Official Game Statements:

Games 257 through 263 (WZ'99 Vexillium Cup), 01-16-300:

Game 257: Bowdani - Phenixia:
 The Technical Information:

Final score: BOWDANI 3 - PHENIXIA 0
Played in: Municipal Field, Kasrall, Eastern Zartania
Attendance: 46,400
Referee: Randie Stickx (Armatirion)
Goals: Hund (BOW, 50.), Killehal (BOW, 60.), Killehal (BOW, 77.)
Yellow cards: Maximu (PHX, 11.), Marn (BOW, 44.), Domenech (PHX, 60.)
Substitutions: Pataud for Poirier (PHX, 55.), Lalouche for Lolo (PHX, 71.)

Bowdani lives up to its expectations as Phenixia dreams of glories past:

Bowdani came into this match as the clear favorite, despite the illustrious past
of this Phenixian side, which had retained a good many of their talent even
through the break-up of the nation, and the Altlandic takeover.  With the recent
re-establishment of Phenixian autonomy, this Vexillium Cup was going to be a
matter of pride.  However, recent events have certainly taken their toll, and the
Phenixian side, last victorious in the ill-fated LSA Trophy, in which they played
their last match defeating Thistland for the title, could not live up to its past
shine, despite a very good showing in the first half.

In fact, Phenixia was apparently out for a quick goal, and came storming from the
gates with much noise.  Established stars Skoblar and Lahziz and several others
had some even younger legs to work with in the new additions on the team, and for
the first 15 minutes it appeared as if Phenixia would raise itself from its ashes
in a most magnificent way.

However, Bowdani finally had enough and overcame their opening jitterishness.
With expectations high in their nation, and their team clearly seeded to go
through to the elimination rounds, they were determined to make it happen.  As
inconsistent as Bowdani is, today they had one of their best days against the
feisty Phenixians.

A fast and entertaining match, it was relatively even throughout the first half,
although Bowdani clearly had the better goal opportunities.  Killehal had a
sterling day, and three near misses, with Hund also very impressive.  Bowdani was
frustrated by Phenixian keeper Carnus, who was to his old form, and some bad
breaks, such as two shots that hit the crossbar, narrowly missing.

After the break, the Bowdanian frustration finally ended as Hund relieved his
nation with a clever header that surprised Carnus into the wrong corner, putting
them up 1-0.  From then on, Phenixia began to fade, prehaps a result of their lack
of competition all year.  Bowdani now was clearly in charge, and scored two more
goals though the game's MVP, Killehal, who also had been involved in the first
goal, for which he got assist credits.  Phenixia was unable to come up with a
recipe to counter the Bowdanian lead, and the Smallwickers throttled back at the
end, and comfortably came away as the 3-0 winners, ultimately deservedly.

For Bowdani, Morania is the next challenger, but that team has not particularly
impressed in the past.  Meanwhile, Phenixia's chances are all but gone, barring a
major upset by Morania over Bowdani, with Phenixia having to in turn beat Morania
themselves.  Not a good beginning for the Altlandic and associated teams....

Game 258: Eastern Delgamia - Begral:

The Technical Information:

Played in: Planetarium Field, Alfacron, Eastern Zartania
Attendance: 64,700
Referee: Barry Vassiliev (Eastern Zartania)
Goals: Abeiradela (EDE, 22.), Cosco (BEG, 25.), Salo (BEG, 68.), Dragunhe (EDE,
Yellow cards: Conway (BEG, 68.), Nielsen (BEG, 70.)
Substitutions: Salo for Brown (BEG, 45.)

Thrilling match ends in Cup's first draw!

Although Eastern Delgamia on paper was the favorite going into this match, most
experts were not surprised to see the Begralli Bears as their equals in this
match, which was a real see-saw thriller that could have gone either way, and
eventually ended in a very fair draw.

Begral had already turned some heads with their gutsy performances in pre-Cup
friendlies, and of course Eastern Delgamia is the ultimate head-turner, with their
past defeats of Christiana and Westria... in today's match, they had found each
other as the ideally matched opponents.

Eastern Delgamia was first to score through a long bomb by Ie, which was ever so
slightly deflected by Abeiradela, just enough to throw Bears keeper Bartlet off
line.  But the 1-0 for EDE did not come easy (Begral had two very close calls
already before in front of the Delgamian goal), neither did their lead last long:
just two minutes after, Begral struck back with a nice combnation that had Anterol
pass clar across the pitch to center midfielder Nyaga, who in turn handed off to
Allan Cosco, who was temporarily unguarded by the otherwise attentive Delgamian
defenders.  Cosco made most of the opportunity, and short process of the Delgamian
lead, tieing the match at 1 each, which is how they went into the break.

In the second half it was more of the same, both teams attacking each other,
playing up chances, it was impossible to say which team was going to end up with
the upper hand.  in fact, the official ball possession statistics from IVEFA after
the match read EDE 46.6 minutes, Begral 46.5 minutes!  So closely matched were the

However, this time it was Begral who would take the lead, as subbed in Salo, who
had come for the nausious Brown in mid game, made his day by scoring a fst break
goal just seconds after a Delgamian free kick went awry, the ball turned over, and
the Bears launched a quick counter.  And again, the lead was short-lived, as the
Delgamians made up for their previous free kick flop with another one, also
resulting from a yellow, this time executing perfectly, and tieing the match after
just two minutes of Begralli lead.

The two teams continued to trade punches for the duration of the match, keeping
the audience at the edge of their seats as to who might emerge as the sudden
winner of the game... however, despite the numerous chances on both sides, the
match remained scoreless for the remainder, and eventually ended in a deserved
draw, with both sides appearing rather pleased, and the crowds giving both teams a
long and deserved ovation for their awesome match.

Ironically, it will now be up to Ulanova as to which of these two might advance,
if the Ulanovans don't actually take it all themselves in this balanced group.
Begral is first to play the Old Continenters, with Eastern Delgamia getting their
shot in a week's time... obviously, it's going to be a very interesting group!

Game 259: Armatirion - Allacoa:

The Technical Information:

Final score: ARMATIRION 1 - ALLACOA 4
Played in: Bank of Keating Stadium, Keating, Whitlam
Attendance: 51,800
Referee: Jose-Miguel O'Gorman McGurk
Goals: Cunliffe (ARM, 9.), Sante (ALL, 33.), Sante (ALL, 44.), Lopate (ALL, 60.,
penalty), Timono (ALL, 89.)
Yellow cards: Smats (ALL, 14.), Greyner (ARM, 44.), Steele (ALL, 72.)
Substitutions: Dunlop for Bell (ARM, 45.), Timono for Van Has (ALL, 45.), Latta
for Milward (ARM, 63.)


The Vexillium Cup has a new record for sensational upset victories, and unknown
dwarf Allacoa is the one that made it happen against one of the historically
strongest soccer teams of the planet!

When Armatirion pulled ahead from a standard situation in the 9th minute through
Culiffe, the soccer world seemed to be ho-hum normal.  However, Armatirion soon
began to exhibit some holes in their play, and a lack of concentration that
resulted in many unforced errors.  Simply put, the cohesion seemed to be missing
in Armatirion's play.  The team had not been playing much lately, and last lost
their match against Bowdani in the Islandia Masters as far back as June.  The
country had been in isolation for a long time now, and it sure did not do the
national team much good, as they increasingly were outplayed by Allacoa.  When the
Panthers struck in the 33. minute through Sante, they had already taken control of
the match.  Additional momentum was gained through another goal by Sante, which
came out of a standard situation free kick in front of the Armatirion goal after a
foul from Greyner.  So short before the break, the psychological effect ended up
sending Armatirion into a downward spiral in the second half.

Allacoa came out with bounce in their step and seemed eager to continue, while the
Armatirion players all of a sudden took on the unfamiliar role of deer in the
headlights - they just wanted to get out of there it seemed.  Instead of launching
a counter-offensive in order to dig themselves out of the hole, they let Allacoa
outplay them and control the pace.  When Lopate converted a penalty in the 60.
minute, Allacoa could smell the sensational win, and they stayed right on track.
Armatirion faded increasingly, and when Timono scored the 4-1 shortly before the
end, nobody on the Armatirion side seemed to care anymore.

The Allacoans certainly cared a LOT, however!  Their on-field celebrations were
the most heartwarming perhaps ever seen, with players tumbling about, doing
backflips, ripping their shirts off, parading flags around the stadium - you might
have thought they already won the Vexillium Cup...  well, they did not, but their
win today surely made history, and in truth forces the world to look closer at
this team.  Physically in excellent condition, and apparently mentally very
strong, Allacoa can no longer be ignored as a contender.  If they can get past
another low-activity team, Estontetso, they will find themselves in the
elimination rounds, and anything can happen there!

Game 260: Lendosa - Albion-Merité:

The Technical Information:

Final score: LENDOSA 0 - ALBION-MERITE 0
Played in: Shenhua Oval, Forde, Whitlam
Attendance: 50,200
Referee: Greg Stoneley (Whitlam)
Goals: NONE!
Yellow cards: Sproul (ALB, 69.)
Substitutions: Genasi for Hernandez (LEN, 61.)


Certainly a disappointment for Lendosa, who entered this Cup with at least outside
hopes of contending for the championship.  Albion-Merite can be pleased with
itself, as they managed their second career draw against a top-ranked team,
although their battle plan of early aggressive play did not materialize.  Lendosa
through out the match tried to keep the pace slow, and they basically succeeded in
doing so, which made for a rather tedious match to watch, and eventually resulted
in an outcome they did not need.

Albio-Merite actually was the team trying to set most of the match's impulses, and
actually had more goal chances.  They wasted a tremendous chance for an upset win
when Ed Werbeck blundered a penalty given in the 38. minute after a foul.  Werbeck
tried to get cute with Lendosan goalie Lopez, and ended up shooting the ball much
too softly, allowing Lopez to scramble towards it, and actually hold it securely.
A big disappointment, and as it turned out, it cost Albion-Merite the match.

Lendosa seemed to be playing for "least possible effort" today, apparently hoping
to pull up by a goal and coast the rest of the way - only one problem, they never
scored the goal they needed, and ended up coasting past the clock.

All in all a disappointing game for Lendosa, who was a mere shadow of the team
that won the Smalik Shootout in December.  Albion-Merite can be pleased, despite
their missed opportunity.  Surely Werbeck will be haunted with this one for a

Game 261: Lexicon Islands - Achenar:

The Technical Information:

Played in: Imperial Navy Memorial Stadium, Claw Anchorage, Eastern Zartania
Attendance: 66,400
Referee: Johnny Whistler (Christiana)
Goals: Fotonaro (LEX, 3.), Raxxon (LEX, 11.), Raxxon (LEX, 29.), Filentoz (LEX,
35.), Raxxon (LEX, 52.), Raxxon (LEX, 66.)
Yellow cards: Komp (LEX, 21.), Jaerer (ACH, 29.), Xensen (ACH, 61.)
Substitutions: Kabala for Stensun (ACH, 36.), Federa for Vensaor (ACH, 45.), de
Granunk for Fotonaro (LEX, 55.), Sah for Palontar (LEX, 55.)

Beautiful win for Lexicon, and a hattrick for Raxxon!

This was again the Lexicon islands of old we know and love, feisty, technically
superior, and tough.  Achenar was out of their league today, as was basically
anticipated with their zero-experience, having to face off in their first ever
official international match against one of Vexillium's best teams.

For Lexicon, things went very wel from the getgo.  Before most people had settled
into their seats, the Islanders were up 2-0 already, and the onslaught continued,
bringing them up 4-0 already by halftime.  Achenar tried to play carefully and
defensively, trying to prevent the very thing they still ended up with: a very
high loss in their very first match.

Kilos Raxxon had a gala day and scored the coveted hattrick, which put him atop
the scorer's list together with Whitlamite captain Walford.  What a day for the
young star!

Lexicon brought in two rookies in the second half to give them their first
international match experience.  Meanwhile Achenar tried to stop the bleeding with
two additions as well, but it was futile.  Lexicon cruised to the finish, and took
away their highest win ever in international competition.

Game 262: Westria - Aros:

The Technical Information:

Final score: WESTRIA 3 - 0 AROS
Played in: The Battleground
Attendance: 76,000
Referee: Giodo Vavan (Dascunya)
Goals: Galaga (WES, 30), Fögelsangg (WES, 53), Galaga (WES, 76)
Yellow cards: None
Red cards: None
Substitutions: Voyden for Theunissen (WES, 62), Yhonk for Ariaztegui
(ARO, 71).


Westria today went through the motions in a dull game in Fisher. Playing
the game as though it was a regulation league game, they were certainly
competent, taking their opportunities when they arose. The patient style
of play surprised the Aros players, expecting a bombardment from the
start, instead finding a strong structured game.

Aros then attempted to lift the tempo and dictate the terms of the game,
but failed to break the Westrian defence, who at times seemed to be
playing copybook football. The defence may have been a great thing for
young players to watch for some tips, and may have been technically
proficient, but it certainly prevented anything close to exciting
football, making for another dud match.

Westria opened their account with a goal to Galaga in the 30th minute
after great lead up play from Zimroe resulted in a quick chip kick and
volley into the upper left corner of the net. The game then went back to
the dour struggle with Aros attempting to break the Westrian line, but
being stopped at every opportunity.

Westria capitalied on every opportunity presented to them with a sweetly
timed goal to Fögelsangg in the 53rd minute from a corner. Fögelsangg
read the play perfectly, steering the ball into the back of the net with
a header, just pusing it past the 'Keeper.

Galaga put the cap on the game in the 76th minute, with a fine strike
from the edge of the box catching several deflections before going into
the net, leaving the 'Keeper stranded.

After that, the Westrians completely shut up shop, pulling men back
behind the ball to protect their lead, and to give Hasenpfeffer a clean
sheet for the game.

Game 263: Brolecia - Eastern Islands:

The Technical Information:

Played in: Eddie Dean Field at Booster Park, Madisonia, Eastern Zartania
Attendance: 82,400
Referee: Tristan Senger (Draconia)
Goals: Montagne (BRO, 19.)
Yellow cards: Ishmel (BRO, 11.), Mogensen (EAI, 37.), Howard (BRO, 55.)
Substitutions: J. Ozi for James (BRO, 45.), Gabrielsen for Arnesen (EAI, 64.)

Brolecia gambles, but prevails!

Brolecia obviously was trying to expend as little energy as possible on what they
obviously perceived to be an inferior opponent.  They pulled that off in the end,
but Eastern Islands could have been the David to this Goliath - however, it was
not to be.

Brolecia never expected anything else but an easy win, and it was.  Except, in
their overconfidence they could have gotten themselves in trouble.  But they

Brolecia went up 1-0 early on - no surprise there.  But then, their mode changed
to preservation... backpasses, stating in their own half, wasting time... rather
uncharacteristic for such a superior team playing a Minnow, but they figured
rather than going overboard with a shooting fest, keep your energies for the next
one, against Caboteniasa, which will surely be more of a challenge.  So Brolecia
was playing it safe and easy all the way - not really a problem, except the
whistling concerts they drew from the huge crowds which had come to see them, and
were surely disappointed not to see a shooting gallery.

But the Melanians stuck to their plan, and kept their cool, despite the increasing
support for the Islands, which at least tried to counter their superior
opponents.  Especially towards the end of the match, they smelled some blood, with
Brolecia still only one up, and began to try and throw their all into it, trying
to score the upset equalizer.  Under loud cheers from the crowd, EAI tried again
and again to push forward, but in reality, the Brolecian defense was essentially
insurmountable for them today.  Only a few times they broke free from their own
half, and real goal opportunities were close to zero.

Brolecia kept their cool, and got what they wanted:  an easy win without effort.
For the Eastern Islands, an unexpectedly small loss, but that of course probably
to a large part due to the strategies of their opponent.  To reconsile with the
crowds unhappy with Brolecia's tactics, Dominic Ozi and the guys did a nice
impromptu trick shot show after the final whistle, which in truth was probably
much more entertaining than the entire match... somewhat reconsiled, they drew
some good applause.  Certainly, Brolecia will draw off their preserved energies in
the games to come, in which no doubt they will show off their full offensive
prowess!  Eastern Islands somewhat dodged the bullet, and in theory is still in it
- but only a win against Caboteniasa, and an unlikely loss by Brolecia against the
same team would give them a chance now.