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Spain get better of Ireland in opening game

Spain 4 (Magaz, Oliva x2, Ycart)
Ireland 2 (Russell x2)

A pacey game with plenty of goals saw hosts Spain record a 4-2 victory over the Green Army in Alcalá.

The early action was end to end with Rebecca Barry seeing her shot ricochet off the post before a Spanish ball went flying past the Irish goal moments later. The hosts maintained that momentum and in the 8th minute Alicia Magaz was on hand at the back post to tap in a reverse pass, and give her side the 1-0 lead. 3 goals in 6 minutes in the second quarter saw the game seesaw in the favour of Spain once again. Emma Russell drew Ireland level in the 21st minute as she scored on the reverse following relentless pressure from Anna O’Flanagan to win the ball for her team. But a strike by Georgina Oliva and a PC drag flick by Clara Ycart gave the world number 11 side a comfortable 3-1 lead going into half time.

It was Spain who got the next goal, Oliva for her second as she fired a reverse into the bottom right-hand corner. But Zoe Wilson was utilising the aerial ball to bypass the Spanish line while Nikki Evans was causing the defence some trouble and the Irish passes began to stick. It was Evans, linking up with Elena Tice, that broke through the middle and found Russell free, who converted for her second of the game to bring the game to 4-2. The sides exchanged green cards and penalty corners in the final quarter but neither defence could be breached.

Ireland next play against Belgium at 11:45am (local time) on Wednesday.

Squad: G O’Flanagan, J McMaster, Y O’Byrne, N Evans, N Carroll, H McLoughlin, C Watkins (Captain), L Colvin, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: E Buckley, C Brown, E Getty, E Tice, E Russell, A Meeke, R Barry

3 Nations Fixtures at Club Hockey Alcalá:

Ireland 2vs4 Spain 28/11/17 11:45am

Ireland vs Belgium 29/11/17 11:45am

Spain vs Belgium 30/11/17 11:45am

Ireland vs Spain 1/12/17 11:45am

Ireland vs Belgium 2/12/17 11:45am

Spain vs Belgium 3/12/17 11:45am

*All times listed are local

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