Britain survive Spanish onslaught

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The Independent Online


reports from Barcelona

Great Britain 2 Spain 2

Great Britain remain on course for a place in the Atlanta Olympics following their draw with Spain in Barcelona yesterday in the fifth day of the qualifying tournament.

After twice taking the lead, they allowed Spain back into the game and then had to endure a very tense last 25 seconds as Spain took their only penalty corner of the game. Fortunately Nick Thompson was quickly off the line to charge down Joaquin Malgosa's shot.

It was Malgosa, with a block on Rob Thompson in the 17th minute, who provided Britain with their only penalty corner of the game. On ran specialist Calum Giles and with what appeared nonchalant ease placed the ball into the back of the net.

Eight minutes into the second half Jaime Amat drifted around the back of the British defence to equalise from a narrow angle. Within two minutes Britain were back in the lead, Rob Thompson finding himself unmarked at the top of the circle and lashing home Nick Thompson's free hit.

Juan Garcia-Maurino scored Spain's second to maintain their unbeaten record in the tournament. Britain play the Netherlands today in their fifth game.

GREAT BRITAIN: S Mason (Reading); J Wyatt (Reading), Soma Singh (Southgate), G Fordham (Hounslow), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), S Hazlitt (Hounslow), C Mayer (Cannock), J Shaw (Southgate), R Thompson (Hounslow), J Laslett (Teddington, capt), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: C Giles (Havant), H Hoskin (Reading), D Hall (Guildford).

SPAIN: R Jufresa; J Malgosa (capt), J Amat, R Sala, J Arnau, V Pujol, J Garcia-Maurino, P Usoz, A Iglesias, J Escarre, X Arnau. Substitutes used: X Escude, J Dinares.

Umpires: P von Reth (Neth), H Ehlers (Den).