EHL: Even in Europe, Leopold Wants to Remain Competitive

The Brabançons negotiated their return to European competition well. A 5-3 victory against the Irish from Bambridge won in the second half after showing much more technical mastery.Article reserved for subscribers

Frank Uijlenbroek / WORLDSPORTPICS / EHL

We welcome the protégés of Jean Willems for their 9th participation in the prestigious European competition. The winners of the 2019 edition were able to remain calm after a somewhat delicate first period against the Irish who put a lot of energy into the duels to lead the score at the break (1-2). Victor Charlet, back in the group after small problems during the start of the season (he only played 2 of the 5 championship matches) responded with the very first Brabant penalty to Louis Rowe’s opening goal but John McKee still allowed Banbridge to regain the advantage before the break.

“We knew that this meeting would not be easy because the Irish fight like dogs (sic) on all the balls,” said Tommy Willems before joining the locker room. “Physically it wouldn’t be easy either but we had to stay calm. In the second half, we were more composed and we found our game from previous years. It was cleaner and you immediately see the difference. We didn’t correct anything tactically but it had to be better technically. We were too messy during the first 30 minutes and we conceded on their first 2 real possibilities of the match. There was a bit of frustration and we were no longer following the plan. We then started to force and it became more complicated. »

But in the second half, the Watducks applied themselves and scored 3 goals in just 4 minutes (37, 39 and 40th ) via Blaise Rogeau, Victor Charlet, doubled from the penalty spot, and Louis Depelsenaire. Enough to allow the Brabançons to put down their game and finally master the exchanges. But the Irish did not give up and came back into the game thanks to Louis Rowe. But Louis Depelsenaire allowed his team to breathe by registering the number 5.

Confirm Sunday to qualify for the Final 8

A success which now needs to be confirmed, Sunday morning (9:45 a.m.), against the English from Old Georgians who won quite comfortably against the Germans from Mannheimer (5-1). “It will be much more complicated,” continues Tommy Willems. “If it doesn’t follow technically, we’ll actually have a very difficult time telling the difference. And if we stray from the game plan, we will struggle. We will have to prepare well for the meeting during the day on Saturday and take advantage of it to recharge the batteries. But we will have every chance if we follow, to the letter, what we have prepared for this duel. »

If successful, on Sunday, the Waterloo Ducks will join the Ghent champions, seeded, and therefore already qualified for the quarter-finals of the EHL. For his part, the Leopold arrived this Friday morning in Barcelona. The people of Brussels will train for an hour, in the middle of the afternoon, before following a video analysis session. Saturday noon, they will face the formidable Germans of Harvestehuder with the same objective: to achieve a success then fight to snatch a ticket for the Final 8.

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