Russian side FC Energy Voronezh are into the UEFA Women's Cup quarter-finals at their first attempt after winning a thrilling Group 4 contest that turned into a goal race against Italians FC Foroni Verona.
Both previous Russian entrants had progressed past the group stage - while neither of Foroni's compatriots had - but the tight nature of the pool was set after the first set of fixtures.
Foroni would have been forgiven to think they would move into first place when they secured a 10-0 win against Croatian qualifying Group 3 victors ZNK Osijek. Chiara Gazzoli was the star with a double hat-trick, her first four goals coming in the opening 33 minutes.
Energy go one better
However, group hosts Energy went one better as they beat Hungary's 1. FC Femina Budapest 11-0. Energy were 2-0 up on six minutes through a Vera Strukova double, but only added to their tally after the break, substitute Natalia Zinchenko and Elena Morozova both scoring hat-tricks. Femina's Éva Sümegi was sent off on 61 minutes.
So it seemed Foroni and Energy's meeting in match two would decide the group - but they drew 0-0 to make it likely that goal difference would decide the group. Femina and Osijek also drew by a 3-3 scoreline.
Gazzoli up to ten
The Italians came up against a determined Osijek side, who held them to a 4-0 winning margin, Gazzoli taking her group tally to ten goals as she registered in the 15th, 44th, 54th and 65th minutes.
Playing simultaneously against Femina, Energy knew they needed only to match whatever Foroni achieved to go through, and they did it with nine goals to spare as they secured a 13-0 victory.
Seven players were on the scoresheet, with Osijek's Marina Koljenik sent off in the last minute and Elena Danilova claiming a hat-trick to ensure Foroni suffered the same fate as compatriots S.S. Lazio Femminile last year, going out on goal difference.
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