Scots end drought

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The Independent Online


reports from Dublin

British interest on the sixth day of the European Championship centered on the performance of Scotland and Wales in Pool A.

Scotland collected their first point of the tournament yesterday in a 1-1 draw with France. They got off to a splendid start when Richard Freeland outran the French defence to claim a penalty corner, which David Leiper converted in the eighth minute.

Scotland gradually lost their way to allow Ludovic Tissier to equalise midway through the half. Just before the interval, Freeland was tripped by the French goalkeeper. Scotland brought Michael Starling off the bench to take the resulting stroke, but his shot hit the upright and Scotland's hopes of their first win faded.

A resolute Welsh defence, in which the goalkeeper Kevin Priday - appearing here for the first time - and Zac Jones were outstanding, was eventually overwhelmed 3-0 by the Dutch, who secured a place in the semi-finals.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP (Dublin) Pool A: Scotland 1 France 1; Wales 0 Netherlands 3; Spain 2 Belgium 2. Standings: 1 Netherlands (P4, Pts8); 2 Belgium (4- 7); 3 Spain (4-5); 4 Wales (4-2); 5 Scotland (4-1); 6 France (4-1). Pool B: Germany 7 Switzerland 0. Standings: 1 Germany (P4, Pts6); 2 England (3-5); 3 Ireland (3-3); 4 Poland (3-2); 5 Belarus (3-2); 6 Switzerland (4-2).