CARSON, Calif. - Marina Saenko got one goal and started
another scoring play as Russia beat Ghana 3-0 Thursday in the
Women's World Cup.
The Russians improved to 2-0 in Group D. They opened with a 2-1
victory over Australia and next face China, heavily favored to win
the group. The top two teams advance.
Saenko scored on a free kick in the 36th minute, Natalia
Barbachina made it 2-0 in the 54th and Olga Letyushova capped the
scoring with a close-range volley in the 80th minute.
Russia goalkeeper Alla Volkova, sometimes rushing to the top of
the box to turn away scoring threats, was particularly effective
when Ghana had breakaways.
Russia counterattacked much of the game. Ghana was especially
aggressive on the attack after falling behind by two. Volkova twice
rushed out to block shots after Ghana had gotten behind the
Saenko scored on a hard drive from just outside the top left
corner of the box that curled around the defensive wall and sailed
into the top left corner of the net.
Ghana goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana lunged for the ball, but had
Another free kick by Saenko began the sequence for the second
score. Letyushova got off a header, and the ball struck the base of
the right post. Barbachina pounced on the rebound while the ball
was still in the air, and banged the ball high into the net while
Sulemana was sprawled on the ground.
Letyushova scored on a volley after a scramble in front of the