ABN-Amro Men’s EHL Ranking Cup KO16
KHC Dragons 1 Surbiton 1 (Dragons won 3-1 on shootout)
Surbiton Men were frustrated after losing to a Belgian club on a shootout having drawn 1-1 in normal time for the second time in two and a half seasons.
In April 2019, Surbiton drew 1-1 with Waterloo Ducks in Eindhoven before losing the shootout 4-2, a defeat made more painful after Zach Wallace had to retake his attempt following a hooter malfunction.
In Braaschaat, Belgium, Surbiton went into the match with more confidence, but Dragons dominated possession in the first quarter, Surbiton goalkeeper, Ore Ogunlana making a superb save from the hosts’ only penalty corner of the quarter. Yet, Dragons could have found themselves behind after Nick Park forced a save from Loic van Doren.
Surbiton came more into the game in the second quarter, but in spite of both teams playing attacking hockey, the game was still goalless at half time.
Both normal time goals came in the third quarter, Thomas Crols putting Dragons ahead with an angled shot into the right corner from just wide of the left post in the 34th minute. After Dragons subsequently failed to breakthrough from two penalty corner awards, Surbiton made the most of their sole award, Luke Taylor equalising in the 42nd minute with a drag-flick into the inside right netting.
Neither side could find a winner in the fourth quarter, so the match headed to the dreaded shootout.
Surbiton went first with Sam Spencer having his shot saved before Felix Denayer gave Dragons a 1-0 advantage with a lob shot. David Goodfield levelled for Surbiton before Henri Raes found the backboard to restore Dragons’ advantage.
Jamie Golden’s attempt went past the right post with Robbert Rubens finding the backboard as Dragons led 3-1. Tom Sorsby’s attempt ended up past the left post as Van Doren once more proved unbeatable to earn Dragons’ place in the KO8.
Surbiton were unable to play their subsequent ranking match as Dinamo AK-Bars, formerly known as Dinamo Kazan when Surbiton beat them 4-1 in Barcelona in October 2019, were forced to withdraw after the team had a number of positive Covid-19 cases. As a result, Dinamo AK-Bars forfeited and Surbiton were awarded a 5-0 win and a joint ranking of thirteenth.
With Hampstead & Westminster also losing on a shootout to Mannheimer (2-0 after a 2-2 draw in normal time) and a 4-1 win over Three Rock Rovers in their ranking match, they join Surbiton as being ranked thirteenth and the EHF will release the updated country rankings, which will decide how many places each country gets in the various European competitions, shortly.
Scorer: Thomas Crols 34-F
Starters: Loic van Doren (GK); Lucas Putters, Max Lootens, Robbert Rubens, Mathew Cobbaert, Timothy Luyten, Thomas Crols, Sebastiaan Geers, Felix Denayer (Capt.), Lucas Martinez, Conor Harte.
Subs: Henri Raes (5 mins), Nocolas Della Torre (6), Victor Foubert (7), Ralph Putters (9), Max Luyten (10).
Not used: Florent van Aubel, Frederic Beeckman (GK).
Cards: Green: Nicolas Della Torre (55 mins).
Scorer: Luke Taylor 42-PC
Starters: Luke Taylor, Rob Farrington, Tom Sorsby, Ben Boon, Jonny Gall (Capt.), Tim Nurse, Jonty Griffiths, David Goodfield, James Gall, Gareth Furlong, Ore Ogunlana (GK).
Subs: Jamie Golden (5 mins), Nick Park (5), Ben Park (9), Ben Stevenson (9), Sam Spencer (9), Jack Middleton (22).
Not used: Alex Rooney (GK).
Cards: Green: James Gall (29 mins).
Umpires: Maarten Boxma (Netherlands) and Andres Ortiz (Spain)