Sunday October 18, 2020
 
Men 1 :  Neo vs HC Luxembourg 
 
Deprived of five regular players, Hockey Club Luxembourg travelled to Mechelen one week after a convincing victory against the Lynx.
 
With a reworked squad, Maxime Halflants' men started brightly against Neo, playing in a compact and united manner. Combining in small spaces with quick passes, practically every one of their actions caused the opposition serious danger.
 
After three minutes of play, Frédéric Ferrard scored with a nice deflection into the roof of the goal to make it 1-0. A few moments later, captain Laurent Nève, in a 5-star performance, slalomed through the whole defence and provoked a PC. Maxime Halflants, back on the field to make up for the numerous absences, converted the opportunity to make it 2-0.
 
The blue and white team then went wild and added five new goals in the space of twenty minutes! Christophe Maters made it 3-0 with a nice backhand. Then it was Milan Dans who scored his first goal of the afternoon by dribbling past the keeper before pushing the ball into the goal from an impossible angle! (0-4). Nacho Gomez-Acebo made his contribution by taking the ball back from the Neo's defence and shooting fast. (0-5). Before half-time, Fred Ferrard - certainly the man of the match - added two more goals for a famous hat-trick, first by diving for a clever deflection, and then by slamming the board violently with a powerful flat shot! (0-7)
 
The visitors continued their dominance after half time. Despite decent resistance from the opposition, the Luxembourgers perforated Neo's defence with scoops above the navy blue line. Milan Dans added to the score by swivelling and shooting with all his strength to bring his team's lead to eight goals! The Luxembourg star striker maintained his average of two goals per game since the beginning of the season: simply exceptional!
 
The HCL could control the match without taking too much risk now. Keeping the ball in the team, the team was now choosing its moments to attack. With 15 minutes to go, Lockdeep Singh showed that he still has some great strengths left in him and scored with a precise push. (0-9) Seven minutes later, Maxime Halflants dribbled in the circle and shot but his ball was wrongly stopped on the goal line : penalty stroke! The coach/player took the responsibility to make it 10-0. Finally, Fred Ferrard added the gloss to his fantastic match with a historic 'quadruple'! (0-11) Proof that at 45 years old, with courage and talent, one can still achieve great feats in a championship of this quality! Congratulations to him and the whole team for this second victory in a row!
 
The HCL has made an excellent start of the season. Next Sunday, Luxembourg will receive Keerbergen at home for a crucial match in the fight for the top of the rankings. The club is counting on the massive support of its loyal and friendly public to win another victory!
 
Maxime Halflants 

 

Sunday October 11, 2020.

 

Ladies 1 :  HC Luxembourg - Louvain-La-Neuve

 

Golden Sunday for the HCL!

Two hundred kilometres away, our men's and women's teams inflicted the same rate on their opponents of the day: a crushing victory, without conceding a single goal!

Our ladies continued their faultless pursuit of their championship. Impressive since the beginning of the season, the Luxemburgish players once again offered a marvellous and clearly superior hockey to their opponents of the day, namely Louvain-La-Neuve.

The perfect mix of experience and youth was still working perfectly on Sunday on the Konen field! While the strikers were having a great time in the Leuven circle, the local goalkeeper didn't touch a single ball in the first half! The opposite of Fenne (deflection on PC), Aoife (rebound from PC), Diane Krüger (powerful backhand in the side net) and Maude De Cooman (combination with Elisa) who all four comfortably protected their team from an unpleasant surprise.

After the break, the Luxemburgish players managed their lead perfectly by completely dominating the visitors, even allowing themselves to take their goalkeeper out to play with eleven players on the field! In the 42nd minute, Aoife (again) dribbled through the defence before lobbing the goalkeeper with a precise cop: Superb! At the end of the match, Romane Wilmotte made her weekly contribution by inflicting a nice "double" on Louvain-la-Neuve. On penalty stroke first, before adding to the score with a flat shot after a perfectly controlled free kick.

Our ladies are showing impressive results week after week, proving that they deserve to move up to the next division next year!

 

Sunday October 11, 2020.

 

Men 1 :  Lynx vs HC Luxembourg 

 

Golden Sunday for the HCL!

Two hundred kilometres away, our men's and women's teams inflicted the same rate on their opponents of the day: a crushing victory, without conceding a single goal!

Our men travelled to the suburbs of Brussels to cross swords with the Lynx club. Determined, they played an ultra offensive tactic by putting a high pressure on their opponent of the day. The strategy quickly paid off, as by half-time the blue and white team were already leading by three goals. Gratien Kangulumba opened the scoring with a sharp backhand in the 5th minute, followed by the inevitable Milan Dans who found the opponent's net twice, first with a subtle tip-in, then by dribbling the goalkeeper before pushing the ball into the empty goal. The hardest part was done after thirty five minutes of play.

The second act was to be a formality for Luxembourg. But it was not! In difficult playing conditions and against a tough and aggressive team, the events took an incredible turn. Within five minutes, the Luxembourgers were (undeservedly) given two yellow cards and even a red card for permanent expulsion! At 8 against 11, the visitors had to rely on their excellent goalkeeper who masterfully saved a penatly stroke to maintain the comfortable lead of his team!

After this period of hesitation, the Hockey Club du Luxembourg regained control of the game and scored twice more, with the same two players as in the first period! Kangulumba found the ceiling of the goal with a powerful sleep before Dans imitated him with a deflection on PC. (0-5)

Thanks to this victory, the HCL is back in the good positions of the rankings, before consolidating its position during a trip in a few days time to the Neo Club, currently last in the championship.

 

Maxime Halflants

 

Sunday October 4, 2020.

 

Ladies 1 :  Ombrage vs HC Luxembourg 

The Luxembourgish team faced their Brussels-based rivals on the latter's home turf on Sunday.
 
With their minds on keeping their first place in the ranking, the Luxembourgish team were eager to keep up their performance at the start of the season.
 
The team found a better rhythm this week than in their last game, and were on target from the first minute of the game. Five minutes in, Jimena Perez scored the first goal of the match. The blue and white Luxembourg team controlled the first half of the game with ease, with the scoreboard reading 0-4 at half time.
 
Heather Yanusas, Maude De Cooman and Fenne Brekelmans all performed admirably throughout the game. The second half of the match was essentially a formality for the visiting team, with Hannah Eishen scoring their fifth goal. This was followed by a further two goals scored by Aoife Sheehan.
 
The team now proudly sits at the top of their division and seem untouchable from the beginning of the championship.
 
Congratulations to them, and let's hope it lasts!
 
Maxime

 

Sunday October 4, 2020.

 

Men 1 :  Stix vs HC Luxembourg 

 

The tension was palpable as the two teams made their entrance on the Stix field in Hasselt, Belgium.
 
And for good reason: the 22 protagonists were going to compete for a place at the top of the championship.
 
The historic first victory for the club from Luxembourg had been digested by now and HCL started the match with a bang.
 
Eager to continue their good form, the blue and white team put their opponents under pressure and quickly found the breakthrough via the talented Milan Dans. The Belgian striker reinforced his position as top scorer of the championship by taking a cross pass from Gratien Kangulumba (0-1).
 
By the quarter hour, the battle became more balanced. The Limburgers, through the interplay of their new Hispanic recruits, emerged out of their lethargy and proved that pole position in N3 was not at all solely down to luck.
 
In the 27th minute, taking advantage of a defensive mistake, Stix were able to equalise with a heavy strike on the side board (1-1).
 
The goal, against the run pf play, destabilized the visitors who then conceded two more goals just before the break (2-1 then 3-1).
 
The Grand Ducal club, who came out firing after the break, were showing every intention of coming back in the match. The young team's burst of pride was a joy to behold.
 
Showing strong mental resolve, they besieged the Stix goal for the whole of the second half, but, lacking experience, the Luxemburgish team was unable to break through the strong Limburg defence.
 
With 5 minutes to go, Pierre Tailleur gave the his teammates hope by hitting the net in a PC phase (3-2).
 
HCL tried everything to get a draw, but the last attempt by Milan Dans was snaffled by the Stix goalkeeper, who managed to keep the Grand Ducal team at bay.
 
Despite the disappointment of the defeat, the Luxemburgish team continues its progression in this exciting championship.
 
Next match: next Sunday, at home, against Zaid, from Brussels.
 
Maxime

 

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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