The selection of males is saved from elimination due to maximum penalties, an art that has been worked out for years. “We have a specialist who also studies how the opposing defenders place their feet,” explains coach Fred Soeze.
Penalty Penalty Penalty What is a penalty? For those who are not familiar with field hockey, a corner penalty is the maximum penalty in the game, the method of punishing the most serious attacks, and the method of its execution is truly unique.
From the baseline, an attacker must pass the ball to a teammate at the edge of the field to intercept it and place it for a third, the pitcher. Defenders must be positioned inside or on the side of the goalkeeper and can only leave when the first pass is made.
Every penalty-corner has the beauty of those who make three precise touches so that the ball ends in a goal and the violence of those who make a stampede to prevent that from happening. In recent years, since players’ technique and physique have been matched, most matches are decided on penalties and, therefore, Spain’s salvation.
That’s what the men’s team scores so far at the Olympic Games: that’s why they’re still alive, that’s why they suffer so much. In the five games he has played, he has scored six penalties, which is a considerable number, but he has only scored twice in games, one torture, one martyrdom. Yesterday, against Australia (1-1), one step away from elimination, he was frustrated trying everything, shooting a thousand ways, and only one in the final second scored by Pau Quemada. The penalty saved the team. With only one win, two draws and two losses, Spain advanced to the quarter-finals as the last of the group and will take on invincible Belgium tomorrow (2:00 PM). It’s not the best way – in fact it’s the worst way – but it is a way. And thanks for all the puns.
“Before the game, we were focused for several weeks on improving our effectiveness on penalties. At the XXX European Championship we realized that in the last two years, perhaps due to the time without competition due to the pandemic, the rivals improved That was a lot. In that aspect and if we want to fight we have to be level. We have one of the best pitchers, Pau Quemada, and a world famous goalkeeper, Quico Courts, so the rest of us have to help him will be everything”, explains captain Mickey Dales, who admits that the lack of toe in the rest of the work is giving him too much weight. That we have to improve there and keep enjoying the work done on the penalty.
“How to Hit Archery”
The coach, Fred Soeze, explains what the work is about: “Jorge Lombi has been with us for almost two decades the Argentine penalty taker, devoting himself only to the analysis of strategies in penalty-craners. He studies everything. Where opponents shoot or what position the goalkeepers themselves are in, but also what the rest of the defenders do: how they defend the stick, how they keep their feet . .. there are many, many, hundreds of hours of video. The European caught us early in the preparation, but before the Games we have done a lot of things right in this regard and I think it will show.”
“In the end, scoring a penalty is like hitting an archer, it’s a matter of millimeters”, concluded Soyez as he could close a circle in front of Spain tomorrow.
At the end of the Olympic Games, the Frenchman will leave the position he has held since 2014 and, somehow, everything will start from scratch. With him will retire Pau Quemada, Quico Cours, Roque Oliva, Josep Romeu and David Alegre, that is, the main references of the team and everything will be in the hands of the second generation. The group, which reached the quarter-finals at both the London 2012 Games and 2016 RO Games, have one last chance to retire with something hanging around their neck. “And that’s our motivation. We know this is the last chance we have to get a good result and we’re going to fight it to the fullest,” Dallas promised despite the difficulty of the crossing.
“The year is an advantage. Our strength is that we already know where we need to go. All these players have a lot of experience and that helps,” concluded Soez, who doesn’t see the impossible crosses. In the end, although Belgium have swept the second group of the tournament, Spain has already mastered the art of the penalty kick.