Spain Edge Encounter With Green Army to Lead the Series 2-1

Ireland 1 (Naughton)

Spain 3 (Segu x2, Magaz)

The Green Army started this fixture with the same intensity that earned them a 2-0 victory on Thursday.

Sarah Torrans, the young Loreto striker, appeared to be causing the Spanish defence some trouble from the opening whistle as she forced an error from Maialen Garcia to turn the ball over. Torrans followed up with a run along the baseline before pulling the pass back to Katie Mullan at the top of the circle who saw her shot fly just over the crossbar.

Torrans again wasn’t giving the Spanish defence a moment to find their structure and drew an initial save from Melania Garcia, with Gillian Pinder’s rebound shot forcing another fine clearance from the Spanish goalie. Anna O’Flanagan, captaining the Green Army, could only be stopped by fouls from the Spanish defence as Ireland poured the pressure on in the opening 15 minutes.

Emma Buckley made her first save of the encounter as Spain began to settle into the game and build up their possession but it was Ireland who took the lead on the cusp of half time. The ever-threatening O’Flanagan sent a pin-point cross into the circle for Aisling Naughton to fire into the net to make it 1-0.

Spain’s equaliser arose out of confusion between the umpires as the hosts caught the Irish unawares and Marta Segu took advantage of an out of place defence to draw the game level in the 33rd minute. O’Flanagan very nearly regained the lead for Ireland as she saw her reverse shot spin past the post before she forced another save from Garcia minutes later with a ball across the face of goal. But Spain put the game to bed with 2 goals in 5 minutes in the final quarter with field goals from Alicia Magaz and a second for Segu to make the final score 3-1, perhaps not reflecting the close nature of much of the tie.

The final match of the series takes place tomorrow at 11am (Irish time)

Starting: E Buckley, Y O’Byrne, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, R Upton, S Torrans, A O’Flanagan (Captain), Z Wilson

Subs: C Cassin, A Naughton, N Carroll, L Colvin, H Matthews, R Barry, L McGuire

Match Details vs Spain in CHP Benalmadena:

February 6th at 4:30pm Ireland 0 vs 7 Spain

February 8th at 1pm Ireland 2 vs 0 Spain

February 10th 1pm Ireland 1 vs 3 Spain

February 11th 12pm Ireland vs Spain

*All times listed are local

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