An omen for Italy, as Giuseppe comes back to form to win it for the Azzurri!

The Brisbane Subbuteo Club held its very own Euro 2016 Tournament on a cold day in Redcliffe (Ed: Was wondering what Giuseppe considers cold: 12C, which in Brisbane is, I guess, cold!!!).
Eight countries were represented by our flicking heroes.
The format was to be 2 groups of 4 with the top team of each group playing the runner up of the other group, and a Plate for the 3rd and 4th players.
Group A, aka the “The Group of Death” had Italy (Giuseppe Tardiota), Belgium (Andrew Bennett), England (Gus Gillespie) and Wales (Gareth Whalley).
Group B had Germany (Rik Bland), Iceland (Rob Bennett), Northern Ireland (Andrew Ridgen) and Sweden (Wil Gillespie – our new U12 player).
England took on Belgium in a very tight contest. England took the lead early in the first half and made it to half time in front. Belgium came out fighting and equalised. At 1-1 the game was poised nicely and both countries went looking for a winner. With less than 30 seconds on the clock Belgium broke through the English defence and chipped a nice shot over the keeper. In the other game of Group A Wales (first tournament for Gareth) were facing the mighty Italian (not in height that is) Giuseppe. Gareth did manage a goal but lost 4-1.
In Group B the Germans saw off Iceland 3-2, after taking a 2-0 lead within the first 2 minutes, but Iceland surprising the Germans with a couple of tasty goals. Sweden (Wil’s first tournament) lost to a determined Northern Ireland 4-0.
Next round of Group A games had Belgium see off Wales 6-0 and Italy beat England in the last minute 1-0. These results meant that Italy and Belgium were through. Over in group B Northern Ireland ruthlessly beat Iceland 5-1, and Germany beat Sweden by the same score (Wil registering his first ever competitive goal). So Germany would go through with N Ireland.
So the last round of games would determine 1st from second, and 3rd from 4th. Italy claimed top spot with an exciting 4-2 win over Belgium. England finally managed a win, though against green opposition, 5-1, Wales (Gareth) scoring a very good goal. Germany edged N Ireland 2-1 in a tight battle.
The semis were pretty conclusive results. Italy continuing in great form dispatched Northern Ireland 3-1 whilst Belgium humbled the Germans 4-1. The German manager Rik Von Bland was suffering from ‘flu and reckoned it went through the team as well!!
The Plate was abandoned because Wales had to go home early. Mrs Wales was heading off to work…
The Final produced some great goals and a fair amount of controversy. With the score at 1-1 after a Belgium equaliser, Italy went into the lead after a contentious decision. The game ended 3-1 to Italy and though Belgium felt hard done by, they were gracious in defeat. Another great day of flicking fun, and only two years to wait for the World Cup Tournament.
Oh, and the 3rd 4th play off went to Northern Ireland, 5-4, so N Ireland finished 3rd, and boy did we get reminded of that a lot. Special thanks as always to our great host Giuseppe, and well done to our new bloods Gareth and Wil. It’s a big ask to play your first tournament and represent a country!

Brisbane Euros June 2016

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