The group stage of the Women’s Water Polo Tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships is over. Italy, the USA, Hungary, and Greece went straight to the quarterfinals as group winners, while teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in their group will play for their advancement on July 22.
Italy and USA seal top spots
Italian water polo players recorded three consecutive wins and automatically became a quarterfinalist. China was their last rival from the group which had no solution for avoiding the loss. Setterosa triumphed (15:8) scoring even six unanswered goals in the third quarter to demonstrate why they deserve to be among the best eight teams in Budapest.
Canada water polo team stormed past winless Brazil (6:16) and clinched the 3rd spot in Group A.
USA ladies advanced to the quarterfinals after powerful last group stage game. They triumphed over New Zealand (7:22) and earned one more day off. New Zealand finished 3rd in Group B, pleased with having put seven goals up against the reigning Olympic and world champion. The game’s top scorer Margaret Steffens netted five goals.
Having in mind that the domination of the reigning champion, all the other Group B members could only hope for places 2 and 3. Spanish water polo players can be satisfied with two group stage wins. On July 20, they easily overpowered South Africa (3:17) and claimed 2nd place in Group B.
Hungary‘s derby win over Netherlands, Greece prevails in final period
The hosting team put on an outstanding performance in a derby match against Netherlands. Hungary became one of the quarterfinalists thanks to winning third quarter with a two-goal difference. That turned out to be the decisive period, the only one which did not end in a draw. Supported by the home crowd, Hungarian ladies triumphed 8:10.
The match between winless Japan and France determined who definitely had to say farewell to the quarterfinals. It is Japan since it lost by one (8:9) with a scoreless second quarter. Estelle Millot led France to its first victory in Budapest with four goals.
What is really attention-grabbing about Group D is that it’s the only one with three teams that in group stage collected 4 points each. For that reason, goal difference determined the standings.
Australia had 4 points before today’s game, while Greece collected 2, so it was clear that the winner will also top the group. The goal difference was a crucial factor here since Australia had scored only 3 goals more than Greece. Therefore, Greek ladies needed a victory by at least two to advance straight to the quarterfinals. They demonstrated determination from the very beginning and didn’t let Aussies keep their only lead which was in the first quarter when they had 2:1. Greece water polo players then stepped up their defense and managed to go on a break with a tie (5:5). Aussie Stingers still had their hopes high eight minutes before the end because they were falling behind by one (7:8). However, Greeks proved too strong and increased the lead to three by the end of the match (8:11) winning themselves a day off before the quarterfinals.
Beating Russia turned out to be mission impossible for Kazakhstan water polo players who previously suffered two losses to opponents who scored 35 goals in total. Russia easily triumphed (15:6) and finished 3rd in Group D.
Day 4 Schedule
On July 22, Italy, USA, Hungary, and Greece will have a day off, while other water polo teams will compete for advancing to quarterfinals. Here are the pairings for Day 4:
Canada vs. New Zealand (winner to face in Hungary QF)
China vs. Spain (winner to face Greece in QF)
Netherlands vs. Russia (winner to face Italy in QF)
France vs. Australia (winner to face USA in QF)
The teams which finished the group stage at the bottom of their group will play for positions 13-16.
Brazil will face South Africa, whereas Japan will meet Kazakhstan. The winners will battle for the 13th/14th spot, and the losers will then clash to decide on the 15th/16th place.
17t1h FINA World Championships – Women’s Water Polo Tournament
Day 3 Results (July 20)
Italy vs. China 15:8 (3:2, 4:2, 6:0, 2:4)
Italy: Tabani (1), Garibotti (1), Queirolo (1), Radicchi (1), Aiello (3), Picozzi (1), Bianconi (3), Palmieri (3), Cotti (1)
China: Mei (1), Xiong (1), C. Zhang (1), Zhao (1), D. Zhang, Chen (3), J. Zhang (1)
Brazil vs. Canada 6:16 (2:4, 2:4, 1:4, 1:4)
Brazil: Abla (1), Ferreira (3), Dias (1), Duarte (1)
Canada: Alogbo (1), Wright (1), Eggens (1), Christmas (5), Bekhazi (1), Lemay-Lavoie (2), McKelvey (2), Fournier (3)
Group A Final Standings: 1. Italy – 6 points; 2. Canada – 4; 3. China – 2; 4. Brazil – 0
New Zealand vs. USA 7:22 (2:6, 1:6, 2:6, 2:4)
New Zealand: Mason (1), Lopes Da Silva (1), Stoneman (2), Hudson (1), Pye (2)
USA: Musselman (4), Fattal (2), Hauschild (1), Steffens (5), Raney (2), K. Neushul (2), Fischer (2), J. Neushul (1), Fischer (2), Williams (1)
South Africa vs. Spain 3:17 (1:4, 0:6, 1:2, 1:5)
South Africa: Penney (1), Smit (1), Barrett (1)
Spain: A. Espar (1), B. Ortiz (2), C. Espar (1), Pena (2), Forca (5), Crespi (1), Gual (1), Leiton (4)
Group B Final Standings: 1. USA – 6 points; 2. Spain – 4; 3. New Zealand – 2; 4. South Africa – 0
Japan vs. France 8:9 (3:3, 0:3, 3:1, 2:2)
Japan: Sakanoue (2), Yamamoto (1), Inaba (3), Suzuki (2)
France: Millot (4), Guillet (1), Mahieu (2), Barbieux (1), Daule (1)
Netherlands vs. Hungary 8:10 (2:2, 1:1, 2:4, 3:3)
Netherlands: Smit (4), van der Sloot (3), Megens (1)
Hungary: Czigany (2), Gurisatti (2), Szucs (2), Illes (1), Keszthelyi (2), Bujka (1)
Group C Final Standings: 1. Hungary – 6 points; 2. Netherlands – 4; 3. France – 2; 4. Japan – 0
Australia vs. Greece 8:11 (2:2, 3:3, 2:3, 1:3)
Australia: Gofers (3), Buckling (2), Halligan (1), Bishop (1), Webster (1)
Greece: Avramidou (1), Asimaki (3), Chydirioti (1), Manolioudaki (2), E. Plevritou (3), Xenaki (1)
Russia vs. Kazakhstan 15:6 (5:1, 3:2, 4:2, 3:1)
Russia: Prokofyeva (2), Karimova (2), Serzhantova (2), Simanovich (3), Timofeeva (2), Ivanova (2), Ryzhkova (2)
Kazakhstan: Akilbayeva (1), Zakirova (2), Mirshina (3)
Group D Final Standings: 1. Greece – 4 points (GD +15); 2. Australia – 4 (+12); 3. Russia – 4 (+8); 4. Kazakhstan – 0