Atlètic Terrassa and SV Kampong have both made it through to the Euro Hockey League FINAL4 for the first time as they swept to victory over KHC Leuven and Rot Weiss Köln, respectively.
The Catalan side Atlètic owed much to the brilliant Jan Malgosa goal four minutes from the end, eventually settling a 3-2 result against Belgium’s last remaining club.
After a scoreless first half, the second burst into life with quickfire goals from Marc Salles, Renaud Pangrazio and Roc Oliva to give the Spanish side a 2-1 lead. Pau Quemada, however, fired a low bullet from a corner to tie things up and Leuven looked on top in the closing stages.
That was until Malgosa picked up a quick free, weaved around the circle before beating two players and shooting in on the backhand.
Speaking afterwards, Jan Malgosa: “It’s unbelievable. To be honest, to score the decisive goal like this, I cannot put it into words. It’s the first time getting to the FINAL4, doing it this way – first against Dragons and then Leuven – it is the best way to do it.”
He is among a large Malgosa contingent, playing in the team with his brother Dani and cousins Oriol and Joaquim and he says this is part of what makes this tournament so special.
“It’s definitely the beauty of the EHL. Especially at Atlètic, we have a very strong family feeling. We are like a big family and we fight until the last minute for our friends.”
Kampong, meanwhile, were much more comfortable as they produced an excellent performance to beat Rot Weiss Köln 5-1 and advance to the semi-finals.
Rob Kemperman’s close range finish was doubled up by Philip Meulenbroek’s clever deflection for 2-0. Christopher Rühr pulled one back with a powerful backhand shot but Kampong were in irresistible form.
But the Dutch team were too hot to handle and played the counter-attack well. Martijn Havenga netted twice from penalty strokes to stretch the lead to 4-1 and Pepijn Luijkx completed the win with a cool finish.
Sander de Wijn was named the man of the match. He admitted he was “really exhausted” despite what looked a one-sided scoreline.
“The score didn’t look like it was that hard but our opponent was the German champion, a great team. But we did a complete team effort, won every 50-50 and one-on-ones which shows how fully focussed we were.”
Atlètic Terrassa and SV Kampong will now meet in Barcelona on May 14 at the Pau Negre Stadium. Tickets for this event go on sale later this week.
KO8: Atlètic Terrassa 3 (M Salles, R Oliva, J Malgosa) KHC Leuven 2 (R Pangrazio, P Quemada); SV Kampong 5 (M Havenga 2, R Kemperman, P Meulenbr
Image Credit: Martijn Havenga, Kampong – Euro Hockey League/Frank Uijlenbroek. This image may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of the EHL or the photographer