Saturday, June 15, 2024

Euro Hockey League: Atlètic Terrassa in wonderland, Bloemendaal edge Leopold

EHL 2020/21 Men’s Final 4 results:
Royal Léopold 1 (G Baumgarten) HC Bloemendaal 1 (W Jolie), Bloemendaal win shoot-out 5-4
Uhlenhorst Mülheim 2 (T Herzbruch 2) Atlètic Terrassa 3 (P Cunill 2, J Bonastre)

The Euro Hockey League continued to serve up some scintillating storylines in this curtailed season as Pau Cunill, playing his first EHL match, scored two goals in the final three minutes as Atlètic Terrassa reached their first men’s final – a decade on since the last Spanish team.

As recently as November, he was in the club’s second team but his superb corner prowess has brought him to prominence, not least with this memorable 3-2 victory over Uhlenhorst Mülheim.

It took some time before the game exploded into life. Timm Herzbruch scored the only goal of the first half before Atlèti came on strong in the second half and equalised via Jordi Bonastre.

Cunill, in the 57th minute, then stood forward to shoot just past the head of Lennart Küppers with a vicious corner flick.

Yet, the Spaniards weren’t yet over the line, as Uhlenhorst won another corner with 50 seconds to go and it was switched into the path of Herzbruch who dragged in off Calzada to make it 2-2.

But, with a free in the last few seconds, Atlètic threw on another outfield player and it worked as they won another corner which Cunill went low to power into the backboard for a famous victory.

Like the women’s final, it will be a Dutch and Spanish finale on Easter Monday.

HC Bloemendaal were pushed to the limit to keep alive a chance of a fourth EHL Men’s title, getting the win over Royal Leopold in the first Final 4 date via a sudden death shoot-out.

Leo were the side who looked the more likely to get the result in normal time as Gaspard Baumgarten put them in front but Wouter Jolie – in his first EHL game since 2015 – levelled before Maurits Visser made the crucial shoot-out saves.

It sent the game to a shoot-out – just like the two women’s games earlier in the day – where Bloemendaal took the initial advantage with Visser keeping out Tom Degroote in the first round.

The next six shoot-outs before Glenn Schuurman fired wide and it ended 4-4 after the regulation series of shoot-outs. Jorrit Croon scored his second shoot-out in sudden death to put the pressure and while Poncelet earned a stroke, Plennevaux was denied by Visser to seal the deal.

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