Women's Super Final 2014, Day 2: Russia's miraculous comeback against the World champions

World League

Russia made a minor miracle coming back from 8-2 down against Spain and unlike on the opening day, this time they won the penalty shootout.

Jennifer Pareja scored 7 for Spain, including three from penalties, but missed a crucial one in the shootout. The other games provided less excitement, USA outplayed Canada, Italy woke up in time against Brazil while China had too many misses to keep up with Australia.

Game 5, 15.00, Group A: United States vs. Canada 16-5
Quarters: 4-1, 4-1, 4-1, 4-2
Referees: Meng Anlong (CHN), Mario Bianchi (ITA)

USA: Samantha Hill, Alys Williams 4, Melissa Seidemann 1, Rachel Fattal 2, Caroline Clark, Maggie Steffens, Makenzie Fischer 2, Kiley Neushul 2, Jillian Kraus, Kaleigh Gilchirst 1, Annike Dries 3, Kameryn Craig 1, Elizabeth Keeve (GK). Head coach: Adam Krikorian.
CANADA: Nicola Colterjohn, Krystina Alogbo, Katrina Monton, Alexa Tielmann, Monika Eggens, Emma Wright 2, Joelle Bekhazi 1, Axelle Crevier 1, Carmen Eggens 1, Christine Robinson, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, Shae Fournier, Jessica Gaudreauit (GK). Head coach: Guy Baker

USA: 3 for 4
Canada: 3 for 5

The US team dominated the entire match, the partial results tell the story of the North American derby. The US attacks were overwhelming, one might have had the feeling they could score whenever they wished. And they did it in style, netted goals from all kind of actions, from counters, centre, outside shots, buried a couple of extras as well – and their best player, Maggie Steffens was just a small part of the scoring machine this time, she had some assists but no attempts to shoot. Canada, led by former US head coach Guy Baker, couldn’t withstand their rivals’ pressure at either end of the field.

Game 6, 16.30, Group B: Italy vs. Brazil 13-5
Quarters: 0-2, 5-0, 3-1, 5-2
Referees: Toshio Fukumoto (JPN), J. F. Buch (ESP)

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Federica Radicchi 1, Arianna Garibotti 2, Elisa Queirolo 1, Silvia Motta 1, Rosaria Aiello 1, Tania di Mario 1, Roberta Bianconi 3, Guilia Emmolo 2, Valeria Palmieri, Aleksandra Cotti, Teresa Frassinetti 1, Laura Teani (GK). Head coach: Fabio Conti.
BRAZIL: Oliveira Tess, Cecilia Canetti, Marina Zablith 2, Marina Canetti, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini 3, Amanda Oliveria, Luiza Carvalho, Flavia Vigna, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Diana Abla, Victoria Chamorro. Head coach: Patrick Oaten.

Italy: 7 for 9
Brazil: 3 for 5

Italy: –
Brazil 1 for 1

Italy arrived to the game a period ‘later’ than expected: their concentration level was somewhere at the bottom of the pool during the opening eight minutes and the Brazilians used the chance to jump to a 2-0 lead. Then the ‘Setterosa’ started to play at the same level they had done on Day 1 when they put on a fine show against the Chinese. They levelled the score by netting two in 39 seconds and towards the end of the second period they added three more goals while their defence also began to work. Not only the partial result showed their awakening (5-0) but their play in the man-ups, too: after missing the first two they put away the following seven. They went 8-3 up by the end of the third and left some spectacular goals to the last eight minutes as well.

Game 7, 18.00, Group A: Spain vs. Russia 12-12, penalties: 3-4
Quarters: 6-2, 2-2, 1-3, 3-5
Referees: Amaral Toffoli (BRA), Dion Willis (RSA)

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar, Roser Tarrago, Matile Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja 7, Lorena Miranda, Pilar Pena 1, Andrea Blas 1, Ona Meseguer, Carmen Garcia 3, Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera (GK). Head coach: Miguel Oca.
RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Olga Trotskaya 1, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 3, Elvina Karimova 1, Kseniia Krimer, Valeriia Kolmakova, Nadezhda Iarondaykina 4, Evgeniia Khokhriakova 1, Anna Timofeeva, Anna Grineva, Evgeniya Ivanova 1, Ekaterina Zelentsova 1, Anna Karnaukh (GK). Head coach: Mikhail Nakoriakov.

Spain: 3 for 4
Russia: 6 for 11

Spain: 3 for 3
Russia: 1 for 1

Quite an incredible game it was: it started as a one-sided battle but it became a thriller ending in a penalty shootout. The Spaniards were flying high in the opening eight minutes, scored three goals from their first three attacks, at 5-1 the Russian coach, Nakoryakov made a complete change of the starting line, including the goalie but that didn’t seem to help them as Spain led 8-2 deep into the second period. And the reigning World champions were still 9-4 up early in the third and controlled the game. At least they thought so. And started to slow down – soon they stopped. The Russians climbed back, step by step: even though they missed a couple of extras, still kept on scoring. By the end of the third it was 9-7, they came closer with Iarondaykina’s counter goal and caught up with the Spaniards at 10-10. Pareja hit another one, for the 7th time this afternoon, with 3:23 to go but that wasn’t enough. A converted penalty and a man-up put Russia ahead for the first time of the match with 26 seconds remaining on the clock. Carmen Garcia saved the game at least for a shootout, scoring from an extra, 14 seconds before the end. But sport sometimes can be strange and crucial: Jenny Pareja, scorer of 7 goals, including a 3/3 penalty conversion, missed the first one and that proved to be decisive, as the Russians buried each while Espar made another miss in the fifth round and that left Spain earning a single point instead of three. The Russians couldn't be much happier: after losing a shootout to the US on the opening day this time they got two points, thanks to their 8-3 rush after being 4-9 down.

Game 8, 19.30, Group B: Australia vs. China 14-8
Quarters: 3-3, 2-1, 6-1, 3-3
Referees: Arkadiy Voevodin (RUS), Ursula Wengenroth (SUI)

AUSTRALIA: Lilan Hedges, Eliesha Browne 1, Hannah Buckling 2, Jayde Appel 1, Bronte Halugan, Bronwen Knox 1, Rowie Webster 5, Glencora McGhie, Bronte Colenso, Ashleigh Southern 3, Jessica Zimmerman, Keesja Gofers 1, Kelsey Wakefield (GK). Head coach: Greg McFadden.
CHINA: Yang Jun, Li Shulin, Liu Ping 1, Sun Yujun 1, Yiong Dunhan, Sun Yating 2, Song Donglun 1, Zhang Cong 1, Zhao Zihan 2, Tian Jianing, Wang Xinyan, Niu Guangnan, Peng Lin (GK). Head coach: Rick Azevedo.

Australia: 5 for 6
China: 2 for 12

Australia: –
China: 1 for 1

Though the hosts started strongly again, led 2-0, but even during this period they missed a couple of extras. The Aussies recovered quickly, scored three straight goals, though later Zihan converted a penalty for 3-3. The second period saw less goals and more battling, with Australia leading at half-time 5-4, while China missed two consecutive man-ups before the break. They continued this bad habit in the third and that cost them the match finally: at 6-5 they missed a 6 on 4, at 7-5 another 6 on 5, while the Aussies found the back of the net from all possible angles. Five action goals in a row put them on the winning track and they never looked back.