Scotland men pipped at the post by Spain in Santander
Scotland missed out on promotion as Spain won Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III with a 5-2 victory over the Scots in Santander. The match followed an earlier contest between the two to complete the pool section, which saw Spain edge a narrow 4-3 win.
It was a great effort by the Scots who had Dan Coultas finish the tournament as top goal scorer on ten goals, followed by team mate Cammy Golden on seven strikes.
Pool match: Scotland 3-4 Spain
For much of the match both teams were kept their cards close to their chest in this one ahead of meeting again in the final. In the end it was Spain who edged the win in a tight affair in Santander.
The Scots kept possession well and looked composed from the start. An early penalty corner for Spain was well defended on the line by Scotland.
From then on it was all Scotland in the opening quarter and soon had their turn to have a pop at goal from a penalty corner, and it was then the Scots took the lead. Adam MacKenzie was clinical in breaking the deadlock with a low penalty corner for 1-0.
Scotland continued to dominate in the second quarter, however it was Spain who would equalise from a powerful low penalty corner into the bottom corner by Enrique Zorita. 1-1.
Spain took the lead through an innocuous goal. Somehow the ball managed to trundle over the line at the near post to make it 2-1 to Spain. Marc Vizcaino the scorer.
Early in the second half MacKenzie was denied an equaliser from a penalty corner for Scotland by an excellent save to put the ball over the bar.
At the end of the third Spain furthered their advantage when Ignacio Abajo sailed a penalty corner high into the new for 3-1.
Dan Coultas sent a powerful drag flick into the roof of the net just before the end of the quarter to make it Scotland 2-3 Spain.
Spain’s lead was restored moments after the restart with their own drag flick high into the Scottish net by Manuel Proll for 4-2.
As the contest reached a conclusion a slick Scottish counter attack gave them a third goal and again it was Coultas with the finish. 4-3.
It was a very close match but there will be no holding either team back when they meet in the final later.
FINAL: Spain 5-2 Scotland
A great effort by Scotland fell short in Santander as Spain won the Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III final 5-2 to take the promotion spot.
The game started and instantly the tempo and intensity was increased from the first meeting. The first chance of the contest went to Spain and Tommy Alexander pulled off a terrific reaction save from close range to deny the goal.
The pace was ferocious as the contest zipped from end-to-end and the first quarter passed in a flash.
It was a quarter however that would see Scotland take the lead. Adam MacKenzie fizzed a low penalty corner into the corner to make it 1-0.
Very quickly Spain had the ball in Scotland’s net when Marc Vizcaino found the right corner with a drag flick. 1-1.
Early in the second quarter Jamie Golden was blocked on the Spanish goal line after Scotland sliced the Spanish defence open down the right.
The Scots were playing some quality hockey as things progressed with Jamie Golden showing impressive skills and link-up play. Despite a late onslaught Spain held the Scots off and the teams went in on level-pegging at half time.
There was a sucker punch for Scotland in the second half. A double save denied Scotland from taking the lead in the third, and allowed Spain to race forward on the counter and score. Joachim Malgosa slipped the ball into the bottom right corner for 2-1.
But Scotland battled right back and Craig Falconer then equalised when he smashed a low powerful shot through the goalkeeper to make it 2-2 at the end of the third.
The final quarter went the way of the hosts. First, a penalty corner saw Spain go back in front when Enrique Zorita found the corner for 3-2.
Zorita then finished another penalty corner, high into the roof of the net, to make it 4-2 to Spain with five minutes to play.
Jordi Bonastre sealed it for the Spaniards when he popped up at the far post to make it 5-2 with two minutes to go.
It was a great effort by the Scots but it wasn’t to be as Spain win promotion to Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship II.
Scotland Men’s Indoor Head Coach Stuart Neave said, “We played really well and gave Spain a good game, but their penalty corners were really slick. They’re an excellent side, but I’m not disappointed in the slightest of how we played.
“We performed well throughout the tournament, and got to where we want to be, and any other year we’d probably have been promoted. We’ve set a good standard and can build on it going forward.”
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