USA v Scotland 1-3 (1-1)
The opening game of Day 2 here in Dublin at the ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I saw Scotland fight back from a goal down to record a 3-1 win over USA. The result puts Scotland at the top of Pool A ahead of the meeting between South Africa and Japan, which takes place at 13:00hrs GMT.
A strong start from the USA was deservedly rewarded when Katie O’Donnell fired in a ninth minute strike to establish a 1-0 lead.
Scotland were soon level thanks to a penalty corner flick from Nikki Kidd, who sent a low effort through the legs of USA keeper Amy Tran-Swenson.
Both sides created decent chances to add to the score-line in the first half, although arguably the better of them fell to the USA who looked a very dangerous prospect with their fast breaks forward.
Despite this, Scotland had a glorious chance to take a half time lead when they won a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the half, but the strike from the top of the circle
Scotland blasted out of the blocks at the start of the second half, taking the lead less than one minute after the re-start. Ali Bell sent a perfect pass through to Sam Judge who slammed a first time effort beyond the helpless Tran-Swenson.
USA should have levelled just two minutes later when a wonderful pass from midfield found Michelle Vittese, who rounded the keeper but somehow managed to miss the open goal when she seemed to have all the time in the world to score.
Nikki Kidd came close to extending Scotland’s lead with a high penalty corner flick which brought a good save from Tran-Swenson. With less than 20 minutes remaining, the USA burst back into life and won three penalty corners on the bounce. However, the Scotland defence held firm to ensure that their lead remained intact going into the final fifteen minutes of the game.
USA produced a very strong finish in the match, making various circle penetrations but lacking that killer edge in front of goal. Their lack of productivity in the circle was punished when Scotland scored a lat third through Ali Bell, who volleyed home from close range after Nikki Kidd hit the left post with a penalty corner drag flick.
Scotland’s Leigh Fawcett was shown a yellow card in the final moments but it did not affect the outcome for her team, who claimed their first win of the tournament and remain unbeaten after two matches in Pool A.
USA v Scotland 1-3 (1-1)
USA 1-0 SCO – Katie O’DONNELL 9m FG
USA 1-1 SCO – Nikki KIDD 17m PC
USA 1-2 SCO – Sam JUDGE 36m FG
USA 1-3 SCO – Ali BELL 67m PC