2 July 2019

Super six for GB's goalballers against Spain at Paralympic Qualifier

A clinical performance from Kali Holder ensured GB Women bounced back in style at the 2019 IBSA Goalball Paralympic Qualifier after defeating Spain in their second game.

Holder scored five goals and Antonia Bunyan added another as GB prevailed 6-1 against the Spaniards at The Turnstone Centre in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.

It was a perfect response from GB after losing their closely-contested opener to Israel 5-3, leaving them with work to do as they bid to secure their place at Tokyo 2020.

The top two teams at the Paralympic Qualifier will secure their place at the Games as 14 nations battle it out in two pools of seven, with the top four from each advancing to the quarter-finals.

The opening stages of GB’s latest game were cagey as the two sides traded shots without any reward, with Holder making several excellent saves to prevent Spain from going in front.

A penalty against Sarah Leiter then gave the Spaniards a chance to open the scoring, only for the Brit to make up for her error against Maider Santesteban and keep the scores level.

But with the pressure on the GB side, they struck the first goal of the game as Holder’s bouncing effort found a way through the Spanish defence to give her side the lead.

And with just over two minutes of the first half to play, GB doubled their advantage when Holder converted a penalty opportunity following an infringement from Sonia Lopez.

Holder then completed her hat-trick on the brink of the interval, producing another bouncing shot that Spain’s Esther Avila could not get down to quick enough to keep out.

GB had one final chance to increase their advantage with just over 30 second left after Santesteban gifted them another penalty, but Bullen’s effort was wide as the lead remained 3-0.

The fourth goal did eventually arrive shortly after the restart. Holder was once again on target with another well-placed effort that deceived the dive of Avila in Spain’s goal.

Spain did hit back with their first goal with just under five minutes left on the clock, Avila beating Bunyan in the GB goal with a switch shot across the face of goal.

It proved to be no more than a consolation, though, with Holder soon adding her fifth of the game to restore GB’s four-goal lead after finding a way past Marie Del Mar Marino.

Bunyan then capped off a brilliant GB performance with a powerful shot to make it 6-1 before seeing out the remaining minute as they picked up their first win of the event.

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