Tellia 62–0 Franklin Islands
|Date||8 April 2020|
|Venue||Stadio di Romero, Romero|
On 8 April 2020, Tellia played a football match against the Franklin Islands as part of the qualifying competition for the 2020 Benacia Cup. Held at the Stadio di Romero, the match's final scoreline of 62–0 set a new world record for the most goals in any match and the largest margin of victory in FMF history.
The match took place in the fourth scheduled round of Group C qualifying fixtures for the year's Benacia Cup finals. Ahead of kick-off, Tellia stood atop the four-team group with three wins from three, while the Franklin Islands had lost each of their first three matches and were bottom. The two teams had played once previously, in the opening round of matches, where Tellia had secured a 41–0 victory to break the record score for a competitive match, though this score fell short of the Franklin Islands' 57–0 loss to Nova England in their 2014 début exhibition game. This prior meeting was the Tellians' first match since the team's underwhelming elimination in the 2019 FMF World Cup group stages as reigning champions, and was reported as being a ruthless attempt at restoring some pride. That fixture also took place on Tellian soil, at Rossavro's DaeZoom Arena, due to the Franklin Islands' own lack of home facilities and through an agreement with the FGGC.
Despite being the lowest-ranked international side in the FMF, the Franklin Islands were weakened further by a mystery illness that had affected its population shortly ahead of the match. Ultimately only nine players were declared fit enough to travel and an incomplete line-up, including players from an unprecedented four different generations of the same family, was fielded against one of the strongest footballing nations on Micras.
Despite the clear mismatch as the teams lined-up, the match's competitive standing was honoured with an agreement of the captains before kick-off, and play started with a full-strength Tellia dominating as expected. The Tellians, renowned for their offensive options, played with a fluid formation as a number of players effectively rotated as the team's centre forward. After opening the scoring in the second minute, Marko Zajc ultimately scored five times, all before half time, before adding numerous assists after the break. Usual primary striker Armando Uggè spent the most time at the spearhead and found the net a record 22 times, including 14 second-half strikes, before being substituted in the final few minutes for Andrea Luca Peruzzi, who himself found time to score four. Sezer Özker and Gianluca Salmoiraghi both put their attacking prowess to use, scoring ten and eight goals, respectively. Özker would later be replaced by Luigi Piazza, who added one, and Salmoiraghi made way for Luigi Donatello, who scored twice in quick succession after joining the action. Isaac Mahler was the only other Tellian to score more than once; as the team's set piece specialist, four of his five goals came directly from free-kicks. Three of the four starting defenders each found the net, with Valérien Hertz scoring with a shot from distance, Pasquale di Montezemolo heading home a corner after one of the few efforts that was successfully defended, and René Sgarbini benefiting from a fortunate bounce that saw a ball forward loop up over the goalkeeper and in. The remaining two goals came via that same goalkeeper—61-year-old former Franklin Islands Governor Christian Morgan—whose unfortunate handling saw him drop the ball over his own line twice.
Tellia v Franklin Islands
8 April 2020
|Tellia||62 – 0||Franklin Islands|
|Zajc 2', 5', 17', 30', 43'
Uggè 8', 12', 14', 23', 25', 39', 45', 45', 46', 49'
57', 59', 62', 63', 65', 70', 73', 76', 77', 78'
Özker 20', 22', 26', 27', 38', 41', 60', 68', 79', 87'
Mahler 24', 29', 37', 44', 47'
Salmoiraghi 28', 31', 33', 36', 50', 52', 53', 56'
C. Morgan 40' (o.g.), 75' (o.g.)
di Montezemolo 55'
Donatello 64', 67'
Peruzzi 84', 85', 89', 90'
The result broke the 57–0 senior record that had stood since October 2014 after the Franklin Islands' first ever match, and the competitive record of the two teams' 41–0 meeting ten weeks earlier. The individual scoring record from the 57–0 was also bested, as Armando Uggè's 22-goal haul was two better than Paul Gimbel's in 2014.
The result of the match, coupled with the group's other game—a 1–0 victory for the Unified Governorates over Francia—meant that the Franklin Islands were mathematically eliminated from qualifying contention for the Benacia Cup, being unable to even finish in the group's play-off spot. Tellia's win moved them five points clear of second with two matches to play; the team's immense goal difference made it highly likely that they would require only one more point to secure a place in the tournament finals, though a 3–0 win in their following match confirmed their qualification two weeks later.