Scotland took the silver medal at Men’s EuroHockey Championship II after Austria won a dramatic shootout 7-6 following 1-1 draw. Struan Walker scored for Scotland during the match, but it was a great penalty save to deny Alan Forsyth from the spot that gave Austria the chance to win the shootout, and the gold medal.
Regardless, its job done for Scotland as the Blue Sticks booked their place in the World Cup qualifiers in October.
It was a very cagey opening to the match but the game’s first big opportunity presented itself to Scotland. Struan Walker was able to run unchallenged into the Austrian D but the goalkeeper was out quick to block Walker’s low shot.
As the quarter progress the Blue Sticks began to boss the match and pressed the Austrians back in their own circle, but some resolute defending denied any clean opportunities.
The second quarter saw the Scots maintain their high tempo and keep the Austrians on their heels.
Then, against the run of play, a swift counter by the Austrians saw them come close when a shot fizzed past the left post, giving Scotland a warning shot.
The chance sparked Austria into life and Tommy Alexander was soon called upon to make an excellent reflex save to keep it goalless at half time.
Midway through the third quarter and Scotland got their just reward. Some lovely stick work by Cammy Golden at a penalty corner set up Struan Walker who fired a rocket into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
Austria began to put Scotland under pressure in the final quarter and things started to go their way. A penalty stroke was awarded to the Austrians after a penalty corner struck a foot on the line, and it brought the equaliser through Dominic Uher. 1-1.
The final minutes were tight and the game found its way to a shootout to separate the sides.
The Austrians were up first and scored through Fabian Unterkircher before Forsyth equalised for Scotland. Leon Thornblom and Golden both found the net before Daniel Frohlich and Lee Morton both drew blank.
From then on it seemed like nobody would ever miss with Walker; Robert Field; Forsyth and Golden all scoring for Scotland and Fulop Losonci; Xaver Hasun; Unterkircher; and Thornblom all striking for Austria.
In sudden death Morton was fouled and gave a stroke for Scotland. Forsyth saw his effort saved low to the left, giving Frohlich the chance to win it for Austria. David Forrester came so close to saving the final effort but the ball agonisingly trundled over the line to give Austria a 7-6 shootout victory to lift the trophy.