AHFA 2020 World Cup

53: New Catalonia 4-Freedonia 2
from pilkarski.mm
United States of Freedonia

Coach:
Marcus Welch

Lineup:

Gerald Beauvoir

Francis Tubman
Judah Soro
Washington Mahoi
William Davis

Jefferson Mahoi
Benjamin Gilead Hamilton
Henry Clay Lahai (58' Sekou Sanders)
Nahshon St. Clair

William Harper Coleman (34' Ptolemy Harris)
Varus Doctor (77' Elijah Houphouet)

New Catalonia Confederation

Coach:
Francesc Gqiba

Lineup:

Victor Bartra

Jordi Ngcukaitobi
Lluis Mpofu
Joan Nkuhlu
(90+2' Gerard Muniesa) Hlumelo Biko

Pere Romeu
(76' Oriol Mathoho) Jaume Sebe
Nosipho Mayekiso
Quim Vilà

(69' Sergi Nokwe) Aleix Mfeketo
Themba Sibeko
Freedonia 2 - 4 New Catalonia

Goals: 0-1 Themba Sibeko (6')
0-2 Themba Sibeko (16')
0-3 Themba Sibeko (26')
1-3 Varus Doctor (40')
2-3 Sékou Sanders (62')
2-4 Themba Sibeko (86') (p)


Referee: Yudhajit Bhupendra Dharakeshvar (National Dravidian Union) - Grade C:
Awarding a penalty to Catalonia (handball by Davis, 86') was entirely correct. Also correct to disallow Houphouet's goal (78'), but the VAR took quite long. No decisive mistakes, but inconsistent: Should have booked Soro (15'), the actual yellow card for Soro (51') on the other hand was harsh. Booking Ngcukaitobi (44') was quite harsh, too.

Both teams desperately needed the three points, Freedonia even more so than New Catalonia. No chance to get out on top of the group in case of a defeat for the Storm Warriors, and the Federals would even fall to third place and have to pack up. In any case, Revolutionary Colombia is going to profit...
And, as a victory was necessary for both sides, both coaches sent out their best starting elevens. Nobody was injured or banned either, but Gqiba preferred hot Fortschritt Stendal prospect Mayekiso over a tired ____ on the right wing.

Just more than five minutes had been played - with no shots on goal - when all plans of the Welch side lay in shambles. An excellent pass by Hlumelo Biko opened up the whole Federal defence as it found Quim Vilà. Neither Davis nor Washington Mahoi were anywhere near able to get to this pass. Vilà had no problem passing to a free Themba Sibeko! Francis Tubman had relieved the offside position, and Sibeko easily found the back of the net in the right corner! 0-1 Themba Sibeko (6')!

Barely had Freedonia recovered from the early Storm Warriors lead and Beauvoir had restored confidence in his defence - no other offensive piece of play that would have required serious intervention had yet been seen - when Judah Soro saw no other way of stopping Nosipho Mayekiso than via a foul. The following free kick for New Catalonia was entirely justified, and Dharakeshvar should also have booked Soro...
As was well-established within the Gqiba side, Quim Vilà brought the free kick in. He brought it from a right-wing, but not far right, position too far away for a direct attempt on goal. Beauvoir tried to position his wall, but the free kick found the head of Sibeko and then the back of the net! Sibeko had outjumped William Harper Coleman! 0-2 Themba Sibeko (16')!

From then on, New Catalonia was dominant and fired even more dangerous shots: Mahoi fouled Mfeketo in front of the penalty area in a centre-left position, but Beauvoir saved the direct free kick from Quim Vilà (19'). Another excellent save by Beauvoir stopped Mfeketo's attempt from a distance of 18 metres - it was parried over the crossbar (23'). Mpofu's header after the ensuing corner went wide of the target (23').

The first-ever attempt at a counterattack by the Federals was stopped short when Hlumelo Biko won the ball back from Nahshon St. Clair. And Biko passed it to Joan Nkuhlu, then to Jordi Ngcukaitobi, who put the ball forward to Jaume Sebe. And after a one-two with Quim Vila, Jaume Sebe crossed the ball into the penalty area, very close to the goal! Sibeko just had to put his foot in - and he scored! 0-3 Themba Sibeko (26')! A hattrick for the most prolific striker of the Storm Warriors!

Marcus Welch was forced to react - and took Coleman, who was in no small part responsible for the second goal, off the field, switching to a 5-4-1 formation. And indeed, defence proved more stable and Harris, but also Soro and the two Mahois nixed several more attempts by New Catalonia - especially by Sibeko, but also a dribbling by Mfeketo (Hamilton cleared the ball out, 35') and another Vilà free kick (Washington Mahoi enabled Beauvoir to save the ball, 39'). Beauvoir kicked the ball very, very far. Over the centre point, and the Storm Warriors' defence had lost track of Varus Doctor! His shot from near the penalty spot was saved by Victor Bartra, but went out for a corner as Jordi Ngcukaitobi proved unable to keep the ball in.
Freedonia got their first corner in this match.
And Henry Clay Lakai brought it in. It did not reach anybody, but on the far left wing, Nahshon St. Clair kept the ball in, passed back to Hamilton, who passed it onto Varus Doctor! And Victor Bartra was beaten at the near post and nutmegged! Definitely a saveable shot, but Varus Doctor finds the back of the net! 1-3 Varus Doctor (40')!

Even during half-time break, Welch tried to remoralise his team and restore some more self-confidence, while the Gqiba side seemingly was instructed to resort to defence.
Anyway, starting off the second half, all of a sudden it was the Gqiba side who employed Catenaccio measures normally only known from East Africa, and the Federals proved to be on the attack relentlessly. But none of the Federals' attempts posed serious danger to Victor Bartra - several corners, most of them harmless, were the only gain.

Once again, Welch changed the formation on the pitch by substituting a fast striker, Sekou Sanders, in for a central midfielder.
Barely two minutes after Sanders came on, Hlumelo Biko bottled a throw-in. The ball got taken off Pere Romeu by Benjamin G. Hamilton. He passed the ball forward, into a somewhat right-wing position, onto Nahshon St. Clair, and the latter, the best passer and crosser in Welch's team, outwitted Nkuhlu and crossed the ball into the box, onto a free Sekou Sanders! And his header found the back of the net! No chance for Victor Bartra this time! 2-3 Sékou Sanders (62')!

All of a sudden, it looked like a three-goal disadvanage could be successfully reversed, a feat unaccomplished in World Cups since 1978 (Prussian State 3-3 Workers' Progressive Commune of Israel). Indeed, it was the Federals who were on the attack now, though shots, especially those on target, became fewer now. Generally, effort by both teams seemed to be a bit slower, and New Catalonia also tried the one or other counterattack (Mfeketo 65' - saved by Beauvoir; Vilà 73' hit the side netting).
Minutes later though, it was Judah Soro who cleared the ball just before Mayekiso could fire another shot at Beauvoir. And he played the ball a long way forward, where Sékou Sanders reached it before any Storm Warrior did. Sanders passed back to Nahshon St. Clair, and the latter played an excellent through-ball over to Houphouet! Houphouet had no problem scoring this, and it looked like the feat of the Prussian State had been repeated! 3-3!

But the VAR signalled Dharakeshvar, he showed the screen and, for at least two minutes, studied all pictures. Houphouet was definitely onside - at first, offside was rumoured to be the cause of the signal - but he had played the ball with his left arm! Not, as it first appeared, with his chest (or knee)! The goal was disallowed, and correctly so!

This game thus remained open with an advantage for New Catalonia. And the Gqiba side started a "late attack". Nokwe missed the target by quite a lot (82'), Sibeko by less (83') with his shot hitting the outside of the post! A Federal counterattack was cleared up by Mfoku.
Five minutes before the end of regular time, on the far left wing and close to the touchline, Jaume Sebe was tackled by Francis Tubman. A free kick was rightly awarded to New Catalonia. Sebe himself brought it into the penalty area. No danger for Beauvoir as the ball went out for a corner, but the VAR sent a signal again!
As could quickly be seen, William Davis had deflected the ball with his arm! Dharakehsvar came back onto the field and, absolutely right in his decision, pointed to the spot! Penalty for New Catalonia!

Sibeko vs. Beauvoir, and Sibeko finished it into the upper left corner! The goalkeeper jumped to the right and had absolutely no chance! 2-4 Themba Sibeko (86')!

Not much happened during the last minutes of the match as the Federals' morale was finally broken, and New Catalonia went back to a defensive style of play and even began to waste time with a last substitution (90+2', 19-year old Gerard Muniesa came in) and taking several seconds to bring a corner in (Mayekiso, 90').
Colombia currently comes second in Group C, while Freedonia must win its match against Britain at all costs and, at the same time, hope that Venice takes at least a draw off Colombia.
 
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67: Mexico 3-Tibet 0
Mexico top group with dominating win over Tibet

To say that Group A's match for top spot was close was an understatement. Provence and Mexico were tied for first place with eactly the same number of points, goals scored and goals conceded. Provence did lead the fair-play standings, which meant hosts Mexico had to crush Tibet as hard as possible to clench the top spot in the group and advance to face the Caribbean Federation in the Round of 16.

One thing was for sure, Mexico completely crushed Tibet. With a whopping 95% possession in the game, Mexico shattered the record set by Macedonia v Philippines during the same World Cup. Tibet aligned a flabbergasting total of 19 successful passes during the whole game, and did not hit a single shot on target, nor did they get past the 25 meter line.

Instead, Tibet tried to defend desperately, which worked for a time, the massively built Tibetan defenders stopping most Mexican attempts, especially on corner kicks where the Gyatso brothers won all their duels. That didn't mean Dawa Wangchuk didn't have a lot to do, with four saves in the first half.

Despite this strong defense, Mexico eventually found a way, with Lozano finding the back of the net after 38 minutes of play and a failed attempt six minutes earlier. The Plumed Serpents found a lead at half-time, and kept their determination set throughout the second half, where the Tibetans grew gradually exhausted.

This allowed Lozano to put his second goal of the game in shortly after an hour of playing time, with Javier Hernandez scoring a third not long after. "Chicharito" would even have the chance of making it four at the 90th minute, when Ngawang Dorji tackled him in the box, but the Mexican striker could not do justice himself as his shot was saved by Wangchuk.

In the end, that miss wouldn't matter. Provence had won, but only by two goals, meaning Mexico held the top of the group by one single goal. Everywhere in the country, celebrations erupted as Mexico went into the Round of 16 with a top spot. They will meet the Caribbean Federation in the Round of 16 in Morelia, marking the first ever all-CONCACAF matchup in the World Cup. Provence on the other hand will have to battle it out against Leon and Castille, the winners of Group B, a match between two teams of roughly the same level.

Mexico 3 - 0 Tibet
Lozano (38', 72')
Hernandez (82')​

Man of the Match: Hirving Lozano (Mexico)
 
68: Provence 2-Khemia 0

Uebeltank

Donor
Khemia disappoints yet again; Provence to play León-Castille
Ajorque scored his second goal this tournament

The last games in group A were played last night in Mexico. Mexico played Tibet while Khemia faced Provence. These games would only determine the group winner was both Provence and Mexico were guaranteed advancement. Khemia, however would only play for a potential symbolic victory.

But it wasn’t to be. Provence utterly dominated Khemia who didn’t have any major chances in the game. And 34 minutes into the first half, striker Ludovic Ajorque made it 1-0.

Khemia couldn’t do much in the second half either and it quickly became clear that the main goal would be to just score one goal. Provence managed to extend their lead before that could happen, Yassine Meriah making it 2-0 in the middle of the second half.

And that would remain the final score, as Provence’s excellent defense stopped Khemia from ever penetrating through the defense to create a chance. They finish the tournament 0-6, one of the absolute worst in the tournament this year.

Meanwhile, Provence finishes with three wins and a draw against Mexico. They just barely miss out on the first place as Mexico tops the group by just one goal. As such they will play León-Castille while Mexico plays Caribbean. Should Provence advance, they will likely face either Celtica or Antarctique.

Provence 2-0 Khemia
Ajorque 34'
Meriah 66'
 
66: Ragusa 2-Rhodesia 2
EL SOL DE MÉXICO
Ragusa and Rhodesia say goodbye to the World Cup
Both teams offered an exciting 2-2 tie

In a game where only Ragusa had any kind of aspirations of still advancing to the second round, the players from both teams gave their best and offered fans in Chihuahua’s Gran Norte Field a nice spectacle.

As the team with at least a remote chance of getting to the knockout stage, the Ragusans came out aggressively against the African side, quickly getting the upper hand after Fabris sent a cross from the right wing and Pozza beat Connell to the jump, and heading the ball to the back of the net.

The Rhodesians looked as if a train had run them over and appeared to be unable to react to the Ragusan onslaught, who kept peppering the opposing goals with shots from all sides. At one point, it seemed that Pozza, Ranjina, Stojanović were taking target practice against Jaeger, who heroically kept his goal from falling for 22 full minutes, until he blocked a shot by Saraka, but left the ball in play and half of his goal open, which Pozza took advantage off to score the second goal of the small republic.

However, Ragusa’s second goal awoke Rhodesia from their lethargy and suddenly they seemed determined not to let the Ragusans even dream about facing the Mexicans in the second round. The tables turned in a matter of minutes and Ragusa was now the team fighting to keep the ball out of their side of the pitch.

Rhodesia finally came through on the 42nd minute, when Toby Hawkins shot from outside the box, with the ball entering the goal on the very angle, leaving Mikalja without opportunity to block it. The teams went to the half time with the score 2-1 and the Rhodesians on the verge of tying the game.

The second half saw actions balance more, as the Ragusans came back to their senses and managed to stop the continuous Rhodesian attacks. Most of the last 45 minutes went this way, with both team trading ball possession with some sporadic shots.
When it seemed the Ragusans would come ahead and sntach the victory, Saraka stopped Thorpe on his tracks inside the box, and the referee swiftly signaled the penalty spot. Thorpe himself was the man in charge of taking the penalty, which soon meant the equalizer for the Rhodesians.

With this result, Rhodesia earned their first point of the tournament, while Ragusa ended with 4 points. Now both teams will return home and enjoy the rest of the match in the comfort of their own houses.

Lineups
Ragusa:
Mikalja, Palmotić, Bunić, Saraka, Džamanjić, Ghetaldi, Fabris, Abramović, Pozza, Ranjina, Stojanović
Rhodesia: Rhodesia: Jaeger, Connell, McPhilips (Doyle, 65'), Brown, D'Anzio, Reynolds, MacLean, Kerr, Robinson (Thorpe, 46'), Hawkins, Hawthorne

Goals
0-1 Vukan Stojanović
0-2 Vincenzo Pozza
1-2 Toby Hawkins
2-2 Hugh Thorpe

Yellow cards:
Rhodesia: McPhilips, 22’
Ragusa: Ghetaldi, 81’
 
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69: Britain 2-Freedonia 1
from pilkarski.mm
Co-Operative Republic of Britain

Coach:
Alan O'Harper

Lineup:

Vishnu McCall

Amir-Hossein Donaldson
Benito Mussolini Anderson
G.S.T.K. Fernby (62' Lamont Anthonisz)
Johnny Wright

Connor Davidson (45' Brian Kishore)
George Fernandez
Oswald Parr
Lintorn-Orman Williams

Lionel Chaudhury (80' Jesse Stansfield)
Haymitch Xander

United States of Freedonia

Coach:
Marcus Welch

Lineup:

Gerald Beauvoir

Francis Tubman
Judah Soro
Washington Mahoi
William Davis

Ptolemy Harris
(68' Jefferson Mahoi) Benjamin Gilead Hamilton
(80' William Harper Coleman) Henry Clay Lahai
Nahshon St. Clair

(68' Elijah Houphouet) Sékou Sanders
Varus Doctor
Co-Operative Republic of Britain 2 - 1 Freedonia

Goals:
1-0 Haymitch Xander (18')
1-1 Sékou Sanders (28')
2-1 Lionel Chaudhury (78')


Referee: Jonathan K. Milner (Scientific Syndical States) - Grade A:
An excellent performance. Absolutely correct in awarding the penalty kick to Britain (56') and in booking (44') and sending off (67') Francis Tubman. Also consistent with bookings.

While Britain has no chance to advance, Freedonia has to win this match to advance itself rather than Revolutionary Colombia. Britain thus rotated a few players out, whereas Freedonia sent out their mostly best eleven. William Harper Coleman though, after a poor show against New Catalonia, was benched in favour of Sékou Sanders and Elijah Houphouet. Also, in defensive midfield, Ptolemy Harris replaced Jefferson Mahoi.

But in the first minutes, neither team played offensively. Both rather wanted to avoid making a fatal mistake. The first move that even involved a goalkeeper was a corner brought in by Oswald Parr, safely picked up by Gerald Beauvoir.
After quarter of an hour, though, it was not Freedonia, but the Blackshirts who ramped up their activity.
And this should pay off soon. Linton-Orman Williams passed the ball forward to Lionel Chaudhury, and one simple cross to Haymitch Xander proved able to undermine the entire Freedonian defence! A tackling attempt by Judah Soro was to no avail, and Beauvoir had no chance to save the shot either! 1-0 Haymitch Xander (18')!

But Freedonia showed a response immediately. From kickoff, Parr lost the ball to Francis Tubman, who changed sides to Nahshon St. Clair. And indeed, his shot was deflected for a corner by Vishnu McCall. But the corner proved harmless (19'). Another attempt on goal over Lahai, Nahshon St. Clair resulted in a shot by Varus Doctor which was excellently saved out of the air (25').
Only minutes later, Benito Mussolini Anderson robustly tackled Nahshon St. Clair, 26 metres in front of the goal on the right wing. Rightly, Milner awarded a free kick and booked Anderson. And the fouled player himself took the free kick and brought it in. Disorder in the penalty area... until the ball was cleared out by George Fernandez. He cleared it with a header, out of the immediate danger zone, but it was Judah Soro on the left wing to reach it first. The Blackshirts' defence had not yet repositioned when Soro crossed the ball, in a nearly straight line, to Henry Clay Lahai who chipped it forward onto Sékou Sanders! And the latter had no problem finding the back of the net!
VAR was called to check for an offside position, but none was to be found! 1-1 Sékou Sanders (28')!

Not much more happened before the half-time whistle. Still, Lionel Chaudhury's attempt from a far right position (42') forced Beauvoir into a good save and the second successive corner - the first went out for another corner when Anderson headed the ball out - resulted in a dangerous header by Varus Doctor hitting the post.

After half-time, the Blackshirts had the upper hand, at least to an extent. Haymitch Xander's attempt from near the penalty spot was hindered by Washington Mahoi at the last minute and Beauvoir safely picked up the ball (48') and a free kick brought into the area by Linton-Orman Williams reached Haymitch Xander (50'), but his header went wide.

Nearly exactly the same piece of play happened again six minutes later. Francis Tubman, already booked, recieved another reprimand when he brought down Oswald Parr, and the referee awarded a free kick. Linton-Orman Williams again took this free kick, but before the ball cold reach Haymitch Xander, Sékou Sanders deflected it! And he did it with his arm! A clear penalty for the Blackshirts. Not even the VAR was needed.

And so Haymitch Xander was up against Gerald Beauvoir. As always, Xander aimed for the lower right corner... but Beauvoir knew it! And managed to save the penalty, to direct it onto the post and then he picked up the ball! Still one all!
The Federals' self-confidence recieved an enormous boost from this. Beauvoir kicked the ball forward onto Lahai, who passed it onto Nahshon St. Clair. He dribbled forward, outsmarting Fernby and his shot was the most dangerous since the Freedonian goal (58')! McCall just about managed to parry it away for a corner with an excellent reflex!
After Lahai passed the ball forward into a gap, Sékou Sanders was fast enough to reach it first, but his shot was far too hasty - still, McCall deflected the ball for another corner to play it safe (62')

And then, Britain recieved a free kick in a far left position as Davis had taken down Williams. An entirely correct decision, but Francis Tubman complained, getting into a heated debate. Soon, the referee had enough and showed Tubman his second yellow card! Now, the Federals were down to ten men (67'). Welch ordered a more defensive approach, with only Varus Doctor staying at the frontline and Elijah Houphouet acting much like a "false nine" - and also helping out in defence as he was deemed to be stronger and more physical than Sékou Sanders. Also, Jefferson Mahoi came in as a central defender, with Judah Soro taking up the vacated left back spot.
And at first, Britain's attempts were kept at bay. Oswald Parr's shot was saved by Beauvoir (70'), Linton-Orman Williams' attempt at a cross was deflected by Washington Mahoi (72'). Even down to ten men, the Federals still tried at least counterattacking - and they could have succeeded!
a combination over Jefferson Mahoi, Lahai, Nahshon St. Clai and Elijah Houphoet reached Varus Doctor! But instead of shooting, he tried to give the ball back to Houphouet and it could be cleared by Brian Kishore (75'!)

Oswald Parr won a fifty-fifty duel against Henry Clay Lahai, more in the centre than on the right wing. Playing it safe, he passed back to Brian Kishore, who passed onto the other wing of Lionel Chaudhury. And Chaudhury ran forward with the ball, outrunning William Davis. He had only the goalkeeper to surmount, as no defender was able to reach him anymore, and indeed, from inside the penalty area, he managed to put the ball into the upper right corner! No chance for Beauvoir in this excellent piece of play and movement! 2-1 Lionel Chaudhury (78')!

The Federals' morale was broken after conceding this goal. Freedonia didn't even get a signle shot off after this, despite bringing in William Harper Coleman.
Meanwhile Britain, despite reduced efforts, did get some more opportunities to decide this game: Haymitch Xander's shot from 20 metres in front of the goal went just over the crossbar (84'), after another excellent run by Oswald Parr, a shot by Jesse Stansfield was parried away for a corner (87') and the successive header by Lamont Anthonisz hit the outside of the post (88')!

Even in stoppage time, it was not over yet as one last corner was awarded to Britain. And this corner was taken short. Oswald Parr passed the ball to Jesse Stansfield, back to Oswald Parr, who crossed it over much of the field to Amir-Hossein Donaldson! And his shot was extremely dangerous, Beauvoir just managed to get his fingers to it and parry it over the crossbar for a corner - which was never taken (90+6')! Instead, the referee blew the full-time whistle!

As was already predictable for Britain before this match, Freedonia also has to go home after the group stage of the 2020 AHFA World Cup...
 
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79: Viti 2-Patagonia 2
from pilkarski.mm​
Kingdom of Viti

Coach: Alipate Kepa

Lineup:

Ivereimi Sigarara

Sunia Volavola
Inosi Qereqeretabua
Waisea Waqaniburotu
Ceodoro Voka

Akapusi Raiwalui (75' Babatisi Vosanibola)
Ceovili Nacewa
Timoci Bolawaqatabu
Osea Qera (85' Ilivasi Bainimarama)

Severo Naqelevuki (59' Alivereti Qionibaravi)
Taniela Dokoloto

Kingdom of Patagonia

Coach: Morten Rasmussen

Lineup:

Oliver Sortfjeld

Ingolf Jørgensen
Andreas Vestergaard
(73' Niklas Madsen) Elias "El" Skipper
Peter Madsen

Gunnar Rødhjort
Severin Sørensen
Arben Gjoni
(59' Simon Jensen) Oskar Haraldsen

(82' Malthe Rønshoved) Mikkel Fjorddal
Halfdan Aftenvind
Viti 2 - 2 Patagonia

Goals:
0-1 Halfdan Aftenvind (18')
1-1 Taniela Dokoloto (32')
1-2 Halfdan Aftenvind (74')
2-2 Babatisa Vosanibola (84')


Referee: Habib Azizi Kamara (Mande National Union) - Grade: B
No decisive mistakes and a good performance in a difficult, sometimes turbulent, match. It was correct not to award a penalty to Viti (37'), the penalty for Patagonia (87') was correct, as was the straight red card for Voka (87').
However, inconsistent in booking players: Booking Voka (71') was correct, Qereqeretabua (41') should have been booked, the same applies to Gjoni (63'), whereas booking Niklas Madsen (80') was quite harsh.


Both Viti and Patagonia had sent out many of their best players, however, Viti - in a daring move - rotated a little, benching Lalabalavu. Also, Bainimarama was benched, but this was considered a natural decision to make as Qereqeretabua had an excellent performance in the narrow defeat against Belgium, contrary to Lalabalavu.

And the match began with a shocker. The first pass after kick-off was a standard one backwards from Qera to Waqaniburotu. But he passed straight onto the left wing of Ceovili Nacewa, and Volavola assisted him. Indeed, Nacewa chipped the ball onto Volavola, who passed to the centre, to Osea Qera! And Qera saw that Oliver Sortfjeld was far too far out of his goal - but his excellent chip hit the post! Luck was on Patagonia's side there (1')!

This early shock awakened Patagonia, though, and they controlled play - the first time they had to do so in this World Cup. But their means isn't endless passing play or Tiki-Taka, but mainly long passes and crosses which are to result in headers, as many players in the Rasmussen side are tall. Of course, set pieces like corners and free kicks are taken into account.

And it was the Warrior's goalkeeper Sigarara who remaned in focus. Haraldsen's cross for Fjorddal (5') and a Fjorddal header after Gjoni brought in a corner (14') were some of the most dangerous attempts, but both were valiantly saved by Sigarara, who is just 1,72 m.
Little could be done, though, a few minutes later. Ceodoro Voka hindered Peter Madsen from crossing the ball into the penalty area, instead, it went out for a corner.
Arben Gjoni took the corner, with the tall Patagonian players - except, of course, for the goalkeeper - distributed around the penalty area. And Gjoni brought the corner perfectly onto the head of the 2,04 m striker Halfdan Aftenvind! Naturally, he head no problems outjumping Raiwalui and scoring! 0-1 Halfdan Aftenvind (18')!

Patagonia remained dominant, but it was speed - and thus counterattacks - where the Foxes had their weaknesses. Sigarara managed to get hold of an attempt by Oskar Haraldsen (20') and the angle for Severin Sørensen (27') was too tight, so that his shot hit the outside of the post.

Gjoni's next corner was picked up by Sigarara, and he threw the ball out to the left wing, to Sunia Volavola. And again, neither Severin Sørensen nor defender Ingolf Jørgensen were able to keep up. Volavola managed to run deep into the Foxes' half of the field, and passed to Qera. Vestergaard and Skipper, though, could not coordinate and thus, Qera managed to pass the ball into the gap, onto the foot of Taniela Dokoloto! And he had no problem scoring against Oliver Sortfjeld and putting the ball in the centre (towards the right corner though) of the goal! 1-1 Taniela Dokoloto (32')!

And with this, Viti became more active and put Patagonia under pressure earlier, not just in tor near the penalty area. Halfdan Aftenvind was closely guarded, too, and indeed, several more chances could be created before half-time - by both sides. Osea Qera took an excellent shot from a distance of 27 metres, which Jørgensen narrowly deflected out (37'). Here, the VAR was consulted, but slo-mo pictures showed that Jorgensen had used his chest - and not his hand - to clear the ball. Kamara's decision was confirmed: No penalty for Viti!
A shot attempt by Dokoloto was stopped by a tackling from Elias Skipper (41'). On the other side, Oskar Haraldsen missed the target by about two metres (42') and Aftenvind's header (45') hit the crossbar, each time after crosses from Albin Gjoni.

The half-time whistle was blown with the match being at 1-1, but Patagonia seeming dominant.
This was to change, at least to an extent. Viti and Patagonia neutralised each other early in the second half, and both played quite defensively. Not that much happened in front of either goal, but set pieces for the Foxes nearly always resulted in at least some danger. The most dangerous being by Vestergaard's header, 54' and Fjorddal's attempt from behind after Sigarara couldn't fully clear out a corner, 66'. The only somewhat dangerous attempt from Viti was seen after Bolawaqatabu outsmarted Gjoni and played an excellent pass, bringing Alivereti Qionibaravi into play, however, Qionibaravi's shot went far too high (71').

As was to be expected, it was a set piece again. Ceodoro Voka had, on the far left wing, taken down Severin Sørensen. Simon Jensen, who had come on for Oskar Haraldsen, took the free kick as the technically most gifted player. And his cross again found Halfdan Aftenvind who had broken free from Waisea Waqaniburotu! And Aftenvind's header succeeded! A quick check for an offside position showed that everything was legal here. 1-2 Halfdan Aftenvind (74')!

Now, knowing that they had to win, Alipate Kepa tried something new: He changed the tactical formation, taking off a defensive for a more offensive option in midfield. And the move did succeed. Viti showed more presence in midfield and more passes were successful.
Olivr Sortfjeld brilliantly saved a shot after Osea Qera had outwitted Elias Skipper (77'), and again, all eyes were on Sortfjeld a few minutes later.
Ceovili Nacewa, putting Severin Sørensen under pressure, won the ball back and ran forward with it, to an area half-way between the centre circle and the penalty area. He passed it to Babatisi Vosanibola, and the following one-two with Osea Qera, was one of the best pieces of play in the entire World Cup so far! Anyway, the ball ended up with Vosanibola again, within the penalty area, but too far left for a direct shot on goal. Sortfjeld could easily have taken the ball off Vosanibola. Instead, Sortfjeld stood too far right of his goal, anticipating a pass to Dokoloto, and when he reacted and tried to run to the rescue, Vosanibola had already outsmarted him! And it was no problem scoring into an empty net! 2-2 Babatisi Vosanibola (84')!
A clear mistake by Oliver Sortfjeld!

Viti needed to score another goal, but nevertheless, they switched to a 5-3-2 formation not wanting to take too much risk either. However, the Rasmussen side was clearly not giving up on taking home at least one win from this World Cup, either. First, it was Dokoloto after a pass from the centre-left by Babatisi Vosanibola who shot. Again, Sortfjeld seemed defeated already, but it was Ingolf Jørgensen on the line clearing it far out into the Foxes' half (86')!
This clearance "pass" reached Gunnar Rødhjort, who passed onto Simon Jensen. Jensen won the duel with Sunia Volavola and was now free on the right wing. His attempt to cross the ball onto Halfdan Aftenvind would have succeeded, had it not been for action by Ceodoro Voka! Immediately, Habib Azizi Kamara pointed to the spot, and a quick consultation with the VAR team showed this decision to be correct! Voka had used his arm, mainly his elbow, to "ward off" Aftenvind!
As a clear chance was taken away, this meant a straight red card for Voka and a penalty kick.

Penalties for Patagonia were the responsibility of Gunnar Rødhjort, although Aftenvind did offer to take the spotkick.
And thus it was Rødhjort against Sigarara. Rødhjort shot... too weak, too centrally! Sigarara jumped a bit to the left and saved the penalty (87')!

Neither of the teams had any attempt on goal after that, and it was clear neither team would advance.
However, the Warriors from the Kingdom of Viti - some expected them to go down in every single match with several goals to nil, or even matches against them resulting in double figures of goals (a common claim was "imagine Andorra, San Marino or the Emirate of Dagestan at a World Cup")- went home with another excellent performance, managing a win, two draws and a loss (and the loss a narrow one to Belgium, at that)! Meanwhile, Patagonia clearly underperformed - while few expected them to advance safely, Patagonia was commonly thought of as at least a dark horse. Instead, two draws were all they achieved.
 
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80: Belgium 2-China 1
from pilkarski.mm
Republic of China:

Coach: Arsène Wenger

Lineup:

Yan Junling

Chen Ting-yang (78' Wei Shihao)
Li Ang
Mei Fang
Chen Yi-wei

Will Donkin
Chen Po-liang
Feng Jin
Hao Junmin (21' Zhang Xizhe)

Wu Lei
Li Mao (55' Chen Hao-wei)

Belgium

Coach: Michel Preud'homme

Lineup

Thibault Courtois

Toby Alderweireld
Perr Schuurs
Thomas Meunier

Axel Witsel
(90' Hans Vanaken) Siebe Schrijvers
Nacer Chadli
Vincent Thill

(70' Yannick Carrasco) Dries Mertens
Sam Lammers
(61' Daniel Da Mota) Kevin Mirallas

Republic of China 1 - 2 Belgium

Goals:
0-1 Sam Lammers (26')
1-1 Feng Jin (36')
1-2 Nacer Chadli (74')


Referee: Jonathan K. Milner (Scientific Syndical States) - Grade B+
No mistakes, except that the booking of Li Ang could be considered a bit harsh.

Not knowing the result between Patagonia and the Kingdom of Viti, Belgium needed at least a point to secure their advance to the knockout stage. China had no chance of advancing, but still - to an extent for lack of options - sent their best eleven onto the field, including the only player currently playing for an European team: Wu Lei.

But not much happened in the first twenty-five minutes in front of either goal. This was not because the teams didn't want to play forward, but rather because both defence lines made sure no dangerous situations arose. A shot from more than 30 metres away by Axel Witsel (15') went way over the goal, but was the closest approach on goal. In the 21st minute, without any external influence, Hao Junmin couldn't continue a sprint and, after treatment behind the line, had to be substituted out. Likely, a muscle fiber in his hamstring is torn...

And it was Belgium who first broke through the bulwark - they did need a set piece, though. Chen Yi-wei had taken down Nacer Chadli on the left wing (Schrijvers and Chadli frequently rotated their winger positions), and Chadli took the free kick from a far-left position, too far out for a direct attempt on goal. Chadli brought it into the penalty area, into a chaotic zone. Mertens got hold of the ball just before the touchline, passing it to a free Sam Lammers in the centre! And Lammers, from just two metres away, had no problem scoring! 0-1 Sam Lammers (26')!

Belgium remained in control of the match (attempts by Lammers (28') and Thill (33') were saved by Yan Junling), but the Wenger squad did try several counterattacks. And caused several corners - Perr Schuurs deflected an attempt at a cross by Zhang Xizhe (30') and Toby Alderweireld cleared a shot from 22 metres away so that it went over the crossbar (35'). Another corner for China! Wenger, knowing that none of the players could take an excellent header (especially not against the likes of Alderweireld, Schuurs and Courtois), he had told his squad to always take short corners.
As Belgium didn't seem to be prepared for short corners, Zhang Xizhe passed it to Feng Jin, who took the ball into the penalty area unguarded. And he took the shot! The shot took an unfortunate deflection by Thomas Meunier and found the back of the net despite the tight angle! No grave mistake by the goalkeeper, and no own goal by Meunier, but still, Courtois ought to save this shot! 1-1 Feng Jin (36')!

The referee blew the half-time whistle with no further serious attempts on goal having happened. A header by Sam Lammers after Mertens' free kick (40') which went far wide was the most dangerous situation.

Belgium took control of the match again... but not before Vincent Thill had lost the ball in midfield, in a centre-left position, to Chen Po-liang, who changed sides with an excellent pass to Feng Jin. Jin then outwitted Alderweireld and passed the ball into the penalty area, where Zhang Xizhe was surprised to be under so little pressure! His shot, far too hasty, could easily be saved by Courtois (53')!
Witsel's attempt from a distance (54'), Alderweireld and Lammers hindering each other from taking a good header (58'), and Siebe Schrijvers' attempt at a cross being detected and deflected by Yan Junling (60') all indicated that Belgium was in charge. However, Kevin Mirallas had not had any part in this match with the fewest contacts behind only Courtois, and so he was taken off for Daniel Da Mota.
An excellent shot by Vincent Thill from a centre-left position just within the penalty area - he had recieved the pass from Nacer Chadli - though required a heroic save by Yan Junling! The best chance in this match so far (66')!

From a counterattack by the Dragons, Meunier won the ball back from Chen Hao-Wei - and passed it a long way forward to Nacer Chadli. Chen Ting-yang was without a chance against the speedy Chadli, and so he remained unguarded and was able to pull towards the goal. Mei Fang's attempt at a tackling was to no avail, and neither could Yan Junling stop the powerful shot into the left corner! 1-2 Nacer Chadli (74')!

But neither side was okay with this result. The Dragons did not give up on at least counterattacking - Chen Hao-wei's shot was made harmless and went out for a corner by Toby Alderweireld (81'). However, Schuurs with a header (82') and Daniel Da Mota with an excellent shot from behind after a free kick cleared insufficiently by Li Ang (88') provided some more dangerous situations for Belgium, too.

As the full-time whistle blew, it was clear that Belgium would advance. China's best performance did not prove sufficient to beat Belgium.

 
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76: Siberia 1-Philippines 0

Uebeltank

Donor
Siberia gets a last victory against The Philippines
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Timofey saves Siberia from embarrassment
Today group F at the AHFA World Cup came to an end as Siberia played the Philippines in a match for the 4th place in the group. This match was not very anticipated though. Prior to the game, the teams had a collective record of 1-11, making it one of the lowest quality matches of the tournament.

The match had very few chances and the Philippines was the only team to make an effort in scoring the the first half. However they failed as the Siberian defense was very much on point in the game. The first half ended goalless with the Philippines having 57% possession,

In the second half however, Siberia came out significantly stronger and was now competitive for the first time in the tournament, keeping the ball on the final third for long periods of time. They still failed to create good chances though, as both teams now mainly tried to prevent the other from scoring in fear of finishing with 0 points.

This would eventually fail for the Philippines, as Siberian Anatoly Timofey scored in the latter half of the second half, hitting a long shot that would be deflected in by the post. This would be the only goal of the match, and of the tournament for Siberia.

The last few minutes of the match was a purely defensive affair for Siberia as the Philippines desperately tried, but failed to equalize. As such the Philippines finish with 0 points while Siberia end up with a very narrow 4th place. Meanwhile, East Africa advanced on goal difference with a 0-0 result against Macedonia. They will advance from group F along with France.

Philippines 0-1 Siberia
Timofey 78'
 
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72: CSA 2-Madagascar 1
Tuesday 30th June, 15 :00 (local time) at Puebla


Indigent and not at all concerned in Puebla against a playful Madagascar, CSA eventually won 2-1 in the end of the match after opening the score first.

Three matches and three losses later, the Rebs finally won a match, but too late and left the World Cup without glory.

Madagascar played with their guts, and despite limited talent, the Jolly Rogers caused a lot of problems to the bigger teams of the group, having lost only 1:0 in all their previous matches, and finally scored their first goal today against CSA.

The Match

From the outset, the Rebs monopolized possession of the ball and seemed to want to take matters into their own hands. Anyway, no choice for CSA, for its part Madagascar is positioned low and tries to exploit the slightest loss of ball by going very fast forward.

The opening of the score is not expected. In the 18th minute, Johnson Jr. well served in depth by Hayward comes to deceive Brousseu with a crossed strike, 1-0 for CSA, relieved. Barnier is a bit faulty in his marking of Johnson Jr.

Charles Lee is on the verge of doubling the lead in the 26th minute but Brousseu deflects then takes the striker's knee in the head and remains on the ground following this contact at close range.

32nd minute, Gracie then gets a good free kick on entering the area. Johnson Jr takes care of it but the leather ends on the post of the Malagasy goalkeeper who was on the trajectory and who slightly touches this curled ball of Johnson Jr.

CSA leads 1-0 at half time. Rather logical result even if Madagascar has good offensive assets and demonstrated it.


Returning from the locker rooms, Referee of the Day Cüneyt Cakir from Turkestan decides to award a penalty to Madagascar following an unclear foul by Stuart V on Erlingsson on a corner kick. Estienne Pernet takes care of adjusting Martinez, 62nd minute, 1-1. This is the very first goal of Madagascar in a World Cup, and they celebrate it like a victory on its own.

This equalization calms the match's pace and the two teams enter a false rhythm. After 74 minutes, the referee hesitates to award a new penalty to Madagascar for a hand from Joad, but after consulting the VAR, no penalty is awarded. Shortly after, Charles Lee, well served in the background by the newly entered Mayhew, missed the frame, the opportunity to take advantage was great.

And it’s finally Tom Joad who comes to deliver CSA following a very good cross from Samuelson on the right, 80th minute, 2-1 for the Rebs.

The end of the match would see CSA sit content on that result, and Madagascar try numerous clumsy attempts at equalizing without success.


THE MATCH NOTE (61/100)



General show (12/20): CSA is breaking the trap of the Jolly Rogers and the match has been a long psychological challenge. Not a lot of entertainment, but we love the twists and turns.



Opportunities and Goals (12/20): Not really a lot of chances, but a lot of thrills during this meeting! Three goals, attempts in the stands and a very nice free kick from Johnson Jr. This match was a long mental challenge. Philippe Allemand made a lot of damage in the second period, but Madagascar never managed to score the second goal and would remain last of the group, knowing only the taste of defeat.



Technical quality (11/20): Johnson Jr. on the pitch, it's directly +5, but there have been far too many errors on both sides of the pitch. Crosses in touch, clearances in the axis, twisted shots. We felt that the stake of the meeting scared the players of this match a little. Even tackles had artistic value in this duel.



Scenario and suspense (14/20): You didn't have to be cardiac to follow this match. In the first half, everyone thinks that CSA will easily win their match after a goal from Johnson Jr. But a quarter of an hour after the Rebs’ goal, Madagascar returns after a penalty goal! Half-time and we still don't know the name of the team that will qualify ... Then in the second half time goes by, hopes are getting thinner and at the 80th minute of the match, Joad rescues all his teammates! Madagascar is KO standing.



Bonus and penalty (12/20): For this category, we explain to you, we start from 10/20 at each kick-off and we inflate or lower the score according to our own subjective criteria (we are the jury, we do what we want) :



+2 Johnson Jr’s return to grace! Even if it was hard in the second period, we felt the number 10 in a showtime mode! Fortunately for CSA!

-2 The performance of Charles Lee, 15 good first minutes and then ... Nothing, be careful not to go into Manchester United mode for the confederate!

+2 A goal by Tom Joad in high class attacking mode! Bravo to him, tomorrow he will become the most loved player in CSA. Well done Mr. Joad!

Final score :
CSA 2:1 Madagascar
(Johnson Jr. 18', Joad 80')(Pernet 62' (p))
 
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61: Germany 2-Milan 0
Germany dominates Milan in a one-way game

Although Milan were expected to give Germany a run for their money during their confrontation, this wasn't to be. The Milanese got outclassed by the Germans and totalled a number of one shot, with zero on target, during the entire game.

Germany played with a compact block, with their defense not letting anyone through, and asphyxiating the Milanese forward three during the whole game. The Germans relied on a fast midfield to bring the ball up to the forwards, with devastating results.

After only ten minutes of play Germany's Grynszpan ran off with the ball on the left side, delivering a perfect cross to Sójka, who made it 1-0 for the Germans. Soon after, the same thing happened again, with Sarr hitting the post as the end result.

The second half was even worse for Milan, who depended on a cattenaccio tactic. This wouldn't work against the fast counterattacks from the Mannschaft, who managed to find several openings. Milanese goalkeeper Andrea Consigli had to intervene against Alex Küchler (64') and later against Nguyễn Tất Thành (71') in order to keep his team afloat. In addition, Kevin Roth also hit the post soon after half time, when Consigli was beaten (55').

Milan held strong, but eventually broke, as Sójka scored his second of the game ten minutes before the final whistle, destroying any hopes the Milanese had left about salvaging a point. The Germans played to their strengths, and it worked, as they complete the group with three wins (2-0 Turkestan, 2-0 Great Lakes, 2-0 Milan) and a draw (1-1 New Holland). This places them out of reach of New Holland and Milan and firmly in first place of the group.

Milan on the other hand will have to validate their qualification by defeating Turkestan, as a draw or a loss would be a death sentence in case of a New Holland victory against the Great Lakes.


Germany 2 - 0 Milan​

Sójka (10', 80')

Player of the Match: Szymon Sójka (Germany)
 
77: Turkestan 4-Milan 0
from pilkarski.mm

Duchy of Milan

Coach: Roberto Donadoni

Lineup:

Andrea Consigli

Mattia De Sciglio (29' Cristiano Biraghi)
Francesco Acerbi
Mattia Caldara
Davide Calabria

Sandro Tonali
Roberto Gagliardini (45' Marco Parolo)
Manolo Gabbiadini

Patrick Cutrone
Kevin Lasagna (69' Alessandro Matri)
Andrea Belotti

Turkestan:

Coach: Vadim Abramov

Lineup:

Stas Pokatilov

Nuralı Ălip
Valery Kichin
Yehor Krimets

Arslanmırat Amanulı
Bauırjan Erbosınulı
Güljigit Alıkunulı
(75' Aşur Arslanulı) Batur Ötkür
(51' Forhod Firaydunulı) Vitaly Lux

(88' Vahıd Orazsahedulı) Abai Aibekulı
Şahrom Samulı
Milan 0 - 4 Turkestan

Goals:
0-1 Batur Ötkür (10')
0-2 Şahrom Samulı (24')
0-3 Arslanmırat Amanulı (38')
0-4 Batur Ötkür (74')


Referee: Habib Kimathi (East Africa) - Grade B-:
A free kick for Turkestan would have been correct (82', foul by Parolo) instead of booking Arsnalulı for diving. Otherwise, no mistakes - correct to disallow Cutrone's goal (45+1') and to book both Tonali and Firaydunulı (66').


Milan had to win this match if they wanted to come even close to keeping up with the United Neutral Team and secure their advance, while Turkestan also had at least a theoretical chance at advancing - if they win this match by many goals and New Holland does not win against the Great Lakes Republic.

And, after ten minutes of little action in front of either goal, it was becoming clearer and clearer that Turkestan would get the upper hand - Milan couldn't deal with the Golden Eagles' fast and domineering counter-attacks. At first it was Milan who was in control, with an attempt by Cutrone after having recieved the ball from the centre-right from Gabbiadini saved by Pokatilov (5').

A counterattack was launched by Turkestan when Amanulı won the ball from Kevin Lasagna. Quickly, Amanulı passed out onto the wing of Batur Ötkür, who ran far faster than de Sciglio - and it was Francesco Acerbi who stopped him. Unfairly so, by taking Ötkür out. Rightfully, a free kick for Turkestan was awarded. 27 metres from goal, in a right-wing (close to centre-right though) position. Milan prepared, but only for an indirect free kick. Instad, Batur Ötkür took it directly, and with a lot of spin.. Both the wall and Consigli were woefully unprepared, and Consigli was too far out of goal! Thus, it found the back of the net in the centre of the goal! 0-1 Batur Ötkür (10')!

A clear mistake by Consigli, but the defence also should have been prepared - after all, in his club Lazkiyespor, Batur Ötkür is well known for taking audacious direct free kicks.

Milan's self-confidence had taken a visible knock, and it now was Turkestan dominating the game. The defence of the Donadoni side was in shambles and their actions were more haphazard now as the tactical plans had gone out the window. Şahrom Samulı's attempt - Caldara had left him free to shoot - could barely be saved by Consigli (18'), with the followup by Aibekulı narrowly missing the target.

It was nearly the exact same piece of play, minutes later. Güljigit Alıkunulı ran through the centre, playing a one-two with Amanulı, unguarded by de Sciglio. Abai Aibekulı had freed himself from Acerbi - and took a shot directly! Consigli saved, but could only save the ball a few metres away into the middle, directly in front of Şahrom Samulı! And he easily found the back of the net, no chance for Consigli! 0-2 Şahrom Samulı (24')!

Milan's coach Donadoni reacted, unusually early. Mattia De Sciglio, without anything achieved so far, was replaced by first-choice left back Cristiano Biraghi. And indeed, defensive play and pressing became at least a bit more structured as Amanulı and Ötkür could no longer run to the touchline unhindered.
And it even seemed like the attacking department of the Vipers was to come into play as, after a combination over Calabria, Caldara, Gagliardini and Lasagna, the ball reached Belotti. His shot was quite weak, though, and easily saved by Pokatilov (32'). A Gabbiadini attempt from a central position 24 metres out was more dangerous, but a slight deflection by Nuralı Ălip kept the clean sheet intact and the ball went out for a corner, which was safely picked up by Pokatilov.

But of course, Turkestan still had much more ball possession - and, though the Vipers' defence was quite a bit more stable, Batur Ötkür once again managed to outrun Cristiano Biraghi. His attempt at a cross into the middle, where Şahrom Samulı was prepared, was parried away by Consigli, but the ball landed with Arslanmırat Amanulı who took an excellent volley shot! With a lot of power, he found the back of the net! No chance for Consigli to save that, and a beautiful goal to boot! 0-3 Arslanmırat Amanulı (38')!

Milan was no longer shocked and the Vipers did not give up, even after conceding their third goal. And before half-time, several more attempts on goal could be seen. While Gabbiadini from a distance (39') missed the target by far and Cutrone's header was saved by Pokatilov (42'), the first complete piece of play started soon after. Acting as a right winger, Kevin Lasagna recieved the ball from Sandro Tonali, won the duel against Bauırjan Erbosınulı and Nuralı Ălip. He passed back to Manolo Gabbiadini, who passed to Patrick Cutrone just before the goal, somewhat to the left! And Cutrone nutmegged Pokatilov (45+1')! Hope returned and Kimathi allowed the goal! 1-3

But the VAR contacted him. Only after several minutes of reviewing the pictures, Kimathi returned to the field - and disallows the goal! Cutrone was minimally offside with his knee and left foot at the moment of the pass by Gabbiadini! Still 0-3 for Turkestan!

Not much happened for a long time in the second half, as Milan's hope and morale had taken a hefty knock whereas Turkestan on the other side switched to five at the back (with Amanulı and Ötkür now acting somewhat more defensively) and dialing down their speed as the Abramov side felt they had a secure lead. A free kick taken by Ötkür and saved by Consigli (57'), a corner leading to a Kichin header (61'), and on the other side headers by Cutrone after a free kick taken by Tonali (56' - saved by Pokatilov) and Belotti after a corner taken by Parolo (70' - missed) were the most dangerous situations. Turkestan switching to a more defensive formation was evident when Vitaly Lux was taken off for Forhod Firaydunulı.

And then, Valery Kichin got the ball after it was picked up by Pokatilov. A very audacious high and long pass succeeded, but Aibekulı's attempt at shooting was stopped by a tackling from Caldara. Rightfully, Turkestan got a free kick on the left wing. Arslanmırat Amanulı took it, but it went into the wall, deflected by Cutrone. The wall dissolved, however, the deflection just reached Batur Ötkür who, with a powerful shot, again managed to surprise Consigli! No chance to save this shot, perfectly placed under the crossbar! 0-4 Batur Ötkür (74')!

After this fourth goal, the match was decided. Milan had no means left to even attempt to turn the tide (which was, arguably, already the case when Cutrone's goal was disallowed after half-time). Meanwhile, Turkestan just tried to defend and keep this clean sheet intact, knowing they had a real chance to advance to the knockout stage. For this, though, they depended on the Great Lakes Republic taking at least a point.
Despite their very defensive approach for the last quarter of an hour, one notable chance did occur, as a pass by Kichin reached Aşur Arslanulı, who crossed it onto the head of Şahrom Samulı. His header did hit the outsie of the post (86')!

Definitely a deserved win for Turkestan as Milan was completely overwhelmed.
 
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78: Nova Holanda 1-Great Lakes 0
Nova Holanda 1 - 0 Great Lakes Republic
Goals: Leonardo do Nascimento (30")


191022165143-netherlands-team-large-169 (2).jpg

Orange Canaries escape Group G on the final day with a fairly confident display and a brilliant free-kick, although a few missed chances mean Germany take top place.
Nova Holanda arrived in Cabo San Lucas knowing their fate was uncertain. For Lodewijk van Geel's men to qualify for the second round, they needed to beat an already-eliminated Great Lakes Republic, but also had to hope that, in Guadalajara, Milan would to lose to Turkestan by less than 3 goals. With everything on the line, the New Dutch stuck with their effective 4-3-3, and were successful in controlling the game, dominating possession and outpassing a GLR who looked out of their depths.

It was a blockbuster free-kick that gave Nova Holanda victory however. A 25-yard screamer from Leonardo do Nascimento, worthy of being in an ad for Adidas or Nike, blasted over the GLR wall and flew past Zach Steffen. After the match do Nascimento explained with a grin "I've been practicing for hours for that exact moment, I think the coach knew it would come in handy". It was an impressively powerful strike, but perhaps Steffen could have made a save had he been better positioned.

Nova Holanda had numerous chance to double their lead, and they will feel that, had things gone differently, they could have certainly have won today 4-0 which would have given them top spot. Paulo Taffarel broke through to a one-on-one against Steffen, only for the Fortuna Dusseldorf keeper, on loan from Manchester City, to deny Taffarel, and Romarinho de Souza Faria hit the cross bar from an unmarked header. The GLR were not exceptionally poor, but failed to threaten, and might be disappointed to not have scored to secure their what would have been their first, and only, point of the tournament. Christian Pulisic did not receive much service, and that failure to properly utilise Pulisic may perhaps have been one GLR's biggest mistakes at this tournament.

Nerves were high in the final fifteen minutes, any slip in Nova Holandan concentration and elimination would be certain. Pulisic came dangerously close in injury time as a strike from outside the box required a parry from Isac Quaresma da Silva. As the final whistle blew, news quickly came of Milan's 4-0 defeat, Nova Holanda had beaten the odds and come out with that coveted second position, while Germany will take top spot on goal difference.

Robert Bradley was bittersweet in his final press conference "I still have pride in what this team has done. They showed a lot of grit, a lot of passion. They had a tough task, I certainly don't think anyone fancied us, but we kept our heads up through everything. Thank you Mexico, congratulations Nova Holanda".

"I told my men to be calm, to be strong, but also courageous, and they showed us that today. We will bring this to our next match, I am sure of it", coach Van Geel told press after the match. His side will face a Belgian side in what will likely be a close and thrilling encounter as they play again in Cabo San Lucas.
 
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74: Wales 3-Novorossiya 0
El Heraldo de Acapulco
Wales signs their pass to the second round
The Dragons will now face France

After a shaky start, a defeat and a draw, he Welsh team completed their comeback in this World Cup and punched their ticket to the second round with their convincing victory against a soulless Novorossiyan team, who will go back home with 4 defeats and only 1 goal scored.

The squad commanded by Maredudd Coleman jumped to the pitch with the knowledge that a victory by any score would be enough to jump ahead Transylvania in the standings and join Sao Paulo as the second qualified team of Group E, while the Bears wanted to close their participation with a good game.

With this in mind, the Dragons didn’t waste any time and began to relentlessly bombard the rival goal, not giving their foes a single second of respite. Whether Bale, Lingard, Ramsey or even the Welsh defenders, Ivanov and company had to keep turning their head all around the box just to know where the attacks were coming from.

The first goal of the night came after Havryluk tackled Lingard inside the box, who then proceeded to grab the ball and take the penalty shot himself, completely fooling Ivanov and scoring his second goal of the tournament in the process.

The rest of the first half followed the same recipe as the first eighteen minutes: Welsh players swarming the Novorossiyan side of the field, while their foes tried to put on an unified defense and avoid another embarrassment such as the one against Sao Paulo.

However, some plans don’t work despite all the hard work put into them and just nine minutes into the second half, the Dragons found their way to the back of the Novorossiyan net for the second time in the day, as Ben Llosgcoed, who had just entered the match for Ramsey, took a powerful shot which, unlucky for the goalkeeper, bounced just before reaching the goal, lodging itself in the back of the net.

After the second goal, Novorossiya began to focus on not allowing more goals, as they saw the writing on the wall and knew that the time for a draw, not even a victory, was long gone and the best course of action was to hold the current score. Once again, their plan didn’t work and after a corner kick by Gareth Bale, Harri Williams headed the ball for the third Welsh goal, sealing the victory for his team.

After this match, Acapulco says goodbye to the World Cup, as the Libertadores Stadium won’t host any further games. Locals and tourists alike will now enjoy this wonderful summer in one of the many first class resorts nested around the Acapulco Bay, while Wales will play against the French National Union next Tuesday July 7, at the Centennial Field in the Pearl of the West, Guadalajara.

Lineups
Novorossiya:
Ivanov, Havrylyuk, Krupin, Zima, Gavrilyuk, Holub, Vasilev, Viktorov, Borysov, Lagunov, Sokolovsky
Wales: Hydd, Roberts, Williams, Keane, Dyfed, Iago (Williams, 67’), Ramsey (Llosgcoed, 52’), Alle, Lingard, Bale

Goals
0-1
Lingard, 18’
0-2 Llosgcoed, 52’
0-3 Williams, H., 74’

Yellow cards
None

Red cards
None
 
In the (temporary) absence of an updated graph by Yanranay, we can still double-check all the groups. Here, I did Group A.



Group A
Mexico
11Provence
Australia
2
1Tibet
Mexico20
Khemia
Provence2
0
Australia
Provence2
0
Tibet
Australia1
0
Khemia
Mexico2
0
Australia
Tibet
10Khemia
Mexico
3
0 Tibet
Provence20Khemia

Yielding:

WinsDrawsLossesGoals scoredGoals concededGoal differencePoints
1Mexico31081+710
2Provence31071+610
3Australia20236-36
4Tibet10327-53
5Khemia00406-60
 
Last edited:
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