Day 2 of competition in the Rio Olympics women’s water polo tournament could already see some decision on the seeding in the respective group were made. Reigning champions USA posted another clear victory while Italy came out as winners of the day. Their top match-up with Australia was won 8-7. A rough one for the Aussie Stingers who played a difficult but close match with the Italians and hung on until deep into the final period. Here Rowie Webster shot home the equaliser (7-7) with 2.30 on the clock. It proved all in vain though as Roberta Bianconi converted an extra man opportunity with just 49 seconds to be played and that was the decisive blow to the hard working Stingers squad. In the final seconds they drew an exclusion and could play to level the score once more but Holly Lincoln-Smith hit the post on the game’s final attempt as Italy held on for the big win in group A.
Both Russia and Spain bounced back from heavy opening day defeats. The Russians walked away from Izabella Chiappini (4 goals) and Brazil in the second half where their team effort decided the outcome in Russia’s favour with the final score at 14-7. Spain meanwhile held off a Hungary comeback in a thriller game 11-10 for the hard-fought win. A somewhat unusual thriller since the final score was already reached with still over 3.40 to play in the match. However the Spanish women held on in some tense final minutes where just Rita Keszthelyi could launch a shot for Hungary but Spain were actively seeking a possible decision by scoring again. Neither team however could strike in the final minutes so that the Miki Oca coached side came away with their first victory.
USA are steamrolling through the group stage. The reigning champions and red-hot favourites for gold again dominated China in a 4-12 showdown for the second straight victory. The Americans grabbed the lead early on and never looked back. Maddie Musselman and Maggie Steffens led all scorers with 4 apiece. They will close out group play against Hungary on Saturday but are virtually sure of the group’s top spot ensuring them of a quarterfinal match-up with the last-ranked side out of group A.
Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Thursday, August 11 – day 5
Russia vs. Brazil 14-7 (2-4, 2-0, 4-2, 6-1)
Russia scorers: Prokofyeva 3, Ivanova 3, Simanovich 2, Glyzina 2, Borisova, Timofeeva, Soboleva, Karimova.
Brazil scorers: Chiappini 4, Abla 2, Zablith.
Italy vs. Australia 8-7 (4-2, 0-1, 2-3, 2-1)
Italy scorers: Garibotti 3, Bianconi, Emmolo, Tabani, Queirolo, Pomeri.
Australia scorers: Webster 2, Southern 2, Arancini, Knox, Bishop.
China vs. USA 4-12 (1-4, 0-3, 2-3, 1-2)
China scorers: Zhao, Niu, Mei, Wang.
USA scorers: Musselman 4, Steffens 4, Gilchrist 2, Craig, M. Fischer.
Spain vs. Hungary 11-10 (2-2, 4-4, 4-1, 1-3)
Spain scorers: Espar 2, Tarrago 2, Garcia 2, Ortiz 2, Forca 2, Lopez.
Hungary scorers: Bujka 5, Keszthelyi 2, Kisteleki, Szücs, Csabai.
Friday, August 12 – day 6
09.00: Hungary vs. Japan – men
10.20: Croatia vs. Italy – men
11.40: USA vs. Montenegro – men
19.30: Greece vs. Brazil – men
20.50: Spain vs. France – men
22.10: Serbia vs. Australia
Saturday, August 13 – day 7
09.00: China vs. Spain – women
10.20: Russia vs. Italy – women
11.40: Australia vs. Brazil – women
13.00: Hungary vs. USA – women
N.b.: Time mentioned is local time (UTC/GMT – 3 hours)