CARY, N.C. (Wednesday, October 2, 2002) - Russia defeated Italy, 2-1, in the first game for both teams in the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup as Natalia Barbachina scored the winning goal in the 92nd minute. In a match that lacked offensive fireworks, but had plenty of physical play in the second half, Rita Guarino scored for Italy and Barbachina tallied both goals for Russia.
Italy's lone goal came in the 28th off a corner kick from the left side as an unmarked Rita Gaurino slashed through the penalty area to head home Tatiani Zorri's cross at the near post. Russia tied it in the 62nd as an Italian defender misplayed a through ball in the back, and the ball bounced behind the defense to Barbachina, who dribbled in on goalkeeper Fabiana Comin and slotted her shot into the left corner from 10 yards out.
Italian head coach Carolina Morace, a legend for the national team as a player during a career in which she scored 105 goals, played her entire roster except for the back-up goalkeeper. Morace brought on leading scoring Patrizia 'The Scorpion" Panico in the 71st minute, but it was Barbachina who would play hero.
With just seconds left in the game, a goal mouth scramble led to the ball popping loose in front of Barbachina, who finished smartly to give Russia the win. Russia seems to have the Italian's number, also defeating Italy twice in European Women's World Cup qualifying, effectively knocking the Italians out of the running for a place in the 2003 Women's World Cup in China. Russia was also efficient in the match, scoring on its only two shots on goal.
The second half was marked by some rough play as five yellow cards were shown after the 55th minute.
NIKE U.S. WOMEN'S CUP GAME REPORT
Participants: Russia Women's National Team vs. Italy
Competition: 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup
Venue: SAS Park (Cary, N.C.)
Date: October 2, 2002; Kickoff - 5 p.m. (ET)
Weather: Hot, humid - 85 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
Russia 0 - 2 - 2
Italy 1 - 0 - 1
ITA - Rita Guarino (Tatiana Zorri), 28.
RUS - Natalia Barbachina (Tatania Skotnikova), 62.
RUS - Natalia Barbachina (Tatania Skotnikova), 92+.
RUS: 12-Maria Pigaleva; 2-Marina Kolomiets, 4-Natalia Karaseva (17-Anastassia Poustovoitova, 46), 5-Vera Stroukova, 18-Elena Jikhareva; 6-Svetlana Sedakova (15-Irina Mironova, 83), 9-Alexandra Svetlitskaya (8-Oxana Shmachkova, 46), 13-Elena Fomina, 7-Tatiana Skotnikova; 10-Natalia Barbachina (capt.), 11-Olga Letyushova.
Subs Not Used: 1-Tatiana Pitchougova, 3-Marina Burakova, 14-Valentina Barkova.
ITA: 1-Fabiana Comin; 2-Moira Placchi (7-Damiana Deiana, 53), 5-Margherita Masia, 6-Giula Perelli, 4-Pamela Conti; 8-Marina Pellizzer (20-Elisa Camporese, 46), 10-Tatiana Zorri (14-Katia Serra, 57), 15-Valentina Boni (16-Piera Maglio, 69), 17-Alessia Tuttino; 11-Rita Guarino (capt.) (18-Ilaria Pasqui, 57), 19-Chiara Gazzoli (9-Patricia Panico, 71).
Subs Not Used: 12-Carla Brunozzi.
Statistical Summary: RUS / ITA
Shots: 5 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 7
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 15 / 15
Offside: 7 / 2
RUS - Elena Jikhareva (caution), 22.
ITA - Alessia Tuttino (caution), 55.
RUS - Anastassia Poustovoitova (caution), 75.
ITA - Margherita Masia (caution), 85.
RUS - Vera Stroukova (caution), 88.
RUS - Elena Fomina (caution), 90.
Referee: Sandra Hunt (USA)
Asst. Referee: Robert Fereday (USA)
Asst. Referee: Sandra Serafini (USA)
4th Official: Abbas Piran (USA)