GLASGOW, Scotland – In their opening game of the 4-Nations Tournament taking place at the Uddingston Cricket and Hockey Club in Glasgow, Scotland, the No. 22 U.S. Men’s National Team took on hosts No. 20 Scotland. Trailing after the first period, USA saw many chances go unconverted as they fell 2-0.
The opening minutes saw both teams look to eagerly break into their attacking end. USA got in their circle after Jack Heldens (Hamburg, Germany) took a free hit quickly, it bounced off some Scotland defenders and got to Kai Kokolakis (Wiesbaden, Germany) in front of Scotland goalkeeper Thomas Alexander. It unfortunately hit Kokolakis’ foot giving Scotland the free out. On the resuming place, Scotland used a full field passing to get into their circle, but the shot hit their own teammates foot. After a few minutes of back-and-forth action, Scotland used a right to left build up to get the ball on left baseline. On the cross, USA goalkeeper Hamzah Hashmi (Granada Hills, Calif.) made the diving save. Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) created a close chance for USA when he threw an overhead from midfield to Heldens in the circle, but his cross went through untouched. In the 9th minute, Scotland took the lead when a ball from the right corner got through and was stopped by Hashmi but the rebound was dropped to Hamish Imire who put it into the net. In the remaining minutes of the quarter, USA registered a backhand from Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) and defended a 2v2 situation with Scotland.
The second frame saw a lot of shared possession between the 25-yard lines. Midway through the period, Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) threaded a ball to Montilla on the edge of the circle and he created space and ripped a backhand that was saved by Alexander. Scotland had an identical play that was saved by Hashmi and well defended and cleared by Aki Kaeppeler (New York City, N.Y.). Scotland earned the game’s first penalty corner and the straight drag by Cameron Golden was saved by Hashmi. The halftime score stood in favor of Scotland, 1-0.
At the start of the third quarter, Liam Hawley (Ventura, Calif.) got the ball ahead to Marius Leser (Mannheim, Germany) who pushed it on goal and Kokolakis who was unable to convert. A few minutes later, Scotland tried to penetrate but good collective defense from A. Kaeppeler and Amar Khokhar (Valencia, Calif.). Off a USA outlet, Scotland was able to turn it over and attack as Golden’s shot was saved by Hashmi. The hosts saw a penalty corner go unconverted, but they were extended their lead in the final minute. Hashmi made the initial save but Duncan Riddell scored came off the post to sweep it in.
Trailing 2-0, USA struggled to break through Scotland’s defense. The hosts almost added to their score when a through ball found Alan Forsyth but Hashmi made the save. Kokolakis had a sweep on goal saved by Scotland goalkeeper Rory McCallum and moments later another attempt by him went wide. USA kept up the pressure and continued to threaten but were unable to find an outcome.
Today’s contest marked career milestones for Mehtab Grewal, Marius Leser and Finlay Quaile who all played in their first international cap for Team USA.
The USMNT will take on No. 14 Ireland today at 12:00 p.m. ET in their second game of the event. For more information on the 4-Nations Tournament, visit the event page.
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