Waterloo Ducks in EHL heaven with remarkable 4-0 GRAND FINAL success in Eindhoven

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics



GRAND FINAL
Waterloo Ducks 4 Rot Weiss Koln 0

Waterloo Ducks became the first Belgian club to win the Euro Hockey League as they put in a monumental defensive performance to beat 2017 champions Rot Weiss Koln to the crown.

Second half goals from ABN AMRO Talent of the EHL William Ghislain, Gauthier Boccard, Max Bertrand and Quentin van Lierde saw them home but it owed a massive amount to Vincent Vanasch’s brilliance as the goalkeeper became one of a rare breed to win the EHL with two different clubs.

Three of those goals came in the last two minutes when Rot Weiss swapped out their goalkeeper while the Ducks were on the back foot for most of the match before their late volley of goals.

Captain John-John Dohmen said his side finally managed to put together the perfect run at the seventh attempt having only once reached the KO8 before this week.

“We had never done a good campaign in the EHL,” he said. “It’s the first time we have shown our real level. Of course, we had to defend a lot because Rot Weiss were really good but that was part of the strategy, to defend hard with courage, and we showed a lot of character.

It was lively right from the beginning as defender Kai Aichinger tore forward in the first phases to cause trouble while Pieter van Straaten and Renaud Pangrazio were buzzing up front for the Ducks.

Vincent Vanasch made two outstanding saves with Jonas Gomoll testing the world goalkeeper of the year’s mettle.

He was again brilliant early in the second half when Marco Miltkau’s under the arm pass was just chipped up at close quarters but Vanasch raised an arm to palm it away.

Rot-Weiss had a goal disallowed when Eric Knobling’s shinpad deflected into the goal from Johannes Grosse’s upright reverse-stick cross. The video umpire came to their rescue that time.

Then, against the run of play, Waterloo used their first real chance of note to set William Ghislain free on the right of the circle and he pumped the ball under Victor Aly for his second goal in two days.

Waterloo began to fall into foul trouble with a series of green cards forcing them deeper and deeper in defence. Mats Grambusch was denied by the post and then smashed a volley into Vanasch’s pads from another big chance.

The Ducks survived with nine men for a spell and then, as Rot Weiss took off Aly in favour of an extra attacker, Waterloo pounded. Pangrazio won a corner with less than three minutes to go and Gauthier Boccard showed no mercy to the unpadded masses to make it 2-0.

Bertrand then profited from more Ghislain brilliance when he laid off the ball into the circle for the striker to add an extra golden moment.

And there was even time left for van Lierde to score a fourth with one second left on the clock for an emphatic looking 4-0 scoreline.