The second day of action at Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.2 event in Lille (FRA) featured another four cracking matches as six teams confirmed their places at Easter’s spectacular KO16 event.
Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER), Waterloo Ducks (BEL), Kampong (NED), Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), H.C. Rotterdam (NED) and Racing Club de Bruxelles (BEL) join the eight KO16 qualifiers from Round 1.1 Barcelona, with the final two places up for grabs on Sunday.
Dutch outfit Kampong were the day’s outstanding performers, breaking the EHL record for the most goals scored in one match by hammering SC Stroitel Brest of Belarus 14-0.
Here is a quick summary from the action from day 2.
Pool C - Stralkowski guides Mülheim past Poznanska
Nine times European champions Uhlenhorst Mülheim were given a stern test before eventually emerging as 3-1 winners against Poland’s AZS Politechnika Poznanska. Goals from Mülheim captain and London 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Thilo Stralkowski (2) and Tobias Matania ensured that the Germans got their 2012-13 EHL campaign off to a winning start.
The result means that Mülheim and Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks are now guaranteed a place at Easter’s spectacular KO16 event, with Poznanska – who played exceptionally well in both of their games this weekend – being eliminated from the competition. Mülheim and WatDucks face each other on Sunday to decide which team will top Pool C.
Pool B – Kampong break EHL scoring record in debut match
Euro Hockey League newcomers Kampong made an explosive debut against SC Stroitel Brest, surging to a staggering 14-0 triumph against their Pool B opponents.
The result marks a new record for goals scored in a single EHL game, breaking the mark of 13 set by fellow Dutch outfit H.C. Rotterdam. Netherlands international Constantijn Jonker (pictured) was the star of the show, netting five times in the rout to seal Kampong's place in KO16 at the first time of asking.
The result was good news for German giants Rot-Weiss Köln, who will also join Kampong in the KO16 following Friday's victory over Stroitel, who have finished bottom of the Pool and will not play any further part in this edition of the competition. Kampong and Rot-Weiss will meet on Sunday to decide who will top Pool B.
Pool A: Reading defeated as Rotterdam power through to KO16
H.C. Rotterdam became the first team from Pool A to confirm their place at Easter's KO16 event courtesy of a convincing 4-1 victory over Reading HC of England.
Bjorn Kellerman scored twice for the Dutch giants, with Frans Hagemans and Netherlands ace Seve van Ass also getting their names on the score-sheet to earn Rotterdam their second win of the weekend following their triumph over Lille on Friday.
The final KO16 berth from Pool A will go to the winner of Sunday's meeting between Reading HC and home favourites Lille MHC, a match that certain to draw a massive crowd as the locals turn out in support of the host club.
Pool H – Impressive Racing Rats crush Elektrostal
Racing Club de Bruxelles sealed their place at KO16 at the first time of asking by thumping Dinamo Elektrostal 6-2 in their Pool H encounter.
The Russians took an early lead through Alexander Platonov but a four goal burst between the 19th and 32nd minutes saw the “Racing Rats” storm into a lead that never looked likely to be threatened. Canadian international Scott Tupper netted twice in the match, with Thibault Cornillie, John Dabin, Sukhpal Panesar and Jonathan Beckers getting the goals.
However, a late goal from Dinamo Elektrostal’s Dmitry Azarov reduced the deficit and kept alive his team’s chances of qualifying for KO16. Their fate lies in the hands of St Germain, who will need to avoid a heavy defeat against Bruxelles if they are to reach the Easter spectacular.
The final day of Round 1 action will take place on Sunday, with the action beginning at 0930 local time. That match will feature Waterloo Ducks and Uhlenhorst Mülheim, two teams who will fight it out to see who will finish top of Pool C and subsequently avoid the top seeds in the next round. It will be a similar situation in the 1200 meeting between Rot-Weiss Köln and Kampong, with the winner claiming top spot in the Pool.
The third match of the day takes place at 1430 between Pool H rivals St Germain HC and RC Bruxelles before Reading HC’s crucial winner-takes-all face-off against hosts Lille MHC at 1700. It promises to be a fascinating day of top level European club hockey.
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