EuroHockey Championships Preview: Ireland v Spain – a must-win game

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EuroHockey Championships: Ireland v Spain, Amsterdam, Wednesday 11:30am – Live on RTÉ2

Having beaten Scotland on Sunday, all eyes turn to today’s must-win Group A finale against Spain for the Irish hockey team.

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This team impressed us all when they reached the World Cup final in 2018, a win today would be another historic moment – putting them into the unchartered territory of the European semi-finals, a win would also see the team gain qualification for the next World Cup.

2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup Pool B, Lee Valley Stadium, London 21/7/2018
USA vs Ireland
Ireland players stand for the national anthem
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Joe Toth

Having met on many occasions already, the teams are well acquainted with each other. Of the five recent friendlies played, Ireland won two of them and drew two.

Having said that, goals have been hard to come by for Ireland so far in this tournament, with just one goal scored so far. Against Scotland, the chances were being created but the team still only ended up winning by one. After the game, Sean Dancer spoke of the need to be more clinical in front of goal.

It’s not quite how we wanted the game to unfold. We played well in the first half and created more than enough opportunities but we just didn’t take them. In the end, it’s the three points that matter.

Sean Dancer

As for Spain, they suffered a tough loss against the Dutch on Monday but their spirits will be raised by the fact that they only need to avoid defeat in this game to progress. However, a close game is expected with Spain as marginal favourites, ranked one place above Ireland, in seventh.

Watch the game live on RTÉ2 at 11:30am.

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