Team Scotland’s Men’s Hockey team stunned Wales to win in a dramatic comeback at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, followed by the women’s team also triumphing over the same nation to set up a clash with England for a semi-final place.
Two first half field goals from Ali Bell and Linda Clement sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for Team Scotland’s women over Wales and the Scots now join home nations rivals England on six points in Pool B, setting up a mouth-watering showdown between the two sides on Wednesday morning, with the winners guaranteed a place in the semi-finals later this week. England lost 3-0 to Gold Medal favourites Australia earlier in the session.
Following today’s match, Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “Three points and a win were the most important thing to make sure we were on level points with England in the final game.
“We know we will have to win the game as they have a better goal difference than us, but from the start of this whole campaign, when we knew what the draw was going to be, we knew if we got our wins against Wales and Malaysia that 9am on 30th July was going to be D-day for us, an opportunity for us to do something that we had never done before and that's to step into the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games.
“We are now in the position where the England game really matters, so it does get me excited. All our friends and family will be there. It’s the type of game you coach for, you want the big games and big prize at the end of it which is the semi-finals.”
Scotland captain Linda Clement added, “Delighted with the three points and we came here today with one sole focus and that was to win the game so we are going away happy.
“We will recover from this match and come out ready to put in a good performance against England. I believe we can win that match. They are a team that are higher ranked than us but the last few times we have met we have lost by just a single goal so will take faith and confidence from that. We know if we turn up and put a good performance in we can win that match on Wednesday.”
In the men’s tournament Team Scotland delighted a passionate and enthusiastic home crowd with a dramatic 4-3 win over Wales in Pool A. The Scots had trailed 3-1 at half-time following a hat-trick of penalty corner goals by Wales defender Richard Gay, with Scotland captain Chris Grassick getting a first half goal with a cracking run and finish low into the corner.
However, early second half goals from Gordon McIntyre and Daniel Coultas restored parity to the contest. A dominant second half display was eventually rewarded when midfielder Nicky Parkes claimed the winning goal nine minutes from time, sending the home support into raptures.
A relieved Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “We played pretty well in the first half. However, the first five minutes included two poor mistakes and it cost us. Credit to the boys they never gave up and, even at 3-1 down, they said, ‘we are still in the game and we will go out and win this game,’ and we did just that.”
Goal-scorer and Scotland Captain Chris Grassick commented, “I thought about what it may feel like to score in front of a home crowd before the tournament and it was an absolutely awesome feeling. But it doesn't matter who scored today it's all about us winning the match. That was our baseline to win that game and we are delighted to have done that. We have aspects we all work to; that's believing in ourselves, working together, sticking to our game plan.”
With great scenes of celebration on the park and in the stands following the full-time hooter, today’s result all but guarantees Team Scotland a place in the 7th/8th classification match later this week.
Before that, they face the might of World Champions Australia in their final Pool A match on Thursday
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