Scotland stun France in EuroHockey Championship II opener

©: Frank Uijlenbroek

Scotland defeated France, the highest-ranked team in Men’s EuroHockey Championship II, 2-1 to get their tournament off to a winning start on home soil.

A heroic goalkeeping performance from Tommy Alexander and clinical finishing ensured it was Scotland’s day in front of an excellent home support.

The keeper made a couple of top stops in the opening stages before Scotland settled with Jamie Wong taking the ball out wide on the right and fizzed it into the D for Kenny Bain to deflect home to make it 1-0.

They moved further ahead when Lee Morton showed beautiful skills down the left sideline to beat a couple of players, setting up an overload from which a Gordon McIntyre pass found Alan Forsyth who tapped in for 2-0.

France continued to attack and Alexander continued to frustrate them. He saved a penalty stroke early in the fourth quarter and while Simon Martin-Brisac pulled one back, Scotland held on for an important 2-1 win.

Elsewhere in the competition, Russia opened with a 3-2 win over Switzerland, Wales beat the Czech Republic 2-1 and Ukraine swept aside Portugal 7-2.