Dragons fire up home crowd with shoot-out win over Surbiton

Men’s EHL Ranking Cup

M12: KHC Dragons 1 (T Crols) Surbiton 1 (L Taylor), Dragons win shoot-out 3-1

Loic van Doren and hosts KHC Dragons produced a sublime shoot-out to beat Surbiton and reach the 5th place playoff against Rot-Weiss Köln on Sunday with the English side ending with a 13th place ranking.

After 1-1 in normal time, van Doren saved three times while Felix Denayer, Henri Raes and Robbert Rubens all scored to send them through from a fierce battle.

The first half got off to a swift start with Tom Sorsby’s driving runs and Ben Boon’s reverse-stick shot showing Surbiton’s intent.

Dragons, though, soon started to dominate the game despite the absence of Olympic gold medalists Florent van Aubel and Simon Gougnard through injury. Ore Ogunlana produced an immaculate diving save to deny Nicolas Della Torre’s corner while, at the far end, Loic van Doren was similarly sharp to keep out James Gall.

The second quarter, though, was intense and low on chances with Dragons making most of the play but not able to find the incision and it was 0-0 at the big break.

The game burst back into life in the second half when Matthew Cobbaert’s cross left Surbiton in a spin and Thomas Crols was there to pick up a loose ball and flip into the net from close range.

That slender lead, however, only lasted eight minute as a heavy tackle led to a corner which Luke Taylor duly punished, dragging home for 1-1.

Again, the tie became controlled by two very well marshalled defences with Cobbaert putting in a brilliant defensive touch to deflect Rob Farrington’s first time shot over the bar. Lucas Martinez, meanwhile, flashed a shot wide with three minutes to go, sending the contest to a shoot-out.

Umpires: M Boxma (NED), A Ortiz (ESP)