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Women's World Cup / GROUP D

Russia Wins With Goal in Waning Minutes

September 22, 2003|Paul Gutierrez

Home Depot Center workers mistakenly had Russia's flag upside down when they first hoisted it up the pole on the stadium's north side hill, an international faux pas that was corrected before kickoff.

But Russian midfielder Elena Fomina earned her country and team some respect with her 89th-minute goal, giving Russia a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Australia in front of 8,500 on Sunday in a Group D women's World Cup match.

It was a match that many saw as a contest for group runner-up -- behind China -- and the quarterfinal berth that comes with it.

"The three teams of the group -- Russia, Australia, Ghana -- are equal," Russia Coach Yury Bystritsky said through a translator. "Today was difficult and decisive, so we felt this game was for second place."

Australia, which has yet to win a World Cup match and fell to 0-6-1 in the quadrennial tournament, forced the action early and scored in the 38th minute when Kelly Golebiowski converted Danielle Small's ricochet off the right post, beating Russia goalkeeper Alla Volkova.

Russia tied it one minute later on Australia defender Dianne Alagich's own-goal with her futile attempt to redirect a shot.

Fomina scored the game-winner on a powerful one-timer from the top of the arc.

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-- Paul Gutierrez

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