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Cup of Harmony 70 Everything Thread - Eshan/Drawkland

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Nephara
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Founded: Jun 06, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:53 am

Nephara 1-0 Oontaz Dert Li Ng
(4-3-3) 20 - Tsattalios; 18 - Brymora, 5 - Konoval (2 - Rafford 70'), 22 - Frostmarris, 19 - Jeurissen (3 - Lohengrin 70'); 16 - Misidjan, 23 - Chilmark, 15 - Rowan; 13 - Bereveskos, 9 - Hawke, 11 - Strongbow
Goal: Strongbow 16'

THE HERALD
PRAVENNAN FLAGSHIP SIDE PREPARES TO ENTER NEPHARIM PYRAMID
Geneva Schwarzer

Even as the smouldering ruins of Augustinople are repaired and a government changeover takes place, there is - and always will be - football to consider. To that end, the NFA announced yesterday night that the Pravenna Saints have been granted permission to take the vacant place in the Third Division this season.

The catalyst was the liquidation of North Dubstep, a side that had struggled financially and to attract crowds, victim to the inability of the planned city to rise to its promised population. The other side in the city, formerly of the Premiership but playing in the Conference last season, are rebranding to the more marketable Chardonnay Rangers from next season as they attempt to command a more regional approach east of the Vale.

The Saints are a spiritual successor to the Augustinople Saints side that formed to compete in the short-lived Multiverse Premier League. They won the third tier in its second season, but a third never happened, so they simply thrived as the one professional side in the semi-professional Pravennan league.

They were the most heavily-supported side of the nation by a mile, and counted the former dictator Augustine Mitrosaridis as its primary patron, while also having connections with the Optima Consortium. But Mitrosaridis is currently missing and would not be welcomed back under the new democratic protectorate regime, while the Optima Consortium is outlawed within Nephara.

The new Saints will lack these connections, but it will not be apolitical. "We recognise that Pravenna are unlikely to be permitted to play international tournaments anymore," club chairman Phoebe Nikas said in a statement to media, "and we hope that we can effectively represent Pravenna in professional football. Long-term we hope that Pravenna can set up its own league as well, but this will take time, and the people need football's healing power sooner rather than later."

It may take some time before there are enough Pravennans to stock the side, and it is likely that for the first season the side will be majority Nepharim. And there is still work to be done - the NFA are subsidising the Saints to some degree, and Nepharim relief is aiding the repair and reconstruction of Augustinople's 12,000-capacity stadium, but self-sustainability down the line is essential.

Furthermore, success on the pitch will be essential to its survival off the pitch - nobody is entirely certain what would happen if the Saints were relegated twice, though it is most likely they would play in the Lazuli Coast state league. The new manager is likely to be former Saints and Pravenna goalkeeper Anastasia Stasinopolous, who was noted as being incorruptible in a deeply corruptible league, in her first managerial role, and much will hinge upon her initial success.

Hopefully, should the Saints prove successful in the coming seasons, they can begin the healing process for Nephara's wounded protectorate.
WCC Grand Slam champion.
Accidental Gridiron Championship Silver Belt holders for six cycles??

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Abanhfleft
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Abanhfleft » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:41 am

Sand as Red as Blood, Part Nine

Unnamed island, Red Sand Islands
Somewhere off the coast of Atlantian Oceania


"Have you heard from Admiralnaya lately, Sofia?" Captain First Rank Tanya Nikitovna Kalinina asked. "Any word at all on when our rescue will finally arrive?"

"Nothing much yet, I'm afraid, Comrade Captain," Captain Lieutenant Sofia Alekseyevna Barzilovich replied. "The latest update I got from Tiraspol was that the nearest ship to our position, the Mollyusk, is still over a day's sailing away from our location."

"The Mollyusk, huh?" Kalinina nodded her head even though she didn't particularly like the news that she had just heard. The Mollyusk was an anti-submarine corvette and designed with speed in mind. If it was still a day's worth of sailing away from their island then it and the rest of the Pridnestrovian rescue force must still be very far indeed. "Thank you for the update, Sofia," she said, patting Barzilovich's shoulder lightly. "You know what to do when more news comes in."

"Yes, Comrade Captain," Barzilovich replied.

Kalinina walked away from the camp that the crew of the K-312 had established on the shore of this small and unnamed island while they waited for their rescue to finally arrive. The camp had been a bit of a necessity; the interior of the K-312 was still flooded with fumes from the chemical reaction between leaking fuel from the submarine's nuclear missiles and seawater leaking into the sub from faulty seals over the missile silos. The fumes were absolutely toxic and deadly and the crew of the K-312 might now all be dead were it not for the fact that they happened to be only a few miles away from a group of islands when the emergency happened. But their troubles were far from over, Kalinina knew. This particular group of islands was being claimed by a currently unrecognized state calling itself "the Emirate of the Red Sand", and they had laid claim over every island in their archipelago, of which the island on which the crew of the K-312 had sought refuge was just one. Kalinina had already called upon the complement of crewmen who had come from the Naval Infantry to conduct patrols around their camp just in case the Emirate of the Red Sand came knocking.

Kalinina sat down on a beach on the edge of their camp and wrapped her arms around her knees. The white sand of the beach was almost like a fine powder; sitting down on the beach reminded Kalinina of the soft couches in her apartment and her admiral father's dacha, the ones on which she had lied down so much that she could imagine that her body was almost etched onto the sofa padding already. This only reminded Tanya more and more of home, and how long she would have to wait before she could finally come back. Tanya actually found this particular sensation weird. But then again, when she agreed to join the Navy's "women in submarines" project, it was with the understanding that it was just a test, that she wouldn't have to make the switch from the surface fleet to the submarine service permanent, and that there would be no incidents occurring onboard the submarine. She had expected to serve inside a metal tube for only the whole duration of a two-month nuclear deterrent patrol. But that was all out of the window now that the submarine had experienced a near-catastrophic malfunction that had cost nearly everyone onboard their lives. Now that she had almost died, Tanya realized that wanting to go back home wasn't so weird after all.

A tinny beeping noise from her wristwatch brought Kalinina out of her private reverie. She looked down at her watched and noted the time. "Chyort," she muttered, and she reached into a pocket of her overalls and took out a small bottle of prescription pills. The medication inside was made up of small gray capsules which were not being sold in any pharmacy anywhere else in the world. They were a special medication available only in Pridnestrovia and produced only by a specific group of Pridnestrovian scientists for a small group of Pridnestrovian soldiers and officers. In all honesty, the members of the secret and experimental Pridnestrovian Armed Forces group known only as "the Project" didn't need this particular medication for themselves; rather, it was for the mysterious symbiotes that they carried within themselves. Those symbiotes required the intake of some kind of mysterious and esoteric chemical or element that they could only absorb through getting out of their hosts and swimming around in special "pools" of the stuff or else by this newly-developed drug created specifically for members of "the Project".

It could be said that it was Tanya Kalinina's fault that "the Project" was started up in the first place. It was during her family's vacation-slash-diplomatic visit to Abanhfleft that Tanya somehow stumbled upon a pool of these alien symbiotes living underneath the capital city of Abanhfleft. Naturally, Tanya just had to lean a little too close to the pool so she fell in and was unwittingly infested by one of the symbiotes. After the Fleftic government very reluctantly admitted to the existence of the symbiotes and their presence underneath the capital city and within the fabric of Fleftic life and civilization, the Fleftics, Pridnestrovians, and symbiotes struck a deal to transport a small "pool-load" of the symbiotes over to Pridnestrovia and establish their own colony within the Democratic People's Republic. But since the government (meaning President Field Marshal Stepan Stepanovich Stepanenko) didn't want to cause undue panic with the Pridnestrovian people over the existence of aliens in their midst, it was decided that the first Pridnestrovians to willingly host the symbiotes were to be drawn from the Armed Forces. So far, the Project was only a small group consisting of a handful of people from the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the creators of the Project had decreed that only those few who would pass a very stringent test would be allowed entry into the Project and even then, that was no guarantee that they would be made to host a symbiote as well.

Kalinina shook out a capsule from the medicine bottle and held it in the palm of her hand. She pocketed the bottle before popping the pill into her mouth and swallowing. She didn't even have some water handy so the pill went down hard, like a rock. "Ugh, that's literally a bitter pill to swallow," she muttered. "How does this work anyway?" she asked. "I thought symbiotes were supposed to swim around pool of this stuff every three days. Now we can just take capsules of this stuff and you can somehow absorb all that nutrition?"

I don't know how it works as well, the voice in her head, the voice of her symbiote, replied. Only that it does and that you humans have made it possible.

Kalinina was about to make a second observation when gunshots suddenly rang out from the small forest growing in the middle of the island. "That's Kalashnikov fire," she said out loud. "Where's it coming from?" Kalinina then stood up from her spot on the beach and ran back to the camp where the rest of the crew were now gathering due to the gunfire.

"Does anyone know what's going on?" Kalinina asked once she was back in the camp. "Can anyone tell me what is going on?"

"We heard gunshots over to the northwest side of the island, Tanya," Captain Second Rank Natalya Aleksandrovna Tudenko, the starpom (executive officer) of the K-312 and Kalinina's immediate second-in-command, said in reply. "Slavina and Gelbalonskaya's troops are patrolling that sector but I don't know who exactly is over there."

"I do, Captain," Captain Third Rank Elektra Fyodorovna Slavina said as she entered the fray. She was one of the Naval Infantrymen who were recruited into the "women in submarines" program and now the de facto commander of the camp patrol due to her experience and expertise with the Naval Infantry. "That particular sector is being patrolled by the two Lieutenants Stuyonovich, and Senior Lieutenants Perlemayer and Sergeyeva are on the nearby patrol sector as well. If either of them got engaged by the Emiratis then I'd say it's a sure bet that the other patrol entered the engagement as well."

"The Emiratis?" Tudenko asked. "How sure are you that the Emiratis are now on this island as well?"

"They have to be the only reason why our people will open fire," Slavina replied. "If it was just a wild animal or anything like that then they wouldn't keep firing as long as they are doing now."

"And if it is the Emiratis they're facing out there," Kalinina continued, "how long can our girls last out there?"

"Not very long, I'm afraid, Captain," Slavina replied honestly. "If we want to get our girls out of trouble we need to get out there and help them out as soon as possible."

"How long can we assemble a big enough force to fight the Emiratis? How many people do we need?"

"Fifteen to twenty people is big enough, and as soon as we can gather that many then we're ready to go."

"Then do it, Elektra," Kalinina commanded. "And then tell me when the force is ready to go."

"Yes, Comrade Captain. Why is that, though?"

"I'm coming with you."
CRESCENT NEWS NETWORK
SPORTS CHANNEL - OFFICIAL WEBSITE

ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

CUP OF HARMONY 70: ABANHFLEFT VS YESOPALITHA

By Malik Qazizadah

Image
Abanhfleft women's national team celebrate their unprecedented victory against Yesopalitha at the Lookout Stadium in Drawk City, Drawkland to book their passage to the knockout stage of the 70th Cup of Harmony. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

DRAWK CITY, DRAWKLAND - Abanhfleft surprised everyone in the Cup of Harmony, even themselves, when they overcame the odds and triumphed over group leaders Yesopalitha to overtake their opponents to the top of Group F and qualify for the knockout stage of the Cup of Harmony when everyone else had already written them off, even themselves.

It could be said that everyone was expecting the Lady Revolutionaries to roll over and present their underbelly to the Yesopalithans coming into this final match day in the group stage; with Abanhfleft bottom of Group F and Yesopalitha on top and Abanhfleft requiring both a big win against their opponents and for Kel Assuk and Elgenstad to draw, no one was giving the Lady Revolutionaries any chances to move on from this stage.

And even when Alexandra Rousseau scored her first goal in the competition just six minutes into the game, no one expected the game to explode the way it did in the next eighty minutes. And no one was also expecting Chelsea Stuart to show up and become her country's hero in its time of need, and when she scored Abanhfleft's second goal in 15 minutes, she probably wasn't expecting to become a hat trick hero herself.

The signs that this was going to be an exceptional game for the Lady Revolutionaries was when Lillian Prescott turned in Abanhfleft's third goal of the game via a lengthy path that involved both her foot and her chest before finally slipping past the Yesopalithan keeper's reach and into the back of the net. The goal was lucky both in terms that Prescott was able to get a touch on the ball in the first place as well as the fact that she barely managed to squeeze the ball through the keeper's defense.

It almost came unraveling around them though when Anastasia Kortondo opened the Yesopalithans' scoring account in the game with a thunderous strike from outside the box just seconds into the second half and then Nadya Dostoevich doubled the Flames' tally four minutes later, and Yesopalitha then threatened to score an equalizer as time wound down to the end of the ninety minutes.

Then suddenly Chelsea Stuart reappeared and battered home her second goal in the game in the 80th minute before substitute Zsofia Dolan scrambled in Abanhfleft's fifth two minutes later, and Stuart completed her hat trick four minutes from the end of regular time. And that would probably have been the end of it had Park Ryung-gil not flown in for the tackle on Dolan inside the box at the tail end of added time, and the Lady Revolutionaries took their sweet time before Regina Mesbros sent in the spot kick to seal Abanhfleft's unlikely advancement to the knockout stage of the 70th Cup of Harmony.

Abanhfleft women's team manager Holly Jonasson: "This came totally as a surprise. You can say that we were already looking forward to the flight back to Abanhfleft even before this match, and then boom! We won! No one was expecting it! Like the Spanish Inquisition, I mean! And now we're through when everyone else wrote us off! Maybe there is such a thing as miracles after all!"

Abanhfleft will face Savojarna for the Round of 16 of the 70th Cup of Harmony.

            ABANHFLEFT 7 - 2 YESOPALITHA
ROUSSEAU (6') KORTONDO (46')
STUART (15', 80', 86') DOSTOEVICH (50')
PRESCOTT (34')
DOLAN (82')
MESBROS (90+6' pen)
YESOPALITHA
GK: 1 Calhoun
RB: 2 Eribon
LB: 5 Finn (Raoulhaven - 68')
RM: 7 Jack-Bentley (Yospur - 77')
RCM: 6 Park Ryung-gil
LCM: 4 Milkyway
LM: 8 Yersau
CAM: 3 Hunt
RW: 10 Kortondo (Lawson - 80')
ST: 9 Dostoevich
LW: 11 Roswell
ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Carter
RB: 14 Warren
CB: 15 Hannibal (Jackson - 85')
LB: 16 Heaton
RM: 5 Maynard
LM: 6 Choi
RW: 7 Prescott (Azul - 77')
CAM: 12 Mesbros
LW: 8 Singh
RS: 9 Stuart
LS: 11 Rousseau (Dolan - 63')

STATISTICS
Possession

Abanhfleft: 53%
Yesopalitha: 47%
Shots
Abanhfleft: 14 (9 on target)
Yesopalitha: 11 (6 on target)
Corners
Abanhfleft: 7
Yesopalitha: 6
Fouls
Abanhfleft: 19
Yesopalitha: 14
The Democratic Republic of Abanhfleft
Leader: President Rako Novoire

Territories and dependencies:
Trans-Dniesters (Client state)
Oontaz Dert Li Ng
Copper Cuprum
Trendstart
Economic Left/Right: -1.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.82
Second place winner in the International Baseball Slam VI
Third place winner in the World Lacrosse Championship XIX
Winner of the Baptism of Iron XVI!
Third place winner in the 33rd Di Bradini Cup!

Third place winner of the International Baseball Slam VIII
Winner of World Lacrosse Championships 22!

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Soltsteed
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Soltsteed » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:43 pm

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|national football | club football | basketball | rugby | volleyball | sevenball|
a forty-eight team world cup: a theoretical group stage, part bonesea
part three of a look into what the tournament would be like with sixteen more teams—and a commentary on if it should be done

SPITTALSEA, Bonesea — In the previous instalment, we churned through the Cosumarite side of our hypothetical 48-team World Cup. And as a result, Kalumba, Sargossa, Tinhampton, Osarius, Starblaydia, Mriin, Jeruselem and New Gazi have said goodbye to our alt-universe Cosumar and their dreams of STN’s fictional World Cup.

Now that a full third of our field have booked spots in the brand-spanking-new sixteenth-finals or Round of 32 or (our favourite) hexadecafinals, we turn our attention to the Wide Enness Ocean and the Boney side of the draw. Eight groups, twenty-four teams and twenty-four games are left in our frankly insane and unneeded simulation.

As always, each team plays every other team in their group once and receives three points for a win and no points for a loss. Unlike the actual World Cup, drawn games go to penalty shoot-outs, with the winners getting two points and the losers one. The eight teams finishing at the bottom of their groups are out, while the rest get to advance to our 32-team knockout stage.

Group I
And now things get interesting: Nova Anglicana and Qasden draw 3–3, invoking our penalty shoot-out rule for the first time. Nova Anglicana’s pitiful performance, scoring on just one kick, give Qasden an easy win and a bonus point heading into their bye. The other hosts then proceed to knock the shoot-out losers out of the competition with a secure 4–2 win. The final match of the group ends in a 2–2 draw, enough to see Bonesea through as group winners—with or without their subsequent 5–4 shoot-out win—thanks to their superior goal difference.
Group I                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Bonesea 2 1 1 0 0 6 4 +2 5 Q
2 Qasden 2 0 1 1 0 5 5 0 3 Q
3 Nova Anglicana 2 0 0 1 1 5 7 −2 1 E

Group J
Top seeded Chromatika quickly secured their spot in the knockout stage, first despatching Tumbra 2–1 and (in a slightly more offensively effective match) beating fellow Atlantians Eshan 3–1 to comfortably win the group. Facing off in the final match for second place were two of the most closely-matched sides, just four spots apart in the rankings, in the entire tournament, fighting to an exciting 4–3 scoreline in favour of the Esportivans over the Cup of Harmony co-hosts.
Group J                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Chromatika 2 2 0 0 0 5 2 +3 6 Q
2 Tumbra 2 1 0 0 1 5 5 0 3 Q
3 Eshan 2 0 0 0 2 4 7 −3 0 E

Group K
In the Battle of Tropicorp, the much larger and more renowned Vilitans claim a cautious, but still worthwhile, 1–0 over AOCAF partners in crime Turori. A scoreless draw in the next match then sees Vilita through, despite a 4–2 loss on penalties to Esportivan side Islana Lunigo. Needing only a draw to go through, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament would defeat the team ranked 64 places above them 2–0, making Islana Lunigo perhaps the most unlikely team to secure a place in the Final 32.
Group K                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Islana Lunigo 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 5 Q
2 Vilita 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 +1 4 Q
3 Turori 2 0 0 0 2 0 3 −3 0 E

Group L
Ethane beating the Free Republics—the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament—2–0 wasn’t really all that much of a surprise. Ethane then losing to top seeds Pasarga 1–0 was also not much of a surprise. But despite Ethane being on three points and sitting out of the final game, their positive goal difference and two goals scored guaranteed their passage to the knockout stage, with it being mathematically impossible for a corrupt bargain to send both Pasarga and the Free Republics through. Knowing this, an honest match hands top spot in the group to Pasarga 1–0.
Group L                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Pasarga 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 +2 6 Q
2 Ethane 2 1 0 0 1 2 1 +1 3 Q
3 Free Republics 2 0 0 0 2 0 3 −3 0 E

Group M
In a rather pleasing coincidence, all three teams scored three goals in the first two matches. The world’s top-ranked team San José Guayabal won the group’s opening match, though not without conceding a goal. Fellow Esportivans Damunkuni secured their win in a much closer 3–2 over Acronius, whose first match loss knocked them out of contention, sending the two Esportivan teams through. With nothing left to fight for but victory in the group, San José Guayabal triumphed 5–3, giving Damukuni the dishonour of advancing with a negative goal difference.
Group M                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 San José Guayabal 2 2 0 0 0 8 4 +4 6 Q
2 Damukuni 2 1 0 0 1 6 7 −1 3 Q
3 Acronius 2 0 0 0 2 3 6 −3 0 E

Group N
The Revolutionaries ought to count themselves lucky. A 3–2 win over Garifunya to kick off the group was nice, but after losing to the so-called “Gregoryisgodistan” 1–0, all manner of tomfoolery became possible. A one goal margin in Garifunya’s favour and at least two goals from “Gregoryisgodistan” would knock Abanhfleft out of the tournament and send their rivals through. Luckily, the autocrat of Esportiva’s favourite tinpot dictatorship either didn’t figure this out or didn’t like the idea of it, instructing his team to defeat Garifunya 1–0 and let this golden opportunity for match fixing go to waste.
Group N                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Gregoryisgodistan 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 +2 6 Q
2 Abanhfleft 2 1 0 0 1 3 3 0 3 Q
3 Garifunya 2 0 0 0 2 2 4 −2 0 E

Group O
Our much beloved wild-cards put up a great fight, but they never really stood much of a chance here. Outrage did erupt in the Holy Empire when the Imperial team could only beat Apox 2–1, but the margin proved irrelevant. The plucky platypus-lovers had a bit more luck holding out against top seeds and fellow Esportivans Brenecia, securing a scoreless draw and a crucial point, but were definitively knocked out after losing the ensuing shoot-out 4–3. Though, the Brenecians did subsequently redeem themselves by wiping the floor with their Dreamed Realm opposition 3–1, securing the victory they required to win the group.
Group O                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Brenecia 2 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 5 Q
2 The Holy Empire 2 1 0 0 1 3 4 −1 3 Q
3 Apox 2 0 0 1 1 1 2 −1 1 E

Group P
And closing out STN’s group stage simulation is an opening day upset: the fourth-ranked Valanora, an elven nation renowned for their proficiency at winning World Cups, were defeated by Barunia 2–0. The Vanorians redeemed themselves with a 6–3 win over Brigantii, preventing any risk of being eliminated via match fixing. With Barunia and Brigantii forced to play honestly for the chance to join the elves in the knockout stage, Barunia predictably won 4–2, sealing top billing for the Suns and eliminating one of Pot 3’s best hopes.
Group P                Pld   W  PW  PL   L   GF  GA  GD  Pts
1 Barunia 2 2 0 0 0 6 2 +4 6 Q
2 Valanora 2 1 0 0 1 6 5 +1 3 Q
3 Brigantii 2 0 0 0 2 5 10 −5 0 E

Round of 32 fixtures: Boney side
Bonesea v Tumbra
Islana Lunigo v Ethane
San José Guayabal v Abanhfleft
Brenecia v Valanora
Chromatika v Qasden
Pasarga v Vilita
Gregoryisgodistan v Damukuni
Barunia v The Holy Empire
The wrap-up
With the exception of Farfadillis, all group winners predictably went through with positive goal differences. But most runners-up scored just as many goals as they conceded, with just four runners-up finishing above water and three finishing below it. In the case of those seven teams, the absolute value of their goals differences was exactly one, each and every time. So we can argue that the group winners deserve to advance, but the runners-up are on the whole mediocre.

Compare that to the actual World Cup where only four of the teams in the knockout stage (or 25%) failed to finish the group stage with a positive goal difference: Schottia, Valladares and Electrum had goal differences of 0 and Ethane had a goal difference of −1. One would presume that most people would prefer a World Cup where three-quarters of the teams surviving the group stage score more goals than they concede to one where fewer than three in five do.

And getting to our concerns about match fixing: Group N is the Boney answer to Group D on the Cosumarite side, though our simulations aren’t exactly set up to notice when match fixing will take a team out of the tournament and presume that every team plays all of their matches honestly. Maybe the Greg Regime would have enough sense to realise that playing honestly was their best option or maybe they would have taken the opportunity to eliminate a team on the so-called “Enemy List”. (Let’s be honest, they would do the latter, but the former would be much more advisable.)

Now to be fair, mutually beneficial match fixing is possible under the current World Cup format: Audioslavia and Semarland could have easily played to a draw and guaranteed their mutual passage over Pasarga and Starblaydia—and it nearly happened, as Audioslavia only beat Semarland by a single goal. But considering that the circumstances in which such a thing could be arranged are much easier to arrange in our simulation, the “it’s possible right now” shtick is not an effective rebuttal to concerns about match fixing.

As for lower-ranked teams, the Boney side is better than its Cosumarite counterpart, though not convincingly. Only Qasden and Islana Lunigo advance out of Pot 3, while every single team from Pot 1 survives to the knockout stage. Of the teams who didn’t qualify for the actual finals, only Barunia, Abanfleft and the aforementioned Qasden and Islana Lunigo survive. In total, eleven of sixteen group winners came out of Pot 1, while only one—Islana Lunigo—came from Pot 3.

So maybe the Boney side is more friendly to those who believe the World Cup should expand, though not overwhelmingly so. However, with the number of opportunities for shenanigans (plus the number of times they were almost possible) and the overall poor performances of Pot 3 teams and teams who failed to qualify for the actual finals, STN remains unconvinced. •
In other news:
Palatinate: Prosecutors argue that helicopter pilots were grossly negligent in the Rainford skyscraper collapse
#SoltPoli: Controversy erupts after a cyberwarfare agency is found to have spread pro-government propaganda domestically
Football: Eastfield Lodge manager gets the sack as the Stallions go three for three in the group stage
Technology: STN security chief sacked after vulgar and nonsensical articles found in the offbeat section
Last edited by Soltsteed on Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Qasden
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Founded: Jun 09, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Qasden » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:40 pm

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Vans Tackle Knights, Win Group D




Oh yeah, baby!

Last report, the benevolent Defenders of Qasden took on the newcomers of Group D, Löpstegl, in an effort to extend a much wanted lead. The match, held at Revolutionary Stadium, would determine whether or not the Qads had total dominance of their opponents in le groupe. After a heated battle that seemed almost like shuffleboarding extreme, Merritt and the Vans came just short of success, drawing 1-1 with a debutant for the second time, alongside Kosovakia.

Returning to Rev Stadium, the Blue-Reds were tasked one final and crucial feat to tackle: the Taeshani Purple Knights. The purple knights, like the Qads, had a iffy GS performance as well, with a win over Löpstegl and a draw against Natanians and Nosts. Despite their performances in the past, the match of the present was the most important, with a win guaranteeing a ticket to the Round of 16. A loss, however, would mean thin cracked ice for the victim, as a well performance by the LÖP-NTN victor will surely bring either Qasden or Taeshan to their demise. Of course, for Coach Jon, that'd be a situation he'd rather avoid.

The lights turned on, the sporting channels recorded, and the whistle was sounded!

Darsten and Xandreas started with the ball, passing it to and fro down the field. Xandreas passed the ball to Darsten, Darsten to Bostun, Bostun to Xandreas, and Xandreas HEADDING INTO THE oh wait, just the keeper's hands. A close start, but no wine. 9 minutes in, Bostun goes for the looong range shot only to be stopped by a defender four yards in front of the net. Another close cut in just under 10 minutes! Another 30 minutes surpass before a Tae attacker launches the ball the nearly half field and onto the post near Abbott's face. 43 minutes, another Tae attempt with the ball sliding between Blight and Articado. The shot was taken and made it past Abbott! Oh the horror! Thankfully, offsides was called upon, and the half resumed (and finished) as a pristine 0-0 score.

"Manager Ying Uing seems to know his way around here." remarks Sols at the adversarian manager's work. "The team is growing dated, yet Lysander manages to keep me up to the brim in fitness. Shame we had to meet them here and not in the World Cup, but hey, every meeting is always different, right? We'll definitely need to form some new strats, though, if we want to defeat them in this next half.".

With the players all juiced up and the fans all relieved from emptying their internal canteens, the second half finally commences under Taeshani control. The rolling object found where the green grass met the white, and Hero threw it back into play. 48 minutes in, Munson, now subbing in for Darsten, passes the ball to Xandreas. Xandreas to Munson, Munson to Bostun, Bostun to Foster, Foster to the CROSSBAR, so close!! Bostun tried to retake it but was denied by keeper Troubador. 61 minutes, Blight has the ball, Blight to Hero, Hero to Munson, Munson to Bostun and back to Xandreas for the chipper. "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!!! 1-0! 1-0!" -Freddy Carmichael, commentator for the QADANS tv channel. The feline fabrics, ahome and abroad, roared with excitement and ecstasy. The tie has been broken, and now it was all a game of defense. 70 minutes, 80 minutes, 90+2 minutes, the Qads held the Taeshanis off until that glorious final whistle.

Image


1-0. The Qasden Vans take 3 critical and pivotal points into their care, finishing the group stage with 7 points, unmatched by any other in GrD. While the Knights fall, solace came to them, as a draw between Löpstegl and Natanians and Nosts keep Taeshan on their feet as the runner-ups. This is the first time TQ win their group in the Cup of Harmony, especially in such an even group.

With the Group Stages over, the Qads will now travel to Alexandria to face the Group C runner-ups, Red Blackiland, one of the most feared teams in the tournament. After an extremely narrow and brutal Group 10 finish in the qualis, Rotschwarzland were the ones to bite the big one as Pasarga and Drawkland prevailed ahead of them. In Group C, the Red and, uh, Black, took down Apox before succumbing to draws against Coldfield and Vietmihn. This of course allowed for the platypi to surge past them, earning themselves the top dog title and a date with the purple knights. As for RED-QAD, the victor of the heated and already sold out matchup will advance to battle the winner of Aggrey-Fynn Land and Ceni.

Want to support Qasden? Now you can! For a limited time only, Feline Fanatics can purchase their very own TQ #TheTimeIsMeow merch, including shirts, mugs, and even fun little stickers! Be sure to post them on your social media with #TheTimeIsMeow for your chance to win a trip to the CoH 70 finals!

Will Qasden vanquish Rotschwarzland once and for all to reach the coveted quarterfinal stage? Will the crazy and insane fans of Red Blackiland flare the living crap out of Qasdonians? Only one butler did it, so stay tuned, stay updated, and stay alert for our next report, rising up from the land-hungry nation of Eshan!
Last edited by Qasden on Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sporting Achievements
World Cup Ranking:27th;KPB: 20.94; Style: +3
Sole Host of the Qasden Open, but also (Co)Hosted- Cup of Harmony 71, Baptism of Fire 67, MLB V, WLC 26,
IBC 23, and NSAO2; Enthusiast of pretty much all things cats

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Aggrey-Fynn Land
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 183
Founded: Feb 08, 2017
Ex-Nation

Postby Aggrey-Fynn Land » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:56 pm

LANDER SPORTS NETWORK TV

Your plug for all things sport.



MORNING SPORTS REVIEW LIVE

Karina: Good Morning Aggrey-Fynn Landers! Thanks for tuning in to Lander Sports TV. My name is Karina Katie, and this is my co-anchor Tyson Rufus.
Tyson: Thanks Karina! It is 7 in the morning here in Samueltown, so it is time for the sports review.

AGGREY-FYNN LAND LOOKS AHEAD

K: Aggrey-Fynn Land fell 2-1 to Kalumba in their previous game.
T: It didn't surprise me much, considering that they are ranked a good twenty spots above us.
K: Due to the loss, it put Aggrey-Fynn Land in a place where Mercedini had to get a big win against New Danican.
T: And win they did.
K: However, it wasn't enough! Aggrey-Fynn Land went through, with a 0 goal difference.
T: Mercedini could only muster a -1 difference, so they will be heading home.
K: As a result, we are looking ahead to Aggrey-Fynn Land's next opponent: Ceni.
T: They went out on top of Group B with 6 points.
K:. Two wins, and one loss, which was to Jeckland.
T: They are sixteenth in the multiverse, the highest ranked team Aggrey-Fynn Land has played in the competition yet.
K: Well, what do you think about the Wavy Ones' chances? Call in now!

THE VOICE OF THE FANS: CALL IN NOW!

K: Hi, this is Karina. How are you?
Caller: I'm May Oak from Northern Samueltown.
K: Hi May! Do you think Aggrey-Fynn Land could pull off the upset against Ceni?
M: No way! I hate to be a party pooper, but it just won't happen.
K: Why not?
M: Our form has been terrible lately! We couldn't beat Mercedini nor Kalumba. How do you expect to beat a Top-20 side?
K: We can believe, right?
M: I think I've just about ran out of belief in these boys. Best thing for them would be to lose here, and reevaluate their outlook.
K: Thanks for calling, May.
T: I have a caller on my line. Hi, how are you?
Caller: I'm John Kettle from Sunnyside.
T: What do you think about our prospects in the round of 16?
J: I think we can pull it off! I believe in the Superstars!
T: Why so?
J: Hey, Jeckland beat 'em. And they are ranked lower than us! If they can do it, so can we!
T: What do you think the key to the game will be?
J: We gotta frustrate them. Play great defense, like I know we can, and when they are at the breaking point, we pounce, we score, we WIN!
T: Interesting thoughts there, John. Thanks for calling.
K: So much is riding on this game; it's win or go home.
T: Will Aggrey-Fynn Land extend their unprecedented debut season of international football?
K: More analysis after the break.

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Eshan
Envoy
 
Posts: 215
Founded: Aug 31, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Eshan » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:03 pm

Image
ESHAN CUTOFF ROUND OF 16
WILL YOU PROGRESS? WILL YOU LOSE? KEEP HITTING THAT RELOAD BUTTON TO FIND OUT!


Kalumba 0–1 Buyan

Apox 1–0 Taeshan

Ceni 3–5 Aggrey-Fynn Land

Qasden 1–1 Red Blackiland (2–1 AET)
Last edited by Eshan on Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How far away are the stars?
International Geese Brigade - Celebrating 0 Radiation and 3rd Place!
Runners Up: AOCAF LIV
3rd Place: Baptism of Fire 60
Quarterfinal: AOCAF 50, AOCAF 53
Round of 16: DBC 37, CoH 67
Hosted: Cup of Harmony #BIGGUNSBIGGOALS

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Drawkland
Minister
 
Posts: 3040
Founded: Aug 27, 2013
New York Times Democracy

Postby Drawkland » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:19 pm

Image
DRAWKLAND CUTOFF ROUND OF 16
You may've gotten past the smaller guys, but can you handle bigger guns?



Scottopian Isles 5–3 Yesopalitha

Nephara 6–1 Yue Zhou

Abanhfleft 4–3 Savojarna

Soltsteed 1–0 Oontaz Dert Li Ng
Last edited by Drawkland on Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
The INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE of DRAWKLAND
____________________
Founder of Sonnel. IBO President. Legendary. Rule 33.

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Apox
Minister
 
Posts: 2051
Founded: Jun 30, 2012
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Apox » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:43 pm

Image


Dravid Scott rolls back the years, signs for Urbanista

by Clement Ashley

For Dravid Scott, possibly the most talented footballer in Apox's history - and yes, younger readers, that is not an overstatement - the last few weeks must have been incredibly bizarre. After disappearing for seven years off the face of the planet, something which he has shown great surprise at, he has now been thrust into the public spotlight to a degree which he probably hasn't felt since Campionato Esportiva IX when he was the manager of the national team.

And now, aged 59, he has signed a new contract with his former club, Urbanista, to play next season. This comes in light of news that, as had been rumoured but largely dismissed, he is indeed "immortal". Or effectively his body's immune system is on steroids and he is now regenerating back to the level of fitness and stamina that he had in his peak, widely thought to be around about the time of Apox's entry into Baptism of Fire 48.

This opens up many exciting new questions (not to mention the prospect of analysing some of Scott's cells with potential breakthroughs in medicine) as Apox will, hopefully soon, regain a player of Scott's potential. The prospect of seeing him and Alpha Gandhi linking up together as Apox's strike force is terrifying for opposing teams as it is thrilling for fans. He will also be able to make his mark on the ANL, which is something he wasn't really able to do the last time around.

Of course, this all depends on how quickly he can regain his touch and practice his skills back up to the level they were at. It is likely that after thirty-four years out of the game he is going to be a little rusty. However, a chance to see Scott, maybe, one day, playing for Apox with the National Team at the top level, is an exciting one and one I await eagerly.

APX 1-0 TAE
APX: Anaximander -- Richardson, Gandhi O., Jekyll, Fowey -- Menheniot -- Townsend, Palmisano J., Ezekitias -- Palmisano L., Gandhi A.
TAE: Not provided

Taeshan are ranked quite significantly higher than Apox, but that did not stop an Apoxian team who are finally easing themselves into this tournament from breezing through to the Quarter-Finals for only the second team in WCC competition by a much score narrower than the run of play might suggest. Alpha Gandhi was his usual self and could have had a couple in the opening stages of the game, were it not for some excellent saves by the Taeshani keeper. Bryton Menheniot also displayed a maturity beyond his years to control the centre of the field and thread passes to the midfielders and strikers in front of him. It was one of those passes, to Coleman Ezekitias in the 70th minute which lead to the goal - Ezekitias jinking past the Taeshani right defender before halting his run to slot across the box to the waiting Lucan Palmisano, who powered the cross past the goalie and into the top right corner of the net. Next up, Buyan, another returning side and an old rival of Apox, who the national side have a well documented terrible record against. With Apox in slightly better form going into the QF and with a marginally higher ranking, they must be judged narrow favourites. However, this is Buyan we're talking about, and a side underestimates their enormous talent at their peril.
The History of Modern NSSports internationalpost.apx (Newswire) The Apoxian Compendium
Winners: Campionato Esportiva IV, V & XVI, World T20 Championships VI, Imperial Chap Olympiad
Runners-up: CoH 58, World T20 Championships V, Campionato Esportiva XII
Third: Campionato Esportiva XIII
Fourth: Campionato Esportiva VII & XV
Baptism of Fire 50, Cup of Harmony 56, World Cup 69, World Cup 73
Friendly Cups 2 & 6, World T20 Championships II, Campionato Esportiva IV, VIII & XII, GCF Season 4 & 8

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Drawkland
Minister
 
Posts: 3040
Founded: Aug 27, 2013
New York Times Democracy

Postby Drawkland » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:02 pm

Image
Big Guns, Big Goals
An ESHAN/ DRAWKLAND PRODUCTION
QUARTERFINAL MATCH FIXTURES


QF 1: Buyan vs Apox
QF 2: Aggrey-Fynn Land vs Qasden

QF 3: Scottopian Isles vs Nephara
QF 4: Abanhfleft vs Soltsteed
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
The INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE of DRAWKLAND
____________________
Founder of Sonnel. IBO President. Legendary. Rule 33.

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Nephara
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1080
Founded: Jun 06, 2014
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:00 am

Nephara 6-1 Yuezhou
(4-3-3) 20 - Tsattalios; 2 - Rafford (18 - Brymora 79'), 5 - Konoval, 6 - Scharner, 3 - Lohengrin; 8 - Tarashaj, 4 - Rainsford (c), 14 - Gosforth; 7 - Szalai, 17 - Stavanger (9 - Hawke 74'), 21 - Amokachi (11 - Strongbow 60')
Goals: Stavanger 11', 48', Gosforth 36', Amokachi 51', Strongbow 81', Szalai 89'

This right here? This felt good.
And Konrad Gosforth's international career had been pretty shy of good experiences thus far, all in all. This might well be, at least for now, the peak.
Nephara had played Yuezhou three times, which was probably more than the new kids on the block had played anyone else, and remarkably each time had been with a new manager. Now it was, strangely, Alex Cartwright, playing something close enough to a 4-3-1-2. More accurately, it was a 4-3-2 plus this fucker Han Ruoyang chasing him everywhere.
It wasn't working.
Gosforth had been something of a scapegoat over the past year. He didn't fit smoothly into a two-man midfield, and people accused him of laziness for it, which simply wasn't true - he pressed from an advanced position, hacked at people. Wasn't brilliant at it, but he tried. The 4-3-3 was, bluntly, because he was a world-class player and Raquel Naeher, who'd made way, was replaceable. And it had been a formation central to a disastrous qualifying campaign, and was most peoples' scapegoat for it.
And then Michael Brandon had come in and it had all made sense.
They'd dropped exactly two points since he'd come on-board. These were, admittedly, two points that had made the difference between failing to qualify and, well, succeeding, but even so. Fegelein had told them what to do, and Brandon had driven the fear of God into them should they fail to do it. And that started with the hard work first, pressing forward, forcing mistakes - that had been the first goal, inelegant as it was. Jin had the ball, looked up and saw Dragan fucking Stavanger lumbering at him, the fight-or-flight reflex ceded the ball to him and he thumped it past Wei.
Intensity and power were the key, and Nephara were a big side. Even Gosforth, the side's most creative midfielder, was a big unit. His goal was a header, as he rushed onto Rafford's cross and leapt over and muscled through Tan to bury it into the top corner.
But Jiawei Sangu had found a goal of his own, a neat dinking strike with an inch of space inside the box that a flailing Tsattalios had only narrowly failed to claw away. An impeccable finish, and out of nowhere the game was 2-1 going into half-time...
But you couldn't let yourself be dragged back by it, and didn't. Brandon told them to keep doing what they were doing (with an unsaid 'or else'). Set pieces were key, too, and Gosforth dropped one neatly on Stavanger's head for his second and Nephara's third. Three minutes later, with the outside of his boot, Gosforth had slipped Penumbra Amokachi through the tight defence and she, with the outside of her boot, slipped it past Wei.
Another lesson was ruthlessness. They'd failed to qualify from goal difference, after all. When you had the advantage, you stayed in there and really tore into the opposition, and Nephara pressed and pushed and shoved Yuezhou for the next half-hour. Three Nepharim picked up bookings, admittedly, but it was all worth it when Rowena Strongbow found Gosforth's third assist of the match and drove it powerfully beyond Wei, before Adnan Szalai's brutalist strike thudded into the stanchion from 25 yards in the game's dying moments.
Yuezhou was their last reminder of the most disastrous qualifying cycle in Nephara's history. Gosforth slept soundly that night, knowing he'd punched that last reminder in the face, stolen its lunch money and given it a fucking swirlie for good measure.
That was the Nepharim way.
WCC Grand Slam champion.
Accidental Gridiron Championship Silver Belt holders for six cycles??

Masculine, Feminine and Mixed-Sex Name Generators

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Buyan
Diplomat
 
Posts: 786
Founded: Jul 13, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Buyan » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:07 am

It sounded like a blast from the past, a match-up which would have been written in golden letters back in the days before our – or their – collapse from the scene. An encounter between two sides who each imprinted their names in the history books of Esportivan football through their own means. Not only are they member of the short list of multiple Campionato winners, only joined by the foregone Licentian Isles and the still dominant duo of Nephara and Brenecia, but they racked up a fine record of club results as well with the ANL, the Apoxian top tier, being the measure of all things for a respectable period.

A quick skim of the increasingly fragmented records indicated that this would be the sixth encounter between both nations who always had held a friendly yet fiery rivalry. Yet, quite surprisingly, it’s only the first time they meet up for a WCC-organised tournament – it can be seen as ironic that such happens at a point where neither is living up to the reputation of their name.

The very first clash of both dates back to the very first steps of the Buyanese national team. Whilst the red-and-white were already a frontrunner in the Esportivan naissance, Buyan just came out of their victorious Baptism of Fire run and as such received an invitation for a tournament that has disappeared between the wrinkles of the time, the illustrious Confederations Cup. As a novice between the veterans, the Hedgehogs were at the receiving end throughout the competition but managed to get out of the reputation of whipping boys with a defensively solid loss. Indeed, it brings us back in the days when Anders Bergh wore the gloves, Sirius Hope considered a bizarre foreigner and a narrow 1-0 defeat still was praiseworthy.

Half a decade came and, as should not come as much of a shocker to anyone, went again. By that time, Buyan had its first appearance in the World Cup under its belt and the amateur hillbilly attitude – smokes before the game, anyone? – had been moulded by Hope into an ambitious and powerful squad. However, as Leader for Life (which, considering the fact that they had to kill him to take power, was technically a correct appreciation) Kazys Portnii assumed the reign for the Campionato X, the formation waded through the group phase before receiving a lesson in humility by a classic line-up of the Red Dragons, sporting all-time greats of the calibre of Mathias Sindelar and Tolgus Tregajorran. In hindsight, the boys were glad to make it to just 2-0.

Not much time had lapsed before meeting again as Apox and Buyan clashed in the Portnii Victory Cup, a preposterously named friendly confrontation in the build-up towards bigger things. The setup was quite a mockery and the Apoxians rightly saw it as a chance to field some fringe players. Nonetheless, the formation from Magnus Fjelden kept the squad nailed to the woodwork and if it weren’t for Seber and Schmidt performing according to their duties, the whole game could have gone south. But late in the game, Duco Dalmshelf released us and gave the country a boost of, in hindsight uncalled for, confidence for the World Cup Qualifiers.

Fast forward to the Twelfth Campionato Esportiva, for the confrontation that has made this rivalry into a true derby. At one hand, the home squad of Gavin Hughes who made a remarkable run so far. Despite not a single score in the knock-out phase, a side let out by Kaj Aurora and Solomon Etezadi made excellent landslide favourites to take away the trophy. In the opposing corner, the undefeated Hedgehogs from Reinhard Shale who had stunned the seemingly invincible Nepharim. In between them, the Campionato title. As expected, the game went straight into the penalties which saw the career-defining moment of Ulle Seber. The 33-year old Garbarnia goalie stopped two penalties and gave the ‘Poxies the worst of hangovers – and Buyan a first major title.

It were the heydays of both Apoxian and Buyanese football and it is no wonder that they were up for a new deep run in the subsequent Campionato, onwards to the City of Star to witness a trilling semi-final. That the team in blue was being managed by Apoxian national Chris Maarsden only added to the suspense, partially ignited because for the first time, Buyan might have felt coming near to the footing of their more reputed rivals. It is difficult to list all the greats that were there, that night, but the fact is that it was the final appearance of Tolgus Trejagorran. A monumental career saw its last stand signed off by Duco Dalmshelf – always on fire against the Red Dragons – whose brace and assist paved the way to a 4-2 victory and, a few days later, a second and last Campionato over Gregoryisgodistan.

And up next, a decade of silence. Of frustration as well as being it due to political strives or horrendous management in the higher echelons of the organisational structure, the ball wouldn’t roll between both teams anymore. Until tonight. The fans of the Hedgehogs still struggle to wrap their heads around the fact that there won’t be a Devold, a Tufte or a Dalmshelf to lead out their side and try to adjust to new, still unheralded players such as Isaksson, Eklund and Micaukis. Apox might have kept Gavin Hughes at the helm, names like Palmisano and Townsend resound unknown to the ear – for now. But that doesn’t really matter for the population of the archipelago, for they see once again the Red Dragon and the Blue Hedgehog clash. Nothing is yet what it was before but at least there’s the Derby.
From Some Village
'Bu', like in 'book'. 'Yan' like the cyclist 'Jan Ullrich'.
RP Population: 22 million
Overenthusiast and slightly naive Republic ruled by Sil Moen
State of Economy: deplorable
Weather: cold
Atmosphere: less depressing than before, but only a bit

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Abanhfleft
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1921
Founded: May 26, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Abanhfleft » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:02 am

OOC: Continued from here.

Exiles, Part Seven

National Football Training Grounds
Tiraspol, Transnistrian Socialist State, Pridnestrovia


The man got into the training grounds through the sheer force of his personality and star power despite not being a registered player of any of the Pridnestrovian clubs which were using the National Football Training Grounds as just that, their grounds for their training sessions as they prepared for the start of the new football season. The man was none other than Rory Edwards, and today he was in Tiraspol for a very special person in his heart.

"Well, as I live and breathe! Rory Edwards is in Tiraspol!" Branislav Fyodorovich Vinogradovsky, the new manager of Exiles Football Club, said as Edwards walked up to him. "What brings you to our beautiful country and city, Mr. Edwards?" Vinogradovsky asked in almost impeccable English.

"Oh, I'm just here to visit one of your new players, Mr. Vinogradovsky," Rory replied. "She promised me that she would set aside some time for the two of us to talk about our relationship."

"She?" Vinogradovsky repeated. "I think I know exactly who you're talking about. Just wait over on the bleachers over there and I'll get her for you."

"Thank you, Mr. Vinogradovsky," Rory said, following the Pridnestrovian's advice and walking along to a set of metal bleachers painted white erected over to the side of the training pitches. As a Fleftic, Rory Edwards knew little of what was going on inside Pridnestrovia right now despite the new relationship between the two countries. He did, however, know that Exiles Football Club was working very hard to recruit as many football-playing natives of Pridnestrovia's old ally into their ranks as they could so that they could once again promote the plight of the people to the Pridnestrovian people in the form of a football team. Rory had even heard rumors that Exiles had signed at least one player who was uninterested in playing for the club and another player who had not even played a single minute of professional football in his life. In that regard, Rory Edwards thought that Exiles had messed up big time, but as for the other players currently on their roster, Rory believed that the club had made some good moves and investments.

"Over there, Sohaila," Branislav Vinogradovsky said to the only female training in the pitch assigned to Exiles, and the girl looked up from the ball towards the bleachers and at Rory. She waved a hand at him and Rory waved back, and Vinogradovsky and the girl talked a little more before the girl left behind the ball and began to walk towards the bleachers and Rory, leaving Vinogradovsky no choice but to attempt to dribble the ball himself. He was stil able to do some keepie-uppies despite not having played professionally for more than a decade but holding a clipboard in his hand meant that Branislav couldn't keep dribbling the ball for long before he inevitably missed a kick.

Meanwhile, Sohaila Sultanovna Magomedova was now practically running towards the bleachers to meet Rory Edwards, who had stood up from his spot in the bleachers and had gone down to the pitch to meet Sohaila as well. Sohaila practically ran into Rory's arms and soon they were locked in a tight embrace. Rory then looked at Sohaila's face and reached down to kiss her, but Sohaila turned her face away. "Not here, Rory," she said shyly but coyly as well. "People are staring."

This earned her a laugh from Rory that was more like a snort of air through his nostrils. "So what if people can see?" he asked her back. "I don't mind telling people that we're now in a relationship."

"Oh, why do the Edwards boys always have to love girls much younger than they are?" Sohaila asked rhetorically. She was of course referring to the relationship between Rory's older brother Luke Edwards, who was 35, and Karen Villegas, who was 28. Yes, it wasn't as big of a gap despite the reactions of some people but nevertheless, the fact remained that the people of Abanhfleft still see Luke Edwards as the long-time servant of club and country and Karen Villegas as an up-and-coming talent from the under-21 level despite being already a proven top-tier striker for Rosenpfelblatz City Ladies.

"Why don't we sit down, Sohaila," Rory offered. "We both look stupid just standing around like this."

"Oh, all right, if you insist," Sohaila said, tucking her hair behind her ears before sitting down on the bleachers beside Rory.

"So, have you thought about that thing I asked you about?" Rory asked.

"I have, actually," Sohaila said softly. "And it wasn't an easy decision, mind you, but I think it's the right choice for me to make."

"So, what is it?"

"I'm going to represent Abanhfleft internationally."

At first glance, one would think that Sohaila's decision to represent Abanhfleft in international football was a strange decision indeed. Sohaila Magomedova had a Pridnestrovian father and a mother from Pridnestrovia's old ally. In any other world then Sohaila was eligible to represent only either Pridnestrovia or her mother's country. But this was a world in which Sohaila's father, Sultan Magomedov, had fled Pridnestrovia for Abanhfleft in the first few years of the presidency of President Field Marshal Stepan Stepanovich Stepanenko, when the old soldier had used the tactics of the old Pridnestrovian communist regime to crack down on potential political opponents and consolidate his grip on the Pridnestrovian presidency in the wake of the sudden death of Galdar Rodionovich Umayev, the first democratically elected president of Pridnestrovia. Sohaila's mother had been pregnant with her when she and her husband fled Pridnestrovia for Abanhfleft and so Sohaila Sultanovna Magomedova was born in Abanhfleft And due to an old Fleftic law which was still in effect even today, any person who was born on Fleftic soil, whether their parents were Fleftic citizens or not, immediately qualified for Fleftic citizenship.

But that wasn't the only reason why Sohaila had decided to suit up for Abanhfleft in international competitions. Sohaila's more immediate reason for deciding to represent Abanhfleft was because Abanhfleft was the country which had taught her how to play and appreciate football. Her footballing heroes growing up were people like Finlay Jameson, Ruud Akinfenyor, Matthew Cave, and in more recent years, Chelsea Stuart and Alexandra Rousseau and the like. Sohaila had even been invited to the football academy of Riuwiee United, one of the most prestigious clubs in Fleftic football, and that was how she had come to meet and know Rory Edwards.

"So you're choosing Abanhfleft," Rory said, and Sohaila nodded her head. "Well, all I can say is that you have a tough slog ahead of you. We've got a good of good girl players coming up through the ranks, especially in the midfield positions. We all know how good Lea Choi is right now, and your batch-mates like Cecily Segovia and Trinidad Kleist are sure to make an impact in the senior team very, very soon once we finally know who's coming in to manage the women's team sometime soon. So, does this mean that I'll be seeing you in Riuwiee sometime soon again?"

"Don't push it, Rory," Sohaila said. "As you can tell, I haven't received an official call-up yet, and I just transferred here from United. It's not like I can just up and tear up my contract here after I just signed for these guys."

"Why did you accept the transfer offer in the first place?" Rory asked. "I thought you didn't feel any particular connection to your mother's homeland."

"In all honesty, I don't," Sohaila admitted. "But these guys, the Exiles, they're offering me a chance to become a starter, probably even a star with them. I know that you're scouting me for the SFA, and I also know that Pridnestrovia is interested in having me represent them due to my dad so I feel like first team football is going to be very important for me in the near future. And I like the setup that they have going here. Exiles are trying to pull a Haranguer in the Super League; why else do you think did they sign me and Dipasupil's twins?"

"Um, because they were from your mother's homeland?"

"Oh, stop teasing me, Rory," Sohaila said coyly. Then in a more serious tone, she said, "If I really wanted to do good by my mother's country then I would play for that blasted Federation national team instead of Abanhfleft."

"Hey, what's this I hear about the blasted Federation national team?" A tall figure wearing the red training kit of Exiles walked up to Rory and Sohaila with his hands on his hips. There were lines on his face which to Rory appeared to have been carved out by the man being in a perpetual state of frowning. If he was asked to give an estimate of the man's age, he would say around thirty-plus.

"And who might you be?" Rory asked more than a little belligerently.

"I might be Stanislav Natashevich Vinogradovsky, assistant manager of Exiles FC," the man replied. "And who might you be?"

"I'm Rory Edwards, and I'm Sohaila's boyfriend," Rory replied.

"What do you want, Stanislav?" Sohaila asked in an exasperated tone.

"I heard you and your boyfriend talking about what you call the 'blasted' Federation national team, Magomedova," Stanislav Vinogradovsky replied. "What's the matter, Sohaila? You think you're too good for a small team like the Federation?"

"No, it's not that, Stanislav," Sohaila replied a little forcefully. "I just don't want to represent a country to which I don't feel any strong connection."

"A country to which you don't feel a strong connection?" Stanislav repeated. "Do I need to remind you that your mother came from the country which more than half your fellow teammates are now going to represent once the paperwork is finally cleared up and the Federation can finally play in international competitions?"

"You know what, Stanislav? I'm sick and tired of everyone in this club trying to remind me that my mother is from your country!" Sohaila suddenly shouted as she stood up to stare Stanislav in the eye. "Yes, that may be true, but the fact remains that I was born in Abanhfleft and I grew up in Abanhfleft and I came to love football in Abanhfleft because football in Abanhfleft is just on another level and of a higher quality than anyplace else at the time. Will I get a chance to play for Abanhfleft on a senior level anytime soon? I don't know, but I'm willing to take the risk. And what do you care about my mother anyway, Stanislav? Is it because of your daddy issues?"

"Don't you dare talk to me about my mother that way, Magomedova," Stanislav hissed.

"Oh, I will dare talk to you in any way that I choose, Stanislav," Sohaila said back, staring Stanislav in the eye. "Yes, I heard the way you introduced yourself to Rory. Stanislav Natashevich Vinogradovsky. So now you're using a matronymic just to deny the fact that you finally know who your father is. You'd rather live the lie of not acknowledging your father even though you and I and everyone else in this club know better."

"I will not be spoken to like that!" Stanislav shouted.

"What are you going to do about it, Branislavich?" Sohaila dared. "Are you going to ask your father to cut me from the team because I dissed you?"

Stanislav Vinogradovsky looked like he was about to explode; his face was so vividly red in his anger. "I'll get back at you for this, Magomedova," he threatened as he began to walk away. "Soon you'll wish that you had chosen to represent the Federation instead!"

"Who the heck is that guy?" Rory asked Sohaila once Stanislav was out of earshot. "He looks like he has it in for you, though."

"Oh, don't mind him," Sohaila waved off. "He's Coach Branislav's son, the son that Coach never knew he had until now."

"Wait, were you serious with that?" Rory asked in surprise. "I thought you were just kidding around with that one."

"No, Rory, this one is completely and absolutely serious," Sohaila told him. "And I think he hates me because I'm doing it for Abanhfleft and not his precious Federation. In fact, I think that the guy thinks that he could singlehandedly save his country from all the chaos and anarchy going on in it right now."

"But he can't do anything to you, can he?" Rory asked. "Can he?"

"Let's see him try," Sohaila spoke with confidence. "Oh, Rory, I would really love to see him try."
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ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

CUP OF HARMONY 70: ABANHFLEFT VS SAVOJARNA

By Malik Qazizadah

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Abanhfleft women's national team celebrate their triumph over Savojarna in Drawkland as the Lady Revolutionaries advanced to the quarterfinals of the 70th Cup of Harmony. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

DRAWKLAND - Two late goals from defenders Tonya Heaton and Miriam Hannibal rescued Abanhfleft's Cup of Harmony hopes as the Lady Revolutionaries came from behind to advance to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time in the country's history.

Chelsea Stuart had given Abanhfleft an early lead when she applied with her head the finishing touch to Bella Maynard's free kick, earned by the Lady Revolutionaries after a harsh tackle on Regina Mesbros by Savojar captain Kristina Midström.

Alexandra Rousseau then doubled Abanhfleft's advantage when her speculative effort from outside the box actually managed to find the target and go into goal but Savojarna's Freya Sigurdsdottir halved her side's deficit after she headed in the cross from Irina Jarkasjärvi, and then Jarkasjärvi herself then scored Savojarna's equalizer with two minutes left from the half-time break.

Abanhfleft then struggled to replicate their earlier form against their opponents in the start of the second half and the Lady Revolutionaries eventually paid for their slow start when Sigurdsdottir doubled her tally after she tapped in the ball from Anna Reskilainen's pass into the box.

The stage looked set for a potential classic upset by Savojarna on Abanhfleft as the Lady Revolutionaries continued to struggle for goals, but it appeared as if not even the introduction of Allison Torres and Zsofia Dolan as substitutes would help the Fleftics' cause to progress further in the Cup of Harmony, but as it happened, it would turn out that the two players would actually be indirectly responsible for what was to come for Abanhfleft.

Dolan's rasping attempt from just inside the box had to be parried away for a corner kick by Viktorija Petrova, and it was from that corner kick that Tonya Heaton would end up scoring Abanhfleft's vital equalizer against the Savojars. Three minutes later, Torres forced another corner out of Savojarna, and while Torres' headed attempt struck the post that time, the inevitable scramble somehow ended with Miriam Hannibal scooping the ball away from everyone else and over the goal line, resulting in loud groans from the Savojar faithful and loud and enthusiastic cheers from the Fleftic fans.

Savojar substitute Kaisa Hytamäki attempted to force extra time for her side in the dying minutes of the match but despite a flurry of shots from the opposition, Abanhfleft stood firm and eventually managed to progress to the quarterfinals of the Cup of Harmony for the first time in the team's history.

Abanhfleft women's team manager Holly Jonasson: "It was a very intense game, very intense. It was very much end to end as well. Every time someone fired a shot at the goal you kept thinking that 'that's it, that's a goal.' This is a match for the ages. People will still be telling stories about this game a hundred years later. People will talk about where they were when Abanhfleft advanced to the quarterfinals of the Cup of Harmony. Now of course the aim is to win in the quarterfinal but Soltsteed is a formidable team. We cannot take anything for granted for the quarterfinals. We must not let this golden opportunity slip from our fingers."

Abanhfleft will face Soltsteed for their quarterfinals match in the 70th Cup of Harmony.

    ABANHFLEFT 4 - 3 SAVOJARNA
STUART (5') SIGURDSDOTTIR (35', 56')
ROUSSEAU (16') JARKASJÄRVI (43')
HEATON (78')
HANNIBAL (81')
YESOPALITHA
GK: 1 Petrova
RB: 3 Reskilainen
RCB: 4 Kjaer
LCB: 2 Ernberg
LB: 5 Midström (Hytamäki - 71')
RM: 15 Vailova
CM: 6 Raukanen (Namenkova - 82')
LM: 8 Johansson
RS: 10 Jarkasjärvi
ST: 11 Sigurdsdottir
LW: 7 Haakonson (Mahlström - 68')
ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Carter
RB: 14 Warren
CB: 15 Hannibal
LB: 16 Heaton
RM: 5 Maynard
LM: 6 Choi
RW: 7 Prescott
CAM: 12 Mesbros (Torres - 69')
LW: 8 Singh (Johnson - 80')
RS: 9 Stuart
LS: 11 Rousseau (Dolan - 73')

STATISTICS
Possession

Abanhfleft: 52%
Savojarna: 48%
Shots
Abanhfleft: 13 (7 on target)
Savojarna: 10 (5 on target)
Corners
Abanhfleft: 4
Savojarna: 4
Fouls
Abanhfleft: 21
Savojarna: 15
The Democratic Republic of Abanhfleft
Leader: President Rako Novoire

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Third place winner in the 33rd Di Bradini Cup!

Third place winner of the International Baseball Slam VIII
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Mercedini
Diplomat
 
Posts: 802
Founded: Mar 05, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mercedini » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:02 am

RPing for closure and will be tied to an announcement I will make in due course
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David Bjarnasson Vacates Position In Surprise Departure
@ Zoloroni Sports City Stadium - Zoloroni, Mercedini


Good evening and welcome to a special edition of Mercedini Sports Daily. I am standing outside the Zoloroni Sports City Stadium, the current headquarters of the MFA and home of Mercedinian football. As you can see, the lights are on inside the office space of the building as they have plenty of big decisions to make in the coming weeks with breaking news coming to us that national team manager David Bjarnasson has reportedly resigned following their failure to qualify for the World Cup and subsequent Group Stage exit at the Cup of Harmony. It marks the first time a managerial departure has occurred since the Mercedinian FA's creation prior to the 62nd Baptism of Fire. Bjarnasson leaves with a positive legacy and a near 51% win rate, taking the nation to a total of three Cups of Harmony as well as a World Cup, he also departs with a proud record of never missing a post-qualification tournament. We will go through the final match of the Cup of Harmony and what that means for the National Team going forward.

Cup of Harmony: Cycle Fit For The Bin Ends With A Win

FINAL SCORE
COH | MD3

MERCEDINI 1
Dostalok 8'
NEW DANICAN 0

Rosaria, Eshan
Mercedini had it all to do if they wanted to make it to their third Cup of Harmony Round of 16 in four cycles. They needed to win, hoped Aggrey-Fynn Land lost and then hope that the goal swing went in favour of the Golden Eagles. Mercedini held their part of the bargain thanks to a 1-0 win over New Danican. An adjusted Mercedinian squad was put out with Dostalok and Kramini put up front for the nation in blue and black with most of the recognisable such as Billic, Chillotov and Nymark all being rested for the match. It didn't take long for the reserves to make an impact as treasured Handon United striker Daniel Dostalok converted from close range to open the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock. A long spell of possession was finished off with a simple one-two between Dostalok and Kramini but the young striker through on goal, a simple side-foot into the far corner was enough for Mercedini to get the first goal of he game without even ten minutes on the board.

That was enough for Mercedini to get the win with minimal effort, however their failure to get a second and possibly a third goal combines with Aggrey-Fynn Land only losing 2-1 meant Mercedini tied with AFL on points but they were knocked out on goal difference buy a single goal. It is the first time in three attempts that Mercedini have failed to qualify for a Cup of Harmony knockout phase with many fans experiencing major disappointment after Mercedini catapulted into the top thirty within three attempts. It seems as if their turbo charged rise has finally caught up with them with Bjarnasson under serious scrutiny after a severely lacklustre campaign. Fifth in qualification as a Pot 2 side and elimination at the group stage as a Pot 1 side certainly isn't the result many expected, but hey, that's how things go sometimes.

What Now?

A couple of days later, it all unravelled for the National Team, sent home much earlier that expected along with their managerial role now vacant means it has been a rather miserable cycle all round for Mercedini. It is likely that they will fall from their 30th position with many anticipating their placing to begin in the high 30s to low 40s for the next World Cup Cycle, a drop of about ten places from the beginning of this cycle. In the coming weeks the MFA may publicise their wants and desires from the next MMNT manager, although if a suitable manager isn't found by the time the next senior tournament rolls around then it is likely one of the youth coaches will take the spot as an interim.

After debuting on the international stage, Mercedini were without a manager for their opening tournament, the 62nd Baptism of Fire and got themselves to the Round of Sixteen with a 4-0-1 record. Bjarnasson then stepped in for the beginning of the 75th World Cup and lost his managerial debut 1-0 against Aji No Moto but still guided the team to a 4-3-5 record in their qualification debut. Many would say it's a mixed cycle and middle of the road when it came to debuts, especially when compared to the debutants in more recent cycles. Nine tournaments later, Bjarnasson racked up a 52-21-28 record (a 51.49% win rate) including one appearance at the World Cup and a bronze medal at the Independent's Cup, whether his successor has as much joy with their results remains to be seen.

The MFA is now looking into the possible candidates who could be next National Team Manager and with the whole multiverse at their disposal, it really is anyone's guess who will end up in the home dugout at the Sports City Stadium next season. A tried and tested former manager of a footballing powerhouse at club level or at national level is likely to be the preferred option for the Mercedinian Football Association, however with an open roll call expected within the next couple of days, we will be giving you the latest on the runners and riders in the race for the managerial role in Mercedini.
Last edited by Mercedini on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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World CupBest: Group Stage ('77)
Cup of HarmonyBest: Champion ('72)
U21 World Cup (DBC)Best: Round of 16 (3x)
U18 World Cup (SWC)Best: Champions ('4)
Independents CupBest: 2nd Place ('3)
WC of HockeyBest: 4th Place ('35)
WJHCBest: Champions ('13)
Association Football • 106-28-43 • Rank: 26
Ice Hockey • Unknown • Rank: 17
WorldVision
Best Placing: 2nd (DUM '55)Most Points: 93 pts (DUM '55)

World Hit Festival
Best Placing: 1st (Vodiznad '34, Gralicna '36)Most Points: 34 pts (Mousiki '31)
Mercedini in WVSC & WHF

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Aggrey-Fynn Land
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 183
Founded: Feb 08, 2017
Ex-Nation

Postby Aggrey-Fynn Land » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:56 pm

LANDER SPORTS NETWORK

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AGGREY-FYNN LAND SPRING THE UPSET IN A GOALFEST

GOAL: Koromin (12')
GOAL: Onasi (35')
GOAL: Grammy (42')
GOAL: Whitlick (53')
GOAL: Duval (57')

GOAL: Arrowsword (62')
GOAL: Kendrick (76')
GOAL: Strong (87')


(Sebio, ESHAN) Aggrey-Fynn Land played Ceni in the round of sixteen. Ceni is ranked 16th in the multiverse, so this was the highest ranked team Aggrey-Fynn Land had played yet. "We really have to go out there and take the bull by the horns" Aggrey-Fynn Land's captain, Roman Kendrick said. "This is top tier competition, no doubt, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going." Many fans traveled to Sebio to see this game. "I had to take some time off of work to come see this. Definitely worth it!" one fan said. "A top-20 team? Playing Aggrey-Fynn Land? For a spot in the quarterfinals? Sign me up!" said another. There was a lot of excitement leading up to the game, with many Aggrey-Fynn Landers hoping that the Wavy Ones could pull off a shock result and move on. At the same time, Ceni was attempting to make a run for the Cup of Harmony to atone for their inability to qualify for the World Cup. The stakes were high, and both teams were in it to win it.

Ceni got off to a great start, controlling possesion from the beginning. Aggrey-Fynn Land's defenders seemed to be rooted to the spot as Ceni started to pile the pressure on. Their passes were free-flowing, and they got a couple of prime chances within ten minutes. In the twelfth minute, they finally cracked open the game with a one-two pass to Kel Koromin, who slotted the ball into the goal. This appeared to set the tone for the half, as Ceni was still able to keep the ball, but was a bit more laidback in tactics in order to avoid a quick counter. This appeared to work for them well. Aggrey-Fynn Land was more aware of how clinical the Cenians were. However, they struck again in the 35th minute, when Marc-Andre Onasi hit a screamer in the top-right corner from outside the box. However, this was the true wake up call. After giving up two goals, Aggrey-Fynn Land went for some of their own. They were more aggressive with their counter attacks. In the 42nd minute, they got their first goal, as Tanner Grammy chipped the keeper on the counter. At the half, Ceni held the advantage, with a 2-1 lead.

Aggrey-Fynn Land came into the second half swinging. They upped the pressure too, so Ceni did not have as many options and outlets to play their game. The possession stats started to look less lopsided, and Aggrey-Fynn Land had more chances to grab an equalizer. The equalizer came in the 53rd minute. Gordon Whitlick got open on a one-on-one look, and slotted the ball past the keeper. The game was tied up, 2-2. Ceni seemed to be taken aback by the fact that the underdogs had managed to regain their footing in the game. For the next few minutes, they were playing as if they were in a daze. Aggrey-Fynn Land took advantage of that, and put away another goal in the 57th minute. RJ Duval went for top bins from a tricky angle, and he was rewarded for his efforts. Aggrey-Fynn Land was now in the lead. This fact seemed to wake Ceni up from whatever daze they were in, and five minutes later, the game was level again. The Cenians delivered a defense-splitting pass right to Andrew Arrowsword's feet, and he coolly finished the ball off. The game was a lot more balanced after the goal; neither team wanted to do anything to risky or rash, and lose out on a quarterfinal spot. Play stayed in the middle. Roman Kendrick really came in clutch in those situations. When the ball reached him in the middle, he would distribute it to his teammates and act as an outlet. Eventually, he created a chance for himself after a good sequence, and he put it away for the go-ahead goal. Things became really tense after this, as everyone realized that the next goal would dictate how the game wound up. The Cenians became increasingly desperate for the equalizer, and started to bring more men forward. Aggrey-Fynn Land still stood tall and was able to repel the attacks. As the Cenians became more tired, they started to launch counter attacks. In the 87th minute, Jones Strong hit a powerful volley off a corner to seal the deal. The game ended 5-3, in Aggrey-Fynn Land's favor.

There were wild celebrations in the stadium after the game, as this was the highest-ranked opponent they have defeated. The fans were on their feet, yelling and cheering for the Wavy Ones' accomplishment. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime game" said Tanner Grammy. "I'm just so glad that I could have contributed to what will become a piece of Aggrey-Fynn Lander history. "The boys showed their class today. Even when it looked grim, or they had to fight back against one of the better teams in the multiverse, they stood their ground. That's all I can ask of them." were Jerry Simmons remarks on the game. "Truly a team effort. Every single person gave 100%, and this was the end result" Justin Green said. The Lander fans in Eshan and back home were in the streets all night celebrating. The Wavy Ones' next opponent is Qadsen; they are ranked 39th in the multiverse. Qadsen finished atop Group D with 7 points, and then dispatched Red Blackiland in an extra time thriller. One thing's for sure, if the Superstars want to advance, they will need to be at their best once again. Catch Aggrey-Fynn Land vs Qadsen on Lander Sports TV. We'll see you there.

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Soltsteed
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 139
Founded: Mar 27, 2015
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Soltsteed » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:56 pm

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|national football | club football | basketball | rugby | volleyball | sevenball|
a forty-eight team world cup: a theoretical knockout stage, part everything
part four of a look into what the tournament would be like with sixteen more teams—and a commentary on if it should be done

SPITTALSEA, Bonesea — In the previous instalment, we concluded our fictional group stage of our hypothetical 48-team World Cup. As a result of our careless simulating, Bonesea now houses the remains of the hopes of Nova Anglicana, Eshan, Turori, Free Republics, Acronis, Garifunya, Apox and Brigantii, who bid STN’s sham global championship farewell.

Now the 32-team knockout phase begins with our hexadecafinals—normal and boring human beings will probably just call it the “Round of 32”—and group winners have been drawn to play the runners-up of a different group. Just like the real thing, teams from the same group are kept apart until the semifinals and drawn games go to extra time and (if that doesn’t help) penalties. Winners advance to the next round and losers are out of the running for STN Sport’s fraudulent World Cup, though the semifinal losers do get to play one last match for third place and for the lulz.

Round of 32
The opening game of the knockouts is quite the doosy. Co-hosts Cosumar get definitively trounced by Eura, while elsewhere in the draw, Semarland and Drawkland go to extra time, where the latter prevail. Port Christopher push Flardania to the limit, but to no avail, while Farfadillis crash out on penalties against Red Blackiland. The Cormorants blunder out against Ceni, leaving Ceni to face fellow Terraneans Electrum in the next round.

Also, Audioslavia are out after losing to Valladares and Schottia needed extra time to advance over Spaam.

On the other side of the draw, the other co-hosts are easily through over Tumbra, while Islana Lunigo’s valiant effort comes to an end after a loss to fellow Esportivans Ethane. San José Guayabal trounce Abanhfleft, Chromatika beat Qasden and the Holy Empire take out Barunia in utterly unsurprising results. Pasarga and Vilita hold out against each other long enough to require penalties, which the Wanderers win, while Gregoryisgodistan edge out Damukuni in an all-Esportivan duel. But perhaps most surprising: Valanora are taken out by a plucky Brenecian side, sending the Esportivans to their seeming doom against the top-ranked team in the world.
Cosumar 0–3 Eura
Schottia 0–0 Spaam (1–0 aet)
Audioslavia 1–2 Valladares
Semarland 2–2 Drawkland (2–3 aet)
Flardania 3–2 Port Christopher
Farfadillis 1–1 Red Blackiland (1–1 aet; 2–4 pen.)
Electrum 1–0 Super-Llamaland
Ceni 1–0 Nephara
Bonesea 2–0 Tumbra
Islana Lunigo 0–2 Ethane
San José Guayabal 3–0 Abanhfleft
Brenecia 2–1 Valanora
Chromatika 2–0 Qasden
Pasarga 2–2 Vilita (2–2 aet; 3–2 pen.)
Gregoryisgodistan 2–1 Damukuni
Barunia 2–3 The Holy Empire

Round of 16
But lo, Brenecia survive again, toppling another giant of world football in another 2–1 spectacle. And in other outrage news, the Holy Empire are toppled by Gregoryisgodistan. They probably didn’t pray to Lord Gregory hard enough, because he’s god, you know.

Schottia take on and beat Eura in a match probably worth a final, while Drawkland once again continue to punch above their weight. Flardania take out Red Blackiland. Chromatika triumph over Pasarga in extra time in another final-worthy fixture and Electrum triumph over their Terranean rivals on penalties. And true to real life, co-hosts Bonesea are anointed quarterfinalists after shutting out Ethane.
Eura 1–3 Schottia
Valladares 3–3 Drawkland (3–4 aet)
Flardania 2–0 Red Blackiland
Electrum 0–0 Ceni (0–0 aet; 4–3 pen.)
Bonesea 1–0 Ethane
San José Guayabal 1–2 Brenecia
Chromatika 2–2 Pasarga (4–3 aet)
Gregoryisgodistan 3–2 The Holy Empire

Quarterfinals
And Drawkland’s run comes to a screeching halt against Schottia. In context their close match with a top ten side will be a point of pride for fictional Drawkland, but a tear we shed nonetheless. Also, we shall shed tears for Bonesea, cruelly taken out by Brenecia in a five-goal brawl, and Chromatika, downed by Gregoryisgodistan.

Greg is god, after all, didn’t you know?

Also, Flardania pulled off a minor upset against Electrum, but that’s not important.
Schottia 2–1 Drawkland
Flardania 1–0 Electrum
Bonesea 2–3 Brenecia
Chromatika 0–3 Gregoryisgodistan

Semifinals
For Flardania to take their match against Schottia to extra time is one miracle. For Flardania to hold Schottia to penalties is another. For Flardania to win on penalties is something entirely different.

Also, we have received word that Greg is possibly not god after all. A lone extra time goal knocked Gregoryisgodistan out in the semifinals, but maybe Greg works in mysterious ways?
Schottia 0–0 Flardania (0–0 aet; 4–5 pen.)
Brenecia 3–3 Gregoryisgodistan (4–3 aet)

Third-place match
Want to reform the World Cup in a positive way? Do away with this match. Do we really need the third-place play-off? What purpose does it serve other than to provide definitive proof that Greg is in fact god?

In other news, all food and beverages at the STN cafeteria have been replaced with prune juice and gruel. All hail Greg.
Schottia 0–2 Gregoryisgodistan

The wrap-up
We very nearly had a champion from the bottom half of Pot 2, but the second-lowest ranked team in Pot 1 is good, we guess. Brenecia being an Esportivan side—and just across a strait from us Soltsteeders, to boot—is nice and Soltsteeders can feel the joy of winning vicariously through Brenecia, so that’s great. We think.
Flardania 0–2 Brenecia

It could be worse, though. We could have had a group runner-up make it to the semifinals. We might have had a god-awful team squeak out a lot of dull draws and penalty shoot-outs to win. We didn’t, though, and that is the best part.

While we remain uneasy about the virtues of expanding and unconvinced by the format we have presented here, this simulation has been remarkably interesting and the STN Sport office is aflood with awful ideas of how to reform the World Cup. Just not using groups of three for anything ever, though. This may be the end of STN Sport’s adventures into simulations which are completely unnecessary and time-consuming or it might just be the beginning.

As for a prize, some photograph of a cheap plastic trophy we found in our Port Michael office is in transport to the Brenecian FA headquarters as we speak. Congratulations on winning a fictional tournament that doesn’t really matter to anyone outside the STN headquarters. •
In other news:
Co. Longe: Six in hospital after drinking contaminated and spoilt milk from a supermarket in Orange
Co. Southall: Teen walks off the side of a bridge while playing the Maxémon Woah mobile game
Football: The Stallions march to their doom: Soltsteed through to the quarterfinals over Oontaz Dert Li Ng
Offbeat: Ed Sheeran’s prom suit choice will make her squirm: too much diabetes, such wow
Last edited by Soltsteed on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Scottopian Isles
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 500
Founded: Feb 18, 2013
Democratic Socialists

Postby Scottopian Isles » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:26 pm

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Scottopian Isles Football Association
@SIFA

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A Baxters double seals a 5-3 win over Yesopalitha in the Round of 16! Next match for the Bluebirds... the Quarter-Finals vs Nephara!
#PlayBeautifully #CupOfHarmony70 #ScottopianIsles


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The youngster shook his wrists and hands nervously as he paced up and down, facing the white line on the deep green grass. As he lifted his head to check on his opponent, the sweat from his brow dripped forcing him to smear the with his sleeve. A combination with the warm temperature & the pressure bearing down on him mentally at the moment. His name was Andy Castle, Scottopia's rookie goalkeeper who had been thrown into the fray of the Cup of Harmony after 1st Team keeper Rimandos was delivered a hard knock in a training exercise during the Group Stages. Tilting his head more, he looked up towards the lights beaming down upon them, the blue sky slowly turning orange & purple against the clouds and could hear the roaring of the crowd, both from the home & away fans. He blew a sigh in an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure, the score was 4-3 to the Scottopian Isles with 8 minutes remaining on the clock in their Round of 16 match up against Yesopalitha, a team whom were very organised and determined to advance to the later stages.

In front of him, stood 2 strikers for the opposition, both talking to themselves and trying to play mind games with the youthful Castle. The ball sat at their feet, with both teams behind them as they continued to discuss their options for the penalty kick. The referee was making his way to the penalty spot, bringing the biggest moment in his career ever closer. Sure playing for Rangers FC back in the Elite Astyrian Football League was a demanding position, for a high quality club with high ambitions to make it to the Premiership. But this was the international stage, he was representing his country and any lost game ment the team was backing their bags and heading home to the islands. A quick shiver from his neck down his spine and out his legs erased those thoughts as the referee handed the ball to one of the players. His companion, departed leaving the player Castle has suspected the whole time of taking the kick. Stepping on the line, he faced the ball and stared straight ahead without moving a muscle. He remembered something that Manager Douglas McCann had said to him in training a few weeks prior that had finally made its way forward in the current situation... 'Go Fishing'

Andy was a fine fisherman growing up on the islands, it was his & his families hobby away from football and they loved it. The Scottopian manager had found a way to blend the 2 experiences into a training moment especially for the youngster. "Now when the time comes mate, and it will, just relax. Just like fishing, cast out your reel and focus just on where the bobble is on the surface of the water. Just watch it floating there, focus on only that ball. Not the lights, the fans or their shouts, the camera or other players, not even the kicker. Just the ball, just the bobble. That fish will bite it in time, you cant force him to, but you can react to his bite. He'll take a nab to deceive you thinking he's found a free easy meal, just like the player is hoping your 12 yard kick away from adding to his score sheet record, but again, just relax and watch that bobble...

He'll come out of the water fast, strike without a second thought. All he wants is the goal, all the fish wants is the meal.... but you want the fish, and you gotta catch him son. You have to be fast, you not and hes swimming away celebrating. Just focus on the ball, where it moves, you move. When it gets in the air, you lift your rod. When it skids the water, you dive on it! Follow the bobble, not the waves behind it. And remember son, the reward will be much more than a fish if you do"
... finish the manager with a quick jab in the ribs & a smile.

Castle followed the instructions, he blanked out the noise of the crowd, he focused just on the white ball on the spot and not the men behind it. Standing upon his tip-toes, arms extended, he awaited the shot as the whistle was blown. Time seemed to slow down for the thousands occupying the stadium, the noise quieted for a second just to heard the players footsteps towards the ball before the all familiar smack of leather bashing off leather. As it curled in the air and bend to the left, the Scottopian Keeper had already seen the trajectory with the spin from the ball and already made his move in that direction. With a satisfactory thud, he deflected the shot away from the netting before hitting the ground after his dive. The ball was still live, prompting him to gain to his feet as fast as possible. But before he could, time sped back to normal & the noise returned now that his focus was broken.

Experianced Goulding who had been a mainstay in Scottopian football for almost a decade rushed in and cleared the ball out for a corner, before helping up the rookie keeper and congratulating him on the finest save he has ever made. Others congratulated him as they entered the area, prepared to defend their score with minutes left on the clock. The Scottopian fans continued to cheer even after the ball had been cleared and returned to play in the midfield.
Last edited by Scottopian Isles on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Royal CommonWealth of Scottopian Isles
Proud member of Astyria, East Astyrian Treaty Organization & the World Assembly
Capitol: Scottopia CityRoyal Cities: MacKenzie City, Port Elisabeth, Urquhart
Major Cities: Cappielow City, Davanzas, East Kilbride, Kamehameha, Milpitas Bay, New Greenock
Heads of State: King Scott James & Queen ElisabethPrime Minister: Brian P. Beahm
Government: Consitutional MonarchyCurrency: Scot §2.7015=NS$1Population: 56 MillionArea: 95,617 sq mi

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Qasden
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Qasden » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:31 pm

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TQ Stuns Meski Makers, Advance to 2nd Quarterfinals




The time is M E _ _.

Last time, TQ took on the purple knights of Taeshan in a Win or Go Home-type situation at the last day in the shooting gallery of Group D. The match, featuring Munson's CoH debut, had one thing written on it: Merritt's job. A win or draw would keep Jon's job intact for the knockouts, with a defeat and elimination costing the Qasdonian coach his entire life's work. Minutes of grueling back and forth went on endlessly into the game before the silence was broken by a single, game-winning goal, courtesy of the Qads.

Since claiming the group via that fateful victory, the Blue-Reds traveled to Alexandria to take on the Group C runner-ups, Red Blackiland, the team and its infamous ultras were blindsided by Pasarga and Drawkland in the qualifying Group 10, most definitely the 2nd most intense group of the qualifiers, behind the notorious Group 12. Since that disappointing feat, the Meski HQ country joined Apox, Coldfield, and Vietmihn in the Charlied group. With a win and 2 draws, Rotschwarzland finised just behind the platypi for the group title. The winner of the match between the Blue and Red and the Red and Black will meet up with the winner of Ceni/Aggrey-Fynn Land in the quarterfinals in Alixa.

With the anthems sung and the flags flown, the match begun had finally begun. Starting with the ball, The RBers dribbled the ball down the field in an almost hectic manner, with the Infamous Ultras alright igniting their flares, much to the Feline Fanatics' interest. 3 minutes in, and in a stunning array of flares and mirrors, Red Blackiland attacker, Felipe Schwartz, nails the ball right past Abbott's arm, taking the earliest of leads in the game. 0-1, 5 minutes in, and the fanatics are already bored with the flares. 10 minutes in, Gerard Behckestander of Red Blackiland headed in a corner, but alas, the Brickwall was there to save it. 39 minutes in, Munson pounds the ball from the box's edge before it rebounding off of the keep's hands and into Foster's kinetic path, ramming itself into the net for the equalizer. Fanatics and other fans from Qailpyme and AO exploded in retaliation to the Ultras, with a few even setting off blue flares of their own. 1-1, that half ended, with both sides fighting for that coveted dominance.

Rejuiced up, the players came back onto the field prepared for one another in the second half. Due to the intensity of both squads, little progress was actually made during those 48 minutes, and the regulational match ended at a 1-1 standhold. With neither side showing any sign of weakness, the enthralling game quickly went into extra time. 94 minutes, Schwartz comes in for another shot but OH! Abbott saves the day with a game-twisting save. 111 minutes in, Jerry Bostun comes in from the corner and nails one past the keep, breaking the tie and ending the game moments later.

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The win sparked confidence and pride over defender-country, as the win secured Qasden a spot in the quarterfinals and eliminated one of the biggest threats in the contest. Not only that, but Jon's chances of employment renewal survives another day, with only one more win needed to keep his job for another cycle.

Up next for the Qads are the wavy ones themselves, Aggrey-Fynn Land. AFL finished second in the 65th Baptism of Fire, falling to champions, Soltsteed, in the Spawkian final. After failing to qualify to the proper, the debutants were introduced to the CoH as a 3rd pot. Pulling off a stunning yet mediocre performance, AFL managed to still advance to the knockouts, even defeating Mercedini in the process. In what was once imagined an extremely one-sided Round of 16 match. The Wavy Stars overwhelmed Echani-side favorites, Ceni, in a goal frenzied 5-3 game, pulling off probably the upset of the tournament. The Blue-Reds and Superstars will meet in Alixa to determine who'll face Buyan/Apox in the CoH semifinal.

Will Qasden wreck the baby fresh competition for a second straight CoH semi appearance? Will the Wavy Ones continue their newborn elitism and upset the Vans? Only one bread will toast, so stay tuned, stay updated, and stay purrfect for our next report, live from the dark alleyways of Eshan in the 70th Cup of Harmony!
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World Cup Ranking:27th;KPB: 20.94; Style: +3
Sole Host of the Qasden Open, but also (Co)Hosted- Cup of Harmony 71, Baptism of Fire 67, MLB V, WLC 26,
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Eshan
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Eshan » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:32 pm

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ESHAN QUARTERFINAL CUTOFF
GOTTA SHOOT SMART, GOTTA HIT THE TARGET, GOTTA HAVE BIG GUNS


Buyan 0–0 Apox (1–0 AET)

Aggrey-Fynn Land 1–2 Qasden
Last edited by Eshan on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
How far away are the stars?
International Geese Brigade - Celebrating 0 Radiation and 3rd Place!
Runners Up: AOCAF LIV
3rd Place: Baptism of Fire 60
Quarterfinal: AOCAF 50, AOCAF 53
Round of 16: DBC 37, CoH 67
Hosted: Cup of Harmony #BIGGUNSBIGGOALS

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Drawkland
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Drawkland » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:53 pm

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DRAWKLAND QUARTERFINAL CUTOFF
Another opponent? You're gonna need a bigger gun.


Scottopian Isles 2–4 Nephara

Abanhfleft
0–0 Soltsteed (0–0 AET) (4–2 pen.)
Last edited by Drawkland on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
The INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE of DRAWKLAND
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Drawkland
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Postby Drawkland » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:58 pm

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Big Guns, Big Goals
An ESHAN/ DRAWKLAND PRODUCTION
SEMIFINAL MATCH FIXTURES


SF 1: Buyan vs Qasden

SF 2: Nephara vs Abanhfleft
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
The INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE of DRAWKLAND
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Nephara
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nephara » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:09 am

Scottopian Isles 2-4 Nephara
(4-3-3) 20 - Tsattalios; 18 - Brymora, 22 - Frostmarris, 6 - Scharner (vc), 3 - Lohengrin (19 - Jeurissen 65'); 16 - Misidjan, 4 - Rainsford (c, Chilmark 60'), 14 - Gosforth; 7 - Szalai, 17 - Stavanger (9 - Hawke 79'), 21 - Amokachi
Goals: Gosforth 3', Stavanger 25', Frostmarris 41', Rainsford 44' pen

Tanith Rainsford dusted herself down, placed the ball on the spot and stared Rimandos down.
Get this right, and they were 4-1 up at half-time. And then they could ease back, keep the Isles at arm's length, rest assured - almost, anyway - of their progression. Maybe she'd even get another rest, fresher for the next two... though she almost didn't have a choice. She'd been lucky not to pick up a booking earlier for hacking down Peterson, and that booking would've ruled her out of the semi-final. She didn't plan to rely on luck a second time.
The match had gone well. The Cormorants had found their rhythm of late. The defence pressed high, secure with Tsattalios - not the best shot-stopper they had, but right now, the best goalkeeper for this plan - sweeping behind. Rainsford could afford to sit deeper and rest further, and her lack of dynamism was made up for by two very physical midfielders ahead of her. And she had all the freedom in the world to sweep long diagonal passes down the flanks to set the wingers loose.
A little dynamism had been lost - Tarashaj had a booking to his name after Yuezhou and was tired in any case, so young Servet Misidjan had cropped up again. Rainsford liked young Servet - she reminded her of herself, a young, hatchet-faced Northwesterner who'd been forged and cast in iron from the AFC Treason conveyor belt of talent and stood up to its tests. She didn't say much, but she listened - she always, always listened - and she knew her place was at the bottom of the totem pole, to listen to
Not to be fucked around with, though. Leona Rafford had rifled through her locker and stolen the pile of books she'd found in a Hilarious Leona Rafford Hijink, and Misidjan had said nothing. She just responded by stealing Rafford's car and sending her photos of it up for sale on eBay.
That had dealt with the incident, quickly and efficiently.
Now she was here, pressing high and running hard and very intensely and earnestly making things happen whenever she found the ball at her feet. She'd missed a few passes, just not quite clicked with the chemistry that had built up, and that was fine. She'd reacted well. Shut her eyes for a second, clenched her knuckles, taken a deep breath and then she was back in the game, looking to make amends but not trying too hard, either.
Yes, Misidjan impressed her. Must've impressed Brandon, too, if she'd made it to this squad.
The first goal had been all Gosforth, though. He'd charged down McEdison's clearance and just thumped the rebound past Rimandos. But the second? Well, Rainsford wasn't getting an assist for it - she rarely did - but it was all her. She'd released Szalai, and the cross to the waiting Stavanger had been routine. Stavanger just had to be huge and accurate, and he was both, powering the header into the ceiling of the net. But she did have credit on the third, as it was her corner that Frostmarris, in for Konoval (who was also trying to dodge a suspension), had hammered home with a mighty leap and twist of the neck.
But it had been Misidjan who'd won this penalty. Amokachi had picked up the ball from Lohengrin, but her path was blocked to goal by Goulding and the angle was poor, so she'd looked across and cut it to Misidjan, running into the space... but McCulloch was following and clumsily shoved her in the back. It would've been a clever professional foul if it'd been a foot earlier. As it was, it was a poor penalty to give away.
Misidjan had picked up the ball and stalked, wordless, to the spot even before the referee had pointed there. Rainsford had cleared her throat - they'd learned the lesson that cycle, a hard lesson at that, on what happened when people besides her took penalties.
And Misidjan's eyes had flashed, just for a moment, with an ambition that chafed and burned at being the arse end of the pecking order...
... but she'd said nothing, and handed over her chance at her first international goal. Rainsford didn't blame her. Young players were meant to be impetuous, and Misidjan was well under her impetuousness quota as it was.
And then a doubt pawed at the back of her mind.
What if she missed? That could undermine Misidjan's faith in her forever... hell, Brandon's faith, everyone's faith. Maybe she'd've missed that penalty back in qualifying, too. And, well, not being as young as she used to be, maybe, just maybe, sh-
She smothered the thought in its crib, and sidefooted the penalty low and hard to her left, sending a despairing Rimandos the wrong way. Christ, she must be getting old to have that sort of shit bubbling at the back of her skull...
But it was 4-1 by half-time. One more down. Two left to go.
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Abanhfleft
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Abanhfleft » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:08 am

Continued from here.

Exiles, Part Eight

National Football Training Grounds
Tiraspol, Transnistrian Socialist State, Pridnestrovia


"I'm looking for Alyosha Damiric," the tall and tough-looking man said to the security guard manning the main entryway into the National Football Training Grounds. The guard was a fifty-plus-year-old reservist in the Tiraspol OMON who had already seen his fair share of battles for his country back when he was still fit for active service with the Army but nevertheless, he still felt a little intimidated about this tall guy who looked like he was here for one purpose and one purpose only.

"I'm sorry, Comrade, who were you looking for again?" the guard asked.

"Alyosha Damiric, Comrade," the man replied. "I believe he's with the Exiles."

"Alyosha Damiric," the guard repeated. "The Exiles. Well then, sir, should I tell him your name and why you're looking for him?"

"Very well, Comrade. My name is Traian Pantilimon, and I am here on behalf of the Federation Defense Forces to pick him up for the first day of his duties."

"Yes, of course, I will tell him about you," the guard said, leaving behind his post at the front desk to find the person that Pantilimon was looking for in the depths of the National Football Training Grounds. Pantilimon only had to wait a few seconds before the guard returned to him. "Mr. Damiric is here, Comrade," he said. "He's training with the rest of the club."

"Thank you, Comrade Reservist," Pantilimon said, tipping his cap to the guard in gratitude and then proceeding into the grounds. The National Football Training Grounds were a ground of over twenty standard-sized football pitches laid out in a non-intrusive corner of Tiraspol and made available for use by the city government to all football clubs based in Tiraspol. The two big clubs in the city, CSKA and Sheriff, had their own training grounds, of course, but sometimes they rented out a pitch in the National Training Grounds for their use as well. The other smaller capital clubs, like Exiles for example, used the National Football Training Grounds as their regular training field simply because there was no more space in the city to set up even a rudimentary training field.

Traian Pantilimon headed straight for Pitch No. 16, the field assigned to Exiles today. The players were already hard at work in their shooting, dribbling, and passing drills under the watchful eye of their manager Branislav Fyodorovich Vinogradovsky. As he passed by the other training fields, Pantilimon drew the attention of the other players training in the grounds with his woodland-pattern camouflage combat uniform.

"Hey! Who's the tall guy?" one of the Exiles players asked his teammates.

"I don't have the faintest idea, Markus," another player replied.

Pantilimon approached a shifty-looking Exiles player wearing the club's red training kit. "Are you Alyosha Damiric?" he asked.

Alyosha Damiric looked up at Pantilimon and he let out a curse. "Chyort!" he said. "I recognize you. You're Traian Pantilimon, aren't you? You're the guy that the Exiles tried to sign as a goalkeeping coach but you refused because you would rather serve in the Defense Forces. Meanwhile, here I am, having contrived to somehow join both the Exiles and the Defense Forces at the same time."

"The one and the same, Comrade Damiric," Pantilimon replied.

"I hesitate to ask this question of you, Comrade Pantilimon," Alyosha said, "but are you here to finally bring me in?"

"Indeed I am, Comrade Damiric. If you'll just come with me, the Defense Forces will sort out your transfer from civilian life to active duty, Sergeant Damiric."

"Oh, why do I have the feeling that I am not going to like what's coming next at all?" Damiric muttered under his breath.

"It's all right, Alyosha," Branislav Vinogradovsky said to the young man who was about to become a soldier. "We understand your duty to your nation. I'll see to it that your transition to the armed forces is as quick and painless as possible."

"I'm not so sure about that," Alyosha muttered as he extracted himself from his training kit and changed into a clean white shirt. Once he was dressed in civilian clothes again, Damiric followed Pantilimon out of the National Football Training Grounds and to a waiting truck painted military olive and flying the flag of the Federation government-in-exile. "Where are we headed, Mr. Pantilimon?" Damiric asked.

"We're headed for the barracks of the 1st Patriots Division of the Federation Defense Forces as part of our call to duty," Pantilimon replied. "And it's Senior Lieutenant Pantilimon to you now, Sergeant."

"Yes, Comrade Senior Lieutenant," Damiric replied, having now been put in his proper place. The drive from the national training grounds to the barracks of the Federation Defense Forces went quiet after that as the others in the truck with Damiric and Pantilimon were both like the two of them, reporting for duty to the organization which they believed would help bring order and chaos back to their homeland. For some, like Damiric, while preparing to put on the uniform of their country was an honor, the dying and fighting a war parts of their duty were not particularly pleasing or enticing. For others, like Pantilimon, the chance to perform the ultimate duty, the ultimate sacrifice for their sacrifice was to them the highest calling that they could achieve.

They arrived at the barracks without further incident. There the soldiers of the Defense Forces changed out of their clothes into their combat uniforms, graciously provided by the Pridnestrovian Armed Forces to their allies and comrades in the Defense Forces. Once they had put on their uniforms, they were assigned to their respective squads and platoons and then they were to!d to report to a large field outside of the city of Tiraspol where the commander of the Defense Forces, General Bonifacy Kovacs, was standing at the head of the field.

"Men, right now I'm sure that you're all wondering what we are doing here in this muster field outside of the capital city of our dear friend and ally Pridnestrovia," Kovacs said. "I'm also sure that you all have heard the rumors that the rebel states overrunning our homeland, or at least some of those rebel states, are now willing to open dialogues and negotiations with our government. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to tell you that all of these rumors are true. The southern rebel republic is as of this moment willing to open negotiations with our Federation to finally bring order and peace back to our homeland. And because our Federation is coming back to reclaim our homeland from the rebels, it is our solemn and sworn duty to protect the Federation as we embark on our campaign to restore peace and order to our beloved homeland. This is because, comrades, I guarantee you that all of our Federation's enemies would love nothing more than to see us ground to dust. These rebels, these traitors to our country, only want to see our country torn apart by war, chaos, and anarchy. We cannot let them succeed with their infernal goals. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Comrade General!" the soldiers of the Defense Forces shouted.

"Good, comrades," Kovacs said. "You are all now dismissed back to your barracks. Stand ready to deploy within the next fourteen days. By then, the Federation may have finally secured their grasp on our homeland."

"Yes, Comrade General!"
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ABANHFLEFT • PRIDNESTROVIAOONTAZ DERT LI NGCOPPER CUPRUMTRENDSTARTFHULGHAMOUS PENINSULA

CUP OF HARMONY 70: ABANHFLEFT VS SOLTSTEED

By Malik Qazizadah

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Abanhfleft women's national team celebrate their penalty shootout victory over Soltsteed in Drawkland as the Lady Revolutionaries advanced to the semifinals of the 70th Cup of Harmony for the first time in their history. (Courtesy of Crescent News Network Sports Channel/Andros Tasasa)

DRAWK CITY, DRAWKLAND - Abanhfleft survived a goalless encounter against Soltsteed in the quarterfinals of the 70th Cup of Harmony to advance to a semifinals matchup with perennial rivals Nephara after winning the contest on penalties.

Both Abanhfleft and Soltsteed were not lacking in chances throughout the game, and Chelsea Stuart arguably had the best chance from the Lady Revolutionaries to open the scoring deep in the second half when she scooped the ball goalwards but Emmet Ferdinand was quick to react to the ball and palmed it away to safety.

And Fleftic substitute Zsofia Dolan's late tackle on Emma Gryndhout almost gave Soltsteed the opportunity to pull of an upset and advance to the semifinals at Abanhfleft's expense in the dying minutes of the second half of extra time but Cobus Brygge's free kick smashed right into the crossbar to the massive relief of Fleftic fans.

The scores having remained goalless in the 120 minutes of game play, a penalty shootout was the only way to separate the two teams and determine who was going to advance to the semifinals and face Nephara. Things didn't start off on the right foot for Abanhfleft though as the Lady Revolutionaries' stalwart striker Chelsea Stuart missed the opening penalty while her counterpart Emma Gryndhout converted her spot kick.

Zsofia Dolan, Clement Kolen, and Allison Torres also converted from the spot before Victoria Carter guessed the right direction that Cobus Brygge would take for his penalty and saved his shot. Cecilia Johnson also scored from six yards before Carter guessed correctly once again to save Ann-Marine Crabshaas' penalty kick.

The final penalty came down to Abanhfleft's Miriam Hannibal who struck home strongly in the top left corner to book Abanhfleft's ticket to the semifinal of the 70th Cup of Harmony.

Abanhfleft women's team manager Holly Jonasson: "By God, that penalty shootout was an absolute heartstopper. When Chelsea [Stuart] missed her penalty I thought, 'That was it, that's the end of our campaign. But then the rest of the girls started shooting straight and Vicky [Carter] also made those two saves and I thought that we might just have a chance to advance. And then Miriam [Hannibal] scored and it was as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. We're through to the semifinals! It's the most significant achievement I have made with this team and I don't want to waste it."

Abanhfleft will face Nephara for their semifinals match in the 70th Cup of Harmony.

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SOLTSTEED
GK: 1 Ferdinand
RB: 6 Foley
RCB: 5 Daley
CB: 4 Änderssen
LCB: 3 McBride (Smid - 79')
LB: 2 Webb (Peterssen - 77')
RM: 10 Kolen
RCM: 9 Brygge
LCM: 8 Morris (Baker - 106')
LM: 7 Hilton (Crabshaas - 65')
ST: 11 Gryndhout
ABANHFLEFT
GK: 1 Carter
RB: 14 Warren
CB: 15 Hannibal
LB: 16 Heaton
RM: 5 Maynard
LM: 6 Choi
RW: 7 Prescott (Osgood - 112')
CAM: 10 Torres
LW: 8 Singh (Johnson - 85')
RS: 9 Stuart
LS: 11 Rousseau (Dolan - 78')

STATISTICS
Possession

Abanhfleft: 51%
Soltsteed: 49%
Shots
Abanhfleft: 8 (4 on target)
Soltsteed: 8 (3 on target)
Corners
Abanhfleft: 5
Soltsteed: 3
Fouls
Abanhfleft: 14
Soltsteed: 16

ADDENDUM: CNN Sports would like to apologize for the mistake in the article posted July 23. The Abanhfleft women's national football team have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Cup of Harmony before, in the tournament's 66th edition, and not for the first time in the current edition of the Cup of Harmony as stated before.
Last edited by Abanhfleft on Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Buyan
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Founded: Jul 13, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Buyan » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:56 am

Well, he had not scored yet but one could only assume that such was the only negative thing which could be spilled so far about the performance of Lucan Palmisano. Might his fame currently not exceed the borders of Apox and Eura – although only the fact of his ownership of a contract at the historical powerhouse of Spartangrad should have given all the indications necessary – than he was fixing that at two-hundred in an hour. Ahead of affairs, the position of second striker had been hotly contested for the Red Dragons and was an incredible source for entertainment for quibbling fans who could fill up their complete pub time. Right now, they would probably agree over a half-filled pint that ‘the little Palmisano’ made his mark.

With it, he had also put his proverbial studs deep into the spirit of the Buyanese supporters who saw the hope for a semi-final dwindle like snow for the sun. It would be unfair to acclaim that the backline didn’t have their stuff sorted out and from in between the posts, Pawlo Marciak dragged the squad back in the game like a boisterous toddler time and time again. But even the best of Stromberg and Grilianen did not suffice to keep Palmisano in check who dazzled them simply by appearing in their proximity. No wonder that the extra-time was met with duality by the players, gracing the gods for a new chance to get the game in hands despite lopsided possession and shot statistics. On the other hand, the knowledge that they had to endure thirty more minutes of this didn’t enthuse.

Those leaning towards the second option saw their predictions fulfilled as Hughes threw in Arrowsmith to raise the pressure on the siege. Already at the helm during the previous encounters which had gone the way of the Hedgehogs, one could assume that he saw it as a personal vendetta and as such, tried to steer the duel into the right direction with uncharacteristically wild gestures. Rarely before, the Buyanese had counted down the nine-hundred seconds so eagerly – including a few moans as the referee added another minute accounting for the substitutions along the road. Exhausted and wishing for the penalties, it was unclear whether Olli Grilianen was referring to himself or just the general state of affairs when, after some uplifting words from the gaffer, he sighed.

”Coach… I can’t no more… I’m just knackered.”

With it, he sat back in the grass of the Stadio del Mar with the shell-shocked expression of a soldier who had gone to and through hell not once, not twice but thrice for his nation – and who couldn’t be send back for another round. Reflex-wise, a bunch of heads turned towards his natural replacement Vytautas Paksas, the experienced centre-half of Viztourzys. A man who knew the ropes, who once had been a young spiffing defender but had been moulded by time in a more cynical player. An ideal bastard to keep a lesser team stuck but across this Cup of Harmony, despite the results, Buyan had discovered that they were the minnows. Having to rely too much on a hefty tackle and positioning, his appearances had been poorer and poorer, leading him straight to the bench.

”Ok…” Steponas hesitated, well aware that they were holding a waterfall with their bare hands right now, ”Take your rest, Olli, good job.”

The eyes of Teriouris wandered over the bench and rested over Vytautas as he spoke, calmly.

”Edison, you’re up, get your boots on. Gunnar, you pick up the spot of Olli, just run all you’ve got. You’re not on yellow yet so when it has to be, it has to be. Shooting it straight in the stands? What has to happen, has to happen. I’m not looking for the beautiful game, lads, it’s scoring that counts. Ed?”

It was harsh to get who was most stunned – although every one of the players could toss their hat in the ring, struggling to see the rationale behind this move. Gunnar Karlsson never before had been positioned in the back and the three-lunged midfield couldn’t even get himself to picking up his dropped jaw as he lifted his shoulders, indicating he’ld give it his best. Edison Ed Wallenberg in the meanwhile tried to recollect himself. Many whispered that he solely was in this squad because the coach had a soft spot for the youngest son from Frederik Wallenberg, a phlegmatic right midfielder who in his best days tormented right defenders with his dribbles and goalies with his free kicks. Although Edison had inherited the trick arsenal stored in the left foot from his dad, who currently held a bar in Ruland – the kind of career move only a man with his character could make – he didn’t have the pace, kick, tackle or… Well, about anything that makes the modern footballer.

”Ed, when you have the ball… Just keep possession. Give us all the time to regroup.”

And Ed nodded, realising that he hadn’t been let on the grass in a dozen of games. Letting the knowledge that they were playing the odds with him trickle in slowly.

And Ed did as asked, when after a minute or four Micaukis last-minute tackled the ball away from Arrowsmith before hoofing it up the pitch. Fending off Imhotep Jekyll like an experienced false ten, he dribbled away towards the sideline, looking for the space which had been so absent for so long.

And Ed dribbled past old and young, represented by the up-and-coming Menheniot and cap-record holder Fowey.

And Ed suddenly found himself at the border of the sixteen, attempting not to get caught in the grasp of Raynerson.

And Ed, for seemingly no particular reason at all, put the laces of his usually useless right through the leather. From a sharp corner, the ball found a little spot just in the inside of the corner where the post and the crossbar met. As Anaximander, muttering swears to his defenders and no one in particular over this unlikely goal, threw the ball back to the middle point to restart the game as quick as possible, Ed still stood at the edge of the box, trying to grasp what just had happened.

”I’m not looking for the beautiful game, lads, it’s scoring that counts.”

The coach couldn’t complain he didn't do what was asked.
From Some Village
'Bu', like in 'book'. 'Yan' like the cyclist 'Jan Ullrich'.
RP Population: 22 million
Overenthusiast and slightly naive Republic ruled by Sil Moen
State of Economy: deplorable
Weather: cold
Atmosphere: less depressing than before, but only a bit

User avatar
Qasden
Diplomat
 
Posts: 899
Founded: Jun 09, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Qasden » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:05 pm

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Blue-Reds down Wavy Ones, Advance to Semis Again




The time is M E O _.

In Alexandria, the Qasdonian NT began their KO run to defend their title as they battled a gruesome match with the flare-loving, Meski-making nation of Red Blackiland. The match signaled the end of TQ's honey trail, an end to allowing slower games, as well as the beginning of the Vans' much more difficult era to claim that second silver star. Meanwhile, Jon Merritt, still in position to lose his job should a loss occur, has announced his intentions to begin domestic managing at West Fyre FC. Going into extra time, the Blue-Reds managed to nudge in a goal at the 111th minute to win the match, 2-1, and advancing into the quarter-finals.

Traveling to Alixa, the Qads' stars aligned them with none other than the "superstars", Aggrey-Fynn Land, for their matchup that decides Jon's fate. The BoF 65 runner-ups shocked Echani-side favorites, Ceni, in an absolute bazaar of a match, taking the game 5-3. Advancing to Alixa, the Wavy Ones desire to prove themselves as a new terror on the field, with a few wins to prove that theory partially.

Starting with ze ball, Darsten and Hero passed the ball back and forth almost harmoniously down the field, zeroing between the adversaries as if they were training pylons. The ball found its way to Foster who finished it off with a CLEAN crossbar onslaught. That poor poor crossbar. 20 Minutes into the game, Qad forward, Jerry Bostun, appears out of a sea of blue and white to NAIL a beautiful pass from Darsten into the hands of the Fynn keeper. 35 minutes in, Aggrey midfielder, Roman Kendrick, barrels down an open Qad field and FIRES the game sphere right past the alarmingly large hand of Abbott, 1-0ing the match itself for the Wavy Davies. 42 minutes in, Lumière (subbing for Bostun after a minor injury in the 39th minute) finds Foster from halfway across the field and MAKES the fantastic assist as the athlete from Real Jraxville eclipses the soccer moon right over the head of the opponent goalie, securing a 1-1 first half finish with neither side showing any true domination over the other.

The game returned welcoming the players with a warm and passionate crowd of fans cheering them on for the second half. Well, apart from the Anti-Footballers protesting and a couple drunk fights between Qads and Fynns, BUT that's not what this report is about, right? 47 minutes in, Kendrick makes his way down the field before a blunt interruption courtesy of Ixton Blight. 56 minutes, another close call from the 'Stars as forward, Tanner Grammy, steamrolls down the field and just catches Abbott's fingertips to have his goal ruled a corner. No dice for the Wavy Ones. For a matter of thirty more minutes, the once warm and fuzzy field turned pale and bland with both sides not allowing the ball within 15 yards of their goal. Finally, 87 minutes in, a faulty rebound from an AFL defender enables Owais Lumière to throw himself towards the ball, smashing into the net, and breaking the standstill. With little time for retaliation, the game was finally whistled to death.

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The avegeance of Ceni was met sweetly in the homelands of central Azeuria, with the streets of every town and suburb exploding in the bright colors of fiesta. The 2-1 win over Aggrey-Fynn Land has secured the Qads a spot in the semi-finals, the second consecutive time in the Cup of Harmony.

Next for TQ are the returning veterans of Buyan. Once a gloriously dominant side in the NSWC, Buyan has since failed to qualify for the World Cup this cycle, and started off in this CoH with an absolutely brutal defeat to Ceni on day 1. But despite all of this, the team still edged into the KOs as runner up. In the knockouts, Buyan took on and eliminated both Kalumba and Apox to reach the semis in Rosaria. The winner will travel to Drawkland to face either Nephara or Abanhfleft in the grand championship, while the loser plays host to the drawkian victim in Eshan.

Can Qasden take down Buyan in their mission to win a second Cup of Harmony? Will the vets smash the relatively new Vans and book their flights to Sonnel? Only one butler will kill, so stay tuned, stay updated, and stay qwerty for our next report, live from the ravaging streets of Eshan and Drawkland!
Last edited by Qasden on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sporting Achievements
World Cup Ranking:27th;KPB: 20.94; Style: +3
Sole Host of the Qasden Open, but also (Co)Hosted- Cup of Harmony 71, Baptism of Fire 67, MLB V, WLC 26,
IBC 23, and NSAO2; Enthusiast of pretty much all things cats

User avatar
Eshan
Envoy
 
Posts: 215
Founded: Aug 31, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Eshan » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:10 pm

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ESHAN SEMIFINAL CUTOFF
CAN YOU KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE TARGET?


Buyan 0–1 Qasden
Last edited by Eshan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How far away are the stars?
International Geese Brigade - Celebrating 0 Radiation and 3rd Place!
Runners Up: AOCAF LIV
3rd Place: Baptism of Fire 60
Quarterfinal: AOCAF 50, AOCAF 53
Round of 16: DBC 37, CoH 67
Hosted: Cup of Harmony #BIGGUNSBIGGOALS

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