Euro Hockey League Round 1.2: Waterloo Ducks 4-0 Stroitel Brest.

Waterloo Ducks secured theirs and East Grinstead’s passage to the next round with a comfortable win over Stroitel Brest.

Brest had lost 5-0 to the hosts yesterday and any hopes of an upset and subsequent qualification were extinguished by a dominant performance from the Belgians.

Wat Ducks threatened early but the impressive Raman Vitko in goal made a fine save diving to the right to glove away a penalty corner.

Shortly after Alastair Brogdon and Gauthier Boccard linked up well and with Vitko scuffing his clearance captain Maxime Luycx scored from close range.

Boccard and Brogdon again combined superbly in the D with a nice exchange of passes but the Englishman was wayward with his finish.

Brest had their first effort on goal as Andrei Lukashyk was in the clear with a glorious chance, but he couldn’t beat Vincent Vanash at his near post. Brest were punished moments later as Maxime Capelle glided past Vitko and slotted home for 2-0. It was a minute which showed the fine margins of top level sport.

The second quarter followed the same pattern as the first with the Belgian side totally dominating. Gilles Jacob and Tanguy Cosyns both had good chances to add to the score but Jacob was kept out by a good save and Cosyns was wide with his effort.

Brest forced a penalty corner but in trying a slip and dummy drag flick succeeded only in fouling the runner and the chance was wasted.

Waterloo played out the rest of the quarter in relative comfort, happy to keep possession.

At the very start of quarter three Wat Ducks forced a penalty corner which Alexandre De Saedeleer fired into the roof of the net at an incredible speed, allowing Vitko no chance at all.

Brest forced another penalty corner after some careless defensive work from the Belgians, but again, they wasted the chance and Vanash cleared easily.

Ihar Yahoshchankau and Artur Kadran were both working hard to try and create something up front for the Belarusian side, but found themselves very isolated and stifled by the Waterloo defence.

Aliaksandr Lukashyk collected an aerial deep in the Ducks’ half but his shot lacked power and again Vanash was not troubled.

At the start of quarter four John-John Dohmen lashed a ball goalwards but Vitko had read the danger and blocked. From another penalty corner Wat Ducks made it 4-0 with another unstoppable drag flick, this time from Cosyns.

Brest started to throw aerials in an attempt to relieve the pressure but their respite was short lived. Dohmen tried his luck again but Vitko made yet another terrific save, diving to his left to divert the ball round the post. There was still time for a video referral to be turned down for a fifth goal and for Jacob to deflect a good chance wide before the final whistle blew.

Brest will have learnt some harsh lessons from these two games, although goalkeeper Vitko can be very proud of his efforts here. Waterloo look like they have another couple of gears making their clash with East Grinstead look like it will be a game to remember.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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