England sunk by Spain at Junior World Cup

Erica Sanders scores for England U21s at the JWC

Spain 5 (2)
Begoña Garcia 15 (FG)
Belen Iglesias 35 47 (PC FG)
Florencia Amundson 46 (FG)
Mariona Serrahima 53 (FG)

England 3 (1)
Erica Sanders 24 (PC)
Megan Crowson 58 65 (PS PC)

England were knocked out of contention for the medals at the Junior World Cup in Chile after going down to a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Spain in their quarter final clash.

Craig Keegan’s side more than played their part in an enthralling clash but in the end, despite a first half penalty corner from Erica Sanders and a brace from Megan Crowson they were not able to overcome the Redsticks who move into the semi-finals.

Spain started on the front foot and pushed England back into deep defence in the early going. Paula Arrozola tested out Katherine Somerville’s reactions in the England goal but the University of Birmingham stopper did well, dashing from her line to make a fine block.

Spain built up the pressure but some fine defensive work from Skipper Kathryn Lane was keeping them at bay whilst Somerville was on hand to mop up anything that bypassed the Captain.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Keegan’s side fell behind. A neat turn and finish from close range by Begoña Garcia broke the deadlock. The lead didn’t last that long however and England were level nine minutes later. Sanders helped herself to her second goal of the tournament with a rocket penalty corner into the roof of the net.

On the stroke of half time, England were behind again. Belen Iglesias applied the finish to a penalty corner to nudge Spain ahead at the interval.

England started the second half brightly and a series of slick passing moves from one side of the pitch to the other gave the Spain defence plenty to think about. Sanders tested the goalkeeper with another penalty corner whilst at the other end Somerville denied Garcia a second. Somewhat against the run of play, Spain added a third. Somerville made a wonderful save to keep out Florencia Amundson but the No10 collected the rebound and fired home. England were reeling and conceded a fourth a minute later as Iglesias notched her second. Mariona Serrahima made it 5-1 with 17 minutes left to play; again Somerville could consider herself unlucky after making the initial save.

To their credit, Keegan’s side rallied and with 12 minutes to go, Crowson reduced the arrears with a penalty stroke. England threw players forwards and created more pressure which eventually paid off when Crowson again converted, this time from a penalty corner with a lovely drag flick.

Despite England’s late barrage they had left themselves too much to do and Spain took the win and the place in the semi-finals.

England will now play in the placing matches to determine their finishing position in the tournament. For all the tournament details click here.