Day 2 of Euro Hockey League's KO16 Bloemendaal event was truly sensational, as a mammoth sell-out crowd witnessed four spectacular games.
A double strike from Chris Cargo helped Reading to defeat English rivals East Grinstead before Dutch side Oranje Zwart battled past Real Club de Polo de Barcelona in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. In the stand-out match of the day, Bloemendaal eliminated reigning champions UHC Hamburg to gain revenge over their Quarter Final exit from last years’ competition at the hands of Moritz Fürste’s team. The last of the quarter final fixtures Belgium’s KHC Dragons upset the odds by beating Rot-Weiss Köln of Germany. The battle between the two national champions was won in the 68th minute when Jeffrey Thys found the net to send the vast number of Dragons supporters into raptures.
Detailed reports of the matches can be found below, with video highlights of each match available on www.ehlhockey.tv
Saturday's results completed the Quarter-Final line up, which is as follows.
Sunday 24th April (Times are GMT +1)
12.00hrs: Club de Campo (ESP) v Atlétic Terrassa (ESP)
14.30hrs: Beeston HC (ENG) v HGC (NED)
Monday 25th April 2011
12.00hrs: KHC Dragons (BEL) v Reading HC (ENG)
14.30hrs: HC Bloemendaal (NED) v Oranje Zwart (NED)
Sunday’s Euro Hockey League action will feature the first two Quarter Finals, the first of which is an all-Spanish affair as Madrid’s Club de Campo take on Atlétic Terrassa at 12.00 (CEST). Edi Tubau’s Campo team were sensational on Friday, recording an 11-0 win over Ireland’s Pembroke Wanderers, but Spanish Champions Atlétic will be a much tougher prospect. The fixture ensures that a Spanish team will feature in the EHL Semi Finals. That match is followed at 14.30 by Beeston versus HGC, with the Bees aiming to become the first ever English team to reach the EHL Final Four tournament. However, HGC will be determined to keep alive their dreams of reaching a second Euro Hockey League final in four years.
Match 5: Reading triumph against Grinstead in eight-goal thriller
East Grinstead (ENG) 3-5 Reading (ENG)
A sensational first match of the day saw Reading produce a wonderful performance to defeat fellow English club East Grinstead 5-3. Two superb strikes from Chris Cargo helped Reading on their way to the win, with Richard Mantell, Jonty Clarke and Richard Springham also scoring goals against their rivals from the England Hockey League. The result puts Reading into the Quarter Finals where they will play KHC Dragons (BEL), who defeated Rot-Weiss Köln (GER) later in the day.
Reading were ahead inside the first five minutes when Great Britain international Richard Mantell slammed home a powerful penalty corner drag flick before ABN AMRO Man of the Match Jonty Clarke doubled the advantage early in the second period.
A stunning third goal arrived just after half time when Chris Cargo struck an unstoppable reverse stick shot from a tight angle. East Grinstead fought back with two goals from Danny Hall, the second of which was a brilliant upright reverse stick volley, but Cargo restored the two goal advantage with another superb finish.
A rare open play strike from Gareth Carr somehow found its way past Reading’s Great Britain keeper Nick Brothers early in the fourth quarter, a goal which set up a grandstand finish. However, with Grinstead pushing forward for an equalizer Reading capitalized with a flowing move that was finished clinically by Richard Springham, sealing Reading’s passage into the Quarter Finals.
It was a disappointing day for the well-supported East Grinstead team who had to cope without injured stars Ashley Jackson and Darren Cheesman, but it is Reading who will now focus their attentions to Monday’s match against Dragons.
ABN AMRO Man of the Match: Jonty Clarke (Reading HC)
Gougnard penalty sends OZ through at expense of RC Polo
Oranje Zwart (NED) 2-2 RC Polo de Barcelona (ESP) – 4-3 After Penalty Shootout
A sell-out crowd at HC Bloemendaal saw an intriguing battle between Oranje Zwart and RC de Polo de Barcelona go all the way to a penalty shoot-out before the Dutch side emerged as 4-3 winners. Simon Gougnard scored the crucial goal in the shoot-out to send Oranje Zwart through to the Quarter Finals where they will play HC Bloemendaal, who defeated UHC Hamburg later in the day.
The match began in cagey fashion, with both teams enjoying good spells of possession but playing risk-free hockey in a bid to avoid conceding what could be a crucial first goal. Oranje Zwart arguably had the better of it, but excellent defensive work from RC Polo ensured that their opponents did not have any clear attempts on goal.
Oranje Zwart claimed the first penalty corner of the game early in the second quarter, but RC Polo keeper Oriol Fabregas making a smart save to his left from the flick of Mink van der Weerden. As the period went on it was the team from Barcelona that began to take control, with Salvador Piera going close on the reverse before a fast break forward resulted in a penalty corner. The ever-dangerous Pau Quemada sent his ferocious flick towards the goal only for it to hit the leg of Marcel Balkestein, resulting in a penalty stroke. Quemada made no mistake from the spot, sending his effort to the left of Oranje Zwart keeper Mark Jenniskins for a 1-0 lead. The Dutch team immediately won a penalty corner, but the diving Balkestein could not guide his deflection on target.
EHL top scorer Lucas Judge fired his team back into the match early in the third quarter with a powerful reverse stick shot, giving Oranje Zwart an all important equalizer. Although there were no further goals in the period, Oranje Zwart certainly looked the team more likely to score, a trend which continued well into the fourth quarter. Australia star Rob Hammond brought a stunning save from Oriol Fabregas with an outrageous lob, while another shot hit the side netting before OZ finally got the goal that their effort deserved when a cross into the circle was deflected into his own net by Polo’s Matias Rey. RC Polo took their appeal to the video umpire but the decision stood, meaning that they lost all further referrals. However RC Polo were soon back level when Pau Quemada launched another stunning flick into the goal to take the game into Silver Goal extra time.
OZ certainly had the better chances in Extra Time, but the magnificent Oriol Fabregas would not be beaten despite great efforts from Rob Hammond and Marc Salles.
So, for the second time of the weekend a match would be decided by penalties. Simon Goudnard made no mistake in giving Oranje Zwart the lead, while a miss from Alex Fabregas ensured that the Dutch had the advantage. However, OZ’s David Alegre saw his effort saved, but RC Polo’s Salvador Piera could not take advantage to leave OZ with a 3-2 lead. Incredibly, a miss from Rob Hammond let Barcelona back into the shoot-out, with Christian Wein levelling at 3-3 to send the shoot-out into sudden death.
Sadly for RC Polo, Alex Fabregas missed his second penalty of the shoot-out before Simon Goudnard sent the Oranje Zwart fans into delirium with the winning goal.
ABN AMRO Man of the Match: Rob Hammond (Oranje Zwart)
Champions UHC Hamburg overcome by Meijer’s late strike
HC Bloemendaal (NED) 2-1 UHC Hamburg (GER)
Home favourites HC Bloemendaal knocked out Euro Hockey League champions UHC Hamburg in thrilling style, with a late Nick Meijer strike sealing 2-1 victory for the 2009 winners.
UHC took a second half lead thanks to a powerful hit from Oliver Korn in the third period, but Wouter Jolie soon levelled the scores for Bloemdendaal with a well placed penalty corner strike.
The winning goal arrived five minutes from the end of the game, with Teun de Nooijer sparking an attack down the right that was eventually finished off from close range by Meijer, who was named ABN AMRO Man of the Match. The goal was greeted by jubilant scenes in the stands, and the famous “Bloemigans” – Bloemendaal’s passionate and colourful fan club – cheered their hearts out. UHC valiantly went in search of an equalizer, and almost grabbed it when Jonas Fürste turned brilliantly and fired towards Jaap Stockmann who pulled off a miraculous save, tipping the ball over the crossbar at full stretch to deny the UHC attacker.
UHC coach Martin Schultze gave a last throw of the dice when he removed goalkeeper Nico Jacobi in the final minute to bring another attacking player onto the field, but Bloemendaal held on for a victory that will be long remembered by their players and supporters.
The win avenges the defeat that Bloemendaal suffered at the hands of UHC in last year’s Quarter Finals, and sets up a meeting with fellow Dutch outfit Oranje Zwart in the last eight of the Euro Hockey League.
A capacity crowd of 5000 witnessed every twist and turn of a fascinating encounter, with the fans of Bloemendaal and UHC Hamburg cheering constantly throughout the match. The atmosphere in the stadium was simply electric as every supporter lived and breathed the action on the field. It was a superb advert for the game, both on and off the field.
Thys scores dramatic late winner as Dragons beat Rot- Weiss
KHC Dragons (BEL) 3-2 Rot-Weiss Köln (GER)
Jeffrey Thys scored a 68th minute winner against Christopher Zeller’s Rot-Weiss Köln to send KHC Dragons of Belgium into the Euro Hockey League Quarter Finals. A 3-2 result for Belgium’s finest puts them into the tournament Quarter Finals where they will face Reading HC of England, who defeated countrymen East Grinstead earlier in the day.
The result also spelled the end of a German team winning this year’s Euro Hockey League, with Rot-Weiss, UHC Hamburg and Mannheimer HC all being eliminated from the tournament in the second round.
The battle between the national champions of Germany and Belgium was another high class encounter full of high energy play and fantastic moments of individual brilliance. It was watched by another massive crowd, too. A large number of Dragons supporters had made their way from Belgium to Bloemendaal for this contest, and gave their team complete backing throughout.
KHC Dragons opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a stunning reverse stick strike from Florent van Aubel which gave Max Weinhold little chance of saving. That goal came courtesy of a rare error from former Germany captain Timo Wess, who gave away possession deep in his own half.
Rot-Weiss hit back just four minutes later when Tibor Weissenborn slapped home a 14th minute penalty corner, much to the disappointment of Dragons keeper Manu Leroy.
There were no goals in the second period, but Dragons moved ahead once again in the third when the unfortunate Timo Wess gave away a free hit in his own half. Dragons punished Rot-Weiss for the error with a training ground routine that saw the ball moved outside the 25 metre line before being slapped into the circle at pace to the waiting Felix Denayer who guided the ball past Weinhold for a 2-1 lead.
Köln again bounced back quickly, with Marcel Meurer tapping in from close range as Dragons failed to effectively deal with a cross into the circle from the left.
The final quarter of the match was full of chances for both teams, but only one side took advantage. Dragons scored their winner when a break into the circle eventually fell to Jeffry Thys, who struck a fierce shot under the right leg of Weinhold to effectively win the game with two minutes remaining. Like UHC Hamburg earlier in the day, Rot-Weiss coach Christoph Bechmann brought on another outfield player in place of the goalkeeper, but it made little difference to the result as Dragons held on for a superb victory.
ABN AMRO Man of the Match: Felix Denayer (KHC Dragons).
SOURCE: Euro Hockey League Media Release
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