Great Heathen Army pt 25 – Lúka | @goatnmcl

Góðan Dag my Heathen friends. Velkomin back to 872 AD where we’ve completed our objectives of becoming Champions of England. A clean sweep including the added bonus of the Charity Shield at the beginning of last year meant that with every domestic trophy along with European cups in the cabinet, I’d lost a bit of motivation. When Norway came calling just 1 game into the season and in a European Championship year, it was just the perfect opportunity to complete this challenge.

We qualified with ease and then won our Group beating Germany, Belgium and Bulgaria. Scotland were brushed aside in the quarters and reigning champs France were just as easily dealt with. Unfortunately, Italy’s home advantage gave them the edge in a tightly contested final in which we lost 1-0.

I wanted to continue to see just how far I could take this team which is full of attacking talent…some of whom hadn’t even had a cap till I took on the roll. So with that said, get yourself comfy and saddle up for a biggy!

What I didn’t need just before the start of our qualifying was our key centre half missing pretty much the whole season…

This is our group…

First up are last years quarter final opponents Scotland. They take the lead in the 21st minute and prove difficult to break down. Free agent George gets us level just before half time which is nothing short of what we deserve. CBA puts our noses in front straight after the re-start and then 3 goals in 5 mins seals the deal.

George taking MoM with his 2 goals…

How has no one snapped this lad up???

Ukraine are in our qualification group once again as they were for the Euros. It’s not 6 this time, just the 3 goals from CBA, Bjorkan and George once more who give us all three points.

It really should’ve been more though…

We face sterner opposition next in Poland. CBA puts us in front once more but Maichalchuk equalises just 7 mins later in the 19th and that’s the score into half time. We struggle to break them down but finally take our chance in the 56th min thanks to a tidy finish from Bjorkan. CBA makes the game safe with his second in the 85th.

After a 4 month break in the international schedule, we travel to Hungary for the game to take us to the half way point of qualifying. We blast into a 3-goal lead inside 15 mins thanks to 2 from Neset and one from Bjorkan. Neset then completes his hat-trick on the half hour mark and grabs his 4th in the 42nd to take us into half time 5 goals to the good. Bjorkan, not to be outdone scores his second in the 51st and completes his hat trick in the 89th. A result which does wonders to our goals for column. The only blot being Helland being stretchered off in the 82nd.

Plenty of 10’s in the ratings…

Next up we host Australia in a friendly and it’s a routine win for the boys in red. TSL leads from the front and opens the scoring in the 11th min. Neset makes it two in the 36th and CBA completes the scoring late on.

Our old boys retain the Champions League once more…

It’s the end of season double header now as we take on Scotland at Ibrox followed by Ukraine’s visit to The Ullevaal.

Scotland are once more dispatched to the tune of three as Nevland, making a rare start due to an injury to CBA takes his chances and scores either side of a strike by Bjorkan. We are helped by the hosts being reduced to 10 men when Jupp sees red in the 25th.

It’s a swap in the scorelines from the opening games against these two as Ukraine are battered 5-1. Bjorkan continuing his great run of scoring form helps himself to another hat trick alongside strikes from Nevland and Iversen. Guseynov gets a late consolation from the spot for the visitors.

Qualification guaranteed with 2 games to spare…

Having not had anyone present in the end of season honours last year, Jorvik make up for it by CBA taking the Football Writers’ award, Dale(?) getting the PFA Young Player award and Robbo taking home the Managers’ award.

The big man calls it a day….

As do Henning Berg and Oyvind Leonardsen. All regens have been found along with Marc Rieper’s, Bjorn Heidenstrom’s and Ivars’ (whom we bought while still at Jorvik). Fingers crossed these other lads get snapped up and can make a difference in the future?

Back to qualifying and Poland are the next team to get high 5’d from the Norse legion. Neset settling the nerves early doors in the 4th min, followed by Iversen and CBA making it 3 before the mid-way point of the half. Neset grabs his second after the hour mark and Fuglestad makes it 5 in the 73rd.

Gorgeous George finally gets snapped up after a full year on the freebie market…

Our final group game now as we host Hungary. George, in superb form for his new club scores the first two in the 14th & 18th min and Bjorkan makes it 3 in the 32nd. George sees his hat trick goal ruled out just before half time. CBA does make 4 in the 55th before Bjorndal goes off in the 57th.

The final group table, scoring over 4 goals per game and only conceding 3 is a real statement….

We take on Italy in the first of the friendlies set prior to the World Cup Finals. It’s a real end to end game with plenty of chances and the lead swaying both ways. Borkan directs the ball into his own goal in the 14th min and it’s the keeper on top for the remainder of the half as both make plenty of saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0. CBA levels and Iversen puts our noses in front in the 51st & 56th mins respectively but Italy peg us back almost immediately thanks to a Tacchinardi goal in the 59th. Fuglestad scores straight from kick off to restore our lead and complete a crazy 10 mins of play. Macellari stuns us with the last kick of the game and we settle for a competitive draw.

It’s another close affair when we travel to Austria. Neset with the opener and winner either side of a Hacker strike.

The draw comes in for the World Cup groups and it’s heavily European weighted with Belgium, Netherlands and ourselves drawn with Bolivia.

The Netherlands will probably be the team to beat in that one and with France coming up next in our list of friendlies, hopefully they’re a similar proposition and we’ll see where we are.

Lightyears apart…. Braces from CBA and Neset give us a 4-0 win in Frankia. France go down to 10 men in the 70th min but they’re already 3 -0 down at this point. Further salt is rubbed in the wound when Catalana goes off injured in the 82nd and Neset gets the fourth 3 mins later.

After 3 years of finishing second, Jorvik are once again Champions of England…

Finland are next to be blown away in a lightning first 30 mins. Neset gets the first 2 in the 14th and 20th mins and George gets the third in the 28th. We’re down to 10 men when Helland goes for an early bath on the hour mark and Finland make us pay scoring from the resulting free kick. It’s all they manage though and on we march.

Jorvik are European Champions for the 3rd year running too…

We travel to Portugal for our penultimate friendly and Neset grabs his fourth brace in a row when he scores the first and last goals with TSL and CBA scoring a goal-a-piece in between.

Bulgaria, whom gave us a decent game in the Euro Groups a couple of years ago are smashed for 6 in our final game before the finals. The goals shared out nicely too as Iversen, Bjorkan, George & Brandal all help themselves to a goal each and TSL getting two in 2 mins.

Confirmation of our superb form over the course of the season…

The World Cup is finally here. It’s being held in England so that’s our boys with home advantage pretty much.

Our first game is arguably the toughest and I tell the lads they need to put their marker down early and show the world what we’ve got. They do just that as George, Bjorkan and Helland put us 3-0 inside the first 5 mins. Benneker gets one back in the 27th to make it interesting. George restores our 3-goal lead in the 39th but De Wijs pegs us back again right on the stroke of half time to make it 4-2. Sub Dokken gets our fifth before George puts the icing on the cake by taking home the match ball after scoring his third in the 83rd. 6-2…massive result!

Belgium are a different prospect who play more compact and are much more difficult to break down. Iversen gives us an early lead in the 8th minute and has another chalked off for offside in the 20th. Typically Belgium then go up and equalise shortly after. Incensed, the boys run straight through from kick off and put us back in the lead. We create plenty of chances but Belgium keeper Ducoulombier once again puts in a MoM display to ensure the game remains at 2-1.

Last up is Bolivia and a point will see us through as winners of the group. We once again score early to settle the nerves when Iversen scores from a rebound in the box in the 3rd minute. That’s how it stays in a really close and hard fought first half. We finally make our domination count when Iversen gets his second on the 51st min and Neset scores our third in the 65th. I make some changes in the 75th to bring on an extra defender to shore us up at the back and rest our forwards…so obviously they score 2 in the last 10 mins to make it nervier than it needed to be.

Confirmation of our 100% record in the group and still almost 4 goals on average per game….

The draw is made for the second phase and we’ve definitely got one of the tougher teamsin the hat in Argentina.

Again we score inside the first 10 mins to give us an early lead. This time it’s Neset who gets put clean through and slots past the keeper. Argentina then go a man down when Grana get’s his marching orders for a deliberate hand ball. Naturally it’s the 10 men who then create and score the next chance when Esnaider smashes home in the 14th min and it’s all square. We’re patient and continue to press for the winner. We’re rewarded for our endeavours when Neset get’s his second in the 71st and George get’s out third just a minute later. 3-1 and a memorable win.

The results are in and it’s Italy whom we’ll meet in the Quarters…. a chance for revenge from our Euro defeat 2 years ago.

The Italians defend like….well, Italians! We have plenty of the ball and plenty of chances but we enter half time all square at 0-0. Again in the second half, we’re by far the better side but there’s a barrier round the Italy goal. I’m waiting for them to break away against the run of play and punish us but it doesn’t seem to come. Then CBA gets played in from a throughball from Iversen and slots home to give us the lead. That’s how it stays and revenge is served…

Confirmation of our dominance…

Morocco are victors in the all African Quarter and that’s who we’ll face in the Semi’s. Can England make it through on home soil and make it a perfect final for us with regards to this blog.

We do our part as two goals in each half prove the gulf in class between the two teams. CBA and Brandal both score in the first half. CBA gets his second in the 52nd min and Iversen making sure in the 87th. We’re in the final!!!!

Where we’ll meet…..

Bloody Belgium again!!! Although we’ve never bean beaten off them so hopefully that’s a sign?

The big day is here, Sunday 9th July, a near full Wembley Stadium, Heathens outnumbering their Belgian counterparts at least 2 to 1 in the stands! The boys play up to the occasion and Belgium can’t get near us. Once Neset opens the scoring in the 27th min we don’t look back and continue to push for more. Once again Ducoulombier frustrates us until CBA takes his next chance and doubles our lead in the 38th. I tell the boys in the dressing room that if we control the game from kick off and get the next goal, there’s no way the opposition will beat us. We come out and do exactly that, Neset getting his usual brace just before the hour mark and Belgium have no reply!

Dominant display lead from the front by our strikers….

And we are World Champions!!!!

I’ve loved every minute of doing this save and as a first time blogger, I’ve hoped you guys have enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed playing it.

There is literally nothing left for me to achieve now and so I think this is where I’ll end it. I might continue playing the save every now and then and possibly keep you updated on twitter in the future but for the Great Heathen Army, this is the perfect ending….


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