SOL III – The Federated States of Micronesia claimed their third successive Soccer World Cup victory this weekend, smashing records for historical finals with a flourishing spectacle.
On a night to remember in Montevideo, two powerhouses of Association Football faced each other in what will surely go down as one of the most dramatic World Cup finals in history. In the sweltering South American heat, hosts Uruguay took on everyone’s pre-tournament pick to lift the trophy – the Federated States of Micronesia.
Though, the FSM did not have it all their own way.
Uruguay took the lead early in the first half with a terrific headed goal from their talisman striker – Ernesto Castro. The goal unsettled the FSM team, and they were lucky to have left the field trailing by only one at half-time. After the break, the already considerable temperature inside the Luis Suárez Arena continued to rise as both teams challenged their opponents’ goalkeepers skills to the maximum. Jonas Valverde, the official photographer of the Uruguayan national team, was on hand.
“The atmosphere was incredible. For a while, our fans really believed we could do it! They were so motivated, shouting from the stands, and even the holographic fans did their part!”
Sadly for the host nation, however, it wasn’t to be on this occasion. Goals from Adao and Marz placed FSM 2-1 ahead with less than ten minutes remaining on the clock.
Uruguay could draw level, and it was Castro who popped up once again for La Celeste, but as the game approached full-time, defender Newell Ortiz brought down Adao in the box, earning a last-minute penalty. Despite overwhelming protests from the partisan crowd, the Holovid Assistant Referee confirmed they had made contact, and upheld the decision.
Ortiz received a green card, meaning he must leave the field of play, but as Uruguay had not used all five substitutes, they quickly replaced him. Ultimately, though, it mattered little, as FSM striker Wilson tucked the penalty away with aplomb.
Concluding FSM’s third successive World Cup title, Terrans are wondering if the Islanders’ domination can ever be broken.
Uruguayan head coach Dennis Hernández expressed some pride in that all of his players were born on Earth. Conversely, the same was not true for their opponents, five of whose number born on various Terran colonies and one of whom who is half-Klingon.
With a United Earth government and the diversity and freedom offered by space travel and the Federation in this modern age, some have questioned the relevance of an exclusively Terran tournament in recent times, but some traditions die hard. FIFA President Richard Argent has argued against it.
“No other sport can claim to have done as much to bring the people of this planet together. Was it not football played on the battlefields of World War One during the Christmas truce of 1914? Was it not FIFA that had more member countries than the United Nations at one point? Did El Salvador not wage war on Honduras following the defeat in a soccer match? Wasn’t it a soccer player who organised a cease-fire in the Ivory Coast, bringing a five-year civil-war to a close? Did an exhibition match not bring the 1967 Nigerian Civil War to a stop for two days?”
Uruguay was, in fact, the first team to host a World Cup over 450 years ago, and the first team to win it.
In celebration of the victory, a new trophy will be commissioned for the next tournament in 2399, as tradition dictates that a team who wins the tournament three times is allowed the keep the current iteration.
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