M1 To Play For EHL Bronze On Monday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men will play Spaniards Club Campo De Madrid for the ABN AMRO Euro Hockey League FINAL 12 bronze medals at 1030 am BST on Monday after a clinical Rot-Weiss Köln beat them 5-1 in the semi-final at the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon.
Surbiton were the first English team to reach the last four since Wimbledon, who lost 8-0 to Oranje-Rood in 2017, Mink van der Weerden playing in both matches.
Rot-Weiss threatened early with Moritz Trompertz bringing the ball down in the circle in the first minute before firing the ball across goal and past the right post.
Surbiton's dreams of reaching their first EHL final were severely dented when they conceded two goals in a 28 second spell in the fifth minute.
Maximillian Siegburg made the first breakthrough putting the ball away into the far left corner after Ore Ogunlana kicked the ball away and then with the next attack, Christopher Rühr ran into Surbiton's 23 and into the circle before finding the backboard with sheer determination to double the German club's lead.
Tim Nurse gave Surbiton hope in the eleventh minute forcing Rot-Weiss goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch to make a fine save but a minute later Rot-Weiss scored a third goal, Siegburg deflecting a Rühr oass from the left past Ogunlana and into the right corner.
Surbiton won their first penalty corner with just six ticks left on the first quarter clock and after Luke Taylor was denied, Rot-Weiss video referred the decision to award a second corner in added on time but were able to keep both their referral after the award was confirmed due to no advice being possible and their first quarter clean sheet, defending successfully.
In the second quarter, Alex Williams had two chances to score, one whilst on the ground with the ball agonisingly passing the left post and later forcing Vanasch to make a save with James Gall unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Rot-Weiss's fourth goal in the 27th minute was somewhat controversial as Rühr appeared to be struck on the body by the ball when running down the left, but keeping control, he ran towards goal and lobbed Ogunlana into the far right corner. Surbiton referred the decision as the umpires had not seen the foul, but lost their referral when replays showed that the offence had taken place outside Surbiton's 23, meaning the decision could not be referred.
Surbiton once again had a penalty corner late in the quarter, with just seven seconds to go before half time, but Gareth Furlong could only pull the ball past the left post as the hooter sounded.
The fifth Rot-Weiss goal arrived in the 35th minute when another clinical finish, this time by Mats Grambusch, from the edge of the circle rebounded sweetly off the backboard.
Two minutes from the end of the third quarter, Surbiton survived a sequence of four successive Rot-Weiss penalty corners with James Gall making an incredible double stop from the fourth to stop the German club further increasing their lead.
Surbiton's consolation goal came in the 52nd minute with Luke Taylor drag-flicking the ball into the net beyond Vanasch.
Joshua Onyekwue Nnaji replaced Vanasch in the Rot-Weiss goal with just under five minutes remaining and the ball was hit beyond the Surbiton backline as the hooter sounded to confirm Rot-Weiss's place in the final against Bloemendaal.
Club Campo de Madrid lost 3-0 to Bloemendaal in Saturday night's semi-final and previously beat SV Arminen 3-0 in the KO8, Ignacio Abajo Sáenz de Tejada, Alvaro Tello and Joaquin Puglisi scoring their goals.