Scotland lose close semi-final to France
18 March 2017
Scotland lost their men’s World League 2 semi-final clash with France in a closely-fought contest in Belfast. Scotland will now play Wales for third spot in the competition.
It was a good start for the Scots - Ed Greaves had the first chance of the match but his diving deflection was denied by the French goalkeeper.
Then France took the lead when Pieter Van Straaten scored on 15 minutes to make it 1-0.
France enjoyed the majority of possession in the second quarter but found the hard-working Scots well organised at the back; restricting circle penetrations.
The French were then awarded a penalty corner and they made no mistake with the execution. The finish was slammed low into the bottom right corner by Victor Charlet and left David Forrester with no chance. 2-0.
As the half came to a close another penalty corner was awarded to France, and the resulting effort was fizzed low towards the bottom right corner prompting a superb diving save by Forrester.
The second half was a different affair with Scotland controlling the play. The Blue Sticks went on the attack early in the second half and won a penalty corner. A brilliant exchange in the D resulted in the ball just missing the target low at the right post.
Then Alan Forsyth came close with a penalty corner but was denied by a solid block just shy of the goal line.
Scotland kept testing the French and came very close to scoring from a penalty corner; the keeper made a great save from Wei Adams’ first effort, diving to his right, and Michael Bremner’s rebound rattled the post - France survived.
Scotland were dominant in the second half but struggled to find their way past a stubborn French defence. They were persistent till the end but it was France who ran out winners and secured a place in the final.
Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “We didn’t play to our standard in the first half but dominated the second half, and by that point we’d given them a two-goal start. We were unlucky on a few occasions in the second half - the ball just wouldn’t go in for us.
“We’ll recover and prepare for tomorrow’s game against Wales. We’ve already finished above our seeding, we’ve challenged well throughout the tournament, and hopefully we can secure third place against Wales.”