USA, Chile and Scotland all recorded clean sheet victories on the opening day of action in the Women’s World League Round 2 competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The results all went according to the FIH World Rankings, with top seeded USA (World Ranking: 10) storming to a convincing 6-0 victory over host nation Brazil (51) in the day’s opener before Chile (18) were made to work hard to earn a 2-0 win over 50th ranked Uruguay.
Scotland (19) made light work of Trinidad & Tobago (27) in the final match of the day, with the Europeans dishing out a 7-0 thrashing to ensure that they topped the table on goal difference at the end of Day 1. More information about the matches can be found below.
USA 6-0 Brazil
The clash between tournament favourites United States and underdogs Brazil was certainly a game of two halves. In the first period the USA struggled to find any real form and were held to a goalless draw at the interval, but in the second they opened up and scored six times without reply.
The first half was one of frustration for Craig Parnham`s squad. They had all the pressure but were restricted to only a handful of clear-cut chances by a Brazilian side that defended well in depth with goalkeeper Lisandra de Souza producing a series of fine saves.
United States should have taken the lead inside the opening three minutes but Michelle Kasold missed the target following a superb pass into the circle. The Brazilian goal lived a charmed life, with a penalty corner shot being saved on the line before Jill Witmer missed an open goal. The outstanding De Souza ensured that the teams went into the break at 0-0 when she denied efforts from Claire Laubach and Rachel Dawson late in the half.
There was an obvious sigh of relief when the favourites opened their account five minutes into the second half, with Laubach`s powerful penalty corner drag flick finding the net via the keeper`s pads. Following a series of goalmouth scrambles, USA grabbed a second in the 47th minute when an initial shot on goal hit the foot of a defender only for the umpire to play advantage, allowing Melissa Gonzales to slam home the rebound.
The USA quickly added a third and fourth goals to their tally, with Katie Reinprecht scoring a clever deflection in the 51st minute before Katie O’Donnell got in on the act when she brilliantly divert a cross from Rachel Dawson into the roof of the Brazilian net
With five minutes remaining, Claire Laubach added a fifth against the tired Brazilians with another penalty corner drag flick, with the scoring being completed by Torrie Albini who tapped in from close range following a fine run from Katie O’Donnell.
Chile 2-0 Uruguay
Chile fulfilled their second place seeding in the tournament and deserved their 2-0 victory against Uruguay, but they made slightly heavy weather of the occasion against their spirited South American rivals.
The game started perfectly for Chile, opened their account inside the first three minutes when Andrea Greene forced home a cross from the right by Carolina Garcia. Chile dominated the majority of the play, but Uruguay showed great potential on the counter-attack without troubling Chilean keeper Claudia Schuler.
There were a couple of chances at either end, with Chile hitting the post while Uruguay`s first real opportunity went straight at the goalkeeper. Chile scored their second midway through the half, with Josepha Villalabeitia who rolling the ball into the net following a great save from Uruguayan keeper Rosanna Passele, Chile had further chances to increase their lead but the excellent Passele blocked everything that was thrown at her.
Chile continued to dominate possession in the second half, although four penalty corners came to nothing and a flashing reverse stick shot sailed over the bar. However, Uruguay created some chances of their own complacency started to creep into the Chilean defence. Chile goalkeeper Schuler was brought into action when Uruguay won their first penalty corner of the match, saving the first shot before the rebound was fired wide of the target
As the game seemed to be drifting to an inevitable conclusion, a late Uruguay attack saw a goal-bound shot heading towards the net, but the consolation goal was denied when the final hooter sounded just before the ball crossed the line.
Scotland 7-0 Trinidad & Tobago
In temperatures of close to 40 degrees it was Scotland who turned on the heat with a convincing 7-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago, a result that puts them top of the pool on goal difference.
Scotland made a brilliant start to the game, applying intense pressure to their West Indian opponents before Nikki Kidd sent a low drag flick past the Trinidad goalkeeper for 1-0.
Midway through the half the Scots went 2-0 up when Vikki Bunce, who had earlier hit the side of the goal with a rasping effort, dived in to finish off a fine piece of place from Sunsan McGilveray.
Trinidad rarely posed any threat to the Scottish goal as the Europeans continued to dominate their opponents, and it came as no surprise when Kidd created a third goal, with Ali Bell being on hand to force home from close range in the 23rd minute. Three minutes later, Bell claimed her second goal of the match and Scotland’s fourth before a late surge from T&T saw them when a trio of penalty corners, all of which were cleared by the Scottish defence.
The Scots notched a fifth early in the second half thanks to a powerful low strike at a penalty corner from Catriona Ralph, and more seemed to be on the cards before tiredness kicked in and the standard of play deteriorated. However, Scotland rediscovered some energy late in the game to grab sixth and seventh goals from Kidd and Holly Cram to seal a comfortable victory.
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