Kytlerian domestic sports portal [closed]

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The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Kytlerian domestic sports portal [closed]

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:53 am

Welcome to the Kytlerian domestic sports portal, presented by NBO Sport
Headline links for specific sports will go here

The Kytlerians have emerged from decades of isolation from international sport to become serious competitors once again - 17 Olympic golds in the Jolbonopolis-Afanc Strait Games, a dominant Elephant Chess Cup title, reaching the last 12 in two separate white-ball cricket competitions, and even a credible return to international soccer.

All of this could only have been made possible by a sturdy ongoing foundation of sporting participation even if it wasn't tested against the rest of the multiverse. The saying goes that Kytlerian sport never went away; it just hid away. Amidst the backdrop of the RPD panic, competition still thrived domestically. This thread is the place to read all about the domestic Kytlerian sporting scene in this "new international era."
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:20 am

Background information

It is sometimes argued what the true Kytlerian national sport is. Some even argue there isn't one, that the sporting interests of the country are too diffuse and extensive for that. But in terms of spectator attendance and media revenue, soccer is as clear an answer here as it is in so many other countries.


Kytlerian domestic soccer has a simple structure. One national top tier, a second tier divided into two, and a third tier divided into four, all governed by SO-KP (Soccer Organisation of the Kytler Peninsulae):

Tier 1: National Soccer League (NSL) (currently known as the EastWest NSL for sponsorship reasons). 16 teams (playing each other twice). Bottom three clubs relegated.
Tier 2: Peninsular League North/South (currently known as the Gregg's League North/South for sponsorship reasons): two 16-team divisions. Champions promoted automatically; a third team promoted via playoff between runners-up of each division. Bottom three clubs relegated. This is the lowest fully professional level of Kytlerian soccer, and the lowest that is currently scorinated.
Tier 3: Quadrant League NW/NE/SW/SE (currently known as the Sweat24 (NW/NE/SW/SE) Quadrant for sponsorship reasons): four 16-team divisions. Champions promoted automatically; additional promotions via playoff between runners-up (NW v NE and SW v SE). Mostly semi-professional. No formal relegation; instead, teams occasionally fold and lose their professional licenses, and these are awarded to amateur clubs based on on-field success and financial stability.

The SO-KP Cup is contested by all 112 professional and semi-professional teams. (Amateur teams at lower levels compete instead for the SO-KP Amateur Cup.) The 64 Quadrant League teams meet in the first round; Peninsular League teams join in second round; NSL teams join in fourth round to create 32-team single elimination. In the first three rounds, there is a north/south split in the draw.

Playing style

As a whole, Kytlerian football doesn't have a particularly strong singular identity. The sheer number of other sports vying for a finite Kytlerian population (even Rushmori countries only have so many sportspeople) means much of the player pool is more technically than athletically gifted, but the popularity of endurance events (especially triathlon for some reason) translates to plenty of cardiovascular fitness, even down to the Quadrant League where teams rarely have any kind of strength and conditioning facilities of their own. (The current Quadrant League title sponsor, a budget gym chain, offer free membership to registered players and in fact many of their personal trainers are Quadrant League players.) As a rule, lower-level Kytlerian teams are more likely to adopt a fast-paced chaotic style, while at the highest level there is more emphasis on ball control and patient possession, but there is a general tendency towards speed and stamina over strength because the power athletes tend to prioritise other sports. Individual coaches and teams often have their own identities, especially if they happen to have a "BFG" or two on their books.

Soccer was historically a gender-segregated sport at the professional level, but with the extensive proven history of women competing alongside men at the highest level internationally - with neighbouring Græntfjall the most eyecatching example for Kytlerians - that has changed in recent years. The national team remains all-male for now, but this too may change.

Club background

While the majority of Kytlerians live in the "Eastern Corridor" rather than the titular peninsulae, this isn't really reflected in the geography of Kytlerian soccer. It's literally baked into the name of the Peninsular League, even if that's an official name and a sponsored one has been used for longer than anyone can remember. The traditional "Big Four" have a neat geographical divide to them, which may explain their persistence; Roddens City in the northern peninsula, FC Alaer (whose former manager Clituleng Giisost was the Prime Minister who ended the isolation) in the southern peninsula, Capitolians in the capital Zube, and Bay City United in Kytler Bay City at the other end of the traditional Eastern Corridor. Barring international investment in this new era (which they'd likely, out of self-interest, immediately flag as suspicious whether it is or not), these are the clubs that will likely dominate Kytlerian soccer for the forseeable future.

The major challengers in recent years to the Big Four have been from regional centres across the southern peninsula. Real Santa Mordana, from the Hispanic-heavy city on the west coast, have been driven by a fanatical local fanbase and strong youth development, but never seem to stick around to make the Big Four a Big Five like people keep thinking they will. Borlfield Town, in the capital of conservative mining state Varn, were the nouveau riche club once having been funded by mining money, but their ability to entrench themselves as a top contender has been held back by the Varnian love for gridiron limiting their fanbase. Finally, Bravin Rangers - in a garrison town close to the Tikariot border - have punched above their weight for so long that it seems silly to think of them as a smaller club, but they cultivate that image proudly.

The Eastern Corridor Expansion - the hilly land in former Albundania that became part of Kytlerian territory in the years before the isolation - hasn't produced a regular "big club" of its own despite accounting for close to half of the Kytlerian population, but it does have possibly the most influential club in the country over recent years in AFC Carroll Lewiston. They were the first team to break the gender barrier, and a few years later became the first (and still only) NSL champions from the Expansion area with a team that started multiple women in every match. While the Magicians faded into midtable in subsequent years, they'd pulled a conjuring trick that nobody would fall for again; within three seasons, three-quarters of the NSL had multiple women playing for them, often but not always Græntfjaller dual nationals.
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:46 pm

NSL International Era Season 1 preview

How is this going to work?

Same as it has done for a very long time, but without the insularity. That means 16 teams, bottom three go down, champions from each of the Peninsular Leagues go up and the runners-up meet (in a one-off match at Zube Olympic Stadium) to fill the final NSL spot for next season.

In terms of actual technical details, the main thing to note is that international players (but not goalkeepers) are allowed for the first time ever, with a limit of three permanent signings and an additional two loan spots - although in this initial season nobody actually used this to sign four or five non-Kytlerians. These signings have broadly been youth-focused, and while most expected the largest flow to be Græntfjallers it turned out that Xannerian universities were the most obvious cheap supply source the Kytlerian clubs went to dig. As for more proven players, these seemed to disproportionately come from StrayaRoos for some reason. (The lack of transfer fees. That's the reason.)

Who are the teams to watch?

Well, given the change in even the most established sides from the international influx (perhaps surprisingly and perhaps not, no teams remained 100% Kytlerian), arguably all of them. This is a fascinating new era and one that's going to be a lot of fun to watch the unfolding of.

But in terms of contenders, it always starts with the Big Four:
FC Alaer
Main colours White with black
Manager Ferrys Taklik
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 2nd
Title odds 7/2
Roddens City
Main colours Red with white
Manager Edward Robinson
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 1st
Title odds 7/2
Main colours Sky blue
Manager Victor Andrews
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 4th
Title odds 9/2
Bay City United
Main colours Navy and yellow
Manager Zachary Molder
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 3rd
Title odds 5/1

This is a very well-matched quartet, and the general consensus is that very little can truly separate them on paper. Roddens City have the advantage and the burden of holding the crown right now; an advantage in that they know they can do this having held off the chasing pack last season, a burden in that everyone's targeting them more than ever. They also paid the joint-largest signing fee of the window (900k) to sign Troy Gaither-Moon from Viathyn Park AFC; the 28-year-old Tikariotian is expected to be a prolific provider of assists, mostly from the left wing opposite Marwin Mikkelsen. FC Alaer may have made an even more impactful signing in the free agent market in StrayaRoos midfielder Ella Vidya, who has been a legitimate first choice for her ascending national team; they've also spent 500k on Jacek Krzynówek, an 18-year-old from Dod Rava's KKS Belchatow whose fierce left-footed shot will make him a natural fit for the inside-forward role long held by the prolific Tim David (who will now be a central striker). This signing is more typical of the nascent NSL international business; there's been a lot of digging for young options, often those squeezed out of more established setups. Capitolians see a Roo of their own as the missing piece for a title push, in the form of 21-year-old striker Kaniehtlio Lindiwe, but the real addition to watch at the Olympic Stadium is a temporary one in the form of Častimir Knežević. The teenage Pasargan playmaker, who can play in central midfield or on the left, is on a season-long loan from Chromatika's Pria City - for whom he has already shown flashes of his potential in limited first-team action. Bay City United, meanwhile, added only Chromia Central College University graduate Zhan Bo, who tends to looks better than he is - although his size-speed combination will play up in the NSL.

While the vast majority of titles are won by the Big Four, there is an emergent middle class below them:
Borlfield Town
Main colours Silver with black
Manager George Gary
Typical formation 4-4-2
Last season 7th
Title odds 18/1
AFC Edencliff
Main colours Light green
Manager Paula Foster
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 5th
Title odds 20/1
Bravin Rangers
Main colours Gunmetal grey and orange
Manager Roger Wickens
Typical formation 5-3-2
Last season 8th
Title odds 22/1
Ranford & Willsbrook
Main colours Blue and white
Manager Aaron Wilson-Cooper
Typical formation 4-1-4-1
Last season 6th
Title odds 25/1

While the Big Four play relatively similar games, these four extremely don't. Borlfield Town play barely refined 4-4-2 yeetball; the mining-backed Varnian club also aren't afraid to splash the cash, paying 900k for Pedró Eliasson Pousa to move over the border from Græntfjaller club Kyrkdorf. He's a fun variant on the BFG theme, an old-school wide man who delivers hard crosses with his chonky right leg and has a lower centre of gravity than an electric hypercar. Bravin Rangers have their own take on direct football with a high-octane counter-attacking 5-3-2 that was literally NBO's go-to analogy for Hahnea Izorigor's distinctive style of play in Elephant Chess Cup coverage. Their international business was particularly notable for featuring Gía Andsottír Lin, a Yue-Græntfjaller left-back who represents the first female player ever to play for this most historically macho of clubs from the garrison town near the Tikariot border; signed on loan from Ko-orenite club Ambergate City with a 700k buy option, the speculation is that the club wanted an "out" in the deal in case their own fans rejected her. By contrast, AFC Edencliff have been one of the leading pioneers for playing women in the NSL, and provided four members of the Olympic women's team; they added Krytenian midfielder Thomas Lyons for 450k from Beckton Supermarine to feed the revelation of the last isolation season, the front three of Rick Flash, Raven Lomu, and Agnes Oddkellsdóttir. All were teenagers last season, all had double-digit NSL goal tallies, and now all of them have international experience of some kind (Oddkellsdóttir at the Olympics, Lomu at the DBC, Flash at both). Ranford & Willsbrook have made three international signings (the highest-placed team from last season to do so), and while none are slam-dunks even at this level, they're also all under 21 and bolster the team's attacking options, plus they all came gratis. How Aaron Wilson-Cooper will deploy them within his trademark 4-1-4-1 may be the big point of interest here; pint-sized Norrhems Fotbollsakademin product Katrina Frisk and chaotic Mytanar ball of energy Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir are both central strikers by trade but have attributes (Frisk's size, Zbogar-Zolnir's erratic finishing and diligent pressing) that invite an attacking midfield role. Any concerns are probably overstated, mind; Wilson-Cooper has been at pains to emphasise both the fluidity and defensive responsibilities of the attacking five.

The teams whose season feels most unpredictable, all of whom were in the bottom half last season but have some level of upside potential, lie here:
Aardswood United
Main colours White and green
Manager Janet Clarkson
Typical formation 5-2-3
Last season 9th
Title odds 40/1
Real Santa Mordana
Main colours White and red
Manager Oscar Rodríguez
Typical formation 4-1-4-1
Last season 13th
Title odds 50/1
Zeiven City
Main colours Rose gold with black
Manager Tóbias Jónsson
Typical formation 5-2-2-1
Last season 10th
Title odds 66/1
Vengife Town
Main colours Marigold and dark green
Manager Manu Kirikiri
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 12th
Title odds 66/1
AFC Carroll Lewiston
Main colours Pink and white
Manager Flora Atkins
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 11th
Title odds 80/1

Quite the variety bag here. Zeiven's trademark 5-2-2-1 under Jónsson has created a fantastic fit for South Newlandia left-back Matias Vaz, who's fast in mind, fast in body, and even smaller than a South Newlandian stadium; he'll cover the wing, the whole wing, and nothing but the wing. He'll pair nicely with the "SFG" Álfar Jvarsson on the other flank. Aardswood have some actual promise and might be plausibly considered part of the middle class mentioned above, but their only international signing was Denisa Sadukaj, a Juven attacker who frankly looks weird even when she's effective. Real Santa Mordana only stayed up on the final day last season, but they have the most electrifying Kytlerian prospect of this generation in Vincent, and with other youngsters coming through (including an imported one in teenage Absolute Unit defender Yrko, a 700k signing from Academia Ibata) their arrow is pointing firmly up. Vengife Town are looking to blend their Aboriginal-heavy core with teenage StrayaRoo striker Maria Ajdis and the intriguing Aji Loj Zhuyu, a mystery-box 17-year-old midfielder from the newly-established Lithico Excellence academy - but critics aren't sold on new manager Manu Kirikiri's aspiration to play like the big clubs. Finally, AFC Carroll Lewiston - still the last team outside the Big Four to win the title with their revolutionary "Girl Power" side of eight years ago - look to recapture that lightning in a bottle (well, they are called the Magicians...) with three international signings, all women, and headlined by 400k signing Carly Wendling, a strong finisher who requested a move to a team that actually wants to score goals rather than the notoriously defensive Winchester Traditional of her native Cassadaigua.

And then there are the three promoted clubs:
Cluitt SC
Main colours Sea blue and white
Manager Jan van der Meyde
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 1st in Gregg's League North
Title odds 150/1
Donningwood Rovers
Main colours Brown and green
Manager Jannik Pétursson
Typical formation 4-4-2
Last season 1st in Gregg's League South
Title odds 250/1
Starnwood United
Main colours White and black
Manager Andy Cunningham
Typical formation 4-4-2
Last season 2nd in Gregg's League North
Title odds 250/1

All three of them signed three international players. Being blunt, they were dumpster dives; none of them even commanded a disclosed fee. But wait! Cluitt SC, who were the only one of these teams to go up with any finesse last season rather than just playing yeetball, acquired a Græntfjaller right-back in Borgþór Daðason who was assumed to be not living up to his youth potential, but he's been given at least a look by the national team again, which probably means he's figuring it out? Norrhems Fotbollsakademin product Inga-Britt Mellberg is another interesting acquisition, as she's flashed substantial technical promise as a clean-tackling left-back whilst facing questions about her speed and strength. How she fares in an adult league will be watched closely, and not just on the Sharke Inlet coast. Donningwood Rovers are bringing what has been politely dubbed "lumberjack energy" to the NSL, and two Akademiezh Mell-Droad Gouvanarch bludgeons have come along with their chainsaws in Marcon Le Masson (whose job is going to be delivering crosses) and Branoc Du Gouey (whose job, alongside BFG Davíð Steinmóðsson, is going to be heading them in). Finally, Starnwood United have lucky-dipped their way into All-Namer B.J. Keller-Kells and promising 16-year-old Rico Carrero, a speedy right-back from the famed Night Academy who needs game time in an adult league to live up to his potential.

What's going to happen?

Only Margaret knows. Maybe even she doesn't have a slani clue.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:24 am

NSL International Era Season 1: MD1-5

Donningwood Rovers 2–4 Capitolians
Starnwood United 0–4 Ranford & Willsbrook
AFC Carroll Lewiston 0–2 FC Alaer
Bay City United 0–0 Roddens City
Real Santa Mordana 2–2 Cluitt SC
Zeiven City 1–0 Bravin Rangers
Borlfield Town 2–0 AFC Edencliff
Aardswood United 0–0 Vengife Town

The first international-infused NSL season in history represented a major milestone for Kytlerian sport. Not always one that was welcomed - several hundred disgruntled Bravin Rangers bought banners against the change to their opening away match at Zeiven City, including too many that were blatantly misogynistic in their disdain for new arrival Gía Andsottír Lin, the first woman ever to play for this garrison club. They did warm to the physicality of teenage Auprussian Dilan De Feux-Lataille - "he's going to be doing two men's job," said one Bravin fan in a social media post that quickly went viral (for context, "DDFL" is the left-sided centre-back and Gía the left wing-back in their 5-3-2) - but they still scapegoated their Yue-Græntfjaller "gal" despite her having absolutely nothing to do with Zeiven's winning goal, a deflected toe-poke set up by an early low cross from Matias Vaz. Maybe that was because Vaz was another international signing at the same position, but while he's the right gender for the military macho men he's actually shorter and lighter than Lin.

Anyway, that was a sideshow match; the main event, and the actual opening match of the season, was the top-of-the-table clash between Bay City United and defending champion Roddens City. It didn't live up to the entertainment billing, but that was largely down to some excellent defending, Zhan Bo - the Chromatik State University graduate who represented Bay City's only international addition - looking particularly imposing at the base of their midfield. While Kytlerian coverage of their suddenly dominant chess team often used football analogies to provide vague explainers for a bewildered new audience, the viral post of this match was a flip-reverse of that, a Bay City University chess player named Johnny Adamson opining "It is said that, in chess, perfect play leads to a draw. On this evidence, it's the same in football." The other Big Four clubs took advantage of their opening with two-goal away wins against lesser opposition, Capitolians putting four past last season's Gregg's League South winners Donningwood Rovers - Častimir Knežević setting up three of them in a statement of "I'm far too good for this level" intent from the Pria City loanee - while FC Alaer beat AFC Carroll Lewiston 2-0, overcoming the Magicians' "girl power" with some of their own from Ella Vidya's goal and assist.

The standout score of the weekend was undoubtedly Ranford & Willsbrook thumping four unanswered goals past newly-promoted Starnwood United in a result that seems like an indication of a long, long season ahead for the beaten side. South Newlandian striker Aadi Seidel looked absolutely furious with his own team at times, and no wonder given how utterly dominated they were in midfield; Finn Murphy and the Ko-orenite Ciri yToddmac seemed to win the ball back every time the hosts had it, and the other international additions Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir and Katrina Frisk look like a classic false 9/false 10 partnership in the making on this evidence, both assisting the other in the first half before Frisk added two more soon after the break for the first hat-trick of the NSL's international era.

Fellow promoted club Cluitt SC did rather better in grabbing half of the four goals at the Estadio Esarra Stadium, Borgþór Daðason having a thrilling individual battle with Vincent that saw him largely contained in open play; the teenage sensation made his mark from set pieces instead, scoring early from a free kick and putting a corner on the bonce of Absolute Unit Verdean defender Yrko for a late equaliser. Meanwhile, Borlfield Town made an impressive argument for "best of the rest" status with a comfortable home win over AFC Edencliff, and Aardswood United played out a snore draw with Vengife Town.

Capitolians 3–2 Vengife Town
AFC Edencliff 1–0 Aardswood United
Bravin Rangers 0–2 Borlfield Town
Cluitt SC 0–1 Zeiven City
Roddens City 2–3 Real Santa Mordana
FC Alaer 3–1 Bay City United
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Donningwood Rovers 2–0 Starnwood United

In a weekend with no draws, the standout result was the homecoming party of the champions being absolutely silenced by the emergent Kytlerian player of his generation. Vincent singlehandedly dragged Real Santa Mordana back from 2-0 down at Roddens City, setting up two goals before scoring the winner himself. Hugely exciting for the future of the national team; hugely frustrating if you're on the wrong end of it. The hosts looked on cruise control after two assists from Troy Gaither-Moon - a much-hyped signing in these parts given his past over the border in the TPL, the most-watched international league on Kytlerian screens - but they had no answer to the man of the moment. (The era?)

There was another showpiece stumble for Bay City United, who really were given a tough time of it with this scheduling algorithm; after a home draw with the champions that now looks rather worse than it did at the time, they were comprehensively outplayed by FC Alaer, for whom teenage signing Jacek Krzynówek looked particularly dangerous filling the old inside-forward role of Tim David (and also setting up the third for the beloved veteran). Early days, but there's now an awful lot of pressure on their "easier" matches to come...

Capitolians also made it two wins out of two by beating Vengife Town, although they too let a two-goal lead slip before Kaniehtlio Lindiwe's fierce volleyed winner saved their blushes in emphatic fashion, and they were joined on maximum points by three other clubs. Zeiven City and Ranford & Willsbrook both managed scrappy 1-0 wins against relegation contenders, but Borlfield Town made another statement with a 2-0 win at Bravin Rangers, who gave Lin a brutally negative reception at home to the point that when chonky Pedró Eliasson Pousa muscled her off the ball, the fans treated it like he was one of their own rather than an opponent.

Bravin are at least being kept off rock bottom by Starnwood United, who fell to fellow promoted club Donningwood Rovers in a meek 2-0 capitulation courtesy of two simple headed goals from BFG Davíð Steinmóðsson. Two of their lucky-dip additions - the already-disaffected Seidel and the sushi-raw teenage Vanorian academy product Rico Carrero - are being picked on mercilessly by local reporters, and the club's most popular fanzine literally wrote a feature on looking forward to relegation and "the return of a true local club with no foreign mercenaries." Oof!

Starnwood United 0–0 Capitolians
AFC Carroll Lewiston 2–1 Donningwood Rovers
Bay City United 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Real Santa Mordana 2–2 FC Alaer
Zeiven City 0–1 Roddens City
Borlfield Town 4
–1 Cluitt SC
Aardswood United 0–1 Bravin Rangers
Vengife Town 3–3 AFC Edencliff

That's one way to respond to being booed by your own fans; back on the road with only a handful of boo-boys to face, Lin made an instant impact on her club's season in the right way with a striking solo run to set up Mytanar teenager Aristarkh Polivanov for a tap-in that gave Bravin Rangers a priceless away win at Aardswood United. Maybe now the reasonable voices will be heard.

Speaking of clubs from right-wing bastions, is it too early to think of Borlfield Town as actual title contenders? They're (already!) the last team left with a 100% record after crushing Cluitt 4-1, while all four other teams to win their first two games slipped up - none more brutally than Capitolians, held to a goalless draw at Starnwood United. Rico Carrero had a coming-out moment and then some in nullifying Knežević; the question with him was how long he'd take to work things out in an adult league, and the answer was 180 minutes, apparently. FC Alaer were held to a 2-2 draw at Santa Mordana - and, yes, Vincent was involved in both home goals - while Ranford & Willsbrook and Zeiven City were edged out by Bay City United and Roddens City respectively, in what felt like a real statement of things going back to normal again.

Every team now has at least a point, with AFC Carroll Lewiston joining Bravin Rangers on three with Carly Wendling's brace enough to overcome Donningwood Rovers. And there was absolute chaos at the Taa'kai Memorial Stadium, with Vengife Town blowing three separate one-goal leads in a 3-3 draw with AFC Edencliff. It was a coming-out party at least for StrayaRoos teenager Maria Adjis, who was prolific on home soil for Pale City last season and showed that form again on the NSL stage with two goals and an assist.

Capitolians 2–2 AFC Edencliff
Bravin Rangers 1–0 Vengife Town
Cluitt SC 0–1 Aardswood United
Roddens City 2–3 Borlfield Town
FC Alaer 1
–0 Zeiven City
Ranford & Willsbrook 2–2 Real Santa Mordana
Donningwood Rovers 0–2 Bay City United
Starnwood United 1
–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston

Is it too early to think of Borlfield Town as actual title contenders? No. No it is not. Not when you beat the champions in their own backyard, Pedró Eliasson Pousa's hard crosses causing chaos in the Roddens rearguard to set up the first two goals for Emrys Floyd before his solo winner completed an absolute statement hat-trick. Somehow, the champions have lost both of their first two home games 3-2, are tenth (TENTH!) in what was allegedly supposed to be a four-team league, and there's going to be big questions about Conan Prunty at left-back; whilst he's been in the national team conversation before, he may just be hitting the wall at 30.

Speaking of teams that are both scoring and conceding plenty, AFC Edencliff managed another multi-score draw on the road, but this was a particularly credible one; 2-2 at the ZOS against Capitolians, who are now four points off the top. It was also 2-2 number 2 for Real Santa Mordana, who have now conceded a league-high eight goals yet have a positive goal difference after Ranford & Willsbrook played host to another edition of The Vincent Show (no goals himself this time, but one highlight-reel trivela assist for the opening goal). The antithesis of this are Zeiven City, whose total scoring for the season is two goals for and two against, and two 1-0 wins each way at that. This second straight on the losing side came to FC Alaer, who made the intriguing decision to have Krzynówek operating as a wide target man to overpower Matias Vaz on the flank. While he absolutely did that, the rest of the Zeiven back five were able to shift to contain his inside runs, and the winner came from the other side of the pitch altogether, with James Black's cross being headed in by Tim David. Alaer are still just two points off the top, and the best of the Big Four.

Bay City United continued to affirm their "we're back on track" message with a comfortable win at Donningwood, Bravin Rangers did the same with a 1-0 home win over Vengife Town marked by the Lin reactions shifting from boos to catcalls, while Starnwood United won what was already dubbed as a relegation six-pointer against AFC Carroll Lewiston - Aadi Seidel's diving header was the cue for a ferocious, cathartic celebration for the young South Newlandian striker. Cluitt FC are now bottom, after they lost at home to Aardswood United.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–2 Capitolians
Bay City United 4
–0 Starnwood United
Real Santa Mordana 3-0 Donningwood Rovers
Zeiven City 0–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Borlfield Town 2–3 FC Alaer
Aardswood United 0–0 Roddens City
Vengife Town 2–2 Cluitt SC
AFC Edencliff 1–1 Bravin Rangers

The viral post of this weekend: "I know Giisost is big on football and equality but four draws in one weekend? Really?"

The Prime Minister's old managerial haunt FC Alaer was not responsible for one of them; instead, they were responsible for ending Borlfield Town's 100% start and usurping them as leaders at that, twice coming from behind before Ella Vidya's delightful chipped diagonal ball from the left half-space was fired in on the volley by Krzynówek in what might just have been the statement moment of the NSL season to date. Borlfield's direct counter-attacking style continues to be a danger to their opponents - both of their goals here came in transition and from crosses - but there were defensive vulnerabilities shown here that hadn't been seen in their winning run. Have they been found out?

If they have, the league is soon going to take an almost familiar look very quickly, as Capitolians and Bay City United are now in their customary top-four slots following the latter's destruction of Starnwood United - Dings Mocks scoring two and setting up two more - and the former holding on for a 2-1 win at Carroll Lewiston, Quebecois-Kytler(i)an teenager Park Si-Woo setting up goals for Knežević and Lindiwe in a move from left-back to midfield that looks like it might stick. Almost familiar, mind; Roddens City dropped points once more, this time in a goalless draw at Aardswood, and are still tenth and eight off the lead.

That was one of the four draws mentioned by that viral post; the others were Zeiven City breaking the 1-0 trend with (erm) a 0-0 against Ranford & Willsbrook, AFC Edencliff halting the charge of the Bravin brigade with a late Rick Flash equaliser to delight the home crowd at Chalk Field after Danny Markusson's bullet header had put the visitors in front, and bottom club Cluitt SC showing some signs of life in a 2-2 slugfest at the Taa'kai. That last result came at a brutal cost, though, as Borgþór Daðason was forced to leave with a knee injury that looked minor but still brings concern given how much worse every other defender in this squad is. It was telling that Vengife's equaliser came after the Græntfjaller came off, and from an attack on the Cluitt right he normally patrols at that...

VincentWatch: a goal and an assist in a comprehensive 3-0 unravelling of Donningwood Rovers. Definitely not a draw, that.

EastWest NSL - after MD5      P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 5 4 1 0 11 5 +6 13
2 Borlfield Town 5 4 0 1 13 6 +7 12
3 Capitolians 5 3 2 0 11 7 +4 11
4 Bay City United 5 3 1 1 8 3 +5 10
5 Real Santa Mordana 5 2 3 0 12 8 +4 9
6 Ranford & Willsbrook 5 2 2 1 7 3 +4 8
7 Zeiven City 5 2 1 2 2 2 0 7
8 Bravin Rangers 5 2 1 2 3 4 −1 7
9 AFC Edencliff 5 1 3 1 7 8 −1 6
10 Roddens City 5 1 2 2 5 6 −1 5
11 Aardswood United 5 1 2 2 1 2 −1 5
12 Starnwood United 5 1 1 3 1 10 −9 4
13 Vengife Town 5 0 3 2 7 9 −2 3
14 AFC Carroll Lewiston 5 1 0 4 3 7 −4 3
15 Donningwood Rovers 5 1 0 4 5 11 −6 3
16 Cluitt SC 5 0 2 3 5 10 −5 2
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Thu Jan 18, 2024 3:07 pm

NSL International Era Season 1: MD6-10

Capitolians 4–0 Bravin Rangers
Cluitt SC 0–2 AFC Edencliff
Roddens City 2
–0 Vengife Town
FC Alaer 4–0 Aardswood United
Ranford & Willsbrook 3–1 Borlfield Town
Donningwood Rovers 0–1 Zeiven City
Starnwood United 0–1 Real Santa Mordana
AFC Carroll Lewiston 2–2 Bay City United

Having dramatically taken top spot in their last match, FC Alaer produced a statement of intent they're going to stay there with a 4-0 thumping of Aardswood, who may be struggling this season with just one win so far but are usually seen as a credible side with little relegation threat. Not that they looked credible against the Krzynówek-Vidya axis, which combined for all three first-half goals; the Dod Ravan inside-forward set up the first for the onrushing StrayaRoo attacking midfielder, before the second and third goals both came from the latter feeding the former. This salvo made them joint NSL top scorers, alongside Capitolians who managed their own statement 4-0 home win against Bravin Rangers. This one was far more backloaded, though, as Gía Andsottír Lin was forced off with a knock late in the first half with the score still 0-0; Častimir Knežević and Clituleng Taklik promptly wrecked havoc after that with two goals apiece.

The reason those four-goal frenzies made the big clubs responsible for them the NSL top scorers is because Borlfield Town only managed a single goal as they were beaten again, 3-1 at Ranford & Willsbrook. (Is it actually "and" when the stadium is clearly within the former of the two conjoined coastal towns?) Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir, now affectionately known as "Buzz" to the home fans, scored the first by blocking an attempted clearance, before flicking a Frepresis Whootung cross into the path of the onrushing Katrina Frisk for the second in another classic example of the burgeoning "strike partnership" between the Mytanar and Norrish youngsters. Borlfield fall to third, with their conquerors up to fifth; in between them lie not Bay City United (held to a 2-2 draw at AFC Carroll Lewiston, Vanorian 16-year-old Nova Björklund's thrilling solo goal the second equaliser) but Real Santa Mordana, who got the only goal at Starnwood United courtesy of yet another Vincent assist.

AFC Edencliff and Zeiven City picked up useful away wins at Cluitt and Donningwood, both of whom are in position to go straight back down, but the Carroll Lewiston point means the third relegation spot is now held by Vengife Town, whose winless streak continues with a tame 2-0 defeat at Roddens City. That's the first points the champions have picked up at home all season!

Bay City United 2–1 Capitolians
Real Santa Mordana 4–3 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Zeiven City 2–0 Starnwood United
Borlfield Town 5–1 Donningwood Rovers
Aardswood United 1–3 Ranford & Willsbrook
Vengife Town 0–0 FC Alaer
AFC Edencliff 2–3 Roddens City
Bravin Rangers 0–0 Cluitt SC

The top of the table tightens. Initially that was set up by the leaders being held to a bore-draw at the Taa'kai; Vengife Town still haven't won a match this season, but they're out of the bottom three again and their fans sure treated this one like a win. Borlfield Town took merciless advantage in a 5-1 hammering of Donningwood Rovers, Qardinal Field rocking to the beat of the Pedró Eliasson Pousa drum as he provided a hat-trick of assists in a match where five different players were on the scoresheet for the mining-backed club (and now, once again, NSL top scorers).

But then the next Big Four battle arrived, in the form of the "Olympic Derby" between Bay City United and Capitolians - a name both fanbases started to adopt in recent years as it became clear that "Eastern Corridor Derby" didn't quite work in a world where there were plenty of other Eastern Corridor teams, even if not as many as you'd think given the population distribution... anyway, the visitors could have gone level on points with Alaer with a win, and duly took the lead through Knežević's impish chipped finish, but two goals in four minutes from Pétur Ingólfsson turned the match on its head, and possibly Bay City's season at that. They're now level on points with Capitolians and, whilst sixth, just three points off the top.

Heck, Zeiven City are just four off the top, despite having scored fewer goals all season than bottom club Donningwood. The difference is that they have conceded just two goals, and they converted their fifth clean sheet into a fourth win by scoring goals - plural! - for the first time all season. (Only two, don't get too excited. And it was at home to Starnwood United, so definitely don't get too excited. But this is a team that's creeping up on the unwary.)

The real story of the season, though, might be coming from Real Santa Mordana and Ranford & Willsbrook. Both of them are now in the top four after the former won a 4-3 barnburner at home to AFC Carroll Lewiston (for whom Carly Wendling scored a hat-trick in defeat, her desire to leave ultra-defensive Cassadagan club Winchester Traditional SC truly a monkey's paw moment) while the latter cruised to a 3-1 triumph at Aardswood, who actually took the lead before another Zbogar-Zolnir pickpocket moment snaffled the ball off Cliff McDuff to set up Frisk for a tap-in and shook the home team to the point they basically didn't try to keep possession against the home side's press after that. Aaron Wilson-Cooper has placed a firm emphasis on his attacking players being ball-winners as well, and "Buzz" looks like the epitome of his ethos already.

While three of the Big Four are outside the top four (unheard of after a meaningful number of matches), Roddens City are at least back in touch a bit after a 3-2 win at Edencliff, Troy Gaither-Moon setting up the first two before squeezing in the third from a tight angle. Quite the goalfest weekend, then, but there was a second 0-0 in the mix at Bravin to spoil the fun a bit, albeit a priceless one for the visitors as Cluitt SC (for whom Borgþór Daðason was imperious thwarting one side of the Rangers' trademark wide raids) moved off the bottom.

Capitolians 1–0 Cluitt SC
Roddens City 2–0 Bravin Rangers
FC Alaer 0–0 AFC Edencliff
Ranford & Willsbrook 0–0 Vengife Town
Donningwood Rovers 2–2 Aardswood United
Starnwood United 2–0 Borlfield Town
AFC Carroll Lewiston 2–3 Zeiven City
Bay City United 4
–2 Real Santa Mordana

And now we really do have chaos at the top. The leaders were held to another 0-0, this time at home to Edencliff, and now the entire top half are separated by just four points.

The headline act in the "how we got here" was Bay City United's second straight statement come-from-behind home win, this one over Real Santa Mordana. Twice the visitors led through Vincent; twice the hosts pulled back through Dings Mocks. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman; teenage substitute Joanne Walgrave replaced the injured Ingólfsson 15 minutes into the second half and promptly scored a brace of her own. No team has topped Real Santa Mordana's 19 goals; only two clubs, both in the relegation zone, have conceded more than their 15. That's the story of their season, but Zeiven City broke out of their mirror-image of this in a big way; conceding goals plural for the first time all season at Carroll Lewiston, they were able to absorb that and come away from The Wonderland with a 3-2 win courtesy of Alby Friel's hat-trick. Zeiven have actually scored fewer goals this season than the team they visited, but they're ten places above them in the table and just two points off the top.

It was a quieter day of doing their job for Capitolians, who battled to unpick the Cluitt low block for 70 minutes before a Micah Davenport foul just outside the box set up Knežević to unleash the winner from the resultant free kick. Both they and Bay City United are now just a point off the top in second and third as the top of the table instantly takes a more familiar look. Even Roddens City might join the party sooner rather than later, as a 2-0 home defeat of Bravin Rangers moved them to within four of Alaer despite being eighth.

That sudden top-four familiarity was facilitated by Vengife Town managing another goalless draw against high-flying opposition (Ranford & Willsbrook this time), and Borlfield being stunned 2-0 at Starnwood, Rico Carrero's darting run setting up the first for Aadi Seidel as the value of even dumpster-dive international raids for the NSL lesser lights was vividly illustrated. See also: Donningwood Rovers moving off the bottom with a Branoc Du Gouey double, the first set up by fellow Gouvanarch academy product Marcon Le Masson, facilitating a 2-2 draw against Aardswood United, who really are looking like they might be drifting into trouble.

Real Santa Mordana 2–2 Capitolians
Zeiven City 1–0 Bay City United
Borlfield Town 1–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Aardswood United 2–0 Starnwood United
Vengife Town 1–0 Donningwood Rovers
AFC Edencliff 4–3 Ranford & Willsbrook
Bravin Rangers 1–2 FC Alaer
Cluitt SC 0–2 Roddens City

After last weekend's aberration, Zeiven City got back to what they do best - 1-0 wins - in almost the most eyecatching way possible, Cliff Whyte's long-range piledriver (and a stunning injury-time block on the line by Xannerian sweeper Jimmy Foxworth, a low-key contender for top free international acquisition of this first international window) overcoming Bay City United to put The Zee Team, at that point in the day, top of the NSL. (FC Alaer would return there that evening with a 2-1 win at Bravin Rangers - whose fans turned even more vocally on Lin in front of a national TV audience, sparking calls for some sort of SO-KP sanction.)

Borlfield Town may be the NSL top scorers and Carroll Lewiston in the bottom three with more goals than Zeiven, but it was a 1-0 win for the former at home to the latter thanks to Absolute Unit Kanmerin defender Todar Ranmada bullying the Magicians' Carly Wendling in such a way that it sparked debate over gender integration in the sport, not least because of an RTX Radio rant (it's always them...) the next day. As it turned out, Ranmada scored the winner by heading in a corner in first-half stoppage time, too, and the win leaves his side third, in front of the remaining Big Four.

Who are all now clumped together, after Capitolians left Santa Mordana with a 2-2 draw (Knežević and Vincent both scored one and set up another for their respective sides, to the surprise of almost nobody) while Roddens City continued their stealth run back to where they belong with a routine 2-0 win at Cluitt, who are now the only winless side in the NSL folloiwng Vengife Town's 1-0 defeat of second-bottom Donningwood Rovers. After two straight 0-0s against top teams, it looked like a third was coming against far lesser opposition, before Maria Adjis' 81st-minute winner sparked a cathartic roar all around the Taa'kai Memorial Stadium.

There was also catharsis in the Eastern Downs, as Aardswood United eased their crisis with a 2-0 defeat of Starnwood United. Janet Clarkson was expected to be sacked with a defeat in that one, but from the moment Andy Pickett's early sighter from distance was deflected in off the hapless B.J. Keller-Kells, that rarely looked like a remote threat.

The match of the round, though, was a barnburner at Chalk Field, in which Ranford & Willsbrook looked in control at 2-0 up before Zbogar-Zolnir was forced off with a twisted ankle five minutes into the second half. Freed from anxiety over the Mytanar's press, AFC Edencliff grew massively in confidence on the ball, instantly hit back through Agnes Oddkellsdóttir, equalised on the hour through Raven Lomu, before two sumptuous Thomas Lyons passes set up Oddkellsdóttir and Rick Flash for two goals in five minutes. An injury-time Finn Murphy header wasn't enough for the visitors, who fall to eighth (though still just six points off the top) with Edencliff now directly below them.

Capitolians 3–3 Roddens City
FC Alaer 3–0 Cluitt SC
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–2 Bravin Rangers
Donningwood Rovers 1–2 AFC Edencliff
Starnwood United 1–0 Vengife Town
AFC Carroll Lewiston 5–1 Aardswood United
Bay City United 1–0 Borlfield Town
Real Santa Mordana 1–2 Zeiven City

The only place to start here is the Big Four battle, where a resurgent Roddens headed to the ZOS for the Northern Derby. That might have been the place to start anyway, but it sure as heck was given the way this one went; a stunning Knežević goal after 31 seconds, the fastest NSL goal of the season so far, was almost as rapidly countered by Marvin Mikkelsen poking home a delicious Troy Gaither-Moon cross at the far post, and the Tikariotian turned from provider to scorer with a delightful curling effort that clipped the far post on its way in to give the visitors a 2-1 lead after barely ten minutes. Knežević would strike back both directly (from a free kick) and indirectly (feeding Kaniehtlio Lindiwe with a defense-splitting diagonal ball) to give the hosts a 3-2 lead at the break, but the fragile illusion of stability that held for most of the second half was shattered with a fabulous Mikkelsen solo dribble leading to a shot that hit the post and rebounded back to the grateful Gaither-Moon. It felt criminal that this match ended with the teams combining for four points dropped rather than three, but the other top teams weren't complaining.

And Zeiven City made another statement of intent that they might actually be one of them, overcoming an early deficit to win 2-1 at Real Santa Mordana and strengthen their grip on second. Tóbias Jónsson's trademark 5-2-2-1 has given them a foundation of stability that they have increasingly looked superb at building upon, and there are social media calls for him to get the national team job. (Interviewed after this victory, Jónsson said merely that "if the job became vacant I'd be silly not to see if I could get it, but right now it isn't.") Bay City United claimed a Zeiven-esque 1-0 win at home to Borlfield Town and replaced their visitors in third as a result, Ellis Oldham's early goal proving enough for a hugely important win in a match that was otherwise strikingly short on action. Maybe the Northern Derby stole it all.

There was plenty of goalscoring in a couple of other matches too, but all at one end in each case; FC Alaer entrenched their top spot with a 3-0 crushing of Cluitt SC that looked every bit the "top at home to bottom" match it was, but there was much more shock value at the Wonderland, where AFC Carroll Lewiston raised numerous eyebrows putting five past Aardswood United. The visitors actually took the lead through a Denisa Sadukaj penalty, but from then on they simply imploded, Carly Wendling scoring another hat-trick to be a talking point for the third time in four weeks. It was the first match in NSL history where six goals were scored by women, but it wasn't all good news for girl power; Janet Clarkson became the first NSL managerial casualty of the season the next day.

Hilariously, the Magicians remain in the bottom three, as Starnwood United claimed a vital 1-0 home win over Vengife Town. Bravin Rangers also got some much-needed separation from the basement battle with a 2-1 win at Ranford & Willsbrook - Aristarkh Polivanov scoring both for the visitors, the second from a Lin assist - while AFC Edencliff built on the momentum from last week's thrilling comeback with a 2-1 win at Donningwood Rovers.

EastWest NSL - after MD10     P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 10 7 3 0 20 6 +14 24
2 Zeiven City 10 7 1 2 11 5 +6 22
3 Bay City United 10 6 2 2 17 9 +8 20
4 Capitolians 10 5 4 1 22 14 +8 19
5 Borlfield Town 10 6 0 4 20 13 +7 18
6 Roddens City 10 5 3 2 17 11 +6 18
7 Real Santa Mordana 10 4 4 2 22 19 +3 16
8 AFC Edencliff 10 4 4 2 17 15 +2 16
9 Ranford & Willsbrook 10 4 3 3 17 11 +6 15
10 Bravin Rangers 10 3 2 5 6 13 −7 11
11 Starnwood United 10 3 1 6 4 15 −11 10
12 Aardswood United 10 2 3 5 7 16 −9 9
13 Vengife Town 10 1 5 4 8 12 −4 8
14 AFC Carroll Lewiston 10 2 1 7 15 18 −3 7
15 Donningwood Rovers 10 1 1 8 9 22 −13 4
16 Cluitt SC 10 0 3 7 5 18 −13 3
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Fri Jan 19, 2024 12:08 pm

NSL International Era Season 1: MD11-15

Zeiven City 2–1 Capitolians
Borlfield Town 2–0 Real Santa Mordana
Aardswood United 0–1 Bay City United
Vengife Town 0–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
AFC Edencliff 3
–0 Starnwood United
Bravin Rangers 0–0 Donningwood Rovers
Cluitt SC 0–1 Ranford & Willsbrook
Roddens City 1–1 FC Alaer

Well that's a statement and three quarters. Zeiven City's home stadium happens to be essentially a mini-me of the ZOS, complete with that tier gap (it's not plagiarism if you copy your own work, the two were designed by the same architectural firm). And so when Capitolians come to the South Newlandia-sized version of their own iconic venue, there's usually a sense of "aww, diddums" about the place from the visiting fans. But this time, the hosts were three points clear of the Zube-based side and could temporarily go top with a win, pending the North-South Showdown between Roddens City and FC Alaer later. And that's exactly what they did, and appropriately enough it was their own South Newlandian wing-back Matias Vaz who played a crucial role, initially by shutting down attacks on his side of the pitch, then by playing a defense-splitting diagonal ball to Álfar Jvarsson on the opposite flank, who was left with all kinds of space to run into and accepted the invitation to cut inside and ultimately smash the ball past Thorbjørn Lauridsen in the away goal. Kaniehtlio Lindiwe equalised on the hour, but Alby Friel almost instantly restored a lead that would not vanish a second time. Zeiven were top. Zeiven were top.

And it was only on goal difference that they weren't top after the North-South Showdown, a relatively underwhelming affair in which the champions cancelled out an early Tim David strike with a Marwin Mikkelsen equaliser set up by Troy Gaither-Moon's delightful early cross. Both sides contained the other all too well for the neutral after that, and Roddens remain sixth and Alaer top, the two separated by a still-modest six points, and by definition there was another club outside the Big Four in between the two. That club was Borlfield Town, after they lured Real Santa Mordana to their doom with rope-a-dope counter-attacking tactics and then stole two goals in the second half from crosses - both headed in by the largely unheralded Andrew Rickman, who has arguably been a well-kept secret this season but is hard to ignore now he has six goals for the campaign including both in a match of this significance. Borlfield move up above Capitolians into fourth, while Real Santa Mordana - who would have overtaken their hosts with a win at Qardinal Field - fall to ninth, which feels about right for a team whose 22 goals for and 21 against are both just one short of the most in the league.

Aardswood United, under the temporary management of caretaker boss Angufams Gackbang, gave Bay City United all they could handle before Ellis Oldham ultimately spared the visitors' blushes with a 78th-minute boomstick, volleying in from the D after a half-cleared corner fell kindly for his left boot. That left Bay City just two points off the top in third, and Aardswood teetering on the edge of the drop zone after AFC Carroll Lewiston escaped it with a 1-0 win of their own in the basement battle with Vengife Town. Nova Björklund's decisive goal silenced the Taa'kai crowd, as the hosts filled the Magicians' spot in the bottom three.

Cluitt are beginning to be cut adrift, and they were another struggler to fall to a 1-0 defeat this week, Ranford & Willsbrook claiming the three points on the road courtesy of Katrina Frisk. Donningwood Rovers actually succeeded in holding out, claiming a point from a goalless draw at Bravin Rangers where the biggest cheer came when Lin was substituted near the end. More entertainment for the home fans at Chalk Field though, Edencliff cruising to a 3-0 win over Starnwood United that frankly wasn't that close; Thomas Lyons was imperious in setting up two for Rick Flash and scoring a third himself.

Capitolians 2–4 FC Alaer
Ranford & Willsbrook 2
–0 Roddens City
Donningwood Rovers 0–4 Cluitt SC
Starnwood United 0–1 Bravin Rangers
AFC Carroll Lewiston 2
–1 AFC Edencliff
Bay City United 3–0 Vengife Town
Real Santa Mordana 1–0 Aardswood United
Zeiven City 2–4 Borlfield Town

Four of the top five played each other, but one of those matches involved neither of the Big Four. In another delightful piece of irony, one was at the ZOS, and one was at Zeiven's "we have ZOS at home" ground. Both had the same outcome, too - startling 4-2 away wins that represent absolutely massive statements for both attacking sides.

For Zeiven, at least, the explanation was simple; sweeper Jimmy Foxworth was injured on the half-hour, when the hosts were actually 1-0 up courtesy of an unfortunate Todar Ranmada own goal from a dangerous Vaz low cross, and all hell broke loose without him. Ivica Slabinac played an early ball into the mixer where Foxworth might normally have been, the deputising Joshua Funk got in one, and Emrys Floyd was gifted a tap-in. When Vaz was forced off with an injury after a collision with the chonky Pedró Eliasson Pousa, the visitors' right flank went from battleground to expressway, three more goals created from that side in the second half before Alby Friel scored a "consolation" that wasn't. That meant Bay City United moved into temporary top spot after cruising past Vengife Town 3-0, before Alaer reclaimed it in the late slot for the second week in a row - but this time in very convincing fashion.

The ZOS was starting to empty before the half-time whistle, as Alaer took total command with two goals from Jacek Krzynówek - the Dod Ravian looking like an absolute steal at 500k - and a third that he set up on multiple levels, winning a free kick on the right with a trademark inside-cutting run and taking it himself to find Teun Donk at the far post. The fans who stuck around got to see what looked like a stirring second-half comeback - Častimir Knežević starting it with a free kick then extending it with a delightful assist for Lindiwe to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes left - but Tim David, not for the first time in this fixture by any means, had the last word with a nerve-settling header just three minutes later, and the visitors had no problem seeing it out from there. Capitolians are now sixth, and if they hadn't scored those two goals they would be eighth on goal difference instead.

That ignominy is instead the preserve of Roddens City, who suffered their own brutal two-goal defeat; Ranford & Willsbrook moved past them into fifth, their highest place at any point this late in a season for decades, with Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir scoring the first and setting up the second for Katrina Frisk. If one striker plays as an attacking midfielder and the other plays as practically a much higher-lying ball-winning midfielder, but they combine to set up goals for each other all the same, is it actually a strike partnership? Whatever it is, it's working.

So too, all of a sudden, are Carroll Lewiston, who came back from behind to defeat Edencliff 2-1 with a Carly Wendling brace; suddenly, the Magicians are five points clear of the trap door, having been the wrong side of the dreaded dashed line just two games ago. The bottom two remain the same, but the fate of one of them might be changing after the two met, as Cluitt produced a stunning 4-0 win at Donningwood Rovers. Inga-Britt Mellberg was targeted for roughhouse treatment by the home side, and would make them regret it; Marcon Le Masson was sent off for a horrendous lunge at the Norrish teenager, who promptly dusted herself down to take the free kick that was headed in by Johnny Eccles to double an advantage he'd already established with a tap-in on the rebound after chaotic defending. He would add two more in the second half for the NSL's first four-goal one-man tally in four seasons - emphasis on "man" here, as Joke Feltkamp managed it two seasons ago for Ranford & Willsbrook before her move to Capitolians the following season - and the pressure on Donningwood manager Jannik Pétursson will be crushing after this, boos raining down on him and his team at the final whistle.

Not that a managerial change has helped Aardswood yet; Angufams Gackbang's permanent replacement has yet to be announced, but his second game in temporary charge went the same way as the first with a 1-0 defeat. Real Santa Mordana (and, yes, Vincent) were responsible this time, moving them level on points with Capitolians and Roddens City. Bravin Rangers also claimed an important 1-0 victory, this time at Starnwood United courtesy of a Danny Markusson header from a Gía Andsottír Lin cross. The Yue-Græntfjaller wing-back has been a culture war lightning rod targeted by her own fanbase, but she's quietly been developing nicely on the field, growing into the attacking responsibility provided in her role in Bravin's counter-attacking 5-3-2. Expert consensus is that the club would be foolish to reject their 700k buy option on Lin, because even if they don't want her (or she doesn't want to stay at a club whose own fans hate her) they could probably sell her for more in the next window...

Borlfield Town 0–1 Capitolians
Aardswood United 0–1 Zeiven City
Vengife Town 2–2 Real Santa Mordana
AFC Edencliff 3–3 Bay City United
Bravin Rangers 0–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Cluitt SC 3–0 Starnwood United
Roddens City 1–0 Donningwood Rovers
FC Alaer 1–1 Ranford & Willsbrook

The fluidity at the top continues. Alaer's lead is back to one point, and Zeiven are back to being their nearest chasers, after two dramatic draws; the leaders were held at home by Ranford & Willsbrook, for whom Katrina Frisk scored in stoppage time to cancel out Tim David's opener, and Bay City United relinquished a 3-1 lead at Chalk Field as Edencliff struck back with two goals from Agnes Oddkellsdóttir in the final ten minutes. That meant Zeiven moved above Bay City with their 1-0 win at Aardswood, who have now finally hired a permanent manager in Paul Court (who was formerly their goalkeeper).

They're also now in the drop zone, second from bottom at that, after Cluitt's second straight statement success, this time 3-0 in front of their own fans at the expense of Starnwood United. It should be noted that these two big wins have both come against fellow newly-promoted clubs, but Starnwood were four points above their hosts prior to this beatdown. Johnny Eccles scored another two goals, both from defensive howlers; scoring is a piece of cake for him right now.

Donningwood Rovers are now four points adrift at the bottom, but this latest defeat wasn't so bad, edged out 1-0 at Roddens City. If anything, the home side were the ones who looked to have more grounds for concern for much of this match, their blushes spared only by Troy Gaither-Moon's deflected cross-shot midway through the second half. The champions are up into seventh, and only seven points off the top, but it really doesn't feel like they're close.

Nor, for much of this season, have Capitolians, notwithstanding occasional flashes of magic from Častimir Knežević. It was predictably another one of those that proved crucial at Qardinal Field in the evening game, an outside-of-the-boot assist to set up Joke Feltkamp for only her second goal of the season - but a massive one, keeping them sixth and pegging back Borlfield Town just as they looked like they were truly breaking up the Big Four. (Their pre-game odds to win, 2.15, were the shortest they had ever had for a match against a Big Four club.) Real Santa Mordana provided more evidence they definitely aren't at that level by being held to a 2-2 draw at Vengife Town, who are now in the drop zone only on goal difference and overtook Aardswood with a hard-earned point secured by Farf teenager Aji Loj Zhuyu's first goal for the club, while Bravin Rangers played out a bore draw to stifle AFC Carroll Lewiston and rather reinforce both sides' place in the nobody-cares realms of the lower midtable. For the Magicians, at least, that's an upgrade on where they were not long ago.

Capitolians 3–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Donningwood Rovers 2–4 FC Alaer
Starnwood United 1–1 Roddens City
AFC Carroll Lewiston 3–1 Cluitt SC
Bay City United 1–2 Bravin Rangers
Real Santa Mordana 2–3 AFC Edencliff
Zeiven City 2
–0 Vengife Town
Borlfield Town 1–1 Aardswood United

The most viral meme of the season so far spread around the league; a four-panel image with the crests of FC Alaer, Bay City United, Roddens City, and Capitolians in that order. Below them, the text: "THANKS FOR PROMOTING / KYTLERIAN SOCCER / NOT YOU / ACROSS THE MULTIVERSE."

Capitolians firmly escaped "NOT YOU" status with a "STFU imposters" 3-0 humbling of Ranford & Willsbrook, all three goals coming in the first 28 minutes with Knežević scoring the first before setting up Feltkamp and Lindiwe to create a lead that they never looked like blowing. With Borlfield Town held to a 1-1 home draw by Paul Court's Aardswood United - who moved out of the bottom three with that point after Cluitt fell 3-1 at Carroll Lewiston and Vengife Town were swatted aside 2-0 by a Zeiven City side who remain just one point off the top - Capitolians are suddenly within one goal of being back in the top four, where they are so sure they belong.

Same for Roddens City, but their imposter status was firmly reaffirmed as they were held at newly-promoted Starnwood United, Aadi Seidel's equaliser delighting the home fans as they became the eighth team this season to deny the champions maximum points. They're now nine points of FC Alaer's lead, which was retained courtesy of them actually doing what was expected of them away to a struggler, swatting aside bottom club Donningwood Rovers 4-2 in a match that wasn't as close as that sounds (they went 4-0 up, basically shut down at that point, and allowed Branoc Du Gouey to score two late consolation goals).

But just as Bay City United were establishing themselves as Not Imposters, look! They lose at home to Bravin Rangers! A fantastic defensive performance from Lin earned her player-of-the-match honours, but it was fellow imported defender Dilan De Feux-Lataille whose name was being sung by the visiting fans as he scored the winning goal with a towering header from a corner. "DDFL, giving you hell" rang around the away end not only after the goal but at full-time.

Another imported Absolute Unit scored a goal of that ilk for Real Santa Mordana, Yrko giving them an early home lead against AFC Edencliff (yet another Vincent assist, natch). Unfortunately for them, it was all for nothing as they crumbled defensively, Yrko included as he tripped up Oddkellsdóttir for a penalty that Rick Flash converted to give the visitors the lead following Raven Lomu's equaliser just four minutes earlier. Oddkellsdóttir volleyed home a rebound after Flash hit the post to provide insurance and also ensure all of the strikingly young Edencliff front three were on the scoresheet. Vincent fired back with a rocket from outside the box soon after, as if to say "I'm still the best youngster in Kytlerian football," but the damage was done.

Aardswood United 0–1 Capitolians
Vengife Town 1
–0 Borlfield Town
AFC Edencliff 2–2 Zeiven City
Bravin Rangers 3–3 Real Santa Mordana
Cluitt SC 0–0 Bay City United
Roddens City 2–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
FC Alaer 5–1 Starnwood United
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–0 Donningwood Rovers

The final matches of the first half of the season, and FC Alaer simply needed to beat Starnwood United at home to affirm their place as leaders at the midway point. They did a lot more than that, they absolutely crushed them into a pulp, their imported additions Krzynówek and Vidya combining to lethal effect - the former set up the latter for the first with a cheeky backheel, then the StrayaRoos international returned the favour with interest by providing two assists to the Dod Ravian either side of a Seidel strike that provided a brief illusion of hope. James Black and substitute Regina Jedynak made the scoreline representative of the flow of the match with fine second-half strikes, and with Zeiven City held to a 2-2 draw at Edencliff - twice having to come back from behind for even that, Oddkellsdóttir twice giving the home side the lead - the gap widened to three points.

Not that Bay City United could take advantage of that Zeiven result, held to a goalless draw at Cluitt with Borgþór Daðason and Inga-Britt Mellberg both in imperious form to shut down any wide attacks. That meant Capitolians are level with them on points after their 1-0 win at Aardswood, who fall into 15th - behind not only Cluitt, but Vengife Town, who leapt right out of the drop zone altogether with a priceless home win over Borlfield Town. At least they're still five points clear of hapless Donningwood Rovers (beaten 1-0 by Ranford & Willsbrook, courtesy of another Katrina Frisk goal and Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir dispossession-into-assist).

That Borlfield defeat - which wasn't even fluky, for they had less of the ball and generally looked like they'd reversed roles with their relegation-threatened opponents (for whom this was major validation of Manu Kirikiri's much-criticised "play like a big team" philosophy) - meant that, whisper it gently, Roddens City are up into fifth. They had to come from behind to beat Carroll Lewiston at home, but come back they did, Úlfur Pétursson scoring an unlikely brace.

The least consequential match of the week was the most entertaining, though; Real Santa Mordana came to Bravin and set about marching on the garrison town's parade with an exhibition of attacking football, but while Vincent charged behind enemy lines to score two fine goals in the first 20 minutes, each were met with rapid return fire - first from Danny Markusson, then from Mytanar teenager Aristarkh Polivanov (who hasn't had the best of starts to life in the NSL, but you'd never have known that from the way he took his equaliser). Polivanov would give Bravin their first lead on the hour, but Galo Félix Ortiz's sixth goal of the season - and the first not to come from a Vincent assist - made it even again, and that is where it would finish despite both teams hitting the post in the final minutes. It was a wildly unrepresentative match for the home side, but anything but for the visitors - only Alaer have scored more than their 30 in the first half of the season, only Donningwood have conceded more than their 29. It leaves them ninth at halfway, seemingly destined to quietly secure another NSL season, and with a very obvious plan of attack for the next window. Which probably doesn't involve attack...

EastWest NSL - after MD15     P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 15 10 5 0 35 13 +22 35
2 Zeiven City 15 10 2 3 20 12 +8 32
3 Bay City United 15 8 4 3 25 14 +11 28
4 Capitolians 15 8 4 3 30 20 +10 28
5 Roddens City 15 7 5 3 22 16 +6 26
6 Borlfield Town 15 8 1 6 27 18 +9 25
7 Ranford & Willsbrook 15 7 4 4 22 15 +7 25
8 AFC Edencliff 15 6 6 3 29 24 +5 24
9 Real Santa Mordana 15 5 6 4 30 29 +1 21
10 Bravin Rangers 15 5 5 5 12 17 −5 20
11 AFC Carroll Lewiston 15 5 2 8 22 22 0 17
12 Vengife Town 15 2 6 7 11 20 −9 12
13 Starnwood United 15 3 2 10 6 28 −22 11
14 Cluitt SC 15 2 4 9 13 22 −9 10
15 Aardswood United 15 2 4 9 8 21 −13 10
16 Donningwood Rovers 15 1 2 12 11 32 −21 5
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Jan 20, 2024 2:53 am

NSL International Era Season 1: MD16-20

Capitolians 0–2 Donningwood Rovers
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–1 Starnwood United
FC Alaer 4–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Roddens City 1–0 Bay City United
Cluitt SC 0–1 Real Santa Mordana
Bravin Rangers 3–3 Zeiven City
AFC Edencliff 5–2 Borlfield Town
Vengife Town 1–0 Aardswood United

The second-half schedule begins, following the usual "second verse, same as the first but flip-reversed" scheduling algorithm, which meant Starnwood United had the chance to gain revenge on Ranford & Willsbrook for beating them 4-0 in their own backyard on opening day. And they did! All it took was a fluke own goal and injuring Katrina Frisk!

Anyway, the standout tie was of course Bay City United's trip to the champions, and... let's just say the top of the table isn't what it was. A Troy Gaither-Moon free kick from near the corner of the penalty area took a nick off the hapless John Fish for the only goal of either disappointing match between the two this season... but the home fans didn't care! Written off emphatically not long ago, they're suddenly third!

How did that happen? Only the biggest upset result of the season so far. Capitolians welcomed Donningwood Rovers to the ZOS and there was absolutely no sense of danger about it. Or, relatedly, much interest. Then Davíð Steinmóðsson scored an early goal for the visitors - a header from a set piece, the only way they were ever likely to score - and then Capitolians just could not find a way through the brick wall, and conceded an 89th-minute Branoc Du Gouey goal on the counter at that! The team who'd scored just five points in the entire first half of the season, conceding 32 goals, had come to the national stadium and beaten Capitolians 2-0. And just like that, they're fifth in a four-horse race and all the jokes their fans made about Roddens City (just two weeks ago!) have truly come home to roost.

The title race is becoming an increasingly oxymoronic concept, to be honest; Alaer won again and emphatically at that (4-1 over a hapless Carroll Lewiston), Zeiven City's alleged best defence in the country conceded three at usually shot-shy Bravin (albeit matching it with three of their own), and just like that the gap is five points to second and nine (!) to third. Not that long ago, it was less than that to eighth. This chasing pack imploded fast - Borlfield Town producing a particularly dramatic example as they leaked five at Edencliff, the left-leaning Chalk Field crowd absolutely relishing the implosion of the Varnian mining club. Agnes Oddkellsdóttir and Raven Lomu both scored braces, substitute Misina Solivasas added a fifth, and Thomas Lyons set up them all - the Krytenian becoming the first player in NSL history with five assists in a single match. The two sides swap places, with Edencliff now sixth and Borlfield eighth (Ranford & Willsbrook remaining snugly in between them), and there is suddenly a sense of momentum about the team from the "hippie capital of the north," as Edencliff is sometimes snarkily called by the conservatives in the Northern Downs.

There was also a huge home win for Vengife Town, albeit only in significance rather than scoreline; an early Maria Adjis goal proved enough for a vital three points against Aardswood United. With that result and Cluitt's 1-0 home defeat to Real Santa Mordana (shockingly, Vincent wasn't involved in the goal) there's suddenly a bit of separation at the bottom, with Vengife five points above the drop zone. Donningwood, though, are suddenly within four of safety. Even in a week of several notable scores, nothing registered like that one.

Vengife Town 1–0 Capitolians
Aardswood United 0–1 AFC Edencliff
Borlfield Town 0–0 Bravin Rangers
Zeiven City 3–0 Cluitt SC
Real Santa Mordana 0–1 Roddens City
Bay City United 1
–0 FC Alaer
AFC Carroll Lewiston 4–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Starnwood United 1–0 Donningwood Rovers

Three days before the leaders' trip to Bay City United, Zube Daily Times columnist Jeff Carpenter declared boldly: "There is more chance that FC Alaer go unbeaten all season than lose the NSL title." The home fans responded on the day with a large banner - not a particularly common feature of Kytlerian soccer - that read "A GOOD JOURNALIST WOODN'T WRITE US OFF" in a cheeky play on his surname. 18-year-old Joanne Walgrave - making her first start for the club after several substitute cameos (and Pétur Ingólfsson aggravating his minor ankle injury in training) - promptly put the nail in the narrative's coffin before it had even really began with a deft sidefoot finish in the 89th minute of what looked like a 0-0 all the way, and it was goodbye to the NSL's last unbeaten record and hello to the title race. (Especially as Zeiven City had taken care of business 3-0 at home to Cluitt - they've suddenly scored three goals in back-to-back matches and are just two points off the top again - whilst Roddens City continued their gathering momentum with a win at Real Santa Mordana to remain third and only six adrift.)

There was an equally massive match at the bottom, where Donningwood Rovers - fresh off the upset of the season at the ZOS - were on the road again at fellow newly-promoted strugglers Starnwood United. As fun as it was to be the David to Capitolians' Goliath, the real key to surviving a relegation battle is to pick on those your own size, and they couldn't do that; Starnwood held off the Donningwood direct threat, there was no Plan B, and Aadi Seidel's 70th-minute winner was the least the hosts deserved. And just like that, Donningwood are even further from safety than they were two weeks ago. Yikes on a bike. As for the Capitolians result, that now reflects more on the Zube-based side, as they were again beaten by a basement battler - this time away at Vengife - and were overtaken by a surging Edencliff, whose 1-0 win at Aardswood leaves the hosts five points from safety.

Capitolians could have been even lower down the table, but two clubs missed the chance to overtake them; Borlfield after a home bore draw with Bravin Rangers, Ranford & Willsbrook in even uglier fashion at Carroll Lewiston as the Magicians cast their spell in an eye-catching 4-0 win, Carly Wendling scoring two and setting up another for Nova Björklund. In the drop zone after ten games, Carroll Lewiston have scored only one fewer point than the leaders since.

Capitolians 2–1 Starnwood United
Donningwood Rovers 1–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–0 Bay City United
FC Alaer 3–1 Real Santa Mordana
Roddens City 1–0 Zeiven City
Cluitt SC 1–3 Borlfield Town
Bravin Rangers 2
–0 Aardswood United
AFC Edencliff 2–0 Vengife Town

The old order reestablishes itself. Zeiven City came to the champions hoping to make a serious statement of intent that they're for real, and ended up making a serious statement that they're not, Roddens on cruise control after Gaither-Moon's early goal. Meanwhile, Capitolians looked to be in out-and-out crisis for a bit as they fell behind at home to Starnwood United, but quickly came back to win 2-1 courtesy of a Kaniehtlio Lindiwe double, and now they're level on points again with Bay City United - who broke the narrative of the week by falling 1-0 at Ranford & Willsbrook, the goal another one to be sparked by a steal from the pressing Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir. No player in the league has won the ball in the final third more than him, and this was just the latest example of that leading to a valuable goal; valuable, too, for Edencliff, whose comfortable 2-0 home win over Vengife combined with that result on the North Bay coast to put them into the top four.

FC Alaer, meanwhile, got back to business as usual with a comfortable 3-1 home defeat of Real Santa Mordana, their lead is back to five, and the next question is whether they'll be able to keep hold of their Dod Ravian rising star Jacek Krzynówek (who scored twice and set up the third). Their hope is that the NSL grows with him, but there's sure to be interest from established leagues at this rate - as there inevitably also is for Vincent, who scored a cracking consolation here and has been linked to multiple Q-League clubs in the rumour mill. Of course, for every ten credible rumours there's 93 nonsense ones...

Back to reality, and reality doesn't get more brutal than the survival scrap - one that got a bit more complicated again as Donningwood Rovers moved off the bottom by outmuscling Carroll Lewiston for a 1-0 home win. Manager Flora Atkins complained bitterly afterwards about the lack of fouls given against the bludgeoning home side, and an RTX Radio shock jock called her "hysterical" in response. Regardless, the win moves Donningwood off the bottom, and now that distinction belongs to Aardswood United on goal difference from Cluitt after the two clubs each suffered two-goal defeats to Bravin and Borlfield respectively, and there's already rumours that Aardswood's new boss Paul Court might be sacked. It would truly be humiliating if the second managerial sacking of the season came from the same club as the first...

AFC Edencliff 2–3 Capitolians
Vengife Town 0–2 Bravin Rangers
Aardswood United 2
–0 Cluitt SC
Borlfield Town 1–1 Roddens City
Zeiven City 0–1 FC Alaer
Real Santa Mordana 1–3 Ranford & Willsbrook
Bay City United 2
–0 Donningwood Rovers
AFC Carroll Lewiston 4–2 Starnwood United

Yup, the old order really has locked itself in again. Zeiven's second shot at a statement win - this time at home - went the same way as the first, a 1-0 defeat to leaders FC Alaer with the appropriate goalscoring source of veteran Tim David (for whom this was his 20th career goal against the Zee Team). Just like that, Alaer are eight clear - Roddens City's draw at Borlfield enough for them to overtake Zeiven but only on head-to-head record - and the Bay City defeat is looking like the blip of all blips.

Speaking of Bay City, they're back in the top four themselves after a comfortable 2-0 win over Donningwood, and that's because of the other "the old order strikes back" result of the week, Capitolians coming back from behind to win 3-2 at Edencliff. This was the Častimir Knežević show, as he set up the first two goals before doing it himself with a mazy solo run and chipped finish for a memorable winner. Some of the Capitolians core have disappointed; the on-loan Pasargan teenager, though, has been as advertised. They're going to miss him when he's gone.

Two more of the imported teenage dreamers were in business again for Ranford & Willsbrook as the Zbogar-Zolnir/Frisk wombo combo combined for all three goals in a comfortable win at Santa Mordana, a third - Aristarkh Polivanov, who has been somewhat in the shadow of his buzzy Mytanar compatriot - scored both for Bravin in a 2-0 win at Vengife, and there was more joy for yet another in Nova Björklund as she set up three of Carroll Lewiston's four goals in a bounceback win over Starnwood United. That leaves the visitors only two points clear of the trap door, and that's because Aardswood picked up a priceless 2-0 win in the basement battle with Cluitt, who inherit the bottom spot their conquerors previously held.

Capitolians 3–2 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Starnwood United 0–0 Bay City United
Donningwood Rovers 2–4 Real Santa Mordana
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–1 Zeiven City
FC Alaer 0–1 Borlfield Town
Roddens City 5
–0 Aardswood United
Cluitt SC 3–1 Vengife Town
Bravin Rangers 3–3 AFC Edencliff

Just when you thought it was safe to look away from the NSL, Borlfield go to the runaway leaders and steal a 1-0 with a header from the towering Todar Ranmada. It probably helped that Krzynówek left at half-time with a knock sustained in a collision with the aforementioned Kanmerin behemoth, but it's the result that matters and Alaer's procession just got held up again. Roddens City moved to within five of the lead again, and speaking of five, that's how many they put past a hapless Aardswood United, who are back in serious trouble. As is their manager.

At least he won't be the second to get the sack, as Donningwood have handed Jannik Pétursson his marching orders after his side crumbled from 2-0 up to lose 4-2 at home to Real Santa Mordana. A club statement said that "there is no more time for sentimentality when the team's fighting spirit is fading away, and their NSL status with it." Patience has been the general order of the day for NSL clubs when it comes to managerial changes in recent years, possibly because of the recognition that things can change fast - another example of which was provided here from Cluitt, who moved off the bottom with a 3-1 win over a Vengife side who are suddenly looking over their shoulder.

The mid-table chaos machine went brrr again, chewing through chaos like a generative AI model chews through copyrighted material. The prompt for this one was "a Bravin Rangers match where there are actually goals," and the team who scored just 12 goals and conceded only 17 in the entire first half of the season provided their bewildered fans with their second 3-3 home draw since. (Because, like generative AI, this chaos machine deals in copycatting.) This one had a more novel background, though, against an Edencliff side who went 2-0 down inside ten minutes with their five female players subject to numerous jeers and catcalls that seemed to genuinely affect them. But the hosts had deliberately dropped Gía Ansdottír Lin for this one seemingly to maximise the culture-war atmosphere - their fans seemed to care more about hurting Edencliff than helping their own midtable side, and the speculation is that it was ownership who made manager Roger Wickens lean into that with this team selection. Her absence on the left flank was brutally clear as Rick Flash utterly dominated the rest of proceedings, scoring one and then setting up two more for Raven Lomu. Danny Markusson did give Bravin a third in between the Lomu strikes, but it was two points dropped for each team. Which, for the Bravin ultras, was as good as a win; after all, Edencliff had now fallen into sixth, behind Bay City United. With Zeiven City being held to a 1-1 draw at Ranford & Willsbrook and Capitolians overtaking them with a 3-2 home win over Carroll Lewiston that was more comfortable than that looks (the hosts were 3-0 up before two late Carly Wendling strikes made things interesting late), the Big Four are now first, second, third, and fifth. Back to business as usual, but "business as usual" in the NSL still involves plenty of chaos even if it's en route to a semi-inevitable outcome.

EastWest NSL - after MD20     P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 20 13 5 2 43 17 +26 44
2 Roddens City 20 11 6 3 31 17 +14 39
3 Capitolians 20 11 4 5 38 28 +10 37
4 Zeiven City 20 11 4 5 27 18 +9 37
5 Bay City United 20 10 5 5 28 16 +12 35
6 AFC Edencliff 20 9 7 4 42 32 +10 34
7 Borlfield Town 20 10 3 7 34 25 +9 33
8 Ranford & Willsbrook 20 9 6 5 28 22 +6 33
9 Bravin Rangers 20 7 8 5 22 23 −1 29
10 Real Santa Mordana 20 7 6 7 37 38 −1 27
11 AFC Carroll Lewiston 20 7 2 11 33 32 +1 23
12 Vengife Town 20 4 6 10 14 27 −13 18
13 Starnwood United 20 4 4 12 11 35 −24 16
14 Cluitt SC 20 3 4 13 17 32 −15 13
15 Aardswood United 20 3 4 13 10 30 −20 13
16 Donningwood Rovers 20 3 2 15 16 39 −23 11
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Jan 20, 2024 11:18 pm

NSL International Era Season 1: MD21-25

Bravin Rangers 0–3 Capitolians
AFC Edencliff 1–1 Cluitt SC
Vengife Town 0–1 Roddens City
Aardswood United 0–0 FC Alaer
Borlfield Town 1–3 Ranford & Willsbrook
Zeiven City 3
–1 Donningwood Rovers
Real Santa Mordana 1–0 Starnwood United
Bay City United 2–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston

Erm... maybe this thing isn't over? In an extraordinary display of attritional football, Aardswood United held the leaders to a goalless draw to pick up an improbable point in their survival bid - they're only two short of safety now - and allow Roddens City to move to within three of the top spot by preventing Vengife Town from doing the same thing, edging them out 1-0 thanks to Troy Gaither-Moon's low cross being deflected in off the hapless home defender Kala Te'Amo. The rest of the chasing pack also got wins that kept their outside hopes alive; Capitolians looked most impressive in ram-raiding the Rangers 3-0 in Bravin (or at least Častimir Knežević did, as all three goals went through the Pasargan teenager on the left flank away from the returning Lin), Zeiven City put another nail in the Donningwood Rovers coffin with a comfortable 3-1 home win, and Bay City United recovered from conceding a third-minute opener to defeat Carroll Lewiston. If they can win the Olympic Derby next week at the ZOS, their campaign could still get very interesting...

Ranford & Willsbrook took a hold of best-of-the-rest status courtesy of a 3-1 win at Borlfield, who barely seemed to get a touch of the ball at times as their defenders went full yeetball at every opportunity rather than giving Zbogar-Zolnir any sniff of a steal, and Edencliff being unexpectedly held 1-1 by Cluitt - who, like Aardswood, are now only two short of safety thanks to Starnwood's 1-0 defeat in Santa Mordana. With nine games to go, there is a sense that there's at least one more twist left in this, even if that twist is "things become unexpectedly processional in a hurry."

Capitolians 1–0 Bay City United
AFC Carroll Lewiston 0–1 Real Santa Mordana
Starnwood United 0–1 Zeiven City
Donningwood Rovers 0–1 Borlfield Town
Ranford & Willsbrook 3
–2 Aardswood United
FC Alaer 0–0 Vengife Town
Roddens City 1–0 AFC Edencliff
Cluitt SC 0–0 Bravin Rangers

And there's the twist. Another Alaer 0-0, this time at home to Vengife, and they have now relinquished seven of the eight points of cushion they had just three weeks ago, not even scoring a goal in that time. There's talk that Jacek Krzynówek may be hitting the wall at the end of this season - he is, after all, still a teenager - but with the relatively short 30-game NSL campaign, that might be a concern in itself. That particular hype train has certainly slowed down after looking like a runaway hype train not long ago.

And it is not only the champions (who were defensively superb in their 1-0 defeat of joint top scorers Edencliff) taking advantage; Capitolians have moved into ominous position three points off the top, after defeating Bay City United in the Olympic Derby courtesy of a combination that's suddenly blooming just as it's about to be broken up - Častimir Knežević feeding Joke Feltkamp, in this case with a teasing cross to the far post that just evaded Heath Williams in the Bay City goal and landed perfectly for Feltkamp to steer in a cushioned volley from a narrow angle into an empty net. George McIntyre's desperate goal-line clearance in stoppage time protected the three points, kept Capitolians in third (after Zeiven City - who still haven't gone away - claimed their own battling 1-0 at relegation-threatened Starnwood), and lit up the title race still further. Though not for Bay City, who have fallen to sixth; Ranford & Willsbrook overtook them in a match with more goals than any of the ones mentioned so far combined, a ding-dong 3-2 home defeat of Aardswood in which the club's forgotten local hero - teenage defender Oliver Vandome - headed in a Frepresis Whootung corner for the winner. His first goal for his hometown club - though he's denied plenty against them - was certainly a well-timed one.

With Aardswood and Starnwood both losing - and seemingly doomed Donningwood likewise, Borlfield leaving there with another of this week's too-many one-nils - Cluitt's home point against Bravin Rangers, in a match that didn't even have the one goal, certainly looks valuable. It really was a low-scoring week - just ten goals in all eight matches, half of them in just one - and even a Santa Mordana trip to the Wonderland couldn't provide salvation from onenilitis, though Vincent (it's always him) at least made this one goal a long-range cracker. Still, the distribution of those too-few goals has lit up the battle for the title no end.

Cluitt SC 1–1 Capitolians
Bravin Rangers 0–0 Roddens City
AFC Edencliff 1–3 FC Alaer
Vengife Town 0–1 Ranford & Willsbrook
Aardswood United 1
–0 Donningwood Rovers
Borlfield Town 3–0 Starnwood United
Zeiven City 3–3 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Real Santa Mordana 1–1 Bay City United

At this point, FC Alaer are basically teasing us. As soon as they look like they're going to blow their lead in the title race, they only go and extend it again. Their 3-1 win at Edencliff - Krzynówek silencing the nascent narrative by scoring the lot - came after literally all of their closest pursuers were held to draws. Roddens City were barricaded at Bravin, Capitolians caved at Cluitt - an injury-time equaliser scored by goalkeeper Jonathan Cadbury coming up for a corner, the first "goalie goal" in the NSL for five years - and Zeiven City were dragged into a slugfest with Carroll Lewiston, ultimately fortunate to overturn 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to salvage a point through Alby Friel's controversial late equaliser that may or may not have been set up by a Cliff Whyte handball in the buildup. Even Bay City United were held to a draw in Santa Mordana, allowing Ranford & Willsbrook to solidify fifth place with a 1-0 win in Vengife (with crushing predictability given the latter's possession-based style, the goal came from Zbogar-Zolnir pinching the ball on the edge of the box).

Still, there's change at the bottom at least; Aardswood's priceless 1-0 home defeat of Donningwood (courtesy of a Denisa Sadukaj penalty) moves them out of the bottom three, with Starnwood dropping in following their 3-0 humbling at Borlfield. Who are now level on points with Bay City. That's an eyebrow-raiser this late in the campaign, though not as much as Ranford & Willsbrook being above them...

Capitolians 3–2 Real Santa Mordana
Bay City United 1–0 Zeiven City
AFC Carroll Lewiston 0–0 Borlfield Town
Starnwood United 2–0 Aardswood United
Donningwood Rovers 0–1 Vengife Town
Ranford & Willsbrook 2
–0 AFC Edencliff
FC Alaer 0–0 Bravin Rangers
Roddens City 0–2 Cluitt SC

And still they splutter, and still nobody can get by them. FC Alaer were held to a 0-0 by a particularly stubborn Bravin Rangers, for whom this is their eleventh draw of the season - nobody else has more than eight - but Roddens City spectacularly blew their opening in the evening match, managing to lose 2-0 at home to Cluitt with Borgþór Daðason doing a magnificent job nullifying Troy Gaither-Moon. This Græntfjaller really is too good to play for a bottom-dwelling NSL club after all, but he might just ensure Cluitt are at least that rather than a Gregg's League one; this result moved them out of the bottom three after Aardswood fell 2-0 at Starnwood and fired Phil Court immediately afterwards. That's two out of the three NSL firings all season coming from one club, by the way! Sacked Donningwood manager Jannik Pétursson has been quickly hired as a replacement, presumably based on his experience battling in the basement; he's going to be the fourth to enter the Aardswood dugout in this disastrous campaign, one that started with a genuine belief that the club could ascend to best-of-the-rest status.

That is instead held by Ranford & Willsbrook, whose 2-0 home defeat of Edencliff - a Katrina Frisk brace doing the damage - moved them up into fourth after Bay City United's "too late now" 1-0 home defeat of Zeiven City. If those two aren't really in the title race, Capitolians emphatically now are; despite the best efforts of Vincent in the stadium where he could become a long-time hero in Margaret green, a 3-2 defeat of Real Santa Mordana put the Zube side into second, three behind Alaer with six to play. They play Roddens City away next week...

At the bottom, Donningwood's doom looks even more decided after a tame 1-0 home loss to Vengife, who really needed the points; had that result gone the other way, they'd have been kept out of the drop zone only on goal difference. Carroll Lewiston got a little more cushion after Borlfield were held to a 0-0 at the Wonderland, a rare clean sheet for a team who have leaked goals this season.

Roddens City 3–1 Capitolians
Cluitt SC 2–2 FC Alaer
Bravin Rangers 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
AFC Edencliff 2–1 Donningwood Rovers
Vengife Town 4–0 Starnwood United
Aardswood United 2–3 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Borlfield Town 1–2 Bay City United
Zeiven City 1–3 Real Santa Mordana

For the first time all season, the Big Four are the top four... but the way they are distributed is quite the sight to behold.

Alaer were again held to a draw, this time 2-2 at Cluitt - apparently keen on returning the favour they paid the leaders by winning at Roddens. That's now just one win in six for the leaders, but while Capitolians had been given a gift from their near-neighbours on the other side of the Sharke Inlet, they had to go and beat Roddens themselves, and they extremely did not. In an emphatic display of intent to not let their title go, the defending champions flew into a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes with goals from Marwin Mikkelson and Vigdís Vilbjörnsdóttir, and while the visitors struck back through Ella Vidya, Vilbjörnsdóttir had the last word ten minutes from time; just like in the first Northern Derby of the season, Roddens had scored three goals, but this time they didn't concede three of their own. Remember when the Eastern Corridor fans laughed at Roddens? Joke very much on them. (Not a reference to the Capitolians forward Feltkamp, despite her missing a big chance to equalise in this derby; her name is pronounced "YO-keh.") The champions will actually go top if they win next week's North-South Showdown!

Bay City climbed to fourth after a 2-1 win at Borlfield and defeats for the two teams above them. Zeiven City's dream season snapped back to reality further with a 3-1 home loss to Real Santa Mordana, whose giant Verdean defender Yrko notably scored at both ends. Meanwhile, Ranford & Willsbrook fell 1-0 at Bravin; it was a sweet moment for Aristarkh Polivanov, "the other" young Mytanar forward in the NSL with the only goal against Zbogar-Zolnir's side. Edencliff complete the top half after driving another nail into the Donningwood coffin by beating the bottom club 2-1 at Chalk Field, Raven Lomu with both goals.

Jannik Pétursson's first game in charge of Aardswood was meant to bring fire into the team's bellies, and it seemed to do that as his charges twice took the lead - but after Cliff McDuff's red card, heads were firmly scrambled, and Carroll Lewiston were ultimately unlucky to "only" come away with a 3-2 win (Carly Wendling managing to hit the woodwork twice) that still left Aardswood three points from safety and the Magicians all but safe. Vengife also eased their worries emphatically with a crushing 4-0 home defeat of Starnwood, who would have moved out of the bottom three and level on points with their hosts had they won, only to fall to an inspired performance from hat-trick heroine Maria Ajdis.

EastWest NSL - after MD25     P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 25 14 9 2 48 20 +28 51
2 Roddens City 25 14 7 4 36 20 +16 49
3 Capitolians 25 14 5 6 47 34 +13 47
4 Bay City United 25 13 6 6 34 20 +14 45
5 Ranford & Willsbrook 25 13 6 6 37 26 +11 45
6 Zeiven City 25 13 5 7 35 26 +9 44
7 Borlfield Town 25 12 4 9 40 30 +10 40
8 AFC Edencliff 25 10 8 7 46 40 +6 38
9 Real Santa Mordana 25 10 7 8 45 43 +2 37
10 Bravin Rangers 25 8 11 6 23 26 −3 35
11 AFC Carroll Lewiston 25 8 4 13 40 40 0 28
12 Vengife Town 25 6 7 12 19 29 −10 25
13 Cluitt SC 25 4 8 13 23 36 −13 20
14 Starnwood United 25 5 4 16 13 44 −31 19
15 Aardswood United 25 4 5 16 15 38 −23 17
16 Donningwood Rovers 25 3 2 20 18 47 −29 11
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

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The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Tue Jan 23, 2024 8:35 pm

NSL International Era Season 1: MD26-30

Capitolians 5–2 Zeiven City
Real Santa Mordana 2–1 Borlfield Town
Bay City United 1–1 Aardswood United
AFC Carroll Lewiston 3–2 Vengife Town
Starnwood United 4–6 AFC Edencliff
Donningwood Rovers 0–1 Bravin Rangers
Ranford & Willsbrook 5
–0 Cluitt SC
FC Alaer 3–1 Roddens City

Where do you even start with these results? The obvious place is the end, and the North-South Showdown, and the possibility that a new team would finish a matchweek on top of the NSL table for the first time since the fourth week of the season. And when Troy Gaither-Moon's cross was deflected into the net by the hapless Shrifflu Mocks to give the visitors and reigning champions Roddens City a ninth-minute lead, that possibility was ready to become reality.

Hahahaha nope, Alaer dropped the green shell again. Ella Vidya set up Tim David for an almost instant equaliser before curling in a wonderful first-time shot from outside the box after a half-cleared corner to give the home side the lead just before the break. Jacek Krzynówek's daisycutter from just outside the corner of the penalty area ten minutes into the second half gave the leaders a cushion they never looked like needing thereafter, and just like that, they're four clear with four to play.

Capitolians found an absolutely wild way to get back into second, mind. They trailed 1-0 at the ZOS to a Zeiven City side whose defensive strength has been the foundation of their surprise success all season, before Xannerian sweeper Jimmy Foxworth was injured and their "SFG" Álfar Jvarsson was controversially sent off. Zeiven's foundations duly rocked, the home side rolled them over; Častimir Knežević caused absolute havoc once Jvarsson was off the field, setting up goals for Taklik and Lindiwe before, after a counter-attacking equaliser from arguable Copa Rushmori snub Alby Friel, adding three second-half goals of his own, the last a delightful solo run with a chipped finish. Capitolians go to Alaer next week for a match that will either effectively end the title race or spectacularly reset it.

Incredibly, they weren't even the top scorers of the week, courtesy of Edencliff's trip to Starnwood going what was immediately described on social media as "full TPL." In that spirit, here's the summary of the highest-scoring NSL match for eight years:

10' 0-1 Raven Lomu Image (Assist: Thomas Lyons Image) - Defensive error punished with a calm and composed finish.
15' 1-1 Aadi Seidel Image (Assist: - ) - Clinical finish from the penalty spot after a contentious decision.
28' 2-1 Aadi Seidel Image (Assist: Rico Carrero Image) - Pinpoint cross met with a powerful header for the goal.
34' 2-2 Rick Flash Image (Assist: Thomas Lyons Image) - Flash cuts inside and curls a beauty into the far corner.
40' 2-3 Agnes Oddkellsdóttir Image/Image (Assist: Rick Flash Image) - Perfectly timed run and finish from Oddkellsdóttir.
49' 3-3 Victoria Donald Image (Assist: Rico Carrero Image) - She nods in a well-placed cross.
58' 4-3 Aadi Seidel Image (Assist: Victoria Donald Image) - Edmonds can't hold onto the shot, and the rebound is converted.
69' 4-4 Agnes Oddkellsdóttir Image/Image (Assist: Thomas Lyons Image) - Perfectly weighted through ball leads to a one-on-one finish.
75' 4-5 Rick Flash Image (Assist: Agnes Oddkellsdóttir Image/Image) - Team capitalizes on a defensive mistake with a quick goal.
89' 4-6 Raven Lomu Image (Assist: Thomas Lyons Image) - Fast break leads to a simple finish from Lomu.
Player of the match: Thomas Lyons Image (AFC Edencliff)

Whew! Starnwood remain in the bottom three but also only a point (and a metric buttload of GD) behind Cluitt, who crumbled 5-0 at Ranford & Willsbrook; the hosts funneled all of their attacks centrally away from Borgþór Daðason and the result was a Katrina Frisk hat-trick. And also a return to fourth, after Bay City United couldn't take advantage of their own home match with a relegation contender, held 1-1 by Aardswood. Vengife were left with vague residual worries after losing 3-2 at Carroll Lewiston, two Vincent goals gave Real Santa Mordana a come-from-behind victory over Borlfield, and Bravin Rangers put yet another nail in the Donningwood coffin with a second straight match where Polivanov scored the only goal.

FC Alaer 4–5 Capitolians
Roddens City 3
–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Cluitt SC 2–0 Donningwood Rovers
Bravin Rangers 1–0 Starnwood United
AFC Edencliff 3–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Vengife Town 0–2 Bay City United
Aardswood United 1–1 Real Santa Mordana
Borlfield Town 0–0 Zeiven City

What. Seriously. Just... What.

Coming into this, FC Alaer had conceded a league-best 21 goals. They had stifled teams far more often than not. Their defensive core - Murphy-Coates in goal, Wecoisus Gackbang and Teun Donk at the back, Shrifflu Mocks at the base of midfield - have all been part of the Kytlerian international setup. They are, in short, probably the best defenders Kytlerian soccer has to offer.

Only "best defenders Kytlerian soccer has to offer" really, really doesn't hold up against someone who literally made appearances in the official Best League In The Multiverse and not looked out of place. This was the Častimir Knežević show from start to finish, scoring a second straight hat-trick and setting up two more for Joke Feltkamp in a staggering display of attacking dominance that singlehandedly reignited the title race. Emphasis attacking dominance; Alaer actually scored four themselves, their own imported midfielder Ella Vidya with a hat-trick of assists. After the last of these - which put Alaer level at 4-4 with ten minutes to go before Feltkamp's 89th-minute winner - the home fans gleefully pointed out the permanent signing status of the StrayaRoos star as opposed to Knežević's expiring loan deal: "She's not going back, she's not going back / Oh Ella Vidya, she's not going back."

What is going back is a sense of excitement to the end of the season. Alaer's improbable defeat put Capitolians back within a point, and right on their heels are the reigning champions, Roddens City producing what would have been the most eyebrow-raising score of a normal week with a 3-0 defeat of a Ranford & Willsbrook side who would actually have replaced them in third with a win. Marwin Mikkelsen made the difference with two goals in as many first-half minutes, after which the visitors truly looked like the mid-table side they were meant to be rather than the improbable fringe title contenders they became during a run of seven wins in their last nine.

Also going back: Donningwood Rovers, to the Gregg's League, the inevitable becoming mathematical following a meek 2-0 capitulation at Cluitt. That result really reduces the tension over the other two teams joining them in the second tier too, as there's now a four-point gap to Aardswood United (who did at least get a point at home to Real Santa Mordana) and Starnwood United (the third straight victims of Bravin winning 1-0 through Polivanov). In fact, it would take just two results - Cluitt winning at Starnwood and Aardswood losing at Zeiven City - to mathematically end the relegation battle with two weeks to go. Vengife are still just about unsafe after a 2-0 home defeat to Bay City United - who return to the top four above Ranford & Willsbrook - but it would effectively require one of Aardswood and Starnwood to score seven points out of nine for them to even have a chance of going down. That seems utterly unthinkable, but then so did FC Alaer putting four past Capitolians and losing...

Meanwhile, Edencliff's front three followed up their ludicrous six-goal salvo at Starnwood with three more against Carroll Lewiston, while Borlfield and Zeiven played out a 0-0 bore draw.

Capitolians 2–0 Borlfield Town
Zeiven City 0–3 Aardswood United
Real Santa Mordana 2–2 Vengife Town
Bay City United 2–1 AFC Edencliff
AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–0 Bravin Rangers
Starnwood United 2–0 Cluitt SC
Donningwood Rovers 0–2 Roddens City
Ranford & Willsbrook 0–1 FC Alaer

Well, erm, the relegation battle did not end with two weeks to go. The exact slani opposite, in fact; Cluitt lost at Starnwood, while Aardswood stunningly won 3-0 at Zeiven - whose superb season has truly spluttered to a meek conclusion - to leave the gap between 13th and 15th at just one point. Vengife aren't totally safe either, but a point at Real Santa Mordana certainly helps them.

It was a consolidation week at the other end, with all of the Big Four taking care of business for once - which was a particularly big deal for Alaer, whose defenders were back to business as usual in a tough away clash with Ranford & Willsbrook to ensure Tim David's 29th-minute scrambled opener was all they needed to protect their lead. Or technically to regain it, seeing as they played that match in the evening after Capitolians had gained provisional top spot with a routine 2-0 defeat of Borlfield. With Roddens City dumping on Donningwood - who have now lost ten (!) in a row - by the same score, Alaer actually entered their match in third place, but they're now effectively 1.5 points clear (given their GD) with two to play and simply need to beat the current bottom two to finish top.

Bay City United reinforced fourth place with a 2-1 defeat of Edencliff, and it looks like this season will have the anticipated top four after all, maybe even with a real gap to fifth. They can even still mathematically win the title, though they won't. Finally, in a match that was short on footballing relevance but long on culture-war relevance, AFC Carroll Lewiston fielded a majority-female side for a home match against Bravin Rangers and a vociferous home crowd - many wearing rainbow scarves - squealed with delight as Carly Wendling broke the deadlock with what would be the only goal of the contest.

Ranford & Willsbrook 0–0 Capitolians
FC Alaer 3–0 Donningwood Rovers
Roddens City 1–0 Starnwood United
Cluitt SC 0–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Bravin Rangers 1–3 Bay City United
AFC Edencliff 1–1 Real Santa Mordana
Vengife Town 3–0 Zeiven City
Aardswood United 2–2 Borlfield Town

And so the final day is set up; the title race isn't settled, and the relegation battle very isn't settled. But FC Alaer are on the brink, taking care of business against Donningwood with a comprehensive 3-0 win, while Capitolians failed where the leaders succeeded and were held at Ranford & Willsbrook. That point, and Real Santa Mordana grabbing one of their own at Edencliff, also ensures Aaron Wilson-Cooper's side are assured best-of-the-rest status after proving their sneaky sixth place in the final pre-isolation season was evidence of a real foundation, and could well be contenders to break into the Big Four with external investment.

The one team that can deny Alaer becoming the first champions of the international era are the last champions of the isolation era. (Technically, Capitolians can do it too, but they'd need to win by a ludicrous margin.) Roddens City struggled to break down a stifling Starnwood side fighting for their NSL lives, but Úlfur Pétursson's scrambled winner twelve minutes from the end was a cathartic moment. It's enough to put them second above Capitolians, and now they're ironically hoping Starnwood can do them a favour - if Andy Cunningham's side can claim a final-day win, not only do they have a chance to survive, but Roddens can retain their title by beating nothing-to-play-for Carroll Lewiston.

Who already gave Starnwood a solid hand themselves with a 1-0 win at Cluitt, who remain above the dreaded line on goal difference alone after Aardswood came back from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Borlfield.

Capitolians 4–1 Aardswood United
Borlfield Town 1–0 Vengife Town
Zeiven City 0–0 AFC Edencliff
Real Santa Mordana 3–3 Bravin Rangers
Bay City United 2–1 Cluitt SC
AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–1 Roddens City
Starnwood United 0–2 FC Alaer
Donningwood Rovers 2–4 Ranford & Willsbrook

The final day. Every match kicked off at once, but one in particular was the pivot for the whole afternoon, and it went like this: if FC Alaer won at Starnwood, they'd be the champions and Starnwood would be going straight back down. A draw would almost assure those outcomes too, but there'd at least be theoretical possibilities otherwise involving incredibly suspicious scores in the other games. But if Starnwood claimed an improbable victory in front of a raucous home crowd? They would be safe unless both Cluitt and Aardswood won - and both were away to Big Four clubs - and Roddens City could retain their title with a win at the Wonderland. (Who needs "we're going to the theme park!" title celebrations when your final match is literally next to the country's biggest theme park ?) Assuming Alaer took care of their business, Aardswood would either need to better Cluitt's result or, assuming both lost, lose by two fewer goals.

It was a great time for rumour to spread. Starnwood actually looked like they'd taken the lead after ten minutes - Aadi Seidel thumping home after a goalmouth scramble - but it was chalked off, as Victoria Donald was judged to have handled the ball in the pinball buildup. The decision wasn't wrong as such, it was just difficult to understand exactly how referee Harry Roath could make that decision affirmatively. But make it he did, only for rumour to spread around the Wonderland that Roddens City fans had got the help they needed, and by the time the truth had become clear they'd taken the lead anyway through Marvin Mikkelsen and officially made it to provisional "taking care of their business" territory.

While Starnwood didn't have a goal of their own to cheer, they did soon have a couple from Capitolians, Knežević marking his final game for the club by scoring one and then immediately setting up a second for Feltkamp. Starnwood, then, apparently would be staying up if they could somehow win - and Aardswood were looking doomed, a brutal scenario for a team expected to be safely midtable by almost everyone.

Then, finally, the dam broke. On 28 minutes, B.J. Keller-Kells was caught in possession by the onrushing Ella Vidya, who had Jacek Krzynówek in support to her right. She duly found him, and he duly found the net for the 22nd time this season, and we had apparently found the end of the title race. Six minutes later - by which time Johnny Eccles had given Cluitt a priceless lead at Bay City United - Krzynówek returned the favour; cutting inside onto his favoured left foot, he saw goalkeeper Wecoisus Rirvymoles charging forward to smother him, and simply cut the ball back to Vidya, who couldn't miss. Game, set, match, season. Not all decisive final days can be intense.

At the bottom, this one still was; that Cluitt lead was wiped out before half-time courtesy of a speculative Jacob Albertsen strike taking an unfortunate deflection off the hapless Micah Davenport, Aardswood had snuck back into their game at the ZOS through Andy Pickett, and Capitolians lost veteran holding midfielder Diederick Van Heel to an ankle injury just before the break. For Aardswood's fans, there was room to believe.

Until there wasn't. Knežević completed his third hat-trick in five games (!), taking his total for the season to 24 - all from midfield or the wing - and all the pieces had come together. Vanorian teenager Nova Björklund put the exclamation point on the day with an equaliser for Carroll Lewiston - which meant Capitolians moved up into second above Roddens City - and the only goal in the final 15 minutes of the season anywhere was an 89th-minute equaliser for Real Santa Mordana that meant their two matches with Bravin Rangers (whose 28 other matches combined for just 50 total goals between both teams!) both finished 3-3. There's always chaos and interest somewhere on the final day; what a shame it was there, where the only significance was that Borlfield's 1-0 win over Vengife was enough to put them into the top half.

In other polishing-off business, Ranford & Willsbrook celebrated their best-of-the-rest season with a 4-2 win at Donningwood, who finished their season with twelve straight defeats, and Edencliff's draw at Zeiven was enough for them to retain sixth on goal difference from their hosts.

EastWest NSL - FINAL TABLE    P    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 30 18 9 3 61 26 +35 63
2 Capitolians 30 18 6 6 63 41 +22 60
3 Roddens City 30 17 8 5 44 24 +20 59
4 Bay City United 30 17 7 6 44 24 +20 58
5 Ranford & Willsbrook 30 15 7 8 46 32 +14 52
6 AFC Edencliff 30 12 10 8 57 48 +9 46
7 Zeiven City 30 13 7 10 37 37 0 46
8 Borlfield Town 30 13 6 11 44 36 +8 45
9 Real Santa Mordana 30 11 11 8 54 51 +3 44
10 Bravin Rangers 30 10 12 8 29 33 −4 42
11 AFC Carroll Lewiston 30 11 5 14 47 46 +1 38
12 Vengife Town 30 7 8 15 26 37 −11 29
13 Cluitt SC 30 5 8 17 26 46 −20 23
14 Aardswood United 30 5 8 17 23 46 −23 23
15 Starnwood United 30 6 4 20 19 54 −35 22
16 Donningwood Rovers 30 3 2 25 20 59 −39 11
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Jan 27, 2024 7:13 pm

SO-KP Cup and lower leagues

Peninsular League


Gregg's League North Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Florley Garden City 30 19 6 5 51 23 +28 63
2 Newbridge Town 30 18 8 4 49 25 +24 62
3 Icenbrook Town 30 17 7 6 56 37 +19 58
4 Tandridge Athletic 30 18 4 8 63 45 +18 58
5 Ludinda 30 16 3 11 53 38 +15 51
6 Magstone 30 14 7 9 59 48 +11 49
7 Rehyestein 30 12 8 10 55 51 +4 44
8 Babton Town 30 12 6 12 53 49 +4 42
9 Corlsden United 30 10 7 13 36 42 −6 37
10 Calcio Carmina Burana 30 9 10 11 22 29 −7 37
11 Norriswood Town 30 9 10 11 29 37 −8 37
12 Clifford Rovers 30 7 11 12 43 51 −8 32
13 Woolery 30 7 7 16 42 59 −17 28
14 FC Tyciley 30 7 3 20 44 66 −22 24
15 East Roddens Rovers 30 6 4 20 21 50 −29 22
16 Quilestone 30 4 9 17 25 51 −26 21

Gregg's League South Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 FC Macados 30 19 6 5 72 47 +25 63
2 Cornham Town 30 17 8 5 59 37 +22 59
3 Foothillers 30 15 11 4 41 20 +21 56
4 Ceuran Club 30 15 6 9 66 52 +14 51
5 Baltonbrook 30 15 6 9 40 27 +13 51
6 Benton Town 30 14 7 9 39 22 +17 49
7 SC Sillham 30 14 5 11 50 43 +7 47
8 Norgsklub 30 12 7 11 27 27 0 43
9 Klúbburinn 30 11 6 13 51 57 −6 39
10 Nellis Port 30 9 10 11 46 49 −3 37
11 Eastern Downs 30 11 4 15 36 39 −3 37
12 Tarrmouth Town 30 9 6 15 37 56 −19 33
13 Waringstone 30 7 9 14 23 35 −12 30
14 Hurriston Wanderers 30 6 8 16 42 57 −15 26
15 Roulson Rovers 30 5 7 18 28 54 −26 22
16 Parbold United 30 5 6 19 32 67 −35 21

Promotion playoff: Cornham Town 0-1 Newbridge Town
Promoted to Gregg's League North: Zube Vephra, Snodden SC, Shirlhill Spurs
Promoted to Gregg's League South: Easton Athletic, Alton Heath Village, AFC Charlfield

OOC note: Scorination starts at the fourth round when the NSL teams join, with the 16 teams progressing from the earlier rounds chosen pretty much on vibes whilst ensuring there's eight from each of the north and south sides of the draw. And then each round's draw is fully randomised rather than using a bracket.

Fourth round
Ludinda 3–5 Ceuran Club
Cornham Town 2–0 Foothillers
Zeiven City 2–0 Parbold United
FC Alaer 3–1 Quilestone
Klúbburinn 4–2 Icenbrook Town
Starnwood United 2–0 AWR Truckers
Florley Garden City 5–1 Eastern Downs
Donningwood Rovers 0–2 Roddens City
AFC Edencliff 1–1 Cluitt SC (1–1 AET) (2–4 pen.)
Tandridge Athletic 2–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Shirlhill Spurs 0–4 Calcio Carmina Burana
FC Macados 3–1 Bravin Rangers
Capitolians 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Vengife Town 3–0 Woolery
Real Santa Mordana 2–2 Bay City United (3–2 AET)
Aardswood United 2–4 Borlfield Town

Starnwood United 1–0 Florley Garden City
Vengife Town 0–1 FC Alaer
Borlfield Town 0–1 Cluitt SC
Real Santa Mordana 2–1 Tandridge Athletic
Cornham Town 0–0 Roddens City (0–0 AET) (2–4 pen.)
Calcio Carmina Burana 1–1 Capitolians (1–1 AET) (2–4 pen.)
Ceuran Club 4–0 Klúbburinn
Zeiven City 3–4 FC Macados

Capitolians 2–3 Cluitt SC
Roddens City 1–2 Starnwood United
FC Alaer 5–2 Real Santa Mordana
FC Macados 3–1 Ceuran Club

Starnwood United 0–1 FC Alaer
Cluitt SC 2–2 FC Macados (4–2 AET)

FC Alaer 0–1 Cluitt SC
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Sat Jan 27, 2024 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Mar 16, 2024 8:09 pm

Background information

During the isolation years, Kytlerian domestic baseball thrived - certainly as a popular summer sport in the Eastern Corridor Expansion, where it largely (but not entirely) prevailed over the northern peninsula's preferred sport of cricket. A formerly 18-team Kytlerian Baseball League expanded to 24, with the former North/South/East divisions replaced by a NW/NE/SW/SE format along the same lines as the organisation of Kytlerian soccer. Effectively, each peninsula has one division, and the Eastern Corridor is split into two.

Roddens Tigers
Snodden Beasts
Icenbrook Foxes
Edencliff Magicians
Norriswood Owls
Magstone Rattlers
Zube Nationals
Aardswood A's
Clifford Milliners
Florley Flowers
Newbridge Knights
Starnwood Racers
Alaer Angels
Vengife Legends
Ceuran Blasters
Santa Mordana Stars
Borlfield Victors
Hurriston Hornets
Bravin Warriors
Bay City Falcons
Arjena Jesters
Carroll Lewiston Thrillers
Zeiven Hawks
Charlfield Terriers

The season structure is relatively simple. Teams in each six-team division play 12 games per season against each other (two three-game series at each home field) and four against out-of-division opponents (one two-game series at each home field); this makes for a 132-game regular season with 60 divisional and 72 non-divisional games. The top teams in each division and the two best runners-up then advance to the playoffs, with the top two division winners gaining byes to skip the Super Six round and advance directly to the Final Four. Both of those rounds are best-of-five, with the Championship Series a best-of-seven affair.

Kytlerian baseball is most noted for the "Kytlerian Compromise" rule in response to the DH debate - pitchers bat, but a pinch-hitter can be used in their spot without a force pitching change on one declared occasion per game - and, more recently, the shift to a three-man rotation that indirectly stemmed from this, as teams noticed the potential to largely avoid starting pitchers batting altogether so long as they only ever made short starts, and then the value in avoiding the "third time through the order" penalty that derived from this. As a result, when LPB teams came looking for Kytlerian talent after the national team's startling return to the WBC, it was the pitchers that got pursued first and hardest; teams in need of swingmen who could start but weren't wedded to the idea of it, or who were trying out their own novel solutions to pitching problems, had an obvious destination for that kind of talent.

That said, there's a good supply of Kytlerian sluggers too. In particular, baseball being the bat-and-ball sport of choice in the Expansion area - with its influences from the Græntfjallers who came over the border - has provided opportunities for some BFGs to yeet baseballs into the bleachers in between strikeouts. (Or be the ones getting the strikeouts and giving up the homers, as you get some BFGs on the mound too.) Kytlerian baseball is one of the more nation-representative sports in general, with its player pool encompassing much of the population's diversity - although it remains less of a presence in the northern peninsula, where cricket remains the summer sport of choice. (Northwest Division teams have been notorious for their lack of crowds at times.)
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Sun Mar 17, 2024 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Mon Mar 18, 2024 3:20 pm

KBL International Era: Season 1

This season is considered the first of its "International Era" just as the NSL's was, not due to any international players (besides the dual-nationals) but because Kytlerian baseball is back in its own new international era. One that looks rather good based on early returns at the last WBC...

Anyway, here were the regular season standings...

Northwest Division Pld W L RF RA RD
1 Roddens Tigers 132 78 54 653 520 133
2 Edencliff Magicians 132 72 60 562 510 52
3 Snodden Beasts 132 67 65 604 591 13
4 Icenbrook Foxes 132 64 68 596 600 -4
5 Magstone Rattlers 132 56 76 521 702 -181
6 Norriswood Owls 132 50 82 504 662 -158

Northeast Division Pld W L RF RA RD
1 Zube Nationals 132 79 53 644 505 139
2 Aardswood A's 132 73 59 647 569 78
3 Florley Flowers 132 68 64 582 584 -2
4 Clifford Milliners 132 64 68 610 586 24
5 Starnwood Racers 132 59 73 560 634 -74
6 Newbridge Knights 132 54 78 514 593 -79

Southwest Division Pld W L RF RA RD
1 Ceuran Blasters 132 75 57 611 545 66
2 Alaer Angels 132 71 61 572 508 64
3 Santa Mordana Stars 132 69 63 561 567 -6
4 Hurriston Hornets 132 67 65 559 565 -6
5 Vengife Legends 132 65 67 512 511 1
6 Borlfield Victors 132 60 72 535 625 -90

Southeast Division Pld W L RF RA RD
1 Bravin Warriors 132 76 56 650 540 110
2 Bay City Falcons 132 74 58 600 564 36
3 Charlfield Terriers 132 64 68 534 596 -62
4 Arjena Jesters 132 61 71 518 537 -19
5 Carroll Lewiston Thrillers 132 59 73 561 557 4
6 Zeiven Hawks 132 59 73 509 548 -39

Playoff seeding:
1. Zube Nationals
2. Roddens Tigers
3. Bravin Warriors
4. Ceuran Blasters
5. Bay City Falcons
6. Aardswood A's

Not only was the Northwest Division somewhat less of a binfire than feared, it actually produced one of the two byes, the Roddens Tigers taking full advantage of their somewhat softer schedule to produce a 78-win season that was second only to the defending champion (and clear preseason favourite) Zube Nationals. It even came close to producing a wild card team, but the Aardswood A's just about held off the Edencliff Magicians; both of those teams showed plenty of promise from their young players, a good sign for them if other teams are to lose more proven talent to LPB. The Southwest Division was a chaotic pile of good-not-great teams, but the Ceuran Blasters held off the more fancied Alaer Angels to bring playoff baseball to the Kytlerian dance music capital for the first time in nine years.

Notably, none of the playoff teams were from the Expansion area; of their well-supported teams, only the 68-64 Florley Flowers even managed a winning record.

Super Six Series
Aardswood A's 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Bravin Warriors 0 2 0 4 3 0 0 0 X 9
Warriors lead series 1-0

Aardswood A's 0 2 1 4 0 0 1 2 0 10
Bravin Warriors 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4
Series tied 1-1

Bravin Warriors 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 4
Aardswood A's 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Warriors lead series 2-1

Bravin Warriors 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
Aardswood A's 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Warriors win series 3-1


Bay City Falcons 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4
Ceuran Blasters 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3
Falcons lead series 1-0

Bay City Falcons 0 3 0 2 0 3 0 0 1 9
Ceuran Blasters 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3 6
Falcons lead series 2-0

Ceuran Blasters 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
Bay City Falcons 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 X 5
Falcons win series 3-0

The Blasters got blasted out of the playoffs in short order, never recovering from their agonising tenth-inning loss in Game 1; don't be surprised to see them in the closer market after that soul-shattering experience. Ditto for the A's, honestly, but their extra-inning pain came in the eleventh, and in their win-or-bust Game 4 after a 10-4 demolition job on the road in Game 2 gave them hope that would not survive the two painful home losses that followed. The Warriors were left to face one of the longest road trips in the KBL, from the garrison town on the Tikariot border to Roddens, capital of the northwest - while the Tigers, of course, would do the same thing in reverse for Games 3 and (if necessary) 4. The other Final Four series? Oh, just a Bay City-Zube affair. No big deal, just the virtually interconnected twin cities at the heart of the country. Nothing to see here.

Final Four Series
Bravin Warriors 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6
Roddens Tigers 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 8
Tigers lead series 1-0

Bravin Warriors 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2
Roddens Tigers 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 X 5
Tigers lead series 2-0

Roddens Tigers 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
Bravin Warriors 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4
Tigers lead series 2-1

Roddens Tigers 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5
Bravin Warriors 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 4
Tigers win series 3-1


Bay City Falcons 1 0 0 0 2 4 2 0 1 10
Zube Nationals 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2
Falcons lead series 1-0

Bay City Falcons 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Zube Nationals 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 X 7
Series tied 1-1

Zube Nationals 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3
Bay City Falcons 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
Nationals lead series 2-1

Zube Nationals 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Bay City Falcons 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nationals win series 3-1

The Tigers tamed the brave Warriors in the end, but what a ride it was. A five-run salvo in the top of the second in Game 1 put Bravin's boys in command, but three of those runs were undone with one mighty shot from national team player and midseason trade acquisition Benjamin Ígorsson - a potential LPB target after a KBL-leading 28 homers in his age-24 season between the Tigers and his fast-collapsing former team the Zeiven Hawks - and they would ultimately go 6-5 up before prevailing 8-6 in 10. It would be one of three extra-inning games in the series, the Warriors' one win being a staggering 13-inning pitchers' duel and the Tigers ultimately clinching the next night after relinquishing a 4-0 lead from the top of the first.

They will face the Nationals in the final after the consensus best team in Kytlerian baseball ultimately showed it. Not initially - the Falcons flew out of the traps with a stunning 10-2 win at the Donaldson Diamond to open the series, punishing one reliever after another once they chased home team ace Cedric Lundy from the mound - but a seventh-inning grand slam from ascending young shortstop Wecoisus Dotos in Game 2 was lift-off for the capital side, who then edged two close road wins to advance to a third Championship Series in five years.

Championship Series
Roddens Tigers 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5
Zube Nationals 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 6
Nationals lead series 1-0

Roddens Tigers 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4
Zube Nationals 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Series tied 1-1

Zube Nationals 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 4
Roddens Tigers 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Nationals lead series 2-1

Zube Nationals 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 0 0 6
Roddens Tigers 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Nationals lead series 3-1

Zube Nationals 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 4
Roddens Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nationals win series 4-1

In the end, the Nationals were the best team around the nation. Just 2-2 at the Diamond in the postseason, they won all five on the road, including a comeback from 5-1 down in Game 4 that really proved soul-shattering for the Tigers. They didn't so much as score a run in their last 15 innings of the season, and with Lundy likely heading to LPB next season, it was a huge deal that their next potential staff ace in Fyls Mopukest came through with a beautiful 17-out 81-pitch start in Game 5, not to mention five innings of one-run ball in Game 2 before the Tigers secured what would be their only win of the series with a three-run sixth.

The KBL title is still stored safely in Zube Olympic Park, then - but this was a transitional season, on paper the first of a new era, in practice likely the last of an old one. What happens when the KBL does not have all of the best Kytlerian players? And will imported talent head to the league in return? Questions to which only time will provide the answer.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Mar 30, 2024 9:15 am

New NSL broadcasting deal

After the success of the first season of the new NSL International Era, and then some eyecatching transfers in the second window, plans for a new domestic broadcasting deal for the league were fast-tracked and will now apply starting with this new season.

Under the new deal, every NSL game will be broadcast live, with three designated exclusive TV windows (that were each sold to one of the "Big Three" Kytlerian TV channels) and a fourth non-exclusive one that was sold to the streaming service of leading telecoms provider Kytel:

Package A
Held by NBO
Billed as The Big Match
1 game per week (exclusive window), Friday 1945
Package B
Held by TV3
Billed as High Noon
1 game per week (exclusive window), Saturday 1230
Package C
Held by KBT
Billed as Saturday Night Soccer
1 game per week (exclusive window), Saturday 1730
Package D
Held by Kytel
Billed as Kytel Super Sunday
5 games per week (non-exclusive window), Sunday 1500

Lower-league matches all take place Saturday 1500 and it is anticipated that attendances will be aided by the lack of NSL games in this window.

TV scheduling takes place in five-week "blocks," though MD30 is excluded from the final block as it has its own arrangements. Each block works as follows:

  • Each package-holder selects one match per week. All unselected matches are assigned to Package D.
  • The first five picks of each block are the top picks of each week. In odd-numbered blocks (MD1-5, MD11-15, MD21-25), Package B makes the first selection, then Package C makes two more picks and Package B a fourth; in even-numbered blocks (MD6-10, MD16-20, MD26-29), this is reversed. Either way, Package A then makes the fifth pick, completing the top picks.
  • Package D then makes two selections and Package A one, so each package now has two picks.
  • There are then three rounds of selection starting with B and C in the reverse order of their first two selections, then A, then D. The final selection of D is skipped, as they receive all matches not selected for the exclusive-window packages (A-C).
  • The only other selection requirement is that, in each of the first five blocks, every team must have one week where they appear in an exclusive window and one week where they do not. (Therefore, if a team is chosen for four exclusive-window matches in a block, their other match is automatically awarded to Package D.)

The selection process for the first block takes place before the initial schedule is announced; each subsequent block has its selection process made after the second matchday of the previous block.

For MD30, all matches are played Sunday 1500 and all broadcasts are billed as "The Final Day." The holders of Package B and Package C select one game each, with the first choice alternating between the two; in the first season of the deal, Package B holds this right. The unselected matches are all part of Package D. These decisions are made the day after MD29 is completed.

All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD1: FC Macados v Roddens City
MD2: AFC Edencliff v Bravin Rangers
MD3: Bay City United v Ranford & Willsbrook
MD4: Real Santa Mordana v Bravin Rangers
MD5: Zeiven City v Real Santa Mordana
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD1: Vengife Town v Capitolians
MD2: FC Alaer v Newbridge Town
MD3: Borlfield Town v Real Santa Mordana
MD4: FC Alaer v Bay City United
MD5: Cluitt SC v Capitolians
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD1: Bay City United v Real Santa Mordana
MD2: Roddens City v Bay City United
MD3: FC Macados v FC Alaer
MD4: AFC Carroll Lewiston v Florley Garden City
MD5: Bravin Rangers v Roddens City
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Mar 30, 2024 3:32 pm

NSL International Era Season 2 preview

Is this the year the Big Four breaks up?

No promises it happens - and even less certainty that it won't be a one-year aberration - but the hype machine says yes!

That's all because of the remarkable business of one team. Everyone knew that eventually, in all likelihood, Real Santa Mordana would cash in on prize asset Vincent; while he regularly expressed his pride at coming through the club's noted academy, he never denied he would be happy to move abroad, simply saying he never wanted to play for another Kytlerian team. Q-League interest had been sniffing around ever since he set up both Kytlerian goals in the violence-plagued pre-WC95 friendly defeat in Quebec, and ultimately Miposojeon secured the deal for 5m NSD plus academy product Oonagh Pamela Aguirre, an intriguing 16-year-old still growing into her tall body.

But the deal also included a clause loaning Vincent back to Santa Mordana for one season. And with one last ride with their home-grown rising star and a transfer fee over five times the NSL record burning a hole in their pocket, they made what can only be described as a game-changing purchase not only for the club but for the entire NSL, signing Quebecois star winger and cultural icon Anna Korniloff-Kouyate from Mytanar giants Atletik for a potential 6.5m NSD, 1m of which is conditional on gaining an IFCF slot this season. (That clause alone was more than any NSL club spent on a player in the last window!) If the hope was that this move would at least partly pay for itself in merchandise and like, the news of "AKK" being in a relationship with Atletik and Mytanija captain Bigger Mbala-Ekakia bought the eyeball-raising to another dimension, to the point the attention could yet have meaningful impact on an economic level not just for the club but the city and the country as well.

The Big Five, then?

It sure seems it.

FC Alaer
Main colours White with black
Manager Ferrys Taklik
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 1st
Title odds 13/4
Real Santa Mordana
Main colours White and red
Manager Oscar Rodríguez
Typical formation 4-1-4-1
Last season 9th
Title odds 7/2
Roddens City
Main colours Red with white
Manager Edward Robinson
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 3rd
Title odds 5/1
Main colours Sky blue
Manager Victor Andrews
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 2nd
Title odds 11/2
Bay City United
Main colours Navy and yellow
Manager Zachary Molder
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 4th
Title odds 13/2

It's worth remembering that RSM stayed up on the final day just two seasons ago, and even last season they conceded the third-most goals of any NSL club. Now, the tantalising prospect of AKK and Vincent (plus Acebes and Félix Ortiz, who have been part of Kytlerian NT setups themselves!) means they're not only title contenders, at one point they were actually favourites before the "sharp money" poured in on the defending champions to give them the shortest odds again.

Alaer should never have lost the status of favourites; looking like the most well-rounded team as it was, they've now added another source of upside in Yvonne Glockner, a talented young Vanorian with a penchant for deadly left-footed crosses who was good enough to last multiple seasons on the books of perennial Red League title contenders Myana. Which is to say that "too good for the NSL" is not so much hope as borderline expectation for her - if she can stay fit, which isn't a given (which is why 20% of her potential 1m NSD fee is tied to making 50 league appearances for the club).

Speaking of Chromatik talent, Bay City United once again plumbed the depths of that admittedly cavernous pool with the "Nephara rescue" signing of Moreno Keel. He's actually much like an older Glockner, in that he's a left-sided player who's long on flair and short on durability; still, his trademark stutter-step is set to make regular appearances on Kytlerian social media feeds this season for as long as his ankle stays intact. And he'll need to fly out of the traps, because the club have an absolutely murderous early schedule. How tough is it? Let's just say that their first four matches are not only in exclusive TV windows but were actually top picks. Fans and oddsmakers aren't buying it; they have Bay City down as the favourites to be squeezed out of the IFCF slots.

Capitolians actually finished second last season, but they only snatched that spot on the final day, and they conceded fifteen more goals than any other Big Four club. That's one every other game! Oh, and Častimir Knežević has gone back to pick on teams his own size after a 24-goal debut season in which he practically carried the team by himself at times. Rescuing Davíð Steinmóðsson from Donningwood Rovers does not count as an adequate way to replace that production, and it's not even clear where he fits into Victor Andrews' plans with Kaniehtlio Lindiwe looking entrenched as the starting centre-forward. Still, if they do need to hit the emergency yeetball button, they now have a BFG for that.

Roddens City went from being mocked and dismissed for half the season to ultimately being pretty much the last remaining title challengers. They are alone among Big Four clubs in taking advantage of the loan market, acquiring a pair of 20-year-old midfielders in Tikariot's Catriona Crayshaw (one of several this season making the move from the TPL, a supply line that frankly should have opened up last year) and Mytanar Sadik Abazovic. However, the presence of just one of their players in the NT squad - and that a backup in Marwin Mikkelsen - is a sign of the lack of domestic star power in their side. There are four clubs outside the Big Five with multiple representatives in Andrew Patterson's 23...


Really! And they're all in this section...

AFC Edencliff
Main colours Light green
Manager Paula Foster
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 6th
Title odds 25/1
Ranford & Willsbrook
Main colours Blue and white
Manager Aaron Wilson-Cooper
Typical formation 4-1-4-1
Last season 5th
Title odds 25/1
Borlfield Town
Main colours Silver with black
Manager George Gary
Typical formation 4-4-2
Last season 8th
Title odds 50/1
Bravin Rangers
Main colours Gunmetal grey and orange
Manager Roger Wickens
Typical formation 5-3-2
Last season 10th
Title odds 60/1
Zeiven City
Main colours Rose gold with black
Manager Tóbias Jónsson
Typical formation 5-2-2-1
Last season 7th
Title odds 60/1

This is the zone of stylistic variation within the NSL. Paula Foster's attacking 4-3-3 and Aaron Wilson-Cooper's fluid take on a 4-1-4-1 has earned their clubs best-of-the-rest spots the last two seasons; Foster had a shot at managing the U21 Kytlerians at the DBC, taking them to the quarter-finals behind her club's own front three of Rick Flash, Raven Lomu, and Agnes Oddkellsdóttir. Edencliff's defensive vulnerabilities (their 48 goals conceded last season was more than relegated Aardswood United) have been potentially addressed with the signing of two new full-backs; Auprussian teenager Vitore Enetac is already defensively solid and his release from Birivistice stunned local sources, while Sevet-Ajark Tez - squeezed out of Squornshelan club KFX Halazem - represents a striking acquisition, on loan with a 2m NSD buy option that doubles any fee the Big Four have paid for an international player. Not only that, but Sevet-Ajark represents the first non-binary international player in NSL history, and their presence is a symbolic one for an Edencliff side that proudly represents a Komodo Channel port town that has long been an island of social liberalism in a sea of northern peninsula conservatism.

If Edencliff are searching for their international breakout, Ranford & Willsbrook have already got theirs; Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir, instantly known as "Buzz" for both his initials and his all-action pressing game, formed a deadly atypical strike partnership as a false 9 in front of (or behind?) Norrish pocket rocket Katrina Frisk, and has been drawing interest amongst numerous clubs back in Mytanija. That pairing are still both under 21, as is academy defender Oliver Vandome, even national team midfielder Finn Murphy is only 26, and with the loan addition of 23-year-old William Kingsbury and the emergence of yet another young defender in Teun van Os (who spent last season on loan at Gregg's League North club Ludinda and impressed), it's entirely possible that this and not RSM are the next side who break up the Big Four.

Borlfield Town were conspicuous by their absence in the transfer window this time around; their only acquisition was a domestic one, rescuing Cliff McDuff from relegated Aardswood United. Still, that completes a potentially stalwart back four, with McDuff pairing with chonky Kanmer enforcer Todar Ranmada at centre-back whilst one-time Kytlerian national team member Bruno Jugovac and Mytanar teenager Ivica Slabinac offer tackles and early crosses on the flanks. The lack of attacking reinforcements are a big concern for the fans, and manager George Gary is a popular sleeper pick for the first NSL sacking.

The NSL's other arch-conservative favourite club have not been so static. After a loan year in which she genuinely impressed virtually everyone but her own fans on the field and became a staple of Kytlerian culture-war debate, Gía Ansdottir Lin was "permanently signed" by Bravin Rangers, immediately handed in a transfer request, and was ultimately sold to Mytanar club Tekstil Ibon for 1.5m NSD. They reinvested two-thirds of that on another Yue dual-national in Solomon Bai, an industrious midfielder who will be far more popular with the hard-nosed fans of this garrison-town club. (Those on the other side of the culture wars are already digging into his murky family history...) Despite the acquisition of Bai implying the club now acknowledges the existence of midfield, this club's cavalry-charge 5-3-2 will continue to live or die by the effectiveness of their two NT staples at either end of the field in goalkeeper Kuno Zeelen and striker Danny Markusson.

Zeiven City were the revelation of last season, standing just two points off the top in second place as late as MD17. Tóbias Jónsson's 5-2-2-1 provides another intriguing point of difference in this part of the table, and while a repeat of last season's hot start isn't a realistic ambition, a repeat of their eventual top-half finish is. Their one bit of business in the window was rescuing Aadi Seidel from relegated Starnwood United to pair with (and possibly head in crosses from) fellow South Newlandian Matias Vaz, a breakout star at wing-back last season opposite "SFG" Álfar Jvarsson.

Few expect any of the above ten clubs to be under any real threat of relegation. Which leaves six clubs for three spots.

The Danger Zone

Here's the threatened teams returning from last season:
AFC Carroll Lewiston
Main colours Pink and white
Manager Flora Atkins
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 11th
Title odds 125/1
Cluitt SC
Main colours Sea blue and white
Manager Jan van der Meyde
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 13th
Title odds 150/1
Vengife Town
Main colours Marigold and dark green
Manager Manu Kirikiri
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 12th
Title odds 200/1

Well, this is a curious combination. AFC Carroll Lewiston are full of commitment to attacking football and gender equality, but they were unable to make any acquisitions in the window; their three permanent international slots were filled, but they could have made a loan addition. Which is what Cluitt managed after they escaped on the final day and then capped it off with an improbable SO-KP Cup triumph; centre-back Catarina Lindfors makes the loan move from Tikariot to the Sharke Inlet coast, but the key defender on this team is former Græntfjall U21 right-back Borgþór Daðason. Having started to live up to his potential at last, he's once again burdened with carrying to safety a team who play "big club" football without the personnel to pull that off. Like the Magicians with Reggie Foster, they also have a young talented goalkeeper in Jonathan Cadbury to shore up the one position that, under current NSL rules at least, cannot be filled by an international acquisition. Both will be busy.

Speaking of teams who play like they're big clubs when they're not, Vengife Town spent much of last season under threat of relegation and are being widely tipped to actually drop this time. But they too have a young goalkeeper to build around - an even younger one at that, Rangi Tipene only turning 20 at the start of this season - and a clear identity not only in playing style but in their culture, with their connection to the Kytlerian Aboriginal community. They have at least made one interesting international signing in Kosma Minsen-Dwarasen; the Ralsalien winger is tipped as one with a promising future, but will have to adapt to time dilation.

And then there are the three promoted clubs:
Florley Garden City
Main colours Lawn green and white
Manager Alice Anderson-Smith
Typical formation 4-3-3
Last season 1st in Gregg's League North
Title odds 200/1
FC Macados
Main colours Gold and black
Manager Joe Brown
Typical formation 4-2-3-1
Last season 1st in Gregg's League South
Title odds 300/1
Newbridge Town
Main colours White and black
Manager Paul Varner
Typical formation 4-4-2
Last season 2nd in Gregg's League North
Title odds 750/1

Yes, that is 750/1 odds for Newbridge Town to win the title. This means if you bet Tk5 on them to win the title, you will lose Tk5. Just about the only thing they have going for them is breakout holding midfielder Ceedast Baspaalt, a key part of the DBC team and now in the senior setup. Besides that? The international acquisitions are Farf striker Yaman Nes Rix - a 500k NSD signing from Semarland's Fransborg set Njilkaer, where he categorically failed to become the Next Big Farf Thing - and Mytanar lucky dip Niksa Srejović, whose most optimistic framing is "technically being acquired the same way Zbogar-Zolnir was" and whose realistic evaluations are... not that. Grounds for optimism? Not many.

The other two newly-promoted sides might be actual threats to do something beyond managing to finish 13th. (Even if that something is simply finishing 12th.) Florley Garden City, the city, is a thriving Eastern Corridor Expansion place; their eponymous club fits that mould too, with intriguing new talent including multi-national teenager Dino Azar (prolific at gobbling up both chances and burgers), the only female goalkeeper in the NSL in Vanessa Andrews, and Kytlerian U21 international Stijn Beverwijk. And that's just the players that don't count towards the foreign quota (the Kytlerians being one of three national teams Dino Azar is eligible for); Alana Kerr is the latest StrayaRoo to join the NSL and has 73 goals in 110 games for former club Pale United, while Xannerian midfielder Dori Carver is a capable attacking midfielder. Both of those came gratis, too, so they're not risking everything on staying up - and yet they're seen as the strongest of the promoted sides.

FC Macados, from a more established part of the Eastern Corridor - a wealthy Bay City northern suburb that formed the start point for the Olympic marathon route - have their own Quebecois-Kytlerian teenage character in Kirk Balesson, and made one very smart signing by picking up Zachary Edwards-Hillier from Gregg's League also-rans Benton Town. The holding midfielder is still only 21 and has made the full national team after being in Andrew Patterson's DBC squad as a teenager. (Speaking of national team setups, Macados are managed by the Joe Brown/Sam Hulbert duo that managed one of the pre-WC95 "split squads," specifically at the Brevity Challenge Cup. Brown was outspoken about being passed on for Patterson when it came to hiring the eventual NT manager, and now he gets a first chance since then to manage an NSL club.) Their international additions are Sylestonean veteran midfielder Kate Fullers - who is set to play the number 10 role - and Conanian winger Colombano Di Battista. How much Fullers has left in the tank at age 32 is an open question, one that could well decide the club's ability to remain in the NSL.

What's going to happen?

240 games of soccer will be played, Newbridge Town will go down, and if one of the Big Four don't win the title it's because Real Santa Mordana pulled it off on Vincent's last ride.

Beyond that? Chaos, probably. But there's no slani point trying to guess what form it will take.
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Sun Mar 31, 2024 1:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sun Mar 31, 2024 4:28 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD1-2

Friday 1945: FC Macados 1–4 Roddens City

The season began in Bay City's upscale northern suburbs, and within eight minutes, it had produced a historic moment. When Vigdís Vilbjörnsdóttir tapped in at the far post after a Troy Gaither-Moon cross-shot was spilled by Jason O'Keefe, she became the first female player ever to score the opening goal of an NSL season. Kate Fullers equalised six minutes later with a delightful curling shot from the D, but Tikariotian loanee Catriona Crayshaw responded with a similar strike of her own to give the Reds a lead they would never relinquish. Two second-half goals from Gaither-Moon ended the "ladies first" theme, but made sure Roddens were top of the table having easily negotiated their awkward opening trip to a projected basement battler.

Saturday 1230: Vengife Town 2–2 Capitolians

Which is more than Capitolians could manage at the Taa'kai Memorial Stadium. In truth, they weren't even good value for a point, new international acquisition Kosma Minsen-Dwarasen twice giving the home side the lead and only an own goal from the hapless Angufams Whosash cancelling out the first of those. As for the second, it came in the 73rd minute courtesy of a header from 34-year-old Diederick Van Heel, who had been given the runaround all game and was actually going to be taken off by Victor Andrews beforehand, only for a minor injury to fellow thirtysomething George McIntyre to change that plan. Considering the entire story with the Tribe was their inability to match the top teams they wanted to play like, this was quite the statement of intent even if it was one point rather than three.

Saturday 1730: Bay City United 3–3 Real Santa Mordana

Not just the game of the week, this was as narrative-drenched as it comes. Not only a key battle for a top-four place between the would-be breakers of the Big Four oligopoly and the perceived most vulnerable of that quartet, not only the NSL debut of Anna Korniloff-Kouyate, it was AKK's first competitive match since news of her relationship to former Atletik teammate and Mytanija captain Bigger Mbala-Ekakia emerged. And within three minutes, she had dribbled her way around chonky young defender Yrko - ten years her junior, but you'd never have guessed - before firing a shot against the far post that fell kindly for Josip Acebes, moved from the left to the right to accommodate the record-smashing arrival, to tap in. This was quite the opening salvo.

It was also, frankly, missing the point. As much as the hype train was going brrr about the RSM attacking options, they were already scoring plenty and conceding too many as it was, and this supposed "win-now" team were reduced to actually starting 16-year-old Oonagh Pamela Aguirre, thrown into the Vincent deal almost as an afterthought, in a huge opening game of the season. The hosts targeted her at every opportunity, and the dam broke twice in succession midway through the first half; veteran Ellis Oldham ghosted past her to set up the equaliser for Dings Mocks, then she gave away a penalty for a foul on Pétur Ingólfsson that he would casually convert himself, the home fans gleefully taunting their visitors with chants of "you should have bought a defender." Chants which pretty quickly subsided when AKK equalised on the half-hour after a one-two with Vincent in the left channel, the kind of combination that everyone had been purring about and yet an experienced Bay City back four still could not stop.

The second half was sedate in comparison, at least until substitute Joanne Walgrave came on for Moreno Keel - who had a relatively quiet debut - and promptly curled a delightful strike into the top corner to give the home side a lead again. Both sides hit the post in the next five minutes, but the precarious 3-2 lead held out - until the 93rd minute. Aguirre, who by now had been playing as an extra striker for a while, headed Vincent's cross against the inside of the post to give this fixture an even bigger narrative twist than the hype had prepared for. KBT's Saturday Night Soccer introduction promises "anything can happen in the next 90 minutes." On their opening night of the season, this promise was quite staggeringly fulfilled.

FC Alaer 7–0 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Newbridge Town 2–6 Ranford & Willsbrook
Borlfield Town 0–2 AFC Edencliff
Bravin Rangers 0–1 Florley Garden City
Zeiven City 2–0 Cluitt SC

Well, erm, that's a statement from the champions. And in particular from Yvonne Glockner, who scored a hat-trick on her debut before being taken off on 64 minutes to a standing ovation. Her replacement, Regina Jedynak, managed two of her own. Ella Vidya and James Black scored the other two in the first half as the Magicians truly had their tricks exposed. Not to be outdone (not easily, at least), Ranford & Willsbrook affirmed their goalscoring credentials in similarly emphatic style by smashing in six at newly-promoted Newbridge Town, the second consecutive season they have opened with a four-goal defeat of the promotion playoff winners. Katrina Frisk scored a hat-trick in last year's incarnation against Starnwood United; this time, the goals were spread around, with Frisk scoring two and four others appearing on the scoresheet. This was certainly a way for last season's "best of the rest" to remind us that they're still here and technically the closest to breaking up the Big Four.

The other team in that position, AFC Edencliff, made their own statement of intent with a 2-0 win at Borlfield, and the Varnian capital was quite the apt place for Sevet-Ajark Tez to become the first non-binary international player in NSL history - and the first to score, albeit rather unintentionally from a cross that was misjudged by Clituleng Hottotelen in the Borlfield goal. They also helped set up the second in more conventional style, feeding Rick Flash in the right channel and watching as his speed allowed him to win a penalty as Bruno Jugovac was late to the ball. Agnes Oddkellsdóttir converted it and Paula Foster's side had won a game their fans really cared about on and off the field.

It was a bad day for conservative-coded clubs, Bravin Rangers losing at home to newly-promoted Florley Garden City courtesy of a Dino Azar free kick. But not such a bad day for South Newlandian followers of the NSL, as their country's now-united duo of Matias Vaz and Aadi Seidel combined for the opening goal in Zeiven City's 2-0 win over SO-KP Cup winners Cluitt SC.

Friday 1945: AFC Edencliff 1–1 Bravin Rangers

A culture war clash, in election campaign season, on the part-privatised national broadcaster? Pretty spicy way to start a weekend! This one turned out to be lacking somewhat in high-octane action, instead resembling politics mostly in the intrigue of two sides seeking to build on their approach and find weakness in the other; Edencliff dominated possession, Bravin looked to strike fast on the break. Which they duly did just before half-time, when a crunching tackle from Tikariotian loanee Jacob Kenneryd on Oddkellsdóttir was deemed fair to the resounding boos of the Chalk Field crowd, Ben Hewlett gleefully charged forward oblivious to the din, and his early cross was headed in by Kytlerian national team stalwart Danny Markusson. If the hosts felt a sense of injustice, they addressed it pretty quickly after the restart when Thomas Lyons fed Raven Lomu through the right channel and Oddkellsdóttir was on hand to tap in the rebound after Lomu's initial shot was parried by Kuno Zeelen. Bravin had their counter-attacking chances after that but Markusson was twice denied sharply by Alan Edmonds in the Edencliff goal, and a draw was probably the right result. An augur of a hung parliament?

Saturday 1230: FC Alaer 4–0 Newbridge Town

The nature of the new TV deal means that small clubs will often get jammed into an exclusive window by piggybacking on the guaranteed audience of a big one, even if the resultant "match" is actually a mismatch. This was Exhibit A, for all that TV3 tried to pretend otherwise (having, to be fair, seen their opening High Noon clash of that ilk end in a draw). Jacek Krzynówek scored twice, Glockner and Vidya were also on target, and the 4-0 scoreline frankly flattered the team on the wrong end of it. Only four more guaranteed national TV appearances to go!

Saturday 1730: Roddens City 1–2 Bay City United

The first Big Four clash of the season - but Bay City United's second huge SNS showdown after that incredible draw with RSM - started slowly but ended with a dramatic flurry of punches that left the Reds ultimately punchdrunk.

After 75 minutes, the closest either team had come to a goal was Moreno Keel's delightful dribble down the left ending with a trip from Charles Ward that would have drawn a penalty from many referees but was deemed the product of a Keel dive by this one. The visitors were incensed, none more so than manager Zachary Molder - who had already dropped quasi-conspiratorial hints about the brutality of his team's murderous run of opening games - and it was almost a surprise that nobody started a fight.

Keel would not be stopped, though, on another charge down the flank; this one ended in a cutback to Ingólfsson, his shot deflected off Ward, and Mocks picked up the pieces on the half-volley to give the visitors a raucously celebrated lead. But straight from the subsequent kickoff, with the SNS broadcast still showing replays of the goal, Conan Prunty charged forward on the left flank. By the time the replay ended, he had already floated a cross to the far post, where Mikkelsen was waiting to head in an equaliser just two seconds after the end of the replay of the opening goal.

Gaither-Moon hit the bar three minutes later, then Roddens were reduced to ten when Jake Arby crashed two-footed into Keel - who himself was taken off with what was later diagnosed as a broken ankle - and Molder picked up a red card of his own for charging onto the field in anger in response to Arby's brutality. But in a second straight SNS plot twist involving his side - but this one going for rather than against them - Keel's replacement, Joanne Walgave, scored a stoppage-time winner after fellow substitute Tiki Abueka's cross was flicked onto her head by Ingólfsson. Roddens were rocked, and they will now have to handle the absence of Arby for as long as SO-KP deign to ban him.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 3–3 Cluitt SC
Florley Garden City 3–4 Zeiven City
Capitolians 4–0 Borlfield Town
Real Santa Mordana 1–1 Vengife Town
Ranford & Willsbrook 4–0 FC Macados

Maybe Vengife Town are going to be the super-spoilers this season. That's two games in a row they've drawn a match they were meant to lose, this time gatecrashing the RSM home opener by cancelling out Vincent's early goal with a thunderbolt from Jonah Kanawa. Memes flew around of Vengife right-back Menburid Speocacks having AKK in his pocket after the Quebecois superstar was kept strikingly quiet throughout.

While an awful lot of eyes in the Sunday window were trained at the Estadio Esarra Stadium, those tuned into literally any of the other Kytel Super Sunday feeds were treated to goal fever. Capitolians provided arguably the most impressive display with a 4-0 thumping of Borlfield, for whom Joke Feltkamp set up three goals before wrapping up the scoring herself; Ranford & Willsbrook gave the same treatment to Macados, with Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir and Katrina Frisk both scoring braces for a team that have now had back-to-back four-goal victories to start their campaign. Zeiven City also put four on the board, but they needed every one of them to win at Florley Garden City, who twice took the lead through Dino Azar before veteran Alby Friel ultimately had the final word with both equaliser and winner. There were also goals at both ends at the Wonderland, which was not exactly a surprise given Carroll Lewiston's modus operandi, as Cluitt SC fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to snatch a big away point with a Johnny Eccles hat-trick.

After the conclusion of MD2, the next set of broadcast selections were made.
All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD6: Real Santa Mordana v Cluitt SC
MD7: AFC Edencliff v Capitolians
MD8: Bay City United v Vengife Town
MD9: Zeiven City v Newbridge Town
MD10: Ranford & Willsbrook v AFC Edencliff
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD6: FC Alaer v Borlfield Town
MD7: Bay City United v AFC Carroll Lewiston
MD8: Roddens City v Florley Garden City
MD9: Capitolians v Real Santa Mordana
MD10: Bay City United v Bravin Rangers
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD6: Roddens City v Zeiven City
MD7: Bravin Rangers v FC Alaer
MD8: Real Santa Mordana v AFC Edencliff
MD9: Bravin Rangers v FC Macados
MD10: Roddens City v Capitolians
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:07 am

NSL International Era Season 2: MD3-5

Friday 1945: Bay City United 0–1 Ranford & Willsbrook

The top pick of the week once again involved Bay City United, but this time was NBO's one top pick of the block, and they certainly didn't get the harem-scarem drama of the KBT SNS matches. What they got instead was a masterclass of pressing football from the visitors, which inevitably ended with Zbogar-Zolnir dispossessing a Bay City defender (Walter Ottosen, in this case) and squaring the ball to the onrushing Frisk for a simple finish. As NBO's commentator Oliver Randolph put it, "that was the most archetypal of Ranford & Willsbrook goals, and it could be one of their most important all season!" Walgrave hit the post late on, but the visitors deservedly backed up their two thumpings of promoted clubs with a statement win against a Big Four side on the road in front of a national audience. They were, temporarily, top of the NSL.

Saturday 1230: Borlfield Town 3–2 Real Santa Mordana

An early start for Mytanija-based AKK watchers - an 0930 kickoff there - but if they blinked, they missed the former Atletik superstar race out of the traps with a goal and an assist inside the first twelve minutes, ironically making mincemeat of a Mytanar in Ivica Slabinac on both occasions as she first danced inside to score a neat curled finish herself, then went round the outside to set up a teasing cross for Acebes to poke in at the far post. The crowd at Qardinal Field - a stadium sharing a sponsor with Atletik! - were mutinous.

Until the stroke of half-time, when Vincent's fierce free kick hit the bar and an immediate counter-attack from the rebound freed up Emrys Floyd in alarming amounts of space; he made no mistake, Borlfield had hope, and the RSM soft underbelly had been exposed. The second half was an implosion greeted with untold glee from the hardscrabble Varnian crowd, Floyd squaring the contest on the hour with a header from a Pedró Eliasen Pousa cross before taking an elbow to the face in the box from Yrko, who was sent off. Floyd had to come off with blood streaming from the scene of the crime, but fellow striker Phootid Minanad dispatched the penalty and the hosts comfortably saw out the remaining 18 minutes against the weakened RSM forces. The "team to break up the Big Four," the "win-now" team, are winless after three matches and seven points behind Ranford & Willsbrook, whose fans always felt going into the season like they - with a young side that did come fifth last season - were the ones to break up the Big Four. The oddsmakers were counting their pile of toaks from doomed bets on RSM winning the title.

Saturday 1730: FC Macados 0–2 FC Alaer

And here's your actual title favourites, just casually facing newly-promoted opposition and beating them without even leaving third gear. The only novelty about this one was the source of the opening goal, Yue-Kytlerian left-back Haley Guo; Kryznówek would add a second before the break and the second half was only good for boosting the ratings of NBO's new Saturday night light entertainment hit Dance Monkey, in which young dancers improvise routines across multiple styles under the direction of a professional dancer in a deeply dubious costume. It's really just as well that the titular "Dance Monkey" is white, honestly...

Newbridge Town 1–2 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Vengife Town 0–1 Roddens City
Bravin Rangers 0–2 Capitolians
Zeiven City 0–0 AFC Edencliff
Cluitt SC 2–4 Florley Garden City

After taking two terrible beatings against top-six opponents to start, this was Newbridge Town's chance to show what they were really all about against a fellow relegation-threatened side. Not much, apparently; Carly Wendling scored a first-half brace and only a freak own goal from Rachel Branson made this remotely a contest. One sportsbook has already paid out on bets for Newbridge to go down.

Vengife set out to play spoiler once more, this time against a reeling Roddens, but the pressure on Edward Robinson eased dramatically when Mikkelsen's cross deflected in off the hapless Ali Ziouani six minutes from time. No such scares on the road for Capitolians despite a seemingly harder test at Bravin, Feltkamp and Lindiwe both on target in the first half and the visitors never troubled thereafter. Zeiven successfully stifled Edencliff in a goalless draw marked by good goalkeeping at both ends but also a lack of the flair the visitors tend to show; maybe that was saved for the match at Cluitt, where Florley Garden City continued their encouraging start with Alana Kerr and Ceedast Wismalies both scoring braces in a four-goal flurry either side of half-time. Lena Friðriksdóttir scored one either side of that run, but by the time she doubled up this one was done.

Friday 1945: Real Santa Mordana 3–1 Bravin Rangers

Well that came right on time for RSM. NBO billed this one as "a clash of clubs that could be in crisis," and it's now Bravin for whom that "could be" may well be materialising. This was the RSM machine in full working order at last; Vincent scored the first, then turned provider for both AKK and Félix Ortiz; the latter was a sumptuous outside-of-the-boot curler that fell right onto the striker's bonce. A late consolation from Markusson couldn't hide the fact that Bravin are looking in genuine trouble with one point from four games.

Saturday 1230: FC Alaer 1–0 Bay City United

The game of not only the week but the block, this High Noon showdown proved to predictably be one where bullets were very much kept in reserve, nobody wanting to make a false first move. The first half was high quality but truly dull; the second half burst into life when Kryznówek hit the post and then Bay City almost scored themselves from a speculative Zhan Bo strike from distance that deflected off Teun Donk and only just avoided creeping into the vacated part of Jonathan Murphy-Coates' goal. And then the breakthrough arrived on 65 minutes, Glockner charging inside past John Fish before sliding a through ball into the path of Kryznówek, who couldn't and didn't miss. Ingólfsson almost equalised straight from the restart but clipped the outside of the post from the edge of the box, and after that the home side - who still haven't conceded all season! - were actually relatively comfortable. They have four wins from four games; Bay City have four points from four games. The brutal schedule has done exactly what many thought it would to Zachary Molder's squad, and they absolutely have to go on a winning run now.

Saturday 1730: AFC Carroll Lewiston 5–2 Florley Garden City

After an encouraging start to the season with two wins and eight goals in their opening three games, newly-promoted Florley Garden City saw their hopes of a third win dashed inside 28 minutes. The Magicians took the lead in a hurry, Nova Björklund curling in a free kick off the inside of the post with just three minutes on the clock, and the young Vanorian would be the catalyst for the second after a mazy run that beat two defenders and dragged a third away from Wendling; the Cassadagan striker's effort was saved by Vanessa Andrews, but fell kindly to Sam Stokes for a tap-in. Wendling would not be denied after that, though, scoring two more first-half goals either side of a 34th-minute Dino Azar rocket. Beverwijk would close the gap to two again just after the restart, but an own goal from Shane McKinley completed a painful trip to the Wonderland for the Gardeners.

AFC Edencliff 1–1 Cluitt SC
Capitolians 1–0 Zeiven City
Roddens City 5–0 Borlfield Town
Ranford & Willsbrook 0–1 Vengife Town
Newbridge Town 1–0 FC Macados

Oh Borlfield. Eight days after a statement comeback victory over RSM, the Miners were manhandled by a resurgent Roddens, for whom Atletik loanee Sadik Abazovic was in imperious form. He scored the first himself with a daisycutter from the edge of the box that Hottotelen in the Borlfield goal possibly should have kept out, before setting up further first-half goals for Gaither-Moon, Crayshaw, and Vilbjörnsdóttir. Crayshaw added a second on the hour and Borlfield were grateful that Roddens basically declared on five. The Reds suddenly now have three wins out of four and are level - on goal difference and goals scored, too - with Ranford & Willsbrook, who were the latest victims of a Vengife upset this season courtesy of a goal from Farf teenager Aji Loj Zhuyu. After an injury-plagued first season in senior football, is it starting to click for the Lithico product?

Capitolians welcomed Zeiven City to the place their stadium is a mini-me of, and duly showed their greater stature on the field as well, quite literally so as BFG Davíð Steinmóðsson scored the only goal. Edencliff were held at home by a gutsy Cluitt performance, assisted by an unfortunate Xavier LaMotta own goal to cancel out a Misina Solivasas opener, but perhaps the most striking result of the day; Newbridge Town did a thing and got some NSL points! Three of them, in fact, thanks to Andy Nolan's header! Granted, it was against fellow promoted side FC Macados, who are now alone on El Zippo after four games, but they all count the same... Newbridge are now two points and three places above Bravin!

Friday 1945: Zeiven City 2–2 Real Santa Mordana

How are RSM managing to find ways of dropping points two by two with score draws?!? This one was another from the school of chaos, Aadi Seidel twice giving the home side the lead - Aguirre notably at fault for the second - but Vincent twice firing back for the visitors, who sought to overload the left flank at every opportunity with plenty of success but also a frequent vulnerability to counter-attacks up the middle whenever the home side thwarted these raids. Both sides hit the woodwork twice, including a 91st-minute bar-rattling strike from Vincent, but 2-2 was apparently how this was meant to be. Ten goals conceded and just one win in five games for the supposed superteam, and there is genuine speculation that Oscar Rodríguez may be replaced.

Saturday 1230: Cluitt SC 1–0 Capitolians

Derbies are often said to be the great equaliser, and so it proved here as the Sharke Inlet Showdown ended with the visitors heading back over the renowned Cluitt Bridge with zero points to show for it against their smaller-time opposition. They had their chances - Joke Feltkamp hit the bar, Lindiwe shot straight at Jonathan Cadbury when it looked easier to score - but none quite went in, and Thierry Lagrange's curling strike from the corner of the penalty area did. A huge first win of the season in front of their delighted fans and the national TV cameras.

Saturday 1730: Bravin Rangers 1–1 Roddens City

This was a terrible time for Bravin to face one of the Big Four, but it's never easy heading to the garrison town on the Tikariot border - especially from the capital of the northwest, about as far away from Bravin as you can get in this country. And the home crowd would duly roar their approval when Solomon Bai gave their boys (and they are, once again, all boys) the lead on 19 minutes with a bullet from outside the box that deflected off Abazovic and into the bottom corner.

Roddens would dominate possession for the rest of the match, perhaps inevitably, and were able to survive one counter-attacking chance for 2-0 when Bai hit the post; Crayshaw would equalise early in the second half, but that was it for goals, the garrison club holding firm to secure a very valuable point.

FC Macados 5–6 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Bay City United 2–0 Newbridge Town
Vengife Town 1–2 FC Alaer
Borlfield Town 1–4 Ranford & Willsbrook
Florley Garden City 0–2 AFC Edencliff

What in the TPL was that Macados match?!? The home side managed to sextuple their goal count for the season... and still lose. Colombano Di Battista became the first player in NSL history to score four goals and end up on the losing side, and he could blame goalkeeper O'Keefe for two huge errors in the second half that overturned a 4-2 lead. Wendling would finish with a hat-trick of her own, and Stokes (twice) and Björklund were also on target to condemn Macados to their fifth straight defeat in extraordinary fashion.

Things were otherwise almost comfortingly predictable in this Sunday slate. Bay City United won their first Sunday game of the season and were hardly troubled by Newbridge; FC Alaer retained their 100% record despite Minsen-Dwarasen becoming the first player to score against the champions all season, a first-half brace from veteran Tim David having given them a cushion; Edencliff got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win at Florley Garden City, Flash and Lomu both scoring from Oddkellsdóttir assists. The eyecatching score - well, apart from the Macados one - was at Qardinal Field, where Borlfield's crisis deepened with a 4-1 home implosion at the hands of Ranford & Willsbrook. Miners fans were furious at how much the visitors dominated in the physical department, the one thing Varnians refuse to accept losing at, and George Gary's job is absolutely at risk.

NSL table after MD5         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 5 5 0 0 16 1 +15 15
2 Ranford & Willsbrook 5 4 0 1 15 4 +11 12
3 Roddens City 5 3 1 1 12 4 +8 10
4 Capitolians 5 3 1 1 9 3 +6 10
5 AFC Carroll Lewiston 5 3 1 1 16 18 −2 10
6 AFC Edencliff 5 2 3 0 6 2 +4 9
7 Zeiven City 5 2 2 1 8 6 +2 8
8 Bay City United 5 2 1 2 7 6 +1 7
9 Real Santa Mordana 5 1 3 1 11 10 +1 6
10 Florley Garden City 5 2 0 3 10 13 −3 6
11 Vengife Town 5 1 2 2 5 6 −1 5
12 Cluitt SC 5 1 2 2 7 10 −3 5
13 Newbridge Town 5 1 0 4 4 14 −10 3
14 Borlfield Town 5 1 0 4 4 17 −13 3
15 Bravin Rangers 5 0 2 3 3 8 −5 2
16 FC Macados 5 0 0 5 6 17 −11 0
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Tue Apr 02, 2024 3:42 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD6-7

Friday 1945: Real Santa Mordana 4–3 Cluitt SC

Welcome to the RSM high-wire act once again. Cluitt took an early lead through Johnny Eccles, but that made their hosts angry, and they were 3-1 up inside 25 minutes; Vincent scored the first, then set up the second for AKK, who in turn set up the third for Galo Félix Ortiz. They then started to do something they probably haven't done enough; slow the game down. And it worked!

Until Cluitt started to take charge in the second half and ultimately peg one back on the hour through Friðriksdóttir.

Then all hell broke loose. Vincent hit the bar, then Thierry Lagrange hit the post at the other end, and Jonathan Cadbury made two huge saves to deny AKK and Acebes - the second of which sparked an immediate counter-attack in which Friðriksdóttir charged into empty space that the home side had utterly abandoned. She was suddenly two-on-one with goalkeeper José Villazón, and smartly squared the ball to Eccles for a tap-in. Real Santa Mordana had found yet another way to drop two points in a score draw.

Except they didn't. They had five minutes of added time to snatch a winner, and in the fourth of them AKK danced past Borgþór Daðason before cutting inside and curling a shot against the inside of Jonathan Cadbury's far post, Catarina Lindfors unable to clear the ball off the line. Relief. But what a painful Friday night that almost was.

Saturday 1230: FC Alaer 3–1 Borlfield Town

The best side in the country against the most out-of-form side in the country. There could only be one outcome, even when the champions conceded only their second goal of the season (and the first to put them behind) after eight minutes from the good old-fashioned source of a centre-back (Todar Ranmada) heading in a corner. The Miners seemed to have no plan beyond trying to sit on that lead for 82 minutes, and predictably failed miserably, Ella Vidya and James Black both striking within three minutes late in the first half to give the home side a familiar leading position. Substitute Regina Jedynak wrapped up the points in the 73rd minute.

Saturday 1730: Roddens City 5–0 Zeiven City

As ways to state the case for being an actual threat for the title go, this sure was a pretty good one. National TV, credible opposition quickly made to look... not that. The key to this one was an unexpected personnel change, with Marwin Mikkelsen - the only Roddens player on the national team squad - kept on the bench and the starting place on the right handed to 20-year-old backup striker Scathock Rirvymoles. He played as a wide target man and absolutely bullied Matias Vaz all game, allowing him to feed the rest of the attackers with contemptuous ease. The result was three goals in the opening 25 minutes - all involving a Rirvymoles header at one point in the build-up, two of them scored by Vigdís Vilbjörnsdóttir and the third by Troy Gaither-Moon - before Vaz was mercifully substituted and a centre-back placed on the left. At which point Rirvymoles switched to the left and did the same thing to "SFG" Álfar Jvarsson instead. Two more Vilbjörnsdóttir goals followed, making her the first female player ever to score four goals in a nationally televised NSL match. Is she the potential next Roddens player to enter Andrew Patterson's plans, assuming Andrew Patterson is going to be there to execute them?

AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–0 AFC Edencliff
Capitolians 2–1 Florley Garden City
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–1 Bravin Rangers
Newbridge Town 0–1 Vengife Town
FC Macados 0–2 Bay City United

Well, that was quite the surprise; Bravin Rangers are by no means a team on form, and Ranford & Willsbrook certainly are, yet a Danny Markusson header cancelled out Zbogar-Zolnir's opener and the garrison club provided aptly stalwart defence to pick up only their third point of the season and leave their hosts stuck five points adrift of Alaer, in a GD sandwich between Roddens and Capitolians; the latter got there by shrugging off a George McIntyre own goal to come back to beat Florley Garden City behind goals from Joke Feltkamp and the Quebecois-Kytlerian Park Si-Woo.

Also jammed in on 13 points, albeit with a far worse GD - they've had two separate matches where they conceded at least as many as the teams above them have all season - are AFC Carroll Lewiston, after somehow deigning to keep a clean sheet against an Edencliff side who were one of only two NSL sides without a loss after five games. Jack Fortune's deflected strike just before half-time proved to somehow be the only goal of this match, and the Magicians have started to look like a serious threat to destroy all preseason expectations if they can actually win games like this as well as ludicrous slugfests like the 6-5 at Macados the prior week.

Things were rather more dull there this week despite playing host to a derby with Bay City United, who won comfortably through a Pétur Ingólfsson brace, while Vengife continued their sneaky-good start to the season with a valuable win at Newbridge courtesy of a Wiremu Hemi strike.

Friday 1945: AFC Edencliff 4–2 Capitolians

Oh so that's where the AFC Edencliff flair was hiding. Paula Foster's side were truly unleashed at Chalk Field, blowing their Big Four visitors away with a devastating first-half display in a Friday night top-pick game.

Technically it started with a Capitolians goal to be fair, Feltkamp poking in a Park cross, but that just seemed to stir the hornet's nest so to speak. The standout was the often underappreciated midfielder Willem Bultiauw, who regularly dispossessed Capitolians players before sparking attacks; it was his through ball that found Rick Flash for the equaliser, and his tackle on Park four minutes later that was the catalyst for a devastating counter that ended with Oddkellsdóttir stroking the ball home with casual ease to give the home side a lead they never once looked like relinquishing. On the half-hour, Diederick Van Heel - looking every bit his 34 years - hauled down a charging Raven Lomu in the box for a stonewall penalty which Flash converted, and when Lomu himself got on the scoresheet six minutes from the break Edencliff had scored four goals in 24 minutes. Clituleng Taklik's second-half strike was no consolation whatsoever.

Saturday 1230: Bay City United 2–2 AFC Carroll Lewiston

A High Noon opportunity to show just what these Magicians are really capable of, and... apparently quite a bit? Sure, the defending was still left as an open question, as the hosts could have taken the lead on multiple occasions before Jacob Albertsen actually put the ball in the net on the half-hour. But just four minutes after that, the Magicians took full flight with a delightful 16-pass move that ended with Carly Wendling on the spot for a simple finish. Arguably the team goal of the season so far, and one that will be remembered as this team's nationally televised statement of "we are for real" after three wins in a row and now this.

They briefly moved into position to make it four straight victories when substitute Joseph Andrews was first to a rebound after Wendling hit the bar, but this time it was Bay City who found an instant response courtesy of a substitute of their own in Joanne Walgrave. Still, the point is surely better for the visitors here, as they're meant to be scrapping for survival and their hosts are meant to be in the IFCF mix at worst. Emphasis on meant to; right now, the Magicians are third and three points clear of seventh-placed Bay City.

Saturday 1730: Bravin Rangers 0–1 FC Alaer

Not a lot to say here. Alaer are almost boringly dominant at this point; this was their worst performance of the season, on the road to a tricky-on-paper opponent with a reputation for a fortress home ground, and yet at no point did the result look anything but preordained the moment Kuno Zeelen could only tip an early Kryznówek shot onto the inside of the post. The one shock was that this was the only goal he let in; he made several good saves that showed why he's the Kytlerian number 1. But at no point did reality and the prospect of an equaliser even share a universe; Jonathan Murphy-Coates literally did not have a save to make all game, as Bravin had zero shots on target. He's still only let in two all season, and his side are looking preordained champions already.

Vengife Town 3–1 FC Macados
Borlfield Town 1–0 Newbridge Town
Zeiven City 2–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Cluitt SC 1–4 Roddens City
Florley Garden City 1–0 Real Santa Mordana

Especially with Ranford & Willsbrook dropping points again, this time on the end of a Zeiven City bounceback (with two Aadi Seidel goals, the second from a Matias Vaz cross) after being smashed to bits at Roddens last week; the Reds, for their part, entrenched themselves in second with another thumping victory, this time on the road at Cluitt. Vilbjörnsdóttir was again on the scoresheet, but the standout was the reintroduced Mikkelsen, who scored two and set up another for Crayshaw. Vengife continued their impressive start to the season with a 3-1 win over still-pointless Macados, while Borlfield moved out of the drop zone with a huge late goal from teenage substitute Alan Joplin to beat Newbridge Town.

The headline, though, is that the grand RSM experiment has officially gone badly enough to create a fall guy. Dino Azar's late long-range strike was the one goal of a desperately poor game as Florley Garden City successfully stifled the massively (over)hyped Vincent-AKK-etc. connection with the help of an immense performance from unheralded right-back Matthew Cooper, and Oscar Rodríguez became the first NSL managerial casualty of the season. Youth team coach José Humberto takes over at a restless RSM, whose failure so far could well go down as a major disincentive for future teams to enter the upper reaches of the international transfer market.

NSL table after MD7         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 7 7 0 0 20 2 +18 21
2 Roddens City 7 5 1 1 21 5 +16 16
3 AFC Carroll Lewiston 7 4 2 1 19 20 −1 14
4 Ranford & Willsbrook 7 4 1 2 16 7 +9 13
5 Capitolians 7 4 1 2 13 8 +5 13
6 AFC Edencliff 7 3 3 1 10 5 +5 12
7 Bay City United 7 3 2 2 11 8 +3 11
8 Vengife Town 7 3 2 2 9 7 +2 11
9 Zeiven City 7 3 2 2 10 11 −1 11
10 Real Santa Mordana 7 2 3 2 15 14 +1 9
11 Florley Garden City 7 3 0 4 12 15 −3 9
12 Borlfield Town 7 2 0 5 6 20 −14 6
13 Cluitt SC 7 1 2 4 11 18 −7 5
14 Bravin Rangers 7 0 3 4 4 10 −6 3
15 Newbridge Town 7 1 0 6 4 16 −12 3
16 FC Macados 7 0 0 7 7 22 −15 0

After the conclusion of MD7, the next set of broadcast selections were made.
All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD11: Capitolians v Ranford & Willsbrook
MD12: Borlfield Town v Bravin Rangers
MD13: Real Santa Mordana v FC Alaer
MD14: Bay City United v AFC Edencliff
MD15: Zeiven City v AFC Carroll Lewiston
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD11: AFC Edencliff v FC Alaer
MD12: AFC Carroll Lewiston v Roddens City
MD13: Florley Garden City v Bay City United
MD14: FC Alaer v Roddens City
MD15: Real Santa Mordana v FC Macados
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD11: Borlfield Town v AFC Carroll Lewiston
MD12: FC Alaer v Capitolians
MD13: Cluitt SC v Vengife Town
MD14: Newbridge Town v Real Santa Mordana
MD15: Capitolians v Bay City United
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Mon Apr 08, 2024 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Wed Apr 03, 2024 11:38 am

NSL International Era Season 2: MD8-10

Friday 1945: Bay City United 1–0 Vengife Town

Vengife actually went into this one above Bay City in the table, but everyone knew how brutal Bay City's early schedule was, and matches like this were their chance to make up ground - so long as they could avoid being victims of an upset, something Vengife had been pretty good at doing this season. For a while it looked like this was another example, as the Tribe happily defended deep whilst passing patiently once they got the ball, but the returning Moreno Keel came off the bench for his first appearance since his injury and quickly delivered a slaloming run to set up Dings Mocks for what would be the only goal.

Saturday 1230: Roddens City 1–0 Florley Garden City

And another case of a Big Four club shrugging off a dogged challenge from a smaller club to snaffle a 1-0 win. Catriona Crayshaw's deflected strike in first-half stoppage time was the only goal of a game that doesn't deserve any more said about it than this.

Saturday 1730: Real Santa Mordana 5–3 AFC Edencliff

Especially when words can be saved for this match instead.

On José Humberto's debut as RSM manager, he served up absolutely prime RSM mayhem in a match where three separate players scored in each half. The hosts struck first through AKK, following in a rebound after Vincent's long-range shot hit the post; Edencliff equalised with a Rick Flash run that set up Raven Lomu for an easy finish; Félix Ortiz put the home side back in front volleying in a Vincent corner. All of this happened within the first ten minutes.

Things then slowed right down again, in that there was only one more goal in the first half, Edencliff scoring it through Oddkellsdóttir ghosting into space at the far post to tap home a delightful Thomas Lyons cross from the half-space. She would then give Edencliff the lead six minutes after the break and heap even more sand into the RSM hype machine, but Félix Ortiz restored parity on the hour with a thumping header from Vincent's corner. Six minutes later, Aguirre would score in very similar fashion to give the hosts a lead they would actually hold onto - albeit narrowly, Lomu hitting the bar ten minutes from the end - and ultimately it was AKK who had the last word by breaking free on the counter and slotting home into the bottom right in the 93rd minute.

To say KBT got the best of the exclusive-window games this week would be an understatement and three quarters.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 3–2 Capitolians
Ranford & Willsbrook 5–0 Cluitt SC
FC Alaer 2–0 Zeiven City
Newbridge Town 0–2 Bravin Rangers
FC Macados 0–6 Borlfield Town

Now that is a statement from Carroll Lewiston. Two goals from Nova Björklund and a third from Carly Wendling put the Magicians into a 3-0 lead against Capitolians and their fans were in the Wonderland in more ways than one. Steinmóðsson came off the bench to chase the game and scored twice (from headers, natch) to threaten a wild comeback, but when he was sent off for an elbow to the face of Rachel Branson - something he managed without even jumping, given the height differential - his team's hopes went with him.

Meanwhile, Ranford & Willsbrook reaffirmed their potential to break up the Big Four with a five-star performance against Cluitt - Finn Murphy scoring once and setting up the other four, two for Frisk and one each for Zbogar-Zolnir and substitute Thomas Adams. Yet even that wasn't the biggest win of the day, as Borlfield Town got their season well and truly back on track by hitting Macados for six. Emrys Floyd scored a hat-trick and centre-back Todar Ranmada also scored twice, with substitute Robert Steinbeck completing an absolute rout. Bravin Rangers also secured a big three points in the basement battle - winning 2-0 at Newbridge through a Danny Markusson brace - while FC Alaer won and kept a clean sheet yet again, which is not news at all at this point. The real surprise this time was that veteran striker Tim David got both of them, having played second fiddle to his younger international team-mates so far this season.

Friday 1945: Zeiven City 4–0 Newbridge Town

Bish, bash, bosh. The South Newlandian double act of Vaz and Seidel certainly delivered the goods against the newly-promoted strugglers, the former setting up the latter for each of the two first-half goals before Vaz set up young Kytlerian William Jackson for a third right after the restart. Alby Friel added even more gloss to the final scoreline ten minutes from time, and to add injury to insult, Farf striker Yaman Nes Rix was injured. Just an oof-fest all round for a team that are getting very familiar with them.

Saturday 1230: Capitolians 3–2 Real Santa Mordana

One step forward and another step back for RSM; it seems like they just can't string wins together. Yet again it was the defending to blame - almost as if a free-scoring team spending the proceeds of their huge transfer windfall on another attacking player was a bad idea! - as Capitolians, who'd been having a shaky time of it themselves (they actually entered this match having lost more than RSM!), cruised through the gears after the initial shock of conceding to Vincent's third-minute strike on his international stomping grounds. Thereafter, it was StrayaRoo striker Kaniehtlio Lindiwe who ran the show, scoring twice in the first half before teeing up Joke Feltkamp for a third right after the restart. RSM would come again, AKK would score a fine solo goal to set up a dramatic final ten minutes, but the goal simply never came - Jón Leifsson making a huge clearance off the line to deny Acebes in the closing moments.

Saturday 1730: Bravin Rangers 0–1 FC Macados

Rejoice! There will not be a completely pointless team in the NSL this season, as Macados finally open their account with a win!

It was a dreadful game in many ways, befitting its basement-battle status, but when Dilan De Feux-Lataille was sent off for a second yellow card ten minutes after the restart - the first yellow was soft, admittedly, but the second one was rather clearer - space opened up. And four minutes later, Kirk Balesson ran into that space before crashing a fierce shot against the bar, which Kate Fullers then turned in on the rebound. Chasing the game with ten men (and they are all men at that club) was a futile pursuit, and Macados have lift-off and there's mutiny in the garrison town. Roger Wickens' background means he's presumed safe - the Wickens family are beloved in Bravin with their military and sporting heritage - but that loyalty may be costing them yet. They are firmly in the relegation mix.

Vengife Town 1–4 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Borlfield Town 2–2 Bay City United
Cluitt SC 3–3 FC Alaer
Florley Garden City 2–4 Ranford & Willsbrook
AFC Edencliff 1–2 Roddens City

WOAH! Cluitt denied Alaer the double with a win in the SO-KP Cup final last season, but this 3-3 draw was even more startling. The champions conceded more in this match than they had in their prior eight combined, with Xannerian midfielder Micah Davenport at the heart of a stunning performance with both goal-saving tackles and a goal-making assist for Johnny Eccles that cancelled out Tim David's opening goal and made everyone realise that yes, there was a game on here. Then Alaer had the indignity of falling behind for only the second time this season - and conceding multiple goals in a match for the first - when Thierry Lagrange was hauled down in the box by Wecoisus Gackbang, part of the vaunted back line that dominates the national team setup, and Eccles converted the penalty. 2-1 at the break, and all eyes were on this one. Alaer inevitably equalised, then took the lead ten minutes from time - both goals from Yvonne Glockner, the electric young Vanorian - but Kryznówek missed a gilt-edged chance to seal the deal, and 17-year-old substitute striker Nick Wells-Keeling struck in stoppage time to secure a stunning share of the points.

Not quite as much excitement around the grounds, but it was close, every team in this window scoring - none more so than the two sides breaking the Big Four cartel right now, Carroll Lewiston and Ranford & Willsbrook. Both went on the road and smashed four past their hosts, the Magicians doing it with another Björklund brace along with goals from Wendling and Stokes to smash through a hitherto-stubborn Vengife back four, while Ranford & Willsbrook were powered by a Zbogar-Zolnir hat-trick of assists (Frisk, Logan, and Whootung the scorers of those three, with the other goal a Ben Hilton own goal) as they twice came back from behind at Florley Garden City.

Both are in the top four, but the closest challengers remain Roddens City after they overcame an early Oddkellsdóttir strike with a Lindiwe double to win at Edencliff and close the gap at the top to three points. It doesn't feel like it should be this close, but it is; the Reds have won four in a row now. Bay City United, though, drifted further from the IFCF places as Borlfield built off their brutality last week to snatch a point at Qardinal Field, twice taking the lead through Emrys Floyd before Keel and Oldham struck back.

Friday 1945: Ranford & Willsbrook 1–1 AFC Edencliff

The two closest challengers to the Big Four in the last two seasons reaffirmed their quality in this one, which was particularly important for Edencliff given their quiet start to this season. They set about scoring early, and nearly did, Oddkellsdóttir hitting the post before Lyons and Lomu both went painfully close to at least doing the same. But it was the hosts who took the lead late in the first half, through the predictable source of Zbogar-Zolnir winning the ball high up the field; Frisk's shot was parried, George Logan's follow-up wasn't. Edencliff kept on coming, though, and got their reward shortly after the break when Lomu's fierce long-range shot was deflected off the backtracking Oliver Vandome and found the net via the inside of the post. Both goalkeepers made fine saves late on to retain parity; both sides would dearly have loved more.

Saturday 1230: Bay City United 3–0 Bravin Rangers

There really is danger looming for Bravin isn't there? Bay City are sneaking back up on the top four as their fixtures get easier, and they really don't come much easier than Bravin at home right now. Moreno Keel singlehandedly ran the show in this one, scoring the first with a mazy solo run before setting up two more for Oldham and Mocks. (Which sounds like the name of a law firm or estate agency, fields that half of these Bravin players should probably look for alternate employment in at this rate.)

Saturday 1730: Roddens City 1–0 Capitolians

The game of the week was a taut, tense affair to say the least; neither side were willing to give an inch to the other, and both teams were too afraid to actually test the fear of their opponents for most of the first half. Then the breakthrough came out of nowhere courtesy of a delightful diagonal ball from Sadik Abazovic - the Atletik loanee responsible for what has been called "the assist of the season" as he somehow picked out Feltkamp in space on the right. Her curling left-footed strike was the least the pass deserved, and it proved to be the only goal of a game where the second half was more open than the first but marked by a string of fine saves and blocks that kept the score stuck where it was, Capitolians stuck outside the top four, and Roddens temporarily level on points with Alaer at the top.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–3 Real Santa Mordana
FC Alaer 5–1 Florley Garden City
Newbridge Town 0–2 Cluitt SC
FC Macados 0–1 Zeiven City
Vengife Town 0–1 Borlfield Town

Temporarily. Florley Garden City got flat-out weeded out in front of a delighted home crowd as the leaders got their mojo back after the indignity of dropping points last week. Five separate players were on the scoresheet - Glockner standing out amongst them for also adding two assists - and Dori Carver's fine late strike was truly meaningless for anything other than highlights packages. Alaer have the most goals scored and joint-fewest conceded this season. Pretty good combo!

Cluitt built off the high of being the first team to take anything off the champions with a frankly more important result, beating Newbridge 2-0 with goals from Lagrange and Wells-Keeling to move out of the bottom three at Bravin's expense. Borlfield continued their renaissance by snatching a late winner at Vengife, while Zeiven City moved up into sixth with an Aadi Seidel strike at bottom club Macados.

But the game of the day was at the Wonderland, where RSM came to their replacement hype team in Carroll Lewiston and promptly bought us back to preseason expectations. All thanks to Vincent, really; he scored from a free-kick, set up AKK for the second after Wendling had equalised, then delivered a telling cross that Félix Ortiz bundled in to seal the deal nine minutes from time. The Magicians are still in the IFCF places and RSM still aren't, but they're now only separated by five points...

NSL table after MD10        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 10 9 1 0 30 6 +24 28
2 Roddens City 10 8 1 1 25 6 +19 25
3 Ranford & Willsbrook 10 6 2 2 26 10 +16 20
4 AFC Carroll Lewiston 10 6 2 2 27 26 +1 20
5 Bay City United 10 5 3 2 17 10 +7 18
6 Zeiven City 10 5 2 3 15 13 +2 17
7 Capitolians 10 5 1 4 18 14 +4 16
8 Real Santa Mordana 10 4 3 3 25 21 +4 15
9 AFC Edencliff 10 3 4 3 15 13 +2 13
10 Borlfield Town 10 4 1 5 15 22 −7 13
11 Vengife Town 10 3 2 5 10 13 −3 11
12 Cluitt SC 10 2 3 5 16 26 −10 9
13 Florley Garden City 10 3 0 7 15 25 −10 9
14 Bravin Rangers 10 1 3 6 6 14 −8 6
15 Newbridge Town 10 1 0 9 4 24 −20 3
16 FC Macados 10 1 0 9 8 29 −21 3
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

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The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:39 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD11-12

Friday 1945: Capitolians 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook

The visitors came to the ZOS with a chance to really entrench their would-be gatecrasher status; they would have gone seven points clear of their hosts with a win. But the Big Four doesn't get broken up that easily, and the taste of glory was washed out of their mouths as a fine Capitolians defensive performance had them singing 'uh-oh' on this Friday night. Given how often the visitors' high press was beaten with a ball over the top, the margin should probably have been more than one goal, but several fine last-ditch blocks from Teun van Os and Oliver Vandome - and two Lindiwe strikes clipping the outside of the post - meant the breakthrough only arrived six minutes after the restart courtesy of Joke Feltkamp smashing home a loose ball after Lindiwe's shot bounced off van Os. This was the quietest anyone has kept the Zbogar-Zolnir/Frisk axis in a long time, maybe ever, and the statement of intent that was made was not from the North Bay insurgents but the capital old guard.

Saturday 1230: AFC Edencliff 5–2 FC Alaer

But as statements of intent go, this tops anything all season. Just look at that score, let it sink in, then look at it again.

The hosts taking a domestic flight over Kytler Bay for this one - owing to the long detour required for a road trip barring the use of a ferry - was mocked by the environmentally-minded Edencliff fans (the town had a significant Green vote at the recent election that helped the party win a regional list seat in the area) before kickoff, and while you'd think that sort of thing wouldn't rattle the champions, the opening ten minutes strongly suggested otherwise. Teun Donk's slip freed up Raven Lomu to surge one-on-one with Jonathan Murphy-Coates, and the veteran goalkeeper could only parry the shot straight onto Rick Flash's head; before Alaer could recover from that, Shrifflu Mocks gave away a needless penalty tugging at the shirt of Agnes Oddkellsdóttir, and Flash converted from the spot to leave Chalk Field absolutely rocking.

The champions fought back - of course they did - with Tim David and Ella Vidya both scoring in the final ten minutes before the break. Unfortunately, in between those two strikes was a first NSL goal for the trailblazing Sevet-Ajark Tez. Vitore Enetac sent in a deep cross from the left which flew over everyone but most importantly over Murphy-Coates, who had come to catch it; Sevet-Ajark picked up the pieces and snuck a bullet shot into the largely vacated net from a narrow angle to become the league's first non-binary international goalscorer.

Yue-Kytlerian left-back Haley Guo almost pulled one back for Alaer straight after the restart when she hit the post with a speculative effort, and four minutes later Regina Jedynak did pull one back for Alaer after being freed by a delightful James Black pass, but the hosts redoubled their advantage on 65 minutes when Thomas Lyons exchanged passes with Oddkellsdóttir before drilling a low shot past Murphy-Coates, who should have done better. Alaer's desperate charges forward proved in vain thereafter, and Edencliff were able to add even more gloss to the score near the end with a fine counter-attacking goal finished off by Lomu. The roar of approval at the final whistle was quite the sound to behold. On High Noon, the sun was suddenly shining on not only Edencliff but every other team that wanted to take the champions down.

Saturday 1730: Borlfield Town 1–2 AFC Carroll Lewiston

Before that, we had Carroll Lewiston's chance to reaffirm their status as actual honest-to-goodness insurgents this season with a trip to a Borlfield side who had bounced back from their dismal start with ten points from their last four matches (and the two they dropped were against Bay City United). The SNS introduction billed this as "a clash of two of the league's most in-form sides," but the Magicians' hot streak has been going longer - and it's still going.

Qardinal Field is an intimidating place when a "liberal" club like Carroll Lewiston come to town, and the hosts almost took the lead when a careless pass from Flora Jones-Byrne freed up Eliasson Pousa - but the winger chose to cross when a shot may have been better, and that cross just missed the head of Emrys Floyd at the far post. That scare survived, Carroll Lewiston attacked straight from the subsequent goal kick, Jones-Byrne switching play with a beautiful diagonal ball to Björklund, and Sam Stokes was ultimately left with a simple finish after being selflessly played in by Wendling. Borlfield equalised just before the break when Charlie Barton - on as a substitute for the injured Todar Ranmada - headed home a Bruno Jugovac corner, but the visitors were to dominate the second half and got their reward ten minutes from time from substitute winger Ocilla Thompson, who was named after the Vephra-Aboriginal Olympic champion sprinter Ocilla Dotos. On the evidence of the surging run that saw her latch onto Jones-Byrne's slide-rule pass, she might be almost as quick as her namesake was.

Bravin Rangers 2–0 Vengife Town
Zeiven City 2–2 Bay City United
Cluitt SC 1–0 FC Macados
Florley Garden City 0–1 Newbridge Town
Real Santa Mordana 1–0 Roddens City

Roddens City had the chance to go top with a multi-goal win over RSM. Naturally, they picked this moment to put in their worst attacking display of the season, frustrating a larger-than-usual Kytel Super Sunday streaming audience in the first match chosen for that package in this block. Vincent's 25th-minute strike was somehow the only goal, but he could have had a hat-trick himself without a series of near-misses and key blocks. Marwin Mikkelsen missed a big chance to equalise near the end, but it would have been highway robbery. Whisper it gently, but RSM are now just two points outside the IFCF places...

That distinction was made possible by Bay City drawing at Zeiven, for whom Aadi Seidel continued his hot streak by scoring one and setting up Iris King for a second; Dings Mocks scored either side of those two Zeiven goals. Bravin moved out of the bottom three with a crucial home win over Vengife - Brian Murphy and Solomon Bai with the two goals either side of the break - and the promoted three are now the bottom three as Florley Garden City suffered a crushing home defeat to Newbridge Town courtesy of a Yaman Nes Rix header. Macados are now cut adrift at the bottom again after a 1-0 loss at Cluitt, for whom Johnny Eccles kept up his run of scoring form.

Friday 1945: Borlfield Town 1–0 Bravin Rangers

The clash of the conservative clubs saw the Miners scrap past the military men courtesy of an own goal from the hapless Alexander Bailey; Ivica Slabinac put in one of those dangerous crosses where any touch is a goal, and it was the defender who got that touch. Nothing more needs to be said about this game, which was only good television for parents trying to lull their young children to sleep on a Friday night.

Saturday 1230: AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–2 Roddens City

Now this is more like it. Roddens went to the Wonderland with at least a theoretical chance to go top; their hosts had a chance to leapfrog them into second with a win of their own. And when Joseph Andrews poked in the game's opening goal ten minutes before the break, that latter outcome was on and the Wonderland was rocking to screams of joy that drowned out any from the adjacent theme park of the same name.

But the Reds came marching on in the second half, equalising on 56 minutes through Marwin Mikkelsen and threatening on multiple other occasions before the dam finally burst twelve minutes from time with another Mikkelsen goal. Wendling hit the bar late on, but this was a deserved away win and a big-time moment of assertion that this league isn't getting realigned too easily.

Saturday 1730: FC Alaer 0–1 Capitolians

And doesn't this just prove as much? Capitolians started the weekend in sixth, but became the first team all season to take anything from a trip to the champions - and it wasn't just anything they took, it was everything.

They were indebted to goalkeeper Thorbjørn Lauridsen, whom many have suggested should be contending for the national team setup - and on this evidence he really should, twice making superb point-blank saves to deny first Krzynówek and then Glockner. Shortly after the latter save, and with the last kick of the first half, Feltkamp curled a glorious left-footed strike from outside the box past Murphy-Coates to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.

The second half was where the hosts were meant to strike back. But at no point could they find a way past Lauridsen - Jedynak clipping the top of the bar with an ambitious long-range effort was as close as anyone came. If anything, the visitors had more chances even as they were on the back foot, but Murphy-Coates saved well from Feltkamp and then acrobatically tipped over a Park Si-Woo free kick shortly afterwards. It's beginning to look a lot like last season, where Alaer build up an early lead but then get pegged back - but will it be another case of them pulling away every time the chasing pack closed in, or will they actually be overtaken this time? They lead Roddens by just one goal of GD.

Ranford & Willsbrook 2–3 Real Santa Mordana
Newbridge Town 2–3 AFC Edencliff
FC Macados 1–0 Florley Garden City
Bay City United 1–0 Cluitt SC
Vengife Town 1–0 Zeiven City

And what's that coming over the hill? It's the RSM monster! And it was AKK who did all the damage against a Ranford & Willsbrook side whose own distinctive 4-1-4-1 attack worked well - Zbogar-Zolnir twice teeing up teammates to give the home side the lead, Frisk and Logan the two scorers - but the Quebecois superstar operated on the level befitting her record-smashing transfer fee throughout, absolutely terrorising defenders with both pace and precision. The first equaliser, just before half-time, saw AKK storm past two defenders before teeing up Acebes for a tap-in; the second came on the hour and was all her own work, dinking the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Stephen Corcoran after nutmegging the hapless Vandome. The final 30 minutes were all RSM, and after Ciri yToddmac slipped as he tracked yet another dangerous AKK run, Acebes was there at the far post again for another simple finish and a deserved victory. Just like that, they've leapfrogged R&W and moved up into sixth; the hosts were also overtaken this week not only by Capitolians but Bay City United, who now have fourth spot on GD after edging past Cluitt through substitute Joanne Walgrave.

Edencliff almost got caught with a hangover from their stunning defeat of Alaer last week, but came back from behind to snatch a win at Newbridge courtesy of a goal from each of their Flash-Lomu-Oddkellsdóttir triumverate of terror. Nes Rix's two goals were ultimately in vain for the home side, who are now only off the bottom by one goal of GD after Macados picked up a huge home win over Florley Garden City through Kirk Balesson's free kick.

NSL table after MD12        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 FC Alaer 12 9 1 2 32 12 +20 28
2 Roddens City 12 9 1 2 27 8 +19 28
3 AFC Carroll Lewiston 12 7 2 3 30 29 +1 23
4 Bay City United 12 6 4 2 20 12 +8 22
5 Capitolians 12 7 1 4 20 14 +6 22
6 Real Santa Mordana 12 6 3 3 29 23 +6 21
7 Ranford & Willsbrook 12 6 2 4 28 14 +14 20
8 AFC Edencliff 12 5 4 3 23 17 +6 19
9 Zeiven City 12 5 3 4 17 16 +1 18
10 Borlfield Town 12 5 1 6 17 24 −7 16
11 Vengife Town 12 4 2 6 11 15 −4 14
12 Cluitt SC 12 3 3 6 17 27 −10 12
13 Bravin Rangers 12 2 3 7 8 15 −7 9
14 Florley Garden City 12 3 0 9 15 27 −12 9
15 Newbridge Town 12 2 0 10 7 27 −20 6
16 FC Macados 12 2 0 10 9 30 −21 6

After the conclusion of MD12, the next set of broadcast selections were made.
All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD16: AFC Edencliff v Borlfield Town
MD17: Vengife Town v Real Santa Mordana
MD18: Capitolians v Bravin Rangers
MD19: Florley Garden City v AFC Carroll Lewiston
MD20: FC Alaer v Vengife Town
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD16: Real Santa Mordana v Bay City United
MD17: Bay City United v Roddens City
MD18: AFC Carroll Lewiston v Newbridge Town
MD19: Zeiven City v Capitolians
MD20: Ranford & Willsbrook v Borlfield Town
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD16: Roddens City v FC Macados
MD17: Borlfield Town v Capitolians
MD18: Florley Garden City v Cluitt SC
MD19: Bay City United v FC Alaer
MD20: Roddens City v Bravin Rangers
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

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The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Fri Apr 05, 2024 1:09 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD13-15

Friday 1945: Real Santa Mordana 2–1 FC Alaer

Life creeps up on you really fast, huh? In possibly the most-anticipated Friday night NSL match there ever has been or ever will be, in front of a sell-out Estadio Atob Stadium featuring multiple Mytanar and Quebecois celebrities, RSM's superstars came back from behind to inflict a stunning third successive defeat on the defending champions and enter the top four just six weeks after sacking Oscar Rodríguez with the team in the bottom half. They have won five of six under José Humberto, but none as eyecatchingly as this.

Because this wasn't a bad Alaer performance. The opposite, in fact; they were superb in the first half, well worthy of the lead Tim David gave them on 25 minutes, and the only complaint was that they missed multiple big chances - Ella Vidya, who had created so many of them, guilty of the worst of those misses when she got one herself but hit the bar when it looked easier to score. The home fans, who'd seen their attacking players largely stifled by the Alaer back four, had to hope that these misses would come back to bite the visitors - and four minutes after the restart that's exactly the situation that started to transpire, AKK winning a penalty which Vincent emphatically converted. Now the match became end-to-end, both sides creating chances seemingly at will as RSM went for the kill, but multiple good saves from both goalkeepers kept the score deadlocked. Then, on 73 minutes, Shrifflu Mocks - already on a yellow - bundled AKK down just outside the box, received his marching orders for a second bookable offence, and could only watch as Vincent dispatched the resultant free kick into the top corner past a helpless Murphy-Coates in the Alaer net.

Cue pandemonium. And with only ten players left on the field, Alaer never looked like coming back, as the hosts - for once - showed a bit of pragmatism in holding on for a memorable victory. Alaer were still nominally top on goals scored over Roddens, but that would change if the Reds got anything out of a home clash with Ranford & Willsbrook on Sunday. What a change!

Saturday 1230: Florley Garden City 1–0 Bay City United

It's certainly not every week that two Big Four clubs lose to teams who are not Big Four clubs. But RSM were, at least, meant to be mixing it with them this season. Florley Garden City, newly-promoted and in the bottom three coming into this, were not. And yet their visitors drew a painful blank against Alice Anderson-Smith's charges, with Vanessa Andrews - the NSL's only female goalkeeper - opening a whole lot of eyes with a superb display in goal. When she was finally left exposed just after the break and Ellis Oldham had a shot at an unguarded net from an admittedly tight angle, he hit the post - and the hosts immediately started a counter-attack that ended with Alana Kerr prodding a Dino Azar low cross into the roof of the net. Bay City remained profilgate in front of goal and thwarted by Andrews when they did shoot on target, and the Gardeners moved out of the drop zone in some fashion.

Saturday 1730: Cluitt SC 1–1 Vengife Town

SNS turned its attention to a basement battle, the kind of match that gets picked for an exclusive window precisely because of the "every team must make an exclusive-window appearance in each block" rule. It certainly felt tense and consequential, especially in light of the earlier result, and Cluitt's teenage left-back Inga-Britt Mellberg was first to feel the pressure as she shanked a clearance to gift an opportunity for Wiremu Hemi that the Vengife captain duly dispatched past Jonathan Cadbury to put the Tribe in front after 16 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Thierry Lagrange missed a gilt-edged chance to level for Cluitt, skewing a close-range shot straight at Rangi Tipene.

Both sides missed good chances for the rest of the first half, but early in the second Aji Loj Zhyuy found a different way to score - a better one. Catching Cadbury off his line, the Farf teenager unleashed a delicious lob from barely past the centre circle for the longest-range goal of the NSL season. And that - with the help of fine saves at both ends in stoppage time - was how it finished. Neither side could truly be happy with a point, but they'd rather have it than not.

Bravin Rangers 1–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Zeiven City 0–0 Borlfield Town
AFC Edencliff 2–0 FC Macados
Capitolians 1–0 Newbridge Town
Roddens City 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook

And there it is; Roddens City have officially gone top of the NSL, Sadik Abazovic scoring the only goal against a Ranford & Willsbrook side who were quite literally hamstrung by the pulled muscle Zbogar-Zolnir suffered nine minutes in. Fortunately he should only miss a couple of games because of the midseason break coming up, but his absence was badly felt here, and his club are now suddenly back in eighth.

They wouldn't even have been that high if Zeiven City had found a way to score past ten-man Borlfield Town (and at this conservative club they were all men), but multiple fine pieces of last-ditch defending from Mytanar right-back Ivica Slabinac in particular meant that there were no goals at the SNL-sized ZOS replica. At the real thing, Capitolians threatened to have a similar time of it against Newbridge Town, but Lindiwe's strike on the hour settled nerves against a side who never once looked like scoring. They remain rooted to the bottom alongside fellow promoted club Macados, who fell to two Oddkellsdóttir goals at Edencliff.

The scoreline of the day, though, came at Bravin, where the Rangers roared back from an early Wendling goal to snatch a point against a Carroll Lewiston side who needed to win to go back into the top four after RSM took that spot on Friday night. The top four is now Roddens, Alaer, Capitolians, RSM; in some order or another, that's exactly as a lot of fans preseason would have anticipated. But there were plenty of twists to get there and there'll be plenty of twists to come. For a start, the top two meet in the North-South Showdown next week...

Friday 1945: Bay City United 4–2 AFC Edencliff

While this week's Big Match felt very much like an appetiser for the Saturday showdowns to come, it was quite the tasty amuse-bouche. Both sides entered the day just outside the top four, separated only on goal difference, and it was quickly clear that those goal tallies would be going brrr in this one. Both sides had actually scored an equaliser before half an hour was played; Raven Lomu gave Edencliff an early lead, Zhan Bo struck twice in four minutes to give the home side the advantage midway through the first half, but Thomas Lyons followed up Lomu's parried shot to square things up again. The score remained 2-2 at the break, but only just; Edencliff twice came painfully close to retaking the lead, as Oddkellsdóttir hit the post and Misina Solivasas the bar in first-half stoppage time.

That was as close as they came. Veteran midfielder Jacob Albertsen came on at half-time for the home side, and he stabilised everything before teeing up Pétur Ingólfsson at the far post to head his side into a lead which Joanne Walgrave doubled shortly after. Bay City held on to get back into the IFCF mix just ahead of their murderer's row of midseason fixtures - the Olympic Derby next week, then the reverse of their notorious four-game opening stand that were all chosen as top-pick matches first time around. (Just the three of them were second time.)

Saturday 1230: FC Alaer 0–2 Roddens City

Four defeats in a row for FC Alaer. Four. For Alaer.

And just like that, Roddens are six points clear at the top. This High Noon North-South Showdown wasn't even as close as 2-0 suggests; Alaer looked as bereft of confidence as a team who'd lost their last three might normally be expected to, but not this lot. Never this lot. Abazovic absolutely ran the show in midfield for the Reds, pressing his older opponents into mistakes on a regular basis; one of these allowed him to tee up Catriona Crayshaw for the opener ten minutes in, after which the result already somehow looked inevitable. The Reds doubled their lead just before the break through Troy Gaither-Moon's cross-shot deflecting off Wecoisus Gackbang for an own goal, and a startling number of Alaer fans left the ground and did not return. The Roddens away fans, for whom this is one of the trickiest domestic journeys of the season, absolutely revelled in this, and were making most of the noise in the final minutes before boos rang out at the final whistle. Could the second NSL firing of this season... actually be Ferrys Taklik?!? The fans that didn't leave the ground early in this one certainly chanted for that outcome. Unimaginable even a few weeks ago.

Saturday 1730: Newbridge Town 0–3 Real Santa Mordana

How's the first NSL managerial change of the season going? When it was made, seven games into the season, RSM were twelve points behind Alaer. After another seven games, and this routine rout against an overmatched Newbridge Town, that gap is now one.

This one was so comprehensively over before half-time that Vincent and AKK were both taken off at the break. Both combined for the first two goals, with the former teeing up the latter for the opener before adding the second himself from a free kick for a foul on the Quebecois star. Ceedast Baspaalt headed a corner against the bar shortly after that, but this was the beginning and end of the hosts' threat, and was soon followed by a Galo Félix Ortiz bicycle kick for a third, as if to underline the gulf in class here. The margin here was enough to put Newbridge bottom on goal difference.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–4 Ranford & Willsbrook
FC Macados 0–0 Capitolians
Vengife Town 1–0 Florley Garden City
Borlfield Town 1–0 Cluitt SC
Bravin Rangers 2–1 Zeiven City

And now they're just plain bottom. Because Macados stunned Capitolians with a dogged defensive display as Joe Brown's side snatched a point from one of the worst games you will ever see, but one that the home fans were not arguing with. This was a point they were not meant to get, and Capitolians drop into fourth with a chasing pack at their heels.

Ranford & Willsbrook reaffirmed their place in that pack - and undermined that of AFC Carroll Lewiston - with a thumping 4-1 win at the Wonderland, one made even more striking by the absence of Zbogar-Zolnir. Katrina Frisk moved to a more traditional centre-forward position from the shadow striker role she's filled for Aaron Wilson-Cooper so far, and promptly scored a hat-trick; centre-back Teun van Os scored the other, heading in a Frepresis Whootung corner to restore a lead that had briefly been nullified by a fine long-range strike from Alex Ellington. The Magicians are coming back to reality as the table takes an increasingly logical look.

That includes all three promoted clubs being in the relegation zone again, after Bravin Rangers claimed a huge win over a Zeiven City side who simply got outmuscled for most of the match and were the victims of arguably over-lenient refereeing to make that more viable. Still, Solomon Bai's second goal - and the Zeiven equaliser from Iris King shortly before that - could fairly be described as delightful. Fellow conservative-skewing strugglers Borlfield Town also won at home, an Emrys Floyd goal in first-half stoppage time the difference against a Cluitt side who are perilously close to the relegation zone but remain above the dotted line because of Vengife's own 1-0 home win against Florley Garden City through Minsen-Dwarasen's early goal.

Friday 1945: Zeiven City 1–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston

The magic is definitely wearing off for Carroll Lewiston. This chance to shine again in front of a national TV audience was only taken in one wonderful moment, when Nova Björklund decided the best thing to do with a half-cleared corner was to yeet it directly towards goal from well outside the box. Which, if you can strike the ball so cleanly that it takes a laser-guided curling path into the top left corner, is probably the right decision. And that's exactly what the young Vanorian did.

That aside, Zeiven were the better side, and thoroughly deserved the equaliser Alby Friel scored for them just before the break. They probably should have won it, but Reggie Foster made multiple key stops to deny Aadi Seidel; the South Newlandian could genuinely have had a hat-trick against a goalie having a bad day.

Saturday 1230: Real Santa Mordana 3–0 FC Macados

Second-bottom Macados came to the resurgent RSM and it went pretty much exactly as you'd expect. AKK scored the first, Félix Ortiz the second, Acebes the third, Vincent had to settle for two assists this time. This was a mismatch, and the hype machine has finally turned into the reality of a genuinely scary side. This put them second, a laughable prospect when Rodríguez was fired.

Saturday 1730: Capitolians 2–1 Bay City United

The Olympic Derby, arguably the single most iconic clash in Kytlerian sport. And if any traditionalists/RTX Radio whingebags complained about the prospect of the rivalry going "too soft" with international players joining the fun, this was one to shut them up.

This was a 10-on-10 affair before the first half was over. George McIntyre was sent off for a disgusting two-footed lunge on Moreno Keel (who had to be taken off injured), whose Chromatik compatriot Zhan promptly started a fight with the perpetrator and in doing so got sent off himself. Seven other players were booked and Bay City manager Zachary Molder sent off amidst scenes everyone says they don't want to see, but with various levels of meaning it.

When the match resumed, the extra space from there being two fewer players on the field (both absentees being defensive-minded at that) promptly turned a cagey match into one with a more endearing kind of chaos. There were chances. Ellis Oldham almost took one for Bay City United just before the break, but hit the bar; Joke Feltkamp did take one for Capitolians immediately after, latching onto Park Si-Woo's perfect diagonal through ball. Ingólfsson headed in a Katla Andersdóttir corner six minutes after the restart to level things, but Capitolians were soon a player up after John Fish was sent off for a second yellow card (the first coming in the mass brawl), and Davíð Steinmóðsson poked home the winner ten minutes from time in a goalmouth scramble. A fittingly WTF way to end this Olympic Derby, to be honest; this is the first goal he's scored with his foot since at least his arrival in the NSL last season at Donningwood Rovers, and probably some years before that. Capitolians are now comfortably in an IFCF slot, four clear of fifth-placed Bay City United and actually ahead of Alaer pending their Sunday result.

Cluitt SC 0–1 Bravin Rangers
Florley Garden City 0–2 Borlfield Town
AFC Edencliff 2–1 Vengife Town
Roddens City 1–0 Newbridge Town
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–1 FC Alaer

Well, at least that breaks the losing streak. But the fact of the matter is that FC Alaer were unable to beat a Ranford & Willsbrook side who have been sliding themselves and were missing their best player. Plus, they needed a deflected Kryznówek strike to take the lead here, and the hosts were good value for their eventual George Logan equaliser.

Roddens City are now seven clear at the top after yet another win, this one the least impressive of the lot (needing an own goal to defeat bottom club Newbridge Town at home) but counting just as much all the same. Behind them, the race for the IFCF slots now has a tightly-clustered chase group as Edencliff and Borlfield both claimed valuable wins courtesy of braces from their national teamers Flash and Floyd respectively - and yes, Borlfield are in that group, they're only two points off fifth! Meanwhile, speaking of Kytlerian national teamers, Danny Markusson came up with a big goal late on to snatch all three points for Bravin Rangers in their crunch clash at Cluitt that means they move four clear of the dotted line to Cluitt's one.

NSL table after MD15        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Roddens City 15 12 1 2 31 8 +23 37
2 Real Santa Mordana 15 9 3 3 37 24 +13 30
3 FC Alaer 15 9 2 4 34 17 +17 29
4 Capitolians 15 9 2 4 23 15 +8 29
5 Bay City United 15 7 4 4 25 17 +8 25
6 AFC Edencliff 15 7 4 4 29 22 +7 25
7 AFC Carroll Lewiston 15 7 4 4 33 35 −2 25
8 Ranford & Willsbrook 15 7 3 5 33 17 +16 24
9 Borlfield Town 15 7 2 6 20 24 −4 23
10 Zeiven City 15 5 5 5 19 19 0 20
11 Vengife Town 15 5 3 7 14 18 −4 18
12 Bravin Rangers 15 4 4 7 12 17 −5 16
13 Cluitt SC 15 3 4 8 18 30 −12 13
14 Florley Garden City 15 4 0 11 16 30 −14 12
15 FC Macados 15 2 1 12 9 35 −26 7
16 Newbridge Town 15 2 0 13 7 32 −25 6
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:01 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD16-17

Friday 1945: AFC Edencliff 0–0 Borlfield Town

The second half of the season gets under way, in front of the NBO cameras, with two culture-clashing fanbases whose sides are at least plausibly in the mix for an IFCF slot... and they serve us this. The routine was very simple; Borlfield put up a low block, Edencliff try to find ways through it, eventually fail, Borlfield counter unsuccessfully or simply give the ball away cheaply. Lather, rinse, repeat with minor variations for 45 turgid minutes, wait 15 minutes, then do it again.

To be fair, that does seem like a pretty accurate summary of how the culture war feels to the unbothered moderate.

Saturday 1230: Real Santa Mordana 2–1 Bay City United

It's long been clear that RSM are now the real deal under their new manager, but this was certainly another way to prove it. The foundation of this one was not their free-scoring attacking play but their newfound genuine steel, something they were assumed to have lost once and for all by many at the start of the season (and they didn't have much last season as it was).

Bay City responded to AKK's early goal with an impressively-crafted equaliser of their own, albeit one that went down as a Yrko own goal after his massive bonce turned Albertsen's teasing cross goalwards; one of those where any touch is a goal and it just happened to be the defender who got that touch. The visitors then had the better of the rest of the first half, but RSM stood firm, rode the storm, then struck on the break through AKK's run and Félix Ortiz's finish to retake the lead in first-half stoppage time. The second half was a tense affair, but RSM's much-improved back four stood firm, the closest they came to letting the lead slip being a deflected Ellis Oldham daisycutter that just missed the far post with Villazón rendered a spectator by the boop off Yrko. The final whistle was granted by quite the roar; this team actually are for real, and they're now gaining a margin of error in their bid for an IFCF spot.

Saturday 1730: Roddens City 2–0 FC Macados

Not that they look particularly likely to win the title if Roddens are going to just keep winning. That's now ten wins in eleven for the Reds, and this one was about as simple as you like. Abazovic set up Gaither-Moon for the first, then Crayshaw for the second; turns out that good international recruitment really helps NSL clubs! Alain Blanc almost gave Macados a way back, but hit the post twice in three minutes midway through the second half, and that was really the end of the threat.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 1–2 FC Alaer
Ranford & Willsbrook 1–0 Newbridge Town
Capitolians 1–1 Vengife Town
Florley Garden City 0–2 Bravin Rangers
Cluitt SC 0–2 Zeiven City

The battle of two sides who were scalding hot until they extremely weren't ended with long-term quality (c/o a bigger budget) winning out, Alaer getting their first win in six (!) at the Wonderland by way of a Kryznówek brace either side of Stokes' superb equaliser. Given the results earlier in the weekend, Alaer now have a five-point cushion to fifth, a spot Ranford & Willsbrook regained with a Katrina Frisk winner to hand a stubborn Newbridge Town yet another defeat.

Capitolians would have had that level of cushion had they held onto the lead given to them by an early Lindiwe strike, but a late Minsen-Dwarasen equaliser meant Vengife snatched a point from the ZOS and eased their relegation worries. The battle for survival looks more clearly a case of Cluitt v Florley Garden City for 13th after the two sides both lost 2-0 at home to fellow bottom-half sides Bravin Rangers and Zeiven City, who were respectively indebted to Danny Markusson and Aadi Seidel for both their goals.

Friday 1945: Vengife Town 1–1 Real Santa Mordana

For all that RSM have become more disciplined and diligent in the last few weeks, Vengife have plenty more practice in that department even as they try to play like a bigger club than they are. And this was a vintage example of absorbing pressure through determined pressing and then hitting on the break from the home side, who took a shock lead after 25 minutes through Wiremu Hemi that they truly were not unworthy of. RSM seemed stuck in second gear until then, but the goal certainly spurred them into life, and they equalised eight minutes before the break courtesy of a wonderful curling Vincent effort from the corner of the penalty area.

Both sides had their chances in the second half even as RSM had most of the ball; AKK hit the post on the hour, Minsen-Dwarasen was denied by Villazón but could have squared it to Atana for a tap-in, and Vincent almost repeated his equaliser from a very similar position but shaved the top of the bar. But Manu Kirikiri's side held on for a valuable point that ends the relentless RSM rally for now.

Saturday 1230: Bay City United 2–1 Roddens City

Then another runaway train stops!

Bay City United's only win out of their brutal four-game opening stretch was 2-1 over Roddens away from home, and they repeated the trick on their own patch by the same score to give them a double that opens the title and IFCF races up quite a bit.

The Reds took the early lead through Crayshaw's volley, but Joanne Walgrave quickly cancelled it out with a precise low strike from the edge of the box; after that opening flurry, both sides played rather more attritionally, as if both had been jolted by the other. The second half only sporadically opened up, but the tipping point came on 71 minutes with an end-to-end passage of play; Vigdís Vilbjörnsdóttir's shot was deflected narrowly wide, the resultant corner was cleared off the line by Katla Andersdóttir, and Úlfur Pétursson slipped in pursuit of the loose ball to leave an ocean of space for Oldham to stride into. He duly did just that, before selflessly squaring the ball for Walgrave to tap home what proved to be the winner. Roddens remain clearly on top, and Bay City remain outside the top four, but this was a result that makes both of those outcomes seem a lot less certain to remain the case when all is said and done.

Saturday 1730: Borlfield Town 0–1 Capitolians

Borlfield's impressive run of form going into the midseason break appears to have deserted them, at least when it comes to attacking; this was the second consecutive exclusive-window match where the Miners seemed stuck in a hole in that department, but it was very nearly the second of those matches to end with them claiming a point anyway.

But almost doesn't count in this sport, and when Park Si-Woo's 89th-minute cross found the head of substitute BFG Davíð Steinmóðsson, Capitolians had found a way to win. An ugly way, one where they had essentially been dragged down to their hosts' level, but it counts for three points all the same! And so they remain clearly in the top four.

Cluitt SC 3–4 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Zeiven City 1–0 Florley Garden City
Bravin Rangers 0–1 AFC Edencliff
FC Macados 0–1 Ranford & Willsbrook
Newbridge Town 0–1 FC Alaer

The champions continued their resumption of something resembling momentum with another narrow away win, this time scrapping to a 1-0 win at Newbridge courtesy of Ella Vidya's curling effort that came from a place of quality the game otherwise lacked. Still with only two non-losses all season, Newbridge look beyond doomed. So do Macados, for that matter, after a 1-0 home defeat to a Ranford & Willsbrook side who remain firmly in the IFCF hunt and were happy to welcome back Benjamin Zbogar-Zolnir after his hamstring injury. He wasn't involved in the goal, though; that was Ciri yToddmac heading in a Frepresis Whootung corner.

The battle for 13th remains grim, but at least Cluitt had a fun loss; AFC Carroll Lewiston raced into a 3-0 half-time lead courtesy of Nova Björklund scoring two before teeing up Ellington for a third, but Cluitt came right back with goals from Eccles and Wallington before Björklund completed her hat-trick with an 89th-minute counter-attacking goal. There was still time for Eccles to score again in stoppage time, but not for another to equalise. As for Florley Garden City, they just tamely lost 1-0 at Zeiven with Iris King scoring the only goal of a bad game. The other Sunday match was yet another 1-0, but at least it was a more enjoyable 1-0, as Edencliff were indebted to goalkeeper Alan Edmonds for his multiple excellent stops to allow them to hold onto the lead they secured late in the first half through Raven Lomu's deflected strike and snatch a win over Bravin Rangers and a hostile home crowd.

NSL table after MD17        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Roddens City 17 13 1 3 34 10 +24 40
2 FC Alaer 17 11 2 4 37 18 +19 35
3 Real Santa Mordana 17 10 4 3 40 26 +14 34
4 Capitolians 17 10 3 4 25 16 +9 33
5 Ranford & Willsbrook 17 9 3 5 35 17 +18 30
6 AFC Edencliff 17 8 5 4 30 22 +8 29
7 Bay City United 17 8 4 5 28 20 +8 28
8 AFC Carroll Lewiston 17 8 4 5 38 40 −2 28
9 Zeiven City 17 7 5 5 22 19 +3 26
10 Borlfield Town 17 7 3 7 20 25 −5 24
11 Vengife Town 17 5 5 7 16 20 −4 20
12 Bravin Rangers 17 5 4 8 14 18 −4 19
13 Cluitt SC 17 3 4 10 21 36 −15 13
14 Florley Garden City 17 4 0 13 16 33 −17 12
15 FC Macados 17 2 1 14 9 38 −29 7
16 Newbridge Town 17 2 0 15 7 34 −27 6

After the conclusion of MD17, the next set of broadcast selections were made. Note that this is the last block where every team must feature in both an exclusive and a non-exclusive window.
All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD21: Bay City United v FC Macados
MD22: FC Macados v Vengife Town
MD23: Florley Garden City v Roddens City
MD24: Roddens City v AFC Edencliff
MD25: Cluitt SC v Newbridge Town
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD21: Borlfield Town v FC Alaer
MD22: Capitolians v AFC Edencliff
MD23: Capitolians v AFC Carroll Lewiston
MD24: Ranford & Willsbrook v Florley Garden City
MD25: Capitolians v Roddens City
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD21: Zeiven City v Roddens City
MD22: Real Santa Mordana v Florley Garden City
MD23: AFC Edencliff v Real Santa Mordana
MD24: Real Santa Mordana v Capitolians
MD25: Bravin Rangers v Bay City United
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

User avatar
The Kytler Peninsulae
Posts: 1205
Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:20 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD18-20

Friday 1945: Capitolians 0–1 Bravin Rangers

Well that's not how the battle for the fourth IFCF spot was meant to be reignited. Which, of course, is why Capitolians were in this position rather than truly in the title race - the fact that they actually can lose matches like this one at home to a relegation contender. Not that Bravin look like one of those anymore after this; they might not have much besides Solomon Bai in the middle of the park but any team with Kuno Zeelen at one end of the pitch and Danny Markusson at the other have every chance of shrugging off the whole "what do they have in between?" problem at this level. Zeelen has quietly been particularly impressive in a bad Bravin season, being responsible for quite a bit of the club's defensive record of conceding 18 in as many games - the best of any team in the bottom half by some way. As for Markusson, he's been service-starved to say the least but has still come up with some big goals, and the only reason he didn't officially get one here is that his shot bounced off the shin of teenage striker Julian Henderson - making his first start for the club as Roger Wickens tried something different in the absence of much success from Mytanar youngster Aristarkh Polivanov - en route to the back of the net. It wasn't getting saved without that touch, and it definitely wasn't getting saved with it. Ranford & Willsbrook can now go back into fourth with a win on Sunday...

Saturday 1230: AFC Carroll Lewiston 5–0 Newbridge Town

...and apparently Carroll Lewiston aren't done with contending for the IFCF places either! This was the return of the Magicians at their most, well, magical - assisted of course by exceedingly grateful (and doomed, frankly) opposition, but even accounting for that this was impressive. Two goals from Alex Ellington, two more from Carly Wendling, and one from Rachel Branson (who also assisted three of the other four) amounted to an absolute massacre. Newbridge have only scored two more goals all season than they conceded in this one match, which ended up being Paul Varner's last at the club as he was unceremoniously fired midway through the SNS match later that same day. A match that would be huge in the battle to decide who would be going down with them and Macados...

Saturday 1730: Florley Garden City 1–2 Cluitt SC

...and honestly that might be that settled already. Cluitt moved four points clear of the Gardeners with a monumentally significant late winner from, of all people, substitute defender Edward Stoneham-Black.

The hosts took the lead ten minutes before the break courtesy of Dino Azar, who has looked like he is far too good to be playing with these bums; as one of his (three!) official nationalities is Kytlerian he's eligible to stay with the club if and when they go back to the Gregg's League, but approximately nobody thinks he would. Micah Davenport bundled in an equaliser on 58 minutes from a chaotic scramble after fellow Xannerian Dori Carver shanked a clearance, and then came half an hour of unbearable tension... until, just before the board went up to signal four added minutes, Inga-Britt Mellberg drilled a corner to the near post and Stoneham-Black got his bonce on it to beat Vanessa Andrews. The celebrations showed how vital it was; so too the absolute distress from home players and fans alike.

FC Alaer 3–2 FC Macados
Ranford & Willsbrook 4–1 Bay City United
Roddens City 4–0 Vengife Town
Real Santa Mordana 4–1 Borlfield Town
AFC Edencliff 2–3 Zeiven City

This was a schedule notable for having arguably its biggest matches on Sunday; blame NBO for picking Capitolians-Bravin Rangers (an admittedly significant and interesting match!) as their one top pick of the block, but Kytel didn't even need to actively select Bay City's visit to Ranford & Willsbrook to get it, the Saturday networks using this week to load up on "team burn" matches in the absence of what they saw as anything worth prioritising over that. Well, looks like this one was, folks; the two-town club moved back into the IFCF places and left Bay City United ninth (!) with one of the most startling displays of the entire season. Zbogar-Zolnir started it after just 75 seconds - the fastest goal of the NSL season - by robbing Walter Ottosen on the edge of the box before teeing up Frisk for a tap-in, and that frankly set the tone for the entire match. Frisk added a second midway through the first half before turning provider for Whootung, rampaging forward and inside because there was absolutely no reason to think he needed to track back, to make it 3-0 after half an hour. When Zbogar-Zolnir capped off his display with a goal - heading in Whootung's cross eight minutes after the break - both home and away fans started chanting for the head of Bay City manager Zachary Molder, a chant they did not even break off when Ingólfsson slotted home to pull one back for the visitors. And a few hours later, they got their wish; Molder was gone, assistant Penelope Rotchell becoming (at least temporarily) the club's first ever female manager.

Edencliff let an opportunity slip in the race for the top four by squandering a 2-0 lead at home to Zeiven City in a match that seemed to bring back bad memories of past defensive frailties for Paula Foster's side; Lomu and Flash each set up one goal for the other in the first half, but Seidel sparked a comeback with a goal in first-half stoppage time, William Jackson equalised three minutes after the restart, and Cliff Whyte headed in Álfar Jvarsson's cross on 72 minutes to complete a startling win that put Zeiven into the top half. Ahead of Bay City. In the second half of the season, this is no distorted-small-sample fluke!

Speaking of which, RSM being in the bottom half feels forever ago, as they stayed in the title race with an emphatic dismantling of a Borlfield side who'd had some momentum themselves of late; Vincent scored twice and there were also goals for AKK and Félix Ortiz. Alaer had a scarier time of things against Macados - who took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half through Kate Fullers and threatened to dig themselves out of their hole when de Mol headed home in the 89th minute - but in between those two goals, Yvonne Glockner scored three. Macados have now played 18 matches this season and only taken points from three of them - and they're not bottom! Roddens continue to lead the way, however, and absolutely dismantled a Vengife side who don't normally go down easily; Vilbjörnsdóttir, Crayshaw, and Abazovic all scored in the first half before teenage substitute Rudi Torrens added a spectacular fourth. He's one to watch.

Friday 1945: Florley Garden City 0–1 AFC Carroll Lewiston

For both of these sides, a result acquired in any way possible was important, but most expected these two to both be needing it for the same reason coming into the season - but while the Gardeners have lived down to expectations, the Magicians have exceeded theirs in a big way. This wasn't immediately apparent in this Friday night fight, which was scrappy throughout despite both teams generally having some desire to play attacking progressive soccer and the visitors actually managing it in this overachieving season (albeit at the cost of having conceded 40 goals in the first 18 games, only one short of the league-high mark allowewd by Macados!). There may have been a little overcorrection here after the 4-3 escape from Cluitt two weeks ago, as they haven't conceded since.

When you don't concede, one goal is all it takes, and six minutes into the second half, Ellington's fine low shot from the D provided it. The Magicians held on for a second straight clean sheet and are honest-to-goodness still in the IFCF mix, this result actually putting them in provisional P4 pending the rest of the weekend action.

Saturday 1230: Zeiven City 0–0 Capitolians

And this put Capitolians in that spot, but they were a lot less happy about it; visiting the stadium that's a mini-me of their own, they ironically put in a performance that looked like a poor imitation of their usual selves.

Or did they? Maybe this is actually who Capitolians are this season; they somehow only have 25 goals this season, the same as Zeiven and onlny two fewer than fourth-bottom Cluitt, but only Roddens have outdone their 17 goals conceded in what is now 19 games. The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock here was Feltkamp having a goal chalked off for offside; it wasn't even that close a call. Truly a case of two points dropped for both sides here in terms of how it felt, and this weekend has looked pretty dull so far.

Saturday 1730: Bay City United 3–3 FC Alaer

And then this happened on SNS.

Bay City, in their first match under caretaker Rotchell, took the lead inside three minutes through a deflected strike from the returning Zhan Bo, who'd missed the previous three matches for his red card in the Olympic Derby. The champions responded through veteran Tim David after another three minutes, and so it took less than six minutes to produce more goals than the weekend's preceding 180.

Alaer would take the lead for the first time on 24 minutes courtesy of an Ella Vidya rocket from outside the box, and this would normally be the point where a side low on confidence and cohesion - like this season's Bay City - would yield to an Alaer side that usually has plenty of both. But that four-loss streak has shown that this Alaer side can no longer claim that, and sure enough, they conceded on the stroke of half-time with Dings Mocks afforded all too much time and space to pick out Ingólfsson at the far post. 2-2 at the break, and the only thing anyone felt with confidence going into the second half is that it wouldn't end that way.

The score did hold for more than 25 minutes to start the second half, but then Vidya silenced the crowd again with another lovely strike, this time a curling effort from the left corner of the box. Once again Alaer were on for the three points; once again they let it slip, quite literally in this case as James Black hit the deck turning to race towards a loose ball that now fell into the path of a completely untroubled Walgrave. One-on-one with Jonathan Murphy-Coates, she duly dinked the ball over him for an 85th-minute equaliser to give these fans an actual moment to remember in a season they surely want to forget.

Cluitt SC 0–4 AFC Edencliff
Bravin Rangers 1–0 Real Santa Mordana
Borlfield Town 1–0 Roddens City
Vengife Town 0–1 Ranford & Willsbrook
FC Macados 3–0 Newbridge Town

What a timely reminder that nothing is a given in the NSL, and what a Super Sunday it was for conservatives still bleating on about the Krytenia result for the national side and the implication that the drugs don't work; both Bravin and Borlfield welcomed two of the top three sides in the league to their RTX Radio-loving fanbases, and both inflicted 1-0 defeats on their illustrious opponents. Bravin's was achieved in classic Bravin fashion - Zeelen making a bunch of saves, Markusson scoring on the break - but Borlfield's defeat of Roddens was surprisingly nuanced, with some sense of actual patience in a team usually noted for their lack thereof. That relative sophistication on the ball combined with take-no-prisoners tackling to get it in the first place, and while the goal was a Todar Ranmada header from a set piece it was genuinely warranted and no steal at all. And so the gap is down to four and every team has at least four losses this season!

Ranford & Willsbrook were somehow the only team in the top five at the start of this weekend to actually take three points away, and even that needed an 84th-minute header from Zbogar-Zolnir to break the hearts of the home fans at the Taa'kai Memorial Stadium. Vengife, not for the first time this season, showed determination and diligence but lacked any sort of end product; at least they still look reasonably safe. Cluitt dropped a big suggestion that they might not be, following that massive win at FGC with a brutal 4-0 home loss to a rampant Edencliff; Oddkellsdóttir and Lomu both scored braces as Paula Foster's side maintained their position in the IFCF-chasing peloton.

Meanwhile, if you've not written your Newbridge Town obituary yet, you can start right now; Macados smashed three unanswered first-half goals against them in a battle of the bottom two as Benjamin Packard's first NSL game in charge of Newbridge went about as badly as any of Paul Varner's 18. Colombano Di Battista scored the first then set up two more for Balesson and Blanc; he could have a shot at being picked up by a real team next season, in the NSL or otherwise.

Friday 1945: FC Alaer 0–0 Vengife Town

An absolute vintage example of Vengife taking on a big club by playing like them but with approximately 80% less intention of actually scoring a goal. The Tribe actually managed 52% possession - away at the champions! - but the biggest chances still came to the home side, and specifically to Tim David. But the aging curve may just be catching up with him, based on the way he missed one badly and then failed to latch on to a perfectly placed Vidya pass that would have left him a borderline tap-in. The visitors were otherwise not as badly troubled as they had any right to be, because this Alaer side are not what they were last season or indeed in their fiery start to this one. In their last ten matches - that's the entire middle third of the season! - they have three wins, three draws, and four losses. And yes, that does mean they're now unbeaten in six, but it really doesn't feel that way when that run contains three draws and three one-goal victories, two of which were against the bottom two.

Saturday 1230: Ranford & Willsbrook 1–0 Borlfield Town

This Ranford & Willsbrook charge at the top four looks for real. With only a third of the season to go, they are not only in the IFCF spots but have the second-best goal difference in the NSL. This match didn't do much to help that, but the plus-one was the bit that mattered, and they got it with an excellently-worked team goal that ended with Katrina Frisk springing free with a late run into the box for an easy finish; a goal that, in short, made them look the part of a big club, a top-four club. The calls for Aaron Wilson-Cooper to get the national team job may start to be heard well beyond the North Bay coast. Borlfield, meanwhile, remain a weird side to evaluate, managing to avoid draws (just three all season) despite not being a team involved in high-scoring matches.

Saturday 1730: Roddens City 4–0 Bravin Rangers

Last week, admittedly at home, Bravin stole all three points away from RSM. This week, the Reds rampaged through the same back five that kept out the most valuable attacking lineup in the history of Kytlerian soccer.

Quite the way to shut up any doubts about the destination of the title after Roddens themselves lost at Borlfield that Sunday, as a welcoming home crowd roared their approval after a superb attacking display. Vilbjörnsdóttir essentially ended the match before it even began with two goals in the first eight minutes against a side who like to play on the break; international loanees Abazovic and Crayshaw added to the scoreline just before and after the break respectively, and the scoreline would have been worse if it wasn't for the way the Reds essentially declared on four.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 0–1 FC Macados
Newbridge Town 0–1 Bay City United
Real Santa Mordana 3–2 Zeiven City
Capitolians 1–0 Cluitt SC
AFC Edencliff 2–0 Florley Garden City

RSM joined Roddens in bouncing right back from their defeat to a conservative club, but it was a close-run thing; Zeiven twice took the lead through Alby Friel, but each time they were pegged back within minutes by the AKK-Vincent combination (the former setting up the latter for the first equaliser and vice versa for the second). The eventual winner came nine minutes from the end, and was a delightful volley from AKK after Vincent drifted across to the right while substitute right-back Florence Sheldrake charged forward, dragging the Zeiven centre-backs in and creating space that the Quebecois icon duly filled. They now trail second-placed Alaer only on goal difference, but Roddens feel at least as secure after the middle third of the season as Alaer did after the opening third. Of course, this very framing confirms that this ought to be interpreted as "not very."

And speaking of unlikely possibilities, there's a vague sense of possibility at the bottom again as Macados won a second straight match! This one was a huge win from the shortish trip to the Wonderland; Zachary Edwards-Hillier's header on the hour separated the two sides and may have been the moment the "are Carroll Lewiston for real?" question that's been lurking for most of the season now finally got the answer "no." Then again, they are still in the top half and above Bay City United, who needed a John Fish header to get past lolcow bottom club Newbridge Town for Penelope Rotchell's first win on the job...

The other two teams fighting for survival both lost on their travels, with Florley Garden City comfortably beaten at Edencliff through a Raven Lomu brace while Capitolians took maximum points from the Sharke Inlet derby courtesy of a Steinmóðsson header.

NSL table after MD20        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Roddens City 20 15 1 4 42 11 +31 46
2 FC Alaer 20 12 4 4 43 23 +20 40
3 Real Santa Mordana 20 12 4 4 47 30 +17 40
4 Ranford & Willsbrook 20 12 3 5 41 18 +23 39
5 Capitolians 20 11 4 5 26 17 +9 37
6 AFC Edencliff 20 10 5 5 38 25 +13 35
7 AFC Carroll Lewiston 20 10 4 6 44 41 +3 34
8 Bay City United 20 9 5 6 33 27 +6 32
9 Zeiven City 20 8 6 6 27 24 +3 30
10 Borlfield Town 20 8 3 9 22 30 −8 27
11 Bravin Rangers 20 7 4 9 16 22 −6 25
12 Vengife Town 20 5 6 9 16 25 −9 21
13 Cluitt SC 20 4 4 12 23 42 −19 16
14 FC Macados 20 4 1 15 15 41 −26 13
15 Florley Garden City 20 4 0 16 17 38 −21 12
16 Newbridge Town 20 2 0 18 7 43 −36 6
Last edited by The Kytler Peninsulae on Mon Apr 08, 2024 6:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)

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The Kytler Peninsulae
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Founded: Jul 26, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Kytler Peninsulae » Mon Apr 08, 2024 6:54 pm

NSL International Era Season 2: MD21-22

Friday 1945: Bay City United 2–0 FC Macados

Bay City United's bid to somehow, some way make the end of the season relevant got a boost in their local derby with Macados, who remain firmly in the bottom three as the gulf in class really showed in the second half. The visitors were competitive in the first half, maybe even shaded it, and certainly had the best chance when de Mol skewed a close-range header wide; Penelope Rotchell's charges came out firing in the second half though, with Ingólfsson on target seven minutes after the break to provide a lead that they did more to validate after getting it than they had to get it before. When Macados did eventually threaten, Walgrave sealed the deal on the counter ten minutes from time. Rotchell has been confirmed to have the job until the end of the season, but there is speculation that she could be replaced by the NSL's first foreign manager...

Saturday 1230: Borlfield Town 1–4 FC Alaer

Borlfield have blown a little hot and cold this season, and this was absolutely them on a cold day. Kryznówek looks like he's back to last season's hot form, scoring both first-half goals for the champions before teeing up Vidya for the third. At which point he left the stage, to an appreciative round of applause from the home fans and quite a roar from the visiting ones. And there were quite a few visiting ones, even in parts of Qardinal Field they wouldn't normally be in; Varnian nuclear facilities have been required to step up production in light of the Græntfjall crisis, and many Miners season ticket holders have been forced into working extra weekend shifts as a result. Alaer being the biggest city (and FC Alaer the biggest club) on the southern peninsula where Borlfield lies, there were plenty of visiting fans who bought tickets on the secondary market; those fans got a fourth goal to cheer about through Tim David before the home side got their consolation from teenager George Wittendorf. By then, the home fans who didn't have to go to work on this Saturday afternoon probably wished they did.

Saturday 1730: Zeiven City 0–1 Roddens City

Zeiven are pretty good at dragging teams into attritional battles sometimes, and they proved that again here at Dockside Stadium. Unfortunately, forcing your style of play on opponents doesn't actually mean anything if you concede and don't score, and that's exactly the fate that befell them here as the champions made the most of their one big chance of the first half and then just needed to hold on themselves. Which they very nearly didn't even manage for two minutes, to be fair; right after Crayshaw's 34th-minute strike, Aadi Seidel hit the post. Alby Friel's speculative long-range strike on 65 minutes just clipped the bar on its way over, but the visitors wouldn't be seriously threatened in the final quarter and retained their clear status as the team with the league in their hands.

AFC Edencliff 1–2 AFC Carroll Lewiston
Florley Garden City 0–3 Capitolians
Cluitt SC 0–2 Real Santa Mordana
Bravin Rangers 1–0 Ranford & Willsbrook
Vengife Town 0–0 Newbridge Town

The Carroll Lewiston adventure firmly switched on again with a superb away win against an Edencliff side who in many ways had taken the mantle of the pioneering "Girl Power" Magicians that won the NSL a decade ago. Fittingly, none of the three goals in this one were scored by a man (or a Kytlerian, for that matter); Sevet-Ajark ghosted into the box almost unnoticed and scored only their second of the season to give the home side the lead on the half-hour mark, but Wendling equalised almost instantly for the Magicians, and Björklund would score what proved to be the winning goal ten minutes after the break with a fine curling effort from the D. Carroll Lewiston now overtake their hosts to go sixth, and are only three points off an IFCF slot after Ranford & Willsbrook took a painful 1-0 loss at Bravin Rangers. This one was a mild novelty, in that the against-the-run-of-play goal this time was from Aristarkh Polivanov rather than his more successful strike partner Markusson.

That allowed Capitolians to climb into fourth again with a routine trouncing of Florley Garden City, most notable for veteran winger Slistols Soscren finally making his return from a long-term injury to score one and set up the other two for Feltkamp. RSM kept ahead of the Zube-based side and level on points with Alaer after two Vincent goals saw them cruise to a win at Cluitt, while Newbridge Town belatedly showed signs of being able to defend as they snaffled their first draw of the season (!) in a borefest at Vengife. They now have a point for every goal they've scored this season. All seven of them. Yes, in 21 games. Vengife, for their part, have only managed 16...

Friday 1945: FC Macados 0–1 Vengife Town

A good old-fashioned basement battle spent 89 minutes in pure purgatory, neither side managing much more than the occasional pot-shot at goal... then provided one brief moment looking like it was going to breathe new life into the fight for survival, when Kirk Balesson's shot deflected off de Mol and in.

Then the flag went up because de Mol was offside. Three minutes later, with one added minute remaining, Wiremu Hemi's shot deflected off a backtracking Balesson and in, and the Tribe had stolen an away win. Nine clear of 13th-placed Cluitt, twelve clear of Macados on the other side of the dreaded dotted line; they can start feeling pretty certain about having another NSL season to look forward to.

Saturday 1230: Capitolians 3–3 AFC Edencliff

In a massive match in the battle for fourth, the winners were... Ranford & Willsbrook, let's be honest. But also neutral fans who got a High Noon clash to remember at the ZOS.

The hosts struck first, and fabulously; Lindiwe ran past two defenders before sliding a curling effort right into the top corner. A second almost followed shortly afterwards, but Soscren hit the bar and Lindiwe's rebound was blocked on the line by Vitore Enetac, the impressive Auprussian full-back who has played a significant part in making Edencliff occasionally look like a defensively strong team this season, or at least competent enough that their Oddkellsdóttir equaliser here in first-half stoppage time felt like it meant a lot.

The second half started in a way that suggested nothing much has changed. There seemed little danger when Park Si-Woo's cross was overhit, but Xavier LaMotta completely lost his bearings and ran right into Feltkamp. Penalty, which Lindiwe converts, and LaMotta is forced off with concussion. Everything is set up for an implosion, and one duly arrived - but not from the visitors. Lauridsen spilled a routine save directly into the path of Oddkellsdóttir for an equaliser on the hour, and four minutes after that Bultiauw's early ball over the top was misread by the entire back four and sprung Rick Flash free over the middle for a one-on-one chance he did not pass up. Just like that, Edencliff led for the first time and it was Capitolians who looked shaky.

Redemption would come for Lauridsen with a superb save to deny Oddkellsdóttir a hat-trick on 85 minutes, and when Jón Leifsson cleared the resultant corner, Park was sprung free to run at Edencliff defenders who felt scared to tackle him. By the time Sevet-Ajark actually did, Park had both entered the box and unleashed a shot; as the Quebecois-Kytlerian wing-back/midfielder tumbled, the referee pointed to the spot once again, much to the delight of the home crowd. Lindiwe duly smashed home to complete a hat-trick and save a point.

Saturday 1730: Real Santa Mordana 3–0 Florley Garden City

One of the things that makes Florley Garden City seem truly doomed; this run of fixtures. Their next three opponents after this are Roddens City, Ranford & Willsbrook, and FC Alaer. So that's four of the top five in consecutive matches for a team already in the drop zone.

Sure enough, they looked like every bit the relegation fodder they are as RSM kept their title challenge alive on the day after they gave José Humberto a long-term contract as manager. The first goal was a bludgeon, Yrko heading in a Vincent corner; the second was a scalpel, a 14-pass move ending with Vincent curling an outside-of-the-boot diagonal ball into the path of Félix Ortiz. Both of these came within the first ten minutes, and the only wonder after that was that the only other goal came on 67 minutes through the less-obvious source of Tikariotian loanee Nick Fiori. Vanessa Andrews made several fine saves to keep the score down, and even if her club aren't in the NSL next season there's a real chance she is.

AFC Carroll Lewiston 2–2 Bay City United
Newbridge Town 1–0 Borlfield Town
FC Alaer 2–0 Bravin Rangers
Ranford & Willsbrook 3–0 Zeiven City
Roddens City 2–1 Cluitt SC

Fourth place changed hands again as Ranford & Willsbrook zipped past Zeiven with contemptuous ease. The fluidity of Aaron Wilson-Cooper's 4-1-4-1 and in particular Zbogar-Zolnir's role as the notional number nine was on full display here, as the Mytanar rising star regularly took up wide positions where he had a major size advantage over both of the visitors' smol wing-backs, while Frisk returned to being a more orthodox striker more often than not and scored both first-half goals before Teun van Os headed home a third. This team are for real - and Carroll Lewiston reaffirmed their realness too even as they came back from 2-0 down to snatch a point from Bay City United, Björklund scoring both goals to cancel out earlier strikes from Ingólfsson and Zhan.

Alaer's bid to retain their title got helped a bit by a routine 2-0 defeat of Bravin courtesy of a Glockner brace; it would have been helped by a lot had Cluitt held on to the unlikely lead Johnny Eccles gave them at Roddens, but two late goals from Mikkelsen and Gaither-Moon spared the Reds' blushes and kept them six clear at the top. At the other end of the table, Newbridge sparked something resembling hope by actually winning a match, Borlfield the victims as Niksa Srejović scored only the club's eighth goal of the season and no Miners players could make their hosts concede their 44th of the campaign. They've got ten points! TEN!

NSL table after MD22        Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Roddens City 22 17 1 4 45 12 +33 52
2 FC Alaer 22 14 4 4 49 24 +25 46
3 Real Santa Mordana 22 14 4 4 52 30 +22 46
4 Ranford & Willsbrook 22 13 3 6 44 19 +25 42
5 Capitolians 22 12 5 5 32 20 +12 41
6 AFC Carroll Lewiston 22 11 5 6 48 44 +4 38
7 AFC Edencliff 22 10 6 6 42 30 +12 36
8 Bay City United 22 10 6 6 37 29 +8 36
9 Zeiven City 22 8 6 8 27 28 −1 30
10 Bravin Rangers 22 8 4 10 17 24 −7 28
11 Borlfield Town 22 8 3 11 23 35 −12 27
12 Vengife Town 22 6 7 9 17 25 −8 25
13 Cluitt SC 22 4 4 14 24 46 −22 16
14 FC Macados 22 4 1 17 15 44 −29 13
15 Florley Garden City 22 4 0 18 17 44 −27 12
16 Newbridge Town 22 3 1 18 8 43 −35 10

After the conclusion of MD22, the next set of broadcast selections were made. Note that this block covers only MD26-29; as such, there are no team appearance restrictions applied to this block, and no top picks for Package A.
All unlisted selections form part of Package D (Kytel, Sunday 1500)
Top picks marked in italics

Package A (NBO, Friday 1945)
MD26: Ranford & Willsbrook v Capitolians
MD27: Roddens City v AFC Carroll Lewiston
MD28: Ranford & Willsbrook v Roddens City
MD29: Real Santa Mordana v Newbridge Town
Package B (TV3, Saturday 1230)
MD26: Roddens City v Real Santa Mordana
MD27: Capitolians v FC Alaer
MD28: Bay City United v Florley Garden City
MD29: Ranford & Willsbrook v AFC Carroll Lewiston
Package C (KBT, Saturday 1730)
MD26: FC Alaer v AFC Edencliff
MD27: Florley Garden City v FC Macados
MD28: FC Alaer v Real Santa Mordana
MD29: Roddens City v FC Alaer
Out of international isolation and... winning things? Huh?

Host: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Baptism of Iron X, 7th World Championships of Babbage Rules Football, and Games of the IX Olympiad.

Won: World Lacrosse Championship 13, Elephant Chess Cup 7, and Memorial Cup. Also top of the medals table at the Games of the IX Olympiad (24 gold, 63 total medals).
World Lacrosse Championship 12 and World Bowl 47 quarter-finalists, World Bowl XV and World Baseball Classic 20 octo-finalists
28 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VI Olympiad (13th in medal table)
7 medals, 5 gold, at VII Olympic Winter Games (7th in medal table)
26 medals, 10 gold, at Games of the VIII Olympiad (9th in medal table)


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