Barça out on penalties (2-2)
Sònia de Alba (Enviada especial)
A penalty shootout (4-3) and a late throw from Negro Páez put defending champions Barça Sorli Discau out of the European Cup at the F8 in Bassano.
A penalty shootout was Barça’s downfall, with Negro Páez converting the definitive goal.
But before that, we had seen sixty minutes of exceptional roller hockey in the second quarter
It was a nail-biting affair for Alberto Borregán as his side and Reus Deportiu produced a
game to be remembered by anyone who loves this sport.
Emotion and intensity
Carlos López and Mia Ordeig were the first players to put Reus keeper
Guillem Trabal to the test with some intimidating early plays, and then Carlitos hit the bar with a
tenth minute strike.
But Reus soon reacted. Pedrito Gil, in the 11th minute and Toni Sánchez in the 19th both shot
The fans were loving the display, heartily applauding some quality play from Reus’
Negro Páez, Pedrito Gil and Matías Platero, and some terrific Barça one-twos that neither Teixidó
nor López were able to finish off. Egurrola and Trabal also enjoyed some deserved applause.
But then Matías Platero committed a penalty offence, and Miquel Masoliver coolly converted
straight down the middle to put Barça a goal up, with Reus keeper Guillem Trabal yellow carded for
moving too early. The score remained 1-0 until the break.
There was more brilliance in the second half. Egurrola saved a powerful
Reus strike, and Pedrito Gil picked out Marc Gual with a killer pass that was not finished off.
It was end to end stuff, and then Jordi García took a gamble with a long drive that found its
way straight through a poorly positioned Barça defence to level affairs at 1-1.
Second yellows for Maso and Vado
It was also a toughly fought game. Miquel Masoliver was carded for bringing down Marc Gual,
and second later Maso was shown his second yellow when Toni Sánchez went to the floor. With
Masoliver in the sin bin, Barça had to face a Vado penalty, but the Reus man failed to convert.
Going into the last ten minutes, Barça could have regained the lead with a Sergi Panadero
free hit that was just inches too high, but instead it was Ordeig who scored for Barça to set
things up for a frantic ending.
Pedrito Gil then showed his impeccable attacking skills to equalise in the 21st minute, but
with a minute to go the thrills reached fever pitch when Reus were awarded a penalty. Egurrola
brilliantly saved Platero’s effort to send the game into overtime.
The first five minutes of extra time saw much caution, with neither side
wanting to leave themselves over-exposed at the back. But Masoliver for Barça and Marc Gual for
Reus both had excellent chances.
The second period saw much of the same, and then it was the Barça keeper who once again kept
his team alive with back-to-back saves from Marc Gual and Pedrito Gil in the final seconds of
Penalties and Negro goal
So it was all down to the lottery of penalties, and even then the sides could not be split,
for after the first series of five attempts it was still all square. So, it was on to sudden death,
and Barça’s Teixidó missed while former Barça man Negro managed to beat Egurrola, and put an
end to Barça Sorli Discau’s attempt to retain the European trophy won last year.