COYBIAF Continental Cup 2023

The continental cup returns, we’re here in Vistaraland and players & fans are roaring with excitement to get this tournament underway. First, lets take a look at the groups.

GROUP A: Nieuwhuis, Nystatiszna, Valokchia, Suvania
GROUP B: Vorpest, Tromsømore, Volkia, Kurandia
GROUP C: Auterna, Izria, Helslandr, Blaskog
GROUP D: Sereena-Noorvista, Kireitarenu’a, Kabeiland, Southern Coast
GROUP E: Pledonia, Kyrloth, Lactoska, North Dveria
GROUP F: Asendavia, Packilvania, Nakosa, Aduraszna

Auterna, formerly known as the Union of Western Provinces are defending champions, and after their round of 16 appearance in the world cup, they are primed to defend their title.

Speaking of title, along with being crowned Continental Cup Champions, the winner will also recieve automatic qualification to the 2024 World Cup Nystatizna. (Shoud Nystatiszna make the final, the other nation in the final will qualify automatically.)

—VIEW GROUPS & FIXTURES HERE—

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Preparing for the long road ahead.
University of Bingol Football Training Centre University of Bingol, Jardin, Bingol, Packilvania.

The Packilvanian national football team, known as the Sultan’s Scimitar (meSkhimatir amuShultanor simply meSkhimatir in the Packilvanian language) was undergoing training in preparation for the COYBIAF Cup. The country’s Sports Minister had taken a keen interest in the performance of national teams in international competitions because of the objective of the government under Crown Prince and now Sultan Thumim V to increase the country’s soft power.

Far removed from the geopolitical machinations of the Council of Ministers and the Imperial Court in the Bingol Royal Palace, the players were concentrating on getting their strategy together and reaching the mental and physical levels of fitness required to perform at an international level. Sir Sulmeen Kharnoud was the coach. Having been a centre forward and captain of the national team on several occasions, he was determined to get his team to the farthest ends of the competition and qualify for the World Cup to be hosted in Nystatiszna (Nashtahan as the Packilvanians had recently come to know it).

The players in the team were a mix of experienced mature players in their later twenties and a few who had been playing at an international level for a few years and were in their early twenties. Kharnoud hoped that the energy and spirit of the young could form the prongs of attack while being shaped and guided by the experience and wisdom of the older players. Central to his strategy was team captain, Munhadim Erkhadel captain of the Bingol Tigers FC, one of the best teams in the country.

Having played internationally and nationally for nearly 6 years including sustaining a torn ankle over 8 months ago, sports analysts suspected that he might be at the end of his career and his run in the 2023 COYBIAF Cup would be among his last. Kharnoud always told the press “Don’t count Erkhadel out!” He brought a lot of discipline and focus to the team.

Shamdan Fumeed, the goalkeeper was known a lot as the “dad” of the team. He offered a lot of emotional support and helped to resolve conflict. On the older side of the squad, he played for the Kemer Giants. Yahad Zamran would at his side as his left defender while Rahed Kilhadek would be on his right. Tall and lanky they almost looked identical despite originating far apart with Zamran playing for the Yukader Swallows and Kilhadek playing for the Sharkol Boulders.

At the head of the field, forwards Farmeed Jamalhad and Yusheef Sharkham played for the Kaidergard Stormers and Adrien Elephants respectively. Farmeed was especially known for telling jokes and making everyone laugh while Yusheef was always stoic and serious, choosing to continue training long after the others had stopped. He was being eyed by the big team bosses in the Bingol Tigers to take over Munhadim Erkhadel’s role as captain and the primary anchor of their forward attack.

On the flanks of the field, thwarting assailants from the enemy side were Dumiyan Dolminion and Wasool Varjhad who played for the Bingol Warriors and the Kemer Titans respectively. Dumiyan was young and relatively new to national football. Although young he was massive and built like an ox, seemingly better suited to being a rugby player. To everyone’s surprise he was surprisingly fast and timid. Wasool was in the middle of his career and as average in personality and prospects as a player can get.

Joining the Defence were also Usmil Yahadek and Nabeel Sulmad. They were both drawn from the Bingol Warriors. They represented a respected heritage of players who played at provincial and national level in the form of their uncles and grandfathers. The bane of strikers in the Packilvanian Football Cup, high hopes were placed on their shoulders to ensure that the goal box was well defended.

Last of all these men was Dabruk Amhoudeen who played for the Gezer Lions. Also occupying the middle of the field, he would be serious supporting block for the forward team. He had only played at a few international games but showed promise. As he originated from the University of Kemer “Salamanders” Football Club, he held much promise. The universities of the country had been instrumental in shaping most of these talents thus it was fitting that the ground of the mightiest University of them all, the University of Bingol, should serve as their base of operations in their bid for COYBIAF gold.

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Week One Results

Group A

Nystatiszna 0 - 1 Valokchia

Nieuwhuis 0 - 1 Suvania

Group B

Tromsømore 2 - 1 Kurandia

Vorpest 2 - 0 Volkia

—VIEW GROUPS & FIXTURES HERE—

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Week Two Results

Group C

Blåskog 3 - 1 Auterna

Helslandr 2 - 1 Izria

Group D

Sereena-Noorvista 3 - 1 Kabeiland

Kireitarenu’a 1 - 1 Southern Coast

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Three Results

Group E

Lactoska 2 - 0 Kyrloth

North Dveria 2 - 0 Pledonia

Group F

Aduraszna 2 - 0 Nakosa

Asendavia 3 - 0 Packilvania

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Match against Asendavia.
Vistaraland.

“3 - 0”

The embarrassing end to their first match reverberated through their skulls. The team sat in their locker room, largely silent. They tried to remain professional and cheerful, but there were apparent tensions.

“What happened?” Sulmeen Kharnoud asked himself.

As the coach, he was responsible for evaluating the game and plotting a path forward.

Well, the game opened with the national anthems of the two teams. As the mixed species Asendavian team standing adjacent to the Packilvanian team was a diverse range not only of genetics but also of talents and capabilities. Kharnoud wondered, “Should I have used more players who were not feline? Was there a deficiency in strength, mental acuity, stamina, or agility that made us lose?”

He shook his head and concluded, “Nonsense! Felines are just as capable as any species and football is more than all those things. Tactics, training, unity, effective communication, talent and fortune are what win in football”.

The weather that day was colder than most of the Packilvanian players were accustomed to, but beyond that, it was a pleasant day.

The game opened with the coin toss going to the Asendavians. Munhadim Erkhadel and his team of forwards and midfielders played in a notoriously aggressive playing style. Not 10 minutes after the game began, Farmeed Jamalhad got a yellow card for unintentionally kicking an Asendavian player in the ankle.

As football players are infamous for their theatrics, it was no surprise that the referee gave him a yellow card, dampening his spirits somewhat.

Not another 10 minutes passed before the ever-advancing Asendavian team breached the flanks, midfielders and defence. Shamdan Fumeed put up a good fight, but with two Asendavian players coming from both sides and quickly passing the ball between them - preventing the defenders from capturing and rerouting the ball. Shamdan miscalculated their foot movements and flung his body counter to the direction from which the ball entered the box. With the enmity that they felt for Packilvania and their shared faith with the Asendavians, the predominantly Vistaran crowd roared with joy like jet engines in an airport going off at once.

Possession and attacks on the goal seemed to gradually slip to the Asendavian side. about 8 minutes before halftime, the ball entered the box. There was a minor dispute regarding whether the Asendavian player who had knocked it in was offside. After consulting the infamous Video Assistant Referee (VAR), it proved the player was barely a hair within his designated part of the field.

Shumeel Kharnoud decided to instruct the team to fall to plan B i.e., assume a more defensive posture.

The team kept the ball on their side of the field through short passes and prioritised their mid-fielders towards a defensive rather than offensive stance. Remaining as aggressive as ever, Wasool Varjhad got a yellow card for (again unintentionally) hitting an Asendavian player on the collarbone with his elbow.

Despite the team seemingly keeping the Asendavians at bay, in the final 6 minutes, an unexpected goal penetrated the box. Despite 3 minutes of overtime, the Packilvanians were unable to get their own goal in and the victory of the Asendavians was a foregone conclusion.

After his replay of the match, Kharnoud addressed the team and said, “I blame myself. You all played well. But it seems that there are teams against which we must adopt a more defensive approach and teams against which we must adopt a more forward approach. Ironically it seems an aggressive stance suits the defence better than an offence. A great lesson learned I would say. Keep your ears up, we can do this! meSkhimatir! meSkhimatir!”

He began their team chant and the team joined him slowly clapping their hands and gradually increasing their speed and intensity until they ended with a roar. Hopefully, they next game would not render them with a purr.

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Week Four Results

Group A

Suvania 1 - 0 Nystatiszna

Valokchia 3 - 0 Nieuwhuis

Group B

Volkia 1 - 2 Tromsømore

Kurandia 0 - 2 Vorpest

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Five Results

Group C

Izria 1 - 0 Blåskog
Auterna 1 - 2 Helslandr

Group D

Southern Coast 0 - 0 Sereena-Noorvista
Kabeiland 3 - 0 Kireitarenu’a

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Six Results

Group E

Pledonia 1 - 0 Lactoska
Kyrloth 1 - 3 North Dveria

Group F

Packilvania 2 - 2 Aduraszna
Nakosa 1 - 1 Asendavia

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Seven Results

Group A

Nystatiszna 0 - 2 Nieuwhuis
Valokchia 1 - 1 Suvania

CCA
Valokchia & Suvania advance as the top two placed teams.

Group B

Tromsømore 1 - 1 Vorpest
Kurandia 2 - 1 Volkia

CCB
Vorpest & Tromsømore advnace as the top two placed teams.

Third Place Teams

CC3A
Top four third place teams will advance at the end of the group stage.

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Eight Results

Group C

Blåskog 2 - 0 Helslandr
Auterna 4 - 1 Izria

ls
Blåskog & Helslandr advance as the top two placed teams.

Group D

Sereena-Noorvista 0 - 1 Kireitarenu’a
Kabeiland 1 - 0 Southern Coast

ls
Kabeiland & Sereena-Noorvista advnace as the top two placed teams.

Third Place Teams

ls
Top four third place teams will advance at the end of the group stage.

—VIEW STANDINGS & FIXTURES HERE—

Week Nine Results

Group E

Lactoska 1 - 1 North Dveria
Kyrloth 1 - 2 Pledonia

ls
North Dveria & Pledonia advance as the top two placed teams.

Group F

Aduraszna 1 - 3 Asendavia
Nakosa 1- 1 Packilvania

ls
Asendavia & Aduraszna advance as the top two placed teams.

Third Place Teams

ls
Lactoska, Kireitarenu’a, Nieuwhuis, & Auterna advance as the top four third place teams.

—KNOCKOUT ROUND BRACKET—

—VIEW FINAL GROUP STANDINGS & BRACKET HERE—

Week Ten Results | Round of 16

Suvania 2 - 1 Helslandr
Suvania Goals: 28’, 75’
Helslandr Goal: 55’

Kabeiland 0 - 1 Lactoska
Lactoska Goal: 1’

—BRACKET—

Week Eleven Results | Round of 16

Vorpest 2 (2) - 2 (3) Kireitarenu’a
Vorpest Goals: 7’, 55’
Kireitarenu’a Goals: 37’, 44’
Kireitarenu’a wins 3-2 on penalties.

Asendavia 0 - 1 Pledonia
Pledonia Goal: 81’

—BRACKET—