Spain defeats Ireland women
07 Feb 2008 01:30
Spain defeated Ireland’s women’s team in the second of a two match clash as both teams continue to prepare for the WorldHockey Olympic Qualifying Tournament. After a draw on the first day, Spain won the second match 2-0
After yesterday’s one all draw, the hosts started the game looking to make a point and restore some pride. Ireland made life tough for themselves by conceding an early goal in only the fifth minute of play, when Ireland’s defense were left stranded from a quick free outside the circle which set Comerma up for a shot which was fired passed keeper Goode.
Both Spain and Ireland continued to display some high level hockey but neither side was able to convert for the remaining thirty minutes, Ireland perhaps with the best chance on 17 minutes when they were awarded the only penalty corner of the half, but a Symmons drag flick came to no avail and a free out was awarded.
Keeper Goode, was only called into action once in the remaining half and forced to make an excellent double save to keep Ireland’s deficit to a minimum. Ireland created some good attacking play but despite that could not equalize before half time.
The second half saw a change of keeper for Ireland, when Louisa Healy stepped between the nets giving Goode a rest. Spain opened the second phase of the game at a high tempo and it took Ireland a few minutes to adjust and find their feet once again. Once they did, they found themselves with a number of opportunities to find the equalizer, some excellent combination work between Quinn and McKean just went astray of McDonough’s stick for a finish and three penalty corners between the 14th and 20th minute but the finishing touch eluded the Irish. After six minutes of chances Ireland found it difficult to break through the blanket Spanish defense and the final nail in the coffin came ten minutes from end when again a quick free in outside the circle found its way across the circle to the Spanish left attacker who fired a shot home at close range to copper fasten their victory.
The last moments of the game saw Ireland push four into midfield to try salvage the game, but the Spanish were content to control the game and wind the clock down.
Despite the loss today, Ireland will be no doubt pleased with their progress on this tour; a draw and loss against the world number eights. Commenting was Coach Muller “We conceded goal off organizational errors, both matches have been very close and we have improved over the past two months playing against higher ranked opponents.”
Source: Irish Hockey Association