Scotland: Close contest sees Scotland women lose 2-1 away to Spain

Spain 2-1 Scotland

Scotland women put in an exceptional third performance in a three-match series away to Spain, but lost 2-1 through a late goal.

It was a slow start to the contest for Scotland after two tough matches back-to-back in Benalmadena, as they struggled to get up-to-speed. Still, the Scots pressed well, and had some controlled possession, and created the first chance of the match through a penalty corner.

However, it was the hosts who found the net through a penalty corner strike into the bottom corner. 1-0.

The second quarter was an altogether different matter. Scotland burst into life and bagged a well-deserved equaliser. Ellie MacKenzie won the ball in the press and carried it forward before picking out Sophie Hinds on the right, who eased into the circle and calmly flicked the ball into the back of the net for 1-1.

The Scots continued to cause problems and looked exciting and electric on the break, but there were no further goals and the half ended 1-1.

Scotland made a tactical change in their press, which worked well, and the third quarter was a very even affair. The Tartan Hearts continued to have controlled possession and managed to put the ball in the back of the net for a second time. Heather McEwan struck the goal but it was ruled out for hitting a foot in the build-up.

Then Jika Nyirenda almost scored after a great attack down the right but the goalkeeper blocked to deny the goal.

The final quarter saw Scotland come out and have a go, and it very nearly paid off. First Sarah Jamieson did well to pick out Ruth Blaikie for a shot across goal that narrowly missed the target. Then Eve Pearson found Zara Kennedy who deflected just wide.

With three minutes to go Spain hit Scotland on a counter attack, and after two tremendous saves by Jess Buchanan, the hosts scored on the rebound to win the contest 2-1.

Head Coach Chris Duncan said, “We were so close – we played brilliant. It was a real contest, and had that competitive buzz to it, and although it’s frustrating to lose, the improvement we made over the three games was fantastic.

“We’ve seen a big jump up in our play. These performances have not only been good for the new players in the squad, but also for those taking on leadership positions.

“We’ve played a top side who beat GB three weeks ago and if we bring this tempo to the games against teams around us in the rankings, we’ll do a lot of damage. It’s definitely been a worthwhile trip.”


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by Scotland Hockey

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