Five years ago, Spain’s Olympic dream was ended with 68 seconds to go by eventual champions Argentina in the last eight. Their semi-final tilt squashed, the Red Sticks, under coach Frederic Soyez in his competition, had been eyeing the last four ever since.
Their dream nearly came crashing down in the Pool stages on Friday before 36-year-old Pau Quemada scored a last-gasp goal to secure their ticket to the last eight at Tokyo 2020.
After one draw and two defeats in Tokyo, Spain’s ageing, yet committed squad looked to be facing an early exit. The one-hour match delay for a rain deluge helped Spain, too, as they played with passion and heart so often an attribute of the Red Sticks.
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