'15Danny NguyenD. Nguyen
'33Gonzalo PeillatG. Peillat
'49Guillermo FortuñoG. Fortuño
'50Lucas BaronL. Baron
'51Gonzalo PeillatG. Peillat
'55Timm HaaseT. Haase
'55Timm HaaseT. Haase
'60Pablo de AbadalP. d. Abadal
Gonzalo Peillat’s penalty corner double powered Mannheimer HC to their first ever EHL medal as they took bronze with a strong second half performance to deny Real Club de Polo their first ever place on the podium.
“The feeling is perfect, the side made a really good effort for the whole week and I am really proud of the way they gave everything,” Peillat said afterwards.
“Playing three days in a row is something we are not used to do at a high performance level. Both teams were pretty tired so we tried to play on the counter and maybe nick a corner from that perspective.”
Indeed, in terms of his many goals before, Peillat said the one to make it 1-0 was one to remember.
“The first one was a little bit special. We had planned it but maybe not quite so close to the corner – that was a little surprise to even me! It means a lot for us to get this medal, for us to keep growing as a club and to play every year in the EHL will keep us growing.”
The first half was cagey as both sides looked to suss each other out at the end of a long tournament in the Eindhoven heat. Polo won the only corner of the half but could not make it count while Mannheim – with Danny Nguyen to the fore – started to apply the pressure as time went on.
Peillat’s powerful pass was just tipped wide by Tino Nguyen while Teo Hinrichs’ ball went through the circle without a touch, leaving it scoreless at half-time.
The German side continued that momentum into the second half and won a couple of corners, the first of which Mario Fernandez saved. The second one, however, was planted into the top corner by Peillat in the 33rd minute for a crucial lead.
They looked reasonably in control of that narrow lead for much of the third quarter though they did require Lukas Stumpf to get down low to deny Pablo de Abadal when a bouncing cross beat the first two blockers.
And, despite going down to 10 players, Polo fought back to get level with 10 minutes to go when Roc Oliva found a lovely line of pass into the circle and Lucas Baron scored his second goal in two days for 1-1.
The lead lasted just one minute, however, with Peillat rifling home another drag-flick and Timm Haase got the killer blow with five minutes to go when he lifted a chance on the run over Fernandez for the 3-1 lead.
For goalkeeper Lukas Stumpf, he was one of the shortlisted players for the ABN AMRO Talent of the EHL and he was delighted to play his part in the success.
“Yesterday was disappointing for the group but today we showed a strong performance, showed good structure and with the best drag-flicker in the world, it made the difference today. We are so happy to be the third best team in Europe.
“It was hard to come back but we wanted to finish our EHL season with a medal. We are very proud to be the first Mannheimer HC to win this kind of medal but our goal now is to be the EHL champion maybe next year.”