Scotland: Scotland women edged out away to Spain in excellent contest

Spain 3-1 Scotland

A highly entertaining contest saw Scotland women lose 3-1 to Spain in a close second test match of three, in Benalmadena. The young Scots side push the world ranked 7th side all the way following yesterday’s 5-0 defeat.

Scotland made a good start to the contest with a successful press. The Scots not only stopped the home side, but created the first chance of the match. Some good work by Fran Lonergan and Bronwyn Shields led to a penalty corner for the Tartan Hearts, but the Spanish defence was a match to it, and defended well.

Despite Scotland’s solid, and threatening, opening performance it was the Olympic-bound Spanish who took the lead with three minutes of the opening quarter to play. A penalty corner strike from the far castle made it 1-0 at the first break.

The second quarter saw Spain adapt to Scotland’s press and enjoy good periods of play, and doubled their advantage. Scotland lost the ball in the Spanish circle prompted a counter through the middle of the pitch, which resulted in a stroke to Spain. From the spot the ball was smashed into the top corner for 2-0.

There was very nearly a goal for Scotland at the end of the half when Sarah Jamieson had an effort fizz just wide of the post after good build up by Georgia Jones.

The second half saw Scotland get back on top following a tweak to their press, and their efforts were rewarded with a sublime goal. Katie Birch, who had another impressive performance, broke down the left and played a give and go with Millie Steiger, before picking out Georgia Jones. Jones then played a lovely pass for Heather McEwan, who finished superbly with a forearm deflection to pull it back to 2-1.



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The final quarter was edged by Spain and saw them complete the scoring for a 3-1 lead, despite the heroic efforts of Jess Buchanan. A quite extraordinary double save by Buchanan, who is really growing into the Scotland number one jersey, was eventually finished off at the third attempt.

There were a number of excellent performances for Scotland; Birch and Buchanan had great games, as did Shields, but it was the team progress that was exciting.

Head Coach Chris Duncan said, “It was a hell of a game – a proper contest, and we’re proud of the performance. It’s really exciting to see the progress in just one day and you could really see players find their feet at this level.

“Ultimately, we’re not chasing Spain right now – they’re seventh in the world and just off the back of an Olympic qualifier. Our programmes are in much different phases right now. We’re chasing the teams just above us in the rankings, and games like these will really help us do that.

“So, it’s two games down and one to go. It’ll be difficult tomorrow, and a challenge for us to back up today’s performance, but we’re making good progress and it’s exciting to see the quick improvements.”


by Scotland Hockey

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