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Last seconds decide Finals

Two finals decided in the last seconds, and one on shots, were the highlights of the Australian Grand Prix in Sydney.

Christian Haas of Austria (World #8) beat Australia’s Carl Young (World #771) 3-2 with a goal in the dying seconds to claim the Individual title, while it was Carl’s goal in the last seconds that gave his Melbourne TFC a spectacular win on goals against Singapore’s Jurong Central 1-1 (6-5) in the teams event. And in the U15 final, Northern Falcons’ Jonty Brener claimed the title 1-0 on shots against Subbuteo Parramatta’s Imojjen Elmer after a tight 0-0 draw.

The event featured players from 10 clubs and six nations, as well as a spectacular opening dinner and draw on the Friday night, hosted by football commentator Simon Hill (himself a Subbuteo player) with guest Rale Rasic, former Socceroo coach of the famous 1974 team, and football commentator Stephanie Brantz.

There was an abundance of goals and great results in the group phase of the individual event, with all the seeded players topping their groups.
Outstanding results were John Ho (AGP seed 3) against Benji Batten 3-3, Anas Rahamat against Peter Thomas (Seeded 2) in a 1-1 draw, and Raffaele Lombard’s 1-1 draw with Bernard Lim (Seeded 8).

In the barrage round, Raffaele overcame his close rival Fabrizio Coco 1-0, but then fell in the Round of 16 to Peter Thomas 0-1.
Carl moved on with a 2-0 win against John Ho, while Rob Green (Seeded 6) had to battle hard to beat Adrian Elmer 1-0.
In the quarters, Christian Haas (Seeded 1) eased into top gear with a 5-1 win against Vikas Chandiramani (Seeded 9), and Carl edged Rob Green 1-0.

SydneyGP-winners

Individual winners

Peter Thomas fell to his clubmate Young in the semi in an extremely tight match, while Christian secured the other final place.

In the final, Christian scored after just two minutes, then repeated the dose after 4 mins to race to a 2-0 lead, before Carl pegged him back with some determined play just before half time and then drew level after four minutes of the second half. But the Austrian champion kept his head and with the clock counting down and seven seconds remaining, he slipped through Carl’s defence for an unbelievable winner!!

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Melbourne TFC

In the teams event, reigning champions Northern Falcons were severely weakened by the absence of top players Eliot Kennedy, Jonathan Ball and Dominic Grenot, but the replacement players battled valiantly in the group phase.
It quickly became apparent that the two Singapore teams would face in the semi, while Melbourne and Parramatta would play in the other.
Melbourne pulled off a close win to make the final, facing up against Jurong.
Once again the tactics of team selection made the difference, with Peter Thomas facing Rudy Hesty and Carl against Anas, while Benji took on Mohammed Rizal and Benny played Vikas.
As Benji took the lead in his match, and Vikas led Benny, the match was finely balanced.
With Peter and Rudy trading goals, it looked like Jurong had the match in the bag, with Anas leading Carl.
But once again, as the clock counted down, it took a steady hand, as Carl banged in an equaliser that gave his team the win on goals.

In the U15 event, two newcomers to competitive play provided some great action, with Gabriel Lombardi of Subbuteo Parramatta making the semi final, and Daniel Sirmai of the Northern Falcons enjoying his debut.
Sisters Æowyn and Imojjen Elmer of Subbuteo Parramatta, Jonty Brener and last year’s winner Benjamin Ng of Melbourne TFC made up the numbers, with close matches all around.
In the final, Jonty held his nerve, scoring with a delightful chip in the shootout to beat Imojjen 1-0.

Full results here: Grand Prix – Sydney

(original report from the Subbuteo Australia pages)

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Chris Thomas takes the Melbourne International Open

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On Saturday the 10th of October 2015, the second edition of the Melbourne Open was held after a successful first edition in 2014 which saw Peter Thomas claim the title.

This year the event had been upgraded from the status of a FISTF ‘Satellite’ to an ‘International open’ meaning more ranking points were on offer and that a player with any ranking position was able to compete.

17 Players contested the event with players coming from 5 clubs and 4 nations and a high standard of play was ensured at the Brighton Church of Christ.

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In Group A Chris Thomas put on a master class to defeat Benny Ng (7-1), Luke Radziminski (5-0) and Julian Duszniak (7-0) which meant he progressed in 1st position. Both Luke and Benny had comfortable wins over new player Julian but with Benny scoring an elusive 8th goal in the final minute of his match against Julian, it meant a draw would be enough for Benny in the group’s finale. Sure enough, the match between Luke and Benny finished all square at 1-1 which meant Ng- the Singaporean International progressed in 2nd place.

Group B looked to be the group of death after the Thursday night draw, and even after David Simpson unfortunately had to pull out due to sickness, there were still close matches expected between Peter Thomas (mel), Benji Batten (mel), Daniele Lombardi (par) and Dillon Izon (mel).

In the early matches, Dillon proved again that he can not hold a lead after going down late to Daniele (2-1) and Benji displayed some shooting prowess in a high-scoring loss to the seeded player Peter Thomas (4-7). Benji then proceeded to dismantle Dillon (6-0) with Peter beating Daniele 2-0 in a very tight encounter.

Peter Thomas in Action

Peter Thomas in Action

These results meant the final game between Benji and Daniele would decide 2nd position. Daniele dominated the first half but with some Manuel Neuer-esque goalkeeping, Benji held himself in the game. Five minutes into the second half the young Melburnian took the lead and after a triumphant celebration, attempted to hold on for the remainder of the match. Daniele equalized with 5 minutes from time though unfortunately he couldn’t find a late winner meaning Benji would progress on goal difference.

Rik Bland defeated Giuseppe Tardiota 1-0 in the Brisbane derby in what proved to be the crucial game in Group C where the Brisbane players were joined by Eliot Kennedy, Benjamin Ng and Vincenzo Coco of Italy. Eliot Kennedy rose to the top after notching up 4 wins with 17 goals with Rik following closely on 9 points. All players in this group finished with points after young Benjamin drew 0-0 with Vincenzo in a close match.

The Brisbane Derby in Melbourne!

The Brisbane Derby in Melbourne!

Group D was a battle of the Italian-Australian heavyweights from Subbuteo Parramatta with Raffaele Lombardi and Fabrizio Coco battling for top spot. After their very tense encounter finished 0-0 with neither player wanting to risk conceding a goal, it was left to goal difference to split these players. Both players notched 6-0 wins over Alexandros Stefanos but Fabrizio put two more past Chris Garagounis to finish on top. The closing game between Alexandros and Chris finished 0-0 meaning again all players took points.

Fabrizio and Raffaele's tense group D encounter

Fabrizio and Raffaele’s tense group D encounter

The Quarter-Final stage proved to throw up the most exciting matches. Rik Bland had his run cut to an abrupt halt by Chris Thomas who was finding his stride (9-0) whilst Eliot Kennedy brought his goal tally up to 20 with a 3-0 win over Melbourne’s Benny Ng. Farbizio Coco also booked his ticket to the semi’s with a 2-0 win over Benji Batten in a very close game with 2 late goals proving the difference in a game played in fantastic spirit.

Quarter-Final between Benji Batten (mel) ad Fabrizio Coco (par)

Quarter-Final between Benji Batten (mel) and Fabrizio Coco (par)

 

The last quarter-final deserves a paragraph of its own as it turned into the game of the Tournament. Fresh off his world cup experience, Raffele Lombardi shocked the hall by taking an early lead over Asian Cup champion Peter Thomas. This lead was held until only 1 minute from time as Peter nailed a long shot which produced his loudest goal celebration in Australia yet and sent the game to golden goal. No goals after a very tense extra time in which both players came very close to getting the winner, and so the match would go to a shootout. Peter held his nerve and won the shootout 3-1 with Raffaele no doubt feeling disappointed having come so close. A special mention must be made to the referee of this match- Giuseppe tardiota.

A goal for Peter in the shootout

A goal for Peter in the shootout

The Semi-Finals were both quite one-sided affairs with the severely jet lagged Eliot Kennedy going down 3-0 to Peter Thomas and Fabrizio Coco going down 5-0 to Chris Thomas which meant the sibling showdown in the final would occur.

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Before the final I learned that Peter has only ever beaten Chris once, and unfortunately we were not able to witness another such result on Saturday. Instead, we witnessed a high quality match of Table football, combined with outstanding sportsmanship that saw Chris put 4 without reply past his younger brother to take out the International Open.

Action in the Final

Action in the Final

Congratulations to  Chris and thank you to all players for coming to Melbourne to participate, we hope to see you all again for the event next year.

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(Report from the Subbuteo Australia website)

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Report of the Satellite in Berry

Subbuteo Parramatta went on the road for this FISTF/WASPA tournament, heading down to club member, Raffaele Lombardi’s home town of Berry. The glorious sunlit day filled the room for the players to face off – some of the old regulars against some old champions who’ve recently returned to the game, as well as some novices to bring renewed enthusiasm.

Group 1 turned out to be where a lot of the action would be – both grand finalists as well as the repechage winner fought out the group stage. Daniele Lombardi was overwhelmed in his matches against Peter Thomas and former Australian junior champion Will Johncock. Their encounter against each other was a cagey affair, ending 2-1 to Peter.

Group 2 saw Eliot Kennedy down Adrian Elmer 2-0 in the first match, Adrian defending doggedly for the opening 15 minutes before letting himself down with some poor play and 2 conceded goals in the opening couple of minutes of the second half. New boy Mat Barrie then did the same to Adrian, Mat’s reading of the game serving him well until Adrian finally managed to break through midway through the second half. Eliot’s experience was too much for Mat in the final game.

Group 3, the only one with 4 players, was also the group that could go down to the wire, which it did. An opening 1-1 draw between Steve Dettre and Raffaele Lombardi could have gone either way, with each player having a golden chance to take the game in the final minute alone, a draw, however, being a fair reflection. Paul Magee got warmed up with a win over the other new boy, Adam Reynolds. Steve accounted for Paul in the second round, while Raffaele dispatched Adam. In the final games, the biggest celebration of the day happened when Adam scored his first ever competitive goal – a well placed finish against Steve – though Steve kept control, winning the game. Paul knew he needed to beat Raffaele to progress to the knock-out stage but, in the end, had to be content with the repechage after Raffaele saw him off 2-0.

The repechage semis saw the experience of Daniele and Paul win out over the new players, Mat and Adam though Mat, again, showed a deft defensive line and made Paul work hard, while both players brought an enthusiasm to the dy and willingness to learn that will see them progress quickly. In the final, two very different styles fought out for supremacy with Paul’s calculated precision rubbing up against Daniele’s flamboyance. Paul took the lead, while Daniele had thought he had equalised with a deft shot before realising he had a figure off-side. In the second half, Daniele pressed hard and finally found the net with a swift series of flicks on the run to bury the ball. As the game looked like heading for extra-time, Daniele took the lead, another swift manouvre and powerful shot giving him the repechage title.

In the barrage rounds, Steve took a comfortable 2 goal to the half-time break over Adrian, but Adrian got into the game much more in the second half, pulling one back and coming close a few more times. Steve’s experience, however, showed through as he made sure of his place in the semis with a 3rd. Will defeated Raffaele 3-1 to take the other semi, meaning the 3 seeded players were in the semis, joined by the the former junior champion playing his first tournament after an almost 20 year lay-off.

While Steve had his moments, Peter took an early goal in their semi, which allowed Peter to settle and dominate. His third goal, in particular, was an absolute screamer, scored by a deep, defensive figure piercing the smallest gap to get a venemous shot on target. Meanwhile, Will was pushing Eliot all the way, Eliot unable to turn field position into scoreboard dominance. 1-1 at full time meant the first (and only) extra time of the day was needed. This turned into an almost non-event, though, as, barely had the extra period started and the audience settled in to watch the tussle, than Will scored a well taken golden goal winner, giving him a rematch against his group opponent, Peter.

Having learned a few things from their earlier encounter, Peter played a perfect opening and was 3-0 up inside 5 minutes. An earlier comment about an extra pie that Will had eaten at lunch came back to haunt him as he appeared unable to move in the face of Peter’s quickfire attacks. He did finally settle, though, and was able to head to the half-time break without conceding again. Midway through the second half, however, Peter put the result beyond doubt with a knock-out blow 4th goal. Will did get some possession and pulled back a well-taken consolation, before Peter rounded out a convincing performance with 2 more to take the game 6-1.

A fantastic day of Subbuteo, played in sublime surrounds with great sportsmanship on display at all levels. It was great to see new and returning players throw themselves at the challenge with enthusiasm, while the regulars continued their onfield duels with each other with both competitiveness and camaraderie.

(Report from Adrian Elmer, originally posted here)

To see the full results click here.
To see more photos, click here.

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Peter Thomas wins the Grand Prix of Australia

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The FISTF Grand Prix of Australia took place in Melbourne this week-end. For the first time players from Singapore and Hong Kong travelled to Australia for what was also called the “Asian Championship”. Serious things started in the quarter-finals when Vikas Chandaramani defeated John Ho to qualify for the semis. Hong Kong’s Antonio Carabillo also managed to get his ticket for the final 4 after defeating Steve Dettre.

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In the semis, Australians seemed to be the strongest players. Robert Green beat Vikas Chandaramani (1-0) while Peter Thomas Peter Thomas defeated Antonio Carabillo (3-0).

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Peter Thomas beat Robert Green in the final (1-0) to become the first Asian champion.

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Benjamin Ng won the U12 event.

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On sunday, the club of Northern Falcons (Sydney) took the honors in the team event after beating Melbourne TFC 2-1 in the final. The consolation tournament was also a WASPA tournament with 12 players. Luke Radzimisnki took the honors after beating Giuseppe Tardiota (1-0) in the final. Congratulations to all the guys in Australia who made things happen.

(Pictures from Mr. Steve Dettre and Mr Benny Ng)

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Subbuteo Parramatta Combined FISTF Challenger/WASPA Tournament Report

The Subbuteo Parramatta club hosted its first combined FISTF Challenger/WASPA Tournament on the premises of The Games Cube in downtown Parramatta on Saturday, November 15, 2014. A strong field with many of Australia’s best players assembled alongside the devoted but not quite as skilled and a couple of first-time competitors.

Splitting into four groups with a FISTF ranked top seed in each, the players went at it from the outset. Notable efforts were made by newcomer, Louis Dettre, who, in his first ever tournament, was drawn against two of Australia’s most experienced players – Steve Dettre (his father) and Robert Green who was in the country for a month from his adopted homeland of Sweden. Louis did well to have his father panicking at 0-0 at half time in their opening game before experience won out 2-0. Gordy Dudley slipped into the quarter finals by virtue of his superior goal difference over Daniele Lombardi. Group winner Eliot Kennedy could only manage to put 7 past Gordy, having previously beaten Daniele by 8 unanswered goals, giving Gordy the edge when he and Daniele played out a goalless draw. Peter Thomas was drawn with two of the Italian contingent, easing past Raffaele Lombardi and Giuseppe Tardiota. Raffaele got the upper hand over Giuseppe in their head-to-head match, putting him through to the quarter finals. In the 4 player group, the opening few results meant that Adrian Elmer needed to beat newcomer Andrea Gandolfi by 3 goals to guarantee a place in the quarters, while Steve Diasinos and David Simpson could still both go through depending on their head to head result. In the end, Adrian managed 5 against Andrea after Andrea had put up an excellent first half display to hold him to just one goal, while Steve took the game, and 1st place in the group, with his victory over David.

The quarter final pairings made for a couple of straightforward games and a couple of nailbiters. Peter had a comfortable run against Gordy. Adrian made Robert work hard but the result was never in doubt as Robert dominated and took a 2-0 victory. The two Steves fought out a classic as Steve The Younger, whose game has come on incredibly over the course of the year, pushed Steve The Elder to extra time after a 1-1 regulation time result. In the sudden death period, Steve The Younger gave up possession with his travelling ‘keeper midway through. Steve The Elder managed to get the ball into the shooting zone with his 4th flick, but a great defensive flick from Steve The Younger made Steve The Elder’s shot almost impossible. With the most delicately placed flick, however, Steve The Elder found the millimeters wide gap to get just the right angle and see the ball trickle in the inside of the goal to take the victory. The other quarter final was probably the day’s most exciting game, in spite of a distinct lack of goals. Eliot and Raffaele went at each other for 30 minutes without finding the inside of the goal. The posts and crossbar, yes, but not the back of the net. A further 10 minutes was still not enough to split the two as passions rose further, so shots were called. Both players found their shooting form had left completely as, with a full crowd gathered ’round, every shot of the initial 5 each went either wayward or was saved. As the sudden death phase of the shootout began, Eliot finally found the net to take the upper hand. Raffaele, however, was not about to lay down and drew level with an equally well hit shot from wide. Eliot then slotted his second and the pressure was back on Raffaele. This time, a fingertip save from Eliot’s ‘keeper was to deny Raffaele and Eliot finally took the honours and the last place in the semi-finals.

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The repechage games saw Daniele put 7 past Louis who was strapped into his Go-Pro camera. In the other semi, David needed shots to get past Giuseppe after a goal each in regulation time meant they couldn’t be split. In the repechage final, shots were again needed as the evenly pitted pair of Daniele and David cancelled each other out during the 30 minutes of play. In the shootout, Daniele couldn’t find the goal in 4 shots, while David eased 2 of his first 3 past Daniele to take the consolation title.
The main semi-finals were pretty much a non-event for Eliot. Having flown in from Samoa on the morning of the competiton and peaking with two showcase performances in the group stage and a tense, hard-fought victory in the quarters, his body went into Samoa time and Robert walked all over him. A clinical display saw him slot 4 unanswered goals past Eliot to breeze into the final. On the other table, things were getting heated as Peter faced Steve. Raffaele had his hands full refereeing and making judgement calls on the fast paced movements and subtle rule inflections. A goal in each half, however, saw Peter make his way to set up a game between the two players the draw always try to have play out a final – the top two seeds.

After some initial deliberation as to which pitch would be used for the final, Peter and Robert finally got to their showdown. Excellent skills were demonstrated throughout the game. Peter dominated possession with his pin-point flicking, but Robert’s defensive positioning was exemplary, closing gaps time after time. As Peter grew a little frustrated, the odd mistake crept in to his game, giving Robert a bit of breathing space. However, it was a stale mate by the end of the 30 minutes with neither player being able to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Extra time began in a similar manner to the rest of the game, Peter having the better of possession, Robert not allowing goal scoring opportunities. Then, midway through, came the game’s crucial moment. With a classic counter-attack sucker punch, Robert finally managed one of his few shots on goal for the game. This rattled the back of the net and Robert took the title, his first on Australian soil in two decades. Also of note was that Robert defeated all three of the other semi-finalists on his way to the title.

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A huge thanks to all who took part. To the new players, Andrea and Louis, we hope you enjoyed it and got a thirst for more (and thanks for the slo-mo clips, Louis). To those who travelled – Raffaele (and fan club) driving up from Berry, Peter again faithfully taking the highway up from Canberra, Giuseppe flying down from Brisbane, David flying up from Melbourne and Eliot who squeezed us in on the back of a tiring work trip (and little sleep) to Samoa. Your presence was greatly appreciated in making a great tournament. And thanks also to the Games Cube for the use of their premises at exceptionally good rates! Subbuteo Parramatta was honoured to host you all and looks forward to the continued growth of the game next year.

For full results sheet, open this link: http://subbuteoaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-November-Subbuteo-Parramatta-Combined-FISTF-ChallengerWASPA-Tournament.html

For more extensive photographic documentation, see the facebook albums…
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.639999546111438&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1429469013966398&type=1

(Report by Adrian Elmer)

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Peter Thomas wins the Satellite of Melbourne

On a historical day for Table Football in Australia, it was only fitting that Peter Thomas- the winner of Australia’s last FISTF tournament in 2009 would claim victory.
In what was Australia’s first FISTF event in five years, a field of 11 players competed in the Melbourne Open Satellite event. The players were split into three groups with the top two players progressing to the final stage.

In Group A, Eliot Kennedy of the Northern Falcons TFC rose to the top after a 4-0 victory over Benji Batten and a 6-0 victory over Giuseppe Tardiota. Giuseppe had travelled all the way from Brisbane to compete and he was able to score his first goal in his second match however it was not enough to overcome local player Benji Batten who recorded a 3-1 victory and progressed to the second Stage.

In Group B, Peter Thomas, finished in first position with little difficulty. Clearly the world cup adventure had improved Pete’s ability and he banged in 14 goals over his three matches. Luke Radzimisnki took second position after incredibly tight 1-0 victories over David Simpson and Dillon Izon. David and Dillon’s match finished 0-0 meaning all players in the group would take points.

Group C, was a far more one sided affair as Carl Young put 8 past young Alex Stefanos and 9 past debutant Brian Holden, the former Welsh Champion taking no time to settle into gear. But there was still a second place available for the final round and so the match between Brian and Alex had high stakes. Alex prevailed winning 1-0 and joining Carl in the finals.

In the Barrage Round Benji Batten played at the top of his game to defeat Alex Stefanos 6-0 and Carl powered past Luke Radziminski but he was unable to keep a clean sheet as Luke scored one of the goals of the tournament to go out with a bang.

The Semi-Final stage saw Peter go on a roll and put six past Benji Batten- each goal better than the last. The second semi was a far more even affair as Carl and Eliot could not be separated after 30 minutes of time and then a further 10 minutes of extra time. Penalties were needed where Carl executed three consecutive shots to progress to the final (3-0 shootout score).

The Final was a very tight and tense affair. Peter grabbed the early lead over Carl but in the second half Carl equalized and fellow players were left in no doubt as to whether a goal had been scored after a load roar from the ex-Welshman. 1-1 at full time, the game entered extra time. With just minutes remaining Peter found the match winner letting out a triumphant ‘yes’ as the ball hit the back of the net.

And so it would be that Peter Thomas would build on his great form at the World Cup to claim maximum points from this FISTF Satellite. Big thanks must be sent to all interstate players and to Brian Holden at the Brighton Church of Christ.
The Australian Table Football Associations next FISTF event is the challenger of Paramatta to be held on November 15, interested players please contact Adrian Elmer at ajebec@netspace.net.au

Final Standings

Eliminated after Group Stage: Dillon Izon (Rex-C bibases/Total Soccer), Brian Holden (Total Soccer), Giuseppe Tardiota (Zuego Profibase/Parodi Subbuteo), David Simpson (iBase Storm)
Eliminated after Barrage Round: Alex Stefanos (Total Soccer), Luke Radziminski (iBase storm/Raptor G2)
Eliminated after Semi-Finals: Benji Batten (Rex-C Bibases) and Eliot Kennedy (ExtremeWorks Universal Bases)
Runner Up: Carl Young
Winner: Peter Thomas (ExtremeWorks Universal Bases)

original post: http://subbuteoaustralia.com/?p=537
Full results of the event can be found at http://subbuteoaustralia.com/?p=530

(Report by Benji Batten)