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

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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).
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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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!
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Results
Brisbane Euros June 2016

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