EuroHockey Championships: England women lose to Spain in bronze-medal match

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EuroHockey Championships: The moment Spain beat England in shootout to win bronze medal

England lost a dramatic shootout against Spain to finish fourth at the EuroHockey Championships.

The bronze-medal match ended 1-1, with Hannah Martin scoring England's goal, before Spain won the shootout 3-2.

England led 2-1 in the shootout but failed to convert their last two efforts in Antwerp, Belgium.

England, thrashed 8-0 by the Netherlands in the semi-finals, failed to finish in the top three at the event for the first time since 2003.

"I think we're disappointed with the whole tournament in general for us," England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb told BBC Sport. "We've got a lot to work on when we get home.

"We had some honest conversations about what went wrong and what needed to change [after the Netherlands defeat]. That was a huge step up in performance and now we need to make another step up."

The shootout drama began as England led 2-1, with Ellie Rayer earning a penalty stroke after an infringement by Spain goalkeeper Maria Ruiz. Spain replaced Ruiz with Melanie Garcia just for the penalty and the stand-in blocked Giselle Ansley's effort.

Begona Garcia made it 2-2, before England's Sarah Evans fired wide, and Beatriz Perez put Spain 3-2 up.

Ruiz then denied Pearne-Webb and although the England captain referred it to the video umpire, the decision stood.

Spain players celebrate with goalkeeper Maria Ruiz after they beat Spain in a shootout
Spain celebrated victory after goalkeeper Maria Ruiz denied England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb in the shootout

A close-fought game saw Martin give England a 10th-minute lead after an Evans interception deep in the Spanish half.

Spain drew level six minutes after half-time as Begona Garcia fired a ball into the circle and Maria Tost diverted it past Maddie Hinch.

The England goalkeeper was then unable to repeat her shootout heroics of Rio 2016, although she did save from Spain captain Georgina Oliva.

Reigning Olympic champions Great Britain will now play a two-legged qualifier at home in November, which they must win to reach Tokyo 2020.

"Today was probably our best performance but we need to be consistent and score more than one goal if we want to win games," said England coach Mark Hager.

"It's a positive that we got to the top four and we exposed some young kids to this level as well."

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