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3rd Women’s Hockey World League: Belarus thump Czeck Republic 5-1 to top points table

Hockey Olympic Final Qualifying Tournament - Day 9

Belarus Hockey Team (FILE PHOTO)

Belarus grabbed all the attention at the third women’s Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in Valencia, Spain when they churned out a huge upset win over 14th ranked Ireland.

The world number 21 side has done enough to show that they are a tough nut to crack right from the start of the tournament. Belarus staged a remarkable comeback from being 0-2 down to level the issue before losing 1-3 in the penalty shootout. The one point they earned from this tie must have surely alerted the other teams about what to expect from them.

On Friday, Belarus resumed their Thursday’s unfinished match against Czeck Republic which they led by a solitary Ryta Batura goal with the match being only 24 minutes old.

Belarus muffed up a few penalty corners against the Czecks, who played with more purpose in the drier conditions.

Belarus managed to hold on to their 1-0 lead at half-time.

The 37th ranked Czeck Republic regrouped well in the second stanza and equalised in the 45th minute through Adela Bizova.

The joy of the Czecks did not last long as birthday girl Ryta Batura once again put Belarus ahead five minutes later.

Yuliya Mikheichyk soon made it 3-1 before once again sounding the board in the 65th minute as Belarus were sitting pretty with a 4-1 lead.

Captain Alisia Piotukh got into the thick of things as she scooped a blooper penalty corner goal in the final minute of action.

The 5-1 scoreline did not quite reflect the resistance offered by the Czecks.

Belarus, seeded fourth among the five teams, are perched at the top of the points table with seven points from three games. Czech Republic is out of qualifying contention with three defeats from as many matches.

In another match, hosts Spain gave the home fans plenty to cheer about posting a hard-fought 4-3 win over 17th ranked Italy after both teams were locked 1-1 in regulation time.

The 15th ranked Spanish eves had a great opportunity to draw first blood when they were awarded a penalty stroke. But Italian goal-tender brought off a fine save.

Both teams played out a goalless first stanza.

Italy took the lead in the second half when Giulia Padalino converted a short corner in the 52nd minute.

Rocio Ybarra Solaijn restored parity for Spain in the 64th minute stretching the contest into penalty shootout.

The win now puts Spain in second place behind Belarus.

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