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China China Russia Russia 
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Tuesday, August 17

Day 1 Recap

Aussie Stingers swamp Kiwis on opening night of FINA World Cup Team
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member

Christchurch (August 17)  Defending champion Australia won big on the opening day of the XV FINA World Cup for women's water polo at QE II Stadium in Christchurch.

The Aussie Stingers defeated a gutsy New Zealand 17-4 in the last game of the night in a game where New Zealand scored first and trailed just 4-3 early in the second quarter.

However, Australia swam away with the game and the lead in Group B where the world champion United States of America downed European champion Russia in the opening game.

As the night hotted up and the crowd swelled, China had the better of Greece 11-7 after the European team third at the FINA World League Super Finals last month blew a first-quarter dominance.

In the other Group A match, Canada produced its best form of the year with a 14-10 margin over Hungary, a late inclusion to the event. The opening night followed the opening ceremony yesterday when all the teams and officials were treated to a powhiri a Maori welcome on a local marae, entering the meeting house to be entertained by the Maori concert group. It must be said that some of the athletes and officials were called upon to dance, sing, swing the pois and do the haka the traditional Maori war dance.

This is the third time a FINA event has been held at this stadium with the 1988 version of the women¹s FINA World Cup staged here, along with the FINA Masters Games in 2002.

Game #1 USA USA 14 vs Russia RUS 10

Quarters: 3-1, 4-2, 4-5, 3-2

Referees: Balazs FEKETE (HUN), Stephane ROY (CAN)

Extra Man: USA 6/12 and 2/3 on penalty; RUS 3/6

TEAMS:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG (C), Anne BELDEN (1), Melissa SEIDEMANN, Brenda VILLA, Margaret STEFFENS, Juliet MOSS, Courtney MATHEWSON (1), Lauren SILVER (3), Elsie WINDES (1), Kelly RULON (3), Annika DRIES (2), Kameryn CRAIG (3), Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

RUSSIA: Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA (1), Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA, Sofya KONUKH (C, 4), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA, Ekaterina TANKEEVA, Evgenia SOBOLEVA, Anna TIMOFEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA (2), Evgeniya IVANOVA (2), Yulia GAUFLER (1), Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV.   

Match Report:       

The United States of America made sure of an excellent start and a possible third world crown to go with the world and world league titles gained in the past year. At 3-1 up by the quarter, the Silver Lining started when Lauren SILVER netted three straight to push the USA 6-1 ahead with the last two on penalty. Russia came back through Sofya KONUKH and Evgeniya IVANOVA, the first from the penalty line and the latter from the top. At 7-3 down, Russia, while not in turmoil, needed to strike back but Kelly RULON and Kami CRAIG straddled Olga BELYAEVA¹S excellent extra-man score off the left-post position for a 9-5 advantage. Then Kami CRAIG struck twice, on extra and from two metres, either side of a KONUKH score on extra. The four-goal margin became five when Anne BELDEN lobbed the Russian goalkeeper but Russia hit back twice through IVANOVA and BELYAEVA for 11-8 at the final break. Russia had the better of the final quarter but a missed penalty attempt by KONUKH meant the USA was one goal up on the scoreboard. The higher work rate of the North Americans

FLASH QUOTES:

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach: It was a good start, we wanted to play better than we did in Sydney and get off to a positive start and I think that is exactly what we did today. I'm happy offensively, obviously we had a very good day and although we gave up ten goals I feel like we were much better defensively than we were last week and that's a positive sign to take in the next few games.

Six games in six days is tough no question so we are going to be smart about how we play this group play and make sure everyone gets an opportunity and equal playing time and that is certainly what happened today. I was subbing pretty freely and I think you can expect that to continue in the next couple of games.

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: We were still sleeping at the start and only woke up in the second half. Then we warmed up. This was not as good as we can play. We know we can play much better.

Considering the system of the tournament this game was not as important as later in the week but now we have no idea who we will play in the quarter-finals. We just need to find our game and play to our maximum ability. The USA played a much higher level and had more desire today.

Sofya KONUKH (RUS) Captain: It's the same as the coach says. We played at a different time to Sydney in the afternoon instead of the evening and we are still adjusting.

USA vs. RUS

Game #2 Greece GRE 7 vs CHN CHN 11

Quarters: 2-1, 3-3, 1-4, 1-3

Teams:

GREECE: Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA, Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI (1), Kyriaki LIOSI (C), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (1), Antigoni ROUMPESI (3), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (1), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU (1), ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei, LIU Ping (3), SUN Yujun, HE Jin (1), SUN Yating, SONG Donglun (1), GAO Ao (3), WANG Yi, MA Huanhuan (3), SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

Match Report:

There was never going to be anything in this game and at 3-1 ahead early in the second quarter, Greece looked odds on to win. However, China shot back with two goals to LIU Ping to level the game. Unusually for Antigoni ROUMPESI, she had her penalty shot stopped but she responded with a goal on the next attack. Either side of halfway China scored three in a row for a 6-5 lead, HE Jin taking the lead from the top.

Stavroula ANTONAKOU scored from the penalty line to level but two smart goals from MA Huanhuan from outside gave China the lead at the final break. The 4-1 score line proved crucial in the period. Both teams went to a timeout and neither managed to get a clear shot to the goalkeeper, such was the defence. ROUMPESI gave Greece hope with a lob from well outside but GAO Ao responded with a rifling shot from seven metres for 9-7. The killer punch came just inside two minutes when MA picked up a loose ball after the extra-man chance and squeezed it in from the deep right-hand-catch position. The final goal went to GAO on penalty.

FLASH QUOTES:

Juan JANE GIRALT (CHN) Head Coach“It was not a good start for us but slowly slowly we came back and played a correct game. It was a good physical game. In the last two quarters we played very well again. I was happy for the team as it dreams to be in with the top teams in the world, face to face. This is a very important experience where we have games, make mistakes and improve a little each day.”

Georgios MORFESIS (GRE) Head Coach“After the second period we didn’t have the solution of offence. It was a different game. The missed penalty did not help but we need to have more energy to play these games and we didn’t have that today. Our goalkeeper (Maria TSOURI) did not play so well today. Traditionally we rely on her heavily. She is the most important player for us. Now we have to focus on the next game and the cross-overs but it is very hard in our group.”

#2 GRE vs. CHN

Game #3 New Zealand NZL 4 vs AUS AUS 17

Quarters: 2-4, 1-3, 0-5, 1-5

Referees: Kazuhiko MAKITA (JPN), HONG Boon Tan (SIN)

Extra Man: NZL: 2/10; AUS: 2/4 plus 3/3 on penalty

TEAMS:

NEW ZEALAND:  Carina HARACHE, Emily COX, Emma STONEMAN (1), Danielle LEWIS, Alexandra BOYD, Lynlee SMITH (2), Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH, Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY (1), Kirsten HUDSON, Shann ELLS-TEWHIU, Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

AUSTRALIA: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (3), Sophie SMITH (2), Holly LINCOLN-SMITH (1), Jane MORAN (1), Bronwen KNOX (C, 1), Rowena WEBSTER (1), Glencora RALPH (1), Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN (4), Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (3), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

Match Report:

Defending champion Australia started quietly enough and even conceded the first goal to the host nation but no-one could have factored in the SOUTHERN equation, unless you came from Australia. The 18-year-old impressed powerfully just what a talent she is with a four-goal haul in the victory.

With Casie BOWRY lighting up the crowd it was a three-goal burst from the Aussie Stingers with Gemma BEADSWORTH twice and Nicola ZAGAME giving the green caps the lead. The Kiwis scored two of the next three goals with Emma STONEMAN and Lynlee SMITH bringing the score to 4-3 behind. Then the Aussies struck a purple patch with SOUTHERN weaving her magic with a bullet-proof shot, scoring twice in the second and twice in the third before being given a rest.

ZAGAME made it 10-3 on counter. Holly LINCOLN-SMITH drew a penalty and captain Bronwen KNOX converted. Sophie SMITH closed the period for 12-3. The news was the same in the final quarter with ZAGAME, SMITH and BEADSWORTH stretching the margin to 15-3 before SMITH broke the Kiwi drought at 1:27 left in the game. Glencora RALPH lobbed Carina HARACHE with a minute to go for 16-4. Jane MORAN nailed the last for 17-4

FLASH QUOTES:

Greg McFADDEN (AUS) Head Coach: It was a physically tough game. New Zealand were certainly here to play and Ihave to give them full credit for pushing us in the first half. When we eliminated our stupid play we went 5-0 in the third quarter. It was hard to score goals when we were turning the ball over. It was good to see Lea Barta, Zoe Arancini and Ash Southern play their first World Cup games and four nice goals to Ash and some nice saves from Lea (in goal). That's the first game over and done and now we have to focus on the USA tomorrow.

Lea BARTA (AUS) Goalkeeper: It was very exciting to play my first major game in a big tournament. I was nervous but very excited at the same time. Saving the one-on-one was the best I got it! I'm looking forward to playing more games (here) and winning them.

#3 NZL vs. AUS

Game #4 HUN HUN 10 vs CAN CAN 14

Quarters: 3-4, 3-3, 4-4, 0-3

Referees: Michael HART (AUS), Radu MATACHE (ROU)

Extra Man: HUN:3/4 plus 2/2 on penalty; CAN 6/10 plus 1/1 on penalty

TEAMS:

HUNGARY: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI, Dora ANTAL, Gabriella SZUCS (1), Orsolya TAKACS, Rita DRAVUCZ (C, 2), Rita KESZTHELYI (2), Ildiko TOTH (1), Barbara BUJKA, Agnes VALKAI (3), Kata MENCZINGER (1), Aniko GYONGYOSSY, Mercedes STIEBER. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

CANADA: Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C, 1), Katrina MONTON, Emily CSIKOS (1), Joelle BEKHAZI (2). Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK (1), Dominique PERRAULT (2), Monika EGGENS (1), Christine ROBINSON (2), Tara CAMPBELL (2), Marina RADU (2), Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Match Report:

Canada came out to play and started brilliantly in a game packed with emotion and speed. The high intensity saw Canada streak to a 3-1 lead and then 4-2 before Agnes VALKAI scored her second goal six seconds from the first hooter on penalty. Earlier, captain Rita DRAVUCZ, fresh from her marriage in Hungary, also scored on penalty. DRAVUCZ converted an extra-man chance early in the second quarter to level at four but Canada struck twice, firstly through Christine ROBINSON from the top and then Dominique PERRAULT from a similar position. Newcomer to the Hungarian team, Kata MENCZINGER, scored from right-hand catch. Canada went to a timeout a minute from the half and Marina RADU scored off the near-post position for 7-5. Just before the long break, Rita KESZTHELYI sent one in from seven metres off a free throw six seconds from time. The pendulum swung Hungary's way in the third quarter but not until after Canada scored twice for 9-6. Goals were traded for 10-7 and then Gabriella SZUCS and Orsolya TAKACS scored quickly for a one-goal deficit. Joelle BEKHAZI scored her second from outside but VALKAI replied for her third with two minutes left in the third period. The fiercely supporting Hungarian crowd maintained its shouting and stomping in the fourth but it was Canada who struck first through ROBINSON on extra at 5:36 for 12-10. Hungary called a timeout but no joy and a lob from the top went over on the next attack. Canada was cool but still trying to press home the advantage. Canada took command with a long pass to captain Krystina ALOGBO on the two-metre line, turning and scoring for 13-10 at 2:25. Campbell repeated the dose on the next attack for 14-10 for what was the
final score.

FLASH QUOTES:

Krystina ALOGBO (CAN) Captain: ³pWe played as a team. We noticed their weaknesses and worked on them. They scored two five-metres shots but we went out and kept shooting and scoring. We controlled the game and we were pumped up. Their backup goalie came in and we kept shooting and seeing the openings. We stepped up.

Pat OATEN (CAN) Head Coach: I'm obviously very happy with the result but we had a series of breakdowns and we need to adjust. We played a lot of players in Sydney (last week) so fatigue was not a major issue. In Sydney the players gained a lot of confidence as did the coaches in putting them in. When they switched goalkeepers (at three-quarter time) we were not surprised. They did this to us at the Super Finals (in California last month) and it caught us off guard but mentally we tried not to change (tonight).

Rita DRAVUCZ (HUN) Captain: Our six on five was not good. We have to do better. But with a young team (average age 22) we did many beautiful things. We will be better for the match and, of course, we want to win every time.

HUN vs. CAN

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Wednesday, August 18

Australia two goals better than world champion USA at FINA World Cup
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member 

Christchurch (August 18).— This tournament was always going to be about Australia-United States of America.

Arguably the two best teams in the world at the moment, clashed on day two in Group B of the XV FINA World Cup for women’s water polo at Christchurch’s QE II Park pool.

As in Sydney last week at the 10th Anniversary Tournament to celebrate a decade of women’s Olympic water polo, Australia finished on top, giving it three successive victories in a week against the World and World League champion.

The first quarter was locked at 1-1 but the Aussie Stingers went 4-1 ahead by halftime, kept a 5-4 advantage at three-quarter time and sealed the match with a penalty goal inside the last two minutes for 7-5 and bragging rights heading towards the quarter-finals.
Australia now needs to pass Russia tomorrow to win the group.

Games are not as tight as the Super Finals in California last month but New Zealand tried its hardest to pressure Russia in their Group B game before losing 13-9 in a spirited game. In Group A, China went two straight with an 11-8 victory over Hungary (two losses) and Canada crushed Greece 11-3. For Greece the ignominious defeat means it will need to ameliorate its performance if its hopes to progress to the medal round.

China and Canada play for group supremacy tomorrow

Quarters: 1-1, 0-3, 3-1, 1-2

Referees: Nikolaos VASILEIOU (GRE), Balazs FEKETE (HUN)

Extra Man: USA: 1/7 plus 1/2 penalty; AUS:2/6 plus 1/1 on penalty

TEAMS:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG (C), Anne BELDEN, Brenda VILLA, Margaret STEFFENS, Juliet MOSS, Courtney MATHEWSON, Lauren SILVER, Elsie WINDES, Kelly RULON, Annika DRIES, Kameryn CRAIG, Melissa SEIDEMANN, Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

AUSTRALIA: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH, Sophie SMITH, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (C), Rowena WEBSTER, Glencora RALPH, Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN, Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME, Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

Match Report:

The two best teams in the world faced off again after two successes to Australia the previous week in Australia. The USA boasts World and World League crowns while Australia is defending its title after winning in Tianjin, China in 2006. Nicola ZAGAME pulled on a high pass to score from two metres to open the game. This was equalled by Lauren SILVER with a long lob to finish 1-1 at the break. It was all Australia in the second quarter after what was an excellent start in the first where Australia stymied many of the USA’s attacks. Australia found the back of the net through Sophie SMITH on extra (two major fould before halftime), captain Bronwen KNOX with a length-of-the-pool counter-attack and lob of Betsy ARMSTRONG and a buzzer-beater on extra to Gemma BEADSWORTH. The buzzer went before the ball crossed the line but had left the hand in time. With a 4-1 lead, it was not normal as the USA traditionally has the lead at this point. To the USA’s credit, Victoria BROWN was impassable and many USA’s shots hit the posts. The reverse happened in the third quarter when USA bounced as Australia relaxed Anne BELDEN scored and then Kelly RULON countered for na easy goal. Lauren SILVER had her penalty shot blocked by Victoria BROWN. Belden struck again with a repeat of Rulon’s counter for 4-4. Australian captain Bronwen KNOX scored a slider from six metres late in the period to maintain the lead. The USA took a timeout at the top of the fourth but could not score. Then the goal of the tournament so far was scored by centre forward BEADSWORTH while three players were on top of her at two metres. RULON scored from the penalty line at 3:28 for 6-5 and USA was well into the game. However, ZAGAME drew a penalty and KNOX converted at 1:47 for 7-5 and the game looked over. USA then laid siege to Australia’s cage. Firstly BROWN saved =with aher head a point-blank shot, then tipped a shot over with her left-hand fingertips at 0:12. BELDEN had the final throw and that went wide to give the Australians a rare two-goal over the USA in a Major.

FLASH QUOTES:

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach I think in the beginning of the game we seemed a little hurried offensively obviously we struggled to put away some opportunities as well in the first two quarters and that really hurt us, but we did a nice job battling back and actually I thought we had plenty of opportunities, we missed a penalty, we missed at least one or two more one on no ones and we went 1/7 on power plays. So we are disappointed with the loss but at the same time I thought we played ok. The most important thing for us is to learn from it and move on. You don’t have any time in this tournament to sulk you just have to get ready for your next opponent

She (Armstrong) played great and I thought defensively we were good like yesterday, and we talked about this going into the rest of the week, that is definitely a positive, that’s two good defensive efforts in a row and now we just need to continue that momentum the rest of the way

I think it’s always going to be a little bit more physical with Australia because they are so physical around the perimeter and at two meters  and I think that is just the style of game. If we happen to see them again I think the level of executive and energy will probably be greater.

#5 USA vs. AUS

Game #6 Greece GRE 3 vs CAN CAN 11

Quarters: 1-5, 0-2, 1-2, 1-2

Referees: Alexei KRAPIVIN (RUS), Kazuhiko MAKITA (JPN)

Extra Man: GRE: 3/10. CAN: 4/8 plus 1/1 on penalty

TEAMS:

GREECE: Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA, Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI, Kyriaki LIOSI (C), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (2), Antigoni ROUMPESI, Angeliki GEROLYMOU (1), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU, ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

CANADA: Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C), Katrina MONTON, Emily CSIKOS (1), Joelle BEKHAZI (4). Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK, Dominique PERRAULT, Monika EGGENS (5), Christine ROBINSON, Tara CAMPBELL, Marina RADU (1), Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Match Report:

Greece didn’t appear to be ready for the onslaught of a rampant Canada, hell bent on improving on previous performances after being ranked second in the world last year. For Canada it was a second straight victory. Monika EGGENS had two goals on the board and Joelle BEKHAZI one before Greece responded through Alexandra ASIMAKI. Marina RADU and BEKHAZI scored to make it an incredible 5-1 against the team that won the bronze medal in La Jolla, California last month. This was Canada at its best, like it was last year in pushing USA all the way to the world title. The procession continued in the second quarter but at a slower pace, much like a funeral. EGGENS and BEKHAZI made it 7-1 by halftime. Emily CSIKOS scored a penalty drawn by captain Krystina ALOGBO at 1:39 of the third after dire defence by both teams. Angeliki GEROLYMOU broke the drought of more than two quarters with a rare Greek goal. EGGENS closed the period with her fourth period and opened the fourth with her fifth goal, glancing the ball off the post for 10-2. BEKHAZI nailed her fourth off a cross pass before ASIMAKI gained her second on extra at 1:59. It was not Greece’s day and the team left the pool deck quickly.

FLASH QUOTES

Pat OATEN (CAN) Head Coach: “We came out on offence with spark. We have good shooters from outside but people talk about our hole players, who are also good. They stuck to the game plan and Rachel (Riddell in goal) was a standout. Confidence comes form being 5-1 up in the first quarter.”

Monika EGGENS (CAN) Five-goal hero: “We played really well as a team. We kept working really hard and kept up the intensity. We had good teamwork. We came into the tournament to do well and hopefully we will continue to do so.”

#6 GRE vs.CAN

Game #7 New Zealand NZL 9 vs RUS RUS 13

Quarters: 0-2, 3-4, 2-3, 4-4

Referees: NI Shi Wei (CHN), HONG Boon Tan (SIN)

Extra Man: NZL: 4/9. RUS: 2/7

TEAMS:

NEW ZEALAND:  Carina HARACHE, Emily COX (1), Emma STONEMAN, Danielle LEWIS (1), Alexandra BOYD, Lynlee SMITH (2), Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH (2), Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY (1), Kirsten HUDSON (2), Shann ELLS-TEWHIU, Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

RUSSIA: Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA, Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA (1), Sofya KONUKH (C 1), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA (1), Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (1), Ekaterina TANKEEVA (1), Evgenia SOBOLEVA (3), Anna TIMOFEEVA (2), Olga BELYAEVA, Evgeniya IVANOVA (2), Yulia GAUFLER (1), Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV.      

Match Report:

New Zealand had a huge following and did not disappoint with an excellent game and start to the match. But it was Russia who had two goals up by the quarter break. Anna TIMOFEEVA scored from centre forward and Yulia GAUFLER slotted one off a cross-pass. Lauren SIEPRATH boosted local hopes with a seven-metre shot that had her smiling widely one minute into the second quarter. Goals were traded as New Zealand settled into the game and Russia could not outscore the Kiwis. Kirsten HUDSON lobbed to take New Zealand to 4-3 behind, making a real game of it. Ekaterina TANKEEVA and Evgenia SOBOLEVA rained on the parade with goals to close the half, the second after a rebound right on the buzzer.  GAUFLER made it 7-3 at the top of the third period so New Zealand coach Eelco URI, the former Dutch Olympian, called timeout. There was no immediate goal but Lynlee SMITH and Lauren SIEPRATH both scored on subsequent attacks for 7-5, the latter on extra. Russia sent in two goals in the final minute, the second a brilliant counter-attack goal by Evgeniya IVANOVA. HUDSON produced a missile early in the final quarter for 9-6. TIMOFEEVA sparkled with a heavily defended goal from two metres but Kiwi captain Anna SIEPRATH responded with a snap-in rebound for 10-7 at 5:06. New Zealand was well and truly in the game. Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA came up with a long shot that hit the right post and hit the back of HARACHE’s head into the goal for 11-7. Russian triple Olympian Sofya KONUKH slotted one from the top to give excellent breathing space. A timeout inside the final quarter by Russia on extra sent SOBOLEVA to her third goal and a six-goal margin that flattered the Russians and was probably unkind to New Zealand after a fine effort. New Zealand called timeout and SMITH lobbed Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA for 13-8. Danielle LEWIS lifted the crowd with a counter-attack goal at 0:31 for 13-9. The swing was moving New Zealand’s way and URI called his second timeout at 0:20, but not on extra. No goal came and the crowd went home happy after a fantastic game of water polo.

FLASH QUOTES:

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: “I was not happy with the refereeing. There seemed to be rules for them and rules for us. New Zealand was allowed to baulk a free throw before scoring. We did not like playing with these referees.”

Eelco URI (NZL) Head Coach: “It’s always good to keep the crowd happy. I was pleased with the girls. These are very hard teams to play and the tempo is high. We have to switch on mentally. I have a longer term goaql and this is almost like the start but I like to be competitive with the other top countries. The way we played tonight was great and we need to keep that momentum going. We want to inspire people to follow us.”

#7 RUS vs. NZL

Game #8 HUN HUN 8 vs  CHN CHN 11

Quarters: 1-4, 4-2, 1-2. 2-3

Referees: John WALDO (NZL), Radu MATACHE (ROU)

Extra Man: HUN:0/3. CHN: 2/7

TEAMS:

HUNGARY: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI, Dora ANTAL, Gabriella SZUCS, Orsolya TAKACS, Rita DRAVUCZ (C 2), Rita KESZTHELYI, Ildiko TOTH, Barbara BUJKA (2), Agnes VALKAI (3), Kiata MENCZINGER (1), Aniko GYONGYOSSY, Mercedes STIEBER. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (3), LIU Ping, SUN Yujun (3), HE Jin, SUN Yating (1), SONG Donglun, GAO Ao (1), WANG Yi (1), MA Huanhuan (2), SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

Match Report:

China probably has the better credentials and this came to pass in the first half but especially in the opening quarter with a 4-1 effort. Hungary managed to shut down the Chinese counter-attacks but a variety of goals showed China¹s expertise. Hungary's lone effort was from a sweep-smack from Agnes VALKAI at the two-metre line, dribbling under the arm of YANG Jun into goal. VALKAI struck twice more in the second quarter from beyond the six-metre line. With TENG Fei bouncing one in across cage in between VALKAI'S shots, China led 5-3 but Kata MENCZINGER narrowed it to 5-4 on extra. SUN Yujun was lucky with a low lob to take it out to 6-4 but two seconds from halftime Hungarian captain Rita DRAVUCZ drove, received the cross pass and scored for 6-5. China won the third period with MA Huanhuan netting 30 seconds from time with a lob. Two swift goals by SUN Yating and SUN Yujun, her third, stretched the margin to 10-6 and Hungary was reeling. Rita DRAVUCZ and Barbara BUJKE from centre forward pulled it back to 10-8 at 2:00 but MA had the last say with a lob to close what was a low-fouling game.

FLASH QUOTES:

Juan JANE GIRALT (CHN) Head Coach: It is the same as yesterday. Face to face we play the world's strongest teams. Hungary is very strong but in the end it was China. It is very important ot play two strong games and have two wins. It is never easy. It is difficult. To win by two goals I am very happy.  I had the feeling that it was correct, offence, defence, long shooting. Shanghai next year we may be right but probably London. It is not a three-year thing.

Matyas PETROVICS (HUN) Head Coach: We had some good defence but six times we missed major chances. We also missed the most important goal on extra after the timeout. Now we have Greece and need to win that match but the important games are Friday and the weekend.

#8 CHN vs.HUN

Points Tables

GROUP A

  Played Win Draw Loss For Ag Diff Points
CANADA 2 2 - - 25 13 12 4
CHINA 2 2 - - 22 15 7 4
GREECE  2 - - 2 10 22 -12 0
HUNGARY 2 - - 2 18 25 -7 0

GROUP B

  Played Win Draw Loss For Ag Diff Points
AUSTRALIA 2 2 - - 24 9 15 4
NEW ZEALAND 2 - - 2 13 30 -17 0
RUSSIA 2 1 - 1 23 23 0 2
USA 2 1 - 1 19 17 2 2

 

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Thursday, August 19

Australia and China win groups at FINA World Cup
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member 

Christchurch (August 19).— Australia won Group B with a come-from-behind 10-8 victory over Russia at the women’s water polo FINA World Cup at QE II Park Pool here today.

The shocking start helped steel the Aussie Stingers as they decreased the deficit to one (5-4) at halftime and then smashed the European champion with a 5-2 third period.

The 9-4 middle segment of the game showed just how good the Aussies are and lived up to the expectations of retaining the crown won in Chin a four years ago.

Australia scored three penalty goals and two from four attempts when a player up while defending 11 of Russia’s 13 attempts on extra.

Stingers’ head coach Greg McFadden said: “Russia came out firing while we were still wallowing in our glory from yesterday’s game (two-goal win over USA).

“It gave us a very early wake-up call. We had our chances in the first quarter but we weren’t clinical enough. The girls thought it was a bit too easy but you have to show the utmost respect for all teams in this competition,” McFadden said.

Knox’s contribution was huge while two quick goals from Glencora Ralph to take the Stingers ahead for the first time in the third period, proved critical to the win.

Australia will play winless Greece in the quarterfinals. Greece lost 13-11 to Hungary today, producing its best performance of the week. China won Group A with an excellent 9-7 victory over Canada.

World champion United States of America beat New Zealand 17-8 to finish second and fourth respectively in Group B.

The sell-out crowd was strongly behind the Kiwis who drew the final quarter 5-5.

Game #9 CHNCHN 9 vs Canada CAN 7

Quarters: 2-3, 4-2, 3-2, 0-0

Referees: Radu MATACHE (ROU), Michael HART (AUS)

Extra Man: CHN: 3/9 plus 1/1 on penalty; CAN: 2/5 plus 2/2 on penalty

TEAMS:

CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (1), LIU Ping, SUN Yujun (3), HE Jin, (1) SUN Yating (2), SONG Donglun (1), GAO Ao (1), WANG Yi, MA Huanhuan (1), SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

CANADA: Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C 1), Katrina MONTON, Emily CSIKOS (5),Joelle BEKHAZI. Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK, Dominique PERRAULT, Monika EGGENS (1), Christine ROBINSON, Tara CAMPBELL, Marina RADU, Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Match Report:

This was one of the most eagerly anticipated games and it proved to be a stunner. Both teams have played strongly this week and with two wins each and the group victory on offer, it was a great match. Canada managed to win the opening quarter but a trio of Chinese goals swung the pendulum and by halftime China was still one ahead. China had the better of the third and no goals came in the last. Canada’s Emily CSIKOS was the strike weapon throughout. Twice she went to the penalty line and converted and one other was on counter. Both teams had strong defensive games. When the SUN attack came in the second quarter, Canada was not phased. SUN Yujun scored twice and SUN Yating went on counter for a 5-3 lead. CSIKOS and Monika EGGENS kept Canada in the game but TENG Fei scored on extra in the middle. With EGGENS’ goal coming three seconds from the long break, the game was kept on a knife’s edge. HE Jin sent in a back-hander from two metres to open the second half and two CSIKOS goals covered GAO Ao’s successful penalty. SUN Yating closed the period on extra for a 9-7 lead. Both teams took a timeout early in the final quarter but goals were scarce. Christine ROBINSON’s big chance inside the last minute bounced wide and Canada could not bridge the gap and had to settle for second.

FLASH QUOTES:

Pat OATEN (CAN) Head Coach: “We didn’t play badly and the Chinese played very well. They’re a very disciplined team and you can’t make little mistakes against them. I thought we deserved a bit more in the centre-forward position. I have no problem with our ejections. Now we have to regroup and get ready to play Russia tomorrow.”

Juan JANE GIRALT (CHN) Head Coach: “It is the same feeling as yesterday. Maybe not perfect but we played correct, very well and clean. To be the winner is not easy. I have more respect for Russia, Australia and USA but we must show respect to New Zealand (tomorrow). Three top teams and three wins. That is very important for China.”

#11 GRE vs. HUN

Game #10 Russia RUS 8 vsAUSAUS 10

Quarters: 3-0, 2-4, 2-5, 1-1

Referees: Balasz FEKETE (HUN), Nikolaos VASILEIOU (GRE)

Extra Man: RUS: 2/13; AUS: 2/4 plus 3/3 on penalty

TEAMS:

RUSSIA: Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA (1), Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA, Sofya KONUKH (C 1), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (2), Ekaterina TANKEEVA, Evgenia SOBOLEVA (2), Anna TIMOFEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA, Evgeniya IVANOVA (2), Yulia GAUFLER, Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV.     

AUSTRALIA: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (1), Sophie SMITH, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Jane MORAN (1), Bronwen KNOX (C 1), Rowena WEBSTER (2), Glencora RALPH (2), Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN, Melissa RIPPON (1), Nicola ZAGAME (2), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

Match Report:

Two periods really made this match and the opening quarter where Russia came out firing to lead 3-0 by the break was absolutely amazing. Australia was stunned and struggled to gain some traction in the second quarter, pulling the game to within one before steaming ahead in the third period, which was all Australia’s. Russia was a worthy adversary for Australia and two Evgeniya SOBOLEVA goals at the start from the same position outside had Australia reeling. Rowena WEBSTER scored twice for Australia with the second from the penalty line. Russia maintained he momentum with two goals to Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA, who has been quiet at this tournament.   Australia earned another penalty and captain Bronwen KNOX obliged for 5-3. Jane MORAN scored off extra from wide and Australia was just one behind at the long break. The third period was action plus and the Aussie Stingers were at their speedy best, scoring twice on counter (Mel RIPPON and Nicola ZAGAME), one from 10m by Glencora RALPH, a follow-up shot from deep by RALPH and then a closing penalty by Gemma BEADSWORTH. In between this Sofya KONUKH drilled one from the top for 6-5 and Evgeniya IVANOVA brought Russia to one behind at 8-7. BEADSWORTH gave Australia the 9-7 lead just before the final break. ZAGAME increased the margin to three with a nice pass from MORAN on counter inside the last three minutes. The Russian impetus was gone and Australia by this stage was 10-4 in scoring since the first quarter. However, the final goal came from IVANOVA on extra inside the final minute. But the biggest hiccup for Russia was the extra-man count — a shocking 2/13 conversion rate.

FLASH QUOTES:

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: “We were not totally switched on but we did start well We are still warming up. The main problem is that Australia is tough and far more physical. This component of the game means we are weaker. However, we did not use our opportunities on six on five . We were very bad and that’s why we lost.in the second half our defence was not good and we hit the post and did not score so much. We tried too hard to score.”

Greg McFADDEN (AUS) Head Coach: “Russia came out firing while we were still wallowing in our glory from yesterday’s game (two-goal win over USA). It gave us a very early wake-up call. We had our chances in the first quarter but we weren’t clinical enough. The girls thought it was a bit too easy but you have to show the utmost respect for all teams in this competition. In the third quarter we played the style we know we can play. Bronwen Knox was excellent at centre back and the pressure allowed us to get steals and counter-attacks. The really crucial part of the game was where Russia called a timeout, we defended the shot and scored at the other end, which happens to be very demoralising.”

#10 RUS vs. AUS

Game #11 Greece GRE 11 vs HUN HUN 13

Quarters: 4-2, 2-4, 1-4, 4-3

Referees: Amber DRURY (USA), John WALDOW (NZL)

Extra Man: GRE:  5/8 plus 2/2 on penalty; HUN: 0/4 plus 0/1 on penalty

TEAMS:

GREECE: Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA (3), Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI (1), Kyriaki LIOSI (C), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (3), Antigoni ROUMPESI (1), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (1), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU (2), ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

HUNGARY: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI (2), Dora ANTAL, Gabriella SZUCS, Orsolya TAKACS (1), Rita DRAVUCZ (C 2), Rita KESZTHELYI (2) Ildiko TOTH, Barbara BUJKA (4), Agnes VALKAI (2), Kiata MENCZINGER, Aniko GYONGYOSSY, Mercedes STIEBER. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

Match Report:

Greece may have had the advantage in the opening quarter but it was Hungary from then on. Greece started with the opening goal but Hungary responded through gutsy  centre forward Barbara BUJKA. Angeliki GEROLYMOU slotted a penalty goal and after Rita KESZTHELYI scored for 2-2, Hungarian captain Rita DRAVUCZ had her penalty attempt blocked by Maria TSOURI’s right hand. Antigoni and Christina TSOUKALA pushed Greece out to a 4-2 lead at quarter time. Hungary struck back to 4-4 through Agnes VALKAI from the top and Rita POSZKOLI’s effort. Then Greece took back the advantage through TSOUKALA and feisty centre forward Alexandra ASIMAKI, Hungarian coach Matyas PETROVICS couldn’t help himself and gained a yellow card, probably thinking that twice his team should have been given penalty attempts. BUJKA gained another of her trademark-turn and left-hand shot using sheer muscle and determination. KESZTHELYI lobbed TSOURI for the equaliser at 1:10. Hungary tried a timeout with no success. Stavroula ANTONAKOU gave Greece the lead at the start of the third period but then a five-goal Hungarian surge for eight minutes of play took the Hungarians out to 11-7. Twice BUJKA proved dangerous with a centre-forward shot and then a rebound. After DRAVUCZ earned the four-goal margin, ANTONAKOU beat the possession buzzer after some snappy passing. Greece called timeout and TSOUKALA converted the play for 11-9. A minute later DRAVUCZ rifled in a long shot. ASIMAKI found a gap above the head of Orsolya KASO for 12-10 at 4:35. ASIMAKI drew the game to within one, using her skill to turn her opponent and pop the ball past KASO for 12-11. Orsolya TAKACS ruined the Greek party with a shot from the top left at 2:09. Greece had three shots inside the last minute but could not breach the defence.

FLASH QUOTES:

Georgios MORFESIS (GRE) Head Coach: “We played much better than yesterday (against Canada) but not well. We now have a hard cross game. We tried to avoid USA and Australia in the in the cross-overs, but… We had three losses and one was a disaster. The cross-overs are very difficult and leave us little chance (to progress to the top four). We will probably play Australia. The other teams have very good form and have been targeting this tournament. In 15 days we have the European championships where we expect to play better than here.

“The problem in these three games is we gave away easy goals. We scored with difficulty and gave away easy goals. Australia is the worst team to play at this moment. They are very strong swimmers and have a lot of enthusiasm.”

Matyas PETROVICS (HUN) Head Coach: “We played easy in the first quarter. I then changed some tactical variations in the first seven players — their places. The problem for me was the 4-0. We made mistakes after mistakes. We then used our heads and had some very good defence.  Greece only played at 50 per cent. Tomorrow will be hard and it will be a learning game. Then comes the important games for qualification (for next year’s FINA World Championships).

#11 GRE vs. HUN

Game #12 USA USA 18 vs New Zealand NZL 8

Quarters: 3-2, 3-0, 6-1, 5-5

Referees: Stephane ROY (CAN), NI Shi Wei (CHN)

Extra Man: USA: 3/5 plus 1/1 on penalty; NZL: 5/7

TEAMS:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG, Anne BELDEN (2), Brenda VILLA (C 2), Margaret STEFFENS (2), Juliet MOSS (1), Courtney MATHEWSON (1), Lauren SILVER (2), Elsie WINDES, Kelly RULON (2), Annika DRIES (3), Kameryn CRAIG (1), Melissa SEIDEMANN, Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

NEW ZEALAND:  Carina HARACHE, Emily COX (2), Emma STONEMAN, Danielle LEWIS, Alexandra BOYD, Lynlee SMITH (1), Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH (2), Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY (2), Kirsten HUDSON (1), Shann ELLS-TEWHIU, Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

Match Report:

New Zealand was on a win to nothing against the World and World League champion USA. That did'¹t stop the gutsy Kiwis scoring first to huge delight of a capacity crowd. Emily COX netted but the USA was stung into action and scored the next three through Lauren SILVER, Brenda VILLA and Annika DRIES. COX ensured that New Zealand would go to the break only one goal behind when she swept in a right-arm goal from centre forward. The second quarter was all USA with Kami CRAIG, DRIES and Kelly RULON producing a 6-2 halftime score. VILLA opened the third for 7-2 but New Zealand responded through Kirsten HUDSON on extra. Anne BELDEN, Dries for her third and SILVER from the top for her second had the USA 10-3 up two minutes from the last break. Courtney MATHEWSON scored from the penalty line and Melissa SEIDEMANN shot from the top to close the period. Well into the final quarter, Lynlee SMITH lobbed Emily FEHER, who was playing the last quarter in the USA goal, from six metres for 12-4. This was a frantic match in which goals were sprayed from everywhere. SMITH, BELDEN, BOWRY, MOSS and RULON in succession had USA
15-5 ahead. Lauren SIEPRATH rifled in two either side of a SEIDEMANN goal.. Margaret STEFFENS planted one in from the top and then BOWRY had the last say with a six-metre lob. It was fantastic scoring 5-5 in the final period. The extra-man statistics were the best of the tournament and all credit to the Kiwis with their 5/7.

FLASH QUOTES:

Eelco URI (NZL) Head Coach: “That final-quarter draw with the States was great. You have to be happy that quarter. I was also pleased with the first two quarters. We still make mistakes. That’s normal but a team like the US punishes you. All they need is half a metre of space and the ball goes in. It’s punish and learn.

“The third quarter was very physical and we’re not used to that. It’s a completely different style of play.

“I’m very pleased to being China. I have a lot of respect for the way Juan Jane (Chinese coach who hails from Spain) approaches the game . We share the same vision. They look for the answer. I like that as you have to react to what’s happening around you. He’s the master and a legend of the game.”

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach: “A little better than the five goals we put up yesterday but the way they were playing defensively we knew that we were going to get opportunities on goal. They played a big zone and really dared our shooters on the outside to shoot. You know if teams are going to do that we are going step up to the plate and be aggressive, get on our legs and not be afraid to shoot the ball and that’s what we did today.

“I guess as a coach you always worry about complacency and taking it lightly but that is something that we talked about heading into the game. I think it helped a little bit  that they played Russia to a tight game yesterday but we are just focusing on playing the best we can no matter who the opponent is and we did that today.

“They’re (Hungary) a very scary team to play. Offensively they are potent and have a lot of weapons. Their centre has been playing great, they have some of the best shooters in the world so we are going to have to be very sharp defensively if we want to come away with a win tomorrow.”

#12 USA vs. NZL

Final Points Tables:

GROUP A

  Played Win Draw Loss For Ag Diff Points
CHINA 3 3 - - 31 21 10 6
CANADA 3 2 - 1 32 22 10 4
HUNGARY 3 1 - 2 30 36 -6 2
GREECE  3 - - 3 21 35 -14 0

GROUP B

  Played Win Draw Loss For Ag Diff Points
AUSTRALIA 3 3 - - 34 17 17 6
USA 3 2 - 1 36 25 11 4
RUSSIA 3 1 - 2 31 33 -2 2
NEW ZEALAND 3 - - 3 21 47 -26 0


WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Friday, August 20

USA, China, Australia and Russia into FINA World Cup semifinals
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member

Christchurch (August 20).— World champion United States of America will play China while World Cup champion Australia will face off with Russia in the semifinals of the FINA World Cup for women’s water polo at Christchurch’s QEII Park Pool tomorrow.

The USA beat Hungary 10-5 after a torrid first half in which it led by only 3-2. A power second halfshowed just how good this team can play.

China earned a tilt at international glory and a highest finish when easily surpassing the host nation, New Zealand, 11-3 The Juan Jane-coached team has proved it is capable of making the final with an unbeaten run this week.

Reigning World Cup champion Australia finally got past Greece 11-7 after being pressured for all of the match. Greece played its best game of the week but the Australians, who missed two penalties and hit the wood seven times in the first half, looked the better team on the night. European champion Russia made the second-half running against Canada to win 12-11. Canada shot poorly in the middle part of the game but then Russia also, by coach Alexandr Kabanov’s admission, did not play to its best either.

Game #13 Canada CAN 11 vs RUS RUS 12

Goals by Quarter: 5-4, 2-3, 2-2, 2-3

Referees: Radu MATACHE (ROU), Nikolaos VASILEIOU (GRE)

Extra Man: CAN: 1/7 plus 2/2 on penalty; RUS3/6 plus 1/2 on penalty

Scoring:

Canada: Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C), Katrina MONTON (1), Emily CSIKOS (4), Joelle BEKHAZI (2). Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK (1), Dominique PERRAULT, Monika EGGENS (2), Christine ROBINSON, Tara CAMPBELL (1), Marina RADU, Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Russia: Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA (2), Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA (2), Sofya KONUKH (C), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (2), Ekaterina TANKEEVA, Evgenia SOBOLEVA (1), Anna TIMOFEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA (1), Evgeniya IVANOVA (4), Yulia GAUFLER, Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV. 

Match Report:

Russia outlasted Canada in a game that didn¹t reach high levels. Too many mistakes marred what could have been a good game. Both teams lamented that fatigue and mistakes set tn. It was Russia won started the stronger, scoring twice as Canada settled and returned to the game. At 3-1, Russia was handsomely placed by Emily CSIKOS scored twice ‹ once with a slider and the second on penalty. Nadezda GLYZINA scored the second and third Russian goals. Joelle BEKHAZI drew Canada level at four with a six-metre shot and Monika EGGENS sent one in from two metres further back for 5-4 at the break. Evgeniya IVANOVA went on the rampage in the third period, scoring three goals but Tara CAMPBELL and Rosanna TOMIUK made sure the game was level at halftime. TOMIUK scored three minutes from the break, showing the tight defence. The third period was even with last year¹s world junior championship MVP Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA scoring twice for Russia. EGGENS and Katrina MONTON equalised for Canada with MONTON winning a front-of-goal melee 41 seconds from time. IVANOVA made it No 4 for her with a well-placed shot from deep right, whizzing past the left ear of Rachel RIDDELL. Russia used a timeout to set up Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA to score on extra. CSIKOS grabbed a third on extra but the damage was done when SOBOLEVA converted extra from deep at 1:46. Canada called timeout at 0:39, played the ball in, shot and captain Krystina ALOGBO drew the penalty on the rebound, which CSIKOS converted at 0:34. Russia played for time but lost the ball, leaving Canada with nine seconds and just one goal down. The ball moved forward but EGGENS¹ shot on the hooter went a few centimeters too high and wide to the right, sending Russia to the top four and Canada to the bottom four. Canada paid for some ineffective shooting in the middle part of the game.

Flash Quotes:

Pat OATEN (CAN) Head Coach: "We had clear opportunities to win, especially when Krystina (ALOGBO) missed that chance near the end. They went to the far end and scored, making it a two-goal turn-around when we should have been a goal up. They were one goal better today. Starting from today we will see a lot of fatigue setting in. I think we had three hard games while the other group had only two. That plays a large role. That wasn¹t a high-level game. Now we have to go through the rest of the tournament, because the prize is gone. However, we are building towards the World Championships (next year)."

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: "The result was the best thing today is that we won. Unfortunately, both teams made many mistakes and we let them score some easy goals. They scored too many at the beginning. If not it would have been completely different. We were nervous at the end. It is always like this in this kind of game."

Sofya KONUKH (RUS) Captain: "Before the game we knew it was going to be battle - a war. The Canadians are physical, the North American style."

"On the semifinals, she said: Our coach teaches us that tomorrow is tomorrow. We will now rest and tomorrow we will create as much as possible. We had clear opportunities to win, especially when Krystina (ALOGBO) missed that chance near the end. They went to the far end and scored, making it a two-goal turn-around when we should have been a goal up. They were one goal better today. Starting from today we will see a lot of fatigue setting in. I think we had three hard games while the other group had only two. That plays a large role. That wasn't a high-level game. Now we have to go through the rest of the tournament, because the prize is gone. However, we are building towards the World Championships (next year)."

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: "The result was the best thing today ‹ that we won. Unfortunately, both teams made many mistakes and we let them score some easy goals. They scored too many at the beginning. If not it would have been completely different. We were nervous at the end. It is always like this in this kind of game."

Sofya KONUKH (RUS) Captain: "Before the game we knew it was going to be battle - a war. The Canadians are physical, the North American style."

On the semifinals, she said: "Our coach teaches us that tomorrow is tomorrow. We will now rest and tomorrow we will create as much as possible."

#13 CAN vs. RUS

Game #14 HUN HUN 5 vs USA USA 10

Goals by Quarter: 0-2, 2-1, 2-4, 1-3

Referees: Michael HART (AUS), Alexei KRAPIVIN (RUS)

Extra Man: HUN 2/6 plus 0/1 on penalty; USA 4/11

Scoring:

Hungary: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI, Dora ANTAL, Gabriella SZUCS (1), Orsolya TAKACS (1), Rita DRAVUCZ (C), Rita KESZTHELYI (1), Ildiko TOTH, Barbara BUJKA, Agnes VALKAI (1), Kiata MENCZINGER (1), Aniko GYONGYOSSY. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

United States of America: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG (C), Anne BELDEN (2), Brenda VILLA, Margaret STEFFENS (1), Juliet MOSS (1), Courtney MATHEWSON, Lauren SILVER (2), Elsie WINDES (2), Kelly RULON, Annika DRIES, Kameryn CRAIG (2), Melissa SEIDEMANN, Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

Match Report:

World champion USA moved into the semifinals with a 7-3 second half against Hungary. The game was mired in defence and blocked shots in the first half as Hungary held on. In fact the USA scored six of its goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. Margaret STEFFENS and Elsie WINDES scored from the deep right in the first quarter while Hungary drew level through Rita KESZTHELYI with an outside rocket and Agnes VALKAI from the top left. Kami CRAIG scored from the post position on extra three minutes from halftime to turn with just five goals on the scoreboard. WINDES, relatively quiet at this tournament, made it a two-goal margin for the USA but Gabriella SZUCS and
newcomer Kata MENCZINGER levelled the game again at the three-minute mark. The game was evenly poised with neither side letting up but the dam burst soon after as the USA crashed home three goals in just over a minute, thanks to Anne BELDEN, CRAIG and Juliet MOSS> BELDEN contributed again after the restart and suddenly the game was 8-4. Orsolya TAKACZ grabbed one back and Lauren SILVER scored on extra for 9-5. VALKAI missed a penalty shot attempt at 2:48 and on the counter, SILVER claimed a second and the game was effectively over.

Flash Quotes:

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach: "That's probably our best defensive effort of the summer, I'm really proud of the team, I think we have been very good defensively since we've gotten here and it's going to be important for u to continue that to keep the momentum going in our favour."

"We traded goals with them early and I would have just loved to have hung onto that lead, we had a couple of defensive breakdowns in the second quarter that led to their goals but Betsey also came up with some big saves in the second quarter that kept us with the one goal lead. I thought that things could have easily swung in their favour but those saves certainly kept the momentum on our side"

"I think anyone of our players I have a lot of confidence in, anyone of our players can beat you on any given day. It helps that the centres draw a lot of attention and Kami and Annika did a great job today drawing a lot of attention so it¹s going to free up our shooters on the outside and they have to be confident when they get their opportunity. We missed some opportunities early on where we could have broken the lead a little bit further but we stayed very discipline and very persistent and that's probably one of the things I'm most proud of."

Matyas PETROVICS (HUN) Head Coach: "The first two periods were amazing. I¹m very proud of the team. They played over their heads. I was a little bit worried in the second period as we left two extra-man chances open for the USA. In the third period the Americans were stronger and he changed his players but I could only change two. The team was tired."

#14 USA vs. HUN

Goals by Quarter: 2-2, 1-2, 2-4, 2-3

Referees: John HART (NZL), Kazuhiko MAKITA (JPN)

Extra Man: GRE 2/7 plus 1/1 on penalty; AUS 2/5 plus 0/2 on penalty

Scoring:

Australia: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (3), Sophie SMITH, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (C 1), Rowena WEBSTER (2), Glencora RALPH (2), Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN (1), Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (2), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

Greece: Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA (1), Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI (1), Kyriaki LIOSI (C 1), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (1), Antigoni ROUMPESI (1), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (2), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU, ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

Match Report:

Australia and Greece traditionally play tight matches and this was no exception but Australia came through for victory. The first half was a torrid match with Greece struggling to convert extra-man chances while Australia blew two penalty chances in the first quarter and then hit the posts five times in the second. Angeliki GEROLYMOU converted the opening penalty barely 40 seconds into the game. Nearly four minutes late Nicola ZAGAME equalised on extra. Ilektra PSOUNI sent in a shot from the Southern Alps 50km away. Aussie Stingers skipper Bronwen KNOX hit the post with her penalty attempt. Gemma BEADSWORTH finished a counter with a big shot from the top. Mel RIPPON drew a penalty but Rowena WEBSTER threw low into Maria TSOURI¹S left hand. GEROLYMOU came down from the mountain a bit but not much to score for 3-2 three minutes into the second period. Ash SOUTHERN finished off a strong attack from the five-metre line for 3-3. KNOX then turned the hole position, waited for TSOURI to fall and popped the ball into goal at 1:02 and 4-3 for the halftime lead. ZAGAME opened the third period quickly, pouncing on the rebound of WEBSTER¹S superb turn and shot from two metres. Greece went to a timeout but Australia stole the ball soon after. However, TSOUKALA sent one in from the top only to have BEADSWORTH respond on counter off a cross-pass from captain KNOX. Antigoni ROUMPESI lobbed from 6m to pull it back to one again. Glencora RALPH did the same from 6m for 7-5 and after a timeout and two shots, RALPH converted the extra-man attack for 8-5 at 1:29, the three-quarter-time score. Alexandra ASIMAKI scored from two metres for 8-6, WEBSTER drilled a low shot from 8m; Kyriaki LIOSI lobbed on extra and BEADSWORTH lobbed from six metres for 10-7 at 4:30. Greece called a timeout at 3:23 to settle the team but less than a minute later Webster sealed the game with a blast from 8m.

Flash Quotes:

Greg McFADDEN (AUS) Head Coach: "The Greeks played a very controlled game with good centre forwards and outside shooters. If you don't put your shots away it doesn¹t help. In the first quarter we hit the goalie too much, missed two penalty shots and threw the cover off the ball in the second quarter. All credit to the Greeks, they¹re fighters. I'm never comfortable against them unless we are four or five goals ahead. If we had scored our penalties early it could have been a different game."

Georgios MORFESIS (GRE) Head Coach:"Today we fight well. This is the level that we can play. Australia is maybe the best team at this moment here. We knew we had bad results in the three previous days. We knew we had to play Australia or the USA. This group is the strongest and the three medallists will come from it, much like San Diego (FINA World League Super Finals). I was very disappointed with the referees. We had little chance but we had a chance. We don¹t have many solutions for Australia."

#15 GRE vs, AUS

Game #16 CHNCHN 11 vs New Zealand NZL 3

Goals by Quarter: 3-0, 3-0, 2-1, 3-2

Referees: Amber DRURY (USA), HONG Boon Tan (SIN)

Extra Man: CHN 4/10; NZL 3/11

Scoring:

China: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (1), LIU Ping, SUN Yujun, HE Jin, SUN Yating (2), SONG Donglun, GAO Ao (5), WANG Yi (2), MA Huanhuan (1), SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

New Zealand: Carina HARACHE, Emily COX, Emma STONEMAN, Danielle LEWIS, Alexandra BOYD, Lynlee SMITH (1), Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH (1), Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY, Kirsten HUDSON (1), Shann ELLS-TEWHIU, Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

Match Report:

China did not make the same mistake it did at the FINA World League Super Finals in San Diego, California last month ‹ win the group stage and lose the quarterfinal. China had the team to easily beat New Zealand and started strongly, keeping the host nation scoreless in the first half. The Kiwis fought valiantly and stymied many Chinese attacks but struggled at the other end against a defensive line much like the famed Great Wall of China. WANG Yi opened the scoring from the top and MA Huanhuan and SUN Yating followed suit but the third goal took until seven seconds from the end of the quarter to hit the scoreboard. GAO Ao scored twice from six metres with the second
on extra-man attack for 5-0. WANG scored a second in extra, after action goals were hard to come by. Lauren SIEPRATH lifted the crowd with a missile from nine metres halfway through the third quarter ‹ the first goal of the second half. SUN Yating scored on extra  at the six-minute mark of the period and TENG Fei scored on action seven seconds from time. Lynlee SMITH opened the fourth quarter for New Zealand with an extra-man conversion. New Zealand called a timeout at 5:09 but could not convert the extra-man opportunity. On the next attack GAO screamed one in from outside for 9-2. New Zealand narrowed the gap slightly at 2:52 when it gained a power play,
saw the shot bounce off the cross bar, move around to Kirsten HUDSON, who bounced it in as the ejected player was returning to the pool. China took a timeout at 1:19 and scored after the exclusion period to GAO for her fourth. She scored a fifth, also on extra in the last six seconds. It was a game of extra-man chances coming off and few action goals, such was the defence.

Flash Quotes:

Eelco URI (NZL) Head Coach: "I was pleased with the (lower-than-expected) number of goals against us. They had to score man-up goals. With the way they have been shooting and their centre-forward play, they only got away from us in the fourth quarter, We have been struggling with the third quarter but not tonight. I was not pleased with our man-up attack. We weren't where the gaps were. We weren't taking risks and you need to take risks at this level. Tonight we didn't deliver on that. Tonight our goalie (Carina HARACHE) played brilliantly. We also played a more mobile defence, which helped."

#16 CHN vs. NZL

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Saturday, August 21

Australia to defend FINA World Cup crown against world champion USA
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member

Christchurch (August 21).— Australia will defend its FINA World Cup women’s water polo crown against the United States of America at the QEII Park Pool in Christchurch tomorrow.
Australia survived a late onslaught by Russia, twice having three-goal leads trimmed to one, to win 11-10.

In the other semifinal, the World and World League champion USA beat China 10-8 to set up yet another face-off between the two best teams currently on the planet.
The USA won the FINA World League Super Finals gold-medal clash in a penalty-shootout win over the Aussie Stingers in July.

On the obverse side of the coin, Australia has beaten the USA three times in the past fortnight, including a group-winning 7-5 effort earlier in the tournament.

Australia had to fight a huge foul count against to make the final while the USA had its own troubles, being 4-3 down against China midway through the second quarter before taking a 6-4 halftime lead to 8-6 at three-quarter time and 10-7 only to see China strike back to within one goal.

In the lower end of the tournament, Canada needed a last-second goal to beat Greece 13-12 to set up a fifth-sixth-place play-off with Hungary, who defeated New Zealand 11-4.
In a rare situation four continents were represented in the semifinals with China having its first shot in a medal round at senior level.

Game #17 CAN CAN 13 vs Greece GRE 12

Goals by Quarter: 4-5, 2-2, 2-3, 5-2

Referees: NI Shi Wei (CHN), Amber DRURY (USA)

Extra Man: CAN: 7/11; GRE 6/10 plus 1/1 on penalty

Scoring:

Canada: Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C 1), Katrina MONTON, Emily CSIKOS (3), Joelle BEKHAZI (3). Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK (1), Dominique PERRAULT (3), Monika EGGENS, Christine ROBINSON (2), Tara CAMPBELL, Marina RADU, Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Greece: Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA (2), Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI, Kyriaki LIOSI (C 1), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (3), (3) Antigoni ROUMPESI (3), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (1), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU (2), ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

Match Report:

After beating Greece 11-3 earlier in the week it took until the last second to separate these two teams. After a lightning start the game settled as they battled for a place in the fifth-sixth play-off. Greece raced to a 4-2 lead but Canada quickly levelled before Christina TSOUKALA gave Greece the edge by the break. Nine goals with lobs, counters, outside shots and a few on extra. The game had it all. The second quarter was sedate in comparison but Canada had the goods with Christine ROBINSON and Joelle BEKHAZI taking the North Americans to the lead. Antigoni ROUMPESI and captain Kyriaki LIOSI regained the advantage at 7-6 by halftime. BEKHAZI scored her third as the tournament¹s leading scorer at the moment, to level at 7-7 on the first attack of the third period. But then Alexandra ASIMAKI was given space at two metres, scoring on extra and sweeping in a shot for 9-7. Emily CSIKOS, also one of the highest scorers, converted extra but ASIMAKI closed the period for a 10-8 lead to Greece. Stavroula ANTONAKOU  took the game to 11-8 with a rocket from seven metres into the top right. Canada¹s revival set the parochial Canadian supporters alight. Dominique PERRAULT and CSIKOS converted extra-man plays and PERRAULT sent in a second off the right-post position after the extra-man exclusion time had ended. At 11-11, Greece called a timeout on extra but the shot was soft.  ROBINSON broke the deadlock from six metres at 1:20. Greece called a timeout on extra at 0:56 and TSOUKALA obliged at 0:38 for 12-12. Canada was not to be deterred and went to a timeout at 0:33, worked the ball and gained the extra-man attack when TSOUKALA was ejected. Captain ALOGBO shot through a strong defence but creased the crossbar, the ball falling to the right only for PERRAULT to push into goal with less than a second on the clock!

Flash Quotes:

Pat OATEN (CAN) Head Coach: "Our power play (six on five) has been good all tournament, about 50 per cent or better each game. That game wasn't particularly technical with fatigue setting in for each time. Our middle players stood up today. So far this summer  we have tried to play as many players as possible. It¹s been good but mistakes will happen. It was a fast opening quarter due to the fatigue with both teams scoring, scoring, scoring and then settled down. All credit to the Asimaki kid. She's like a pitbull and keeps going, going, going. The difference between the 11-3 win earlier in the week until today was we didn't have a lot of time to recuperate after yesterday¹s loss (11-12 to Russia)."

Georgios MORFESIS (GRE) Head Coach: "It was a tough game today. We were not lucky in the first game but today we fought well. Until the fourth period. However, three times we were called for attacking the player with ball in hand. After 11-8 we didn't make offence. At 12-12 we knew they would put the centre forward to the side but we didn't expect this whistle (Tsoukala¹s exclusion). We came here to qualify for the World Championships and we have done that. We have another chance at the European Championships in 20 days but we don¹t have the solutions in our team for a second major event."

#17 CAN vs. GRE

Game #18 HUN HUN 11 vs New Zealand NZL 4

Goals by Quarter: 3-0, 2-1, 4-1, 2-2

Referee: Alexei KRAPIVIN (RUS), Kakuhiko MAKITA (JPN)

Extra Man: HUN: 2/4 and 1/1 on penalty. NZL: 2/10

Scoring:

Hungary: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI (1), Rita POSZKOLI, Dora ANTAL (1), Gabriella SZUCS (2), Orsolya TAKACS, Rita DRAVUCZ (C), Rita KESZTHELYI (3), Ildiko TOTH, Barbara BUJKA (2), Agnes VALKAI (1), Kiata MENCZINGER (1), Aniko GYONGYOSSY. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

New Zealand: Carina HARACHE, Emily COX, Emma STONEMAN, Danielle LEWIS, Alexandra BOYD (1), Lynlee SMITH, Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH, Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY (2), Kirsten HUDSON (1), Shann ELLS-TEWHIU, Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

Match Report:

Once again for New Zealand it was a tough encounter. Hard effort but lack of top international experience proved critical. Hungary started strongly but slowed after scoring three goals Hungary pushed out to 5-0 but at 3:34 in the second Casie BOWRY scored form two metres to lift the crowd. A Kiwi timeout produced nothing but Hungary could not add to its total. Gabriella SZUCS, Barbara BUJKA and Rita KESZTHELYi added to their individual scoring feats of the first half and then Kata MENCZINGER sent one in to close the third period. At 6-1, Kirsten HUDSON scored on extra for New Zealand but the break score was 9-2. Dora ANTAL brought up double figures for Hungary more than two minutes into the final quarter. BOWRY and Alexandra BOYD delighted the home crowd with the first on extra and the second from the top in successive attacks for 10-4. Hannah KISTELEKI made it 11-4 but New Zealand was still trying to score at the other end, working the goalkeeper. Hungary, by now in the 5th-6th play-off, gave water time to the bench players.

Flash Quotes:

Matyas PETROVICS (HUN) Head Coach: "We played well today and my goalies were lovely. I'm happy as all played gained a lot of time and my younger players, too. The younger players also scored goals. But most important we qualified for the World Championships. Rita (DRAVUCZ) was sick today but we needed her to play so thanks to her. We played easier that yesterday against Canada but half my eyes are on the European Championships. We have qualified for Shanghai (next year) and I am happy that the preparation for the European tournament starts tomorrow."

Eelco URI (NZL) Head Coach: "In waves we showed we can play water polo. Then I told the girls that the last fie per cent wasn't there. The Hungarians make you pay and then put the ball away. At times we impressed and we're trying to do a lot more of that. We get these  passes on the post, come around but we need to learn and not have to repeat the information later. Six games in six days is tough and fatigue sets in but that¹s the reality."

#18 HUN vs. NZL

Game #19 Russia RUS 10 vs AUS AUS 11

Goals by Quarter: 2-2, 3-4, 3-3, 2-2

Referees: Nikolaos VASILEIOU (GRE), Stephane ROY (CAN)

Extra Man: RUS 8/18. AUS 1/7 plus 4/4 on penalty

Scoring:

Russia: Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA, Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA (1), Sofya KONUKH (C 2), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (3), Ekaterina TANKEEVA (1), Evgenia SOBOLEVA (2), Anna TIMOFEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA (1), Evgeniya IVANOVA, Yulia GAUFLER, Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV. 

Australia: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (2), Sophie SMITH, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Jane MORAN (1), Bronwen KNOX (C 2), Rowena WEBSTER, Glencora RALPH (1), Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN (2), Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (3), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

Match Report:

Australia may have led by three goals several times in the clash with Russia but the European champion pressured all game and nearly snatched extra time with a last-minute barrage of shots. However, Australia survived to defend its crown. Russia opened the scoring with two goals on extra man through Olga BELYAEVA and Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA. Australia was in a shambles on defence. Australia then drew two penalties and Ash SOUTHERN and captain Bronwen KNOX converted for 2-2 by 2:04, the last scoring in the period. Nicola ZAGAME scored with a centre-forward round-arm shot to take the lead for Australia on the first attack of the second quarter. Sofya KONUKH and Evgeniya SOBOLEVA scored on extra to regain the lead at 4-3. Then a three-goal spurt by Australia took the reigning champion to dominance. ZAGAME jumped on a rebound to push it in, Ash SOUTHERN scored with a booming counter-attack shot and Gemma BEADSWORTH powered one in from centre forward. At 6-4 the break had been made but Russia¹s RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA scored a second from eight metres for 6-5 to round out the first-half scoring. BEADSWORTH nailed the third penalty shot and Glencora RALPH arrowed in an eight-mter shot for 8-5. , Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA scored on extra, as did Jane MORAN to regain the three-goal margin for the Aussie Stingers. RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA and Ekaterina TANKEEVA both score on extra as Australia struggled with the foul count against and the game was 9-8 at 1:31 to close the third period. ZAGAME scored her third on extra and KNOX converted Australia¹s fourth penalty-line gift for 11-8. Russia pressured strongly and gained the extra-man goal through SOBOLEVA at 4:37. Sofya KONUKH was left unattended in a handy position on counter and narrowed the game to 11-10 at 1:46. The tension was palpable and Aussie Stingers head coach Greg McFadden had to be pastorally placated on the foul count. Russia struck several times but the defence was stout. On the last attack the Russian centre forward clearly dragged the ball under, it was turned over and Australia retained for the victory.

Flash Quotes:

Greg McFADDEN (AUS) Head Coach: "Our extra-man defence was excellent to allow in only 8/18 and it needed to be because I couldn't understand the difference in two teams' centre forwards. Bronwen Knox and Gemma Beadsworth are two of the best centre forwards in the world and I don¹t even know who the Russians are!"

#19 AUS vs. RUS

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: Not available

Game #20USA USA 10 vs China CHN 9

Goals by Quarter: 3-1, 3-3, 2-2, 2-3

Referees: Radu MATACHE (ROU), Balasz FEKETE (HUN)

Extra Man: USA 2/6 plus 2/2 on penalty. CHN: 7/11

Scoring:

United States of America: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG (C), Anne BELDEN, Brenda VILLA, Margaret STEFFENS, Juliet MOSS, Courtney MATHEWSON (3), Lauren SILVER (1), Elsie WINDES (1), Kelly RULON (2), Annika DRIES (1), Kameryn CRAIG (2), Melissa SEIDEMANN, Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

China: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (1), LIU Ping (1), SUN Yujun (1), HE Jin, SUN Yating, SONG Donglun, GAO Ao (5), WANG Yi (1), MA Huanhuan, SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

Match Report:

The USA started in excellent fashion with Kelly RULON on extra and Lauren SILVER from the penalty line giving it a 2-0 margin. GAO Ao responded on extra into the bottom right but Courtney MATHEWSON drilled one from six metres for 3-1 at the first break. China then made a huge play by scoring three straight, thanks to two more goals from GAO on extra and TENG Fei with a skip shot on a regrouped counter-attack for 4-3. The USA made sure that feat was equalled through RULON with a six-metre lob, Mathewson with a penalty goal and Annika DRIES at centre forward while heavily defended. USA was on top 6-4 at halftime. The third quarter was even but China was making the play. SONG Donglun and Elsie WINDES traded goals before WANG Yi shot from the top and took both posts for the goal and 7-6. Kami CRAIG closed the quarter when she took a pop pass from Brenda VILLA on the far post to score on extra for 8-6 at 0:14. LIU Ping opened the final quarter with a bomb from eight metres to bring the game to one. LIU Ping opened the fourth quarter from eight metres but CRAIG and MATHEWSON made it 10-7 by 2:51. China used two timeouts in the final two minutes, scoring through four-goal hero GAO on the first and earning an extra man on the last for GAO to make it 10-9 with just 20 seconds remaining. By then it was too late and the USA wasted time to go through to the final.

Flash Quotes:

Juan JANE (CHN) Head Coach: "It was a very good game for us. I'm not happy we lost, however, Some moments we play well and some moments we didn't. But I am very, very happy with the progress of the team. After five days four wins and a loss and we lost to the USA by only one goal. China is now on the right track one year out from Shanghai (FINA World Championships) and two years from London (Olympic Games)."

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach:

On playing for gold:  "Excited, we are excited to get the opportunity to play Australia who in my opinion is playing like the best team in the world. We¹re excited about that and we are thankful to get by such a well coached well disciplined team like China."

On USA's comeback ability: "It's showing me a lot, it shows me how much they want to compete and how much they want to win this thing and sometimes that's 90 per cent of the game."

On USA's defence against China: "It certainly was, if you don't count our five-man defence, which wasn't very good; our half-court defence, our counter-attack defence has been superb. We have to do a little bit better job on our five-man defence and No 8 from China (Gao Ao) was shooting lights out today and you have to give her credit but at the same time we can do a little bit better job there."

On playing Australia: "I think they have all the talent in the world, they are a scary team, they are big, strong, fast and no offense to my team but I think this is the most talented team in the tournament. We are just looking forward to that challenge."

#20 USA vs. CHN

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Sunday, August 22

USA adds FINA World Cup to World and World League crowns
By Russell McKinnon FINA Press Commission Member  

Christchurch (August 22).— The United States of America won an incredible game of women’s water polo to secure the FINA World Cup for the first time since 1979 at the QEII Park complex in Christchurch today.

The incredible part is that Group B winner Australia, defending its crown won in Tianjin, China, four years ago, went 6-0 down by halftime, stunning the packed arena.

The USA scored three goals in each of the two quarters and totally stymied Australia’s attack. It was a sublime effort by the team that now adds the World Cup to last year’s World title won in Rome and the World League title retained in La Jolla, California last month.

Full credit to the USA for a fantastic tournament, coming from a 7-5 defeat by Australia on day two to win gold, giving Brenda Villa one of the two gold medals she did not possess. Now it only remains to see I she can make the team and win gold at the 2012 Olympic Games to complete the set.

China earned its first international medal at the senior level with an 11-9 victory over European champion Russia after being 10-5 up at one stage. It was a truly fine performance and sets the team up for a home tilt at the FINA World Championships crown in Shanghai next year.

The play-off for fifth and sixth was a screamer with the game locked at 10-all by full time, 13-all after two periods of extra time, before Canada scored five straight with Hungary missing one and not being called to have its last attempt.

China earned its first international medal at the senior level with an 11-9 victory over European champion Russia after being 10-5 up at one stage.

The play-off for fifth and sixth was a screamer with the game locked at 10-all by full time, 13-all after two periods of extra time, before Canada scored five straight with Hungary missing one and not being called to have its last attempt.

In the play-off for seventh and eighth, Greece withstood an early challenge from New Zealand, swimming away with the game in the middle periods for a 16-8 victor

 

Game #21 Greece GRE 16vs New Zealand NZL 8 (7th Place Game)

Goals by Quarter: 4-4, 5-1, 4-0, 3-3

Referees: Michael HART (AUS), Stephane ROY (CAN)

Extra Man: GRE 4/8 plus 1/1 on penalty. NZL 3/6 plus 1/2 on penalty

Scoring:

Greece:
Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA (3), Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI, Kyriaki LIOSI (C), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU (3), Alexandra ASIMAKI (1), Antigoni ROUMPESI (2), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (2), Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI (2), Stavroula ANTONAKOU (3), ANTONIA SOLANAKI, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.

New Zealand: Carina HARACHE, Emily COX (1), Emma STONEMAN (1), Danielle LEWIS (2), Alexandra BOYD (1), Lynlee SMITH (1), Isabella MORRISON, Lauren SIEPRATH, Anna SIEPRATH (C), Casie BOWRY, Kirsten HUDSON (1), Shann ELLS-TEWHIU (1), Dana HARVEY. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

Match Report:

Greece swam away with the seventh-place after a close first quarter. In fact New Zealand led three times in that period only to have to level for 4-4 and then feel the might of the team that won the bronze medal at last month's FINA World League Super Finals in La Jolla, USA. This is how close the competition is that top teams can find themselves playing for lower positions. Antigoni ROUMPESI sent in two bombs for Greece¹s third and fourth goals and sat back as her team-mates teemed in goals, winning the middle periods 9-1. Kirsten HUDSON, Alexander BOYD and Danielle LEWIS sparked huge interest in the parochial crowd for the 3-2 lead and LEWIS finished off a three-on-on e counter-attack for the 4-4 goal. Alexandra ASIMAKI turned beautifully for her trademark play to set off a four-goal streak with two coming from Triantafylia MANOLIOUDAKI, her first of the tournament. Emma STONEMAN stopped the rot with a dribbling goal that just found the line at 8-5. Christina TSOUKALA closed the half for Greece. The third period was all Greece with Stavroula ANTONAKOU grabbing two more for three in the match. The final quarter showed the real Kiwi spirit with Emily COX and Lynlee SMITH scoring for 14-7. Greece earned two penalty fouls with AVRAMIDOU having her shot blocked by Carina HARACHE while TSOUKALA sent hers in to the
left for 15-7. AVRAMIDOU lobbed HARACHE, then New Zealand called a timeout at 1:43 and Shann ELLS-TEWHIU scored her first goal of the event and the last for New Zealand.

Flash Quotes:

#21 HUN vs. NZL 

Game #22 CAN CAN 18 vs HUN HUN 16 penalty shootout (5th Place Game)

Goals by Quarter: 5-3, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 1-2, 2-1.

Referees: Alexei KRAPIVIN (RUS, NI Shi Wei (CHN)

Extra Man: CAN 7/14 plus 5/5 on penalty shootout. HUN: 6/11 plus 2/2 on penalty and 3/4 on penalty shootout

Scoring:

Canada:
Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO (C 4), Katrina MONTON (1), Emily CSIKOS, (2) Joelle BEKHAZI (4), Whitney GENOWAY, Rosanna TOMIUK (1), Dominique PERRAULT (3), Monika EGGENS (1), Christine ROBINSON (1), Tara CAMPBELL, Marina RADU (1), Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.

Hungary: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI, Dora ANTAL, Gabriella SZUCS (4), Orsolya TAKACS (1), Rita DRAVUCZ (C 1), Rita KESZTHELYI (4), Ildiko TOTH, Barbara BUJKA (2), Agnes VALKAI (2), Kiata MENCZINGER (2), Aniko GYONGYOSSY. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

Match Report:

The first penalty shootout game of the tournament produced plenty of zest on the final day with the game finishing 10-10 at fulltime and 13-13 after extra periods. After a feisty first quarter in which eight goals were scored, the teams settled to play out an exciting match. Canada held sway
for much of the first quarter but Hungary slugged its way back into the game, gaining its second equaliser early in the third period. Gabriella SZUCS opened the scoring for Hungary but three Canadian goals ‹ two on extra ‹ change the complexion of the game. However, Orsolya TAKACS and Kata MENCZINGER, one on extra and the other from the top, levelled the game. Christine ROBINSON from six metres and Emily CSIKOS off a beautiful cross pass, Barbara BUJKA opened the second quarter from the top and Joelle BEKHAZI sent Canada to 6-4. SZUCS scored her second to turn at 6-5 behind. Captain Rita DRAVUCZ equalised for Hungary with a penalty. Marina RADU on extra, SZUCS with one from the side and then BEKHAZI gave Canada the 8-7 quarter-time lead with a lob on counter down the right. BUJKA smashed in another for 8-8 at the top of the fourth. Rita KESZTHELYI and Krystina ALOGBO traded goals with the latter a superb cross-pass goal on two metres from Dominique PERRAULT. Rosanna TOMIUK lobbed Orsolya KASO for the 10-9 lead. KESZTHELYI sent one in off the far post on extra for 10-10 at 3:28. Both teams tried to break the deadlock and Canada nearly did it on counter inside the last minute but blew the chance. Canada called timeout with just 17 seconds of possession time at 0:29. Tara CAMPBELL'S shot was tipped over, Hungary had a shot blocked by Rachel RIDDELL to force extra time. SZUCS scored her fourth on extra when  left completely free on the near post. ALOGBO replied when having to thread through three defenders on extra straight after. KESZTHELYI  made it a third extra-man goal with a look-away shot on the deep left to close the first period of extra. PERRAULT scored on extra at the end of the exclusion time for 12-12 at 2:03. There was a double exclusion on Katrina MONTON (CAN) and BUJKA (HUN) when Canada was in possession. Alogbo turned over the ball but Canada regained soon after. A Perrault long shot rebounded and MONTON muscled it out with goalies and
defender to pop the ball over the line for 13-12. Then, at the other end, Monika EGGENS gave up a penalty foul for Agnes VALKAI to convert at 0:17. Canada called a timeout but the resulting pass to centre forward was intercepted and Hungary called timeout at 0:03. The ball went to SZUCS but
she did not shoot and the game went to penalty shootout. The crowd was excited about the shootout, which went to plan for Canada with five straight. The sole miss was Hungarian captain DRAVUCZ, who has a high temperature and unwell. She hit the right upright, bounced on to RIDDELL'S head and ricocheted right. Hungary had no need to shoot the last shot as
Canada had already won the game 18-16.

Flash Quotes: none

Matyas PETROVICS (HUN) Head Coach: "It was a very good game. When you think the game is over the other team comes back. This was really good water polo, no wrestling and both teams played water polo, which was good for the public. My team was unbelievable. I am proud of my team. This is very good training for the European Championships. If we play this style we will be top four in Zagreb."

Rita DRAVUCZ (HUN) Captain: "We do better every day but today we played very bad. We wanted to win but we couldn't. I have a stomach illness and a temperature of 37.5 but today I was feeling better. I wanted to play today as I did yesterday. I came here to play, not to watch the games from the tribune."

#22 CAN vs. HUN

Game #23 Russia RUS 9 vsCHNCHN 11 (3rd Place Game)

Goals by Quarter: 1-3, 2-3, 3-5, 3-0

Referees: John WALDOW (NZL), Radu MATACHE (ROU)

Extra Man: RUS 3/7. CHN:3/7

Scoring:

Russia:Evgeniya PROTSENKO, Nadezda GLYZINA (5), Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA (1), Sofya KONUKH (C), Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (2), Ekaterina TANKEEVA, Evgenia SOBOLEVA, Anna TIMOFEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA, Evgeniya IVANOVA, Yulia GAUFLER (1), Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV

China:YANG Jun, TENG Fei (2), LIU Ping (2), SUN Yujun (1), HE Jin (1), SUN Yating (1), SONG Donglun, GAO Ao (1), WANG Yi, (1) MA Huanhuan (2), SUN Huizi (C), ZHANG Lei, CHEN Yuan. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.

Match Report:

For a bronze-medal match it lacked the excitement of the previous encounter but then it was all China from the start. Russia was valiant but China wanted to win a medal for the first time at senior international level. From fifth in the first visit to the FINA World Cup in Tianjin four years ago, China was rampant with the two opening goals and 4-1 up three minutes into the second quarter Despite a yellow card to China’s Spanish coach Juan JANE GIRALT, China had a commanding 6-3 lead by halftime. China was comfortable at this stage and looked the likely winner.. TENG Fei and LIU Ping made it 8-3 and the oomph seemed to have gone from the contest. Goals were traded for 10-5. Two more were traded in the final minute and China went into the last at 11-6. The last goal came from Nadezda GLYZINA, who repeated the dose straight after the restart. Yulia GAUFLER followed up from outside at 2:31 to narrow the game to 11-8. China called timeout and the shot came from 12 metres. Ion the counter GLYZINA scored her fourth down the right for 11-9, leaving China to waste time for the bronze medal.

Flash Quotes:

Juan JANE GIRALT (CHN) Head Coach: “I am happy, happy, happy, happy. We played wonderful for first three quarters and in the last a little different. It is an important medal for China. This week we only had one loss and that was to the USA yesterday.”

Alexandr KABANOV (RUS) Head Coach: “In the World Cup there is only one good place and that is first. Second, third, fourth and fifth don’t matter. Our tournament was decided yesterday (losing to Australia in the semifinals). Today it was too hard to lift. There was no stimulation.”


Game #24 AUS AUS 3 vsUSAUSA 6 (1st Place Game)

Goals by Quarter: 0-3, 0-3, 2-0, 1-0

Referees: Nikolaos VASILEIOU (GRE), Balazs FEKETE (HUN)

Extra Man: AUS: 1/9 plus 0/1 on penalty. USA: 2/7 plus 2/2 on penalty

Scoring:

Australia: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (1), Sophie SMITH, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (C 1), Rowena WEBSTER, Glencora RALPH, Zoe ARANCINI, Ashleigh SOUTHERN, Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (1), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

United States of America: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG (C), Anne BELDEN, Brenda VILLA, Margaret STEFFENS (1), Juliet MOSS, Courtney MATHEWSON (1), Lauren SILVER (1), Elsie WINDES (1), Kelly RULON (1), Annika DRIES (1), Kameryn CRAIG, Melissa SEIDEMANN, Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

Match Report:

This was a game that the USA won in the opening quarter. At 3-0 up it looked tough for a nervous Australia. The USA drove the nail even further into the coffin with another 3-0 effort in the second. Nicola ZAGAME finally got Australia on to the board when she won the swim, passed off and regained to score at the top of the third. Gemma BEADSWORTH followed up on extra for 6-2. BEADSWORTH had another chance with a penalty shot soon after but put it into Betsy ARMSTRONG¹S left hand. The USA was struggling to score also but all the hard work had been done in the first half. The final quarter yielded just the one goal to Aussie Stingers captain Bronwen KNOX before being fouled out. It wasn¹t a pretty final but the idea was to win a gold medal and the USA showed with great verve and flair in the first half just what it takes to become a champion and a second title since the inaugural event in 1979. For Brenda VILLA it was the elusive World Cup gold medal she had been wanting to add to her three World and five World League gold medals. Defensively, the USA was far superior to Australia, who left holes for the world champion to capitalise on. This was a supreme effort from a team at the top of its game but the second half was a quantum shift on the first with the USA not finishing off attacks and giving up the ball as Australia swam on counter, some times 10 seconds before the end of the USA attack. Australia was hungry for goals but mis-directed shot, was forced  to shoot into the goalkeeper and the USA just basically held on for the gold medal.

Flash Quotes:

Adam KRIKORIAN (USA) Head Coach: "We haven¹t done it for 31 years (win this tournament). There have been a lot of great coaches and players before us. We certainly wanted to bring the USA back to the top in this event. We can easily lose to that team at any point. I was very surprised to go out 6-0. We played great defence, especially in the first half. We made it a big emphasis after last week in Sydney. We were going to put in a big effort and it always helps to play a goalkeeper who played just incredible in the final and all week."

Greg McFADDEN (AUS) Head Coach: 'The Americans came out to do battle and ready to go to war. We were ready to go to bed. You have to question the mental toughness when you leak six goals in a half, especially in a final. The second half, once again, it was a long way but not out of reach. We finally decided to fight and play good water polo. We created plenty of opportunities to win the game. Our shot selection was diabolical. Betsy (Armstrong) had a good final but she wasn't forced to make any spectacular saves, early in the game especially. I was disapointed as the Americans wanted the game more. They were ready to battle and we weren't."

Most Valuable Player: Gemma Beadsworth (AUS).

Best Goalkeeper: Yang Jun (CHN).

Highest goal-scorer: Gao Ao (CHN) 16.

Tournament team: Beadsworth (AUS), Gao Ao, Yan Jun (CHN), Kami Craig (USA), Joelle Bekhazi (CAN), Agnes Valkai (HUN).Sofya Konukh (RUS).

24 USA vs. AUS

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