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Scotland rock Gibralter
LOUSADA, September 27 - Scotland rocked Gibraltar with a comfortable 5-0 win in their second match of the first round of the men`s FIH World League, they now move into pole position in the table and qualification for the second round looks very much on the cards at this stage.
The Scots are now a point ahead of Gibraltar at the top of the table, but the latter have played a game more.
As with the Moroccan game on Wednesday the Scots started slowly, they missed a couple of penalty corners, but had few clear-cut chances. It took an own goal to break the deadlock, a long ball by Iain Scholefield cannoned off two Gibraltar defenders and eluded the goalkeeper.
Just before the interval Gibraltar made a bit of a charge and Allan Dick in the Scotland goal had to look lively to keep a clean sheet. The Scots doubled their score eight minutes in to the second half, Chris Nelson initial shot was blocked by the keeper and Alan Forsyth was on hand to tuck home the rebound with a low shot.
With the game poised at only 2-0 for the next twenty minutes, the Scots suddenly put their foot on the gas. Kenny Bain effectively sealed the three points with a direct shot into the roof of the net at a penalty corner.
Chris Grassick went on another mazy dribble that took him past three defenders and finished off with a firm shot for the fourth, then in the dying minutes Dan Coultas made it 5-0 at another set piece, his low drag flick beat the keep at his right hand post.
"The result was better than the performance, we really only played some relaxed hockey in the final ten minutes when we scored three goals," said Eugene Connolly, Scotland`s manager.
Scotland`s next game is against hosts Portugal tomorrow, another win here would secure the Scots at least second place and automatic qualification to the second round of the World League in the new year.
In Dublin Scotland`s women lost 3-2 to South Africa in a training game prior to the FIH Champions Challenge. The Scots led 2-1 at one point in the contest through goals by Vikki Bunce and Nikki Lloyd from open play. But the South Africans, who play the Scots in the final pool match next Tuesday, replied to score two further goals for the win.