WALES ARE DEFEATED BY TEAM RANKED 5TH IN EUROPE
Wales have lost to Spain, ranked 5th, 5-1 in their second match in Belgium.
Following a defeat to hosts Belgium on Friday evening, Spain went into this game after a rest day, whilst Wales took on Spain after a well fought game against England yesterday.
Spain opened up the game with possession, and capitalised on their pressure with an early opening goal in the 3rd minute from #9 Alvaro Iglesias.
Spain seemed comfortable in possession of the ball, and Wales not wanting to commit their press too early on, and with continued pressure from Spain, Fortnam cleared a bobbling ball from the circle, clearing down the middle of the field, denying Spain the chance to double their lead.
As Spain continued to patiently possess the ball, Wales held their half press in defence, and broke into their first confident attack of the game initiated from defender Dan Kyriakides, through to James Carson, but could only gain a long corner.
Following a turnover in the middle of the pitch, Spain went on to attack against the Wales defence and earned themselves a PC with 1 minute 30 to go in the first quarter. Spain #25 Pau Quemada drag flicked and converted it making it Spain 2 Wales 0 heading into the second quarter.
Early into the second quarter, Spain earned themselves a PC and despite losing #12 Steve Kelly in defence from an early break of the line, GK #32 Tranter pulled off a fantastic double save to deny Spain their 3rd goal.
Not long after, Wales took an attack into Spains half, lead through Jacob Draper, with some phenomenal skill shown by Dale Hutchinson who eventually got a shot away in the circle but was denied by the Spain keeper, clearing it off the side.
Not forcing the ball, Wales held a good period of possession half way through the second quarter, pressing higher onto the Spanish defence. Despite a solid spell in Wales’ defence, a turnover ball just outside their 23, saw Spain capitalise and get the ball through to a free player for #21 Vicenc Ruiz to convert Spains 3rd goal.
HALF TIME: WALES 0 – 3 SPAIN
Spain gained the first PC of the second half and was converted in the top left hand corner by Spain’s #23 Josep Romeu.
Spain #17 Xavi Lleonart got the first card of the game, giving Wales the opportunity to capitalise on Spain only having 10 players but Wales soon went down to 10 men too, with #11 James Carson receiving his first green card.
Even though Wales were down to 10 men, they pushed on and had far more possession in 3rd quarter which lead to a great attack at the Spanish circle and earned themselves their first PC of the game. Not in doubt, #18 Gareth Furlong striked again and his drag flick gave Wales their first goal of the game to make it 4-1.
Wales’ first goal enlightened a spark in Wales’ attack and they persisted the pressure onto the Spanish defence. This continued with an immediate high press from Wales going into the last quarter which started to force Spanish mistakes.
On a Spanish attack, Wales lost defender #3 Dan Kyriakides to a 10 minute yellow card, putting Wales down to 10 players for the majority of the remaining quarter also resulting in an upgraded PC for Spain.
Spain took 3 attempts at a PC, being denied twice by strong running defender #12 Steve Kelly and a third shot saved by #32 Tranter.
With just 4′ minutes to go, from open play, Spain extended their lead though #25 Pau Quemada who got his stick to the ball to deflect Spain’s 5th goal in at the near post.
FULL TIME: WALES 1 – 5 SPAIN
Wales now have a rest day, as they prepare to play World Champions and hosts Belgium on Tuesday 20th August, at 7:30pm (BST).