Quemada wins “game of the kicking backs” for Spain

©: Rodrigo Jaramillo/world Sport Pics

Pau Quemada scored a bizarre last minute goal to hand Spain a third win of their Hockey World League campaign to earn a quarter-final date against Ireland.

They looked in control of their tie against New Zealand at 2-0 up via Josep Romeu and Enrique Gonzalez but the Blacksticks went for a kicking back in the third quarter to kickstart a mad-cap phase of the game.

New Zealand scored three times while Sergi Enrique was in the sin-bin for a green and then a yellow card with corners from Shea McAleese, Nic Woods and Kane Russell for a 3-2 lead with five minutes to go.

Spain then went to a kicking back and got level via Alvaro Iglesias’s sharp reactions. New Zealand again removed their goalkeeper but it back-fired this time as Quemada followed up to tackle the last defender who slipped, potting into an open goal for 4-3.

“We suffered a little bit in the third quarter, when they played really well and we were not creating anything”, said Quemada post match. “We brought on the kicking back and it changed everything. It was definitely the game of the kicking back!”

In Pool B, Germany sealed first place with a 2-0 win against Ireland, who finished the pool phase in third place. Belgium completed their Pool B campaign with a comfortable 9-1 victory over hosts South Africa, a result which ended South African hopes of a place in the quarter-finals, with Egypt taking the fourth and final qualification spot.

Germany were made to work hard for all three points by Ireland’s Green Machine who made life difficult for Die Honamas throughout. Tom Grambusch’s scored a penalty corner drag-flick near the end of the first quarter, but were made to wait until ten minutes from the end of the match before adding a second thanks to an open play strike from Martin Zwicker.

“I’m delighted that we won and finished top of the group”, said Germany captain Mats Grambusch. “A few weeks ago we lost 4-2 against Ireland in Hamburg, so we knew it was going to be tough. They are a good opponent and very hard to beat.”

Germany go through to France; Belgium’s hammering of South Africa means they end second in their group and they face New Zealand while Australia will take on Egypt.