The (recent) Brisbane (Football) Riot

Riots in Brisbane?


Very late coverage of the 2012 European Championships by Lee Hugh McGowan


Semi Final 2

Italy 2 -1 Germany

Such was the surprise and exuberant outpouring on the streets of Brisbane yesterday morning, one of the local radio stations reported news of a riot. There were a few blindingly shocked moments between hearing about the ruckus and connecting it to the result. Large swathes of the B-Vegas Italian community had camped in venues showing the event and just before a decent hour for breakfast, the ‘Forza Italia’ brigade broke upon an unsuspecting in-bound mid-morning city traffic. Boots on bonnets, flags on shoulders, tears in the eyes. Brilliant.

They have every right. Their team did them proud as they most deservedly won their place in the final by taking the game by the scruff and shaking it as hard as they could for the whole first half and more than a few minutes of the second. Even when the momentum hade been wrestled from their clenched fingers, they still looked dangerous on the counter. With Low’s team looking susceptible, they really should have won by more than they did.

For their part, Germany burst yet another of my worthless predictions for the European Championships. I would not wish to take any credit from the Azzuri. They were close to dreadful in the first half, couldn’t kick their own arses or, importantly get the ball from Pirlo. My pick for player of the tournament had his best performance yet. Montolivo had another very solid game in a succession of them and Buffon pulled off a couple of world class sizzlers. The boy Balotelli lived up to his billing and shone like the light football needed after the drudgery the night before. Towards the end, the Germans got stronger, but what team could give the Italians such a lead in the first half and still hope to win.

The final is something of a tantaliser. Bosque will do his best to smother the air around Pirlo and cross his fingers Balotelli does not repeat his first half performance. Expect a strikerless Spain try their best (and it’s a very good best) to pin down the old guards in the Italian midfield.

I dare not suggest who will win what looks to be a classic. The ball has proven over and again that it is very round. I do know if the Italians are victorious, commuters and local radio station callers will be on their toes.

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