Gantoise to meet WatDucks in Belgian men’s final

Gantoise will meet Waterloo Ducks in the Belgian men’s championship final knowing they already have an EHL ticket in the back pocket.

That is thanks to their respective semi-final wins over Royal Léopold and KHC Dragons last weekend.

For reigning champions Gantoise, they only scraped into the playoffs via a late miracle in the regular season but they were good value in defeating table-toppers Léo in both legs last weekend.

They won 2-1 in Ghent and then prevailed 3-2 in the second leg thanks to goals from Antoine Kina, Emile Esquelin and the clincher from Etienne Tynevez.

Pascal Kina told Le Soir said his side were deserved winners: “We controlled the [second] game and kept the ball. I have to highlight the great performance of my players even though I was well aware of what they were capable of.

“It was no coincidence to beat Leopold twice. And that’s impossible if you’re not in great shape. I knew that we would be stronger than the Ucclois during this second semi-final. We had analysed our opponents well and we had discovered the vulnerabilities to exploit.”

For Waterloo, they trailed 3-2 after game one but bounced back with a perfect performance to win 3-1 with a hat trick from captain Victor Charlet.

It sets up a rematch of the 2023 decider on Saturday at 4pm (CET). Whoever wins will advance straight to the EHL FINAL8 while the runner-up will compete in the KO16.