EuroHockey 2015: England reach final with victory over Spain

England beat Spain to reach Euro final

England reached the final of the EuroHockey Championships with a 2-1 victory over Spain at the Olympic Park.

Alex Danson opened the scoring for England only for Spain to level through Georgina Oliva with just over a minute of the third quarter remaining.

Lily Owsley scored the winner from close range eight minutes from the end.

England will play the Netherlands, who earlier defeated Germany 1-0, in Sunday's final at 16:00 BST.

The match will be shown live on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website, with commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

It is a second consecutive final for Danny Kerry's side, who will be looking to go one better than two years ago when they lost in a shootout to Germany.

England face a huge challenge on Sunday if they are to defeat the Olympic and world champions - and win the tournament for the first time since 1991, when they claimed their only EuroHockey title.

But Owsley vowed: "The Dutch are a fantastic team. We won't let them take the gold off us."

The hosts got off to a good start from a fourth-minute penalty corner when Danson scored her fourth goal of the tournament.

She pounced to volley home after Spain goalkeeper Maria Ruiz had blocked Kate Richardson-Walsh's shot.

England celebrate their first goal against Spain
Alex Danson's opener was her fourth goal of the tournament

Oliva brought the sides level when she unleashed a fierce shot that left England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch leaden-footed.

However, Owsley pushed the ball in to ensure victory for England and the player-of-the-match award for herself.

Excitement at the final whistle was mixed with relief that the game had been settled in regulation time and not with a shootout as was the case with the England men, who lost to Germany on Thursday night.

"To keep them out and not have to go to a shootout... it is the first semi-final in a while, apart from the World League, where we have done that," added Owsley.

"It's nice to win it that way."

Spain now face Germany in the bronze medal match which will precede Sunday's final at 13:30 BST.

Reflecting on defeat, Oliva said: "We lost the first quarter and they are a really good team, especially physically.

"I am proud of my team, but we are sad we are not in the final. I hope England win the tournament because they are the hosts."

Elsewhere, Scotland lost 1-0 to Belgium in Pool C, with Louise Versavel scoring the only goal early in the game.

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