Russia were the victors when they faced Italy at the ongoing 2017 Women European Championship finals.
Tatyana Shcherbak had to pull a brilliant injury time save to stop the Italians from equalizing during their last minute onslaught.
The Russians delivered the shock victory to leave their rivals stunned. Russia had qualified for the tournament in the last minute leveraging on the final automatic spot based on goals scored ahead of the tournament. Italy were expected to defeat them seamlessly but they failed to live up to expectations. They allowed Elena Danilova and Ekaterina Morozova to get two goals in the first 26 minutes of the game.
Danilova had latched onto the ballfrom Ekaterina Sochneva. She defeated one before sending the ball to the net. The No 9 veteran has been with the Russian team since 2003 when she made the World Cup at 16 years. She constantly threatened the opponents throughout the affair. Sochneva was involved in the second goal as well. She sent the cross that Morozova headed in.
The goals obviously rattled the Italians, who waited until the final minutes to make a serious push to equalize. Ilaria Mauro scored one in the 88th minute but the momentum was not enough to force the second one as the Russians were steadfast. Elisa Bartoli headed the ball but the Russian keeper Shcherbakpalmed the effort to safety. Elvira Ziyastinova managed to stop MelaniaGabbadini from getting the rebound in.
Elsewhere, Sweden and the Germans played a goalless draw. It was a slow game for women German soccer – six time European Championship winners. Germany had won their past competitive 11 games but they could not get past the Swedes.