Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Champion's Challenge: Day Two results

Group B: Austria 4 (Michael Korper 2, Benjamin Stanzl 2) Russia 4 (Alexey Sergeev 2, Evgeny Mokrousov, Azarov)
Austria produced a stunning comeback in another lively game at the Champion's Challenge this afternoon as they recovered from a three-goal deficit to draw 4-4, though the value of a draw for either side following opening day defeats may be negligible.

Russia - without the suspended Dimitry Volkov, retrospectively red carded for two yellows on Monday - raced into a 3-0 lead inside 16 minutes with Alexey Sergeev adding to his two goals against Malaysia with a fourth minute drag-flick.

Mokrousov and late call-up Azarov fired in two in two minutes to increase the lead before Austria finally got a foothold in the game - Korper slamming home his third of the competition from the top of the D.

Benjamin Stanzl narrowed the lead further in the second half from a corner but Sergeev edged Russia up to 4-2 in the 48th minute. But Stanzl's diving effort and Korper's drag-flick inside the last dozen minutes meant honours were shared.

Group B: France 2 (Lucas Sevestre, Arnaud Becuwe) Malaysia 4 (Ismail Abu, Amin Rahim 2, Azlan Misron)
Malaysia became the first side to qualify for the semi-finals as they got the better of France in a fast, free-flowing tie. They began the scoring via Ismail Abu's snap-shot but Lucas Sevestre's high reverse brought the game level in the 22nd minute but Rahim got his third of the tournament to make it 2-1 by the break.

He plucked an overhead from the sky, broke into the circle only for his final shot to be denied by a covering defender's foot. No matter, he converted the stroke.

Azlan Misron extended the lead with a slick deflection to a drag-flick and by the 40th minute the advantage was 4-1 as Rahim slid in to net from a great cross. Arnaud Becuwe got a consolation two minutes from time for the French

Standings (points/goal difference): 1. Malaysia 6pts (+3) 2. France 3pts (0) 3. Austria 1pt (-1) 4. Russia 1pt (-2)

Group A: Poland 3 (Thomasz Choczaj, Tomasz Dutkiewicz, Miroslaw Juszczak) Chile 2 (Sebastian Kapsch, Esteban Krainz)
Poland picked up their second 3-2 win of the tournament, managing to keep their noses ahead of Chile and to the verge of qualification - dependent on Ireland's result later on.

A ninth minute counter-attack got the ball rolling, Thomasz Choczaj converting the chance. The lead was short-lived as an error from a Polish defender left a huge overload and Sebastian Kapsch duly equalised in the 12th minute.

Captain Tomasz Dutkiewicz recaptured the advantage within 150 seconds from a corner, though, as Poland began to take control and Mirolslaw Juszczak built the lead further, rebounding off Mauro Scaff in the second half.

Esteban Krainz pulled one back in the 47th minute and his side rattled the post soon after as the South Americans finished stronger as the game opened up.

* For more pictures of Adrian Boehm's from the Malaysia vs France game, click here

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