The final game of day 2 at the EHL sees 2 Dutch giants battling for a spot in KO8. Bloemendaal and Kampong are both former EHL champions. But the legendary club in orange has the advantage when you look to history. The “mussen” (Dutch for sparrows) from Bloemendaal have not lost a game since April 2015 and are hoping to make it 4 titles in a row. Five if we disregard the cancelled season in the covid infected years.
Q1 started out with some quality hockey from both sides. No real opportunities or big goalie moments from some top notch long passes. Very evenly matched… Then Wortelboer went on a walkabout through the Kampong defence to earn his team the first corner of the game. Flicked outside the posts of Davey Harte, Irish goalie for Kampong it ment Q1 would end scoreless. But not without some entertaining hockey…
The beginning of Q2 earned Kampong their first corner. But the flick from Janssen was no match for Visser in the Bloemendaal goal.
Next, the speed and quality of these great teams was on display when a beautiful run by Brinkman into the D looked to end in the Kampong nets but a volley from the defender avoided the opening goal. Following which the game returned to a midfield battle for most of Q2. Until Miralles penetrated the Kampong circle and forcing Harte to a save with the glove. 0-0 at halftime.
With less than 30 seconds on the clock for Q3 Kampong made their way into the D over the backline and Marree got the finishing touch to score the 0-1.
Followed within a couple of minutes by another circle penetration and some poor defending by Bloemendaal to earn them another corner. Jansen could not get a handle on the trapped ball so it remained 0-1. Needless to say Kampong were the dominant team for most of Q3. A rather unimaginative Bloemendaal – with some of their key players not at their best – kept trying to come back with long penetrating passes that were almost always intercepted. And so Q3 brought only the one goal by Kampong.
Q4 opened with a bit more from Bloemendaal where once again Miralles took his own free hit (thank you EHL for the self pass) into the D and fired a backhand at Harte. Miralles clearly the exception to the lack of form by Bloemendaal’s key players. The press paid off with a big overhead by Jasper Brinkmann into the D beautifully finished in a high reverse by Casper van der Veen: 1-1.
Kampong struck back within minutes with the first well finished penalty corner by Janssen which, deviated by a defender, made it 1-2 again.
By this time the midfield battle had become a circle to circle fight. Both teams eager to win this one. With 3 minutes on the clock Bloemendaal pulled their goalie to throw it all forward.
A giant aerial from Janssen into the D was deviated by De Vilder outside of the empty Bloemendaal goal. Bloemendaal gave it their all in these last minutes but Kampong is the one progressing to KO8. They beat Bloemendaal 2-1 m. That means no new title for the team from coaches Mathijssen en Freixa.