'13Alex ReyneA. Reyne
'22Alex ReyneA. Reyne
'25Dimitri CuvelierD. Cuvelier
'39Kane RussellK. Russell
'43Arthur VerdussenA. Verdussen
'45Borja LlorensB. Llorens
'56Dorian ThiéryD. Thiéry
'59Aristide CoisneA. Coisne
'59Matias ReyM. Rey
'60Alex ReyneA. Reyne
'60Roc OlivaR. Oliva
Real Club de Polo won a barn-storming KO16 tie to reach the KO8, beating Royal Leopold 4-3 in a tie that had drama galore in the closing two minutes.
Polo were in dreamland in the first half as they raced into a 2-0 lead with Alex Reyne scoring twice. The first was a gorgeous near post touch from David Alegre’s powerful cross just before the end of the first quarter.
He then weighed in once again in the second quarter with a brilliant first time volley, technically incredible as he was running away from goal as the ball bounced his way.
Dimitri Cuvelier started the comeback for Leopold five minutes before half-time when he latched onto a bouncing ball in the circle, smashing it home from mid-circle.
Leo enjoyed a really strong start to the third quarter and they went in front when Kane Russell whipped a high drag-flick into the top corner to make it 2-2.
Four minutes later, Arthur Verdussen weighed in with yet another brilliant volleyed finish from the top of the circle, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead.
But they only had that advantage for a few minutes as Polo won a series of penalty corners in quick succession and, from the fourth of them, Borja Llorens powered in a drag-flick.
The game was ultimately won in the last two minutes when Matias Rey got a touch to Roc Oliva’s slowed down drag-flick for 4-3. It came from a piece of individual brilliance from Alegre to win the corner.
There was further late drama when Leo had the ball in the net just a few milli-seconds after the final buzzer, the game ending just before hitting the net.
Xavi Lleonart, a winner last year with Bloemendaal, was delighted to nick the result: “We knew it would be really , really hard and it took scoring in the last minute but that’s the EHL! It was so tight and it was great to finally win.
“It’s nice to play in different clubs in this competition. It is so difficult for a Spanish team to get into the FINAL4. Last year, I really enjoyed the EHL with Bloemendaal and we will try and do it again with Polo.”
They meet Club Egara, a side they know incredibly well, regularly playing each other four or five times a season: “They have a lot of character, play with a lot of passion. It’s always a fight and will be physically spectacular.”