M1 Beat Dinamo Kazan To Qualify For EHL Final8
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men have qualified for April's EHL Final8 tournament after coming from behind to beat Dinamo Kazan of Russia 4-1 on Sunday in Barcelona.
Kazan beat Saint Germain of France 4-2 to get to the KO8 stage and took the lead against Surbiton in the 12th minute, attacking down the right before the move was finished with a touch over the goal-line by Linar Fattakhov.
Kazan still led at half time, but Surbiton responded in the 32nd minute, James Royce equalising with a penalty corner conversion, his drag-flick perfectly angled into the side netting.
Another penalty corner indirectly led to the goal which put Surbiton ahead for the first time. The penalty corner was saved by Kazan goalkeeper Marat Gafarov and cleared out of the circle. Surbiton retrieved the ball with Rob Farrington crossing from the right for Alan Forsyth to dive and deflect the ball home at the right post in the 40th minute.
Two minutes later, Surbiton led 3-1, Tom Sorsby scored from the right of the clrcle with an angled shot into the left side netting whilst Kazan were down to ten players, Denis Shchipachev having been shown a yellow card.
The fourth goal came from the penalty spot, Forsyth finding the backboard to Gafarov's left with six minutes remaining to earn Surbiton's place in the EHL Final8 in April.
Hampstead's EHL dream was ended by Mannheimer, 2-1 winners earlier on Sunday.
With both Surbiton and Hampstead in Barcelona, the Men's Hockey League continued with Old Georgians going top of the table, a point ahead of Surbiton after a convincing 5-0 win at East Grinstead.
Wimbledon thrashed the University of Exeter 12-0 for the third double figure tally of the Premier Division this season. On Saturday, Holcombe won 3-2 at Reading and Brooklands Manchester University beat Beeston 2-1 at home.