Betfair Exchange Cup: England beat Brazil on penalties to win final
Yes, you read the headline correctly - England have beaten Brazil in a penalty shootout to win a tournament. Here's hoping the inaugural Betfair Exchange Cup, which saw players controlled by fans, bodes well for the World Cup in Russia.
"With England's shootout form patchy at best, the chances of them taking the Betfair Exchange Cup were not good and Germany were the favourites heading in. But the hometown heroes defied the odds, proving that England can do the business when it's needed."
Finally, a penalty shootout has gone England's way, with victory over Brazil in the final of the Betfair Exchange Cup hopefully pointing to things to come this summer at the World Cup.
Mind you, the method of victory was like nothing ever seen on these shores before. The penalty shoot-out tournament was played by fans from around the world in a computer-game style competition. Instead of controlling computer generated players, however, the fans were sitting on their sofas actually controlling real-life Arsenal players who played the role of the penalty takers and goalkeepers.
Fans control star players
With Petr Cech and David Ospina in goal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan taking the penalties, fans from England, Brazil, Germany and Spain went head to head with each other in a round of matches.
The tournament culminated in semi-finals and a final, with the fans instructing the players on where to aim and which way to dive. The fans did this from their sofas, via games controllers and earpieces. The players were entirely at the fans' mercy.
England defy the odds
With England's usual penalty shootout form patchy at best, the chances of them taking the Betfair Exchange Cup were not good and Germany were the tournament favourites heading in. But the hometown heroes defied the odds, with some brave tactics and risky shots, proving that England can do the business when it's needed.
Betfair head of brand Stephen Mault said: "At Betfair we love getting fans close to the action, but it's a first for us letting them actually control their football idols' every move and we thought they did a brilliant job."