I didn't read the entire discussion on the map, but aren't there supposed to be 5 neutral start countries? I'm in a doubles on the map, and someone started with a bonus! It was game over from Round 1.
Your opponent must have got very lucky.
There was only ever three terts targeted for neutral start and those were one each of the two tert regions.
EDIT: one of the neutral starts in the loaded xml was still on the airport...this has now been changed to Kamma