FIH Pro League: GB 1 Spain 1 (2-3 pens)
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 04 May 2019
Great Britain’s men were forced to settle with one point in their FIH Pro League home debut after being defeated in a shootout following a 1-1 draw with Spain.
Sam Ward cancelled out Spain's early goal, and though the forward had the ball in the back of the net again in the final minute his strike was ruled out, meaning the game would be settled by a shootout.
Despite a series of stunning saves from George Pinner, who was making his 50th Great Britain cap, Spain came out on top in the shootout in sudden-death.
With barely 30 seconds on the clock Spain had found the back of the net, the FIH Pro League's leading goal-scorer Pau Quemada adding to his tally.
Great Britain responded as Ward clinically fired home from a penalty corner to restore parity.
A quick succession of penalty corners followed for Great Britain, Ward's first effort being well saved, with Quico Cortes making another smart stop to deny Luke Taylor from the second.
Great Britain were well in the ascendancy and, following a dazzling run into the circle from Alan Forsyth, were awarded another penalty corner, this time Cortes with a firm hand to prevent Taylor's attempt finding the back of the net.
You may also want to watch:
It had been an excellent performance from Cortes who again was on hand to prevent Great Britain from taking the lead from another penalty corner routine.
Hampstead & Westminster's Will Calnan unleashed a rocket of shot from close range with little over five minutes remaining, however there was too much on the strike as it whipped just over the goal.
Great Britain looked to have won it from a last-minute penalty corner as Ward swept the ball under the 'keeper's legs, however, after an umpire's referral the goal was disallowed meaning the game would be settled by a shootout.
GB's first draw in the FIH Pro League wasn't to be marked with a bonus point as Spain claimed their fifth shootout win of the competition.
Phil Roper and Jack Waller successfully netted for the hosts, and whilst Pinner put in a fantastic effort to push his side towards the extra spoils, it was Spain who would take the two points.
Pinner said: “After a bit of a slow start we recovered quite well, Spain didn't create a lot of chances other than one late on.
“We had a few corners, which have gone well for us this tournament, but it just didn't quite work today. I think we'll be better for this experience.”
Despite not taking all the points there was lots of encouraging signs from the GB side who are back in action on Saturday 18 May against Argentina in a double header which starts with the women's match at 1pm.
GBR: Gibson (GK), Willars, Ames, Forsyth, Griffiths, Sloan, Ward, Roper, Dixon, Creed, Wallace. Subs: Pinner (GK), Taylor, Martin, Condon, Waller, Gall, Calnan. Shootout: Roper (scored), Martin (missed), Waller (scored), Wallace (missed), Forsyth (missed), Roper (missed, sudden death).
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.