Euro Hockey League KO8: Reading HC 1-5 KHC Dragons.

Two goals from Maurice Dubois gave Dragons a place in the Final Four after a superb display in Amsterdam to knock out EHL rivals Reading. These two sides have played each other four times in the last three season of the EHL and yet again this encounter did not disappoint.

Dubois opened the scoring in the first quarter, reacting the quickest to a rebound after James Bailey’s save from the initial shot. Dubois was able to scoop the ball goalwards and past the Reading goalkeeper to give his team a dream start.

Dubois tried his luck again shortly after following good approach play by Felix Denayer but his squeezed shot was easily parried away by Bailey.  From the resultant long corner Reading were caught napping. Jeffrey Thys played a low cross in and Dubois, all alone made no mistake from close range to make it 2-0.

Thys seemed to be on a one-man mission to find the next goal. His pace and power caused Reading all sorts of problems and twice the Dragons captain was unlucky to see revers stick efforts go wide of the far post. On 37 minutes, Thys got his goal. Matthew Cobbaert broke down the right and reached the baseline. He picked out his captain with a measured cut back and despite pressure from the defence he hit an excellent shot across the goal and into the far corner.

Reading gave their fans a flicker of hope with a goal ten minutes later. Simon Mantell found Harry Slater in space outside the D. He picked out Chris Newman who calmly deflected the ball home to make it 3-1.

Thys linked well with Denayer to go close with yet another reverse stick effort, and with Reading pushing for another goal the skipper was afforded time and space in the D to slot the ball through legs of James Bailey to make it 4-1. With a minute left on the clock Loick Luypaert added a gloss to the scoreline with a fierce drag flick into the roof of the net.

Reading were soundly beaten but will take a lot of pride from the way they battled throughout this game and from their dramatic victory in the KO16 stage. Dragons go marching on, and on this sort of form will be a much-feared opponent, regardless of who they come up against.

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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