Article posted on 10 May 2021 at 1:33pm

Smash & Grab settles European Cup

Congratulations must go to Airdrieonians on their 3rd European Cup win.

Presumably the most undeserved of the 3 based on the final game itself, as Reggina dominated the game from start to finish barred a couple of minutes of madness around the half-hour mark.

Man of the match Rúben Brígido will likely never have a game like it again, but he was certainly helped by Karl-Heinz Gauch's uncertain finishing. The guy could, and should have had at least a hat-trick but the more he missed, the less confident he appeared.

These matches can, and do, happen but the fact it was in the biggest final must be a large source of frustration for Reggina's manager.

It wasn't just Gauch who couldn't find the back of the net, but he was the worst culprit missing more than half of Reggina's shots. Nevertheless, they had plenty of other missed chances that should have done the job. You got the feeling that one goal would have opened the floodgates, but the longer the game went on, with Airdrieonians leading by one goal, the more you sensed that the one goal wasn't going to arrive. For the last 15 minutes of the game, Reginna were camped in the opponents half but couldn't fashion a single chance until almost the last kick of the game, such were the numbers Airdrie had back. Of course, they were defending as if their lives depended on it at this stage, but it should never have reached that situation.

Apart from an effort at the very end of the game when James Scowcroft tried a long shot from near his own half, which was more likely an attempt to waste time, Airdrie had 2 shots. The first one - the actual goal - came from their only corner of the game when the ball was headed clear, but only to Daniel Carriço, whose shot hit Benito Viola and fell kindly for Gareth Clarke to score past a wrong-footed Dani Verruschi. The 2nd one was a minute later when Reginna had fallen asleep - presumably in shock at conceding - when Damir Bujan tried his luck from 25 yards out. It was nowhere near the goal but it did wake Reginna up to go again.

Unfortunately, their going never actually led to a finish, leaving Reginna as runners-up in the European Cup for the 5th time! Only once, 14 seasons ago, have they managed to claim the title but after winning the Italian league again this season, they will be back to try again next season.

List of news articles