On July 22, four more teams proceeded to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Water Polo Tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest. Canada, Spain, Russia, and Australia triumphed over their rivals placing themselves among the top 8 teams. They will meet the group winners on July 24 to determine semifinalists.
Easy job for Canada and Spain
The 2017 World League silver medalist demonstrated its quality at the opening reaching a four-goal advantage before Caitlin Lopes da Silva scored the first goal for New Zealand. Canadian ladies continued to increase their lead and defeated their rival with no trouble (16:3). Ahead of them is an interesting game against Hungarian squad which will have the support of the home crowd on its side.
Spain scheduled a quarterfinal clash with Greece by overpowering China (5:13). Even though Chinese ladies opened the match with two goals in a row, Spain was falling behind by one at the end of the first quarter. Spanish water polo players woke up in the second. They completely took over the control and allowed their opponent to net only one goal in each of the following periods. Their battle with Greece for semifinals is expected to be exciting given that Spanish squad was 7th in the 2015 World Championship, while Greece finished 6th. Besides, Spain was 5th in the 2016 Rio OI where Greece didn’t participate. On the other hand, neither of them played at the 2017 World League Super Final in Shanghai.
Russia upsets Netherlands, Aussies drown France
The most thrilling game of the day was the one where Netherlands water polo team, which won silver in Kazan and was the 5th in Shanghai, faced Russia, that finished 8th in Kazan and was the Shanghai and Rio bronze medalist. In spite of the fact that the Dutch ended the group stage as 2nd in Group C, it failed to qualify for the quarterfinals after a narrow loss to Russian girls (10:11).
Prokofyeva netted an opener for Russia, but Stomphorst tied announcing a tough encounter. Russia then scored three consecutive goals which created a deficit hard for the Dutch to recover from. Van der Sloot brought down the difference to two before the second period. Russia continued to increase its lead to four, but Netherlands stroke back with three goals and went on a break falling behind by one (6:7). The Dutch girls tied the result twice in the third quarter refusing to surrender, but Russia overpowered them and had a two-goal advantage before the final period (8:10). In spite of wasting the four-goal lead, Russian water polo players prevented Netherlands from equalizing again by the end of the game, so their obstacle on the way to the semifinals will be Italy.
The reigning champion’s next opponent will be Australian squad which recorded a convincing victory over France (2:16). Aussie Stingers left their French rival scoreless in the first half, and after the third period with their foot off the gas, they netted six goals to seal the triumph.
Brazil and Japan to play for 13th place
Teams which finished 4th after group stage compete for positions 13-16. Brazilian ladies’ experience prevailed and they proved too strong for South Africa (10:5). In the second match of Day 4, Japan who finished 8th in the 2017 World League crushed Kazakhstan (17:8). Brazil and Japan will play on July 24 for 13th place. The game between South Africa and Kazakhstan will decide on who takes the 15th spot in the World Championship.
Day 5 Schedule
South Africa vs. Kazakhstan (15th/16th)
Brazil vs. Japan (13th/14th)
New Zealand vs. Netherlands
China vs. France
Italy vs. Russia
USA vs. Australia
Hungary vs. Canada
Greece vs. Spain
17t1h FINA World Championships – Women’s Water Polo Tournament
Day 4 Results (July 22)
Brazil vs. South Africa 10:5 (3:1, 2:1, 3:1, 2:2)
Brazil: Diana Abla (5), Marina Zablith (4), Melani Dias (1)
South Africa: Paley (1), Hallendorff (2), Wessels (1), White (1)
Japan vs. Kazakhstan 17:8 (3:1, 2:1, 7:4, 5:2)
Japan: Arima (4), Kazama (2), Magariyama (1), Sakanoue (4), Yamamoto (2), Inaba (2), Niizawa (1), Suzuki (1)
Kazakhstan: Turova (1), Nivikova (1), Myrzabekova (2), Mirshina (4)
Canada vs. New Zealand 16:3 (5:1, 4:1, 3:0, 4:1)
Canada: Crevier (1), Wright (3), Eggens (2), Christmas (2), Bekhazi (4), Lemay-Lavoie (2), McKelvey (1), Robinson (1)
New Zealand: Ferigo (1), Lopes Da Silva (1), Pye (1)
China vs. Spain 5:13 (2:1, 1:4, 1:5, 1:3)
China: Bi (1), Niu (1), Zhao (2), Chen (1)
Spain: A. Espar (2), B. Ortiz (4), M. Ortiz (1), Forca (2), Crespi (2), Leiton (2)
Netherlands vs. Russia 10:11 (2:4, 4:3, 2:3, 2:1)
Netherlands: D. Genee (1), van der Sloot (2), Stomphorst (3), Sevenich (1), Megens (1), Klaassen (2)
Russia: Prokofyeva (3), Karimova (1), Gorbunova (1), Timofeeva (2), Tolkunova (1), Ivanova (1), Ryzhkova (2)
France vs. Australia 2:16 (0:5, 0:4, 1:1, 1:6)
France: Millot (1), Battu (1)
Australia: Gofers (2), Buckling (2), Halligan (3), Webster (3), Arancini (4), Mihailovic (1), Baxter (1)