Ireland lost 1-0 to Spain at the Rabo Eurohockey Championships on Friday..
And the Spanish got off to an ideal start with a third minute goal manufactured by Alvaro Iglesias’s pass to Enrique Gonzalez in the circle who swept the ball hard into the corner from close range.
For large periods of the opening 30 minutes Ireland were camped in their opponent’s half with all the Spanish team in their own 23 defending onslaughts from Conor Harte and Shane O’Donoghue as they patiently waited for the gaps to open.
O’Donoghue was slightly unlucky to not score from a penalty corner routine as Quico Cortes made a superb diving stick save which followed Ricardo Santana clearing the ball from the line moments earlier from another O’Donoghue shot.
Cortes was again called into action early in the second half as Paul Gleghorne found Alan Sothern in the circle with a pinpoint pass but the tricky tap in shot was well saved.
Any solid Spanish attacks came on the counter courtesy of Gonzalez but much of the final 15 minutes was Ireland’s. Kirk Shimmins went on a blistering run through the centre of the pitch and sent a perfectly weighted pass to Sothern in the circle but his first time shot went wide.
Coach Craig Fulton said “It was a tight match but I thought we created enough chances today to win the game, especially in the second half.
“We’re doing the right things, we just need some more confidence and composure in front of goal but it’ll come.”
Ireland have their final match tomorrow against Austria at 10am (Irish time).