|April 27th, 2012|
|4||Pool A||1:30pm||AZE - BLR||3 - 0 (0 - 0)||Final|
Azerbaijan 3, Belarus 0
It looked like there was a chance that Belarus might be able to pull off its second upset in as many games at the FIH Olympic Qualification Tournament, but in the end Azerbaijan powered through to a 3-0 lead on the strength of three late markers.
It took 52 minutes for Azerbaijan to get on the board as the chances were few and far between for most of the first half. After a handful of penalty corner chances including one that rang off the cross bar, Azerbaijan’s Khatira Aliyeva broke the scoring silence with an upper corner flick. Aliyeva struck again six minutes later to double the lead.
In a game with so few scoring chances it was clear that the 2-0 lead would hold through the end of regulation, but as icing on the cake, Zhang Suleymanova put in one last short corner goal in the last minute of play to bring the final to 3-0.
The win keeps second-seeded Azerbaijan unbeaten in its first two outings. Belarus has one win and one loss. Both teams return to action on Sunday when Azerbaijan will look to keep its winning streak alive against Austria. Belarus will take on Malaysia in what is sure to be an even duel.