Sunday September 20, 2020.

 

Ladies 1 :  HC Luxembourg vs Namur

 

In bright spirits following their convincing first victory at La Rasante (0-8), the Luxembourg women's 1st team welcomed their rivals from Namur this afternoon with the firm intention of convincingly establishing their dominance in this local rivalry.

 

Under a beating our players prepared for the game perfectly. The girls from Namur though arrived on the pitch just moments before the initial whistle, and the white and blues established a high tempo between their key players to open the scoring after just a few minutes of play. Maude De Cooman and Valentine Assenmacher combined perfectly in the back of the opposing defense before the former propelled the ball into the corner of the goal(1-0).

 

Well organised, the Luxembourgers mastered the debates during the first quarter of an hour, without however being able to capitalise upon the opportunities they had created for themselves.

 

With Romane Wilmotte off the field for a recovery period, her teammates missed here presence in the middle of the field. A few moments of hesitation followed, resulting in the equalizer in Namur on her first penetration in the opposing circle. (1-1)

 

The players of the Grand Duchy had a hard time rediscovering their initial rhythm in a disjointed match. The score did not change until five minutes from time. That was the moment for the Luxembourg club to give a last great hurrah and finally find the hole in the red and black wall! In utter confusion, Romane Wilmotte delivered the coup de gras through a PC with a powerful shot. (2-1)

 

Intelligently managing their lead, Luxembourg would not be surprised a second time. The outcome of the game was sealed and our women's team could breathe. Lacking inspiration, they showed patience and self-sacrifice to extricate themselves from a perilous situation, and see off a tough and persevering Namur team. The basics in the bag, our ladies maintained their perfect record. In addition, they perfectly launched their male counterparts who followed them on to the pitch, in search of their first victory of the season ...

 

Maxime Halflants

 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Men 1 :  HC Luxembourg vs Jaguar

 

A substantial home crowd came to support the blue riband team, and Luxembourg was very keen to bring the club the first National League victory in their history. Focussed, diligent and perfectly organised, the home players displayed an impressive level of play from the first moments of the match. Starting in a beautiful shape Gratien Kangulumba received a millimetre perfect aerial from Olivier Willame in the opposing half. The virtuoso threaded a pass through the eye of a needle for Milan Dans who opened the scoring with a scorching reverse stick strike (1-0).

 

The home team redoubled their commitment in the next 15 mins. Having set up defensively at the start of the meeting, they changed the rhythm of the match by bringing in an additional striker, one Nicolas de Charry. The latter used his speed to pierce the Jaguar's defence and centre the ball towards Milan Dans. The Lux striker subtly deflected the ball into the top corner for his second of the afternoon, to leave the team comfortable at the break. (2-0)

 

Mindful of the prize at stake in the second thirty-five minutes, the Luxembourg players returned to the pitch filled with the same intentions as in the first act. Denying the Jaguars a moments respite, they scored two more goals in quick succession. Gratien Kangulumba, delivering another sparkling performance, pierced the poor opposing goalkeeper with a powerful shot that could have been heard from the "Gründ"! Finally, it was on PC that the home team sealed the deal. Our captain, Laurent Nève, slapped it along the deck for Milan Dans who signed a ‘hat-trick’ by diving for a tip-in with the edge of his stick! (4-0)

 

The Grand Duchy fought valiantly to maintain this position until the final whistle. Arnaud Debeaumont masterfully deflected an opposing PC on the line while Matthew Nunes was imperial for his return as goalkeeper. The entire team delivered a game of high quality. The score did not change, despite some nice additional offensive plays. Mass was said and our gentlemen could rejoice: we finally had this first historic victory for the Hockey Club of Luxembourg. Savouring this victory with our supporters, the celebrations were huge!

 

The Luxembourg team are looking great and the club has a bright future ahead of them. We can guarantee that this group will give us some great times in the future. Today, and beautifully aided by their female brethren, they placed Luxembourg on the hockey map. With the explosive growth of this fine sport, it is a perfect time to deliver such a remarkable performance!

 

Maxime Halflants

Sunday, September 13, 2020

 

Tournai - HC Luxembourg : 4-3

 

 

The Luxembourg team traveled to Tournai for this second league match. Well into under way after a promising first meeting, they were keen to ride the positive wave of the start of the season.
 
To make up for the absence of a few key players from the team, the latter could happily count on the return to its ranks of Gratien Kangulumba, a true hockey virtuoso with an exceptional and communicative mentality. Omnipresent on this sunny Sunday, it was also him who launched Milan Dans in depth. The Luxembourg striker played an inspired "big bridge" against the opposing defense, and slipped the ball finely into the back of the goal. (0-1)
 
Although in shape, Luxembourg was naively surprised on a local counterattack, a few moments after opening the scoring. Everything had to be redone. (1-1)
 
Taking the game to his own account during the last ten minutes of the first act, the blues and whites saw their good organization rewarded with a beautiful combination between Milan Dans and Maxime Halflants. The coach-player concluded the action of a powerful push in the right corner of the goal. (1-2)
 
The second half was akin to a physical and psychological fight, relegating the show to the background. In this tense atmosphere, Tournai reaped the score on a magnificent individual action by the opposing striker who sent a powerful backhand strike into the goal ceiling! (2-2)
 
But Luxembourg had resources. Under the impetus of a dazzling Gratien Kangulumba, the Grand Duchy club returned to the front when the ball, deflected by Milan Dans, made the local nets tremble for a third time. (2-3)
 
It remained for the HCL to maintain this deserved result while the clock still showed 4 minutes to go! Unfortunately, the lack of experience of this beautiful team under construction was lacking. Twice, what's more. Tournai took advantage of the opposing mistakes to crucify the visiting players, exhausted by a meeting of great intensity. (4-3)
 
Disappointed, but far from being defeated, Luxembourg is keeping its head up high and intends to learn valuable lessons from this very encouraging match for the rest of the season.
 
Next week, Luxembourg players are counting on massive support from the entire club to clinch their first victory and push towards the places of merit they deserve!
 
Maxime Halflants

Sunday, September 6, 2020

 

HC Luxembourg - Taxandria : 1-1

 

 

The season is finally starting ! After a promising summer preparation, the team is fully motivated for this first league match! Needed motivation for this opening match, which has been a difficult draw for us. Indeed, the Taxandria team is certainly one of the strongest in the league.

 

Luxembourg starts the match with a compact and cautious strategy, leaving the possession of the ball to the opponent and waiting patiently for an opening to counter-attack. This opportunity was not long in coming as, after only a few minutes, our new Spanish recruit "Koké Zidane" perfectly puts the ball deep for Milan Dans who takes a powerful shot that unfortunately dies on the left post of the opponent's goal!

 

These few centimetres too short penalize us doubly because Taxandria opens the score on the following action, not without a serious stroke of luck. Indeed, the opposing attacker misses his shot and the unexpected trajectory of the ball deceives our goalkeeper by taking it on the wrong foot (0-1).

 

In spite of this blow of fate, Luxembourg went back into action and took the game into their own hands as the minutes went by. Courageous, united and with a positive fighting spirit, the Grand Duchy's players deliver an exemplary match. The team, united, will be rewarded for its efforts ten minutes from time. Milan Dans, in great shape this Sunday, is wrongfully arrested in the opposing circle. The referee's decision is clear: stroke! Our captain Laurent Nève takes responsibility and transforms it into a powerful flick at half height (1-1).

 

The last moments of the match will be tense and indecisive, but neither team will manage to find the breakthrough. The draw is logical, given the configuration of the match. This is a wonderful and encouraging result for our club for the rest of the season! We can say that Luxembourg has found a team that looks good and will fight every Sunday to win!

 

The group will travel to Tournai this Sunday to hopefully take their first victory and take the podium of a league that promises to be exciting until the end!

 

Maxime Halflants

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