After a championship that had seen 70 goals in 15 games, the 16th and final game was decided by a sole goal scored in the 17th minute. But, Wettingen’s win was no boring 1-0 result, instead both SV Arminen and Rotweiss Wettingen played out a final that was end-to-end and full of top class skills. But this was a game won by tactics and, on this occasion, coach Marcus Ventnar had got the tactics spot on and the 2017 EuroHockey Club Trophy is on its way to Switzerland.
1st/2nd place: SV Arminen vs Rotweiss Wettenden 0-1
The Swiss representative, Rotweiss Wettingen, played a canny defensive game that left their opponents, SV Arminen unable to play their usual stylish, passing game. With Arminen coming into the final with 12 goals in three games, coach Marcus Ventar knew that a strong defence was a must if Wettingen were to stand a chance of lifting the trophy, and his men delivered in style. A goal in the 17th minute was followed by a disciplined performance that offered the Austrian side no way to goal.
The opening quarter of the match was real end to end stuff. The rain was during down but the action on the pitch was fast and furious as the players worked to create openings for themselves. Where SV Arminen played the more intricate passing match, Wettingen used the width of the pitch but as the first 15 minutes drew to a close, neither side had really troubled their opponent’s defence.
The sole breakthrough came in the 17th minute. Wettingen had looked the more attacking side after the two minute break and were creating some nice space. An aerial from Fabian Wullschleger started the move. His lofted ball put Arminen on the back foot and a subsequent passing move found Jan Hödle in front of goal. His shot was saved by Mateusz Szymczyk in the Arminen goal but Nicolas Steffen was on hand to slot the rebound home.
With a 1-0 lead to defend, Wettingen set about their defensive duties with real discipline. When they attacked, they did so with speed and purpose but, as soon as possession was over-turned, the red and white shirts were behind the ball in great numbers and you could also see the will of the Arminen team draining away.
The final few minutes were all Wettingen. When they were in possession, they took the ball to the corner and counted down the clock, when their opponents had the ball, there was simply no way through.
3rd/4th place: Dinamo Elektrostal vs Grove Menzieshill 4-0
Home side Elektrostal made sure they ended this EuroHockey Club Trophy campaign on a high as they dominated all four quarters of the third-fourth place match. Menzieshill, who are competing in an European outdoor championship for the first time since 1990, have enjoyed a good tournament but four matches in four days had taken its toll on the young side. That said, the Scottish team did create chances but the fact that the ball hit the post three times suggested this was not to be their day.
Elektrostal moved into the lead in the 11th minute via a cracking goal from open play from Sergey Lepeshkin.
This was followed in the 27th minute by a Dimtry Laptev penalty corner that rasped past ‘keeper Andrew Duncan to double Elektrostal’s lead.
Andrey Kaurev continued his fine form in front of goal to score the third in the 39th minute and things were wrapped up by Aleksandr Gilev who connected with a loose ball in the circle to fire home his team’s fourth goal.
With a number of teenagers starring in the Menzieshill line-up, both manager Jamie Cromar and coach Chris Anderson were full of praise after the match for the efforts and professionalism of the young team.
5th/6th place: HC Minsk vs Navax AHTC Wien 5-1
Minsk bounced back from yesterday’s loss to claim fifth place in the EuroHockey Club Trophy with an emphatic 5-1 victory over the Austrian team Wien.
It didn’t all begin the Belarus team’s way however. Mathias Fischer took advantage of a lack of concentration by the Minsk defence to put his team ahead in the 12th minute. This was the wake-up call that Minsk needed and within seconds of the restart Uladzislau Kochkin opened the Minsk account with a neatly taken goal, after his side had put together some slick passing moves.
The second quarter was goalless as both teams settled into a game of attack and counter-attack, but the signs were there that Minsk were the stronger team on the day as they began to put more pressure on the Wien defence.
Uladzislau Belavusau made it 2-1 in the 33rd minute as he scored from open play and his breakthrough paved the way for a Minsk onslaught in the closing stages of the game. Kochkin got his second, another well-taken, opportunist’s goal. Four minutes later, Dymtro Cuppa made it 4-1 before Ivan Liakh scored from a penalty stroke to make it 5-1.
7th/8th place: SK Slavia Prague vs ASD SH Paolo Bonomi 1-3
A penalty corner scored by Bonomi’s Alessandro Remus was all that separated these two teams for almost three quarters of this match, but then a flurry of goal-mouth activity saw both sides piling on the pressure in an attempt to win the game and avoid a bottom-place finish.
First, Paolo Bonomi extended their lead through a penalty corner strike by Gonzalo Ursone before Martin Babicky gave his side some last minute hope when he turned the defence inside out to score for Prague.
It was a very nervy last 60 seconds for the Italians as the entire Slavia Prague side pushed forwards, but Bonomi gained possession and a quick break saw Ursone score his second and put the game beyond the Czech Republic side’s reach.
Top scorer at the EuroHockey Club Trophy was Dominik Monghy of AHTC Wien, with five goals, he was followed by Patrick Schmidt of SV Arminen who need four times.
EuroHockey Club Trophy 2017 Men – Elektrostal, Russia – Day 4