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In the final match of day one in the 2017 IFA Women's Futsal World Cup in Lloret De Mar, late arrival Russia took on the experienced Australia.
The Russians didn't have ideal preparation coming into the World Cup as they arrived mid-afternoon on the day of their first match, leading to a few doubts over their opening match credentials.
However, they took the lead thanks to an excellent strike, then doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. before adding their third thanks to an excellent strike. Australia but back before half time courtesy of a wonder strike from the halfway line, to give them a confidence boost going into the interval.
The second period was wave after wave of Australia attack, and they scored two goals in a minute to equalise, midway through the second half.
The game was only three minutes old when Russia broke the deadlock. A quickly taken kick in from Russia skipper Aleksandra Shuliak was met by Elizaveta Kaleneva, and from 10 yards out the struck the ball sweetly into the top corner.
Midway through the first half, Russia were given the chance to double their advantage when they were awarded a penalty after Shuliak was fouled by Aussie keeper Melissa Khoury. Kamo Manukian stepped up and rifled the penalty low into the bottom corner to double the Russian's lead.
Minutes later the Russians further extended their lead through a piece of individual brilliance. Manukian received the ball from Shuliak, then with her back to goal, dragged the ball round the Aussie defender and caught the ball sweetly with her left foot across Khoury and the ball nestled in the side netting, leaving the keeper with no chance.
After a much needed time out to regroup, the Aussies got themselves on the scoresheet. A powerfully driven shot from Rhianna Pollicina from the halfway line flew past Russia keeper Irina Koturanova and reduced the deficit.
Half Time: Australia 1-3 Russia
Russia goalkeeper Koturanova and Australia's Pollicina were having a battle between the pair of them for the majority of the second half. The Aussie pulling the trigger on 4 or 5 occasions in the second half, but Koturanova was equal to the strikes every time. The best one of the lot was a shot from 20 yards that she tipped wide of the post.
Koturanova was finally beaten in the second half by Sophie Jones. A fantastic ball played in by Shannon Day was met by Jones at the back post and she poked the ball in under the onrushing Russia keeper.
The scores were level seconds later as Australia won the ball back from the Russian kick off, Day's diagonal ball was met by Jones, she flicked it into the middle of the box. Koturanova got a hand to it but Aussie skipper Jasmin Kent was quickest to get to the loose ball and stab it home from only a few yards out, to mark jubilant celebrations in the Aussie camp.
Despite all the pressure from the Girls down under, it was a point a piece as the match finished and the fans were treated to a six-goal thriller.
Full Time: Australia 3-3 Russia
Australia: Jessica Lindquist, Lindsey Jobling, Sophie Jones, Andrea Preiato, Chelsie Winchcombe, Shannon Day, Lori Depczynski, Jasmin Kent, Rhianna Pollicina, Britt Hargreaves, Melissa Khoury, Caitlin Jarvie.
MVP: Rhianna Pollicina began Australia's comeback with a piece of opportunistic brilliance and continued to drive her team forward all evening.
Russia: Irina Koturanova, Svetlana Triapichnikova, Svetlana Nikolskaia, Viktoriia Ivanova, Viktoriia Bondareva, Elena Lukashina, Iana Zimirova, Elizaveta Kaleneva, Daria Golovnina, Aleksandra Shuliak, Kamo Manukian, Alexey Kormushkin, Viacheslav Iurkov, Andrey Polkhovskiy, Victoria Polkhovskaya.
MVP: Elizaveta Kaleneva scored a fantastic opening goal and was excellent all match, sparking numerous counter attacks and putting in a defensive shift when required.