/ Hockey

Spain 2-1 Ireland

Updated: Saturday, 09 Feb 2013 20:36 | Comments

Aine Connery was on target for Ireland in Spain
Aine Connery was on target for Ireland in Spain

Ireland were beaten 2-1 by Spain today after incurring a 2-0 defeat in Valencia on Friday.

Ireland coach Darren Smith made nine changes to his starting line-up as captain Alex Speers, goalkeeper Emma Gray and Audrey O’Flynn all returned to the side.

The visitors went close on a number of occasions, but Spain took a 1-0 lead into half-time after scoring on a quick counter-attack.

Spain extended their lead early in the second half with a powerful drag flick, but Ireland hit back when Aine Connery put the finishing touches to a fine move engineered by Chloe Watkins.

Nikki Evans went agonisingly close to earning an equaliser, but the hosts held out for the win.

Speaking after the game, Ireland coach Darren Smith said: “This was an improved performance, with strong physicality and good pressing throughout.

“While it was disappointing to concede two soft goals, we created numerous goal opportunities ourselves but were wasteful with them. I am pleased with the progress we are making.”

The two sides round off the three-game series on Monday.

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