AHFA European Championship 2020

Great Britain 3:1 Czechian Confederation
Match Day: Britain v Czechia
Venue: Wembley Stadium, Great Britain
Attendance: 90,000

McGinn (Rose 89')
Ramsey (McGregor 76')
Kane (Vokes 82')

Suchý (Čelůstka 85')
Souček (Sadilek 65')
Vydra (Kozák 71')


0' Kick-off in Wembley for Group B favourites Great Britain who should have an easy time today against Czechia

4' Czechia have control of the ball but fail to do anything dangerous with it

6' GOAL! England's McGinn manages to intercept a wobbly pass from Suchy, quickly dribbling two Czech defenders to deliver a perfect cross into the box where Gareth Bale was lying in wait. The Welsh striker screams in Britain's first as Wembley erupts in cheers ! 1-0 Britain !

10' Good reaction by Czechia as Jankto attempts to escape with the ball on the right side of the pitch, but the ball rolls into a goal-kick as he fails to keep it.

14' GOAL! Czechia equalize with a magnificent strike from Roma's striker Patrik Schick! Left with no options as the British defensive block closed in and with no solutions on either side, Schick attempts a volley from 30 metres out. The ball slams into Hennessey's top right corner as the British goalkeeper watches! 1-1!

17' Czechia's attempt has revitalized their offense. Vydra attempts a cross but Stones clears the danger.

19' England react with Kane trying from 20 metres out. It flies over the bar.

23' Another good try from Britain as Henderson manages to find a good cross into the box. Bale cannot put his head on it but Kane can, however the header goes wide off the left post.

28' GOAL! Britain have continued pressuring up and this time the light comes from Raheem Sterling! Unstoppable on his corridor, the young winger blazes past two czech defenders to deliver a perfect ball for Harry Kane. The gift is unmissable for the British striker who places Britain in the lead! 2-1!

37' Another big chance for Britain! Sterling manages a backward pass for Henderson who tries from 15 metres but Vaclik stops it!

43' Britain have kept their foot on the ball, as Sterling attempts to get away with another sprint down the left side. This time the ball goes into a goal kick as the Czech defenders react in time.

45+2' Half-time in Wembley as Britain hold onto their 2-1 lead, but have had opportunities to make it 3 or 4-1.

46' The second half starts as neither team have used any substitutes.

54' Czechia have the first opportunity of the second half, but Jankto's poor shot is no problem for Hennessey.

57' Czechia push forward! Shick finds Pavelka unmarked in the box. The midfielder heads it in but Hennessey saves it!

65' First substitution in the game. Czechia's Soucek is out while Sadilek is on. This will be his second ever appearance in Czech colours.

69' Good chance for Czechia as Sadilek manages to find Vydra alone, but the Czech striker fumbles and Stones manages to knock the ball into a corner kick.

71' Second substitution for Czechia. Vydra is out, Kozak is on.

73' Big chance for Britain! McGinn and Henderson make the Czech defense dizzy and McGinn finds Bale alone, but he is brought down by Kaderabek! It's a penalty!

74' Kane and Bale argue as to whom will take it. The English striker finally gets it at rock, paper, scissors. His shot hits the right post. Embarassing.

76' First substitution for Britain as Ramsey is off, while McGregor comes on.

78' Good chance for Britain as a corner kick from Bale finds Henderson, but his header is saved by Vacik.

80' Another penalty for Britain! Sterling is on fire and goes down in the box! Kalas is booked and Bale takes the penalty, but this time Vacik saves it!

82' Harry Kane is off as Southgate isn't happy about his positioning, while Vokes comes on.

84' Chance for Czechia! Pavelka delivers a good ball to Schick, but the Czech striker's shot goes wide, Hennessey didn't have it!

85' Last change for Czechia. Suchy is off, while Čelůstka is on.

86' First booking for Britain as John Stones goes for a rough contest.

89' Last substitution for Britain as McGinn leaves the pitch and Rose is on.

90+2' GOAL! Britain have it now! The Czech players were too far forward and Sterling punishes it, runs with the ball down the field and easily powers the ball past Vacik. 3-1!

90+4' Full time! Britain are happy to take a deserved three points but Czechia have shown signs of hope. Group B is now open for second place, but Britain seem to be in form and will by hard to dislodge from first place.

Britain 3 - 1 Czechia
Bale 6'​
Schick 14'​
Kane 28'
Sterling 90+2'​

Man of the match: Raheem Sterling (Britain)
Kingdom of Denmark 1:0 Republic of the Rhine
Kingdom of Denmark:

Coach: Jon Dahl Tomasson

Jon Hougård

Viktor Aronsson
Alex Aftenvind
Jón Benediktsson
Paul Iverssen

Karl Persson (71' Peter Gregersen)
Rókur Djurhuus
Malik Nielsen
Max Meyer (90+2' Simon Søgård)

Niklas Krogh (45' Anders Toft)
Felix Schmidt

Republic of the Rhine

Coach: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Alfons Heidemann

Erwin Rehder
Robin Koch
Manuel Neuer
Joshua Kimmich

(87' Denis Kuhn) Matthias Käutner
Leon Goretzka

(60' Otto Reinhardt) Leroy Sané
Paul Cocceji
Serge Gnabry

(77' Meik Hessel) Luca Waldschmidt
Kingdom of Denmark 1 - 0 Republic of the Rhine

1-0 Rókur Djurhuus (57')

Yellow cards: 3 - 3
Red cards: 0 - 0

Referee: Timothé Akombe (French Commonwealth) - Grade E:
A penalty for the Rhineland would have been mandatory (Aronsson v. Neuer, 28') and another one (Gregersen v. Goretzka, 87') could have been given.

No changes to the nominal starting elevens were seen on either side. And the match at first seemed to turn out just as lame as the one in Frankfurt. For the first half an hour, none of the teams managed to create any serious opportunities. The advantage was clearly with the Rhenish team.

And it was the Green Moose that had the only somewhat promising situation as Matthias Käutner had excellently brought Leroy Sané into play. Sané's cross went far too far to the right, though, but Serge Gnabry was still able to reach it before the ball went out! Gnabry even managed to pull back, closer to the penalty area, and take a "shot", but it was cleared out by Benediktsson (16'). In the end, relatively harmless, but such situations have already resulted in own goals. The corner was harmlessly picked up by Hougård.

A very similar situation, but not as harmless, arose when Leon Goretzka gained the ball from Karl Persson. Again, Sané received an excellent pass directly from Goretzka, with Iversson playing him onside. Sané, this time much more accurately, crossed the ball towards Luca Waldschmidt, but it was narrowly cleared out by Alex Aftenvind.
The corner was brought in by Erwin Rehder, directly onto the head of Manuel Neuer. Manuel Neuer however, thanks to an excellent first touch, tried a shot with his right foot, but the ball was deflected by Victor Aronsson!

At first, Akombe's whistle had remained silent, but out of Frankfurt came a signal - the VAR advised Akombé to check the situation. Was the arm of Victor Aronsson too far out? Was it an "unnatural position"?
But despite Akombé watching the play repeatedly, he believed Aronsson's handball to be inadvertent. A mistake, as Aronsson's arm was definitely too far out! It wasn't stretched out or so, but his elbow definitely should have been closer to his body - and if one is harsh, one could even assume malice.

This should have been a penalty for the Rhinelanders... but none was awarded. Instead, the next corner was brought in by Sané and Kimmich's shot from afar was saved by Hougård (31')!

In an excellent move of cooperation, Kimmich and Gnabry were responsible for the next chance for the Green Moose, however, the header which Luca Waldschmidt took from 15 metres out was once again saved by Hougård (40'), with the second attempt by Leroy Sané going far too high.
And just a few minutes later, having got hold of the ball over Erwin Rehder, Matthias Käutner, Goretzka, Käutner again, and then Paul Cocceji, Leroy Sané - nearly at the touchline - passed the ball back into the penalty area where Karl Persson had to make an excellent tackle to prevent Leon Goretzka from shooting (44')!

After the break, Denmark was significantly more active at least in pursuing counterattacking opportunities. After Hougård had picked up the ball from a corner brought in by Rehder (51'), he quickly initiated play and passed to Karl Persson, who played a direct long chip ball to Anders Toft! Neither Neuer nor Koch were able to keep up with him, and Toft was one on one with Heidemann... who excellently tightened the angle so that Toft's shot from a tight centre-left angle went just wide of the goal (52')!

A warning shot for the Green Moose, who now tried even harder to score the first goal. Paul Cocceji's lovely attempt from the left wing was parried away by Hougård (54') and even his rather egregious mistake of passing the ball directly to Goretzka remained unpunished as the latter 's attempt was far too hasty and far too far to the left - surely, if Goretzka had brought Kimmich on the right wing or Cocceji on the left into play, it would have been one-nil (55').

Instead, the ball was saved by Hougård. And Hougård quickly threw the ball to Iverssen, who saw a gap opening up and played an excellent, relatively long pass to Max Meyer. He played somewhat to the centre-right to Anders Toft, whose shot was once again saved by Heidemann.
Heidemann safely held the ball, but his goalkick, intended for Kimmich, ended far too far on the left wing - directly at the foot of Rókur Djurhuus. And after evading Kimmich and dribbling closer to the penalty area, seeing off Robin Koch too, Djurhuus noticed that Heidemann was a bit too far out of his goal! And he took an audacious shot, a lovely one at that, and it found the top right corner! 1-0 Rókur Djurhuus (57')!

The Green Moose were furious and ran towards the Red-White goal. Indeed, some promising and even dangerous opportunities were created - notably, Goretzka's shot from the border of the penalty area which was deflected by Aronsson and thus became very difficult to parry away for Hougård (71'), a Kimmich shot from the right after a corner by Rehder was insufficciently cleared by Felix Schmidt (74'), and a free kick.

Paul Iverssen had stopped a run by Meik Hessel on the left wing. He was booked and a free kick was awarded to the Rummenigge team. Otto Reinhardt took it... and it proved a very dangerous mix between a direct and indirect attempt! Probably intended as a cross, it came very close to Hougård's goal - where Manuel Neuer didn't manage to head the ball with enough pressure. The header went narrowly over (79')!

And once again, Hougård's goal kick ended up perfectly at the feet of Peter Gregersen, who initiated a combination over Malik Nielsen, Paul Iverssen, Nielsen again. Felix Schmidt recieved an excellent low cross, Rehder playing him onside, and his chipped shot could only narrowly be palmed over the goal by Heidemann (80')!

In the last ten minutes of the game, intensity dropped somewhat. Nevertheless, Hessel's shot from the right proved quite dangerous as it was deflected by Anders Toft (86'), Hougård just narrowly managed to drive it out to the left. And the following corner, taken short by Rehder with a pass to Serge Gnabry, was followed by Gnabry crossing the ball dangerously into the tumultuous penalty area where, at least arguably, Gregersen pushed and shoved Goretzka! But Akombé's whistle once again remained silent, and the VAR did not intervene either!
Instead, the ball was headed by Gregersen and went over the goal (87').

Just when everyone thought the game was basically over, Simon Søgård, with his first touch, finds Rókur Djurhuus on the far left, whose cross is cleared out by Robin Koch. Simon Søgảrd took the corner - and found the head of Anders Toft, whose header hit the crossbar and then went out into the field again, where the ball was kicked out by Kuhn! Heidemann would have been without a chance there (90+4')!
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Independent Team of the United Workers' League 1:1 Republic of Batavia
Batavian Republic vs. Independent Team of the United Workers' League

Sunday 14th of June, 3 pm
Group D, Day 1
Location : Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Batavia

Hi guys! You too had to cut your Sunday afternoon nap short to support your beloved Tierneyists or your beloved Oranje? Well you'll see that we're going to have a much better time than if you stayed in Wonderland. I promise. Or not. Kick-off at 3 p.m.!

The Free Workers have been oddly designated as the home team, so they will play in their traditional red shirt, while the Batavians will play in blue in their own stadium !

The players are in the starting blocks, smoke goes out of their nostrils, they’re impatient. The lions, caged for too long, want to bite into all the rolling balls.

For the Tierneyists, the long-time injured was obviously named Youssef Guennoun ... Except that the Pharaoh does not start! He will start warm on the bench. Note the defense of 4 concocted by Pep Guardiola and very heavy in front: Cadinho, Vulindlela Gcabwe and Ante Delac. Ah, and Úlfljótur Þórlaugsson too...

The only good news about this Covid-19 is that Batavia and the Free Workers were able to recover their injured. On the Oranje side, they are called none the lesser than Steven Kruijswijk and Bauke Mollema, in particular. The two Ajacides are on the starting eleven alongside Lyon's Tom Dumoulin on the front of the attack. Behind, however, no trace of a van Poppel or Havik, except on the bench. Teunissen and Jakobsen will keep the shop.


1 '
First whistle from Mr. Mossi, the Neapolitan referee, who replaces Michael Oliver this evening.

3 '
Oh van Emden! What an interesting move from the Oranje, but the right back spoils the work with a crappy cross.

7 '
Cadinho’s first acceleration on the left side. Leipzig’s winger collapses in a duel. Nothing to report, it is well defended.

10 '
The two teams are in place defensively. Fortunately, there are two quality No. 10 on the lawn to come and unlock all this.

13 '
Mollema's first strike. It's framed. A lesser evil, considering the speed at which the bullet "shot" from his feet.

22 '
AAAAAH CADINHO! Sidnei Gomes incredibly misses on a cross from Gcabwe, it comes back to Cadinho, but the Lepiziger kid stumbles on van Baarle! Huge ground stop from the Madrilene.

26 '
Oh that cross of Þórlaugsson! A little strong, too bad! He had made the difference on his right flank, the Icelandic!

29 '
And the Free Workers who try to reply again! It's a bit confusing and the leather comes to die next to the left post of van Baarle.

MOLLEEEEEEMAAAAAA! The head ! It's slammed over by Dedekind!

33 '
Breathtaking, though, how Steven Kruijswijk got everyone to agree so quickly. Adaptation time? Never heard of.

36 '
But again, what is this Free Workers’ defense? !!

39 '
Yellow card for Úlfljótur Þórlaugsson, who sheared Jakobsen.

42 '

Batavia’s right wing do what they want. There is nothing and nobody to come and piss off van Emden and Kruijswijk.

There is nothing right with Free Workers’ defense : De la Vecchia’s lame pass intercepted, Oluwaseyi’s abysmal naivety in the one-on-one, Chilingiria’s messed-up return, Dedekind’s "parade" ... I guess it’s difficult to make a defense work when no one speak a common language.

This is called "marking the way to the goal". You don't even have to be a seasoned hiker. Steven Kruijswijk, still a novice on the international level, takes the opportunity to get his hands on the Jerusalem trails.

Free Workers 0:1 Batavia

44 '
Good, Free Workers! Are you waking up ?!

Delac is forced to come back further in defense to touch the ball. We hardly saw Cadinho. Gcabwe is monopolized by the defensive withdrawal.

45 '
Ah Gcabwe !! Here's the guy coming out of his box. A small rake to throw his opponent in the wind, and a floating praline at the edge of the surface ... van Baarle is, again, flawless.

45 '+1

TV consultants are quite enthusiastic. Satisfied with what they saw, obviously. "We have seen shots on target", even dare French journalist Stéphane Guy.

We're not going to lie to each other, it’s no great shakes.
It's normal, we weren't expecting fireworks for the cover, but far from sharing the joy of TV consultants ...

Logically, Batavia is ahead thanks to an exquisite Steven Kruijswijck. In the middle, van der Poel and Terpstra impose themselves and Mollema is rather lively in front. But it is above all the monumental weakness of the Free Worker’s defense that is to be noted. The explosive Cadinho-Delac-Gcabwe cocktail is just waiting to be expressed. Bring in Youssef Guennoun!

46 '
Here we go again !

49 '
In any case, it is the guys in red who monopolize the sphere since the return of the locker room.

52 '
Roosen ...
He does not silence his (many) detractors among the commentators of this live.

55 '
No Red had called on the free kick ... What apathy.

57 '
There is no possible comparison between the two teams, I think. Envy, races, intentions on one side, not much on the other.

60 '
Impeccable return of De la Vecchia on this excellent cross of Mollema! It'll do good old Giacomo some good.

62 '
Ben Price replaces Úlfljótur Þórlaugsson.
And Guennoun replaces Chilingria.

If with that Free Workers do not raise their head ... The weak links which leave their place to the detonators.

63 '
AH IT WAS JUST! BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FREE WORKERS! Guennoun energizes for Cadinho, who gratifies the empty stands with a lovely control behind the supporting leg before alerting Delac ... It was without counting on the masterful return of Jakobsen!

64 '

Well done Mr. Guennoun!

That's why we love him, that's why we expect so much of him: because he is able to get his team out of the rut at any time, with a gesture of which he has the secret. This dribble woaw ... It took at least that to unpin a masterful Jakobsen so far.


It might sound simple, eh, but there was Dylan van Baarle across the way.

Free Workers 1:1 Batavia

The less shiny side of Youssef: this unnecessary foul that offers a valuable free kick to Batavia.

66 '
THE SAVE OF VAN BAARLE THIS TIME! Dylan is monstrous! Delac had come back in the penalty area, but what madness on the part of the Madrilene goalkeeper!

68 '
They are still frustrating the Dutch ... They are far above physically, they have plenty of means to drive the point home but they prefer to let the Tierneyists take control of the game. The equalizer hangs in their face!

69 '
It confirms, in any case, that the changes have reinvigorated this tiny Free Workers team at the start of the match. It's starting to look like something.

72 '
Oh no, Marco van Basten. Why bring Steven Kruijswijck out? Ah, Budding takes his place. Okay, all is forgiven.

71 '
Sebastian Langeveld replaces Timo Roosen, who will not have shone, far from it.

73 '
Anyway, the entry of Langeveld makes it possible to read clearly in the game of van Basten: we will be satisfied with this 1-1. That’s preposterous.

74 '
We haven't talked about Terpstra yet, but damn it, what a matador! Looks like he's come back even more shapely and sharper than ever. It will become impossible to manage him in the duel.

75 '
The Reds were down, it’s Mollema’s Oranje who took matters into their own hands.

77 '
Each time, the changes had an immediate impact and noticed. Hopefully it will be the same for those Guardiola has in store for us.

78 '
It is Efstathios Chatzidimitoglou who will try to make the powder speak. Exit Ante Delac, who fell on a big Jakobsen, then an immense van Baarle.
And Mkhuseli Ngxanga replaces Khin Sothear. We expected a slightly more offensive profile, but why not if it is to jostle the Terpstra buffalo in the middle.

85 '
We jump from pillar to post with this new gesture of genius from Guennoun: this fusing transverse half-volley in the run of Cadinho ... What a return from Teunissen!

As a reminder, the Pharaoh had not played for 6 months! What will happen next ... We can't wait to see Youssef in action again.

Excellent free kick for Dumoulin ... It's in the wall.

88 '
Vratislav Nedved replaces Sidnei Gomes for the Free Workers.

89 '


Frankly, Cadinho, this is disgraceful. When one is such an artist, one cannot decently indulge in this kind of shameful simulation.

90 '+1
We entered additional time! 5 minutes of stopping time!

90 ' +5
Fortunately for van Baarle, it was off by just two fingers. What a relief !

96 '
IT'S OVER ! 1-1 between Batavia and Free Workers!

96 '
No disappointment for this reunion between Oranje and Tierneyists! Marco van Basten’s men were physically superior but they managed too much of their small advantage of a goal. And when there is Youssef Guennoun in the opposite team, even on a recovery phase, you are never safe from a stroke of magic. A dribble to surround Jakobsen, later and it's 1-1! Note the enormous performances of van Baarle and Terpstra.

Free Workers 1:1 Batavia
(Cadinho 64' (pen)) (Kruijswijck 42')
Finland 3:0 Kingdom of Illyria
Match Day: Finland v Illyria
Venue: Kruunu Stadium, Helsinki
Attendance: 60,000

Schüller (Kamara 57')
Jensen (O'Shaughnessy 90+2')

Rakitic (Pasalic 68')
Visca (Marusic 55')


0' Kickoff here at Helsinki's Krunuu Stadium where the hometown favourites will have to battle against group favourites Illyria in an already complicated matchup.

4' Finland have the control of the ball as they got the kick-off, but the Illyrian defense stays strong

6' Huge chance for Finland already! Arajuuri finds space and an unmarked Jensen who rushes down the Illyrian right side. The winger has time to arm his shot, which is saved by Oblak, great start for Finland!

12' First chance for Illyria as Modric finds Dzeko open, but the Bosnian-born striker fails to deliver and his shot skims harmfully past the right post.

14' Another good run by Modric finds Perisic this time around, but instead of turning to Dzeko alone in the box, the Illyrian striker knocks it out wide.

21' Good shot by Modric! The Illyrian midfielder is on fire right now and decides to take matters into his own hands as his shot hits the bar!

23' Illyria have the ball but fail to make any decisive breaks in the Finnish defense

28' Finland have wrestled the ball away but the Illyrian defense stays strong

32' Huge miss from Illyria! Vaisanen decides to pass behind him towards keeper Hradecky but Dzeko intercepts it! The Illyrian striker attempts his shot at a virtually open goal but the ball goes way wide! How did he miss that?

35' Another huge miss, this time from the Finnish side! Jensen somehow finds Pukki all alone but the Norwich forward, despite going for an open goal as he found himself free of any defenders, knocks the ball over the bar!

37' GOAL! Pukki makes up for his mistake as he runs towards Oblak who finds himself confused. The Slovenian keeper tries to knock the ball back to Lovren but Pukki intercepts. There is no missing this time as Pukki scores in front of a baffled Oblak. 1-0!

39' First booking of the day and it will be for Schuller, with a bad tackle onto Rakitic.

45+2 Half-time as Finland lead despite Illyria having several great chances! The Finnish have to grab onto their lead now.

46' Kick-off of the second half under defening roars from the finnish crowd.

49' Illyria seems to be composed and move the ball more fluidly than before.

51' Booking for Illyria as Visca tries a bit too hard to wrestle the ball away from finnish captain Tim Sparv.

55' Illyrian coach Dalic isn't happy about the turn of events here and decides to sub out Visca for Marusic.

57' The Illyrian substitution is quickly followed by a Finnish one, with Schuller coming off in favour of Kamara.

63' Long range attempt by Modric finds only Hradecky's gloves. The finnish defense holds strong.

65' Great chance by Illyria! Modric strikes the ball, which is saved by Hradecky, but the rebound goes to Pjanic, who doesn't quite get a foot on it!

68' Another subsitution for Illyria as Rakitic is off, replaced by Pasalic.

70' Illyria aren't panicking but Luka Modric is asking his teammates to put more heart into their play.

75' Another good opening from Perisic finds Dzeko, but once more the shot goes wide off the right post as Dalic cannot believe it.

81' GOAL! This cannot be happening, huge mistake from the Illyrian defense! On a harmless Finnish offensive, the Illyrian bloc relaxes a bit as Jensen cannot find any solutions. The finnish winger decides to hit the ball hard...and Oblak cannot stop it! Finland leads 2-0!

84' Illyrian players are down on the ground, and it starts showing as their play is more stressful. Kolasinac earns a booking after slamming his foot into Kamara's chest. That could have been red!

86' Good reaction from Illyria! Modric and Perisic combine it wonderfully and Perisic attempts a strike, which hits the post! Hradecky didn't have it!

89' GOAL! It's all over for Illyria now! Jensen rules the counter-offensive after a failed Illyrian attack, and finds Pukki. His shot is saved by Oblak but the rebound goes straight for Tuominen who makes it 3-0!

90+2' Substitution for Finland as Jensen comes off to thunderous applause while O'Shaughnessy is on.

90+4' It is over! Incredible win for Finland who open up the group stages with a huge upset 3-0 win over Illyria! Helsinki certainly won't sleep tonight!

Finland 3 - 0 Illyria
Pukki 37'
Jensen 81'
Tuominen 89'​

Man of the match: Fredrik Jensen (Finland)
Czech Confederation 4:1 Kingdom of Scotland in exile
Czech Confederation:

Coach: Jaroslav Šilhavý


Tomáš Vaclik

Jan Bořil
Tomáš Kalas (86' Ondřej Čelůstka)
Marek Suchý
Pavel Kadeřábek

Josef Hušbauer
Vladimir Darida
Ladislav Krejčí (45' Theodor Gebre Selassie)

Michal Krmenčík (58' Zdeněk Ondrášek)
Patrik Schick
Adam Hložek

Kingdom of Scotland in exile:

Coach: Laird Alex Ferguson


Alex MacFarlane

Jamie Wallace
(88' Teddy Downie) Finlay Inglis
(60' Innes Maclaughlin) Denis Vyacheslavovich
Jackie Douglas

(39' Connell Macnicol) Cammy McCann
Danny Currie

Archie Armstrong
Diarmid McGill
Fran MacRitchie

Kenny Romanov
Czech Confederation 4 - 1 Kingdom of Scotland in exile

1-0 Adam Hložek (26')
2-0 Adam Hložek (33')
3-0 Pavel Kadeřabek (45+2')
4-0 Patrik Schick (53')
4-1 Diarmid McGill (69')

Yellow cards: 3 - 4
Red cards: 0 - 0

Referee: Maria Herbig (Duchy of Braunschweig) - Grade D+:
No grave, decisive mistakes. However, she was too lenient on - especially Scottish - fouls. She should have booked at least Vyacheslavovich and McCann, and one can even argue that a second yellow card for Inglis would have been justifiable. Also, VAR checks took quite long. A straight red card for Suchý would have been appropriate, but not necessary.

Despite nearly no equally good substitutes, Ferguson did field Inglis and Vyacheslavovich instead of the abysmally susceptible Maclaughlin and Downie who, with their mistakes (among many other factors of course), enabled Hayastan to cruise to their national tournament record 5-0 victory.

On the Czech side, on the other hand, several substitute and reserve players were granted opportunities and several first-team players rested. Notably, one of the hottest prospects and a global rising star, 18-year old Adam Hložek, made his debut in the starting eleven.

It was, or at least it should have been, clear who would be dominating this match - everyone, even the Jacobite supporters at home and in the stadium, reckoned with the match basically revolving around the goal of Macfarlane. However, for the first over twenty minutes, this was the case to a far lesser extent than expected.

Of course, Czechia controlled and had the most ball possession, but the Jacobite defence managed to clear most situations before they became really dangerous. And the Jacobites even started a counterattack: The first Czech corner, taken by Krmenčik (4') was cleared out of the penalty area by Inglis, whose long pass onto the right wing, though only semi-targeted, found a free Diarmid McGill. The offside rule did not apply as the pass came out of the Jacobite's own half, and when McGill passed the ball to Fran MacRitchie, it was Tomáš Kalas who played him onside. But Tomáš Kalas was also the only one who kept up with Fran MacRitchie - and nobody could keep up with the player who supported MacRitchie, namely Kenny Romanov. And MacRitchie did take a shot - indeed, such a good shot towards the left corner that Vaclik had to parry it away (5')! The resulting corner, brought in by Archie Armstrong, was safely taken down by Vaclik.

More opportunities were seen on the other side nevertheless. A powerful and well-placed attempt by Hložek - he had initiated the move himself and played a one-two with Schick - hit the woodwork (8'). Macfarlane also had to intervene several times: A Schick shot was aimed too centrally (16'), a Darida free kick was dangerously deflected towards Macfarlane's goal by Armstrong, so that Macfarlane only managed to parry it over the crossbar (19') and a free kick taken directly by Hložek from the centre-right hit the inside of the post, where it was picked up by Macfarlane (23')!

But it was to be a simple combination that brought success: Josef Hušbauer had gained the ball in midfield from Fran MacRitchie, unusually far back, in his own half. Hušbauer passed the ball wide, and quite high, to a free Adam Hložek who, through a simple one-two with Michal Krmenčik, managed to outwit the entire Jacobite defence. Only Vyacheslavovich had been able to keep up with Hložek, but as the ball was passed to Krmenčik, Vyacheslavovich believed he could bring Schick into play. With Schick marked and Krmenčik at least attended to by Douglas - but with only little pressure applied - he could put his plan into action. Hložek remained uncovered eight metres from goal - and powerfully shot it into the upper left corner! His first goal for the senior national team! 1-0 Adam Hložek (26')!

And this broke the ice. Just minutes later, Michal Krmenčik's shot could again barely be saved by Macfarlane. Krmenčik had received the ball over Suchý, Kalas, Hušbauer and Darida (29'). After a succession of corners, three of them brought in by Michal Krmenčik and a fourth one from the right by Adam Hložek, Darida took a shot, but it went over the goal.

Macfarlane's goalkick, however, directly found Kadeřabek, who cooperated with Ladislav Krejči and Adam Hložek, passing the ball around - Krejči (and to an extent Schick) bound Wallace and Finlay Inglis, as it was Adam Hložek again who shot the ball into the left corner, from a position just right of the centre, 17 metres out! 2-0 Adam Hložek (33')!

Winning the ball after another Krejči corner, Denis Vyacheslavovich played a long pass forward. As Tomáš Kalas failed to anticipate the ball and its trajectory, Fran MacRitchie was able to reach it and - though closely followed by both Jan Bořil and Marek Suchý - ran towards the penalty area. And Suchý rudely took him down! A clear penalty, and you could even advocate a red card for this... but Herbig only showed Suchý the yellow card, and as this was no clear mistake, VAR did not intervene

And so Diarmid McGill came up against Tomáš Vaclik. McGill aimed too centrally, though! Vaclik saved this penalty, on his way to the right corner, with his foot (40')! And it was Pavel Kadeřabek who got to it first and cleared it out for a throw-in!

Just as injury time was running out, Vladimir Darida made an audacious attempt on goal. He was quite free, but over 30 metres away from the goal... and still, Macfarlane had to intervene and parried the ball out high to the left, for a corner. It was once again Michal Krmenčik who took the corner... but not by bringing it into the penalty box as many had thought - no, he directly, and perfectly, passed it to the centre-right where Kadeřabek was positioned! His shot, with McCann blocking Macfarlane's vision, aimed for the top left corner - and, as it was slightly deflected by Douglas, Kadeřabek saw his idea come true! 3-0 Pavel Kadeřabek (45+2')!

Just after half-time, the Hussites relaxed - Šilhavý wanted to take some of the pressure off his team. Krejči was taken off in favour of a more defensive approach, with Krmenčik and Kadeřabek now playing in the left and right midfield respectively. Theodore Gebre Selassie took over at right back.

But still, Jan Bořil managed an excellent change of sides, chipping the ball to Pavel Kadeřabek - without any Jacobite being able to intercept or even anticipate this move. Kadeřabek crossed the ball to Schick, who was taken down by Jamie Wallace! A clear penalty - but just as clearly not a red card, as at least Inglis would probably have been able to stop Schick from shooting.

Instead, Patrik Schick himself was up against Alex Macfarlane. And Patrik Schick aimed for the top left corner... with Macfarlane on the way to the right, this was a safe penalty! 4-0 Patrik Schick (53')!

Even though Hložek's attempt from a tight angle from the far-right after he had recieved a late pass from Darida (59') and Suchý's header after a Hložek free kick from the far left after Jamie Wallace had taken down Zdenek Ondrašek (67') still at least saw Macfarlane intervene - he picked the ball up safely in both cases - what came from the Hussites was not much.

As Maclaughlin recieved the ball from Macfarlane and passed it long and high once again, Diarmid McGill was able to control the ball before it went out and passed it towards Fran MacRitchie. Completely over-motivated, Vaclik kame out of his goal - and as MacRitchie passed the ball back to Diarmid McGill, the latter easily chipped the ball over Vaclik and into an empty goal! 4-1 Diarmid McGill (69')!
This is a goal for the history books, the first ever goal for Scotland in exile at any AHFA Euro (or any major international tournament, for that sake)!

Of course this was only a consolation goal. This was clear to both teams, to Šilhavý as well as Ferguson. The Ferguson team did try several more of these long passes, but Suchý (72', 89', 90+3'), Kalas (84') and Gebre Selassie (76', 87') intercepted them all.

The Šilhavý team on the other hand continued to dominate ball possession and most other statistics, and got several more corners and free kicks out of it, as well as a dangerous attempt by Hušbauer where Macfarlane had to intervene and parried it away for a throw-in (83', Inglis had badly cleared a Hložek free kick) and one by Hložek (90', Hložek's shot from the right wing went wide to the left), but no further opportunities to improve their goal difference.

Should it come down to goal difference between Hayastan and Czechia, at least for now, the advantage is with Hayastan...
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Ancient Federation of the Rus 1:1 United Commonwealth
Match Day: Rus v United Commonwealth
Venue: Ojczyzna Stadium, Warsaw
Attendance: 75,000

Styrimathr (Thangotha 71')
Kjettillson (Thorbjarnarson 59')

United Commonwealth:
Thiaw (Szpak 75')
Lachman (N’Ait 69')
Roth (Zmijewski 85')


0' Kickoff to the start of the second round of matchdays with top dogs from group A, the Rus and the United Commonwealth, duking it out in Warsaw in a packed arena.

3' Good chance for the Poles! A good run by Roth on the right side of the pitch makes the russian defense tremble. His cross finds Pyszka who cannot convert it into a goal as the russian defense manages to take the ball from him.

5' Corner kick for the Poles. Roth takes it and Trojan attempts to head it in but misses. However, the Poles claim a handball as the ball grazed over Hrafnkellsson's hand. A VAR check is put into place...and it's a penalty!

6' GOAL! Cool and composed, Nguyễn Ái Quốc sends the ball to the right while Ragnarsson goes left! 1-0 for the Commonwealth!

12' The Rus have managed to wrestle control of the ball away from the Poles, but now fail to find any opportunities to score.

18' GOAL! Good flick from Hrafnkellsson in the midfield to find captain Grikkfarasson. The veteran player dribbles two polish defenders and sends the ball past Czapiewski! 1-1!

21' The Rus keeps pressuring forward. Svithings tries a long shot but misses, the ball sliding well over the bar.

24' Good ball from the Rus! Saxa makes a good run and delivers the ball to Kjettillson, but the Rus' striker's shot misses.

31' The Poles keep their foot on the ball, but aside from a long shot from Lachman, nothing happens.

40' Another good run by Roth finds Sojka but the polish striker falls in the box. No foul, Sojka simply tripped on the ball.

45' Nothing much happened apart from the two goals. Both teams seem to be on the same level, and the scoreline reflects this.

46' Game back on in Warsaw as the Commonwealth players kick off the second half.

48' First booking of the day and it is for goalscorer Quoc after a rough intervention in the air with Eriksson.

50' Big run by Sojka in the Russian defense but the Polish striker's shot fails to find a target.

52' Big chance for the Rus! Grikkfarasson is on fire and delivers a perfect cross to Svithings. Svithings however cannot hit it in, and the ball falls to Kjettillson. His shot goes wide however, as his position was less than ideal to score.

59' First substitution for the Rus as Kjettillson comes off and Thorbjarnarson comes in.

61' Good chance for the Commonwealth! Roth makes a good cross, and finds Sojka. The polish forward heads it in but Ragnarsson saves it!

65' The Commonwealth players continue pressuring up, as the Rus manage to defend correctly. Hrafnkellsson manages to clear the danger.

69' Substitution for the Commonwealth as Lachman is off and N’Ait is on.

71' The Rus send their second man off as Thangotha replaces Styrimathr.

73' Another chance for the Commonwealth! This time Quoc manages to get the ball from Lazarz and score a hit, but Ragnarsson is once more on the trajectory and saves it.

75' Second substitution for the Commonwealth as Thiaw is having shoulder issues and is replaced by Szpak.

81' Booking for Thangotha after a messed up challenge with Roth.

85' Last substitution for the Commonwealth as Roth is off, replaced by Zmijewski.

90' Good shot from Grikkfarasson! The Russian captain manages to dribble his way through the polish defense but the ball just misses the right post this time around!

90+3' It's over here in Warsaw after a draw between the Rus and the Commonwealth. Both teams battled their hearts out, but the Commonwealth just couldn't get that advantage in the second half. The Rus defense has held strong, and it will now fall to who scores the most against the Papal States and Jerusalem to clinch first place.

Rus 1 - 1 United Commonwealth
Quốc 6' (pen)​
Grikkfarasson 18'

Man of the match: Baldur Grikkfarasson (Rus)


Austro-Bavaria Triumphs against Sicily

Marko Arnautović would secure the win for his team

This evening, the AHFA Euros started for both Austro-Bavaria and Sicily. And it was not exactly a pretty affair. With decisive action and a well playing squad, Austro-Bavaria took home a win against a Sicilian squad, that mostly just looked embarrassed at losing so much as they finally got to play at home.

As all things do, the match started in the first half and it actually looked relatively even in the first few minutes. That was until Lukas Hinterseer made it 1-0 for Austro-Bavaria with an amazingly strong flanking attack. However, Sicily didn’t give up. Ten minutes later, midfielder Tariq al-Licata would score to make it 1-1 from outside the box.

However, while Austro-Bavaria kept its momentum going, Sicily seemed to slow down in speed and skill following the equalizer, generating quite few chances in the second part of the half. Shortly after being 1-1, Marko Arnautović would score a header to make it 2-1. He would follow that up 11 minutes later with a strong run to make it 3-1 at the end of the half.

The second half was actually more even. Sicily did have a few more chances, but as they failed to convert them when it mattered, it became clear that Austro-Bavaria would win the match. However, it wouldn’t be pretty; just 5 minutes into the half, Valentino Lazaro would make it 4-1 following a simple shot that Sicilian goalkeeper Muhammed Sultan really should have saved. The total defeat would be cemented as defender Maximillian Wöber would make it 5-1 following a corner volley kick, and the Sicilian side totally botching their attempt at making a proper defense.

This result will put Austro-Bavaria in a very strong position to make it out of the group, and their goal difference virtually guarantees that just 1 more point will be enough. Next Saturday, they will have a chance to advance out of the group, as they take on Al-Andalus. Sicily, meanwhile, will likely need a win as they get to play Hungary at home.

Sicily 1-5 Austro-Bavaria

Hinterseer 5'
al-Licata 15'
Arnautović 18'
Arnautović 29'
Lazaro 50'
Wöber 73'
June 18, 2020 - Thursday
18:00 (UTC+2)
Wembley Stadium, London
Group Stage - Group B

Great Britain 1 - 1 Armenia
Unsavory tie leaves G.B., Armenia uneasy

Following a tremendous victory over the Czechs last Saturday, many a Briton were reeling with excitement over their coming match against a seemingly inoffensive Armenia, and in their own home soil. Wembley Stadium, that sacred sanctuary of British football, would once again witness the triumph of one of Europe's most powerful teams in the sport. Great Britain, packed among the favorites in this tournament, had little reason to underestimate Armenia: the latter had just emerged from a crushing, 5-0 victory against Scotland-in-exile, which shattered any notion that the Caucasian country was anything but easy pickings. However, this fact barely fazed the British. Everything was on their favor, and the average Briton was confident that their country will once again be victorious, while more experienced sports analysts at the very least figures Britain could comfortably win something close to a 2-1 game. Whichever way, public opinion was most definitively stacked against the Armenians.

The first signs of trouble appeared before the match even began. As both teams were training on the field, dark clouds gathered overhead. Very soon, a pleasant day turned into one of pouring rain and thick shadows. The British are no strangers to rain, although no player is ever fully prepared for a wet game. Many considered that the weather conditions would even out the match significantly, as the quick plays and aggressive forward surges that characterize Britain's team will be rendered unusable. The Armenians and their defensive strategy could perhaps benefit from this reduction in their rivals' offensive capacity.

The game began, and right off the get-go the once enthusiastic British crowds realized that perhaps this wouldn't be the spectacular victory they had expected. Initially, the British were sluggish and uncoordinated, victims of the slippery grass and reduced vision the rain had caused. The Armenians weren't exactly on top of things either, but at least they protected their net effectively. British players such as Raheem Sterling and John McGinn roused their fellow players to repeated charges during these initial minutes, but found no success. Armenia's defenses, particularly Hindirîn Araratian, were able to successfully hold back any British advances.

The game took an interesting turn on minute '64, following a largely uneventful and physically exhausting first half. It appeared that Britain had found their inner strength, for in a battle of attrition they held the upper hand. Being on their own turf alone gave them enough confidence to regain the initiative after a very uneasy start. Jordan Henderson snatched the ball from a slow-moving Esahag Ishkhanian and passed it over to Harry Kane, who dashed forward, tricking Armenian goalie Armenag Chakmakian into diving early and scoring a goal. That was the moment so many Britons had been waiting for. Maybe now they'll win this match for good.

But the excitement was short-lived. This goal had been caused by a mere slip-up from Ishkhanian, who was promptly taken out and replaced with offensive player Khosrow Mehdiabaadi. The British soon felt the pressure from this added attack power, forcing the Britons into a defensive position, a situation they were poorly prepared to handle. The rain and their inability to play offensively was putting too much stress on an already debilitated local defense. Coach Gareth Southgate tried to do some emergency crisis management by taking out Kane and sending in Harry Maguire on minute '76, but the tide had already changed. The British failed to secure the win - not due to a lack of trying but because of situations largely out of their control - and now they were paying the price at the eleventh hour. The Armenians, meanwhile, were attacking and lashing out waves of offensives in a desperate effort to save themselves from their impending fate. It was a mad battle for survival, one neither side was prepared to lose.

On minute '81, it was all over. Rather miraculously and completely out of the blue, Daron Gharakhanian caught a pass between McGinn and Maguire, and very quickly made a Hail-Mary kick into the British net. The ball eluded goalie Wayne Hennessey, and it hit the upper-left corner of the British net. The score read 1-1, and the entire stadium was left devoid of energy. It was pretty clear, once the goal came, that the match was over. Neither team had the strength to change the scoreboard. And indeed, by the time the referee marked the 90th, the game ended in a tie.

Neither side was satisfied with the result, especially after such a fierce battle. Both Britain and Armenia still have a clear shot towards the Round of 16; however, if it comes down to goals, Armenia has the upper hand. Britain had hoped to silence Armenia once and for all, and simply focus on winning matches. However, this result means that neither side will outdo the other, and their chance of facing off directly didn't reap the expected fruits. The British will have to focus on scoring as much goals, if they wish to hold on to their spot as the champions of Group B.

Referee: Wacislaw Herek (United Commonwealth)

Yellow cards:
Great Britain:
Aaron Ramsey ('11)
Armenia: Mgrditch Kassarjian ('47); Artafarnis Pourmandegarian ('77)

Red cards:

Player of the Match: Daron Gharakhanian (Armenia)

Great Britain:
Harry Kane ('64)
Armenia: Daron Gharakhanian ('81)
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Padanian Technate 3:1 Kingdom of Cyprus
Match Day: Padania v Cyprus
Venue: Gioacomo Carducci Stadium, Città della Monade
Attendance: 50,000

De Pascale
Giovanno (Abela 73')

Castagne (Coste 63')
Spoljaric (Économidès 88')
Jacommo (Zachariou 73')


0' Kickoff in Citta delle Monale between Padania and Cyprus. Padania can lock in a Round of 16 spot with a win here, while Cyprus will see its road become very difficult with a loss.

4' GOAL! Incredible scenario here as it is Cyprus who open up the scoreline! A ball deviated out of bounds give Cyprus a corner, which Ioannou takes. The winger finds Demetriou who blasts a header into the net! 1-0!

6' Cyprus continue pushing forward, and this time it's star striker Sotiriou who takes responsibility but his ball goes straight towards Fioravanti's hands.

11' Another chance for Cyprus as Ioannou takes a corner kick and finds Kousoulos' head. The defender's header goes wide however.

16' Padania have reacted and Rossi is looking for opportunities in the midfield but the Cypriot defense holds strong for now.

19' GOAL! Beautiful teamwork from the two Padanian forwards, Rossi and Giovanno! Giovanno delivers a perfect ball to Rossi who makes a terrific run in the Cypriot defense, but instead on finishing alone, he delivers the ball to his partner who only has to push the ball into the net! 1-1!

21' Huge save from Panagi! A free kick given to Padania after a nasty foul on Rossi gives the Padanian striker an occasion to avenge himself, but his shot, albeit perfectly taken, going right over the Cypriot wall, is saved by the keeper!

26' Good ball from Kousoulos to find Spoljaric but the Cypriot midfielder cannot pass Ventura.

31' Padania keep pressuring up right now, but fail to find any occasions. Cyprus haven't had a chance at taking the ball yet.

40' The battle rages on in the midfield as Cypriot players tire out. It seems this will end up in a tie at half-time.

43' Padania demands a penalty as Rossi goes down close to the spot, clutching his head, but the referee rules no foul.

45' No added time, it is half-time on a 1-1 scoreline. Despite Cyprus getting a lead early, Padania have taken back control. Can they get a decisive lead?

46' Game is back on as Cyprus engage.

50' Cyprus have their foot on the ball and Padania cannot get it back. However, the Cypriot side cannot find any openings.

60' Another good corner for Cyprus but this time the Padanian defense is prepared and neither Demetriou nor Kousoulos can find a header.

63' First substitution of the match as Castagne is off, replaced by 20-year old Coste.

69' GOAL! Another great run from Rossi manages to find Giovanno alone somehow. The Padanian striker continues his run past the Cypriot defense, and strikes in a wonderful shot to give his team the lead as well as scoring his fourth goal of the tournament! 2-1!

71' Oh Cyprus aren't far from levelling it! Dubious pass from Fioravanti doesn't find his teammate d'Antonio but rather Ephraim. However, the Padanian defense scrambles back and Ephraim's shot is deviated into a corner kick.

73' Substitution for Padania as Giovanno comes off, replaced by Abela under thunderous applause. Cyprus replace Jacommo with Zachariou.

76' GOAL! Another corner kick gives another goal, but this time it is for Padania! Barbagallo takes it and although the Cypriot defense knocks it away, Ducci finds a way to slam the ball into the net from outside the box, flying through the whole Cypriot defense! 3-1!

82' Sotiriou attempts to go alone into the Padanian defense but Ventura clears the danger.

85' Under pressure, Cyprus start fumbling with the ball. Sotiriou tries another long-range strike, but finds nothing.

88' Last sub for Cyprus as Spoljaric is off and Économidès is on.

90+2' Booking for Sotiriou after he contests a refereeing decision a bit too roughly

90+4' Full time! Padania will have suffered somewhat but in the end they prevail and take the three points and with it a ticket to the Round of 16! Cyprus will have to play for their tournament lives against Tuscany-Sardinia if they want to make it through.

Padania 3 - 1 Cyprus
Demetriou 4'​
Giovanno 19' 69'
Ducci 76'​
Papal States vs. Kingdom of Jerusalem

Today is the second match-day of the group A, and as we already know the result of the match between Rus and the Commonwealth, we know what need to achieve today’s teams. It’s simple : whoever loses the match is eliminated.

Both teams will pray to not lose this match, and praying they sure know how, since our two teams today represent the two most important countries for the Catholic religion: the Papal States, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem!
It’s kind of funny that this match between the two most catholic countries is set in the ValhallaHollen of Kyiv, the sacred city of the Pagans.
For sure both teams would like to go further than the group stage, and for Jerusalem there is a little extra motivation (if that was necessary), because the final will be set in their capital, in the Sacred City Stadium of Jerusalem.

From the beginning of the match, Jerusalem goes into contact and wins the physical battle. The Clerics, however, get a first big chance in the 10th minute. Giovanni Battista Re recovers a poorly cleared ball by d’Artois in the penalty area, but his shot goes over the crossbar. Papal States continue to spin the ball, but cannot pass the Hierosolymitan wall which achieves effective pressing.
The end of this half is tense, so much so that Salvatore De Giorgi comes close to being excluded in the 45th minute for hitting Sholzkara with his elbow. He will only receive a yellow card, the referee was very lenient with him.

At the start of the second half, the Clerics accentuated their domination and obtained a penalty thanks to the VAR in the 50th minute… A penalty which Salvatore Di Giorgi, obviously very nervous, does not transform. Still alive in this match, the Crusaders regain confidence while the doubt gradually wins the Clerics. Gregory Alba narrowly missed the target in the 72nd minute after a cross from Demare.
Then comes the 80th minute. On the right side, Paolo Romeo pierces the defense and plays a one-two with Angelo Sodano. The Papal States’ winger advances and executes a shot from the outside of the foot which comes to lodge in the top left corner.
1-0 for Papal States at that time, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem is virtually eliminated of the competition.

The Hiersolymitans will go on full attack mode, pushing the Clerics in defense until the last minute of extra-time.
Siméon von Bard, who had freshly entered in place of the defender Starling following Papal States’ goal, starts a series of dribbles on the left side of the penalty area, and is stopped irregularly by an exhausted Fernando Filoni. The referee has to consult the VAR to confirm such a crucial decision, and after an endless wait, takes his decision: it’s a penalty for Jerusalem. A miracle for the Crusaders.
Jerusalem’s captain Nicholas Stormberg takes his responsibility and decides to take the penalty… and misses!
The Clerics are already celebrating and the goalkeeper Camillo Ruini celebrated as the hero of the day… but they are suddenly stopped by the referee’s blow: the penalty shot was non-valid, some players (of both teams) had entered the box before the shot.

Stormberg is awarded a new try... and doesn’t miss this time! Ruini’s ruined. The Hierosolymitans are no longer eliminated! 1-1 !
The courageous team of Jerusalem came back to the score at the last minute.

It looks like today, the Football Gods could not decide for a winner, maybe the Christian God as well wouldn’t favor any of his two children. Both teams are still able to pass the group stage, if winning the next match and hoping for a favorable result on the other match.

Papal States 1:1 Kingdom of Jerusalem

(Romeo 80’) (Stormberg 90’+2 (pen))
June 19, 2020 - Friday
15:00 (UTC+2)
Idrætsparken, Copenhagen
Group Stage - Group E

Denmark 2 - 0 Finland
Danes score win in Scandinavian brawl

The historic sports rivalry between Scandinavian titans Denmark and Finland has seen its most recent incarnation. Few expected this to be an easy match: small but mighty Denmark returns to the field after beating the Rhine in an 1 - 0 win, whereas Finland had just recently crushed Illyria in a 3 - 0 victory. With the F.R.S. failing to overcome a 1 - 1 against the Roman Republic, there was little disagreement that this match would decide - at least temporarily - who is the football champion of Scandinavia. The game against Illyria had left many Danes uneasy, to the point where many in Copenhagen believed that their team was technically unprepared. Analysts believed that Finland, with their world-class players and international playing experience, had at least a fair chance at beating Denmark. The Finns expressed confidence in their own ability, although they stressed the importance not to underestimate their rival.

One thing was certain: Denmark wouldn't play to an indifferent crowd. The Idrætsparken, Denmark's number-one football venue, shall host this match. Perhaps the energy of a crowd sporting the red-and-white will be enough to carry the Danes through. It was certainly an encouraging thought for the home team.

The match opened, to a rather underwhelming start. Both Denmark and Finland played timidly, just poking and prodding to test out their rival. The initial minutes consisted of short passes and very minimal incursions into opposite ground. Both Denmark's Tomasson and Finland's Kanerva desperately tried to rouse some confidence into their players. The ice began to thaw on minute '11, when Felix Schmidt drove into the Finnish defense and fired. The shot missed by a bit, but it served as a wake-up call for Finland, which now started pushing against the Danes more aggressively. It was not, by any means, a one sided affair: both teams were very evenly matched, to the point where either side keeping the ball for more than a minute was a rare sight.

However, despite the constant moving of the ball, the first half was devoid of any goals. As the minutes wore on, both teams became frustrated at a lack of progress. It was a constant, almost static dynamic which forbade any threatening plays or near-goal situations. It was physically exhausting for the players, but the mental strain was also very considerable. Analysts reached the conclusion that the two teams had devolved into an engagement of attrition. Under such conditions, it was generally understood that Finland had the upper hand, but they would have to hang on until the very end of the match to score a tie-breaking goal, certainly a very tall order for an already depleted Finnish team.

It was obvious that both teams had understood the situation. When the second half rolled in, both teams placed an important focus on defense, and sent their respective rookies into training in case they had to replace the regular players that were too tired. The playing resumes to its now usual tone, bringing the teams to their very limit in terms of physical ability. It was a very precarious situation that would be decided in its final moments.

The Danes took their sweet time using up all their available switches, reinforcing their team with fresh players as the match played on. It was here that a very serious problem presented itself to the Finns: their strongest players were already in the field. Bringing in reinforcements would downgrade the overall quality of the team, enough for the Danes to get the upper hand. They were stuck with their overly tired players, while the Danes had fielded fresh men to support their team. The scale had slowly tipped, and the Denmark team was now on the offensive.

On minute '71, Max Meyer snatched a pass from Jukka Raitala and brought the ball over to Niklas Krogh, who fired a potent shot through rows of Finnish defenses and into the net. It was a huge blow into Finnish morale. It really seemed like that was it. But on minute '89, right before the end of the match, the Danes doubled down: Malik Nielsen caught the ball and seized an opportunity to sneak by the entire Finnish contingent, miraculously connecting the ball with the net through a long shot from the lower corner of the field. It was 2 - 0, and that was it.

Denmark will certainly savor this well-earned albeit difficult win over their old rivals Finland. However, it is not yet over for the Finnish: if they win the remainder of their matches, they might be able to comfortably make it past Group E and into the Round of 16. Both teams are exceptionally talented, so it would be interesting to see what awaits them both.

Referee: George Harrington (Great Britain)

Yellow cards:


Red cards:

Player of the Match: Felix Schmidt (Denmark)

Niklas Krough ('71); Malik Nielsen ('89)
Finland: None