Scotland lost their final Pool match of women's World League 2 in Valencia 2-1 to Ukraine, after a controversial penalty corner was converted to win the game. The result means Scotland have finished second in Pool B, behind Poland on goal difference, and will face Russia in the quarter-final on Thursday.
The Scots got off to a great start and took the lead in the seventh minute. A penalty corner routine saw the ball find its way to Sarah Robertson out wide, who spun and slotted the ball low into the net to make it 1-0.
Heather Howie nearly doubled Scotland’s lead soon after; she ran the contour of the D before slamming a shot towards goal, but it was deflected wide by a Ukrainian defender.
Then Kate Holmes went on a brilliant solo run from the centre of the pitch into the D, but shot against the keeper’s shin pads – a let off for Ukraine.
Just before half time, Amy Costello unleashed a fierce strike from a penalty corner but it was deflected off target by a charging defender to keep the score 1-0 at the break.
Scotland continued to dominate in the second half but couldn’t convert their chances to goals. Jen Eadie was next to have a shot at goal; twisting and turning at the top of the D, but her eventual effort shot wide of the post.
Eadie then had another good chance when she arrived into the left side of the D but her reverse stick shot flew into the air and over the bar.
As the game entered the final phase Eadie thought she’d finally scored, but her effort was cleared off the line by a defender with Becky Merchant charging in.
Then came a goal for Ukraine. A long ball forward to relieve Scottish pressure found Oksana Ponomarenko, who ran into the D and forced the ball under the advancing Nikki Cochrane in the Scotland goal to equalise. 1-1.
Ukraine looked content to play out a draw, which was how it seemed the game would end, but a penalty corner was awarded to Ukraine at the death amongst claims that the final hooter had already sounded. The shot from the penalty corner was saved by Cochrane low at her right post, but the rebound was knocked over the line by Yana Vorushylo to give Ukraine the points.
Scotland women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said: “The penalty corner was the wrong decision, but we can’t dwell on it – we have to move forward.
“We were in control of the game from start to finish. We knew we’d be dangerous and we looked really good at times, even though we didn’t play our best hockey tonight. We have to be more clinical and we know we can do a lot more in that area.”
Photo by John Preece