Water Polo World Championship

Debacle of group winners, USA ladies still undefeated

Italy vs. Russia - women, Budapest 2017
Photo: mediaset.it

The semifinalists of the Women’s Water Polo Tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships are determined.  Some might say that one more day off prior to the quarterfinal match put most of the group winners in trouble because three of them lost in the quarterfinals.   The reigning champion was the only one who resisted.  Together with the USA, Russia, Canada, and Spain advanced to the semifinals.

Russia stuns Italy, USA holds off Australia

The Group A winner was surprised by the team which finished the group stage as 3rd.  Russian water polo players made another stunning accomplishment after beating Netherlands by one. The bronze medalist at 2016 OI and 2017 WL Super Final triumphed over Italy, the silver medalist from Rio and bronze medalist from Kazan.  Russia opened the match with a remarkable first quarter in which Italy was left scoreless (0:3). However, the Setterosa woke up in the second period and ended the first half in a draw (4:4).  It had a one-goal lead in the third quarter on two occasions, but Russia refused to surrender and equalized each time, so it was tied before the last eight minutes (7:7).  In spite of having their hopes high, Italian ladies failed to convert their game to a triumph.  Russia advanced to the semifinals where it will meet with the USA.

The reigning champion struggled during the first eight minutes of their quarterfinal clash with Australia (0:0).  But USA ladies woke up in the second quarter and scored three unanswered goals for a nice lead at halftime (3:0).  Keesja Gofers excelled netting four goals, but Aussie Stingers were unable to surmount this difference and lost to the defending world champion (7:5).  They will take on Italy in the battle for 5th place.

Hungary edged out by Canada, Spain wins penalty shootout against Greece

Brilliant Monika Eggens was the hero of the game due to her 5 goals, one more than Hungarian ladies scored in total.  The hosting team scored all of its goals in the second quarter after which the teams went on a break with a tied result (4:4).  Emma Wright also netted one for Canadian squad which celebrated in the end (4:6) scheduling a semifinal clash with Spain.

The last match of Day 5 was definitely a pleasure to watch.  After four quarters, Greece and Spain went into a penalty shootout to decide on who will emerge as the semifinalist (10:10).  Spain was better and won with a two-goal advantage (2:4), so Greece will play fight for the 5th spot against the host.

Netherlands and China to battle for 9th place

After a narrow loss to Russia in 1/8 finals, Dutch ladies had to recover quickly and give their best to win the 9th place.  They easily beat New Zealand (4:19) and successfully passed their first obstacle.  The 2015 silver medalist will face the then 5th China water polo team which on July 24 overpowered France with no trouble (13:5).  The match between teams ranked 5th and 6th in 2017 WL Super Final will determine who wins 9th place in Budapest this year.

Japan beats Brazil to take 13th spot, South Africa finishes last after loss to Kazakhstan

Brazil recorded a win over Japan in the match for 13th place.  After a balanced first quarter (2:2), Japan attacked strongly and filled its opponent’s goal six times.   Although Brazilian ladies were falling behind by four at halftime (4:8), they managed to bring down the deficit to one at the beginning of the final period, but the win slipped away.
South Africa ended the Championship the same way as in Kazan two years ago – being the lowest-ranked team.  The final period started with a tied result (4:4), but Kazakhstan water polo players stepped up their defense leaving their rival scoreless.  They managed to avoid the last place after their first and only victory in this year’s Championship (4:6).

Day 6 Schedule

Semifinals
Russia vs. USA
Canada vs. Spain

Places 5-8
Italy vs. Australia
Hungary vs. Greece

9th/10th place
Netherlands vs. China

11th/12th place
New Zealand vs. France

17t1h FINA World Championships – Women’s Water Polo Tournament
Day 5 Results (July 24)

1/4 Finals

Italy vs. Russia 8:9 (0:3, 4:1, 3:3, 1:2)
Italy: Garibotti (2), Queirolo (1), Roberta Bianconi (2), Emmolo (3)
Russia: Karimova (1), Borisova (1), Gorbunova (2), Serzhantova (1), Ivanova (3), Ryzhkova (1)

USA vs. Australia 7:5 (0:0, 3:0, 2:2, 2:3)
USA: Musselman (2), Seidemann (1), Fattal (1), Raney (2), J.Neushul (1)
Australia: Gofers (4), Webster (1)

Hungary vs. Canada 4:6 (0:1, 4:3, 0:1, 0:1)
Hungary: Czigany (1), Takacs (1), Illes (1), Szilagyi (1)
Canada: Wright (1), Monika Eggens (5)

Greece vs. Spain 12:14 (3:2, 2:2, 2:2, 3:4 – 2:4)
Greece: Eleftheriadou (1), Avramidou (2), Kotsia (3), Plevritou (2), Xenaki (2)
Spain: A.Espar (1), B.Ortiz (4), M.Ortiz (1), Forca (3), Leiton (1)

Places 9-12

New Zealand vs. Netherlands 4:19 (1:5, 1:6, 1:3, 1:5)
New Zealand: Mason (1), Boyd (1), Houghton (1), Pye (1)
Netherlands: Smit (1), D.Genee (2), A.Genee (3), Stomphorst (3), Nijhuis (2), Sevenich (3), Megens (2), Klaassen (3)

China vs. France 13:5 (3:2, 3:2, 4:1, 3:0)
China: Bi (1), Mei (2), Niu (3), Guo (2), Nong (1), Zhao (1), D.Zhang (2), J.Zhang (1)
France: Millot (1), Aurore Sacre (2), Guillet (1), Daule (1)

13th/14th place

Brazil vs. Japan 9:11 (2:2, 2:6, 2:1, 3:2)
Brazil: Abla (4), S.Ferreira (1), Bruzzo (1), Duarte (3)
Japan: Arima (3), Kazama (1), Magariyama (1), Sakanoue (4), Inaba (1), Suzuki (1)

15th/16th place

South Africa vs. Kazakhstan 4:6 (1:2, 2:2, 1:0, 0:2)
South Africa: Smit (2), Barrett (1), White (1)
Kazakhstan: Akilbayeva (2), Novikova (1), Yeremina (1), Mirshina (1), Mussarova (1)

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