Playing their best hockey of the week, Russia used a strong first half performance and a determined defensive effort to defeat Canada 2-1 on the penultimate day of the SPAR Cup Tri-Nations women's hockey tournament at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Friday.
The result means Canada and Russia, who avenged an earlier loss to the Canadians this week, are level on three points, while unbeaten SPAR South Africa, on nine points, cannot by overtaken.
The home side face Canada on Saturday and while the title has been settled, it should be a keen encounter, with both sides looking for a strong finish to the tournament.
After looking the weakest team in the triangular tournament, Russia made a storming start on Friday to register their first victory of the week, going 2-0 ahead and then withstanding a determined fightback by the Canadians after the break.
The Russians, in fact, became a little rattled and some over-robust play saw them reduced to nine players at one stage in the second half.
Canada, however, were unable to capitalize on this thanks to some spirited defence by the Russians, with goalkeeper Alexandra Nitsenko standing firm to help her team to victory.
But Nitsenko could do nothing about Canada's goal which came after a deliberate infringement as they surged upfield and saw them being awarded a penalty flick. Andrea Rushton's powerful flick gave the Russian goalie no chance and it opened the way for the Canadians to get back into the match.
Besides occasional sorties by the Russians into the Canadian half, Canada dominated the second period but their efforts came to nought and they paid the penalty for several defensive lapses in the first half. This allowed the Russians to score in the third minute through Svetlana Grigorieva, followed by a fine hit from a penalty corner by Anna Matersheva in the 31st minute.
Posted 5 hours ago.
The relationship between on-field officials and players in many team sports is not always the smoothest. However,...
Posted 9 hours ago.
Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Robin D’Abreo as the National Women’s Program...
Posted 1 day ago.
USA: Family heirlooms traditionally consist of faded pictures, foreign coins and vintage rings, treasured items with...
Posted 1 day ago.
Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player,...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...
Posted 3 days ago.
The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey...