In a thrilling opening day of action at the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 Hamburg event, four teams sealed their place in the Quarter Finals of the tournament. The first match of the day saw Spanish side Club Egara turn on the style with a terrific display of attacking hockey, running out 4-2 winners over German champions Der Club an der Alster. In Match 2, Danny Hall scored a late winner to send East Grinstead of England through to the Quarter Finals, giving his side a 3-2 win over Parisians St Germain. Dutch master Teun de Nooijer was magnificent for his side as they took a 3-1 win over Cannock of England to book their place in the next round. However, the biggest match of the day saw a clash between two giants of the German game, with UHC Hamburg taking a 3-2 win over Düsseldorfer HC, a result that means UHC Hamburg are now the only German team left in the competition.
Match 1: Club Egara 4-2 Der Club an der Alster
Club Egara recorded a 4-2 victory over Der Club an der Alster to move into the Quarter Finals of the Euro Hockey League. Guillermo Schickendantz recorded his seventh, eighth and ninth goals of this season's tournament to give his side a stunning triumph over the German champions. Despite the heroics of Schickendantz, it was the performance of Spain’s Edi Tubau that got everyone talking. The midfielder was in imperious form against Alster, creating goals as well as goal scoring opportunities and even hit the crossbar. Alster gave a good showing, but Egara marked themselves as serious contenders for this year’s title.
Winner will play: UHC Hamburg on Sunday.
Match 2: East Grinstead 3-2 St Germain
Former GB star Danny Hall scored a last minute winner to put East Grinstead in the Quarter Finals of the Euro Hockey League, sealing a 3-2 victory over St Germain. After a goal-less first half, the game came to life with five second half strikes, with Hall scoring the decisive goal in the 70th minute to break St Germain hearts. Hall opened the scoring in second half before impressive strikes from Martin Genestet and Jean Baptiste Pauchet gave St Germain the upper hand. However, Grinstead are proving themselves to be a resilient team in the EHL and levelled the scores thanks to Martin Häner’s brilliant backhand effort before Hall won the match with just seconds to go.
Winner will play: HC Bloemendaal on Sunday.
Match 3: Bloemendaal 3-1 Cannock HC
Netherlands legend Teun de Nooijer scored one and set up another as HC Bloemendaal proved themselves to be too good for Cannock HC of England. Cannock put up a valiant fight, but goals from Nick Meijer, Ronald Brouwer and De Nooijer were enough to set up a Quarter Final clash with East Grinstead on Sunday. Nick Meijer gave HC Bloemendaal the lead when he scored a penalty corner rebound before de Nooijer provided the perfect opportunity for Ronald Brouwer to make the score 2-0. However, Harry Jawanda guided a penalty corner deflection into the net to reduce the deficit, but de Nooijer dived full length to score the vital goal for Bloemendaal.
Winner will play: East Grinstead on Sunday.
Match 4: Düsseldorfer HC 2-3 UHC Hamburg
Host club UHC Hamburg fought back from being 2-1 down to take a 3-2 victory over Düsseldorfer HC, confirming their place in the last eight of the Euro Hockey League. The defending champions were pushed all the way by their countrymen, but two goals from veteran striker Philip Sunkel helped his side set up a re-match with the team they defeated in last year's semi-finals - Club Egara. Sunkel opened the scoring just two minutes into the match following a great run from Niall Stott, but Jan Simon and Max Schroeter gave Düsseldorfer a 2-1 lead. However, teenager Marco Miltkau and Sunkel swung the score back in UHC’s favour to delight the home crowd.
Winner will play: Club Egara on Sunday
Saturday will feature four more outstanding EHL second round matches, with RC Polo Barcelona taking on Reading (09.30 CEST), HC Rotterdam versus WKS Grunwald Poznan (12.00), Amsterdam H&BC against Waterloo Ducks (14.30) with KHC Leuven looking to get past Three Rock Rovers (17.00).
For more info, video footage, photos and extended match reports, please visit www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
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