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  FIH Men Series Finals: Russia edge out Poland
BHUBANESWAR,09 Jun 2019 (Team Orisports)

Russia (World Rank 22) rode on a brace by Pavel Golubev to edge out Poland (World Rank 21) in their third and last Pool-A match of the FIH Men’s Series Finals at Kalinga Hockey Stadium here today. This was the second win for Russaia and they ensured at least a berth in the cross-overs.

The early minutes of the match were quite a balanced affair, therefore reflecting how closely the teams stand in the FIH World Rankings. Quickly however, Russia increased the pressure and it was thanks to an outstanding performance by Maciej Pacanowski that Poland was able to stay in this game.

However, the talented Polish goalkeeper could do nothing about the strength and precision of Pavel Golubev’s shot at the beginning of the second quarter. It was a deserved lead for the Russians who were clearly dominating the match.

Vladimir Konkin’s players were determined to ensure a larger lead and continued to pile on the attack. But they missed several chances and a rapid counter-attack, led to a goal from Mateusz Hulboj, Poland’s inspired goal-scorer, who found the target shortly before half-time.

In the second half, the game became more even. Both teams created good chances without translating pressure into goals. But a few seconds before the end of the third quarter, Poland earned a penalty stroke. Team captain Pawel Bratkowski did not miss such an opportunity to put his side in the lead for the first time in this game.

This spurred the Russians on. They spared no efforts to equalise and their efforts were rewarded three minutes before the final whistle with drag-flicker Semen Matkovskiy scoring from a penalty corner. Things got even better just moments later when Pavel Golubev, elected Man of the Match, scored his second goal of the night.
PHOTO: Pavel Golubev of Russia celebrates after scoring a goal against Poland at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on 9 June 2019.



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