At the final day of the EuroHockey Club Cup, all 4 games had significance for the teams. The hosts made history lifting the EuroHockey Club Cup for the final time in its history as the women prepare to take their places at EHL women in 2020.
The day started with the ranking games 5-8. With ranking points at stake for possible qualification EHL women in 2020, these were essential matches for the 4 teams involved. The EHF will announce the countries qualified for the EHL women in due course.
Amsterdam v Real Sociedad (7-0)
With not even 2 min into the game, Amsterdam took the lead on a penalty corner from De Goede. A minute later, Veen doubled the lead for the home team. In the 8th minute, a beautiful areal from Stam landed in the circle but De Baat’s shot hit the post. Just before the first break, Amsterdam increased their lead on the rebound of the corner by Jonker. The score was already 3-0 after the first quarter with the host being very efficient in the circle. In the second quarter, it was again Amsterdam with the main ball possession and the most goal opportunities, but the Spanish goalkeeper made some great saves. Two minutes before halftime, Veen got her second of the game to make it 4-0 and have a comfortable advantage over the Spanish team with two quarters to go. In the 34th minute, Veen was looking for her hat trick but it just went wide the goal. In the third quarter, Real Sociedad was defending well and didn’t give anything away. Amsterdam was controlling the game and keeping the ball in the team. With 12 minutes left in the final, Geerlings added one on the scoreboard for her side from the top of the D. In the 52nd minute, a Spanish defender saved on the line to deny the 6th goal of Amsterdam. But a minute later, De Goede got her second of the day from a penalty corner to make it 6-0 for the host. Veen scored her hat trick with 4 minutes to go to take Amsterdam’s goal tally up to 7. Amsterdam won their second gold medal in the history of the club in the EuroHockey Club Cup.
Bronze Medal game:
Den Bosch v Alster (1-2)
The bronze medal game was between Den Bosch and Alster. In the 3rd minute, Keetels received a beautiful pass completely isolated in the circle but her shot was easily saved by the Alster goalie. A minute later, on the first penalty corner of the game, van den Assem converted it to take the lead for Den Bosch. Two minutes before the first break, Den Bosch was awarded a penalty corner which was mistrapped. On the counter, Kreekelaar saved on the line to deny Alster the equaliser. In the second quarter, both teams created chances but the equalizer from Horn only came in the last minute before the break. We went into half time with the score of 1-1 in a pretty even game.
In the third quarter, both teams earned a few penalty corners but none of the teams could convert them. In the 43rd minute, Alster took the lead via their captain at a well-executed penalty corner variation. With 5 minutes left on the clock, Den Bosch was putting a high pressure on the German defence to get the equaliser. But Alster managed the game very well and won the bronze medal.
It is the first time in 21 years that Den Bosch has not taken home a European Cup medal.
Earlier today in the ranking games:
5th/6th playoff: Hamburg v Surbiton (4-1)
Hamburg and Surbiton were facing each other in the 5th/6th place match. In the 5th minute, Stapenhorst, who else?, received 50 meters ariel from Muller-Wieland and put the German team ahead with a superb shot in the top corner. Surbiton was defending well and playing on counters but it was Hamburg who doubled their lead via Pluta in the second quarter. The score stood 2-0 in favour of the German’s at the half.
Just after the break, Surbiton had a few chances in front of the goalkeeper but couldn’t convert them. A good effort from Petter finished just wide of the goal in the 32nd minute. Surbiton got one back with 9 minutes left on the clock through Curtis. During the last minutes of the game, Surbiton was pressing higher to get an equaliser but it was Stapenhorst again with an amazing finish in the back of the net who made it 3-1 for the German team. In the dying seconds of the game, E. Mavers deflected easily just in front of the goalie to increase her team’s lead by three goals and get the win over Surbiton.
7th/8th playoff: Loreto v Ritm Grodno (2-1)
The first game of the day started with a short delay of 15 minutes as a glitch in the transport and a crash on the motorway led to Loreto arriving later than scheduled.
The game got underway at 9.45 CET. Grodno went ahead via a pc as Skurat with the looping straight strike got past Murphy. Loreto had chances to equalise minutes later as they had a spell of good possession and were rewarded with back to back penalty corners but couldn’t convert. The 3rd pc to Loreto in the 21st minute was turned over by the Grodno defence. Grodno had a chance to go ahead again in the 25th minute, but the shot went wide. The 4th pc for Loreto was awarded in the 30th minute. This time captain Matthews flicked it high into the net from close range to equalise the game. Moments later a brilliant ball into the D from Matthews saw the initial strike saved by Grodno’s keeper Mikanovich but the rebound was tapped in by Torrans. This was the final action of the first half with Loreto leading 2-1.
A slow start to the second half as Loreto happy to defend their lead. Loreto had a chance to put the game to bed in the 56th minute as they were awarded a stroke. Matthews stepped up but was disappointed to put the ball wide. The score remained 2-1. Loreto was awarded a pc in the final minute. With 17 seconds on the clock, Loreto opted not to strike at goal but to push the ball outside the D and Matthews held onto the ball in the corner for the remaining seconds of the game to take their first win at the EHCC and the vital points.
Team sheets: All official information for the EHCC matches, including squad lists, fixture times, statistics and so on, are available on the following link:
Photograph: World Sport Pics / Koen Suyk