On Friday January 10th teams in pool B each played twice. With DOS'46 looking good to reach the final, the game between Adler and Prievidza was to decide whether the Germans could win though to the bronze medal game. In pool A, Boeckenberg reached their first ever Europa Cup final by easily beating Szentendre (HUN). Mitcham (ENG) and hosts NC Benfica fought out a winner-takes-all match to determine who will play for the bronze and Mitcham won through by a golden goal, after twice coming back from 4 goals behind.
The day’s first game was between Dutch Champions DOS’46 and Adler Rauxel (GER). DOS started scoring very early in the match and after 15 minutes already held a 6-goal lead an advantage they held until half time (11-5). In the second period they maintained their superiority and won the match 22-8.
Picture – Dutch champions DOS 46 (in white) pressurise German champions Adler Rauxel
The second game in pool B saw the game between Eastern European rivals Ceske Budejovice (CZE) and SKK Prievidza (SVK). With only 1 goal in the opening 10 minutes the game was slow to warm up but with 3 quick goals the Czechs gained the initiative which, apart from a couple of times when the Slovaks drew level, they held for the rest of the match. The half time score was 6-5 and although at one time the Czechs led by 4, at the end the score was 13-11.
Boeckenberg clinched their place in their first ever Europa Cup final with an emphatic win over Szentendre (HUN). In their previous two appearances in the Europa Cup (when it was a 3-division outdoor event) earned them a 3rd and a 4th place so they are guaranteed to go better whatever the result in tomorrow’s final. At half time the score was 11-3. At the end of the match the result was 25-8.
In the vital match to determine who would be 2nd in pool A, hosts NC Benfica were faster in thought and movement and shot more accurately than Mitcham (ENG) in the first half. Mitcham, who missed two penalties were rather fortunate to go in at half time only 2 down (6-8) after being 4 down with only a few minutes left in the half. In the opening moments of the second half Mitcham played a lot better and equalised. The Portuguese called a time out and this seemed to settle them as they went ahead again and stretched the lead to 4 goals by midway through the half. Mitcham were not finished though and with 4 minutes left they drew level. No further goals were scored so the match was decided by a golden goal. Mitcham attacked first and played very patiently with the task of shooting being given to a male player whilst former PKC player David Synott controlled the post. In the end after more than 3 minutes and almost ten missed shots, a girl chose to shoot instead and scored. An early interception in Benfica’s reply attack saw the end of the game with Mitcham winning 13-12, the only t6ime they led at any time in the match.
In the penultimate pool match Dos’46 gained a resounding win against the Czech Ceske Budejovice team. From a 13-2 score at half time the Dutch finished the game with exactly 4 times their opponent’s score (32-8).
In the last pool match of the tournament Adler Rauxel (GER) played SKK Prievdiza (SVK). With their corresponding results against the Czechs being so close (only 1 or 2 goals difference) one expected a very tight match. As it turned out the Germans started strongly and rather dominated the first half to lead 14-11 at half time, although at one stage the difference was more. We also had the latest possible goal in a half of this year’s event with Prievidza scoring with just 1 second left on the clock. In the second half the Germans rather imploded upon themselves and let the Slovaks back into the game. With 14 minutes left Prievidza were not only level but leading after Adler missed a penalty and Prievidza went straight to the other end and scored one. They even extended their lead to three goals at one stage before the Germans started one of their famous come backs. With just a few minutes left a Slovakian player went down with cramp and this really unsettled the team. They lost concentration and the Germans hit back to win 21-19 and go through to the bronze medal match against Mitcham.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images