(Photo: © FIH)

Pushed forward by a phenomenal home crowd Russia celebrated a 3-2-victory over Italy. Azerbaijan took on Belarus and won 3-1 due to a great finish scoring two goals in the last four minutes. Japan beat Wales 4-1 although Wales lead for 29 minutes with 1-0.

Italy v Russia 2-3 (1-0)
Pushed forward by a phenomenal home crowd the Russian ladies played Italy. In the first half the hosts created the better chances but Italy’s goalkeeper Roberta Lilliu saved brilliantly. On the other side Russia’s keeper Oxana Serezhkina convinced with good saves, especially at penalty corners. Both teams competed on an equal level in the first half where both could have taken the lead. Around 90 seconds before the half time whistle Chiara Tiddi converted Italy’s third penalty corner. Back in the second half Evgenia Sorokina (37’) equalised in front of the enthusiastic crowd. When Kristina Shumlina (48’/55’) scored twice and brought Russia 3-1 in front the spectators got crazy. Francesca Faustini’s 2-3 (63’) brought hope to Italy but the hosts were clever enough to defend their victory.

1-0 34’ Chiara TIDDI (PC)
1-1 37’ Evgenia SOROKINA (FG)
1-2 48’ Kristina SHUMILINA (FG)
1-3 55’ Kristina SHUMILINA (PC)
2-3 63’ Francesca FAUSTINI (PC)

Azerbaijan v Belarus 3-1 (1-0)
Azerbaijan took the lead already in the 7th minute when Mahira Ahmadova received a pass coming from the right and tipped it in the goal. After this early goal Belarus played stronger and created some chances. Yulia Laptsevich was close to equalising in the middle of the first half but mishit. When Seon Yeong Rustamova was sent off with a green card because of stick tackling Belarus tried to take control of the game while Azerbaijan was not able to keep the pressure up they showed at the beginning of the match.

In the second half (37’) Maryia Korzh-Tsepun equalised for Belarus by converting the rebound of a penalty corner. From now on Azerbaijan pressed for the lead but had to watch out for counter-attacks of Belarus. In the last 15 minutes of the game both played ten on ten for two minutes because Myungsoon Mammadova (AZE) got a yellow card and Alena Fedarovich (BLR) was sent off with green. In the 61st minute Azerbaijan’s Lyudmila Chegurko had the biggest opportunity in the game but goalkeeper Yuliya Lashuk saved well.
It took up to the 66th minute until Azerbaijan scored again. The goal seemed to have destroyed all hopes of Belarus to gain one point in this match. In the final minute Mi Sun Safarova made the 3-1.

1-0 7’ Mahira AHMADOVA (FG)
1-1 37’ Maryia KORZH-TSEPUN (PC)
2-1 66’ Khatira ALIYEVA (PC)
3-1 70’ Mi Sun SAFAROVA (PC)

Wales v Japan 1-4 (1-0)
Japan dominated the game but were unable to score in the first half. Already in the 2nd minute they got their first penalty corner awarded which was saved by goalkeeper Rees. The spectators watched a game which was predominantly played in the Welsh half. Japan ran a lot of good attacks but Rees showed a brilliant performance saving everything. Wales was pressed deep and appeared in the Japanese quarter with two counter-attacks only. One of them was successful when Abigail Welsford picked up the rebound and scored the unexpected lead.

The second half was also controlled by Japan. However Alys Brooks from Wales had the biggest chance to increase the lead with another counter-attack. Brooks finally missed a pass at the left post. Japan kept on trying to equalize. In minute 58 Ai Murakami brought her team back into the game by converting the third attempt of Japan’s 5th penalty corner. From now on Japan were definitely back in the game and Mazuki Arai, Mie Nakashima and Kaori Chiba brought home the victory.

1-0 19’ Abigail WELSFORD (FG)
1-1 48’ Ai MURAKAMI (PC)
1-2 55’ Mazuki ARAI (FG)
1-3 64’ Mie NAKASHIMA (FG)
1-4 69’ Kaori CHIBA (FG)

All action from the BDO World Cup Qualifier in Kazan, Russia can be followed live through the special micro site of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Please click here for direct access.