Great Britain’s women secured their first points of their FIH Pro League campaign, prevailing 3-2 in a shootout after a 2-2 draw in normal time in Changzhou, China.
China took the lead in the eleventh minute, Bingfeng Gu’s shot saved by GB goalkeeper, Amy Tennant from China’s first penalty corner, only for the ball to go high in the air for Meiyu Liang to score with an overhead shot from wide of the left post.
Great Britain equalised in the 20th minute, Lizzie Neal scoring her first GB goal with a fine strike from mid right of the circle.
Two minutes later, Great Britain were in front, Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley with her second goal of the tournament following on from her penalty stroke in New Zealand. An excellent drag-flick gave Chinese goalkeeper, Jao Ye no chance.
Still trailing 2-1 with just over six minutes to play, China withdrew their goalkeeper in favour of an extra offensive player. In a madcap period, Great Britain lost their chance of a win in normal time, first of all losing their video referral when Lily Owsley challenged having shot into the left sideboard; and then in an attack at the other end, China were awarded a penalty corner which was converted in emphatic fashion by Gu in the 59th minute to set up a shootout.
Having lost their video referral, Great Britain were unable to challenge the penalty corner award.
China went first in the shootout, Liang chip/ lobbing Tennant to put the hosts ahead. Surbiton’s Hannah Martin went first for GB and was unlucky as her shot rebounded off the right post to preserve China’s lead.
Good work by Tennant forced Jinrong Zhang to shoot wide right of goal, enabling Surbiton’s Erica Sanders to level with a fine shot into the netting to the goalkeeper’s left.
Mengling Zhong restored China’s lead with an audacious effort, bouncing the ball on her stick before lobbing Tennant instantly. GB remained 2-1 behind as Sarah Robertson’s effort was saved.
Great Britain were under pressure, but the pressure was eased as Na Wang’s shot went wide of the left post, GB captain, Surbiton’s Hollie Pearne-Webb making shootouts look easy with a quick finish off the backboard to level the scores at 2-2.
The momentum swung towards Great Britain when Jiangxin He failed to score after Tennant blocked the ball with the Chinese player running out of time beyond the eight seconds allowed.
Anna Toman then scored to secure the bonus point but the goal was video referred before the winning score was confirmed.
Surbiton’s Sarah Evans, Martin, Ansley and Pearne-Webb were all in the GB starting lineup with Sanders joining the action in the fifth minute.
More information about the women’s tournament can be found at the FIH Pro League website