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Matias Shines At Copa del Rey

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The Spanish Copa del Rey has a long history, starting back in 1914. Since then it has been dominated by four clubs: RC Polo, Atletica Terrassa, Club Egara and Club de Campo. And, as Joan F. Chico reports, RC Polo continue to lead the way as they eased to a 28th title.

The Copa del Rey came to a thrilling climax after a great three days’of hockey competition at the Eduardo Dualde pitch. The final was between The Royal Club de Polo of Barcelona and Madrid-based Egara, with the Catalan team winning the exciting match by a single goal. Argentinian striker Matias Rey was the hero on the day, as his 53rd minute strike won the title for the home side.

In the earlier matches, Club Egara beat Junior FC in the first quarter-final, with Atletico San Sebastian beating RS Tenis while SPV Complutense lost to Club de Campo. The big match of the quarter finals saw the reigning champions Atletic Terrassa take on the hosts Club de Polo. Going into the tournament, Atletic had 16 titles to their name, while Polo were 27-time champions. However, Club de Polo made short work of Atletico’s aspirations for a 17th title as they swept them aside in a 4-0 rout.

The home side beat Club de Campo 1-0 in the semi-final and set up a show down with Egara.

In the final, on home turf, Polo had the best of the chances but could find no way past the excellent defences of Quico Cortes. He saved several times from Xavi Lleonart who had the best chances to score while Edi Tubau was Egara’s main threat.

Alex Casasayas hit the post from point-blank range while, at the far end, Pep Romeu’s corner shot was denied by Mario Fernandez, later named goalkeeper of the tournament. But, with time running out, Rey got a brilliant touch to a corner move to lift the ball over Cortes and win the tournament for Polo for the 28th time.

It was the end of an era for Egara's Edi Tubau who announced his retirement from international hockey after winning 300 caps in a 15 year career with the national team. During his career, Tubau won silver at the 2008 Olympics, bronze at the 2006 World Championships and gold at the 2005 Europeans.

Tubau confirmed the decision after he initially took a break in the wake of the 2014 World Cup, taking on a new job and following the birth of his daughter.

The results mean that Club de Polo will represent Spain in the EHL again next year. Winning is definitely becoming a habit for Club de Polo. Not only is this the Barcelona team’s 28th Copa del Rey, it is also their third win in the tournament in the past four years. This is in addition to three straight league titles. The team will hope this form continues into this year’s EHL KO16, where they once again meet Egara.

In the third/fourth place match Club de Campo defeated Atletico San Sebastian in a 5-2 thriller. Goals from Luis Martinez, Leandro Tolini (3) and Joaquin Menini put the Madrid team in the driving seat and into bronze medal position.

Player of the tournament was Matias Rey (RC Polo)

Top scorer was Peio Azkoga (Atlético San Sebastian)

Goalkeeper of the tournament was Mario Fernández (RC Polo)

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