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FIH Pro League-(Black Sticks-Spain)

Spain take the points in the Madrid heat
The Spanish Men have come away with a tense 3-2 win over the Vantage Black Sticks Men in a highly entertaining match between two sides who were desperate for the win. The match was incredibly close all the way through and this was reflected in the shots on gaol between the two sides being 6 shots each. The New Zealand looked to finish the match confidently, however the Spanish side held their nerve and took the result 3-2. 
 
The opening quarter was an even contest between the two teams midfields, neither team was able to put the oppositions defence under any significant pressure. It was the Vantage Black Sticks who held the majority of possession in the first quarter holding 54% of the ball. The Spanish side did manage to enter the New Zealand circle four times to New Zealand’s two in what was an even battle all around to start their FIH Pro League match.
 
Spain earned the first penalty corner of the match late in the second quarter when they found a New Zealand foot in the circle, Spain was unable to trap the subsequent penalty corner and we were left scoreless as the  arm wrestle continued as neither team was able to construct any chances of real significance. Spain had the majority of possession in the second quarter with 61% of the ball, however they were only able to turn all this possession into two circle entries. Heading into the second half there was still everything to play for after a match where the two sides couldn’t be separated. 
 
Spain took their first real opportunity of the match midway through the third quarter when some scrappy play in the circle led to Enrique Gonzalez being left open, he took the opportunity to put a powerful shot into the net of the kiwis goal. Minutes later Spain found the back of the goal for the second time in the match when some great short passing down the right side of the field provided some space, they were then able to lay the ball back towards to spot to be deflected home by Marc Bolto. New Zealand would need a big final quarter if they were going to get themselves back into the contest. 
 
New Zealand came out of the gates strongly in the final quarter, in the second minute they earned their first penalty corner of the match after finding a Spanish foot in the circle. Kane Russell’s drag flick off the penalty corner sailed high and wide of the goal. Hugo Inglis opened the match up with ten minutes to go when he stole the ball off the Spanish defender, Inglis then charged towards goal and ripped the ball into the back of the net. Spain went straight back down the field and turned the ball over in the New Zealand circle, Pau Quemada grabbed the rebound and reversed the shot home to allow Spain to regain their two goal buffer. The Vantage Black Sticks earned a penalty corner with six minutes to go in the match, Kane Russell stepped up for his second flick of the match and this time went low and hard into the goal. 
 
Vantage Black Sticks Men 2 (Hugo Inglis 50 min, Kane Russell 55 min)
Spain Men 3 (Enrique Gonzales 36 min, Marc Bolto 43 min, Pau Quemada 51 min)
 
By the numbers:
  Vantage Black Sticks Men   Spain Men 2 Score 3 46% Possession 53% 6 Shots 6 16 Circle Entries 12 2 Penalty Corners 1 59% Passing Accuracy 69%  
 
 
 
 
 

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