Tuesday, April 23, 2024

EuroHockey 2023: Scotland women secure famous win over Spain

Monchenglasdbach — Scotland women scored one of their finest victories in recent times courtesy of a deserved 2-1 win over world No.8 Spain to end their rollercoaster EuroHockey Championships on a marvellous high.

GB duo Amy Costello, from a fine PC, and Charlotte Watson, from a counter attack and super one-on-one finish, did the damage for the world No.19 side against below-par Spain. 

Amy Gibson then made a flying penalty stroke save in the dying stages to leaping joy from the Scotland bench, while Katie Birch had earlier stick saved brilliantly off the line from a Spain corner. This was their first win over Spain for eight years and their first at a Euros against the top 10 side since 1991.

Gibson said: “We’ve been disappointed with some our performances. We’ve not really pushed but we couldn’t have pushed any harder in this game.

“To beat a team in the top 10 is something we strive for so it was brilliant.

Scotland last beat Spain at a Euros in 1991 PIC: Worldsportpics

“The pressure we put them under in the first three quarters and the way we defended in the last was unbelievable. They put in such a shift.”

Gibson admitted that GK psychology won the day from the spot – Watson had also missed one to make it 3-1 – as she flung herself to her right. 

She added: “I was staring straight in her eyes and she was staring straight in my eyes until the last second she moved her body and I thought ‘she’s definitely going that way’. I think the stare down helped!”

Asked where this victory ranked, Chris Duncan, Scotland’s coach, said: “As high as any in my time. The girls have done some unbelievable things in the last 18 months. We’ve run some top teams close, pushed top 10 sides close and never got over the line.”

After shipping 14 goals in three games in the pool stages without scoring, they drew 1-1 with Italy before this breakthrough result.

Despite joy at the final hooter, Scotland are still confirmed to play in the EuroHockey qualifiers to secure their A Division status, with either Ireland, Spain or, most likely, Italy joining them.

However, Duncan added: “We have a real ambition of what we want to do in our country and how we want to be seen and how we want to play. The way we defended today, the way we won the game, pressured the game and took our chances when it mattered, this win is just the icing so far. 

“I think it’s just the beginning. It’s been a tough tournament but to go out and do that in our last game is something we should all be proud of.”

Total Hockey

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