GB women secure Olympic semi-final spot
Scotland’s Sarah Robertson featured as Great Britain reached their third consecutive Olympic semi-finals after a Maddie Hinch shootout masterclass following a nail-biting draw against Spain.
The goalkeeper kept out every single Spanish effort while Hannah Martin and Sarah Jones scored two of Great Britain’s three attempts.
The opening chance for either time came courtesy of a penalty corner for Great Britain but Anna Toman’s slap was way above the backboard and meant the Spanish could clear the lines.
Aside from that, there was very little goalmouth action in the first quarter as both teams held firm in defence, while Sarah Jones was shown a green card just moments after a brilliantly timed Spanish interception stopped the Welsh player from taking a shot on goal.
Berta Bonastre had Spain’s first chance shortly after the second quarter began, her shot on the turn not troubling Maddie Hinch.
Moments later Great Britain opened the scoring as Martin waltzed her way past two defenders before firing the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs for her fourth goal of the Olympics.
Spain weren’t behind for long though as they equalised just three minutes later, Iglesias deflecting the ball beyond Hinch after a clever corner routine caught Great Britain out.
Giselle Ansley saw a flick of her own blocked in the 24th minute as both teams once again neutralised each other to go into the half-time break all square.
Clara Ycart was shown a green card early in the third quarter and Great Britain immediately made them pay, winning a corner that Balsdon rocketed high into the top corner to restore her side’s lead.
Ellie Rayer then had a shot on the turn blocked shortly after before Spain went onto the front foot, trying to break into the British circle in the remaining moments of the quarter but meeting stern resistance.
Hinch then produced a brilliant save in the final minute of the quarter to keep out Lucia Jimenez but Spain won a corner. However an unfortunate bobble meant they couldn’t trap the ball cleanly and the danger was averted.
Martin then hit the post with the game’s final clear chance as both teams settled for a shootout.
Both sides missed their first chances, with Hinch saving Ycart’s attempt before Anna Toman’s shot just went wide. Hinch then produced another great save to thwart Begona Garcia before Martin opened the scoring with a composed finish after her first shot was saved.
Gigi Oliva was also stopped by Hinch before Sarah Jones doubled the lead, meaning Spain had to score with their next effort. Beatriz Perez stepped up and hit the post before after yet more great work by Hinch, only for it to be re-awarded.
But there was no getting past Hinch who once again positioned herself brilliantly to keep out the first shot before the second looped over.
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