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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 12, 2003

Russia: At a glance

Women's World Cup appearances: Two
Best finish: Quarterfinals in 1999
Key Player: Svetlana Petko, goalkeeper
Coach: Yuri Bystritsky

Svetlana Petko was in goal for Russia's first women's national team game in 1990. Now 33, Petko has more than 130 caps. Her experience from the 1999 tournament, where Russia beat Canada and Japan in the first round before losing to China in the quarterfinals, will be useful.

Attacking players Alexandra Svetslikaia, Irina Gregorieva, and Natalia Barbashina are the top goal-scoring threats. Defender Maria Bourakova, 37, is team's oldest member and anchors the back line, along with Vera Stroukova.

Russia's match against Australia on Sept. 21 should decide which one advances to the quarterfinals.