Match Report - vs Eagles Ladies HC
Sunday saw our team face Eagles HC in the Domestic Cup Semi-Final. This Eagles side was made up of experienced and some young players and we knew we would have to be at our best to get the result we wanted.
Europa started strong in possession and continuously created chance after chance. The tactics were working well, so was the positional play. The high press and zonal marking worked a treat too. The press from forwards K Sanchez and E Woods was not allowing the Eagles backline to outlet with ease. Europa enjoyed a very strong bench, when N Riley, G Gracia, and A De Torres came into action the level and intensity of our play was maintained.
Eagles were struggling to find the space or time on the ball to be able to cause us problems. At this point we were well in control and it was in the 8th minute when cool-headed Gayle Langtry slotted the ball passed G Valarino (Eagles' Keeper) after Eagles had failed to clear the ball from a Penalty Corner. Europa continued causing problems through quick turnovers and with very fine passing through the lines. In the last encounter Eagles had scored against the run of play and this was something Europa was weary of. This time round the back three A Garcia, G Langtry and C Macleod were the first to anticipate and intercept any danger.
Additionally they were really comfortable on the ball initiating some great attacks and transferring the ball flawlessly. Europa keeper A Nuñez did not have to produce any saves in the first half and that was obviously a great sign for the girls in green.
In the middle of the park Europa enjoyed some great link up play through E Silva, D Garcia and L Garcia. The three were immense defensively and offensively, wow what players!
In the third quarter Eagles started strong and looked a different side, they played more direct hockey and were more aggressive on the press, this made the game really interesting and more exciting for the large crowd.
Eagles threatened the circle more earning a few Penalty Corners which were well defended by Europa’s PC defence and on form keeper A Nuñez. The last quarter seemed like Europa still had fuel in the tank whiles Eagles after a massive effort in the 3rd qtr were showing signs of tired legs.
Both E Flower and L Flower were constantly a threat to the Eagles full backs, their pace and skills proved to be too good on the day. Europa did not want to defend their 1 goal lead by sitting back, they kept creating attacks, some through brilliant link up play form K Hammond and A Parody Mauro. With only minutes left from their 6th PC of the afternoon Europa scored the 2nd goal of the game through a superb hit by Kayleigh Sanchez.
Eagles played hard and fair in a well contested match. The better side won and are now excited and looking forward to the Final on the 5th March at 2pm.
Thanks to Umpires Brian Buckley and Jack Cox for officiating the match and thanks both sets of supporters for making some noise.