Belarus were the surprise of day 3. They defeated host Russia 3-1. Japan celebrated their third victory and defended their top position on the table. Azerbaijan beat Wales 1-0 and kept their chances open for the final.
Russia v Belarus 1-3 (1-0)
Russia have performed very well in this competition so far while Belarus lost their first two games. Although Russia were the big favourites in this encounter Belarus had the better opportunities at the beginning of the first half. Russia can thank goalkeeper Oxana Serezhkina that Belarus did not take the lead. At the end of the first half Russia found its way into the game and created some good chances. Captain Elena Polovkova and forward Margarita Drepenkina combined well but missed the goal by centimetres. Just before the half time whistle the umpires awarded a penalty corner to Russia. With ten players at the circle line Russia were able to score, it was Alexandra Zhashkova (35+’) who guided the ball over the goal-line.
The second half provided chances for both teams. Belarus equalised when Yulia Laptsevich (40’) picked up a rebound and smashed the ball into the goal. Belarus were performing very well today, seemed a different team from that in Sunday’s 2-10 defeat against Japan. In the 53rd minute Belarus took the lead! Captain Volha Shyntar won possession in the circle and shot immediately. Play was hectic afterwards with Russia now urgent to reclaim pride while Belarus got more defensive. The Belarus counter-attacks were nevertheless dangerous and in the 68th minute they were awarded their fifth penalty corner but failed to convert. After the final whistle Belarus converted another penalty corner, goal scorer was Krestsina Kulinkovich (70+’).
1-0 35+’ Alexandra ZHASHKOVA (PC)
1-1 40’ Yulia LAPTSEVICH (FG)
1-2 53’ Volha SHYNTAR (FG)
1-3 70+’ Krestsina KULINKOVICH (PC)
Japan v Italy 3-1 (2-0)
With nine points from three games Japan are the best team at BDO Women’s World Cup Qualifier so far. They started in today’s match against Italy at great pace. At the beginning of the game Japan won three penalty corners but missed all of them. In the 20th minute a direct shot of Keiko Miura went into the goal, Japan converted their fourth penalty corner and took the lead (20’). Only four minutes after the 1-0 Kaori Chiba managed to score out of a crowded circle. From now on Japan controlled the game completely.
Surprisingly Italy had the better start into the second half. They came back with Chiara Tiddi’s 2-1 when her penalty corner shot went directly into the bottom left corner of the goal. Before Italy got too powerful the Japanese ladies started to press again and gained the 3-1 lead (50’) scored by Kana Nagayama. Afterwards Japan could have easily increased their lead but they still struggled with converting their penalty corners. The short corners have already been a Japanese problem in their last game against Belarus. This time they gained three in row and mishit all. Moreover the Italian goalkeeper Roberta Lilliu had a good game and saved a lot of Japanese attacks. In the last five minutes Italy attacked stronger but Japan were defending well and deserved the victory.
1-0 20’ Keiko MIURA (PC)
2-0 24’ Kaori CHIBA (FG)
2-1 43’ Chiara TIDDI (PC)
3-1 50’ Kana NAGAYAMA (FG)
Azerbaijan v Wales 1-0 (0-0)
Azerbaijan needed to win this encounter to keep their chances open for a spot in Sunday’s final. The first half was a very quite one. The game took place mostly in midfield with not many opportunities for either side. Azerbaijan had two penalty corners which were saved by the Welsh defence without any problems. The defensive Welsh team entered the opponent’s circle twice but without having serious chances.
At the beginning of the second half Azerbaijan won their third penalty corner which did not succeed. Khatira Aliyeva took the shot which was saved by Welsh goalie Margaret Rees. Afterwards Rees managed to clear the rebound as well. Azerbaijan’s fourth penalty corner was finally successful and brought the lead. Instead of shooting directly they passed to Marina ALIYEVA (48’) who waited at the right post and tipped the ball in. 20 minutes before the final whistle Azerbaijan got three penalty corners in row but failed to increase the lead.
To sum up today’s first encounter Azerbaijan were dangerous with ten penalty corners while Wales struggled to enter the circle although they pressed the last ten minutes. In minute 63 the first penalty corner was awarded to Wales. Tina Evans took the shot but Viktoriya Shahbazova was able to clear to a long corner.
1-0 48’ Marina ALIYEVA (PC)
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.
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