New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Ukraine recorded a resounding 5-2 victory over their fancied opponents Canada in the women’s hockey Olympic qualifier at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Tuesday.
Both teams started the game with only one point, earned on the opening day, Ukraine with a surprise tie with India (1-1) and Canada against Italy (2-2).
The Canadians started the game on a high note, Kate Gillis scoring within two minutes of play from close range. Ukraine immediately forced two penalty-corners in a row but both were shot wide. A few minutes later though Maryna Khilko was not to be denied as she penetrated the Canadian top circle and shot a fierce shot leaving no chance for the goal-keeper.
The Canadian were disorganised in defence with stalwart defender Diana Roemer, left out of the line-up after a blow to the head suffered in the match against India. Azelia Liu in the Canadian goal made a stunning save from a penalty corner, but she had no chance a few minutes later when Khilko was left alone on the penalty-stroke point in the 28th minute, giving Ukraine a 2-1 lead going into the half-time break.
Ukraine scored three goals within the first ten minutes of the second period, including a third one for Khilko, opening an insurmountable four goal lead against a visibly struggling Canadian team.
The Canadians nevertheless tried hard to come back, scoring their second thanks to youngster Maddie Secco. They kept pushing for more goals, but the Ukrainian team tightened their defence to pocket the three points and a comfortable win.