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Baptism of Fire 61 - Everything Thread

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

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Unified Lycan Territories
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Posts: 8
Founded: Oct 10, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Unified Lycan Territories » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:47 pm

It was only practice per se, but as the time for the quarterfinal match ticked closer and closer, everybody's tension seemed to grow noticeably more palpable. They had been playing well - indeed, since the tournament jitters the first game they hadn't even let in a single goal, a point of pride for Cecily... and Zach himself. Offense wasn't too shabby either, putting up ten goals on their three-game winning streak. Unlike themselves, however, their next opponent, Dudgeon, hadn't even dropped a single match - Zach had a feeling this next game would be a treat for the fans, but it was going to be tough for them. Consequently the managers, the coaches and even the players themselves were going full out in practice, putting every effort in making sure they were prepared. The stakes were high, and so was the tempo of everything. The goal was getting so much closer now.

But even they needed a break from time to time. It was times like these he appreciated that they played and practiced in human form, Zach realized, as he stood at the edge of the practice field with a bottle of water in his hand, occasionally squirting big gulps into his mouth. The ever-present ocean breeze helped cool things down here in Ceni, but even so, the climate was a good deal warmer than the Territories. With fur, it'd be way too hot for his tastes. As he cooled off on the sideline, Jaime walked up to join him. "Doin' alright?" After Zach nodded in assent, Jaime said, "Well keep it up. After all, if we're going to beat Dudgeon we should have 'nun' of our 'bad habits'!" He gave a wink and a cheeky smile before get clobbered in the side of the face by a flying football. Belatedly came a husky feminine shout of "watch out!" Unquestionably Cecily's voice, Zach had the distinct feeling that the ball was lobbed at Jaime on purpose, punishment for telling her the same bad pun before he'd come over to repeat it with Zach.

After Jaime finished angrily yelling towards Cecily's direction (she didn't seem to be paying it any mind), Zach checked to see if Jaime was alright - he confirmed the ball hadn't been hit all that hard, so his pride had been the only thing wounded, as was usually the case, so Zach moved his inquiries elsewhere. "Anyways, your puns are only usually this bad when you're nervous. Don't tell me jitters are getting to you." Jaime glared, but walked over to a bag of practice balls, and grabbed a folded newspaper that had been stored underneath. Zach was surprised - he didn't think Jaime the type to read physical newspapers, but upon further inspection, the paper in question was from Dudgeon in origin, which explained things a bit. Jaime had a tendency to look into their opponents outside the football pitch, if only, it seemed at times, to find (usually underwhelming) opportunities for comedy. He waited while Zach gave the paper a quick once over.

"That's ridiculous."

"I know, right?"

"Xavier's black in feral form. Also, about one and three-quarters meters and 80 kilos but..."

"That's not what I'm talking about!"

He didn't expect the outburst. He intended to lighten the mood with that comment, but Jaime was actually a bit worried about this, to Zach's surprise. Did he actually feel threatened by Dudgeon? While not the only member of Clan Mustel on the team, he was the only one who was a were-stoat, so it did seem to single him out. Zach was starting to get a little concerned about the mindset of his teammate. "Look." Zach mockingly brought his fingers up in a cross. "If you can deal with them doing this, you should be fine."

"Yeah, yeah. Hey, it says this Papette likes bunnies... I don't suppose you could shift and look cute for me?" Zach glared. It was one thing for Ceni schoolchildren to make the mistake at the Japanese gardens, but Jaime damn well knew the difference - which, given the teasing tongue Jaime was sticking out at him well confirmed. Still, he was glad Jaime still had some lightheartedness in him. But Jaime continued uneasily, "Honestly... I'm a bit worried that their attempts at 'exorcism' might... I dunno. It's hard to explain." This really caught Zach off guard, for Jaime to confide his fears so. "I don't suppose you guys would be willing to do an invocation?" An invocation, wow. He was spooked. It was a traditional, spiritual thing, from the olden days. He hadn't seen or done one in a while, but if it would ease his fears... "Yeah, no doubt. I've got your back."

-----

Practice was at last over, and the sun had begun to set, but not all of them had left the field. He'd talked to Cecily about it all, and she agreed to it without a second thought. Despite her distaste for his puns, she still cared about the guy. Together they'd gathered the rest of the team's defense for their little convocation, which needed six aside from their beneficiary. As luck would have it, they had equal guys and girls, and each of them represented a different clan, both things considered particularly auspicious in their culture for an invocation. All of them had been willing and more than happy to help. They arranged themselves in a circle with one arm extended towards the center with their hand flat, palm facing down. The guys and girls formed separate, interlocking triangles, with Jaime standing at the center, eyes closed, looking down, with his hands folded on top of each other at his waist.

It was Martin who ended up being the one who started the invocation. "May the water ease your mind."
Cecily, to his right, proceeded after him. "And may the storm spark your spirit."
Kevin, after that. "May the flame stoke your heart."
Diana was next. "And may the frost calm your soul."
It was his turn now. "May the stone steady your feet."
Nicole followed him. "And may the winds follow your back."

Finally, in unison. "And may the sun and moon together guide you ever on."

Jaime opened his eyes and gave the reply. "May they protect us all under their light."

He dropped his formal posture, and the rest of them followed. "Thanks guys, I really appreciate it." Kevin brushed the sentiment off. "Dun' worry about it! Besides, if they think you're a demon, just give 'em nightmares!" This brought a sheepish smile to Jaime's face. For his part, Zach was just happy Jaime was feeling better. He wasn't particularly spiritual, but he understood wanting to have someone, or something at your back. And with his, he knew if nothing else, they had each other. It was a little weird to think, now that he was on the subject. They were a disparate group at the beginning of this whole thing, but they were really starting to come together. And maybe, just maybe, that'd allow them to achieve something much more...
Unified Lycan Territories - Not just werewolves!

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Ethane
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Founded: Sep 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Ethane » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:09 pm

The suspension was real. Tense. Dramatic.

No one wants it to be over. They know that it all comes down to this, down to every single match they play, every single kick of the ball effects the final result.

All the games are like this now. All are special. All mean something very important to the whole team. Will they be going home? It is not at all like the group stages, where some matches you could lose, some you could win, and you could still get through. Why, the Ethanian team only won 1 of their games and progressed through to the next round. But they all knew these knockout matches meant something more than that. You lose, and that is it, game over, out of the tournament.

The multiple moments they have trained for this tournament all boil down to these next games. They know what they need to do. They cannot be lacklustre with their performance, having a bad day just isn't a valid excuse at this level, where every day needs to be our best day. All the teams here now are the best of the best, the pick of the crop of the new teams, the freshest, best kids on the block. No one can argue against that.

All of this hype for a rank, to help out in the World Cup. The team knew that they needed this. The higher rank they get now, the more likely they will get an easier group at the world cup.

They were ready, walking out onto the pitch, no running out onto the pitch. Hyped, warming up, stretching their muscles, ready to play. To play not just for themselves, their joy, but for their nation, their position in the tournament, their future world cup.
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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Red Blackiland
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Founded: Apr 30, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Red Blackiland » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:35 pm

Image


Cutoff for the Red Blackiland side of the Quarter-Finals!


Quarter-Finals (Red Blackilandian Side)

Match 1
Image Amazonesta 2-1 Arioslavia Image
Stadium - Red Glorious Stadium



Match 2
Image Uzekia 0-0 (1-0 AET) Ethane Image
Stadium - Meskitáh Central Stadion



Semi Finals (Red Blackilandian Semifinal)

Match
Image Amazonesta vs. Uzekia Image
Stadium - Red Glorious Stadium



Last edited by Red Blackiland on Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Ceni
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Founded: Jun 26, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Ceni » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:58 pm

Image
A bit belated quarterfinals cutoff!

Image Firebolt 0–2 Ficiscia Image
Image Unified Lycan Territories 0–0 (0–0 AET) (3–4 pen.) Dudgeon Image

Semifinal Match
Image Ficiscia vs Dudgeon Image
Last edited by Ceni on Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Amazonesta
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Founded: Dec 26, 2015
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Postby Amazonesta » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:13 pm

The Amazononian Observer

Last minute Falcone winner sends Amazonesta to the semifinal with a 2-1 victory over Arioslavia

Image
Omar Falcone(9) celebrates his very late winner against Arioslavia by taking off his shirt

REDINXSON- Winger Federico Paiz opened the scoring of the much anticipated quarterfinal between Amazonesta & Arioslavia, with a 33rd minute goal in the 1st half to give Amazonesta a 1-0 lead. Arioslavia clawed its way back into the game, with their own star player Alexander Artyomov scoring a brilliant goal to tie the game at 1 in the 54th minute. The game was very evenly matched for the rest of its duration, and then just when people were beginning to accept the assumption that the game would go into extra time, Omar Falcone was able to score on a header for his team to get a 2-1 lead in the late moments of the game, to cause an exciting scramble to the end. The 4 minutes of added time were quite possibly the longest 4 minutes of any Amazonesta fan's life, but they were able to hold on for the 2-1 victory over Arioslavia, and had earned their ticket to their semifinal in the same stadium.

The first half saw Amazonesta dictate the terms of the game to Arioslavia. Manager Orlando Juarez knew that he would have his hands full trying to change up tactics enough to keep Arioslavia on their toes, as they had already seen Amazonesta once this tournament. It seems as if he was successful doing that, though he did tell reporters that 'his players made it happen'. When playing a team for a second time in such a short span, especially in a tournament like this, you need a coach who is ready & willing to make whatever adjustments it takes to make sure that his team achieves victory. He was able to do that, moving people up and down the wings, and playing the game far less through Rosalez and more through the wingers.

The strategy paid off in the 33rd minute. Amazonesta was attacking up the left side of the field, with Blanco Rivero leading the attack up the left flank. He was able to cross the ball, and Omar Falcone had the ball land at his feet. He blasted a shot to the other side, and Arioslavian goalkeeper Ivan Yashin made a fantastic diving save, at full stretch to stop the shot. However, the ball bounced right to Federico Paiz, and he had an easy rebound to slot home and give his team a 1-0 lead, which caused the Amazonesta side of the stands to lose their minds, and celebrations everywhere back home.

Amazonesta went into halftime up 1-0, but at this stage of the tournament, a 1-0 score meant it was still anybody's game. Arioslavia would have to chase the game, yes, which they are not comfortable with, but they did have the talent and firepower to come back. Arioslavia would see their pressure strategy pay off in the 54th minute. They were able to force a corner kick, but the corner was taken by Yuri Vassilyev, and the ball was headed towards the goal by Ivan Tikhonov, who had his shot saved by Amazonestan goalkeeper Damian Gallegos. He come out to punch the ball, and it went in the air to Arioslavian star player Alexander Artyomov, who rocketed in the volley home from 16 yards to tie the game at 1. The Sborna fans went crazy, and the game was not only tied at 1 with plenty of time remaining in the half, but the Sborna had momentum.

This was momentum that they would use to their advantage. The goal from Alexander Artyomov had been the first goal that Amazonesta had allowed throughout the entire tournament. They had 414 minutes(before stoppage time) of scoreless soccer, until that goal, and it seemed as if the goal had rattled them, for at least a little bit. Arioslavia was pressing the advantage and was looking to take the lead in the game, and they almost achieved that. Amazonesta was playing on its heels, while Alexander Artyomov had a free kick from 26 yards saved by Damian Gallegos in the 64th minute, while young Arioslavia substitute Alexey Bulganin beat the keeper on a header, but hit the post and had the ball bounce out for a goal kick in the 73rd minute.

Amazonesta did not regain its confidence in the game until a wacky subsitution move that was made by manager Orlando Juarez. 33 year old Marcos Fonseca was brought into the game for Amazonesta goalscorer Federico Paiz, who had been struggling mightily in the 2nd half. The veteran was called upon to bring his team back into focus, and focus on the task at hand as they still had a game to fight for, and a match to win. Fonseca could be called the true X-factor of the game, as many say he inspired his team to victory. He played extremely hard, and helped create the eventual winner in the 86th minute.

Amazonesta had slowly been gaining its confidence back over the previous 10 minutes. Their defense was no longer playing on their heels, and their midfield was not playing possession to get the ball outside of their half- they were possessing the ball to possess the ball, and attempt to score. The switch in focus, of course, helped Amazonesta eventually pull out their eventual winner. Fonseca, in the 86th minute, beat two Arioslavian defenders on the dribble, and was bringing the ball from the wing to the outside edge of the 18. He crossed the ball, and Omar Falcone used his speed to beat the defender to the ball and get a strong header onto the ball. He hit his header sweetly, and the ball was placed in the opposite side netting, following the old adage of heading the ball back where it came from. Ivan Yashin stood no chance at saving it, and just like that, the game was 2-1 to Amazonesta with less than 4 minutes left in regulation.

While Arioslavia attacked with almost all of the manpower & firepower it had, there was simply nothing that they could do to defeat the Amazonestans. There simply was not enough time to mount a come back, and even with 4 minutes of added time, there was nothing they could do. While they were attacking desperately, Amazonesta was defending desperately. They dropped almost everybody back to play defense, and while the Arioslavians pushed forward & forward, they ultimately could not find that second equalizer with that little time remaining in the game. Amazonesta, when the final whistle sounded, had won the game 2-1, and clinched a spot in the semifinal.

After the game, manager Orlando Juarez and Arioslavian manager Vyacheslav Frolov embraced before Orlando Juarez spoke to reporters. "This was a great win for our team, for our boys, but most importantly, this is a great win for our country." Said manager Orlando Juarez. "This was easily the hardest match we've had all tournament, and my hats off to Arioslavia for a match well played. They did not deserve to be eliminated this early from the tournament, but alas, such is the cruel world of the knockout stages. We had two evenly matched teams, going toe to toe for the duration of 90 minutes plus stoppage time, and ultimately, we were able to come out on top. This is a big win for our team, and we will celebrate tonight. However, tomorrow we're back on the practice field, as our job is not over. We have a tournament to go out and win, and we have a big matchup in a few days time that will determine who can & cannot go to the tournament final."
Sporting Achievements: Champions of the 61st Baptism of Fire
10 Downing Street RP: Owen Hamilton- MP for Edinburgh East; MSP for Edinburgh Eastern; Leader of the SNP; First Minister of Scotland

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Amazonesta
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Founded: Dec 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Amazonesta » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:17 pm

The Amazononian Observer

Baptism of Fire semifinal comes against Uzekia

Image
The team stands for their pre-match picture before their game with Arioslavia

REDINXSON- The Amazonesta national team is preparing for their semifinal with much increased vigor. This is their 6th game of the tournament, and their 5th game that they will play right here, in Redinxson. Ironically, the only game of the entire tournament that they played away from this stadium they had their biggest win of the tournament, with a 3-0 victory over Raltharan. However, Amazonesta has grown very comfortable at this stadium, as they have played every single group game in this city, as well as playing their quarterfinal here, and they are about to play their semifinal here. Because of that familiarity, there is a large Amazonestan fan base here, at least for the duration of this tournament. Many of them are from Amazonesta, but their style of soccer has won over quite a few local fans, even those who were originally rooting for a team like Arioslavia.

We have already looked at Amazonesta's path to the semifinal. In our last issue, we looked at Amazonesta's path to the quarters, and we all know what they did in the semifinal, with Omar Falcone coming through in the clutch for Amazonesta to give the team a 2-1 victory so that they are still standing, and still playing today. So, we feel as if there is little to no need to look at Amazonesta's path to the semifinal, as most of it is clearly old news to the vast majority of our readers. To give a quick overview, they opened the tournament with 2-0 victories over Owner-osity & HUElavia respectively, before a 1-0 victory over Arioslavia won them the group. They then won their Round of 16 game 3-0, and then followed that up with a gritty 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Arioslavia. They now gear up to face Uzekia in the semifinals.

Uzekia's path to the semifinal

While Amazonesta had to struggle through the group of death, they still clinched a spot in the knockout stages in the first two games. Uzekia had to struggle much harder than Amazonesta did to get to this point. Uzekia had actually opened the tournament with a loss, falling to Pinuyi 1-0 in Group H's opening match. Uzekia did not play nearly as well as they were capable of in that match, and they knew things had to change after that game. Things improved in their 2nd straight game, as they tied 0-0. However, they were still dead last in their group after matchday 2, and their prospects to advance at all looked very grim.

The world was given a shock on matchday 3. They played an excellent game with Ferret Civilization for their group's rubber match, and it was a classic battle, worthy of this tournament, that was fought hard all the way to the end. It was a back & forth thriller, and ultimately, Uzekia prevailed 3-2 to go from 4th to 2nd on the final matchday, and punch a ticket to the knockout stages of this tournament.

In the Round of 16, they had a 1-0 upset victory over Quazira to get to the quarterfinals. Uzekia was looking like a team that had found itself, and that was hot. They were clearly ready to compete with the best of them, and they showed that in their quarterfinal against Ethane. They clearly did not want to go home early. They played disciplined soccer, and everybody realized they did not get lucky- they had the ability to win the entire thing. They were disciplined in the back and midfield, and creative in the front. They played the game like they had nothing to lose, and an extra time goal pushed them over the finish line.

Who Will Win?

Even though Uzekia is a team that has the momentum, and is gaining confidence extremely fast, we predict that Amazonesta will win this game 1-0 in the 90 minutes of regulation, with a Leonardo Rosalez goal midway through the 2nd half deciding the game. Uzekia is gaining confidence and is hot, but Amazonesta has accomplished too much to simply not walk away with any kind of silverware from this tournament. They have been in form for every moment of this tournament, and ultimately, the kind of consistency they have had at this stadium, plus the likely slight home field advantage they will have, will be enough to push Amazonesta to the final, and 1 victory away from a chance at the trophy that they came here to win.

This game will be close however, and it will be a toss-up. It is always said that semifinals are always the best games, because everybody leaves it all on the field, but they play without the constraints of the pressures of a cup final, especially one of this stature on this stage in this setting. We hope this semifinal lives up to the excitement billing, as it seems as if every single TV screen in the country will be tuned to their semifinal. We can only hope, but we here at the Amazonian Observer collectively say, "Viva La Amazonesta!"
Sporting Achievements: Champions of the 61st Baptism of Fire
10 Downing Street RP: Owen Hamilton- MP for Edinburgh East; MSP for Edinburgh Eastern; Leader of the SNP; First Minister of Scotland

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Dudgeon
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Founded: Jan 12, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Dudgeon » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:21 pm

Image

"I went to a football match, and all I saw was some bloody silly religious rituals."

That was the comment from one of the neutral fans who has traveled to Ceni for this 61st Baptism of Fire, after the Dudgeon-Unified Lycan quarter-final clash.

So worried were the Dudgeon-dwellers about the fearsome threat called Stoat that they spent most of the match huddled in their own end, muttering and chattering in mild terror. Though whether they were more frightened of the were-creatures on the other side, or the foul-tempered nuns on their own sidelines, was hard to say.

At the other end, the Lycans seemed to be performing the odd rather beautiful ritual, but the Sisters of Dudgeon saw not. Result? A rather listless 0-0 draw, if you came to see Dudgeon's previously high-octane offence. Some impressive Lycan performances that seemed unable to make it past a Dudgeon formation that had gone from the usual 4-4-2, to some sort of 12-0-0 flattish wedge. (Yes, that's an extra player or two, they were do scared that their dreams seemed to become flesh and line up on the pitch.)

And so, it all came down to penalties.

1. Sister Nunchuku of Enlightened Compassion nervously watched to see who would take the first Lycan shot. It was, of course, an easy call to make: why not open with the player that Dudgeon's team feared the most? So Jaime Windham it was. Five Dudgeon footballers fainted immediately. Sister Nunchuku maintained her composure until the were-stoat approached the ball. Then she shrieked: a note so pure that it could have enchanted a roomful of opera-lovers. She bolted in fear. Jaime's goal was an easy one. ULT 1, Dudgeon 0.

2. Sister Kim Jong Murder of Alleged Restraint was first to reply for Dudgeon. Well, she thought: that was terrifying. But now there's no more were-stouts. And who could be afraid of a widdle bunny wabbit? Or a cute kitty cat? Or all the other adorable creatures that she'd heard were on the Lycan squad. She ran forward with confidence and not a little relief. Eriksen dived left, but Piglet's kick was to the right. 1-1.

3. With Sister Nunchuku halfway to the airport by now, Dudgeon's back-up keeper entered. Sister Broadsword of Desirable Mindfulness was wearing stoat-repellent gloves, a stoat-repellent cap made from the finest tinfoil (hand-hammered by the Sisters of Tin Epees of Enlightened Remembering in their convent in the town of Joyous Despond), and a jersey with "No Stoatz" scrawled across it in crayon, knew she was well-armoured for the Lycan assault. Arcenaux's shot was low and fast, but her fingers found it and, sprawling, she pushed it aside. 1-1, still.

4. Sister Shuriken of Loving Kindness was next. "Give them the righteous right foot of surprising mildness!" her team-mates chanted in unison. She did. It was surprisingly mild, and for all that, surprisingly effective. It popped past Eriksen (mildly) and into the net (seeming to offer polite apologies as it crossed the line). Dudgeon was up 2-1.

5. Three nuns woke up and began to chant "Kyrie Eliesion Gloria Papette" in a song purer than the purest ether as Ulrich came forward for what was almost a must-score. His shot was high - Sister Shuriken jumped, but guessed wrong. 2-2. The song turned to a dirge that made roughly 1,000 spectators weep, so sad were its melodies. The sound of a beloved pet, breathing its last. Sadder than sadness.

6. Sister Pepper Spray of Reasoned Discussion had been polishing her long wooden legs to a shine brighter than the winner of the Deep Resentment Spelling Bee of AD29. She now approached the ball silently, waiting for her own kick. Approaching the ball, she delivered her finest kick. Right into Eriksen's waiting arms. The score stayed at 2-2.

7. Olivia Quinn was perhaps just as silent for her own shot. It was a rocket. Sister Shuriken barely saw it. She did think she'd seen a glimmer of stoatish energy to one side, but it turned out to be a small tote bag labeled "Cenial Animal Protection Society. Please recycle." Lycans 3, Dudgeon 2. The nuns' dirge became sadder than the winner of the Dudgeon Sadness Contest back in AD 14, Brother Sad Sack of Weeping Openly on Trains.

8. Sister Main Gauche of Reasoned Discussion was hearing the voices again. "You must gather an army and serve the nation!" they seemed to say. "An army!" Sister Main Gauche was always hearing these voices. She often wondered what "England" was and why the voices seemed to dislike it so much, and why they seemed so keen that she find a dolphin and help him in any way possible. Dolphins were nice enough, but it still seemed odd. But for now, she shrugged the voices off, willing them silent. She ignored their polite suggestions that she go to Orleans and slaughter some English, and kicked the ball as hard as she could. It careened wildly and bounced off the post and into the goal. 3-3. Another choir of nuns arrived, muscled the previous choir out of the way, and began to sing Allelujah Papette on High in voices so pure that, somewhere in High Dudgeon, drinking glasses started to shatter.

9. The choir's singing left all the Dudgeon players and fans so rapt they had no idea who took the last Lycan shot. Some sort of were-goat, presumably. Sister Shuriken may have been the only one paying attention. She grabbed the ball and grinned a grin so wide that you could count her cavities. 3-3, and the door open for Dudgeon to advance if the next penalty was good.

10. Sister Epee of Sweatily Sharing a Cigarette Afterwards had not expected to be in this position. She was a benchwarmer. She had special warming implants in her shorts to keep the bench nice and warm, as a matter of fact. She had spent much of the tournament so far on the phone, pleading with the naming committee back home to rethink their decision. Sister Bloody Knuckles of Devout Hope had a nice ring to it, she begged. Or how about Sister Mace of Quietly Singing Along to the Tune? But the committee kept insisting she would have to fill in Form 563/7690/B, permission to apply for a reconsideration for reasons of personal distress, before they could even consider changing it to Sister Epee of How About a Nice Healthy Drink of Orange Juice Instead. So she had not expected to sub on until the mass fainting of the 77th minute, when two midfielders thought they had seen a stoat's back (it turned out to be a coat rack). Still, here she was. A chance to be named Heroine of the Nation (Class 5, Achievement in Sports or Spa Treatments, sub-class C, Footballing and Relaxing in a Hot Tub). Her shot was low and to the right. And her shot was good. The choir's voices reached a crescendo of the type that you might think could make airplanes fall from the sky. Dudgeon had won, 4-3 on penalties. Somewhere in the Forbidden Island of High Dudgeon, a little squeal of pleasure went up. The Papette was happy. She bit into her stoat sandwich and grinned a grin so wicked that it probably had been awarded an honorary degree in Wicked Studies from the University of Wickedness in Wicked Town.

The nuns celebrated briefly. They had survived the Great Stoat Challenge, and gone through to the semi-finals. They shook hands with the Lycans, who after all were lovely creatures and probably had nice soft fur, most of them, when the mood (or the moon?) struck them. Even Jaime seemed less frightening now, though a few of the sisters opted to bow and say "namaste" rather than actually shake hands with him. They filed back to the dressing room, to find out who the next opponent would be.

Oh dear, a rematch with the other strong team from Group D. That would be a major challenge. Couldn't it be a bunch of cleaning implements? Or maybe a cute shirtless Latin type and some of his buddies whose job seemed to be to feed the ball to him?

Faces fell. All but the face of Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism. "Fiscicia? Hmm. I rather enjoyed that match. It'll be fun to play them again."
Third place, Baptism of Fire. Still has a higher rank than second place. Apologies to any real-life nuns for any offence caused.

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Ficiscia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 666
Founded: Oct 01, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Ficiscia » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:59 pm

Well, I guess I should have been following the tournament a bit more. I guess the others were not that surprised when they learned what our quarterfinal opponents were, but come on. Would you have believed it if someone told you your opponents will be living broomsticks? I assumed an easy win when I saw them, but now, 45 minutes later, things looked different. The broomsticks were fast, really fast, but what was worse was the they didn't have legs. With humans, if you dribbled around them long enough, they'd lose balance or at least orientation, giving you an opening. But those broomsticks? They just kept dancing around you until you lost patience and tried to run past them - when they swept away the ball and countered. Netta was giving some of the world's most complicated tactical advice, but what we needed was not the old man's philosophy. I couldn't take this shit anymore. Everyone was looking to the ground lost in their thoughts. No, tactics wasn't the problem. It was probably rude to interrupt the coach like this, but I didn't care. I jumped off the bench.

"FUCK! Boys! We're not gonna lose to a fucking team of goddamn BROOMSTICKS! We got the tactics, but we need the POWER! You boys stand around and watch them, you run past them again and again! Yes they're fast! Yes they're brooms! I get it. But WE. ARE. THE. GODDAMN. NATIONAL. TEAM! The best of our nation! And we stand around like we have never played a tough game? And we discuss elaborate tactics? What's WRONG with you?" I kicked against the small ball I always brought with me to warm up, sending it into the wall a few centimetres next to the head of my striker colleague Nicos Rectus. Nicos looked at me consternated and snapped. "What are you doing, man?! SERGIUS! Don't you go killing me!" He came at me pushing me back onto the bench, but I was definitely not having that. Pushing Nicos back myself, I shook him awake. "Nicos, for fuck's sake! In the name of god you're a striker afraid of the ball or what? Listen to me, buddy, you'll go out there ready to RIP YOUR FUCKING LEG OUT for that ball and KILL for a goal if needed! OR you won't see a single ball from my side again, understood?"

Something changed. Netta just stared at me, blank and surprised that I dared to interrupt him like that. Nicos looked at me thinking, turned around with the ball in his hand and walked back to his place, suddenly dropping it and shooting it back to me. I caught it with the chest, let it drop onto my foot and passed back to him, this time sharp but aimed for his foot. He caught the pass and banged the ball against the door. Suddenly the team was alive again. I grabbed Decimius's face mask laying next to me and threw it into my friend and captain's hands. "I didn't get a suspension for that. You didn't get your nose broken for that. Petrus and Mic didn't get a red card against Yosmar to lose like that. Lead us onto that pitch, buddy". He looked back, laying his arms over my shoulder and that of Roskis next to him. Quickly, everybody joined into a circle. Decimius never bothered with the words, he just counted down and roared. "SEMPER FICISCIA!", it sounded through our locker loud enough to turn a broomstick into sawdust.

We ran out, getting lined up for the next half. And we started it good and quick. But their goalkeeper, going by the name of King Super Fast (now if that's not self confidence...) somehow got everything, no idea how this man, sorry, broom, did it. Apparently he truly was fast. What could also be said about his defenders, but let's say we got some fast attackers too. I might have been missing Petrus Rex's fast and accurate crossings, but what was still there was Decimius's eyes and feet. One lob over the brooms into the path of Valerius Alexandros, a quick pass back to Nicos, who had been lurking at the border of the area while I was drawing two defenders out of the game by running towards the goal. Nicos shot right up into the corner, hitting the inside of the post and from there right into the net.

From now on, the game was ours and no way back for Firebolt. The remaining 35 minutes were ours, and the Broomsticks, despite not getting tired, couldn't really keep up with the newly motivated Lynx. It took only a bit longer until I sent Alexandrios down the line again, he crossed it in onto my head - and King Thinking Highly of Himself caught it somehow, the rebound flying back to Decimius who shot - and scored! Two to nothing for us, with only a bit over 20 minutes to go. I finally felt the fire in the team again that carried us so far. And you can be sure that I felt it burning even more when I saw the team we'd face in the semifinal. Oh no, I had not forgotten the kick from Brother With the Ridiculous Name And The Bad Acting Talent that made me play against Firebolt with a taped ankle. Watch out, Dudgeon. You shall remember the name of Sergius Vero.

Firebolt 0-2 FICISCIA (0-0)

SCORERS: 56' Rectos 0-1 (Alexandros); 71' Hector 0-2 (Vero)
FIREBOLT: King Super Fast - BackFooty DA9 - Shooter BS6, Shooter JS4, Shooter PZ3, Shooter MS4, Shooter LA8, Shooter PS7, Shooter XB3, Shooter KO1, Shooter TH9
FICISCIA: Balbus - Roskis, Hephastius, Nuntius, Heros - Norrman - Alexandros (74' Iacobi), Hector (83' Nartas), Tensor - Rectos (67' Parca), Vero
YELLOW CARD: 32' Heros, 76' Norrman (all Foul)
REMARKS: Ficiscia without Agricola, Rex (Suspended). 31' Tensor hits crossbar.
BASIC KNOWLEDGE
IC: 89 mio. inhabitants, parliamentary democracy in 2016, minority government of communists, greens and democratic socialists - Constitution
OOC: 20 years old, male, Swiss, student. In favour of (actual) democratic socialism, leftist revolutions where necessary, pan-leftism and European Unity. Not too fond of unnecessarily making things social justice issues. Also in favour of loud guitars, reggae and ice hockey. Feel free to TG me if you wanna know more!
SPORTS ACHIEVEMENTS
Summer Olympics X: 5-4-4 / Winter Olympics XI: 9-8-6 - BoF 61 Silver Medal - WJHC 10/11 Bronze Medal - WC75 group stage participant

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Uzekia
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Ex-Nation

Postby Uzekia » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:34 pm

Image

THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE FINAL RESULT


Uzekians! Amazonestians! Peoples of the World! There can only be one result during life. And that is to achieve what Yzy has destined for us. No one can escape their path, they can only walk along it and prepare for either eternal glory if they are Uzekian, or damnation should they attempt to deny Yzy his wish.

The Baptism of Fire is no different. Some infidels may claim Yzy has no interest in such matters and as such, Uzekian dominance is not a must. Such infidels shall burn in the fires of hell, if Uzekia does not get to them first! The barbarians of Ethane did their best to deny destiny. Trueman Kemp fired them to defeat late on in the game before downing a pint in honour of Yzy's eternal glory! This is how true Uzekians behave! They honour their God and do their duty! Defeating infidels is part for what makes Uzekia great! Killing these infidels after torturing them into madness would be most satisfying, however Yzy's wish for the football pitch is that Uzekia destroys them by playing beyond their capabilities and humiliating them into a disgraceful defeat!

So put your true God first believers! Put Uzekia first! Amazonsta! Bow down to the one true God and he shall lead you to happiness. Attempt to fight and you shall be met with the full might of Yzy! You cannot win so do not even try! The trophy of the Baptism of Fire might as well already be engraved with Uzekia's name and given to them! For we are Uzekia, we are Yzy's chosen race! We shall continue to rise and lead the dark world of today into the light of eternal glory!


PREPARING FOR LIBERATION: EXECUTING THE INFIDELS


It's a sad fact of life that infidels and Kernansquillecans are everywhere you go. No matter how hard we try, these vermin get away and multiply. Why? Because these infidels are able to seek refuge in certain Godless regions of the world. Some day, we will have to bring Yzy's justice to these moraless lands, but first we must deal with the infidels living amongst us. Here's a beginners guide to dealing Yzy's justice to those who dare speak or do anything against him or the holy country of Uzekia.

1. LOCATE THE PARASITE
Many tactics may be used to find him/her/them. Torture, espionnage, racial profiling, identity checks, witch hunts... Feel free to use your imagination. One of the newest Uzekian tactics involves interrogating children of potential suspects as it's well know that the truth comes from the mouths of children. Never has this been more true than when those children are waterboarded.

2. TORTURE IT
Often vermin live in groups and interrogation can help lead to others. Obtaining information is not just useful however, it can also be fun. Indeed it's quite possible to make torturing a celebration of Yzy. A basic form of sport has even began to develop in some northern regions. And even if there is no reason to suspect that torture will not be effective (say in the case of defacto infidels, such as handicapped individuals, or Kernansquillecan infants), torture is by far the most effective way of preparing them for their eternal damnation. As the common saying goes "what difference does a little bit of torture make when eternal pain awaits these rats".

3. EXTERMINATE
Seems simple enough. But it isn't. A strict procedure must be followed in order to satisfy Yzy and if broken, the person responsable must be treated as an infidel himself. Even if Yzy is capable of sending all individuals to hell no matter their manner of death or execution, he much prefers it when they arrive in a certain manner, sort of how you like receiving your presents wrapped on Yzymas. This is why it is important to make sure that torture is, long yes, but before all, safe. Deaths during torture procedures, as a direct result of a torture act (so suicides and weakness don't count thankfully) must be avoided at all costs. Drawn out, yes, but they must remain safe for the torturee. Execution must take place in a public square. The executed (multiple may be conducted at the same time) must be blindfolded, stripped naked, have a hand amputated before being pushed onto a bed of 100 1 meter long spikes. Multiple pushing may take place for important executions. Those who survive are to be removed and beheaded so that Yzy can recognize those who fought against his will for as long as possible. One the execution is complete all bodies are to be burnt.
Last edited by Uzekia on Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Glory to the Empire! Death to Kernansquillec!

Kernansquillec's violent and mentally troubled puppet nation

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Red Blackiland
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Postby Red Blackiland » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:34 pm

Image


Cutoff for the Red Blackilandian Semi-Final!Who will advance to the final and who'll fall into the 3rd place?
To be edited later with the second team of the 3rd place decision that will be decided from the other semifinal in Ceni.


Semi Finals (Red Blackilandian Semifinal)

Match
Image Amazonesta 3-3 (1-0 AET) Uzekia Image
Stadium - Red Glorious Stadium (Amazonesta in the final and will face Ficiscia or Dudgeon)



3rd Place Decision

Match
Image Uzekia vs. Dudgeon Image
Stadium - Meskitáh Central Stadion



Last edited by Red Blackiland on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Hosted/Co-Hosted : Cup of Harmony 66 and 67|Baptism of Fire 61|Handball World Cup 14,Handball World Cup 15|Miller Cup I|Meski Cup I

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Ceni
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Ceni » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:26 pm

Image
This is your semifinal cutoff!

Image Ficiscia 4–3 Dudgeon Image

Final Match
Image Ficiscia vs Amazonesta Image


Third Place Match
Image Dudgeon vs Uzekia Image
Last edited by Ceni on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Amazonesta
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Postby Amazonesta » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:19 am

The Amazononian Observer

Hector Pacheco scores the winner in extra time to send Amazonesta to the Final of the Baptism of Fire

Image
Amazonesta celebrates Hector Pacheco's 118th minute goal

REDINXSON- While going in nobody expected it, many saw this game as the best game of the tournament. It was free-flowing and attacking, and a combined 7 goals were scored throughout the game. The game was a back & forth heavyweight classic, with both Uzekia and Amazonesta coming from behind to take leads. Amazonesta was the last one to do so, of course, in the 118th minute when center back Hector Pacheco scored the goal that would be guaranteed to send Amazonesta all the way to the final of the 61st Baptism of Fire. It was an absolute thriller, and it was clear that both teams had left it all on the field in their quest to make the trip to Cenial Halycon National Stadium for the final, and for the chance to lift that beautiful trophy. This semifinal has quite a story, and it was another heart-stopping moment in the final moments of the match that would be the difference for Amazonesta.

The game started quite well for Amazonesta. From the opening whistle, they were, as usual, on the attack. Amazonesta, if they know anything, they know how to attack the goal, and they were doing that from the get-go. They clearly wanted to do whatever was required of them to get to the final, and they were not timid, and with about 60% of the crowd wearing Amazonestan yellow, they wanted to please those wearing yellow. Of course, the game would be played through the team's stars, and they were rewarded early for their aggressiveness. A Blanco Rivero cross in the 13th minute found the head of Omar Falcone(because, let's be honest, who else?) and Falcone smashed it home to make the score 1-0, and bring on a loud roar from the fans in yellow.

If Amazonesta thought they could rattle Uzekia after that goal, they could not. From that point forward, Uzekia dominated the remainder of the half. Amazonesta's offensive players, especially Rosalez & Falcone, were frustrated by Uzekian defenders, and they could not move the ball forward. They were being stifled on offense and forced on their back heels to defend, which is not a position that this team is comfortable in. Uzekia had used the Amazonesta goal to regroup, and put their stamp on the game. The game was no longer being played at Amazonesta's high speed, high creativity pace. They were playing a match in favor of Uzekia, and it was only a matter of time until Uzekia was on the scoreboard.

That time came in the 33rd minute. Uzekian forward Aaron Rowntree simply outran the back line of Amazonesta, got a breakaway and slotted the ball easily past Amazonesta goalkeeper Damian Gallegos to tie the game at one. Even though it looked as if there was more Amazonesta fans, the Uzekian fans present were vocal. They were every bit as loud as the Amazonesta fans when Amazonesta had scored its opening goal, and things were not looking good for Amazonesta. Uzekia was going to keep pushing, because they did not just want to draw level- they came here to win as well. In the 37th, just 4 minutes later, a poor clearance gave the ball to Uzekian captain Xavier Crewe. Crewe took the ball and passed it down the field to Rowntree, who crossed the ball to Lachlan Ward, who headed the ball into the back of the net. All of a sudden, the score was 2-1 to the Uzekians, whose fans were screaming and jumping all over the place. The teams went into halftime with Uzekia up 2-1, and having the momentum on their side. Rowntree had hit the post in the dying moments of the 1st half, so in reality the score should have been 3-1, even though it was only 2-1 at the break.

After halftime, the game slowly but surely turned to the tide of Amazonesta. While the half started slowly, they slowly gained confidence in their abilities and in the game to go their way. The first 10-15 minutes of the half was slow from both sides, with lots of midfield play, but manager Orlando Juarez knew that he needed a goal. He substituted Marcos Fonseca into the game for Federico Paiz in the game's 57th minute, and the veteran played some inspired soccer for his country. Similar to his entrance into a close game against Arioslavia, his entrance into this game inspired the team to play better.

In the 63rd minute, the team was rewarded for their manager's aggressiveness. Blanco Rivero brought the ball up the wing, and sent in a beautiful cross that went over the heads of the defenders, who were playing a weak offside trap. The trap was mistimed and therefore broken by Marcos Fonseca, and then he volleyed the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at 2 goals a piece. The yellow side of the stadium went up in a roar, and all of a sudden, the semifinal was 2-2 with 27 minutes left to go in normal time.

Amazonesta's thoughts were not about preparing for extra time. They wanted to win the game in normal time. They continued to push forward, and once again, they were rewarded. In the 73rd minute, Leonardo Rosalez was leading a 3 on 3 counter-attack after a Uzekian cornerkick. Playing with pace, he was able to thread the needle on a thorough ball to Falcone, who crossed the ball to Fonseca. He laid it back for Rosalez, who rifled a shot home for his team's 1st goal and their 1st lead since early in the 1st half. He ran to the corner, and many Amazonestans thought that his goal had put his team into the final.

Uzekia, however, had other ideas. Amazonesta is not exactly known for its defensive skills, and that was evident in the last 20 minutes of the game. They were on their heels, and Uzekia kept pushing forward. It was evident that Uzekia was good enough to score, it was only a matter of if there was enough time on the clock for them to get a goal. There was, because in the 88th minute of the game, Jaron Taylor, the team's only lefty, rifled home a shot with his left foot and scored a stunner to tie the game at 3. It was only fitting that a game this tight, with this many swings, could not be decided in merely 90 minutes.

The teams could not pull apart until the 2nd half of extra time. Both teams were tiring, but Amazonesta was able to put on, and maintain, some pressure. It was clear that Orlando Juarez did not want to go to penalties, and he was selling all out for a goal here. On a corner kick, he brought 8 players into the box, leaving only two defenders to defend against a counter-attack. The aggressive strategy paid off, as Hector Pacheco headed the ball into the side netting for the game winning goal in the 118th minute, and Amazonesta could finally celebrate clinching a birth in the Final of the Baptism of Fire.

After the game, there were celebrations by Amazonestans everywhere, even within Redinxson. Orlando Juarez congratulated Uzekia after the match, saying that the two teams were evenly matched. He then congratulated his own team, saying that they had dug deep in this battle of wills for the victory. He said that they showed the ability to bounce back after a setback, by coming back after trailing at halftime, and then bouncing back again in extra time even though it was such a late goal that tied the game. He said his team had grit, and that he would ask them to leave everything on the field for one last time in this tournament.

Amazonesta prepared for their flight, as their final would be played in Cenial, the capitol city of Ceni, who were the tournament co-hosts alongside Red Blackiland.
Sporting Achievements: Champions of the 61st Baptism of Fire
10 Downing Street RP: Owen Hamilton- MP for Edinburgh East; MSP for Edinburgh Eastern; Leader of the SNP; First Minister of Scotland

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Red Blackiland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Red Blackiland » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:32 pm

Image


Cutoff for the 3rd Place Decision.


3rd Place Decision

The Match
Image Uzekia 1-2 Dudgeon Image
Stadium - Meskitáh Central Stadion



Last edited by Red Blackiland on Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dudgeon
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Postby Dudgeon » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:27 pm

Game review: Baptizm of Fire
On PS 75.2, Wiiiii, and , iPhone 8,583,002/subsystem 5 "Greater Crested Grebe," and Randroid

The new video game offering from the Sisters of Mad Love and Gutpunches is a thinly veiled attempt to cash in on the success of Dudgeon's foray into global footballing. The name of the Baptism of Fire tourney in Ceni has been changed just enough to make it, probably, not worth the time for anyone to sue the Sisters. It takes hours of tedious hymnal completion to get to a decent fight level.

Even the boss combats, which you can reach after singing Gloria Papettam, are thinly disguised versions of Dudgeon's matches. Lert's check out some screen captures.

Image
Dudgeon v "Unified Lyvan Territories." Sound track features high-pitched wails. Not sure of this was meant to be Dudgeon-dwellers singing or animals in pain transforming into human form.

Image
Dudgeon misfires against "Fiscalia" featuring an appearance by "Lurchius Vero" to pirated music from Nancy's Sinatra's rare single Vero Amore. The designer web site credits this song to "Blancy Sinister." Colour this reviewer unimpressed.

Image
Dudgeon v "Bazookia," complete with skeletons issuing condemnations of all who depart from the true faith of Skeletonism.

This reviewer awards the game 0.864 and a half stars and urges the game manufacturer to formally apologize to the excellent co-hosts of the BoF tournament.
Third place, Baptism of Fire. Still has a higher rank than second place. Apologies to any real-life nuns for any offence caused.

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Amazonesta
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Founded: Dec 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Amazonesta » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:43 am

The Amazononian Observer

Manager Orlando Juarez prepares his team for the Final of the 61st Baptism of Fire

Image
Manager Orlando Juarez speaks to reporters for the Baptism of Fire Final Media Day

CENIAL- The team arrived in Cenial the day after their hard-fought semifinal victory over Uzekia. That game was filled with twists & turns and plots & subplots, which featured Amazonesta getting an early lead, Uzekia coming back to take the lead at half, Amazonesta taking the lead back in the second half, Uzekia tying the game with only a few moments left in normal time, and then Amazonesta winning the thrilling matchup deep into extra time. It was a thrilling matchup, but both physically and emotionally, it was easily the most draining matchup that this team had ever had. It was a game worthy of a final, and yet, it was only the semifinal. They had to keep going, and Orlando Juarez had to do whatever it took to make sure that his team would be ready for the final.

This is when he was thankful for their week long layover until the final. The flight to Ceni was long, but they had arrived there in good time. Waiting from Sunday to Sunday felt like forever for fans, but Orlando Juarez knew that he needed every single moment to prepare for this final. On Monday, after they arrived in Cenial, they saw a sleep therapist, whose appearance had been arranged & paid for by the AAF(Amazonestan Asociación de Fútbol). They all slept extremely well that day and that night, and were extremely well rested for Tuesday.

On Tuesday, of course, they got back onto the field and began training for the Final on Sunday. The lineup would stay the same, as usual, but everybody was playing hard at practice. There was a scare when their captain, Posada, hit the ground after a header, but he was able to get up and will play in the final. Everybody on the team was excited for this match- they were getting all kinds of press coverage back at home, and they all wanted to bring a trophy to the nation. Jorge Gonzalez, the Executive President of the People's Republic, as well as the General-Secretary of the Workers Party of Amazonesta, was going to attend the match, which meant there would be large amounts of pressure on them to win. But they welcomed it.

We here at the Observer sat down with Orlando Juarez to try and understand his thoughts before the biggest match of his life came up, the Baptism of Fire Final. We have a few excerpts here in the print version of this great newspaper.

Observer: Thanks for taking the time to sit with us Señor Juarez. Now, I have a few questions for you regarding this tournament run. Going into this tournament, what did you expect? Were you expecting to be in this position, playing in the Final with a chance to win the entire thing?

Orlando Juarez: To be completely honest, I had no idea what to expect. I think this is why fans from all over, including those from countries who have exhausted their eligibility to play in this tournament, love watching this. You can only play in it once, and you only have one chance to take home this trophy. That's why you gotta leave everything on the field, because it is guaranteed that you won't be back here. Was I confident in my own team? Yes, I definitely was. But was I expecting us to get to the Final? To be honest, I have no idea. I don't think I had any expectations on how far we could get- we just kept our eyes on the goal of playing as well as we possibly could, and then once we realized we had a chance, we put laser on focus onto getting to this point of the tournament.

Observer: Why do you think people love this tournament? Not just Amazonestans or any other nation that is doing well. Why do you think locals, who have no skin in the game, and fútbol fans across the world love this tournament?

Orlando Juarez: The setup of the Baptism of Fire is unique, and it is a very great tournament. The idea of putting in 32 nations, none of which have played on the international stage before, and pitting them against each other before their very first World Cup Qualifiers is extremely exciting. Because we are all brand new, it is extremely difficult to prepare for the unique abilities of your opponents, and this is especially true in the group stage, where you haven't seen enough film to see any consistencies from your opponents. Every team must play their own game, their own way, and any adjustments are made on the fly. That is very exciting fútbol for fans to watch, and it makes the tournament really a battle of wills and skill on the field.

Observer: OK. Well, now you have had a chance to see 6 games worth of film on our opponents in the Final, Ficiscia. What do you think of their team? What have you seen so far in their abilities?

Orlando Juarez: They are clearly capable of putting up plenty of goals on the board. In their very first game of this tournament, they won 5-0. In that game, they showed a great ability to put pressure on the goal, and most importantly, to finish in front of goal. You don't score that often without an ability to finish, and they have that killer instinct in front of the goal. Outside of that, they remind me a lot of this Amazonesta team. Both of us like to play through our wings, and they like to play the game extremely fast, just like we do. They play the game with a lot of passion, just as we do, and it is probably fitting that we play a team like this in the final.

Observer: What kind of match do you expect to see? And what kind of result to you expect to see?

Orlando Juarez: You really want me to give them billboard material? Not a chance. *Laughs*. In reality though, I expect to see a fast-paced game. Both teams like to put pressure on the goal, and I expect it to be a very exciting final. If both teams can stay true to themselves, and not shrink under the pressure & bright lights of a cup final, then we should see a very exciting matchup. Probably plenty of goals, but if not, both teams will have their fair share of chances. It will be about skilled defending in the back, where we must limit their chances, and make the chances they do get low percentage. On the offensive side, it is about making sure we get good chances, and that we convert them.

Read the rest of the interview online at Amazonianobserver.co.az
Sporting Achievements: Champions of the 61st Baptism of Fire
10 Downing Street RP: Owen Hamilton- MP for Edinburgh East; MSP for Edinburgh Eastern; Leader of the SNP; First Minister of Scotland

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Ficiscia
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Founded: Oct 01, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Ficiscia » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:20 pm

FNSN.fc Football - Looking Back and Forward

Hours are left until Ficiscia makes it first appearance in an international team sports final. After two semifinal losses in the Olympic football tournament and the World Junior Hockey Championships X, this is a moment every Ficiscian sports fan has waited for, and it will happen tonight, 21:30 Ficiscian Time, in the Cenial Halcyon National Stadium against the team of Amazonesta. Unlike us, Amazonesta has not lost a single game so far, but had to go through overtimes in the KO round, last in the semi final against Uzekia. The Ficiscians not only have the advantage of having a bit less energy used in their spectacular 4-3 over Dudgeon but also having played their games in Ceni, including the semifinal at the Halcyon National Stadium, while Amazonesta played in Red Blackiland and was flying over to Ceni yesterday. On the pitch, we expect a spectacular fast and offensive game, based on what the teams delivered earlier on. We look back at both teams and forward at the final match in our great Amazonesta vs. Ficiscia comparison!

GROUP STAGE

Amazonesta showed in the group stage that they are good at dealing with defenses, as they beat Owner-osity with its very defensive style with a 0-2 and Arioslavia with a 0-1. Despite their very creative and offensive game, they managed to avoid conceding goals for the entire group stage despite facing Arioslavia, Owner-osity and HUElavia in a group that some called the death group of the 61st Baptism of Fire. Those were, however, Owner-osity's media claiming they win the tournament, so maybe we shouldn't really believe that. Nevertheless, the results of Amazonesta are truly impressive and their flawless defensive record shows us there's a lot more to the team than their spectacular offense. Ficiscia, on the other hand, could not show such a flawless group stage. The Ferocious Lynx were truly ferocious in their first game, shooting Silvacometopia out of the stadium with a 0-5 victory, but seemed to struggle a bit later on when they faced Swestan. A 2-1 victory and a much disputed 0-2 defeat against the nuns and a single brother, source of the dispute, of Dudgeon took us to the KO round, but as we only finished second, this point will have to go to the Amazonestans.

1-0 Amazonesta

KO STAGE

Our first KO game would probably go down in history for multiple reasons. One, it might have been the most confusing game of all times, with the two teams sharing the same flag and therefore, things were rather weird when looking into the audience. Second, the game had to be called off for almost two hours after a punch to the face of Decimius Hector, the Ficiscian captain, and a mass brawl following. Hector had his nose broken from the initial punch and had to play with a mask the next day, while angry Ficiscian protestors burned their own flag at home to make a point against Yosmar. Not less weird was the quarterfinal against Firebolt who were fielding a team of literal broomsticks, but all the weirdness couldn't stop us from winning both games with 0-2. Amazonesta, on the other side, could beat Raltharan with 0-3 and won the rematch against Arioslavia 2-1. Again, they seemed much more agile and somewhat better than the Ficiscians in the way into the semifinals, but also had to concede a goal to Arioslavia while Ficiscia, apart from a bad first half against Firebolt, never seemed in danger. In the semifinals, both looked forward to a hard game: Dudgeon for Ficiscia, Uzekia for our final opponents. Amazonesta once again showed brilliant offensive power, but also seemed vulnerable, conceding three goals and going into overtime. As, however, the same could be said about Ficiscia, we truly can't decide for a KO round winner and issue a half-point to both.

1.5-0.5 Amazonesta

GOALKEEPER

Despite the holey defense in front of him, Amazonesta's goalkeeper Damian Gallegos conceded only four goals in the whole tournament while his opposite Petreios Balbus had to fish the ball out of the net six times. However, Balbus has faced a few more shots and generally seems to be better at knowing what to do once he has the ball, so it is very difficult to decide on a winner here. With Aleixos Carus, Ficiscia has a Olympic bronze medalist on the backup position, which seems like a possible advantage - Gallegos needs to stay healthy if Amazonesta wants to have a chance in goal. As it doesn't seem like Gallegos would be unable to play the whole final, we won't focus on this though. In a penalty shootout, we'd see slight advantages with Ficiscia, as Balbus has been proving his penalty skills in the Ficiscian league where he earned himself a reputation as penalty killer. So, while the first look makes you think Damian Gallegos has a slight advantage here, the small things speak in favour of the Ficiscians and I have to split points once again.

2-1 Amazonesta

DEFENSE

The defensive power of Amazonesta mainly comes from Damian Gallegos, with the defense the only part of this team that truly saw flaws, while the Ficiscians only could really be troubled by Dudgeon. The Lynx showed a great play together with a very effective offside trap that was helpful especially against lone striker teams, which means Omar Falcone should truly watch out for his opponent's movements. On the other side, Vero and Rectus will be facing also four defenders, with the Amazonestan two centre backs being the oldest part of the team and arguably a little too slow to manage the fast, tall Rectus and the sly Sergius Vero. On the sides, especially Pavel Roskis shined not only with fast tackles and game intelligence but also with good overview and a speed that made him an important factor in the Ficiscian counter attacks that will be their main weapon against Amazonesta. Despite the Amazonestan defense conceding more goals, I have to award this point to the Ferocious Lynx.

2-2 draw

MIDFIELD

Now this is where the Ficiscians truly shine. Our team features captain Decimius Hector, one of the biggest stars of the Olympic bronze team, and Andri Norrman in the defensive midfield, Valerius Alexandros and the returning Petrus Rex whose laser crosses should put Amazonesta into trouble if they make it through their defense. The Amazonestan midfield mainly seems to be there to feed balls to Omar Falcone in the offense, and while they do that pretty well, the question is whether it will work out or this strategy puts too much pressure on the lone striker of the team. Ficiscia's midfield proved to be much more diverse, with Andri Norrman being a superb playmaker in the second row of the team while Decimius Hector serves as the brain of the team as well as a strong free kicker. The sides of the team, Rex and Alexandrios, are the main road for the ball to go forward. Amazonesta likes to use its sides too and it's wingers, Paiz and Rivero, are very much up to that task. However, their central midfield seems to lag a little behind the powerful axis the Ficiscian central midfield it, giving a slight advantage to the Lynx.

3-2 Ficiscia

OFFENSE

This is where this game will be decided with two teams as offensive as the Ficiscians and the Amazonestans. Omar Falcone is the striker to beat in this tournament, and the Amazonestan star is very strong and appears to be in the form of his life, shooting goal after goal, but how will he do when matched against the duo of Nicos Rectus and Sergios Vero? The two are another of the tournament's strongest striker duos, with Rectus being a number one target for crosses, given his height of 1.94 metres, and Sergius Vero probably being one of the shiniest figures of the tournament. The nation's number 13 definitely means bad luck for the opponents. How will his tricks and physical play work against the Amazonestan defense and against the scoring power of Omar Falcone? The final matches the two most spectacular offenses of the tournament, and the whole hopes of Amazonesta lay on the shoulders of Omar Falcone. Yet I believe that Omar can handle the pressure the way he could until now, and the star of the 61st Baptism of Fire brings Amazonesta the next point.

3-3 draw

OTHER FACTORS

The last factor of our comparison starts with the ones we haven't talked about yet - the coaches. Ficiscia is equipped with a tactical genius and a national legend, the "Old Man" Sergius Netta, and current national champion Porcius Miscimana. But the Amazonestan squad gets coached by Orlando Juarez who proved to be more than a match for Netta throughout the tournament. The connections to Banija, where some of the Amazonestan stars play in their daily life, certainly help the team. Ficiscia, on the other hand, did not know any competition apart from the national league and the Olympic Games, yet they quickly adapted to the international level. However, it is often said about Netta that he has a little bit of trouble motivating his team when they are in trouble. Amazonesta, on the other hand, showed an incredible fire that carried them through their games when needed and it will be very important to avoid them playing themselves into a rush.

Another factor that already got mentioned and plays in favour of Ficiscia is the location of the game, a stadium well known for the team while the Amazonestans just entered the country and played all their former games in Red Blackiland. This means most likely a little bit more power and a easier preparation for Ficiscia, while the Amazonestans will have a night of travel and a longer semifinal games in their bones. Also, most of the fans that attended games of the Lynx previously will have stayed close to the stadium given that there was no location change while our opponent's fans must have made the expensive journey over to Cenial to attend the game tonight. Small factors in favour of Ficiscia that might change the balance in favour of the Ferocious Lynx?

3-2 FICISCIA

OUR PREDICTIONS:

Linicius Nero, FNSN.fc Football editor: Amazonesta 3-2 Ficiscia AET - "I believe that the Amazonestans can win this game with their incredible passion. If they score and get into a rush, there isn't really a way of stopping them as Uzekia had to learn in the semifinals, and I can't see our defense keep them away for so long."
Jessika Liskovas, Ficiscia Women National Team: Amazonesta 1-3 Ficiscia - "I have played with some of the boys in Electrum at the Olympics, and players like Decimius Hector can push a team incredibly far. The creativity in this team is incredible, and I think that we can take our first title tonight. They haven't failed when an Olympic medal was at stake, and I don't think they do so now."
Neptunius Civius, FNSN.fc Football expert and two-times Ficiscian Champion: Amazonesta 2-2 Ficiscia (2-4 Shootout) - "Those offensive teams will lock horns and attack, but I can't really see one taking the lead here. I have seen them play and they play extremely similar, making it easy to defend against each other as they know the ways of the other teams. But Balbus is a penalty killer, and that's why we will win our first title in a penalty shootout."
BASIC KNOWLEDGE
IC: 89 mio. inhabitants, parliamentary democracy in 2016, minority government of communists, greens and democratic socialists - Constitution
OOC: 20 years old, male, Swiss, student. In favour of (actual) democratic socialism, leftist revolutions where necessary, pan-leftism and European Unity. Not too fond of unnecessarily making things social justice issues. Also in favour of loud guitars, reggae and ice hockey. Feel free to TG me if you wanna know more!
SPORTS ACHIEVEMENTS
Summer Olympics X: 5-4-4 / Winter Olympics XI: 9-8-6 - BoF 61 Silver Medal - WJHC 10/11 Bronze Medal - WC75 group stage participant

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Ceni
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Posts: 3959
Founded: Jun 26, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Ceni » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:15 pm

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Who will be your winner? Find out quite soon after this quite belated cutoff.

Image Ficiscia 4–4 (4–5 AET) Amazonesta Image

Congratulations to the winner, and commiserations to the loser. I'm glad that I was able to read and enjoy all of your RPs, and good luck in the World Cup!
Last edited by Ceni on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Amazonesta
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Posts: 172
Founded: Dec 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Amazonesta » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:55 pm

The Amazononian Observer

Jubilee across Amazonesta as the team takes home the trophy in thrilling fashion

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The players toss Orlando Juarez up into the air in celebration of winning the 61st Baptism of Fire

CENIAL- While both semifinals were both worthy of being a cup final, this game could not be matched. It was crisp, well-played, and there were goals galore. While many teams shrink when the bright lights come on in a tournament final, both teams stepped up their game and gave it their all. There was goals from everywhere on the field, with a total of 9 goals being scored in the game between the two sides. Both teams went on the attack early & often, and both teams were rewarded for their willingness to go forward. This was the typical Amazonestan game in this tournament- it was a game of runs & streaks, where Amazonesta had the final momentum swing. It was a game that will be remembered for a long time by those who watched, but especially for those in Amazonesta, who watched their team win in such thrilling fashion.

The first half, once again, featured a fast start from Amazonesta. That was clearly one of their strengths in this tournament- the ability to hit the ground running from the very first whistle, and put their opponents on their heels. Maybe early pressure, or an early goal, could rattle their opponents, while the ability to play from in front, rather than from behind, allows you to dictate the game. They were able to open the scoring of the Baptism of Fire Final. In the 13th minute, Amazonesta had a corner kick, that was taken by Federico Paiz. The ball skipped across all the way to the other end of the box, bouncing to the feet of Blanco Rivero. He smashed the volley home, and just like that, had his first goal of the tournament. He had also, much more importantly, given Amazonesta had taken a 1-0 lead.

Just 4 minutes later, Amazonesta was able to build on that momentum and double their lead. With this side, the phrase "when it rains, it pours" truly applies to their play on the field. They can score goals in bunches, and they can definitely allow goals in bunches, and this was only their second goal within 4 minutes. Blanco Rivero hit a cross that was handled poorly by Ficiscian keeper Petreios Balbus, and midfielder Bernardo Nuno smashed the ball from the 18. Just 17 minutes into the game, the party was starting for Amazonesta. Nuno had also scored his first goal of the tournament, and they were getting contributions from all over the place. It seemed as if the route was on.

Unfortunately for Amazonesta, it was far too early to get their party on. Even the phrase, the route was on, would soon be turned onto its ugly head. In the 33rd minute, the momentum of the game swung sharply back towards Ficiscia. As the teams were playing aggressively in the midfield, then a hard slide tackle from Amazonestan captain Videl Posada on Ficiscian striker Sergius Vero saw the opposing striker go down for a moment. Both teams huddled around the player, and there were a few shoves. While fears of another fight breaking out in this tournament did not happen, the Ficiscian team was angry after that play, which they viewed as dirty when Posada only got a yellow card, and even we admit he was lucky not to get a red.

The Ficiscian team now had a fire that they did not have before. Posada may have stoked the flame, but he stoked the flame in his opponents. Decimius Hector, the opposing captain, was not going to sit back and watch his team get walloped in the final. At the end of the half, in the 43rd minute, Hector had a free kick from 28 yards out. A very tough distance to score from. However, he bent the ball, and Gallegos did not have a chance at making the save. Just like that, the lead was cut in half, and they went into halftime in a half that, frankly, Amazonesta dominated, only down by a goal.

Ficiscia came roaring out of the gate in the 2nd half. Sergius Vero, the man at the center of the action in the first half, scored in the opening minute of the 2nd half to tie the game at 2, and now it was the Ficiscian fans, rather than the Amazonestan fans who were celebrating. Valerius Alexandros scored goals in the 49th and 57th minute to make the game 4-2, and Amazonestan fans were sitting there, shell-shocked. Just a few minutes before, Amazonesta was up 2-0 and rolling in this final. Now, the defense had all of a sudden turned into swiss cheese, and they were down 4-2. Their championship hopes were running from their eyes.

The game's next turning point happened in the 63rd minute. Sergius Vero was taken down in the box, and the striker, clearly playing through some sort of injury, stepped up to take the penalty. Some wondered if Ficiscian manager should've changed the game plan considering Vero wasn't near 100%, but Vero stepped up to take the penalty anyways. The effort could've used a little bit more power, but a brilliant save from Gallegos kept Amazonesta in the game. All of a sudden, the team had new life. The team started to believe after the Gallegos penalty save kept them in the game.

In the 72nd minute, the comeback began, with Leonardo Rosalez finding the back of the net with his head to make the lead 4-3 to Fisiscia. And then, at that point, the mad scramble for that next goal began. Amazonesta had come here to win that trophy, and they were doing everything & anything in their power to try and score the game-tying goal. Players were playing forward, and Ficiscia was being forced to play some serious defense. They put the pressure on their opponents, and could not score. Some close saves, some deflections, and some missed shots, including a Blanco Rivero shot that hit the crossbar in the 83rd.

For Amazonesta, that moment came in the 88th minute. Omar Falcone, who has scored in every single game this tournament and had been unusually quiet all game, finally stepped up with all the pressure on him. At that point in time, Amazonesta had another corner kick, and this one was being taken by Marcos Fonseca, who had been substituted into the game earlier on for Federico Paiz. The whole team was up there in the area, except for Urbano Simon and goalkeeper Damian Gallegos, who was at about midfield. The cross came, and the header was flicked on across the face of goal by Leonardo Rosalez. Omar Falcone, in the perfect position on the back post, drilled the header into the back of the net. Their keeper didn't have a chance, and then the game was tied at 4.

Amazonesta had the momentum going into extra time, and it looked as if the wind was taken out of Ficiscia's sails after blowing their 2 goal lead, which they had worked so hard to reach after falling behind 2-0 early in the 1st half. It seemed as if Ficiscia was tired chasing around Amazonesta's players for the majority of the 2nd half, and it showed, since Amazonesta was running rings around that team in extra time. Omar Falcone scored the game's winning goal in the 112th, scoring from only 6 yards to give Amazonesta that winning goal.

After the game finished, Amazonestans celebrated wildly both back at home and those who were in Cenial, as well as those who had remained in Red Blackiland for the Final. They had pulled off an amazing feat- go into a major tournament and win the whole thing. Not only that, but they had come into the Baptism of Fire, and won all 7 games they played, including the first 5 in normal time. Even though they allowed 7 goals in their final 2 matches, they opened the tournament allowing only 1 goal in the first 5 games, which includes 4 straight shutouts. They had an impressive record at this tournament, and while this team has some work to do before the World Cup Qualifiers, namely shore up their back 4, they have a lot to be proud of when they inevitably parade through Amazonia City with their brand new trophy.
Sporting Achievements: Champions of the 61st Baptism of Fire
10 Downing Street RP: Owen Hamilton- MP for Edinburgh East; MSP for Edinburgh Eastern; Leader of the SNP; First Minister of Scotland

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