Scotland defeat Ukraine to finish third in Valencia
12 February 2017
Scotland defeated Ukraine 1-0 to finish third at women’s World League 2 in Valencia. It was a deserved victory for the Scots, avenging their defeat to Ukraine in their earlier Pool encounter.
The Scots were enjoying a lot of possession in the opening sections of the game, showing some slick passing and moving the ball around the pitch very well. The Ukraine defence was proving stubborn, however, and gave not even the slightest hint of an opening in the first quarter.
The theme of the match, Scottish possession and Ukrainian defence, continued into the second quarter. It looked like the first half was going to end in stalemate; that was until Scotland were awarded a penalty corner right on half time. It was set up for Amy Costello who picked out Ali Howie right in front of goal and she made no mistake with the finish. 1-0.
Into the second half and Scotland nearly doubled their lead immediately. An excellent run into the D by Ali Howie, saw her smash the ball towards goal but a last ditch block prevented another goal.
Into the final quarter and while Ukraine battled hard, Scotland were looking very comfortable. Ukraine had a chance when they were awarded a penalty corner; the ball was launched goal ward but some solid defending kept Scotland’s lead intact.
Then it was Becky Ward to the rescue for Scotland, producing a great block from another Ukrainian penalty corner.
As the minutes ticked down Ukraine threw everything they had at the Scots but found the Scots resolute in defence. A great double save by Nikki Cochrane from a scramble in the D kept Ukraine out right at the end, and Scotland held on to claim third place at women’s World League 2 in Valencia.
Scotland women’s Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, "The girls played well and were very positive in their approach today. They got a bit nervous in the last quarter but saw the game out, and I can only praise such a young squad for what they have done during this tournament."
Photos by John Preece