By The Hockey Paper
For the fifth year in a row, the Euro Hockey League will field only one English team in the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition.
Wimbledon beat Mannheimer on their way to the last four in 2016/17 but the German outfit held on for a 1-1 result in Barcelona on Sunday and the draw they needed to top the group and advance to the last 16 at Easter.
Wimbledon, needing to beat Mannheimer, were aiming to reach the last 16 for the third time in four years and join Surbiton in the next knockout phase.
As it is, the last time England’s top flight enjoyed such luxuries came when Beeston, Reading and Surbiton qualified for the EHL KO16 in 2013/14.
Goalscorer Gonzalo Peillat told ehlhockey.tv: “It was a big battle; Wimbledon are a very nice team but maybe we were a bit unlucky with the injury to Lucas [Vila] and our centre-back [Philipp Huber] but we defended pretty good in the end.”
Spanish side Junior FC’s goal chase came up two goals short as they failed to overhaul Three Rock Rovers on goal difference, sending the Irish side into the KO16 despite a 5-1 win over Racing Club de France.
Three Rock’s late equalising goal on Saturday left Junior needing six goals without reply against the French side.
Two goals from Austrian Benjamin Stanzl against his countrymen saw HC Oranje-Rood beat SV Arminen to secure top spot in Pool A and advance to the KO16 which they will host.