Top seeds leave it late to salvage result; Malaysia back in the mix
Women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013, day three round-up
Russia – Japan 1-1 (half-time: 1-0), Japan claim winning draw 3-2 on penalties
Russia came within 45 seconds of a famous win over world number nine side Japan only for Sachimi Iwao to nick in a dainty deflection to Aki Mitsuhashi’s free to tie up matters in the final minute of this Hero Hockey World League Round Two tie.
To compile the Russian woes, Japan earned the bonus point with a winning draw, Rika Komazawa coolly out-thinking Oxana Serezhkina for the vital goal in a 3-2 shoot-out success.
It salvaged a tricky situation for the tournament top seeds who fell behind to a brilliant Tamara Ivanova effort, twisting and turning in the circle before unleashing an unstoppable rising backhand shot. From there, the Russians defended robustly and kept out six penalty corners while Serezhkina made a number of fine saves.
The pick of them came from Kaya Fukano’s high shot, palming the ball dramatically away to safety. It looked like they were on course for victory that would have opened up the group entirely until the last minute when Mitsuhashi picked out Iwao to break their hearts.
In the shoot-out, the sides were neck-and-neck until the fifth round, both scoring in the first and third rounds and missing in the second and fourth series, leaving it locked at 2-2.
But Komazawa’s tight skills eventually put the Russian goalkeeper off balance and she slotted in. Ivanova could not match the feat as Ryoko Oie dived to sweep the ball to safety and a welcome bonus.
Malaysia – Kazakhstan 3-1 (Half-time: 3-0)
A first half blitz from Malaysia saw them get their Hero Hockey World League Round Two hopes back on track as they saw off Kazakhstan to move closer to the top of the table.
For the Kazakhs, they had late joy when Vera Domashinova scored their first goal of the tournament, sparking the loudest cheer of the game in the 68th minute. But, by that stage, Malaysia had the game wrapped up as they built a 3-0 half-time lead.
Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani scored from a penalty corner in the fourth minute and a further two goals in a six minute spell just before the interval set them on the road to success. Norhasikin Halim doubled the advantage while Nor Azlin Sumantri netted a classy third, racing through down the right and sliding the ball under Guzal Bakhavaddin.
The second half was more even with Kazakhstan coming back into the tie with Guinara Imangaliyeva and Natalya Gataulina going close but Malaysia were always in control bar the late concession.
Fiji – India 0-10 (half-time: 0-4)
India shot to the top of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 group in Delhi with a comprehensive victory over Fiji, moving a point clear of top seeds Japan in the rankings.
It was a well judged performance, not conceding a single shot in the tie while they earned a series of penalty corners to create the chances despite a packed circle in the first half. From this avenue, Soundraya Yendala cracked home a switch-right in the seventh minute from their third corner.
Namita Toppo added the next with a powerful hit before Roselin Dung Dung got the first goal from play with a near post touch. Rani scrambled in a fourth before the half time break and they scarcely slowed the tempo in the second period.
It was 5-0 soon after the sides resumed via Navjot Kaur and it was six from a peach of a team move, created down the right baseline and finished off once more by Dung Dung. Jaspreet Kaur added a set piece double, one from a penalty stroke, the other a corner, got her second and Chanchan Devi Thokchom was another to get on the score sheet.
For her efforts in keeping the score down, Fiji goalkeeper Susana Mudunatagi was awarded the player of the match award.
It was 5-0 soon after the sides resumed and six from a peach of a team move, created down the right baseline and finished off once more by Dung Dung. Jaspreet Kaur added a set piece double, one from a penalty stroke, the other a corner, got her second and Chanchan Devi Thokchom was another to get on the score sheet.Back