A late penalty stroke from Xavi Lleonart grabbed victory for Spain as they defeated England 2-1 in their final pool match at the Four Nations tournament in Valencia.
Pau Quemada gave Spain the lead in the first half before England’s Chris Griffiths grabbed a second half equaliser. It looked as though the match would end in a draw but Lleonart scored two minutes from time.
Mark Gleghorne made his 100th England appearance, after making his debut back in 2011.
The opening quarter was goalless between the sides with Harry Gibson making a smart stop from a penalty corner and recovering to save the rebound.
The hosts took the lead in the second quarter though as Quemada’s drag-flick flew high into the net from a penalty corner to give his side a one-goal advantage heading into the half-time break.
England levelled the scores immediately after the break as Griffiths was able to convert from a penalty corner. The initial drag was faked at the top allowing Griffiths time and space to flick into the bottom corner.
Both teams pushed hard for an equaliser and Gibson again had to be at his best in the England goal to deny Spain. However with just two minutes remaining Lleonart converted from the penalty spot to claim all three points.
Next up for England are the Netherlands in their semi-final which takes place at 9am GMT on Saturday 3 November.
England XI: Harry Gibson, Luke Taylor, OIlie Willars, David Ames, Henry Weir, Harry Martin, Chris Griffiths, Phil Roper (C), David Condon, Jack Waller, James Gall
Subs (Used): George Pinner, Ian Sloan, Mark Gleghorne, Barry Middleton, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield
England Hockey Press Release