Russia made a winning start to their 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign by defeating the Republic of Ireland 5-1 at the Moskvich stadium today.
Olessya Kurochkina set them on their way with a goal in the second minute, a lead which was doubled by Tatiana Zaytseva in the 33rd. Irish hopes of holding out until the interval were dashed by Sharon Boyle's own goal two minutes later and Natalia Mokchanova ensured the home side would go in four goals to the good at half-time.
O'Brien on target
Even after conceding a fifth to the lively Natalia Barbachina in the 48th minute, Irish heads never dropped and Michelle O'Brien scored their first qualifying goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Russia will have to be in peak form in every game in Group 4 if they are to push the world and European champions Germany all the way. Switzerland and Scotland complete the pool.