The Euro Hockey League KO16 Hamburg event came to an end today, completing four days of sun, shock results and sensational hockey. The day’s first match saw KHC Leuven of Belgium stun 2003 European Champions Reading with a 2-1 victory. The win and subsequent qualification for the Semi Finals is incredible for a team that many believed would not even make it out of the group stage. Dutch giants Amsterdam H&BC and H.C. Rotterdam went head-to-head in the final match of KO16 Hamburg as the two teams played out the most dramatic match of the weekend, with H.C. Rotterdam winning on penalties. You can find brief reports of the matches below, and extended reports on the Euro Hockey League website – www.ehlhockey.tv.
Quarter Final 3: KHC Leuven 2-1 Reading HC
Belgium's KHC Leuven scored a 66th minute winner to defeat pre-match favourites Reading 2-1 to book their place in the semi-finals of the Euro Hockey League. Patrice Houssein scored a brilliant deflection to finish Reading's European ambitions to set up a Semi Final match against reigning EHL Champions UHC Hamburg at the end of May.
KHC Leuven almost took the lead in the very first minute when striker Pau Quemada got his stick on a cross from the left by Renaud Pangrazio, but the effort flew fractionally wide of the right post. In the eighth minute of the match Reading conceded a penalty corner which was slammed into the net by Quemada to give Leuven a 1-0 lead. The Spaniard had managed to achieve what his countrymen from Polo Barcelona had failed to do on Saturday – beat Reading keeper Nick Brothers. Despite constant second half pressure from Reading, the Leuven defence was performing excellently, keeping their opponent’s goal scoring chances to a minimum. Eventually though, Reading’s pressure resulted in a 47th minute penalty corner, and Great Britain defender Richard Mantell flicked a ferocious effort into the goal via the right post. After being dominated by Reading for much of the last two quarters, KHC Leuven then sprang into life to stun Reading in the final five minutes. Pau Quemada forced a double save from Nick Brothers, before Hugues de Cooman crossed for Patrice Houssein who deflected the ball into the roof of the net to give Leuven a famous victory.
Quarter Final 4: Amsterdam H&BC 3-5 H.C. Rotterdam (A.P.S.)
Amsterdam H&BC were ahead on two occasions but suffered the cruelty of being eliminated on penalties strokes, with H.C. Rotterdam taking the only remaining place in the Semi Finals. A Phil Burrows field goal in the 61st minute tied the scores at 2-2 and the sides could not be separated in extra time to guarantee a dramatic penalty shootout. Amsterdam's Santi Freixa was the player to miss the vital penalty - a cruel blow to a player who was arguably the game’s most outstanding player. The result means that H.C. Rotterdam will face compatriots HC Bloemendaal in the semi-finals of the Euro Hockey League at the end of May.
Amsterdam took an early lead through Teun Rohof, who deflected a cleverly aimed pass from penalty corner expert Taeke Taekema into the roof of the goal. H.C. Rotterdam got themselves back in the game with a penalty corner of their own, but like the earlier effort scored by Amsterdam, it came from an unexpected source. Sohail Abbas stepped over the ball as Rotterdam used a different routine, and Mauritz Hertzberger put the ball into the top of the net from close range. However, Amsterdam’s irresistible Spaniard Santi Friexa produced a moment of brilliance when he beat three players from the right before hitting the ball into the goal with his reverse stick. Amsterdam were clearly the dominant force in the game and it seemed that they would be the team heading to the semi finals, but Rotterdam’s Phil Burrows changed the flow of the match when he equalised with nine minutes remaining. With no goals in extra time, it came down to penalties. Jeroen Hertzberger of H.C. Rotterdam made no mistake with his effort, but Amsterdam's Santi Freixa shot was well blocked by keeper Permin Blaak to give Rotterdam the edge. Rotterdam’s Phil Burrows made the score 4-2 before Amsterdam's Valentin Verga scored to keep his side in the match. However, the Rotterdam players were just one goal away from reaching the semi finals. Waseem Ahmad attempted to dribble past goalkeeper Klaas Veering, but was tripped and a penalty goal was awarded to give H.C. Rotterdam second successive appearance in the Euro Hockey League Semi Finals.
EHL Semi Finalists now known
The results from today’s matches complete the semi final line ups for the 2008-09 Euro Hockey League.
HC Bloemendaal (NED) will play H.C. Rotterdam (NED)
UHC Hamburg (GER) will play KHC Leuven (BEL)
The EHL Semi Finals and Final will take place over the 30th and 31st of May 2009 in The Netherlands. The venue for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more info, video footage, photos and extended match reports, please visit www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
Posted 5 hours ago.
The huge crowds that have flocked in their thousands to watch the first four days of the Argentina Hockey World...
Posted 5 hours ago.
Player No. 29 Park Seung A is found to have violated the following Rules and Directives of the FIH Code of Conduct.
Posted 5 hours ago.
Player No. 27 Noel Barrionuevo is found to have violated the following Rules and Directives of the FIH Code of Conduct.
Posted 5 hours ago.
With the semi-finals of the Argentina Hockey World League Final just hours away, with thought we'd give you as quick...
Posted 21 hours ago.
Asian Champions Malaysia fended off a strong challenge from New Zealand. The Kiwis tied the score twice by Kane...
Posted 22 hours ago.
Maxime Cappelle scored once in each half to lead Belgium 3-1 over a dominant Germany side. Belgium keeper Arnaud...