As Great Britain women continued their preparations for the Olympic Games later this year, they drew 2-2 against a Spanish side who are warming up for their qualifying campaign in April. Spain, who will be flying out to Baku in order to secure their place in Beijing, were denied an automatic Olympic spot at the hands of England in August 2007 when they lost out 3-2 in the bronze medal match at the EuroHockey Nations Championships. Lucilla Wright and Jo Ellis (Bowdon Hightown) gave Britain an early lead before two second half goals from Silvia Munoz saved the draw for the hosts.
Great Britain started as the dominant side and took the lead in the 8th minute when Helen Richardson passed to Jo Ellis (Ipswich) whose shot was deflected into the goal by Lucilla Wright.
At this stage, the Brits were firmly in control and doubled their advantage on the 13th minute when the two Ellis’s combined to take a 2-0 lead. Ipswich’s Jo Ellis drove into the circle and fed the ball through to Bowdon Hightown’s Jo Ellis who executed an excellent reverse stick shot to fire the ball high into the net.
In the 19th minute, Spain won a penalty corner, but it came to nothing and they had to resort to playing mainly in their defence with half court tactics, looking for breaks and counter-attack chances.
In the second half, a resurgent Spain came out and in the 41st minute, they were denied when a shot was deflected past the post. A minute later, Britain had a chance to make it 3-0 when Kerry Williams was fouled in the 25, earning the visitors a penalty corner but Cullen’s drag flick was saved and in the 44th minute, a GB free hit across the face of the goal went begging as two diving forwards failed to get a touch.
Spain began to get more of a hold on the game and came close in the 51st minute when a through ball found Maria Romagosa whose advances towards the goal were slowed down by an approaching Abigail Walker in the GB goal and the resulting shot was deflected wide by captain Kate Walsh.
Spain were rewarded for their efforts in the 60th minute when Munoz deflected in a free hit which was taken from just outside the circle to make it 2-1. They could have made it 2-2 a minute later, but the shot was high and wide.
With six minutes left on the clock, Richardson was dispossessed and Spain forced a penalty corner which Munoz made the most of making it 2-2 with just four minutes to go.
From then on, Great Britain pushed forward to regain the lead but were unable to do so and it was Walker who was forced into making two good saves to further deny Spain, leaving the score at 2-2.
Source: Great Britain Hockey ltd.
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