Day 10 Olympic Preview...GB v Spain

Olympics 2012 GB men celebrating

After Great Britain’s stunning comeback against the World champions Australia and Spain’s fightback from a goal down to win 3-1 against Argentina on Sunday, it’s all to play for in Tuesday evening’s clashes at the Riverbank Arena. Put simply, a GB victory over Spain or a draw in the match will see GB through to a first Olympic semi final since Seoul 1988. 

Fixture: Great Britain v Spain
Date and time: 7th August - 19.00
Location: Riverbank Arena
Watch live on the BBC: Olympics 7 (red button for Sky, Virgin and Freesat)

World rankings
Great Britain #4
Spain #5

Head to head
Played: 39
Won: 10
Drawn: 12
Lost: 17
Goals for: 67
Goals against: 89

Spain was Great Britain’s last competitive fixture before the men moved into the Olympic Village in preparation for the 2012 Games.  GB made a great start scoring two goals in the opening  19 minutes and deservedly held on to win 2 – 1. The two teams also met in the Champions Trophy in May last year, which GB lost heavily (8 – 1), despite taking the lead in the 23rd minute through Barry Middleton.

Olympics 2012 Ali Wilson 450

Ahead of tonight's game, we spoke to Head Coach Jason Lee, to find out his thoughts on GB's latest opposition:Jason Lee

Although Spain have been hit by injuries to their influential forward line with the experienced Santi Freixa and Pol Amat both leaving the Games, GB Head Coach Jason Lee has told his players not to believe for a second that those setbacks will lessen the danger posed by Spain.

“They’ve had a couple of injuries in this tournament, but if any of the players gave that any credibility in terms of the standard that Spain will be playing at then that would be a very big mistake,” said Lee after his side’s 3-3 draw with the Kookaburras.


“In the world rankings we’re ahead of them but only by a fag paper so they’re about the same [as us].”

And Lee reminded us that despite a 2-1 victory over their hosts in Santander last month, it wasn’t long ago that GB suffered their biggest defeat to the Iberians. 

“In December last year we lost 8-1 to them in the Champions Trophy, although we had predicted we’d play poorly because of the physical stage we were in,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough game and if we have any lingering thoughts about what tonight [the 3-3 draw with Australia] was like then we’ll struggle. They’ve got quality throughout the pitch, some really skilful and attacking forwards and solid defence.”
 

By the time GB play at 7pm on Tuesday, they’ll know what has happened in the match between Pakistan and Australia. That match gets underway at 10:45am and you can watch it live on the BBC Sport website. Victory for either side will put them through to the semi finals while a draw is enough for Australia to progress.

See Great Britain v Spain live on the BBC and the BBC Sport website or listen on BBC 5 Live Olympics. If you don’t have a ticket for the match at the Riverbank Arena, find your nearest Hockey House venue via our search site at www.hockeynation.info. Click on ‘watch’, put in your postcode and join hundreds of others to experience the nerves, the tension and the sheer excitement at your local hockey club or high street bar.