彩神马China beat South Korea 5
BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China made it two wins out of two in Group B of the 2019 IIHF Women's World Championship Division I at Beijing's Shougang Ice Rink on Sunday, defeating South Korea 5-2 (1-1, 1-0, 3-1) in an entertaining display.
Having defeated Latvia 3-0 on Friday in their opening match of the tournament, China set out their stall to attack from the off against South Korea, so it was something of a surprise when the visitors took the lead through Lee Eun-ji after just two minutes. Undeterred, China found their rhythm and equalized six minutes later after Fang Xin was played in by Kong Mingrui.
With South Korea seemingly content to defend deep and look to hit China on the counter, the hosts began to turn the screw, but though Yu Baiwei, Zhao Qinan and Liu Zhixin all came close to finding the net, the scores remained level at the first interval.
The home side remained strong at the start of the second period, with South Korean goaltender Han Do-hee forced into action on several occasions, and China finally made their superiority count in the 29th minute, when Liu unleashed an unstoppable shot from distance that flew into the far corner of Han's net.
China almost doubled their lead moments later, but Tian Naiyuan couldn't find a way through the South Korean defense, and despite some more adventurous play from South Korea, there were no further goals before the second interval.
Willed on by a partisan home crowd, China reaped the rewards of their commitment to attacking play in the third period, as Fang and Liu both netted their second goals of the game to put the contest to bed. Though South Korea did eventually hit back through Kim Hee-won to make it 4-2, it proved to be a false dawn, as Kong almost immediately restored China's three-goal cushion from the resulting play.
Speaking afterwards, China's head coach Jakob Koelliker said he was pleased with the win, but warned against complacency going forward.
"Today was a really good game for us," said the Swiss. "We knew we had to keep up the speed we had [against Latvia], and in the end the result was good for us, so I'm really happy. Everybody worked really hard, but we have big opponents coming and we have to keep focused."
China's two-goal forward Fang was named player of the match, and paid tribute to her side's pre-game preparations.
"What we achieved today is the result of our hard training, but we can't rest on our laurels. There's always room for improvement. Before the game, Jakob told us to be patient, play our natural game and take our chances."
China's next match is on Tuesday against the Netherlands, who beat Kazakhstan 3-1 this afternoon. The group's other game today saw Poland edge Latvia 1-0.