|"We must've been through hundreds of books already and we can't find him anywhere —"|
USA VERSUS BRAZIL was the title of a Daily Prophet article written by Ginevra Potter and published on 4 July, 2014. The article covered the match between the American and the Brazilian National Quidditch teams, part of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup.
For the second time in this tournament, it looks like a game will run through the night - and possibly beyond.
If one word summarises this semi-final so far, it is: nerves. Careless errors have littered the match, undoubtedly because a place in the final means so much to both sides. The USA has already climbed higher in the tournament than they have ever managed before, and 2014 will mark their emergence as a major force in the sport. Meanwhile Brazil, a once-great side who have lost their way in recent years, are fighting for their first final since 1982. The stakes are high and it is perhaps not to be wondered at that players are showing signs of pressure.
We have seen more Quaffle drops than in any match so far, with US Chaser Mercy Wardwell so frustrated by her fifth fumble that she beat her head repeatedly against her broom handle until restrained by Seeker Darius Smackhammer. Yet Wardwell was not alone: even Fernando Diaz and Alejandra Alonso, two of Brazil's finest, allowed the Quaffle to slip through their fingers twice apiece.
Several mis-hit Bludgers have injured the Beaters' own teammates. When Lucas Picquery sent the Bludger into the face of Keeper Susan Blancheflower in the fourth hour of the game, she risked further injury by attempting to jump onto Picquery's broom to remonstrate with him. Cautioned by the referee, Blancheflower was the next to make an elementary error when she came too far out of the scoring circle, allowing Alonso to slip past and sneak a goal that took Brazil ten points ahead, although not for long. Quentin Kowalski scored twice as night fell, giving the US a narrow lead, but this is still anyone's game as darkness thickens.