Goldhorns are going to try to get down the wings against this stout defensive side. Are there any players on the other side of the park that you fear the most?

JG: Shiloh Morgenstern. The captain, at home, in what might be his final World Cup - that’s a story waiting to be written. Just like Taeshan will be planning against Kramer, I’m sure the Goldhorns will be planning against him, and Darijen Vesele will have his hands full.

MD: Wilhelm Ntilikina. I’m a forward, I have to give it to him of course - and his record for his country is great, and I’m sure he’s eager for this chance tonight. You don’t score 72 international goals and counting if you’re a slouch, and he’ll be one to keep an eye on tonight.

SS: I asked the question before the second leg against TJUN-ia, and I’ll ask it again now. Would defeat or a draw tonight spell the end for Gavin Hughes?

JG: I still don’t think so, he got you here, it’s clear the team is behind him, and if he wants to continue I say you let him. The Brenecia loss looks bad on paper, but if there’s no VAR, maybe we’re talking about a spirited comeback and it’s a different story tonight.

MD: Oh, come on Joseph, I don’t think they were winning that one, even if the Ilev goal stands.

JG: You can’t know that, though, and that’s the point - it’s a different game if that stands.

MD: Sure. Look, this is the fourth World Cup they’ve been to under Hughes. At a certain point, you have to either put up or shut up. I think it depends a lot on just how tonight goes. If you go out, and they look in awe and the home side runs away with it, yes, he’s gone. If they go out, fight hard, and draw 1-1, different story.

SS: A win for the Goldhorns tonight means they would likely, but of course not certainly, play Valanora in the Round of 16. How would you feel about that?

JG: I’ll take a win tonight first, but Valanora, you know it’s going to be tough, any team from that group would be tough, but with Valanora, it’s got that added element of familiarity, I can’t remember how many times we’ve lost to them on penalties in the AOCAF now, but yeah, that would be tough.

MD: Also an opportunity to get rid of that burden though. Look, you don’t know if they’ll even win tonight so it’s hard to say, and Trolleborg and Poafmersia both look capable of making some noise in that group too. But I’d be excited to get another chance if I was a player, at some point your number has to come up.

SS: That’s all for us here at the RBC Sports live studio in Atlantea, Taeshan. We’re just about ready to go here - see you at the half.

Siovanija & Teusland 2-1 South Newlandia, @ Atlantea Coliseum, Atlantea, Taeshan


Starting XI: Heuser; Steimle, Jager, Maksimov, Vesele; Kramer (Bahr 84’), Mihailov, Bliznakov; Kogler, Tauscher (Krukenberg 65’), Ilev (Dezelac 65’)
Goals: Stanimir Ilev 14’, Mario Kogler 54’
Man of the Match: Stanimir Ilev

Lineup vs Taeshan: Heuser; Steimle, Jager, Maksimov, Vesele; Kramer, Bahr, Bliznakov; Kokalj, Tauscher, Ilev

Bench: Sveteikov; Kronthaler, ; Mihailov, Kogler, Krukenberg, Ribbeck, Dezelac
The United Republics of Siovanija & Teusland
Capital: Borograd | Population: 74,245,000 | Demonyms: Siovanijan, Teus | Country Code: STL

World Cup of Hockey 40, 41 & 42 Champions ⋆ World Junior Hockey Championship 14 Champions

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1624
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:07 pm

Battles abound on MD3
Scott McCrae
The Daily Mail National Soccer Writer

The final matchday of the Group Stage at World Cup 87 is full of potential landmines for some of the top sides, including the Commonwealth National Team; one of several surprise packages in this Finals, Geektopia--who won Qualifying Group 1--have a chance to advance to the knockout rounds after they eliminate Savojarna with a 3-1 win on day 2.

The Banija-Baker Park draw opened a crack in the door that the newcomers will look to exploit, and they'll need a win against BP to force their way into the last 16; a draw would ensure the Bees of advancing for the seventh straight time, but also mean that Banija would also qualify regardless of their result against the Savojars due to head to head results.

There are other implications involved that make finishing atop Group F paramount, as the runner-up will transfer over--along with the Group E winner--to Taeshan for the Round of 16, along with the champions of Group G and the second placed Group H side; with only a handful of spots decided, the musical chairs in the other groups here in Ethane and in Taeshan will throw out some intriguing matchups.

Group E currently sees Ko-oren (4) ahead of Pasarga (3) with Squornshelous (2) and the hosts (1) all mathematically alive with a final showdown of Ethane-Ko-oren and Pasarga-Squorn to sort out the table; in Group G Chromatika sits on 4 points with Farfadillis and Turori a point back and Quebec with a single to their name; the Farf-Quebec/Chromatik-Eels are the conclusion to the fixtures there; and Group H has Tikariot--the partner of BP in the Cup of Harmony bid--already advanced and facing Nephara, who will need at least a point, or an Astograth draw or loss to move on.

In Rushmore, there are similar scenarios, although Brenecia, Valanora and Starblaydia have already booked passage in Groups A, B, & C respectively, leaving just Group D to decide both participants, with two out of Cassadaigua, The Holy Empire and Kate DiMarini's Zwangzug going on, Vdara left to play spoiler when they take on THE while the other pair will face off. As for the second place battles, Group A will see a straight fight between Siovanija & Teusland and the Knights; Group B presents Poafmersia against Valanora and Trolleborg versus eliminated Audioslavia, and Group C has another head to head duel with Vilita & Kelssek looking to advance while Starblaydia closes out against Savilgliane.

linup vs Geektopia
Gaines; O'Connell, Rasanamira, Harrison; Vuckovic, Stone (C), Nolan, Fernandez; Sotolongo; Craig, West
AOCAF LXII Champions
2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF LVIII (co-hosts), LX Third Place
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84/86 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Basketball
AOBC 5 Champions
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions

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

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Ethane
Minister
 
Posts: 2718
Founded: Sep 26, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ethane » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:54 pm

Lean on me... or whoever you lean on for support. You may be out, but you'll be back again. And if you make it, good luck!

Cutoff for MD3, Groups A-D
Last edited by Ethane on Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Esportivan and Proud.
<drawk> If the entirety of the nation of Ethane was covered in a single cubic foot of Ethane on its surface, lighting it all on fire would cause a 5.44 megaton blast.
Rest in Peace Prince Philip
Best WorldVision Finish: 2nd. Best World Cup Finish: Quarter-Finals. Best KPB Rank: 8th. Best WBC Finish: 1st.

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Astograth
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1498
Founded: Feb 04, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Astograth » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:59 pm

Azeari Duarte could feel it in his bones. This team was falling apart, and there was nothing he could do. He’d watched from the touchline as Jardel Connolly shielded the ball in the box and passed to a swift Nicholas van Haar - who stopped, allowed the trailing Lekea to slide past, and struck a deft shot into goal. Tikariot had drawn level, 2 to 2.

People said Duarte couldn’t last a whole match anymore, That was demonstrably false, in his opinion. At 33 and with a few surgeries in his body sure, he wasn’t going to be chasing after every ball, but his football was all about pacing and having the experience to know when a play is going somewhere. Then he could spring into action and wind this way and that, cleave a defence in two with a light touch at an unusual angle. No one questioned when he did this at Royal Rumiatzi – but then, who would dare? He was the captain, the one-club man who’d turned down every chance to play abroad. Master and commander of Knights’ Stadium.

Ethane was not Rumiatzi. He’d been subbed off for Olentzaro Karazatorre some ten minutes into the second half. Vaudrail was leaving two strikers up front and pulling back the wingers to switch into 4-4-2 and ‘get more people’ in midfield. Duarte had not been amused, but it wasn’t the time or place to be making a fuss. The team needed focus.

The first half they’d been in comfortable control, as they were expected to. Who were Tikariot? Nobodies at their first World Cup. This was also the first World Cup for this generation of Astograthians, but history counted for something (right?). The opener had come from Duarte dribbling past Rory McNair with a bit of skill straight out of a video compilation set to bad EDM, and picking out a path for Aire Epherra to snap into and score. 1-0 was some space to breathe.

The second goal had come from a corner by Ibargengoitia, headed out of the box by Knox and recovered by Bergara, who attempted a long shot. The ball struck van Haar’s back, took a strange deflection and, as it fell back down, Duarte had been there to hit a volley past Chatelet. He’d given some thought about how to celebrate scoring at a World Cup, but in the moment he defaulted to what he always did: yell and run to the corner flag kissing all the tattoos on his arms. It took the referee some time to confirm Duarte hadn’t been offside, narrowly saved by Al Hak’s back heel.

Then, on the brink of half-time, Morris Nighthorse had broken through on Astograth’s right, past Ixaka Echeberz, and hit a diagonal back pass for van Haar on the inside, who took two steps and scored Tikariot’s first. He ran into the goal to grab the ball and bring it back to the centre circle, even though the ref blew for half time straight after kickoff. In the second half, after Duarte had been subbed off, van Haar had scored again to level the match.

Duarte could see some of himself in the Tikariotian. Half a decade younger, rasher, but that same drive, that same eye for a pass. The creativity to be unpredictable and the quick feet to match it, that sense of knowing where to be and when. Duarte would’ve been an easy pick for man of the match, but now?

Van Haar was doing it all, and it didn’t look like Astograth could cope with the pressure. A tale as old as football: going 2-0 up and letting it slip. For it to happen against the easiest team in the group was taking its toll on the team, Duarte could tell. Captain Indartsu Lekea’s best efforts could only do so much. He was a good captain, the best they could have of everyone present, but he was no Kuma Bultum or Roxelana Thorn. Nor was Duarte a Namakula Kawesa or a Chimera Moxham, for that matter. Maybe this was simply the best they could do.

No, that was the attitude that was eating away at their concentration. But it was there, nibbling at the back of their mind, and it wasn’t something anyone – least of all Duarte, out on the touchline – could fix. It had been there the last time they’d been in Ethane, at the Newton-Smith Arena trading penalties with Krytenia..

Late in the match, Olibondeka’s frustration increasing as Karazatorre and Epherra were skilfully shut down by Tikariot. Eriz Mugiro would drive Morris Nighthorse to the corner. Nighthorse would make the ball bounce off Mugiro and over the line for a corner-kick. The corner kick would be headed back from the near post by Walter Thomas, then driven over the line by another header from Adrian Grimaud. A prepared set-piece play, no doubt. 3-2 to Tikariot. After giving it their all to draw with Nephara, the second best team in the world, they gave up a 2-0 lead to one of the lowest-ranked sides in the World Cup finals. A comeback was attempted, but morale was nonexistent.

Duarte squatted on the pitch, mute, as TV crews ran on the pitch to get a close shot of the triumph and despair on display. He hadn’t wanted to retire from the national team just yet, but maybe it was time. Lekea already would be. He’d do the ritual, the whole show of taking off the armband to leave on the pitch for the next captain to pick up – Doyenard. Duarte felt he deserved it more.

But he was 33, older than Lekea, and to be honest he couldn’t last a whole match anymore.

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Independent Athletes from Quebec
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 104
Founded: Mar 20, 2020
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Independent Athletes from Quebec » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:19 pm

I Run To You

PART 14 (56) - 회상-III


Seven years had passed since then, as we now head into the Green Room of the QBC 1 and QBC2's headquarters in Downtown Quebec City. As the members of Hoesahng, the famous conceptual band that was famous for its longevity even with its revolving door of members, got ready for the recording of today's episode of 'Nam Chang-Seon's Boardwalks', Eileen sat in the seat, closing her eyes and not thinking too much. On the other corner, Jeremy Watkins, the drummer of 40 years for both Rogue (one of the finest rock bands in the nation) and Hoesahng, was having a quick nap before their turn to join the show, while the other three were waiting. They were second in the list of four artists and bands set to perform for today, and were getting themselves up and ready for a great comeback stage. And all the tensions, both expected and unexpected, were highly evident.

Why does it feel particularly weird tonight? Eileen thought with horror, as she looked at herself in the mirror once. No, there was nothing wrong with her appearance or self- the makeup, the clothes and the voice were all set. But there was something odd and Eileen couldn't help but to notice. I've been to The Boardwalks many times before, and it's always been good...but what's with this odd feeling? She looked at Guillaume and Marcel Triquiet, the brothers also forming two-fifth of another major Indie rock band from Moncton, Vozrozhdenie, and wnoticed that they had a drink or two of whiskey, feeling themselves in the mood as 65 and 67 year olds still feeling the sixteen in their lives. What would it be?

'Don't worry about it, Guy, must be like...the political climate of the times. Baseball and football, all the uncertainties and excitement of the crowd, they mix up nicely with what's out there and people seem to relish that or just want to get away with it,' said Marcel solemnly.

'Certainly. That may be what's a good part to describe at least a couple of songs here, no, if we have to ask others? The Caliphs of the Mytanijan Moonwalk definitely counts into that.' answered Guillaume. 'Of course, it's like a mix of Petanque and Capoeira, though not sure if that's the best way to phrase it.'

Eileen quietly went up to Janet, her manager who also doubled up as one for Hoesahng, gestured to her to pass Eileen something, and then gave a wink. The elderly, with one Rogue pair in their eighties and another in their sixties, were somewhat amused at the different language spoken, and of course saw it as a sign of times. When Janet quickly went outside to pick up some parcels, Jean-Alain Park, the band's ethereal founding father and leader at age 87, went up to Eileen to ask questions. After dozens of battles with lung and blood illnesses, Jean-Alain went beyond the humanly realms and spoke as if every bit, when out live or in the songs he composed, were speaking centuries of dead souls collected. But this time, it was not within the words he were about to say, but rather his role as a messenger.

'Is all good with you today, Eileen? You seem too quiet even with the rain today, and I'm not sure why,' Jean-Alain asked in Korean spoken by those of his generation, with odd additions of twenties and thirties vocabulary. 'Still nervous to be back live?'

'No...not at all.' Eileen lied. 'It's just...' Eileen stopped and tried to gather her words, looking at Jean-Alain not sure on what to say in her eyes, 'Have you ever had the moments when you thought you loved someone, yet felt inadequate to be with them...or at least for them to tell you about the inadequacies?'

Fortunately, this happened to be one of those matters he perhaps became too accustomed to. Being a rocker, and a Capitolien who had made major breakthroughs first in the 1980s Montrealer scene, and then second through his recovery as he neared losing his beloved wife and family on several occasions in 1990s and 2000s, he had perhaps known too much of what it meant to lose someone dear. The processes themselves, reflected in his walkways, tearful photographs and unreleased manuscripts, were agonising enough, but Jean-Alain knew those were integral.

'My answer is yes,' Jean-Alain said, his emotions hidden within the throat. 'Perhaps, too many times. But it's a hard question, on whether they can make it up or not....I was lucky she saved my life when I went to jail twice at twenty, and nearly died back when I was forty? It's like...the loop keeps going on, but also involves you letting go of your mistakes and hold your hands with the being when asked to.'

Eileen listened carefully, as he told her the stories of 1980s, when he were both at heaven and hell with the influences, but was aware not everything were transferable. Still, the observation that she had were profound, and the familiarity of the retro, and the scenes of old that she had long grown up as a child, gave her assurance.

Then, their conversation was interrupted by Marcel, who with a slight iffy expression came to deliver a different parcel he had happened to receive earlier.

'So, somebody told me to send this to you earlier.' said Marcel, as he raised his hand to show her a letter.

'Okay, thanks,' was all she said, as Eileen, not without the worry, picked up the letter.

Oh dear... was the initial thought Eileen had in mind as she had noticed, with much inner struggle before starting to read it, that her partner wrote it.

Eileen knew that between them, some moments of truth had to be said, and she was feeling it from the past week or two about that. But she had not noticed that it was going to be now, and she was having a hard time finding herself reading it. The confession Asher never promised, but had implied when they had gotten back together, was written in the letter. Of course no one had known about it but his brother (wait what!), as he wrote his letter while a tortured mind who could only promise her something.

The truths behind the tales that her friends and family, who still loved them and appreciated their happiness the second time it came around, were passed unnoticed. Eileen had of course heard about his infamies, but she, still remembering the days of him being just a chubby, well read but still love-blinded teenager, was not affected one bit. That's why she, after a horrible breakup just months before their miraculous interview (see: Season 1 finale), gave their hopes another chance.

The other confession, however, did break Eileen, as Eileen couldn't help but to feel strangled with it all. As always, dear reader, Asher was never a coward, but perhaps the dutifulness had overtaken him then and even now. The guilt of living with a genetic condition he knew was going to worsen over the course of his life, and the fear of her suffering through those if the happier days were to be secured, were the reasons behind their first breakup.

Thus, when Hoesahng had entered the stage for their twenty minutes with the enthusiastic audience, the promise of happiness against all odds that Asher had said at the end of the tournament were shelved aside in the corner of her mind as Eileen entered the stage with an empty heart. Then, as Jean-Alain Park started singing the initial verses that he dedicated to his days with his wife of 61 years, the true love and light of his life (OOC: This is based on the story behind the title track for this episode), Eileen couldn't help but to break down. It was only then that the audience, still feeling the down from the high that was Michael and the Buffy Pigeons, had noticed something was wrong as they saw Eileen, dressed in a plain, dark turtleneck and jeans, cry like that Montreal night seven years ago.

'밖으로 나가 버리고,' she sang the very first line of the bridge between the chorus and the second verse (OOC: 1:30), her voice chockful of emotions and tears as she struggled to blast the upper registers, before Guillaume started playing the piano solo.

Somewhere, at the very back row of the audience, Asher was feeling the very same misery that he had brought upon not only himself, but that of his beloved as well. His heart was sunk, his mouth locked, and his stomach ill. Like a mute, he couldn't say anything, but to cry, as Asher felt for the rest of the very year 2046 we live in, that he was unworthy of her.
Last edited by Independent Athletes from Quebec on Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Taeshan
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Posts: 4873
Founded: Aug 11, 2007
New York Times Democracy

Postby Taeshan » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:22 pm

I'm not crying, you're crying

cutoff
Last edited by Taeshan on Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nephara
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Founded: Jun 06, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:14 am

Tikariot 1 - 1 Nephara
(4-2-3-1) 1 - Provost; 2 - Stride (18 - Rostock 82'), 6 - Clevinger, 19 - Brabanzon, 22 - Lind; 15 - Horvath, 17 - Mueller; 23 - Mrdja, 14 - Fletcher, 11 - Considine (13 - Belgrade 63'); 9 - Bastable (16 - Basilisk 72')
Goal: Basilisk 84'

Dynasties rarely have the luxury of crumbling. The collapse comes fast and it comes hard. Legacies implode, careers come to an end, and there was blood in the water tonight.
Tikariot were not going full guns at the Cormorants, tonight. They'd already qualified for the next round, and there was a name for teams who used all their best players for 270 minutes before the knockout rounds: it's called, 'an easy Round of 16 exit'. Similarly, Nephara - who only needed a point - let a sheaf of players rest. Besides, in their case, it was the power of the depth in their roster that they could legitimately say a fresh Kurtis Bastable beat a weary Konrad Lovelace.
This would not be about glory. This would be about gutting out a result and going through.

"... set to become the youngest ever Nephar to play a World Cup finals match."
"Huh? I am?"
(laughs) "Yes, Radeka, you are. Provided, of course, Triffid Ramsey plays you. What's it like, playing with the daughter of such a legend of the nation?"
"Uhm, I don't know. To tell you the truth, not to be like, disrespectful..."
"Yes?"
"But he's been dead kinda a long time, hasn't he? I mean, I was... I think I was two. I've seen like... clips of the old teams or whatever, but we've kinda been great my whole entire life."
"Oh, wow. Way to make us feel old."
"Uhm. Sorry, I guess."
"Oh, it's okay, it's okay. Well, rest assured that Triffid Ramsey's--"
"I mean--"
"Her--"
"I know she's got the connection, I just. It's hard for me to give much of a shit, you know? She's Triff Ramsey. She's her own woman. Her daughter's her own woman, too. Whatever. I like and respect them both, in their own right."
"So... what do you think when you look to the stands, and you see the Godhead in the stands, watching over you?"
"Fuck, I dunno. 'Nice rock.'"

Radeka Lind wiped her mouth and picked herself up. There was a pressure, no matter how much she tried to drive it out of her mind. A thousand times a thousand times she got told, 'whatever, just think of it as training, dodn't let yourself be caught up'. Roxelana Thorn gave her like the same spiel just before they came out. Lind could've fucking decked the cunt.
Love ya, Ro.
But it wasn't-- it patently Was Not just training. There were like tens of thousands of cunts here. Like hundreds. From every nation under the fucking sun.
... And it was really distracting playing in blue, too, like. Black and red (or, you know, red and green) was kinda what the home-and-away couldn't deal with. Was it the first time Nephara had ever wheeled it out in the finals against a team that wasn't Audioslavia? Probably? Maybe? Whatever.
Anyway, she liked to think she'd done well. It was a good match, this, Tikariot sending waves of attacks forward but Nephara dominant in midfield, and neither side had yet found a way past either goalkeeper. Brian Merson, the Kitara AA man, was, well, proving why he was the Kitara AA man. Aranea Provost, stuck in a highlighter orange number, was continuing to prove she was very much Aranea Provost.
Whatever, whatever, whatever. She was doing her job. Even if her heart skipped a beat every time Fredriksson bore down on her, 'cause this remained extremely not training. She'd let him slip by her once, though. Once. But Miska Brabanzon had come to the rescue, coming out, forcing him to play it aside for Wagstaff. Or, no, that wasn't good at all. Wagstaff fired, hard, low... and a bold covering challenge from, who was that? Oh, it was Radeka Lind herself, hooking the ball out of play. Playing a little dangerous - the ball wasn't even a full metre past Provost's post - but it got the job done.
Traudl Mrdja was among those to hustle back to defend the corner. "They're doing the clappy thing again," she muttered to whoever would listen. "Why're they doing the damn clappy thing?"
"The 'clappy thing'." Brabanzon rolled her eyes. Yeah, it's called the Clap, Traudi."
"You'd know all about the clap, wouldn't you, Banzi?" Mrdja shot back.
"If either of you want to live to see tomorrow," said Provost with a smile, "find your fucking markers. Linds! Front post!"
"Uh, right!" That was her place.
Provost kept scanning. "Need a man on their 8! On their 8! Hey! Hey! Good, Rashi. Okay! It's coming in-- shit--"
Van Haar clipped it in, with that deceptive discus power only possible through the most casual of deliveries. Provost came out three steps, then dithered - she had no chance of getting it. Big man Wagstaff and Brabanzon both went for it - the striker got marginally the best of it, sending a header wide of the goal.
Radeka Lind breathed a sigh of relief, and then wondered why everyone in black and burgundy was cheering-- ohhh, shit.
It was wide of the goal, right up until Coronello, their most capped player, fucking threw himself at the ball with a ferocity born of hunger, ripping away from the hand Bastable had on his shirt, and bundling home at the far post.
Lind shook her head. Shit, shit, shit...

"The Member for Rushden."
(clears throat) "If I might speak freely for a moment..."
"You rarely do otherwise, sir."
"Too right, Mr. Speaker. Anyway. I've barely paid attention to the past few hours--"
(jeering from the government benches)
"-- because, seriously now--"
"Order!"
"-- admidst all the Government's bloviating about carbon credits without solutions--"
(more intense jeering from the government benches)
"Order!"
"-- I've been thinking about the lads! Out in Ethane, doing our country proud for yet another year. Yeah, let's hear it for the Cormorants!"
(reluctant cheering from the government benches - intense cheering from the opposition - parochial cheering from the Returners)
"And you know--"
"To what end does the Honourable Member for Rushden bring this up... ?"
"I'm saying that all this talk of soft power and credibility... is nothing compared to what we're getting from eleven guys in green shirts. And maybe we've taken that too much for granted. Maybe it's time to give them some kind of recognition..."

A dynasty would end in Ethane. It had been coming, the signs were there. And Astograth were en route to the victory they needed against Drawkland.
Triffid Ramsey stalked the sidelines. Every so often, the cameras panned over to her face, looking for signs of panic. They found none. Ramsey's faith in the system - and herself - was unshakable.
"Come on, then," she muttered softly. Askebrand had come on and sharpened up the Owlets' midfield, but the Cormorants had sent on the big guns - Ysabet Belgrade on the left and Latona Basilisk up front.
Wait.
Those aren't the substitutes any of the fans would've made. Current Galactico Lovelace was on the bench. Considine was one of the few players with three starts to their name. But Ramsey believed freshness would tell.
The signs began to show early. Merson was forced into a sharp save at his near post by Belgrade, who essentially always had an axe to grind and a need to break through, before making slightly awkward work of a cross from Lind that caught in the breeze and nearly fluked its way past him.
It was coming. She knew it was.
She squatted on the sidelines and watched, intent. Where would the breakthrough come from... ?
Free kick won in a dangerous position by Fletcher? No. She sent it high.
Long throw from Rostock? No. Headed clear by McKinley.
She bit a nail. It would come.
It would come.
Merson sprayed a goal kick out wide right. The object wasn't quite yet to waste time, but the hour wasn't far off. Fredriksson took on Lind, waited for support-- but the Vermillion leftback nipped in boldly, committing to a degree that only works if you get the ball, poking it between his legs and racing past... he hauled her down. The right thing to do. Lind got back up quickly, though, and immediately fed Mueller down the left, who sent it down to Considine. Diligent Askebrand went chasing, Mhor cut inside to anticipate the cutback to Lind, which came. Lind turned away, looked up-- Ilia Mueller was already running past.
Lind, a 20-year old defender playing her first World Cup finals match, shaped for the backheel.
Lind, a 20-year old defender playing her first World Cup finals match, nutmegged her second player in a minute.
Mueller took the ball in stride, looked up, chopped the ball back outside. The Tikariot defence was losing shape as more and more green shirts flooded in, demanding markers, but the Treason midfielder only had eyes for one - Latona Basilisk, lurking off McKinley's shoulder, begging for the pass that could split the defensive line.
It came.
She raced past McKinley, turned and dragged a low, agonisingly slow shot across Merson, falling with the momentum after she hit it, tumbling... looking up.
Screaming with passion, muffled only by her teammates mobbing her on all sides.
Dynasties would crumble. Empires would fall. But Nephara, as always, would find a way to drag themselves forward.
Last edited by Nephara on Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ko-oren
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Founded: Nov 26, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ko-oren » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:56 pm

*Best enjoyed in light mode

A tumultuous group stage is finally over, and after the dust settled it not only turned out the Dragonflies were in the round of 16 after all, the sounds of scuffle and altercation weren't caused by the likes of Squornshelous, Ethane, and Pasarga laying siege on the Green and Blue. No, all the noise was self inflicted: the dust cloud dissipated, revealing a Dragonfly (personified) hitting himself in the head. The 1-1 versus Squornshelous to open World Cup 87 wasn't great: against opponents from lower pots, one just needs to get three points. After that, the Ko-orenite XI beat Pasarga, the team that challenged us for first place in the group according to some projections. We couldn't at the time guess that it was never Ko-oren's plan to finish first in the group. The machinations behind Ko-oren's largest ever shithousery are convoluted and its agents conniving.
Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
Group E                               Pld   W  D  L   GF  GA  GD  Pts 
1 Ko-oren 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
2 Pasarga 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 3
3 Squornshelous 2 0 2 0 4 4 0 2
4 Ethane 2 0 1 1 5 8 −3 1

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Bright moods and happy faces in the Ko-orenite camp in Ethane. After an initial draw, the team won back its pride and confidence with a win over a hard-to-beat Pasarga and was now sitting in first place awaiting the results between the group's lowest ranked members. Drawn in Group E with hosts Ethane, Ko-oren first thought it just received the draw of the century with two teams ranked 40th or worse, with just Pasarga to battle for first place and the right to face Group F's runner-up. As 'soft' as Group E was perceived, Group F was the complete opposite, with trophy holders Banija, the rising (and now arrived) stars of Baker Park, and outsiders Geektopia and Savojarna. The latter were probably highest on our list of favourite teams to play after some World Cup of Hockey kerfuffle, but any team in that group would do. But before anyone realised, it was kickoff day on the final group stage matchday, and all scenarios would rapidly disappear out of the window. "If Ethane wins, they're in, but with a draw or loss it's still Ko-oren, but it depends on the other result as to which team's first or second. Squornshelous can also make it in with a win, and if both them and Ethane win, Squornshelous can actually finish first" and many variations of that sentence filled up comment sections, clickbait articles, blogs, and whotube video titles. With both Group E and F played at the same time, it now was a race to get the info from the games in the other group and then draw (for second place) or win (if possible, for first place) to plan out who to face in the next round. A tough gamble, given that the Dragonflies were anything but sure of the knockouts. But again, that worry went out of the window with a very early goal for Ko-oren. 1-0 over the hosts, Ko-oren were now ready to defend first place (which was automatically ours with win, given the head-to-head over Pasarga) or - oopsy daisy - let in a goal to sink to second place as long as the Wanderers were winning. It all depended on the scorelines in Group F, with the full expectation that the Banijans and the Park Bakers would trade blows and places with wins of their own over their group's minnows. That all took an odd turn as Banija let in one goal - and then a second, while Baker Park wasn't having the best of the game versus Geektopia - and also stared at a 1-0 deficit after some time. This sent Geektopia to first place and Baker Park to second, which meant that as Pasarga were still 2-0 over Squornshelous, Juliasterinthen and his captain and goalie Theshendan had to think on their feet. What followed wasn't pretty, but effective.
Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
"Tamrie! No worries, take it slow on the throw in."
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
"Saushilu, take a few seconds before sending in the free kick."
Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
"Ézo, hold on to their jerseys if you're fouling anyone."
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Angry whistling flew in from the stands after another 30-second-plus throw in from Aiamara. The home fans weren't having it. "By now we're on, what, eight minutes of extra time for sure right?"
Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
And as the other games came to a close, it was just Ko-oren and Ethane still playing. 90+9' and counting, Watanuki gave a long ball. Not towards the opponent's goal, but to Theshendan. The goalkeeper hesitated, looked at the ref with whistle in hand, looked at the clock, and knew he had to do what he was about to do. With a deep breath, he passed the ball into his own goal. 1-1. The crowd couldn't decide if they liked it (a goal for Ethane in front of a home crowd!) or not (The bloody Dragonflies are ruining the tournament!) but the goal, obviously, stood. The referee pointed at the centre circle, blew his whistle for the kickoff, and blew it again, almost instantly. The game was over, Ko-oren dropped to second place, and entirely as planned, Geektopia won Group F.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Round of 16 fixtures:
Geektopia vs Ko-oren
'The Pit'

Pasarga vs Commonwealth of Baker Park
The Dome

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
With just three goals scored (that's tied for second worst of all 32 teams), the Dragonflies were not only in the second round, they had the luxury of picking their desired opponent. Obviously, that would be Geektopia (ranked 34th), not Baker Park (ranked 9th). Just ignore our results versus lower ranked teams for the time being (1-1 vs Squornshelous, ranked 44th, 1-1 vs Ethane, ranked 49th). And with that, we're back in that round. The Round of 16. The graveyard. The terminus. We've been in that round eight times so far, and not once has it played out in our favour. Is it a curse? A punishment? No matter what, we try to stay optimistic for the task at hand (and we're definitely thankful it's not against Banija). If we don't win this, after coming from the group with the lowest KPB average, playing the 'easiest' opponent in the knockouts, we never will. And yet, we keep hoping for a different result each time. Hmm, hoping for a different result each time...
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Image

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
Eura. Audioslavia. Osarius. Nephara. The Unified Sunrise Islands. The Equestrian States. Valanora. The Free Republics. Eight games, eight losses.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
It didn't help that we has some of the worst luck since time immemorial. Five of our eight opponents went on to win the World Cup (Eura, Osarius, Nephara, the Unified Sunrise Islands, the Free Republics) . One finished as a runner-up (Audioslavia). The rest had 'shocking' results: Equestria lost to South Covello in the quarters, who'd later lose to Vilita in the final. Valanora lost their quarterfinal to Cassadaigua, who lost to Equestria, who'd win a home final versus Starblaydia. Eight different opponents, eight identical results. We were hoping for something different each time, and we got it. Eight different opponents... Eight identical results. It wasn't until the eighth attempt that we actually lost by more than a goal, too. And we fully expected the ninth loss to be added by Baker Park or Banija - whoever it was, they don't appear in this list already. Fitting. Instead, it's Geektopia. Who also aren't in the list yet. Fitting. Every single time, it feels like the same hurdle. "If we don't win it this time, then what?"
Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
It actually doesn't matter what next. We're going to try again, and again, expecting different results. Maybe we didn't try the same thing after all? We've never scored an intentional own goal. If we win this, I don't know what that teaches us, and I don't want to know.
now highlight the blank space between paragraphs
Last edited by Ko-oren on Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Zwangzug
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Posts: 4610
Founded: Oct 19, 2006
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Zwangzug » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:09 pm

The Bassabook Baritone


If we've made the right conclusions about naming in Cassadagan culture, the Fillies feature one man in their starting eleven, which makes them evenly matched with the Holy Empire, sort of. Either way, the Dagans' offense ran rampant, enough for them to top the group on goal differential and set up a round of sixteen match with Kelssek. As for Zwangzug, they found themselves in an unusual position as the only defensively-minded team in Group D; their eight goals in the group stage compare favorably with everyone bar Audioslavia's Bulls (who aren't advancing either) and Cassadaigua. But they also allowed eight, and even the Zwischen New Courier reluctantly admits that that isn't the fault of Fedya Troy-Vee's inexperience so much as it is a consequence of being, well, the only defensively-minded team in Group D. Either way, rumor has it that Kate DiMarini will be offered the position permanently, and come on. Where would the team be without little Will Laughlin to keep them on their toes? [Continued page 4]

(Idmar 36, Blum 79; McClain 20 and 81, Wolcott 45+1, Schanke 62)

***

"Aguazul, eh?" said Dovydas. "Those guys get around."

"Yeah," said Cheryl. "According to most accounts, the lyrics are Lissón's, but Nadol was the instrumentalist. Who did perform brilliantly with the guitar from the shop that may or may not have been there the day before."

"Well, these things can get lost in translation over twenty-nine cycles."

"Right. Are you familiar with King Arthur?"

"Aguazul don't have any kings," said Dovydas. "That sounds like a weird godmod character from RLStates or something."

"That's exactly who he is," said Cheryl. "Was. Over-the-top self-insert from the England RPer."

"Okay?"

"The story goes that England wanted to have a regime change. So he posted an RP where there was a magical sword stuck into a stone, and there was a message saying whoever could pull it out was the true heir to the throne. A bunch of brave and talented knights tried once they saw the message, but they all failed. Then Arthur, who was just a young man, had to run an errand to get a sword for his foster brother for a duel. And he saw the sword in the stone on the way and grabbed it without knowing there was anything special about it. So he became the king."

"I've read worse fictional regime changes," said Dovydas.

"Some people say that Lissón and his Aguazul team are like King Arthur. Because they were dominant enough to win three in a row, but humble enough to walk away when they risked becoming a threat to competitiveness. Only someone who wouldn't brag or crow about it too much was worthy to lift the sword."

"Well," said Dovydas, "that doesn't make any sense. Luck doesn't care if you're humble or boastful, it's capricious and random for everybody. And even if it did, Aguazul weren't remotely humble or high-minded, they only missed that one cycle because they were stupid warmongers who got on the wrong side of the NSWC Signups microstate."

"I agree."

"Good. Then why are we having this conversation." It was not the first time Dovydas had made such a flat inquiry of Cheryl.

"Because. When England decided he wanted to retire the Arthur character, he posted an ambiguous 'death' RP, describing him as 'the once and future king.' So it wasn't completely obvious whether he was really gone or would return someday, in the nation's darkest hour."

"That," said Dovydas, "makes even less sense. Because people in our world don't do that. Well, maybe Tzimisces. But Aguazuleños? They either die and don't come back, or move to a country like Cafundéu that ceases to exist, and don't come back."

"Correct."

"Except maybe through flashbacks or other contrived narrative devices. But not really. Not in the flesh."

"Correct."

"Then why--"

"Because the point of the song, the reason it still echoes today, is that Aguazul is not King Arthur. If you take it to heart, then maybe you believe that in the darkest hour, some long-forgotten hero will return to rescue you. But flip that around. If no long-forgotten hero is showing up to save the day, it means that..."

"You're in the wrong genre?" Dovydas asked tentatively.

"It means that no matter what, this is not the darkest hour. It never will be."

"Because...things can always get worse?"

"Because things can always get better. Because you can make them better. Even when the world is too cacaphonous, when outside something's flying like a gunshot, when you give up nine to nobodies. This is not that song, and there never will need to be such a thing as that song, as long as this rhythm endures."

"Oh," said Dovydas. "I see. I think."

"And that," Cheryl smirked, "is the Sosimo Lissón metric."
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Chromatika
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Posts: 1385
Founded: Aug 05, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:31 pm

World Cup 87 Proper, Matchday 3: Chromatika 1-0 Turori
CMT: Hauser '45+1; TUR: None.
Starting XI: Ria; Xiao - de Aea - Anderson - Ilya; Thorben - Armageddon (C) - Conrad; Hauser; Vidal - Sierra.
Substitutes: Will -> Anderson ('65), Kuznetsov -> Conrad ('76), Victoriane -> Thorben ('82)

The Round of Sixteen: An Analysis on Chromatika's Record in the Elusive Second Round of Competition
By: Chrisy Sinclair, Guest Writer, The Rebel

When looking at a tournament as prestigious as the World Cup, one can argue that there are three phases to the competition. There are the qualifiers, often sixteen or more games long, grueling yet important as the teams go through a home-and-away double-legged system to determine who should have the honor of qualifying. There is drama every day, it's often times determined by who drops the least amount of points while still being atop the table, and there is always the dichotomy of the established favorite trying to keep the rising contenders down.

The second phase is the World Cup Proper Group Stage. Three games to excel or to end up going home. Usually, four points is enough, though time and time again, teams qualify to the next round on three points or don't make it despite scoring five. Every game matters, every goal matters, and the intensity goes up a notch. Only two types of teams make it here: Those that are great and have been for a while, or those who have been hot and are riding a streak to make a run.

The third phase? The cream of the crop? The Playoffs. Beginning with the Round of Sixteen, or sometimes called the "Second Round", where eight matches are held amongst the sixteen teams remaining. Now, every team is four games away from lifting the trophy. Whether you be Nephara - second ranked team in the world, two-time runners-up, who'd clawed their way past qualification despite the resignation of their Manager - or Tikariot - the minnow from Rushmore who went undefeated in the Group Stage to rank atop Nephara's group - the same task awaits all teams: Win four games, lift the cup, be remembered in history forever.

So, how often has Chromatika made it to this golden third stage? How have they fared?

Chromatika has entered the World Cup fourteen times. (73-82, 84-87) Of those fourteen times, Chromatika has made the Group Stage eleven times, good for a 78.6% rate. Of those eleven times, Chromatika has made it to the Second Round five times, good for a 45.5% rate. That means Chromatika has made it to the Round of Sixteen 35.7% of the time, which is pretty good.

So, how did they fare?

World Cup 75, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 0-1 Barunia
After surprising everyone by going 3-0-0 in the World Cup Proper Group Stage, defeating the likes of Nephara, Abanhfleft, and Saintland. However, they ran into the defense of Barunia, and couldn't make it through, being shut out by a score of 1-0. Barunia actually had finished the Group Stage with a 1-1-1 record and had a -1 Goal Differential. Barunia went on to lose to Valladares in the Quarterfinals. Though they lost, it was a key step forward for Chromatika as the Anomalies hit one of the better stages of their existence.

World Cup 76, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 3-2 Quebec
Chromatika went 2-1-0 in the World Cup Proper Group Stage, drawing against Nephara but defeating Pasarga and Fluvique. Van Robben was suspended for the match for Quebec, and Chromatika was able to prevail via a last minute goal from Keira Andisori. Quebec, of course, had helped Chromatika during the Rainbow Revolution, and the Quebecois were quoted as wishing the Chromatiks the best of luck in their fight for freedom. This team went on to defeat Cosumar 3-2 in extra time (the famous Gabriella Antonio emergency goalkeeper game) before being absolutely destroyed by eventual champions Unified Sunrise Islands. This team would finish fourth - not good enough to be left in the history books, but the highest placing in Chromatik history.

World Cup 78, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 5-4 Valladares
After missing a cycle - being knocked out in the Group Stage despite a 1-1-1 record - Chromatika went 2-1-0 in the World Cup Proper Group Stage in World Cup 78, defeating the likes of Valanora and Spaam while drawing against Flardania. Gabriella Antonio and Rachel Hellion helped the squad prevail against Valladares in a goalfest. That team lost 1-2 to an Electrumite squad that ended up winning the entire thing, not a bad loss.

World Cup 79, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 0-2 Farfadillis
The very next cycle, Chromatika went 2-0-1 in the Group Stage, losing to Eura but prevailing against Qasden and Super-Llamaland. This drew them a date with the Farves - much has been talked about there. Farfadillis had two clutch goals, and that was that. That Farfadillis squad made it to the Semifinals and finished fourth.

World Cup 80, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika 1-2 Equestria
The last time we were here, Chromatika went 2-1-0, drawing against Cosumar but defeating Barunia and Sargossa - therefore getting revenge on Barunia. Equestria proved to be a tougher match, and though that team lost to Brenecia, Brenecia ended up winning it all.

Now?

World Cup 87, Round of Sixteen: Chromatika vs. Nephara

Yep. World #2. Went 1-2-0 in the Group Stage because of the Tikariot wave. Two-time runner-ups in the last two cycles. Still one of the greatest footballing nations with one of the greatest domestic leagues out there. Honestly, Chromatika has done a lot just getting here... Anything more would be a luxury. Against Nephara, the plan will be to play fast and play hard, play without abandon. Who knows? Maybe they'll pull it off.
Former User of the Nations of Yesopalitha and Falconfar

Regional Tournaments: 52 (2nd), 53 (4th), 54 (QF), 55 (Champions), 56 (Ro16), 59 (Ro16), 60 (QF), 61 (4th), 62 (Ro16), 63 (2nd)
WC Proper Appearances: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79 (Ro16), 80 (Ro16), 81, 83, 84, 86, 87 (Ro16)
CoH Appearances: 77 (Ro16), 85 (Ro16)
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Valanora
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Posts: 3966
Founded: Sep 03, 2007
Democratic Socialists

Postby Valanora » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:23 pm

Lothas Ludwig was not feeling the pressure of being the starting striker for the Marauders at all, it was merely another challenge that had to be overcome like everything else that had come before. Following up in the footsteps of Thor Møller was not supposed to be this easy, especially with the Shamrock Cathair striker being the first option off the bench if the attack was having a particular bad day at the office. Honestly though, Lothas had not felt that much challenge at all in his professional career, while a few knocks had knocked him down a bit and he had to work to get into the starting eleven at the youth team and then senior team at Felsenkirchen, it never really felt like hurdles that had to be jumped. For him, it was just something that had to have work and effort put into it in order to get the desired results, and that was what he had done in all the steps along the way to where he was now. Whenever someone said that it was going to be difficult or a challenge for him to pass whatever they thought to be an obstacle or challenge, Lothas merely saw something he had to work on getting above or around, not really something that was going to slow him down.

Didrik Gjedrem jokingly had told him that he was taking a bit too much like Hawk, but Lothas was not sure it was the same thing based on the few conversations that he had had with the captain and legendary figure that was the Marauders' attacking midfielder. Hawk did not see any limitations that could not be overcome, he did not see limitations as all, his was a pursuit of perfection, something that Hawk had admitted he knew was a task that was never going to be fulfilled and yet he still had the drive to pursue that goal even if it would never truly be in his grasp. Lothas knew that eventually there would be limitations as to what he could and could not achieve if he put his mind and body to it, there were going to be things that he simply could not do. However, as of his time as a professional football, he had yet to come across anything that was truly outside his scope of being able to get it done, outside of perhaps playing as a defender. If needs must, he had the reflexes needed to be an emergency keeper, even if he perhaps lacked a bit in size compared to most, but trying to play in the backline? That was not something he could do, though playing in the midfield was easy enough to adapt his game to, having originally started as a winger.

Ludwig knew the situation that he and the Marauders found themselves in, they needed to get at least a point out of their match against Poafmersia in order to secure their advancement into the next round, that was situation even though they had won their opening two matches. It was far from an ideal situation, needing a result despite having those two victories, something that was usually two points more than one needed to secure their advancement, yet that was how the group had shaken out. Lothas knew that there was no use in moping or whining about the situation, there was nothing more than any of them could have done to avoid what had transpired and they instead needed to simply go out there and uphold their form and showcase their talent. The Marauders had never taken on the team from Poafmersia before and it was going to be an unique experience for everyone and one that was likely going to test their mettle, as their opponents needed to get a draw or victory as well to make sure that they would advance out of the group, while a defeat would leave them in peril of whatever would transpire between Audioslavia and Trolleborg.

Lothas was calm and collected as the match began and he was hustling to every ball that was passed or lobbed his way, pressuring the Poafmerisa backline to quickly make decisions on where to go with the ball. That pressure would make Nasri Sanchez put in an errant pass that was easily intercepted by Hawk. The veteran midfielder then put in a through ball into the penalty area and Ludwig turned past Alex Hoboson and struck the ball on the first touch with his favored left foot, low and to the near post. Sandi Jaliaha had dived to try and stop the shot but Ludwig had placed it too perfectly and it was a goal in the ninth minute for the young striker in one of the biggest games of his Marauders career. However, for Lothas, it was merely another game and a chance to showcase his talent, much like it had been back in Turori for the Eagles' Cup where people had started saying that he was special and cool under pressure. Maybe he was, maybe he was not, all Lothas knew was that he was enjoying his football in the last two years and he wanted it to continue for as long as it could. He had done the deed to secure at least another match for the Marauders, as the side seemed to relax into a possession style that kept Poafmersia chasing the game but neither side was able to score another goal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hey Luds, nice work out there, you are really doing everyone back home proud. According to the VSC, your shirt sales have gone through the roof back in the Empire over the last two years." It was Martin Gundersen, one of the "old men" of the team, giving the striker a bit of laugh as the team was getting ready to head to the airport and board a plane, knowing they'd be traveling to Ethane as they were group winners.

"That's neat, does not mean a whole lot though, really do not care how popular I am to be honest with you. I mean, it is nice that people like me and all, but I am just doing what I love to do, seems a bit weird to have people fawning over me and buying shirts with my name on them. Still a bit surreal, still feel like I am a kid sometimes, just out there playing a game and having fun. Then I look around and realize it is the real deal, kinda crazy."

"Yeah it is like that sometimes, but hey, at least you are handling it well. Heard you are a big thing over there in Siovanija and Teusland as well, I mean you did help that youth team bring a youth champions league title over to our neighbors shores. Speaking of them, news came in while you were showering, they managed to beat Taeshan and have advanced. Bad news is, that is who we are playing next game."

"Really? Well that is a bit strange, but all of you would know most of that team better than I, you have played them a lot. A few of them even talk about wanting to finally get over that pesky Vanorian block that they got, something about a penalty loss in the AOCAF or something. Going to be interesting though, play against a few of them week in, week out back at the club level. They do love a derby over there, that is for sure."

"Hrmm, maybe they think it will be a local derby with us? Anyways, gaffer said you get first choice of seat on the plane and hotel room once we get over to Ethane, a reward for your fine play, so don't dilly dally to long. Hate to see you get benched cause you were late getting to the team bus!" Martin laughed as he left and Lothas chuckled a bit to. It was going to be a bit weird to be playing against a lot of the same players he played club ball against, but it was also a bit of a thrill. Maybe it was a derby, they were both in the southwest of Atlantian Oceania. For Lothas though, it was going to be another game, one where he would put his head down and continue to work hard to get the result. Maybe if he did that enough times, he could help the team finally challenge for a title again, that'd be something neat he thought to himself.
Last edited by Valanora on Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
World Cup 40, 42, 43, 52, & 61 Champions
WC 47, 51 (2nd), WC 34, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 60, 67 (3rd), WC 49, 58 (Semifinalist), WC 33, 35-37, 46, 48, 54, 55, 62, 63, 65, 72, 83 (Quarterfinalist)
WCoH VII, VIII, XVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXII (1st), WCoH I, XXXI, XL (2nd), WCoH II, XXIX (3rd), WCoH XII (4th)
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EPL Season 20,073

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:41 am

© Sporting Times Daily 2021
Whither Baker Park?
by Mindy Cartwright, National Soccer Editor

I've been in the process of moving to a new office, which entails packing up the contents of the cubicle (and a half, a perk I got after being named National Soccer Editor) I've occupied since I first came to work at the Sporting Times. Like everyone who moves, I come across things I've forgotten about, reminders of the past that you save for their sentimental attachment.

Before leaving for Ethane for the Finals, by coincidence I happened upon two different mementos from DiBradini Cup 42 in Valanora, the first ever occasion that Baker Park appeared on the multiverse stage during the current 'modern era'; the first item was my media credential, with the blue & white lanyard that I rarely took off outside my hotel room, then a few minutes later as I was clearing off the corkboard that has been the repository for hundreds of notes, business cards, reference & phone lists--to name just a few things--I discovered a photograph of myself, taken in the press area at the White Fortress in Gladerial.

I was so young then, although I'm happy to say I've not changed too much! [open to debate--Ed.] The point of this trip down memory lane is that tournament changed the entire course of this country's foray in the NS Era; the photo I mentioned is from the match that can certainly be argued as the turning point--the final group stage match against Cassadaigua, the 6-4 victory that propelled the Men's Under 21 squad to the knockout stages.

I sit here in Taeshan, ahead of the Commonwealth NT versus 18th ranked Pasarga, the Group E winners, in the Round of 16 match to be played at The Dome on {r e d a c t e d} Island; the winner to face the winner of Chromatika and Nephara in the Quarterfinal.

So it is not lost on me that the opponent in that DBC knockout match happened to be Taeshan (I was extremely honored my preview story for that match was nominated for a Bappo Prize); to close out the coincidental portion of our story, BP faced Banija, of all nations, in the quarterfinal at the Angelotic Temple in Longview. The first encounter with two nations that the FAC have established the strongest relationships with in the sport--we've co-hosted with both of them and they are frequent guests (and hosts) of friendly matches.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Commonwealth of Baker Park National Team arrived in Rushmore from Ethane--along with the three other previously mentioned opponents/potential opponents in this quarter of the draw--with the most questions that need to be answered; the most uncertainty of what the near term future holds; and the most to lose if they fail to get past the opening match of single elimination competition.

There is no shame in losing to Vdara in qualifying and no one should point to their 3 & Out performance as proof that they are one-hit wonders; there is no shame on losing to Geektopia on the final group stage matchday, which gave them the Group F top spot to go along with a qualifying group title.

I'm reasonably sure that the brain-trust at the FAC Development Center in Birkenfeld understand full well Geektopia, Tikariot, & Poafmersia, all of whom advanced--plus Vdara and Trolleborg, who were eliminated but are on the rise--are the now and future Baker Parks and Banijas; the World Champs and ourselves are just eight cycles removed from where the above named nations are at today.

Ten of the top 20 nations in the pre-World Cup Finals rankings have been eliminated or didn't make the field of 32; a BP loss to the Wanderers will see the Bees drop out of the top 10 for the first time since prior to World Cup 85 Finals. Given the current competitive makeup of the top 30 nations--a point raised by Pam Scott to me--it's really just an ego issue if a nation is 9th or 12th in the KPB when the dust settles at Atlantea Coliseum.

As a soccer nation, we cannot begin to fully understand the impact that having Ichi Tuzzio and Friekder Dandalleion leading the National Team at this particular point in history has made on the so-called 'Baker Park Way', but in the short term, it's clear that the duo who willed the Farves to a Championship have provided a refinement to the attacking edge that Trevor Richmond and Scott had developed through several cycles.

The forecast here is calling for temperatures in the low 20''s [F] for matchday, although that won't be an issue inside an enclosed stadium, but the 90 or 120 minutes that transpire might turn out to be the generational divide that brings about the FAC's 'Winter of Discontent' or allows the veterans in the Black & Gold another opportunity to be 'The Lion(s) in Winter'.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
AOCAF LXII Champions
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playoff semi-finalists
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WLC 34 Fourth Place
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Brenecia
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Posts: 666
Founded: Apr 14, 2013
Capitalizt

Postby Brenecia » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:15 am

Brenecia 0 - 2 South Newlandia
(4-2-3-1) 1 - Wright; 17 - Shepherd, 6 - Ford, 18 - Giltanan, 3 - Roscommon (c); 23 - Schofield, 13 - Deal; 23 - Waters (15 - Fife 75'), 21 - Brind (10 - Parrish 68'), 11 - Pace; 9 - White (14 - Hazeldean 75')

Brelk-Xeral cleared their throat and leaned into the microphone, staring down the pack of journalists. "The group stage went as well as we could have hoped for."
Whaaat? They'd just lost to the group's fourth-seeds, 2-0! A deserved defeat, as well, and a blip for a side that had come into the finals as among the most consistent sides in the world. Hell, some bookmakers were starting to install the Patriots as among the favourites, and seismic defeats elsewhere in the competition down the track would only have bolstered their nerve were it not for, well... the defeat.
"But you didn't win," one bold international journalist pointed out.
"We didn't win the match. We won the group," they said, calmly. "It's about 270 minutes, not ninety. And we did so with enough time to spare that we could give Cheney and the Finns some time to rest. That's a victory."
"But--"
"Are we not top of the group?"
"No," said the journalist, desperately. "Brenecia are, but--"
"Then there's no issue. Next question?"

It had not been a good 90 minutes for the Patriots, but it had undeniably been a good 270. The Patriots had been poor in both final thirds, and that was what mattered in the 90... they'd rested multiple key players and still topped the group, which was what mattered in the 270. Because all the 270 was was a pre-amble to the next round: avoiding Valanora, facing what turned out later to be Poafmersia.
Now, Brelk-Xeral was an analytical mind. Poafmersia were not most peoples' picks to make it through a lethally stacked group, and on paper they only got one win... but you did not make it to the second round of a World Cup without deserving your place there. The Panijas were renowned as an experienced side of veterans who knew each other inside and out; Jaliaha, Moonar, Taisg and the entire front three had over a hundred caps to their name; that front three, along with Hansel Tang of Advance Alara, had over 50 international goals to their name as well.
The funny thing was, both sides were at their best on the counterattack, neither particularly relishing possession. Issue was, while Poafmersia favoured dramatic forward pushes and were always poised to hit hard, Brenecia favoured cautious, counter-attacking football from a solid foundation, enabled by a brutalist destroyer who'd gone from Celtade to Shamrock.
Who else played cautious, counter-attacking football from a solid foundation, enabled by a brutalist destroyer who'd gone from Celtade to Shamrock? Oh, Audioslavia, who Poafmersia beat 4-2.
Brelk-Xeral licked their lips. Jess Curtin was asleep on the table again. They sighed, and sketched out their advantages on the whiteboard behind them.
1) Audioslavia's brutalist destroyer wasn't as good as Brenecia's.
2) Audioslavia did not have Lauren Cheney.
3) That match had been the first match of an aging side; this would be their fourth. Brenecia were well-rested.
4) The Patriots had not endured the constant churn of the Bulls, and could better match the Poafmersian chemistry.
5) Rohan Cammers is an insane man.
Brelk-Xeral leaned back, tapped their teeth with the butt of the marker. Pondered. They'd have all the tapes, of course. The data was there, and they'd make full use of it. But for now... what was the big takeaway?
A solid foundation. A squad that knew what they were doing. A sane manager. And, hopefully, tired opponents.
They popped the cap back off the marker, and leaned forward. All caps, underlined; DISCIPLINE.

Lauren Cheney sighed. Not for the first time, not for the last, she wished she could go out and have a proper nightlife without being mobbed by randos looking for a signature. Instead, she was inside, sulking with the more moderate Ceridwen Fletcher.
"We're gonna slot 'em 3-0," said Cheney, between sips of tonic water she was having fun pretending was mixed with gin. "Won't be close."
"Uh-huh."
"What do you think, Ceri?" Cheney glanced over.
The other, lankier winger shrugged. "Sure, 3-0."
"... Really, though."
"I don't make predictions. 3-0 would be nice, I suppose, but I'll know when the final whistle blows." Fletcher opened a window of their penthouse flat, and looked down across the sweeping view below. "Gaffer wouldn't like you talking like that, anyway."
"I'm sure they wouldn't. But they're too smart not to know it's how I work." Cheney grinned. "If I feel like shit, I'm gonna play like shit. That talk of formation, discipline... that's for the other, lesser players."
"Such as myself," said Fletcher. Not judgemental.
"Precisely. You're a cog in the machine, girl. I'm the X-Factor. Doing my thing, whatever that thing may be, that's what helps us win."
Fletcher smiled. "You're mad they didn't let you play against South Newlandia, aren't you."
"Wh-- nooo. Not at all. Psh, they shouldn't've needed me, anyway. And, look, you heard what they said. Resting, yeah? Resting me, their former Galactico, their star. So I can be ready for now, right."
"Uhhh-huh. So I was hallucinating when I saw you lean forward when Mhacha came off and then swear like a shag* when Kitty came on in her stead."
"Psh. Nah. You got the wrong idea."
"Didn't at all want to add some goals to your tally?"
"'Course I did," she said, breaking kayfabe momentarily. "'Course. But..."
"But you knew what was best in the long run, even though it hurt. Hm. You know what, Lauren?" Fletcher threw back a cup of water, and planted it carelessly on the windowsill, before pointing at the sturdier forward. "You talk a great game and all, but you're as tame as the rest of them. You've got no idea what winning looks like on your own, but winning's what counts. So you've got to be lead to water, but... you will drink."
Cheney... blushed, was this a blushing moment? "Thank you?"
"No. Thank you. Though, I suppose..." Fletcher shrugged her bony shoulders, and again a rare smile began to play on thin lips. "Suppose you could thank me by proving us all right and helping slot Poafmersia 3-0 next week."
"Yeah! See? That's the spirit, girl. Now, you up for a real drink or what?"
"You know I'm not, Lauren."
"Yeah. Predictable and boring, you are." Cheney sighed, and raised a sardonic toast of tonic water. "Probably for the best, too."

* derogatory term for a Nephar.
Puppet of Nephara.

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PotatoFarmers
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 409
Founded: Jun 07, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby PotatoFarmers » Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:28 am

OOC Note: Any of the opinions listed below are purely IC. Apart from what I have previously mentioned in the WCDT, I am refusing to make further comments on this issue.

Previous RP [Chapter 4 Part 6]

RP Series: Getting to the top
Chapter 4: Can we finally get a different ending?
Part 7: Getting another game in Taeshan

Remember the last time out where we said that every game is a final? Win and progress, lose and get eliminated? Now, here is something that went against the trend - The Red Panjias didn't win, but got a ticket to the Round of 32.

It took a long while for Poafmersia's spot to be confirmed. A very long wait for about 6 hours or so before the team knew whether to pack their bags or to prepare for one more match. There was much confusion over the understanding of the tiebreakers, after a foreign journalist raised the question following Audioslavia's 6-4 win over Trolleborg and the Red Panjias' 0-1 loss, due to the different interpretations on the set of tiebreakers provided by the hosts. It just so happened that this particular situation had to occur - anything else, such as if the Red Panjias could break the Valanora's defence to equalise, or if one of Trolleborg or Audioslavia could score one more goal - and there was no question on who would qualify.

The game turned out much better than expected, and even though luck clearly wasn't on Poafmersia's side, it was clear that the opposition was an entire level higher. Following Ludwig's 9th minute goal for the Marauders, it was literally a posession battle - Poafmersia trying to regain posession before pressing forward again, but many attacks came out fruitless, and Poafmersia left the match with nothing to show. And the confusion among Poafmers who had been following the other match, because while some outlets said that this meant qualification for Poafmersia, others mentioned something along the lines of a drawing of lots between Poafmersia and Audioslavia. And of course, the uproar that happened during the post-match press conference when a foreign reporter asked Adnan Suliaha about the issue of a drawing of lots being required once again this World Cup cycle.

However, once the dust settled down, and the hosts (as well as the World Cup Committee) assured the coaching team that Poafmersia was the one through to the Round of 16, the preperations begun. A familiar face stood in our way this time - Brenecia, whom we have seen 5 years ago, at the qualification campaign for World Cup 85. While Poafmersia won away 3-2, they won at Libira 3-1 in the reverse fixture. Adnan, as usual, refused to talk about the past, insisting that they will still treat this match like a final, and that there is still lots of work to be done, looking at the performance against Valanora. Katiri Hedge will go one step further to downplay the game, arguing that the match is Brenecia's to lose, which can't possibly be wrong in any normal cycle. But this isn't any normal cycle. Sports pundits around the multiverse have pointed out that this cycle is the cycle of upsests. For the first time in years, Eura did not play in the World Cup proper. For the third consecutive World Cup proper, the defending champions did not play in the Round of 16. A total of 6 teams qualifying for the main tournament for the first time. Not to mention the fact that 3 out of the bottom 8 teams by rank in the World Cup made it to the Round of 16.

Adnan has hinted at Pete Carisa being dropped in favour of a 3-4-3, and a chance for Makana Tuft or Iulianus Innocenti to show up in the front line. The question of playing Hansel Tang or Joel Haodao isn't clear just yet, as the team is attempting to figure out yet another tactical manuver to create yet another shock. Adnan and Katiri belong to that group of managers in Poafmersia, who believe that tactical flexibility is the key to success. Just like Zahi Castillas, who has since taken over at The Gothanita Isles, though we can't say their Cup of Harmony run has been successful in any way.

Maybe we should take some time to really understand just how tactically flexible Poafmersia has been. From 3-4-3, 4-4-2, 4-4-2 diamond, to formations involving various variations of a 5-men midfield, like a 3-2-3-2, a 3-2-1-4, a 4-1-4-1, a 4-2-3-1, and a 4-1-2-3. The players chosen for the national team are mainly willing and able to play different formations, with thw work attitude being the core fundemental that has never changed. Players who are individualistic are never welcomed, instead, Adnan has been picking players who may not be as talented, but are team players who put in their effort to ensure that the team performs nicely. And thus far, the results have been quite decent. Not excellent, but decent enough. It is the never-say-die attitude that has brought the teams extra points that they never expect, it is the high stamina and motivation that the players have that not many around the multiverse can say they have. Yes, they may have strong playmakers, talented defenders, or players who can single-handedly change the game. Poafmersia has none of those, just a bunch of hard working players. And that is why Adnan has been able to be so tactically flexible, trying different strategies to counter the opposition. Sometimes, these changes work out. There are also times, such as against Trolleborg few days ago, that the team may mess up the game plan and get tactically outmanuvered. Regardless, it is the Poafmersian attitude that has gotten things along - hard work will always reap rewards.

Against Brenecia, another team who likes to counter-attack, you will expect Poafmersia to get more aggressive. Sitting back against them would do absolutely no good - give themselves one goal up, and the Valanoran situation will pop up again. The main issue will be to stop Lauren Cheney, their star player without a doubt, and stopping the person pulling the strings will typically reduce the damage done. And one thing is for sure - the team will definitely charge themselves up and be refreshed four days later, when they play their very first Round of 16 match in the main tournament. It is a tall order, but Poafmersia has lots of sayings that would say otherwise. And one of them is very applicable here.

"Only a fool will say that something is impossible without trying."

Poafmersia 0

Valanora 1
Ludwig 9'

Lineup for Poafmersia (3-4-3): Sandi Jaliaha; Nasri Sanchez, Hollis Stephenson, Simone Gori; Dargis Walshor, Gisiik Moonar, Arnold Shwentin, Aubrey Mayer; Hansel Tang, Shakira Handris (c), Makana Tuft
Substitutes: Mitchel Rosales (Sanchez 55'), Pete Carisa (Tuft 73'), Daas Taisg (Shwentin 85')
Last edited by PotatoFarmers on Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
IC Name: The People's Republic of Poafmersia (Trigram: PFA)
IC Flag: Refer to my flag with my IC nation Poafmersia, though that nation's RP will be done with this account.
Citizen of The North Pacific (and also other regions)
Ambassador of The North Pacific to Europe and Thalassia
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Sportswire. Achievements: BoF 71 Bronze; IAC X and IAC XI Champions
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Cassadaigua
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Posts: 4363
Founded: Sep 19, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cassadaigua » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:01 am

Round of 16’s Unexpected Turn,
By Chelsea Dufresne, Concord Heights Times


Following a 4-2 victory over Zwangzug, which I will cover more in a bit, the Fillies advanced to the Round of 16 thanks to winning Group D. Their 2-1-0 record saw them finish in a tie with The Holy Empire, who they drew with on MD1, but with overall goal differential, the group win goes to Cassadaigua. The reward for this is to leave Rushmore and go to Esportiva. Go from the frigid cold of Taeshan to the more normal climate of Ethane. This isn’t what we were expecting, because this isn’t the way it usually is set up. Normally, Cassadaigua would have just remained in Taeshan until the end unless they had to play the third place game in Taeshan. That’s not the case, so if this is what you were assuming would happen to the Fillies at this point, then you are in for a little bit of a surprise. However, this has always been the way it was drawn up. Not the normal way, but not necessarily a wrong way.

The team has been prepared for it, and will not necessarily mind the trip to Ethane. After all, it now means they don’t have to dress up in multiple layers when away from the pitch. As a member of the media, I don’t mind it either. I like Taeshan, and I will be back for the championship game, personally. (I’ll cover it for the Concord Heights Times regardless of who is playing in it). Meghan Wolcott, who you can usually count on to give a good quote for this kind of thing other than the scripted jargon that athletes can often use told me, “It was the biggest motivation we had to win that group. Second place had to stay in Taeshan, first place gets to go somewhere warm. Yeah, maybe this is not the way it is always done, but it’s not like we didn’t know it from the start.” After joking about it, Wolcott became more of a realist in talking about how the team actually was in a must win, or at least a must get a point situation against the Zebras. There was also some minor controversy about the tiebreaker application in Group B, but outgoing CASE President Taylor Connolly stated that she felt, “they were applied correctly. Not understanding the controversy.”

Taking a brief look now at who has advanced, Group A sees Brenecia and Siovanija and Teusland go through, and you have to feel happy for Siovanija and Teusland after having to be in the same group as both us and Nephara during World Cup 86. They traded Nephara for Brenecia, but didn’t have the second powerhouse in the group. Taeshan was there, and could not advance, much to the disappointment of their fans. South Newlandia, who seems to be on the rise everywhere you look, also qualified and took one of the three games. In Group B, Valanora had smooth sailing with three wins, and the others finished in a three way tie. Poafmersia gets the edge in the tiebreaker application of teams that won only one of the three games. The other group in Taeshan was won by Starblaydia in a tiebreaker over Kelssek. This sent Vilita home, and it would have been a potential round of 16 between us and Vilita if they did finish second. Kelssek will not be any less of a threat, and the recent Winter Olympics host looks to continue to give their fans something to root for. They join the Fillies in the trip to Ethane, and will be our first round match up. More on them in a bit.

Playing in Ethane, Pasaraga was able to win Group E, beating out Ko-oren for the spot. With Ethane failing to advance to the round of sixteen, this is the first World Cup in quite some time where at least one of the hosts did not make it to the Round of 16. In total, the hosts combined to go 1-2-3. If only advancing were that easy. The biggest shocker from the group stage game in Group F, as somehow, Geektopia managed to win a group that also had Baker Park and Banija in it. Congratulations, certainly, are in order to Geektopia on this achievement. With them advancing, this meant that only one of Baker Park and Banija have done so, and that would be the reigning World Cup champions, Banija, going home early. I can’t imagine how stunned their fans are, but it is really just a testament to how competitive the World Cup really is. There are no weak links anywhere, not even a nation like Geektopia. Fortunately for the Banijans, the World Bowl kicks off soon, and they can try to avenge their loss in the World Bowl 40 championship to, well, Cassadaigua! You knew if I could find an opportunity to throw that in, I would. Speaking of the upcoming World Bowl, I am gifted an easy transition into talking about Group G, which was won by the World Bowl 41 hosts, Chromatika. Before they worry about that, they will savor their group title, beating Farfadillis by a point. This result sends Turori home, along with Vilita. When was the last time both of them failed to advance to the Round of 16? Incredible! In Group H, Tikariot showed they can do more than hit a baseball (or softball) in their surprising Group title. First, they advanced from what was the Group of Death during qualifying, and while they sent one of the World Cup 86 hosts (Newmanistan) to the Cup of Harmony then, they helped send the other World Cup 86 host (Drawkland) to a 0-0-3 record in the group. They advance, along with 1-2-0 Nephara. The Cormorants haven’t been as impressive in this cycle as of yet, but they are still very much a giant.

Those are the final sixteen. There are no weak links, anywhere. Cassadaigua’s first round showdown against Kelssek is a game that most will predict they will win, but their fans will be singing “Maybe Tomorrow” in hopes that tomorrow has arrived for their program. Historically, Kelssek only boasts a single Cup of Harmony triumph as a major soccer accomplishment (sorry Ad’ihan Challenge Trophy), but the Voyagers are much better than that would imply. By the way, that Cup of Harmony Trophy win? It was Cup of Harmony 43. What cycle was that? World Cup 51. Well, how about that?! Check out our in-depth preview of this matchup elsewhere on the site.

To get here, Cassadaigua had the challenge of playing Zwangzug in the final game of the group stage, and needed to pick up at least a point in it, in order to secure advancement. You cannot take anything for granted, and this was the same situation that Banija was in for their matchup against Savojarna (who by the way were in the same qualifying group as Zwangzug). After both teams had decent chances in the opening minutes of the contest, Madison McClain got the Fillies on the board first, in the 20th minute, but the big goal came in injury time of the first half The game was tied at the time following a Johan Idmar 36th minute goal, and generally speaking, it was an evenly played matchup to that point. However, Meghan Wolcott’s incredible individual effort to get by the defense and use Rachel Schanke as a decoy to her left ended with a huge goal one minute into injury time, sending the Fillies into the intermission with the one goal advantage. They continued that momentum in the second half, being the better team early, and that would culminate with a Rachel Schanke 62nd minute goal to give Cassadaigua a 3-1 lead. It would remain an entertaining contest until the end, and both sides exchanged goals one more time, with Cassadaigua’s coming off the foot of McClain in the 81st. Manager Stephanie Sweeney said of the match that, “A good game by both sides. Meghan’s goal gave us a real lift, because the first even was even. With a one goal advantage, and the way that it was done, we felt really good in the locker room that we would get the job done. The key was to assert ourselves in the second, and we were able to do so, controlling possession and getting Rachel’s goal.”

I asked Stephanie what she thought about having to travel to Ethane now, and she said that it did not really bother her, “We knew we could end up in Ethane for the knockouts when we traveled to Taeshan. I think the only losers here are our fans because it is a much easier and cheaper trip to go from Cassadaigua to Taeshan than it is to Cassadaigua to Ethane, but I know that we will still get many of them in attendance. The weather aspect of it does not really bother me all that much. We’re all professionals and can play in cold weather or hot weather. You have to expect that kind of thing in international tournaments.” Some media members (not me) tried to ask Sweeney about her being a contender to take over as President of CASE. The reason I didn’t ask is because I knew to expect the answer that was given. Not surprisingly, Sweeney told those reporters that her focus is on the World Cup and nothing else.
NS Sports’ only World Cup, World Bowl, World Cup of Hockey, World Baseball Classic and International Basketball Championships winner!

(Motorsports, college basketball, and volleyball, too)


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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Sannyamathland
Envoy
 
Posts: 275
Founded: Mar 21, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Sannyamathland » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:30 pm

SOVIET TIMES


Miloven Sacked !


Image
Miloven in action.

Dmitry Miloven,the current coach of Sannyamathland national football team has been relieved of his duties,as declared by Soviet Football Association(SFA) during their latest press release.Many speculate that this was due to the national team's lackluster performances in the World Cup qualifiers,while others believe that this was a result of a long period of distrust between Miloven and the governing body of football in Sannyamathland.Miloven,who during his playing careers played for clubs like Lommardy FC,Bomsuk FC,Wilkies Wonderers and Guangzhou Evergrande,was appointed the national team coach in 2017.During his tenure,the national team's KPB ranking improved a lot,and many credit him for bringing in newer talents in the national team.The 47 year old,who captained the national team from 2002 to 2005,had claimed last year that politics was ruining football in Sannyamathland,and held Joseph Petrovsky,the President of Soviet Football Association,responsible for this.His comments soured the relationship between them,and many speculate that SFA was looking for an excuse to sack Miloven,which they got in the latest world cup qualifiers.The search for a new coach has begun.
Last edited by Sannyamathland on Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
A Communist Republic located near RL Russia,inhabited by about 500 million 'comrades'.Military superpower,largest military budget in the world,permanent member of UNSC.Member of LITA.An enthusiastic sporting nation.
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Siovanija and Teusland
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Posts: 598
Founded: Mar 01, 2017
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Siovanija and Teusland » Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:23 pm

RBC Sports

Pre-Match Report: Siovanija & Teusland vs Valanora


Stepan Stelik: Good evening Siovanija & Teusland, and welcome to the King Edward IV Stadium in Ethane. Here we are, the stage is set. The first-ever knockout match in World Cup history for the Goldhorns, and it sees them match up against the greatest to ever do it, Valanora. With me are Joseph Grassl, former FC Teussen Stelburg midfielder and manager, and Miroslav Dinev, current Energija Chernovets forward. Gentlemen, how are you feeling tonight?

Joseph Grassl: Well, it’s certainly the biggest occasion I can remember in national team history. Making a World Cup is one thing, making the knockouts is something special, and I’m just up here hoping for a miracle, haha.

Miroslav Dinev: Big night, I was talking with Stanimir Ilev earlier and he says everyone is pumped up for this one, ready for the big show.

SS: Without a doubt one of the biggest matches in the nation’s history, as the Goldhorns get set for this Round of 16 clash with Valanora. But let’s go back a moment and look at how we got here. Gentlemen, what was the key to the Goldhorns’ 2-1 win over Taeshan that sealed qualification?

JG: Getting that goal early through Stanimir Ilev really quieted the crowd, and really forced Taeshan to change their game-plan. And I think it gave the Goldhorns confidence too, you knew going in it was going to have be near-perfect to knock out the Purple Knights at home, and they lived up to that for sure.

MD: Ilev’s goal was massive, but I think the Ewald Heuser save on Ntilikina just before the end of the first half - that kept it at 1-0 going into the half, and really motivated the team I think to know that they could go on and push and try to get a little more - which they would a few minutes into the second half thanks to Lukas Tauscher. When you’re out there and see your goalkeeper do that, it really gets you fired up.

SS: The game against Taeshan was certainly a good performance - but is there anything in the overall performance that the Goldhorns will need to fix going up against Valanora?

JG: They’ve managed two goals per game, but I don’t think 2 goals is going to get you anywhere against the Vanorians, and you have to think that they’ve also been one of the best defensive sides in the tournament with only 2 goals against. It’s hard to criticize the attackers, they’ve done well, but they’ll need to be even better here to get anything done.

MD: The defending stat looks bad because of the Brenecia collapse at the end there, but just if I’m Gavin Hughes, I want them to cut out the little mistakes. You’ve got to be near-perfect if you want any chance tonight, and I don’t think that anyone could say they have been so far.

SS: Valanora are a somewhat familiar opponent for the Goldhorns - 4 matches, all at the AOCAF, including a 4-4 draw in the group stages and 3 knockout games. Of course, everyone knows the story there: 3 losses, including 2 on penalties. Will there be a fire to perhaps make things right there?

JG: When you lose on penalties, you always feel that maybe if you’d just done this or that differently you’d have gone on. But really, teams change, players change, and I don’t think those losses will be weighing on their minds at all, no. The fact is, tonight, you are up against perhaps the best team remaining in this tournament, who could go on to win it all. And you want to show you can stop it.

MD: I agree with Joseph, I don’t think Gavin Hughes is going to be showing any footage of AOCAF 60 or whenever it was in the dressing room before the game. For some guys, I’m thinking of the ones who missed penalties in that game, maybe you think in your own mind you can make things right tonight, but as a team, they aren’t thinking about it at all.

SS: Valanora are also Siovanija & Teusland’s closest neighbour in southwestern Atlantian Oceania - a bit of a local derby brewing?

JG: You always want to beat your neighbours, but I think there’s a great deal of respect here, and both teams are ready to focus on the football.

MD: We don’t really have a big rival internationally, so I get why some people claim this is a big game. But for me - I’m a Chernovets man, to the core. And we’ve won league titles, now continental titles. And that team down the road, FK Raketa Bukovets, that haven’t won so much as a local title in their history, always claim we’re their big rivals, and to me, it’s just silly, and it’s the same here. We’re talking about a team that has made the Round of 16 for the first time in its history against the best team ever, with 5 world titles. This isn’t a rivalry.

JG: When I played for Teussen, 1912 Stelburg were having some of the worst seasons in their history, but you can bet that the stadium was packed for every single Stelburg derby.

MD: Yeah, but that’s different isn’t it Joseph? There’s history there, feelings that just don’t exist here. I’d say it’s a rivalry in hockey - but football, there’s a long way to go before that.

JG: I think that the proximity alone makes it a bit more than the average game, though.

MD: It’s definitely more important than a game against a team not so close by, naturally. But if you asked anyone in Valanora, who their rivals are, I don’t really think we’d even make the top 10, with their storied history.

SS: Valanora are led by the FC Felsenkirchen 1879 man up front, Lothas Ludwig. Surely one of the best players in the world at the moment, and we’re lucky enough in this country to have him making his magic week in and week out. Felsenkirchen fans will be rooting against him tonight, though, and gentlemen, what do you make of this wonderkid and his career so far?

JG: Well, he’s just magnificent, the way he just seems to do everything with a quiet confidence and really, an ease. It’s like he’s saying, yeah, can’t you do this too? Unbelievable his rise so far, and I just have this bad feeling in my gut that he’s on a mission to bring his country that 6th star this time around. Hoping we can make him wait a few years, but I have to say, as wrong as it sounds, if we go out tonight, I think everyone in Siovanija & Teusland will be on the bandwagon of the Marauders.

MD: I’ve played with and against plenty of good strikers, and I can tell you he is one of the very best. This man is special, he can do pretty much anything, and I can’t imagine the hell it’s going to be for the Goldhorns backline tonight against him.

SS: Sort of ironic - the Goldhorns’ star defender, Karl-Heinz Jager, who left this country at a young age to make his name in Valanora, and the Marauders’ star forward, Lothas Ludwig, who left his country at a young age and made his name in Siovanija & Teusland. That will be quite a battle tonight.

JG: Two stars of the game, both eager to leave their mark.

SS: I asked this last time, and of course, it’s a standard question, especially before a game like this. Who on the Goldhorns’ half of the pitch can make the most impact tonight?

JG: Same answer: Thorsten Kramer. He’s the greatest player in our country’s history for a reason, and if anyone is going to go out there and lead this team to a miracle tonight, it’s going to be him. I’m glad to see Bahr starting beside him, I like Mihailov, I do, but I think the two former Teussen boys have such great chemistry together, and that is going to be the best chance to get something tonight.

MD: I mean, yeah, it’s Kramer. But I’m looking at Stanimir Ilev too, he’s been quietly very good in this tournament, kinda flying under the radar a bit I think based on how good the team as a whole has been. And he’s probably wanting to go out and put on a show tonight and get on the radar, actually not probably, he told me just that. So watch out for him tonight.

SS: The big question - seriously now, can the Goldhorns win the World Cup?

JG: I’m going to say no, and hope they make me look like a fool.

MD: The smart answer is no - but I mean, we’re talking about 4 coinflips going in our favour. You never know.

SS: That just about does it for us, and down on the pitch we’re almost ready to get started. Siovanija & Teusland, Valanora, World Cup 87 Round of 16. It’s the deepest the Goldhorns have ever made it in the world tournament, let’s find out if they can go a bit further, or if the 5-time champions are the team of destiny tonight. Kickoff after the break.

Siovanija & Teusland 2-1 Taeshan, @ Atlantea Coliseum, Atlantea, Taeshan


Starting XI: Heuser; Steimle, Jager, Maksimov, Vesele; Kramer, Bahr (Mihailov 65’), Bliznakov; Kokalj, Tauscher (Krukenberg 87’), Ilev (Kronthaler 90+1’)
Goals: Stanimir Ilev 7’, Lukas Tauscher 50’
Man of the Match: Lukas Tauscher

Lineup vs Valanora: Heuser; Steimle, Jager, Maksimov, Vesele; Kramer, Bahr, Bliznakov; Kokalj, Tauscher, Ilev

Bench: Sveteikov; Kronthaler, Lotbiniere; Mihailov, Kogler, Krukenberg, Ribbeck
The United Republics of Siovanija & Teusland
Capital: Borograd | Population: 74,245,000 | Demonyms: Siovanijan, Teus | Country Code: STL

World Cup of Hockey 40, 41 & 42 Champions ⋆ World Junior Hockey Championship 14 Champions

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