International

Team USA retains World Cup for ladies

Photo: USA waterpolo/Facebook

The United States continue to dominate the world‘s women water polo. The USA clinched the gold medal at the FINA Women‘s Water Polo Cup, which was ended in Surgut (Russia) today. The USA team won its third World Cup gold medal in a row, and 4th total. The Americans were the winners of the 1st World Cup for ladies, held in 1979, then in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

The USA recorded six wins in as many matches. The Americans cruised to the 1st place in the Group B of the Preliminary phase. They demolished Canada,New Zealand, and South Africa, achieving an impressive goal difference 61:6! In the quarterfinals, the USA easily beat China (15:5). The Olympic and the World champions had no problems in the semifinal, against Spain (12:5).

The match for gold saw a big derby, the USA faced Russia.

The hosts also came to final with all five wins, but they weren’t so convincing like the USA. Russia had a very hard task in the semifinals. The Russians met Australia. The “Aussie Stingers” led 2:1 after the first quarter. Russia took control soon, and kept the rival scoreless for almost three quarters and turned around the deficit to a 5:2 lead in the middle of the fourth period. The hosts won 5:3 and secured their first medal in the World Cup since bronze in 2006.

The USA team led throughout the final match and it built a big 4-goal lead 6:2 minute in the 30th minute. Eight minutes later, the Americans, boosted by Margaret Steffens (3 goals) were 8:3 up in the 30th minute. In the remaining time, the home team narrowed the gap for the final score 8:5. This was the 3rd World Cup medal for Russia (silver and 2 bronzes). The USA team has 10 medals (4 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze)

The game for the 3rd place offered much more excitements and a lot of twists and turns. The bronze was won by Australia, which defeated Spain 9:8. A hero of the match was Australia’s captain Rowie Webster, who netted 5 goals. The Australians added the 12th World Cup medal to their tally sheet (3 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze)

In the match for the 5th place China defeated Canada after a long penalty shootout – 20:19 (10:10 after the 4th quarter). Canada took the 7th place, as it beat South Africa 14:3.

Margaret “Maggie” Steffens (USA) was voted the MVP of the tournament. Anna Espar (Spain) was the best scorer with 19 goals, while Asleigh Johnson (USA) was the best goalkeeper.

The FINA World Cup for men will begin  in Berlin on Tuesday.

FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup 2018 (Surgut, 4 – 9 September)

GROUP STAGE (Day 1 – Day 3)

Group A
Australia – China 11:8
Spain – Russia 9:13

Spain – China 13:7
Australia – Russia 8:14

Australia – Spain 8:8
China – Russia 11:19

1. Russia 3 – 6
2. Spain 3 – 3
3. Australia 3 – 3
4. China 3 – 0

Group B

New Zealand – USA 2:18
South Africa – Canada 3:18

New Zealand – Canada 4:11
South Africa – USA 1:26

New Zealand – South Africa 10:4
USA – Canada 17:3

1. USA 3 – 6
2. Canada 3 – 4
3. New Zealand 3 – 2
4. South Africa 3 – 0

DAY 4

Quarterfinals

Russia – South Africa 26:0 (9:0, 4:0, 8:0, 5:0)
China – USA 5:15 (0:4, 4:4, 0:3, 1:4)
Australia – Canada 9:6 (3:1, 1:1, 2:2, 3:2)
Spain – New Zealand 17:3 (3:1, 5:1, 4:0, 5:1)

DAY 5

Semifinals

Spain 5:12 USA
(0:3, 3:4, 1:2, 1:3)

Spain: Pena 2, Leiton 2 Lloret.
USA: Hauschild 3, J. Neushul 2, M. Fischer 2, K. Neushul, A. Fischer, Gilchrist , Steffens, Haralabidis.

Australia – Russia 3:5
(2:1, 0:2, 0:1, 1:1)

Australia: Webster 2, Buckling.
Russia: Prokofyeva, Karimova, Gorbunova, Soboleva, Ivanova.

Semifinals 5th – 8th place

New Zealand – China 6:15 (1:4, 1:4, 2:3, 2:4)
Canada – South Africa 21:2 (2:2, 6:0, 6:0, 7:0)

DAY 6

Final

USA 8:5 Russia
(2:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:2)

USA: Steffens 3, J. Neushul 2, A.Fisher, M. Fisher, Hauschild.
Russia: Gorbunova 2, Ivanova, Zubkova, Berneseva.

For bronze

Spain 8:9 Australia
(0:2, 4:2, 2:3, 2:2)

Spain. Espar 4, Gual, Crespi, Leiton, Lloret.
Australia: Webster 5, Knox, Gofers, Buckling.

For 5th place

China – Canada 20:19 (3:1, 4:3, 3:4, 0:0, penalty shootout 10:9)

For 7th place

New Zealand – South Africa 14:3 (3:0, 1:0, 5:1, 5:2)

All winners

1979 USA
1980 Netherlands
1981 Canada
1983 Netherlands
1984 Australia
1988 Netherlands
1989 Netherlands
1991 Netherlands
1993 Netherlands
1995 Australia
1997 Netherlands
1999 Netherlands
2002 Hungary
2006 Australia
2010 USA
2014 USA
2018 USA

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