Gantoise reach FINAL8 for the first time

Gantoise reached the EHL Men’s FINAL8 for the first time in their history with a dramatic shoot-out win over AH&BC Amsterdam in Hamburg.

Tomi Santiago produced an immaculate pair of saves to help them win out 4-2, matching his heroics during normal time as they came back from a goal down to draw 1-1.

In the first half, the goalkeeper made a string of good stops as Amsterdam came on strone, creating many chances, the pick of the blocks denying Valentin Verga with a cracking hit at goal.

Verga did play a central part in putting the Dutch side in front six minutes into the second half, stealing the ball on the 23-metre line before laying off for Mirco Pruijser to flick in from close range.

Gantoise responded brilliantly with Roman Duvekot drawing a double save from Joren Romijn and then got the levelling goal when he got a lovely touch to Guillaume Hellin’s pass into the circle.

It came during a fine spell of pressure with both having chances to win it; neither went in and so it went to shoot-out where Gantoise scored all four of their efforts. In reply, Santiago denied both Verga and Boris Burkhardt to sent them through to next Easter’s finale.

Earlier, Lille MHC picked up their first EHL victory as they got the best of Rotweiss Wettingen in a dramatic shoot-out to open day two in Hamburg.

The French side led twice courtesy of low drag-flicks from Viktor Lockwood, picking out the bottom corner in the first quarter for an early lead. Jonas Winkler countered with a similar effort, whipping in a similar low drag which made its way through Corentin Saunier.

Lockwood restored the gap with another corner flick before half-time for a 2-1 lead and it stayed that way until 110 seconds from the final whistle. Winkler produced a moment of magic on the right baseline to slide home the leveller at 2-2.

In the shoot-out, though, Lille were perfect with three from three while Saunier kept out all of the Wettingen efforts to win out 3-0.