Azerbaijan goalie  Viktoriya Shahbazova earned the shutout win against Ghana
Azerbaijan goalie Viktoriya Shahbazova earned the shutout win against Ghana

Azerbaijan 4, Ghana 0
Azerbaijan and Ghana kicked off the Round 2 of the Hockey World League today in South Africa as the first Round 2 tournament kicked off under sunny, but extremely windy conditions. Azerbaijan braved the blustery weather and came away with the historic 4-0 win.

Farida Mammadova set the tone early, firing in a direct shot just over three minutes into action. After the goal, the Azerbaijanis had several good chances, but couldn’t capitalize until the last two minutes of the first half when Khatira Aliyeva scored the lone penalty corner marker of the game. Mammadova followed up less than a minute later to give Azerbaijan an convincing 3-0 lead at the break.

Running into the wind and down by three in the second half, there was little that Ghana could do to stave off Azerbaijan, which was the much stronger team in the half. Luckily, the scoring was kept to a minimum as Azerbaijan added just one additional goal coming mid-half from Yuiliya Muradi to bring the final to 4-0.

16th-ranked Azerbaijan will take on #29 Austria tomorrow, while #31 Ghana will have a tough test tomorrow against top-ranked South Africa.

 

Belgium 8, Austria 0

In a rematch from a Round 1 meeting, Belgium also earned bragging rights in Hockey World League Round 2 action against Austria, earning a massive 8-0 win. It was a far cry from the Round 1 meeting, which was a close affair that Belgium narrowly won.

The first half was all Belgium and all Jill Boon, who put in two open field goals to open up a convincing lead for her team. Austria was rarely on the attack in the lopsided affair with Belgium dominating the tempo. Stephanie De Groof and Helene Delmee each scored late in the half to give the Belgians a big 4-0 lead at the half.

Belgium went with the wind in the second half and things only got worse for Austria as Charlotte De Vos, Emilie Sinia and Erica Coppey all scored in the first 10 minutes of the second half to build an enormous 7-0 lead.Coppey struck again with a diving effort to double her output and make it 8-0w with 20 minutes to go in the game. With the game well in hand, Belgium eased up the last 20 minutes and took the 8-0 win into the round robin standings.

Belgium will take the day off tomorrow as the other four teams are in action. Meanwhile Austria will look to regroup in what is sure to be an even battle against Azerbaijan.

 

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