Ireland book final place after shoot-out win against Spain
Ireland won a second shoot-out victory.
Ireland secured a second consecutive shoot-out victory to book their place in the final of the Hockey World Cup in London.
After a 1-1 draw with Spain at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Ireland won the shoot-out 3-2, with Gillian Pinder scoring twice as the contest went to sudden death.
Ireland have been the surprise package of the tournament after going in as the second lowest-ranked team then topping a group containing hosts England and India.
They made a dream start to the semi-final, with Anna O’Flanagan touching in a penalty corner after only three minutes. But Spain began to exert some concerted pressure and nine minutes into the third quarter, Alicia Magaz equalised.
That was the way it stayed until full-time, meaning a second shoot-out for Ireland following their quarter-final victory over India.
Graham Shaw’s side made the perfect start as Pinder tucked her effort away but Georgina Oliva levelled with Spain’s third one-on-one attempt.
With the goalkeepers in the ascendancy, Claudia Watkins looked like she might have won it for Ireland only for Lola Riera to immediately cancel that out.
After five attempts for each side, the sequence began again, this time with Spain going first, and, after Oliva’s shot was saved by Ayeisha McFerran, Pinder confidently converted the winning shot.