And so we come to the third day of the tournament and the second day of competition. Matches today started 30 mins later than yesterday, to enable Mr Blue Sky to turn up and lighten the proceedings. From that great song, ”the sun is shining in the sky, there’s not a cloud passing by…….” Glad we’re here topping up the tans.
A public holiday today in Madrid, so we had a small wait for the bus no problems though, as the driver was an absolute nutter, and almost got us here before we left. Perhaps he is the driver of the night bus of Harry Potter fame. We were joined on the bus by the German ladies teams. They held an impromptu dance session in the street, keeping the locals, and us, entertained.
We arrived in time for the GB U21 mens’ game, against Italy. A really good game, end to end, played with spirit by both teams. We scored first, but Italy soon levelled, then took the lead with a somewhat dodgy goal, the GB lads adamant that the ball had rebounded from one of the goal suspending wires, and not entering the goal. The game ended 4 – 3 to the Italians – really close, but no satisfaction this time. The Italian coach took it out on a plastic chair, kicking it in the air with all the aplomb of a knackered Serie A league player. Chair abuse – ECA are checking the rules on this!
Immediately following this game came the U21 women, who played Germany. The Germans were 2 – 0 up at half time, but some spirited play in the second half by GB lead to a couple of goals, levelling the score to 2 – 2 at full time, hard worked but very rewarding.
Then, the Men faced Denmark, and we can report a victory! GB played well, and worked effectively as a team. Finally finishing 3 – 1 to the GB Men, the match saw Dan getting green, then yellow. We think he took a card for someone else, but only Dan knows if that is true.
The U21 Ladies played France, generously giving them a 3 goal head start, then decided that they could have a go, the match ending 5 – 4 to the French. C’est la vie!
And now for the big boys. GB Men versus France Men. But before we try to explain this, on a lighter note: Nipper was trying to open a jar of Doritos dip, but failed. Gave it to Aimee, and…pop, it was open. Ross claimed it was the sun-tan lotion on his hands causing a lack of grip, but the jury is out on this. Another decision for the ECA Committee?
So, to the match: GB took the lead, but unfortunately, that was it. The final scoreline does not represent the pressure that GB put upon the French defence, but five players concentrating on attacking often leads to breakaway goals, and this was the case here a few times. Not much to say, the final score tells all. 10 – 1 to the French. Coach Vessey will be pleased to know that the spectators are considering having a whip round for a water bottle and a new pair of sunglasses , these having flown from his face as result of his hand waving expressions.
GB Women v Poland ended with a win for our ladies 5 – 1. Boy it was hot, and most of us were sitting with no shade, and a long way from cold, golden coloured drinks, ice creams and the like. The girls played really well, Pru scoring with some long shots, but they did look as though they were conserving their energy. The quote for the game – “it did what it says on the tin”. Sums it up nicely.
GB Men v Poland put the men back on track, with a 5 – 2 win. A good win, Coach Vessey managed to keep his sunnies on this time, didn’t shout too much, and was fairly well behaved.
The sun was still out, and the U21 Men v Switzerland cruised to a comfortable 7 – 2 win. I think they are also being sponsored by Ronseal – they also did enough, but at a slower pace than other games they have played this week.
And the final GB game of the day involved GB Men v Germany. After the earlier performance (I won’t say which one)the spectators were a little concerned. No need, this was probably the best game of the day, with the men losing 2 – 1, but it was such a tight match. Great to watch!
So, now back at the hotel. Yesterday, the lads started a “Where’s Wally” competition. One dressed up in a red and white tee, went out on the streets, and the remainder had to spot him from the hotel balcony. There were several Wallies’ during the night! Tonight, we are at the semi-final stage of WW. We are still waiting for the results!
Another early start tomorrow, but we are keeping up with traditions and keeping the bar going (again) this evening. Looking forward to the third day of competition, which I still don’t fully understand. However, the GB teams are each playing two matches during the day:
- Women play Spain and France
- U21 Women play Spain and Poland
- Men play Switzerland and Italy
- U21 Men play France and Spain
Let’s all hope for the best.
PS – some pictures available here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.155046877916283.40928.100487833372188&l=8993dbde04
The GB Spectators