25th March 2016: KHC Leuven, Rot Weiss Köln, Atlètic Terrassa and SV Kampong took their place in the KO8 on a day of high drama at the Euro Hockey League KO16 in Amsterdam’s Wagener Stadium.
In one of the most memorable games in the competition’s history, Rot Weiss beat fellow German side and three-time champions UHC Hamburg 5-3. Marco Miltkau and Christopher Rühr were the stars of the show, the former scoring a hat trick while the latter created the chances.
They led throughout after both players netted within the first five minutes. UHC got one back from a Florian Fuchs special. But Mats Grambusch and Miltkau kept pushing Rot Weiss further ahead to keep them out of range of their Hamburg rivals, leading at 3-2 at half-time and 4-3 at the end of the third quarter.
Miltkau’s brilliant third meant there was no way back for UHC, finalists last year, and Rot Weiss advance to the KO8 on Sunday.
There, they will play SV Kampong who were too strong for Racing Club de France who were taking part in the KO16 stage of the competition for the very first time.
Early goals from Bjorn Kellerman and Quirijn Caspers meant they were in a comfortable position and they were never truly troubled. Caspers, Constantijn Jonker and a delightful Philip Meulenbroek goal stretched the lead to 5-0 by the three-quarter mark.
Martijn Havenga added a corner goal before Jacinto Domingo-Perez drew the biggest cheer of the game when he tipped in for a Racing consolation goal. Kampong’s match with Rot Weiss will take place at 2.30pm (CET) on Sunday.
In the other section of the draw, Belgium’s Leuven left it late before running out handsome 7-2 winners over Poland’s WKS Grunwald Poznan in the opening game. Incredibly, they did trail at three quarter time as Waldemar Rataj and Tomasz Dutkiewicz had nudged the Poles into the lead.
But an amazing run of six goals in ten minutes between the 46th and 56th minute saw Leuven run riot with Tommy Willems scoring twice in the madness.
They will face Atlètic Terrassa on Sunday after they stunned KHC Dragons in a dramatic finale in which Marc Calzada saved three times in a shoot-out. Dragons looked on course for the KO8 place when Florent van Aubel’s through-the-legs deflection had them a goal ahead.
Image Credit: Main photograph Atlètic Terrassa celebrate – Euro Hockey League/Frank Uijlenbroek. These images may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of the EHL or the photographer.