We did it! Russia won the match with the Czech republic! Belarus is in the semi-finals! Russia is to face the USA! This is what you can read in the Russian press today. Indeed, what happened yesterday seemed impossible: Russia and Belarus will play in semi-final matches with the American and Canadian hockey teams.
The Belarussian team defeated one of the strongest competitors, which did not lose a point during the group stage: the Swedish team. Noone was expecting it. The Swedish were leading after the fourth minute of the match, so it seemed like Belarus was done. However, Oleg Romanov from the Belarussian team scored a goal several minutes later. The Swedish became more nervous after Belarussian player Dudik led his team out during the first period of the the match.
Michael Nylander restored the balance in the middle of the second period. Andrey Kovalev from the Belarussian team scored another goal for his team, and the Swedish started getting really rude. Sensation was in the air. Mats Sundin evened the score, and it could be noticed that the Belarussian team was tired, but it was not. The final score of the game was 4:3, and Belarus won. This was the fight of the national hockey school with the school of professionals: there was only one NHL player at their disposal, whereas the Swedish team consisted of 90 % National Hockey League players.
Russian won the game with the Czech team yesterday, but the score was of the football typem 1:0. Russian player Nikolay Khabibulin was brilliant in that game, showing the wonderful traditions of the home goalkeeper school: Khabibulin repelled 32 shots!
Noone wanted to give up in the game between Russia and Czech republic: the attacks were going from one goal to another. The 25th minute of the match was a crucial moment. Maksim Afinogenov scored a goal, making Dominik Hasek capitulate.
Here are the results of other quarter-final games: Canada vs. Finland, 2:1; USA vs. Germany, 5:0.
The coming semifinal game between Russia and the USA promises to be the most spectacular match in the history of the Winter Olympics. This is what Russian hockey coach Vyacheslav Fetisov believes.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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