Mannheim cling on for 1-1 draw and their ticket to EHL KO16

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics



Pool B: Mannheimer HC 1 (G Peillat) Wimbledon 1 (E Horler)
Mannheimer HC won through to the KO16 of the EHL as they held on for a gritty 1-1 draw that sends them through ahead of Wimbledon on goal difference from Pool B ROUND1.

It was a tough physical battle from the very start with numerous green cards throughout the first half as neither side was willing to relent at any stage.

Gonzalo Peillat’s powerful drag-flick gave the German club the half-time lead as he scored from the first of two corners before the break. They were grateful, though, to some brilliant defending from Teo Hinrichs to keep them ahead while Lucas Vila showed some beautiful touches but got little change from Michael Hoare and his dogged defensive team.

It set up a big second half with Wimbledon needing two goals to get in front. Their task almost got even tougher when Timm Haasse drew an amazing save from James Bailey. Peillat’s third corner chance was not stopped.

From there, Wimbledon tore into their attacks with Ben Arnold’s shot brilliantly saved by Lukas Stumpf in the 43rd minute. Ed Horler gave his side the lifeline with 12 minutes left following a swift baseline attack, calmly slotting home from the near post.

It set up a grandstand finish but Mannheim stayed calm and won through to the KO16 with Wimbledon finishing second in their group.

“It was a big battle," Gonzalo Peillat said afterwards. "Wimbledon are a very nice team but maybe we were a bit unlucky with the injury to Lucas [Vila] and our centre-back [Philipp Huber] but we defended pretty good in the end.

“In the first half, we were better and had our chances but couldn’t take the goals so in the end we had to suffer a little bit but we did a great job.

“Elektrostal was a little bit disorganised for us in the first half despite us having control of the game. But when we had our chances in the second half, we took them which was great. Today was a different game with both sides defending pretty well inside the circle. These kind of games are good for the fans and hockey in general.

“It was a great weekend for us and a huge step forward this season to push on in the EHL when maybe we were not good enough last season!”