BIWPA

08 agosto 2015

Kazan 2015 Day by day (Waterpoloworld.com / FINA.org)

Miki Oca: "Las chicas lo han dado todo en Kazan"

Miki Oca:


10/08/2015 - El seleccionador femenino español, Miki Oca —acompañado por el presidente RFEN Fernando Carpena, el jefe de Equipo Pere Robert, y el director técnico Rafa Aguilar—, valoró positivamente pese a la séptima plaza, la participación de su equipo en Kazan 2015. "A las chicas les doy un sobresaliente "Ya sabemos dónde tenemos que mejorar. Hay aspectos del juego que, por circunstancias, otros países los trabajan más que nosotros. El día de EEUU nos hicieron daño a partir del contraataque".
Nuestro seleccionador también valora muy positivamente el trabajo de las jóvenes: "Han hecho un muy buen papel. Esto es un Mundial y hay equipos rodados y potentes. Han cumplido muy bien. Fue un gran rodaje y un gran paso de cara a la temporada próxima. Esto es un grupo en el que trabajan 20 chicas y todas lo hacen muy bien. Las jugadores que están más en forma son las que vienen. Aquí no hay toques de atención”, declaró Oca, quien dice que "es verdad que China en vez de venir tocada emocionalmente vino subida. Tenemos que estar muy contentos, más que por ganar por la imagen que deja el equipo después del palo emocional. Las chicas han mostrado que tienen despliegue y se han resarcido”.
AGUILAR Y CARPENA
Por su parte, el director técnico de waterpolo, Rafael Aguilar, ha recordado que España tiene que competir con selecciones como Estados Unidos, China, Holanda y Canadá que "están concentradas contínuamente". Ha comentado que se ha pactado con los clubes el nuevo calendario teniendo en cuenta también las necesidades de las selección. "La respuesta de los clubes en este sentido es perfecta".
Mientras, Fernando Carpena ha manifestado que "este equipo tiene todo el crédito, porque aquí la palabra fracaso no existe. La visión de lo ocurrido es que ha sido un accidente. Nos ha tocado un cruce determinado -Estados Unidos- y no lo hemos pasado”, ha dicho. "En Shangài fuimos undécimos y desde Londres 2012, en las seis competiciones importantes de mujeres que se han jugado, España ha estado en el podio en cuatro. Eso demuestra que el proyecto funciona".

R.G.-S. Env. Especial KAZAN2015. Foto: Comparecencia de prensa de Miki Oca, acompañado por Fernando Carpena, Pere Robert y Rafa Aguilar / Rfen



Montenegro tops Hungary for 5th place - Kazan day 14

The final day of action of the 2015 World Championships water polo got underway on Saturday in Kazan with Team USA finishing in 7th place after beating Australia 6-10 in the first of four games. Poor shooting for the Aussie Sharks (6 for 31) prevented them from battling for the win as USA gradually walked away in the second half. Led by captain Tony Azevedo's 4 goals, the Americans got away from Australia after a near 14-minute drought that marked the early part of the 2nd period. As Alex Bowen and Azevedo (in his record 8th FINA World Championship) struck again in the first minutes of the final period, with the score at 4-10, the game looked to be played. The Sharks did mange to score 2 more goals in the final minutes but USA's win was already secured as they finish the championships in 7th place, while a dissapointed Australia team settles for 8th.

The battle for 5th place, a rematch of the gold medal final 2 years ago in Barcelona, saw this time Montenegro prevailing for the 10-9 victory. A deserved one as the Montenegrins intensity on defence, and the poor shooting by Hungary (9 for 30), had the dethroned champions in trouble of playing for the win. Montenegro scored at the right moments, led by Aleksandar Ivovic' 3  hits but the goals in the fourth period by Mladjan Janovic and Vjekoslav Paskovic, both of them on quick counter attacks, got Montenegro up by 3 each time which proved decisive in the end. Although Hungary managed to come back, the game's final goal by Daniel Varga was scored with just 15 seconds remaining so Montenegro could play out the clock and secure their 5th-place finish.


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Final round


Saturday, 8 August (men)

Australia (L M41) vs. USA (L M42) 6-10 (3-2, 0-2, 1-4, 2-2) - M45 (7th/8th place classification)
Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 2, Richie Campbell, George Ford, Johnno Cotterill.

USA scorers: Tony Azevedo 4, Alex Bowen 2, Bret Bonanni 2, Nikola Vavic, John Mann.



Montenegro (W M41) vs. Hungary (W M42) 10-9 (2-2, 2-1, 2-2, 4-4) - M46 (5th/6th place classification)
Montenegro scorers: Aleksandar Ivovic 3, Vjekoslav Paskovic 2, Darko Brguljan 2, Mladjan Janovic 2, Aleksandar Radovic.

Hungary scorers: Balazs Erdelyi 2, Norbert Hosnyanszky 2, Daniel Varga 2, Marton Szivos, Denes Varga, Krisztian Bedo.

20.30: Greece (L M43) vs. Italy (L M44) - M47 (3rd/4th place classification)
22.00: Croatia (W M43) vs. Serbia (W M44) - M48 (1st/2nd place classification)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

*****


USA edges Netherlands to win women's final - Kazan day 13

Spain has finished the 2015 world championships in 7th place after knocking off hosts Russia  on the penultimate day of the water polo tournament in Kazan, on Friday. After a goal-scoring festival in the first half, the Spanish ladies grabbed control in the third period and could consolidate in the final stages of the match-up. Even drawing multiple extra man posessions, Spain could come away with not finishing these. Russia could not come away with their counter attacks as Spain has a good swimming team themselves and looked prepared. The Russian ladies did end up making one more man-up in the final period but did not looked too determined in the final minutes to turn things around. Their 8th place finish marks the worse finish in recent years not having been ranked lower than 4th since the 2003 edition in Barcelona. Spain meanwhile went from top to bottom and back having finished 11th in Shanghai in 2011 before winning the gold in Barcelona two years ago, only to take 7th place in the 2015 edition, here in Kazan.

China took 5th place beating Greece on penalties after a game that got ignited in the second half and went onto a close and exciting finish. The match didn't appeared to be that much of an exciting battle. The scoring was marked by Greece who came back seven times but were never in the lead. China had the upper hand but was simply unable to shake off the resillient Greek side, who was led by Alexandra Asimaki. In a tight second half the centre forward scored 3 of the 4 goals in the comeback that Greece made to hang on. They even got a shot at the winner but Antigoni Roumpesi's attempt came off the upright as the game went into a shootout with the score tied 9-9. Here neither team could stay perfect but Greece simply missed one more shot as Christina Tsoukala's attempt was saved by China's goalkeeper Jun Yang who also saw Eletheria Plevritou missing. But the latter one came straight after China's top scorer Guannan Niu couldn't defeat Eleni Kouvdou for Greece so two penalties later, it was lefthander Jing Zhang for China who scored the decisive penalty shot as the Chinese ladies claimed 5th place, their 2nd-best result, following the silver medal in 2011, while Greece settled for 6th place, equalling their ranking at the last edition in Barcelona. Both teams met in the final in 2011 with Greece taking the gold medal there.

Bronze medal

The match got underway with Australia straight having the opportunity to open the score, but as Nicola Zagame intercepted a pass and could went straight onto the Italian goalie Giulia Gorlero, the looked uncertain whether to have a free throw and missed the chance. Two attacks later the Aussie Stingers did score when Zagame feeded Rowie Webster at centre forward who scored with a backhand. Australia went on as Ash Southern drew an exclusion at centre forward and scored it nicely from outside for the 2-0 lead. Italy needed a timeout halfway throught the quarter to regroup as their offence was kept far away from the Aussie goal. It worked straight away with Roberta Bianconi scoring from outside on an man-up, after Brownen Knox received her 2nd major foul already. A minute later it was another extra man that got Italy a goal and the tie: 2-2. Aria Garibotti saw an opening and hit. By now Italy looked to have found the answer. Roberta Aiello got the ball at centre forward on a counter attack and wasted little time turning around to score. With under a minute remaing the first quarter ended up with Italy in the lead 2-3. Australia could quickly level in the second quarter as Rowie Webster hit from the left wing but with exclusions following up quickly, Italy already got the lead back on the other end, thanks to Tania di Mario who shot nicely from outside just being given to much space. Both defensive organisation were well established by now and more turnovers to be seen until Di Mario delivered one of the game's highlights by scoring a trademark semi-lob in the near corner from 8 metres out to get Italy up 3-5 late in the first half. The Setterosa's deep defence caused trouble for the Stingers who didn't looked too confident to shoot. It led Australia scoreless until the big break where the 3-5 score was still displayed.
The Stingers needed another almost half quarter to find the net. Nicola Zagame used the first man-up of the second half for the Aussies to score and perhaps help herself over the burden she created by missing the first minute chance and another close opportunity early in the third. What begane to occure now was the tightened Australia defence managed to get some stops and got rewarded when Ash Southern swam a counter attack with a minute remaining in the quarter, stopped at 6 metres to turn and ship the ball far corner for the tie: 5-5. With man-ups on either sides in the final minute, the chances were there but no goals so the game went into the final period with a balanced 5-5 score and Italy without a goal for 10 minutes. Australia struck first in the final period as Glencora McGhie shot a desperation attempt at the end of the attack from the right side, not handled well by Gorlero who fumbled it into her goal. The following man-up was well defended by the Aussies but less than a minute later captain Di Mario did manage to find the back of the net, being left too open again. The extra man posession were becoming a huge factor now as the Greg McFadden coached squad responded in the following attack nicely freeing Hannah Buckling on the post for the 7-6 lead and 3.50 remaining. But the final stage of the game stayed close. Once more on an extra man it was Italy's Roberta Aiello who scored and tipped in the equaliser (7-7). Now with 2.35 on the clock the game went more tense each team knowing the next goal could become of a decisive proportion. Australia missed a man-up through Southern whose tip-in was blocked but Italy's next attack led to a turnover at centre forward. The next three attacks, including a man-up for the Aussies, led to nothing, with tensions rising high. In the final seconds Italy swam a tired counter attack and had Arianna Garibotti in the position to shoot but her attempt missed power and was blocked so the thriller now went to penalties. Here the thrilling continued. Just one miss proved enough. Hannah Buckling saw her series penultimate penalty shot being saved by Italy's back-up goalie Laura Teani, substituted for Gorlero ahead of this attempt, followed by Arianna Garibotti scoring on the other end for the win and bronze medal match at the 2015 World Championships.

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach
“The key to our game was the penalties. It may be that the penalties go another way.  Some go in and some don’t. We played a very, very good game. When we play against Australia it is a very difficult game. Australia is very difficult, very strong and very physical. Today we came and played with a big heart.”

Elisa Queirolo (ITA)
“It was a very, very good finish. We won this medal. After the match against Netherlands we organised our ideas, did a very good game and we finished in a better way. We deserved it.”

Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach
“We didn’t make the most of our opportunities early. We could have put the game away early, especially when 2-0 up. We let them back. It was positive that we were in for the fight, but I said it before, it’s a shit way to lose. We’re really went out to win, but we didn’t perform to our expectations. Now we have to debrief and see what’s the best way to move forward.”

Ashleigh Southern (AUS) — Two goals in action
“We were feeling pretty confident for the shootout, but it’s all about what happened in the game. We were unlucky. It was always going to be physical. There were some missed opportunities that could have been scored.”

Final

The game got off to a nervous start. Each time eager to set up its defence and not take too many risks on offence led to a silent and patient start of the big final. The deadlock was finally broken by Dutch captain Yasemin Smit who was left open on a counter attack with 2 minutes remaining and scored right past USA goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson. The two next attacks for each time were ended by turnovers but USA got their first man-up in the final seconds but an attempt from Maggie Steffens was well saved by young Netherlands goalkeeper Laura Aarts to maintain the 0-1 advantage after the opening quarter. The score went levelled however in the early stages of the next quarter, and this time on man-up for the USA as Rachel Fattal scored on the team's second attempt that posession. And the American women got the lead for the first time not much later. A shot by Smit for the Netherlands was saved and in the breakaway Maddie Musselman held off Dutch Nomi Stomphorst to score the 2-1 goal. And as the Dutch missed a man-up in the following attack USA could look to extend their lead. The chances kept coming for Team USA. In two more offensive posession they couldn't score, including a man-up, but with 4.27 on the clock yet another exclusion was called on the Dutch defence so that after a timeout the USA could go for another try. This time however, Fattal's shot went over past the goal and in the counter attack Dutch top shooter Lieke Klaassen finished to level the score 2-2 with 3.55 to go in the first half. The Dutch side however kept having trouble setting up their offence agains the physically superior American ladies who kept them far away from goal. It led to another silent phase with exclusion but also saves and no goals so that the defensive battle saw a 2-2 score half-time.

Striking first in the second half was USA, and standout Rachel Fattal who scored on man-up straight away to get the Americans leading 3-2. It took the Netherlands nearly 3 minutes to level, though. Two attacks by the USA were denied and in the following extra man, Maud Megens scored the equaliser as 5 minutes were remaining in the quarter. USA responsed quickly though as Kiley Neushul came through with an action goal from the right side to get her team in front, again. And it could have got worse for the Dutch but a certain looking goal was not called by the line judge. And the Dutch defence withstood another man-up not much later as they now looked to get in foul trouble conceding another exclusion. But with no goal from the US team, any damage was not yet made. But on the other end scoring proved harder and harder for the Arno Havenga coached squad. Whenever a shot was fired, goalie Johnson looked more and more certain adding save after save agains the, mostly contested, shots from the Dutch. Scoring got through finally with just 0.35 to go in the quarter, but it was veteran Courtney Mathewson who did it. She hit from outside for an important goal as now Team USA established a 2-goal lead. The Netherlands had its chance to reduce the deficit in the final moments of the quarter but Smit's goal was blocked by the tight USA defence to withstood another attack and kept its 5-3 lead intact for the final term. Things looked better and better for Team USA whose defence kept holding the Dutch far away from goal and let it slipped just once as Maud Megens went for the drive and earned the penalty, with under 4 minutes remaining, only to see Sabrina van der Sloot's attempt being saved by USA goalie Johnson. The goal for the Netherlands still came in the following attack where Maud Megens got room on the left wing and quickly shot and scored. Now three minutes to go, the tension got back again and Netherlands got fired up for the equaliser. It led to two great chances on counter attack, each of them on man-up, but goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson, once more, was there to make the save and ultimately get USA the 5-4 win as they held on in the final seconds and could celebrate their 4th world championship.

Chris Oeding (USA)_ — Assistant Coach
“The Dutch came out with tempo and physical play and we had trouble early on with forced errors and we were out of synch and were made to work for every goal that we got. There were little nerves on both sides and trading goals early on. What gave us the game was Ashleigh (Johnson) in goal. She gave us a lot of confidence in those moments when most needed. “ On holding all four world trophies at once: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was involved in the last couple and it’s incredible and each is unique in its own way. We have so many new kids on the team. It’s their first.”

Rachel Fattal (USA) — Tournament MVP as voted by Media
“It was surreal. We played well together, we were balanced and our defence we nailed. Ash Johnson is just an amazing player and we played as a team the whole time. If you have an amazing goalkeeper behind you in defence it leads to  (good) offence. There are a lot of newcomers to the team.” On how long she would celebrate the victory: “Just tonight.” On how many of the four crowns she holds: “Three of the four; I did not play the Olympics (London). Hopefully next year will be the cherry on the top.”

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach
“Unfortunately it was not a good evening. I think we played well, but we were not strong enough. I think we can be really satisfied this tournament. Every game we got a bit better. Now we look for the next step and the European Championships in Belgrade, then to Rio (Olympics). We will set new goals.”

Maud Megens (NED) — Daughter of 1991 World Champion Patricia Libregts (NED) and named to Media All Star team
“I get advice from her every game and what I can do better. I have learnt so much from her.” On if she spoke to her mother before the match: “Yes. She wished me luck. She is a nice mother who’s proud of her daughter. I get a lot of that.”

Laura Aarts (NED) — Goalkeeper
“If I look back now I am really pretty happy as we have a very young team and we did a great job. It’s a big shot for us for the future.”


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Final round


Friday, 7 August (women)

Spain (L W41) vs. Russia (L W42) 15-10 (5-3, 3-4, 4-1, 3-2) - W45 (7th/8th place classification)
Spain scorers: Roser Tarrago 4, Laura Lopez 3, Jennifer Pareja 2, Judith Forca 2, Anni Espar, Matilde Ortiz, Pilar Peña, Maica Garcia.

Russia scorers: Evgeniya Ivanova 3, Anastasia Simanovich 2, Ekaterina Lisunova 2, Ekaterina Prokofyeva, Elvina Karimova, Evgeniia Abdriziakova.



China (W W41) vs. Greece (W W42) 13-12 (4-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-3; penalties: 4-3) - W46 (5th/6th place classification)
China scorers: Guannan Niu 5, Zihan Zhao 3, Weiwei Zhang.

Greece scorers: Alexandra Asimaki 4, Stefania Charalampidi 3, Eleftheria Plevritou 2.



Australia (L W43) vs. Italy (L W44) 10-12 (2-3, 1-2, 2-0, 2-2; penalties: 3-5) - W47 (3rd/4th place classification)
Australia scorers: Rowie Webster 2, Ashleigh Southern 2, Hannah Buckling, Glennie McGhie, Nicola Zagame.

Italy scorers: Tania di Mario 3, Rosaria Aiello 2, Arianna Garibotti, Roberta Bianconi. 



USA (W W43) vs. Netherlands (W W44) 5-4 (0-1, 2-1, 3-1, 0-1) - W48 (1st/2nd place classification)
USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 2, Maddie Mussleman, Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul.

Netherlands scorers: Maud Megens 2, Yasemin Smit, Lieke Klaassen.






Final round
Saturday, 8 August (men)

14.00: Australia (L M41) vs. USA (L M42) - M45 (7th/8th place classification)
15.30: Montenegro (W M41) vs. Hungary (W M42) - M46 (5th/6th place classification)

20.30: Greece (L M43) vs. Italy (L M44) - M47 (3rd/4th place classification)
22.00: Croatia (W M43) vs. Serbia (W M44) - M48 (1st/2nd place classification)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.Final rankings

1. USA
2. Netherlands
3. Italy
4. Australia
5. China
6. Greece
7. Spain
8. Russia
9. Hungary
10. Brazil
11. Canada
12. Kazakhstan
13. New Zealand
14. France
15. Japan
16. South Africa


USA settles for world domination and all the trophies
United States of America became the first team in history to hold Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and World League crowns at the same time when it beat Netherlands 5-4 in the gold-medal final tonight.
Netherlands was denied a second gold medal after winning in Perth in 1991 and now has five silver medals from this event. For the USA it was a fourth title after victories in 2003, 2007 and 2009.
Twice champion Italy won the bronze medal over Australia in a penalty shootout, closing the match at 7-7 and winning the penalties 5-3 for a 12-10 victory.
Greece was involved in its third penalty shootout in four days — two for men — when it came back seven times against China for 9-9 to force the five shots. However, like the men the night before, Greece lost the shootout, 3-4 in China’s 13-12 victory.
In the classification match for seventh, outgoing champion Spain beat Russia 15-10.
Media Awards
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERRachel Fattal (USA)
MEDIA ALL STAR TEAMGOALKEEPER
Ashleigh Johnson (USA)
CENTRE FORWARD
Kami Craig (USA)
FIELD PLAYERS
Zoe Arancini (AUS)
Roberta Bianconi (ITA)
Rachel Fattal (USA)
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN)
Maud Megens (NED)

Match 48: 22:00, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  5 NETHERLANDS 4
Classification 1-2 (Gold Medal)
Quarters: 0-1, 2-1, 3-1, 0-1
Referees: Sergey Naumov (RUS), Massimiliano Caputi (ITA).
Extra Man: USA: 1/11. NED: 1/7.
Pens: NED:  0/1.
Teams:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (1), Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (1), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot, Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (2), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.
Match Report:
USA made it a clean sweep of all the women’s water polo trophies with a 5-4 victory over the Netherlands. USA trailed only in the first period and had a two-goal margin for much of the final period. Dutch captain Yasemin Smit scored the opening goal at 1:59 with a bouncer on the right side of the pool to take a lead to the second quarter. It was not long before USA was on the board as Rachel Fattal, voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored from the left at 7:00. Madeline Musselman added another on counter and USA was in its usual, comfortable position in front. Nearly three minutes later Lieke Klaassen upset the lead on counter herself for 2-2. Later in the period, Dutch head coach Arno Havenga gained a yellow card. The long break came and went and it was Fattal who proved her worth to the team at 6:55 with a second goal. Maud Megens, out to emulate her mother, 1991 World Championship gold medallist Patricia Libregts, scored her 12th of the tournament on extra from the left-post position. Kiley Neushul scored down the right at 4:36 and it looked like another USA shot went across the line, but it was denied as it bobbled on the line at 3:31. Never mind, USA scored through Courtney Mathewson from shot from the top that went straight down to the left corner for 5-3 at 0:35. The Dutch called a timeout, however, nothing came from talk and the final break of the championship arrived. The crucial third period was won 3-1 by the USA. Catharina van der Sloot had a penalty attempt blocked by goalkeeper of the tournament Ashleigh Johnson (USA) at 4:02 of the final period, but the Dutch weren’t out of the picture as Megens, named to the Media All Star team, received a long cross pass to beat Johnson for 4-5 at 3:13. She scored four goals in the semifinal against Italy, proving she is a big-game player. In the final minute, Johnson made two crucial saves that gave USA victory, proving her the best goalie of the Championship.
MIXED ZONE QUOTES:
Chris Oeding (USA)_ — Assistant Coach“The Dutch came out with tempo and physical play and we had trouble early on with forced errors and we were out of synch and were made to work for every goal that we got. There were little nerves on both sides and trading goals early on. What gave us the game was Ashleigh (Johnson) in goal. She gave us a lot of confidence in those moments when most needed. “ On holding all four world trophies at once: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was involved in the last couple and it’s incredible and each is unique in its own way. We have so many new kids on the team. It’s their first.”
Rachel Fattal (USA) — Tournament MVP as voted by Media“It was surreal. We played well together, we were balanced and our defence we nailed. Ash Johnson is just an amazing player and we played as a team the whole time. If you have an amazing goalkeeper behind you in defence it leads to  (good) offence. There are a lot of newcomers to the team.” On how long she would celebrate the victory: “Just tonight.” On how many of the four crowns she holds: “Three of the four; I did not play the Olympics (London). Hopefully next year will be the cherry on the top.”
Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach“Unfortunately it was not a good evening. I think we played well, but we were not strong enough. I think we can be really satisfied this tournament. Every game we got a bit better. Now we look for the next step and the European Championships in Belgrade, then to Rio (Olympics). We will set new goals.”
Maud Megens (NED) — Daughter of 1991 World Champion Patricia Libregts (NED) and named to Media All Star team“I get advice from her every game and what I can do better. I have learnt so much from her.” On if she spoke to her mother before the match: “Yes. She wished me luck. She is a nice mother who’s proud of her daughter. I get a lot of that.”
Laura Aarts (NED) — Goalkeeper“If I look back now I am really pretty happy as we have a very young team and we did a great job. It’s a big shot for us for the future.”

Match 47: 20:30, AUSTRALIA 10 ITALY 12 in penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens: 3-5)
Classification 3-4 (Bronze Medal)
Quarters: 2-3, 1-2, 2-0, 2-2. Pens: 3-5.
Referees: Frances Buch (ESP), Vojin Putnikovic (SRB).
Extra Man: AUS: 2/10. ITA: 2/9.
Pens: Nil
Teams:
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (1), Hannah Buckling (1), Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster (3), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern (3), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.
ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (2), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello (2), Tania di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (2), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.
Match report:
Italy came from one behind to be level at 7-7 with Australia and went on to win the penalty shootout. At the start, Nicola Zagame had two open chances, but did not follow through at the start of the match, the first time unsure if it was her free throw or not on counter. Rowena Webster opened the scoring with a centre-forward backhand, followed by an Ashleigh Southern shot on extra for 2-0 by 5:04. Then Italy came alive with three unanswered goals through captain Roberta Bianconi, Arianna Garibotti, both on extra, and a centre-forward shot from Rosaria Aiello. Three goals in two minutes exactly. A last-gasp shot from Webster cross the bar and Italy had the lead at the first break. Webster equalised from deep left after the exclusion period at the start of the second period and Tania di Mario found a channel down the middle on extra for 4-3 on the next attack. The Aussie Stingers took a timeout, but the attack was hesitant as much as Italy’s confidence was building. That confidence soared to new heights as di Mario sent in a lob from halfway into the top right for 5-3 at 2:23. Italy tried a timeout ploy unsuccessfully, but still had a two-goal buffer for the second half. Zagame missed an excellent one-on-one opportunity at the start of the third period and made up for it with a extra-man strike for 4-5 at 4:51. It was only the second goal for Australia in 16 minutes of play. A timeout each and there were no rewards. Southern collected her second goal on counter, electing to bounce in off the right post from six metres at 1:06 for 5-5. Italy lost the ball on a full attack and Australia did not shoot in the 26 seconds it had before the final break. Italy was kept scoreless for more than 10 minutes. The 36-year-old di Marion, Olympic champion in 2004, won the swim for the final quarter. Glencora McGhie spun a ball in through Giulia Golero’s hands for the opening goal from wide right at 7:02, regaining the lead for the first time since the late first quarter. Australian captain Bronwen Knox gained her third major foul and di Marion scored her third of the match and 10th of the tournament at 4:53 for 6-6. Hannah Buckling converted extra-man off the left post for 7-6 at 4:16. Both teams did not score and then when Italy regained the ball and called timeout, an ejection was called against Webster giving Italy a man up, which Aiello proudly tipped in off the near-post position on the left for 7-7 at 2:46. Federica Radicchi went for three majors but the Aussie shot was blocked. Italy had the ball stolen and at the other end controversy as Holly Lincoln-Smith was driving for goal and the ball turned over as she shot. Italy lost the ball at the end as the match went into the final minute. Southern shot from five metres and bounced over the top. Garibotti’s shot was blocked and the match went to a shootout — the second of the day’s short programme. Italy started first and there ewere eight straight scores before a change of goalie by Italy brought Laura Teani into play. She was responsible for stopping Hannah Buckling’s shot for Australia and Garibotti sent in the winner to the delight of her team-mates. Australia and Italy are in the club of five nations to win all colours of medals at World Championships. Australia won the inaugural title in 1986 and collected two silvers, including at Barcelona in 2013, and has one bronze. Italy has two crowns, from Perth 1998 and Fukuoka 2001; one silver and now two bronzes.

The Italian team celebrating the bronze medal - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

FLASH QUOTES:
Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach“The key to our game was the penalties. It may be that the penalties go another way.  Some go in and some don’t. We played a very, very good game. When we play against Australia it is a very difficult game. Australia is very difficult, very strong and very physical. Today we came and played with a big heart.”
Elisa Queirolo (ITA)“It was a very, very good finish. We won this medal. After the match against Netherlands we organised our ideas, did a very good game and we finished in a better way. We deserved it.”
Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach“We didn’t make the most of our opportunities early. We could have put the game away early, especially when 2-0 up. We let them back. It was positive that we were in for the fight, but I said it before, it’s a shit way to lose. We’re really went out to win, but we didn’t perform to our expectations. Now we have to debrief and see what’s the best way to move forward.”
Ash Southern (AUS) — Two goals in action play“We were feeling pretty confident for the shootout, but it’s all about what happened in the game. We were unlucky. It was always going to be physical. There were some missed opportunities that could have been scored.”

Match 46: 15:30, CHINA 13 GREECE 12 in penalty shootout (FT: 9-9. Pens: 4-3)
Classification 5-6
Quarters: 4-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-3. Pens: 4-3
Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Gyorgy Kun (HUN)
Extra Man: CHN: 1/2. GRE: 1/5.
Pens: Nil.
Teams:
CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (5), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (1), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (4), Weiwei Zhang (2), Xinyan Wang (1), Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi (4), Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (4), Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou (2), Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Match Report:
This was a match that seemed assured of a penalty shootout as the teams were equal throughout. China was never headed and Greece had to come back seven times to level. It was also a match dominated by the stars. China’s new sensation was Guannan Niu and she did not disappoint. Coming into the match she had a scored 13 goals. Today she netted five, including two in the last. Zihan Zhao scored three to lift her to 19 for the championship. On the other side of the ledger, it was powerhouse centre forward Alexandra Asimaki, who scored four goals from centre forward in her inimitable style. Her fast sweep at 1:19 was the leveler that forced the shootout. Greece went first, missing the second and fourth attempts, while China missed its third, sadly by Niu. With the match locked at 12-12, it was left to Zhang Weiwei to end the match for a 4-3 penalty win. China finished ninth in Barcelona two years ago and took the silver medal behind Greece in 2011. Greece was sixth in Barcelona, just two years after winning in Shanghai, its sole medal at this level.

CHN vs GRE - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

FLASH QUOTES:
Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach
“I think they were excellent. I changed five players in January, including two, two-time Olympians. They played tactically smart. They don’t get emotional.” On his quiet demeanour on pool deck: “I’m not the type of coach who yells and screams at the girls. Coaching is for practices. I’m proud that they played every single match with more confidence, especially on offence and counter attack.”
Dunhan Xiong (CHN) — 17 years oldOn her first experience of a World Championship: “I was so nervous, but it was also exciting.” On the best match: “Against Australia, because we came so close to top four.” On what she did when she made the water: “I went into centre and I tried my best to shoot each time.”
Alexandra Asimaki (GRE) — Four GoalsOn having to come back to level the match all the time: “I don’t know why that happened. I think we played a lot better today and it was a different China from before. We were OK on offence and we equalised a lot. We played with more passion, at least. We want to go to Rio (2016 Olympics) so badly as we were not in London after some big successes. It’s hard to qualify in a structure like this and only eight teams. We have to work more. Our team can make it. I believe in my team.”

Match 45: 14:00, SPAIN 15 RUSSIA 10

Classification 7-8

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

Referees: Radoslaw Koryzna (POL), Nenad Peris (CRO).

Extra Man: ESP: 2/9. RUS: 5/14.

Pens: ESP: 1/1. RUS: 2/2.

Teams:
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz (1), Jennifer Pareja (2), Clara Espar, Pilar Pena (1), Judith Forca (2), Roser Tarrago (4), Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez (3), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (1), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich (2), Ekaterina Lisunova (2), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (1), Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (3), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

Match report:
Outgoing world champion Spain was too strong for Russia, finding gaps all over the pool in which it could manoeuvre. The match was played at a great pace, due more to poor defence at both ends as players managed to display their shooting prowess. Spain had the two-goal quarter advantage and stretched the margin to 7-4. Evgeniya Ivanova converted a penalty at 4-6, but after Laura Lopez gave Spain the three-goal margin, Ivanova struck twice more as Russia levelled at 7-7 late in the second quarter. However, Spain went to 10-7 and 12-8 by the end of the third and a victory for the Russian Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko, was not looking good. Russian captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva converted a penalty to start the fourth period for her 12th goal of the tournament, only for Spain to grab two more for 14-9, putting the match well beyond the reach of Russia, who finished the 2013 edition in Barcelona in fourth position while in Shanghai four years ago it was a bronze medal. In fact, Russia had finished no worse than fourth since 2003 and has four bronze medals from World Championships. For Spain it was a big drop from top spot in Barcelona but far better than 11th in Shanghai. In the individual standings, Ivanova top-scored for Russia with 15 goals and Roser Tarrago’s four goals today lifted her to best with 14.

ESP vs RUS - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

FLASH QUOTES:

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach


España, séptima tras vencer a Rusia (15—10)


07/08/2015 - La selección española de waterpolo femenino ha firmado este mediodía la séptima posición final en el Mundial de Kazan 2015. Las chicas de Miki Oca han vencido a Rusia en la lucha por el séptimo puesto en un partido con muchos goles y en el que no ha habido mucha intensidad. Nuestras Guerreras Acuáticas cierran un círculo triunfal tremendo tras encadenar plata en Londres 2012 y oros en Barcelona 2013 y Budapest 2014, pero lucharán por volver en el Europeo de Serbia del próximo enero.
Comenzaban mejor las nuestras en este último partido en tierras rusas. Las anfitrionas querían ofrecer buena imagen a sus aficionados, pero han visto como España se marchaba al término de los primeros ocho minutos con un 5-3 favorable tras las dianas de Mati Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja, Judith Forca, Roser Tarragó y Anni Espar. Han recortado distancias las caucásicas, que han llegado a igualar el marcador en el segundo periodo (7-7), pero el gol de Ru Tarragó de penalti hacía que el marcador al descanso reflejase un 8-7.
Han poco menos que sentenciado las nuestras la séptima plaza en un tercer cuarto que se ha saldado con 4-1 gracias a la puntería de Laura López (2), Pili Peña y Ru Tarragó (12-8). Los últimos ocho minutos han sido un trámite y el resultado final reflejaba un 15-10 con el que se despiden nuestras chicas tras un Mundial raro, en el que no tuvieron suerte al cruzarse con USA en cuartos y en el que perder un solo partido te condena a no luchar por los metales. Pero nadie duda de su valía y de que serán capaces de levantarse. Y no tardaremos mucho en comprobarlo. Nos vemos en enero en Serbia: Europeo y Juegos de Río en juego!
FICHA DEL PARTIDO:
Foto: Servicio especial para RFEN. Judith Forca pugna con una jugadora rusa este mediodía/ 



España, duro cierre ante la anfitriona Rusia


06/08/2015 - Duro cierre de las actuales campeonas europeas y mundiales (en este caso, hasta el viernes) frente a la anfitriona Rusia (13,00 horas), un equipo complicado que perdió en los penalties ante Grecia cuando ganaba con comodidad y que querrá despedirse de su público con victoria. Nuestra selección, por su parte, desea acabar con la dinámica de dos derrotas (Estados Unidos y China) que ya solo nos deja la lucha por la séptima plaza de estos Campeonatos del Mundo KAZAN2015.
Una plaza sin consuelo alguno para un equipo que a 364 días de los JJOO de Río debe construir de nuevo, desde hoy mismo aquí en Kazan, los cimientos del equipo que busque una plaza en el Preolímpico sí o sí y ya en los Juegos defender e incluso superar la plata de los Juegos de Londres.
El estatus del Waterpolo mundial cambia tras este Campeonato pero es verdad que hay ocho e incluso algún equipo más que optan siempre a las medallas, entre ellos España, que ha tenido un larguísimo ciclo ganador de Londres a Budapest. Alguna vez iba a tocar perder y ha sido aquí en Kazan y frente al peor rival posible en cuartos, Estados Unidos, llamada este viernes a ser la nueva campeona del Mundo si Holanda -campeona olímpica en 2008- no lo remedia. Ahora, a ganar a Rusia y acabar con victoria un Mundial amargo pero del que deben extraerse respuestas para seguir creciendo y mejorando. Ánimo, España!
R.G.-S. (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). 

******


Tantalising Croatia-Serbia gold-medal final in men’s water polo

Olympic champion Croatia will play World Cup and World League champion Serbia in the gold-medal final of men’s water polo on Saturday.

Croatia needed a penalty shootout to surpass the fast-finishing Greece, which twice did a Houdini trick to secure the penalty round following the quarterfinal win over Australia.

For Croatia it means Olympic qualification by making the final and gives it a chance to add World crown to its Olympic title.

Serbia bolted out of the gate against Italy, racing to a 4-0 quarter en route to a 10-6 victory in its rush for gold.

The winner of the bronze-medal match will gain the second Olympic berth from this tournament. Serbia, as World League champion, has already qualified so Croatia goes and one other.

In the round 5-8 semifinals, Montenegro beat Australia 11-8 after leading 5-1 early in the second quarter and Hungary rebounded from its loss to Italy by downing United States of America 13-8 in an entertaining match.

In the two classification matches, Canada beat Brazil 12-10 in a penalty shootout after the match for ninth was tied at 7-7 by fulltime and Kazakhstan, thanks to a tournament-high seven goals from Alexandr Axenov beat South Africa 11-7 for 11th.


August 8 Schedule

Classification 7-8

14:00, AUS v USA

Classification 5-6


15:30, MNE v HUN

Classification 3-4 (Bronze medal)

20:30, GRE v ITA

Classification 1-2 (Gold medal)

22:00, CRO v SRB


Match 44: 22:00, ITALY 6 SERBIA 10
Classification 1-4 Semifinal
Quarters: 0-4, 2-4, 2-1, 2-1
Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).
Extra Man: ITA: 2/12. SRB: 3/7.
Pens:  Nil.
Teams:
ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio (1), Alessandro Velotto, Pietro Figlioli, Alex Giorgetti (1), Andrea Fondelli (2), Massimo Giacoppo, Nicholas Presciutti, Niccolo Gitto, Stefano Luongo (1), Matteo Aicardi, Fabio Baraldi (1), Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.
SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic (1), Zivko Gocic (1), Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk (1), Dusko Pijetlovic (1), Slobodan Nikic, Milan Aleksic (1), Nikola Jaksic (1), Filip Filipovic, Andrija Prlainovic (1), Stefan Mitrovic (3), Branislav Mitrovic. Head Coach: Dejan Savic.
Match Report:
Serbia made sure of its trip to the gold-medal final and expunge the memory of 2013 when it could do no better than seventh. With a sparkling performance in the first quarter that left Italy in a flurry of whitewater and four goals in deficit, Serbia was THE team, the one to watch and from which to gain inspiration and stare in awe. The shock tactics proved useful in keeping Italy softened up throughout. Italy gained some respect in the second quarter, scoring the 1-4 and 2-6 goals before Serbia closed the half through and extra-man slap goal from Nikola Jaksic from point blank and then Stefan Mitrovic’s third goal on counter. As he lobbed, veteran goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti, Italy’s captain, followed through and touched Mitrovic, who left the pool. At 8-2 there was no way anyone could come back to Serbia, let alone the spirited Italians. Two of the earlier goals came on counter, so Serbia has the requirements in all parts of the field to arrest the opposition, convict them, jail them and throw away the key. Italy attempted a breakout with Andrea Fondelli from the top and Fabio Baraldi with a superb centre-forward catch and shoot for 4-9 at the start of the third period. Dusko Pijetlovic moments earlier showed Baraldi how to play that shot. Italy could not say it did not have chances. There were plenty of opportunities, but poor options and excellent blocking meant Serbia held the five-goal advantage to the final break. The jailer was still standing outside the cell and no food was being sent in. Milan Aleksic converted extra-man attack from the top to start the fourth period and 10-4 was such a hurdle. Italy continued to smash at the door and Fondelli, who had not scored before tonight, netted his second with a deft lob at 5:01. At 2:31, Stefano Luongo scored from deep left, just to say he could after four previous knocks. It was the close of scoring and sets up a mouth-watering final.
FLASH QUOTES:
Dejan Savic (SRB) — Head Coach“It will be a great final, the two best teams in this championship. Today we started strong and produced a very good game in the first two periods. It was easy to make the result to the end. We are happy and congratulations on one more step to our goal.
Zivko Gocic (SRB) — Captain''We played very, very good. I think the key was in that in the first two quarters we scored three or four goals from set plays. We knew the Italians would be tactically well prepared and that if we would go on to a man-up/man-down game, it would be good for them. But we managed to score the, let's say, normal-play goals and got up 0-4 and 2-8. That was the key.'' On Croatia in the final: ''Believe me, this will be a totally different match, because we are from the same school. But to get the gold medal you have to win every match and now we need just one more.''
Alex Giorgetti (ITA)“I suppose it was a battle, a fight. Today Italy may have shown fear of Serbia. We had anger against Hungary with fire in our eyes. We are a young team and we don’t have any maturity. To have a great team you have to work a lot more. It was a catastrophe. In a semifinal it’s important not to see 8-2. Incredible. I was very angry, sad. So, I am one of the oldest players, also it is my fourth championship. I have to support my friends, play for third place and the bronze medal, also the Olympic Games qualification. We have to stand up and make a great match.”
Match 43: 20:30, CROATIA 15 GREECE 13 in penalty shootout (FT: 10-10. Pens: 5-3)

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

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

Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Daniel Flahive (AUS).

Extra Man: CRO: 4/14. GRE: 4/11

Pens: GRE: 1/1.

Teams:

CROATIA: Josip Pavic, Damir Buric, Antonio Petkovic (1), Luka Loncar (2), Maro Jokovic (2), Luka Bukic (1), Petar Muslim (3), Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno (3), Fran Paskvalin, Andelo Setka (1), Paulo Obradovic (2), Marko Bijac. Head Coach: Ivica Tucak.

GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Mylonakis (2), Georgios Dervisis, Konstantinos Genidounias, Ioannis Fountoulis (2), Kyriakos Pontiekas, Christos Afroudakis (2), Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis (1), Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas (1), Angelos Vlacholopoulos (3), Stefanos Galanpoulos. Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos.

Match Report:

Greece tried to sneak in through the back door for the second consecutive match, but Croatia shut the door instead in the penalty shootout. Croatia had the better of the first quarter with Luka Loncar  (centre forward) and Sandro Sukno (top) scoring for a 2-0 lead. The response came from Ioannis Fountoulis on penalty and the final strike from Luka Bukic, son of the famous Perica Bukic (deep left-hand catch), 26 seconds from the break. Greece outplayed Croatia in the second quarter with goals to Angelos Vlachopoulos (top), Konstantinos Mourikis (centre forward) and Fountoulis on extra. Paulo Obradovic (centre forward backhand) and Petar Muslim (extra) scored the 4-1 and 5-2 goals. The fact that Greece scored the last two goals had Croatia a little worried going into the main break. Goals were traded in the third with Croatia leading at 6-4 through Loncar’s second from the near-post position on extra, Vlachopoulos from the top, Muslim on extra from deep left and captain Christos Afroudakis on extra into the bottom right for 7-6 in favour of Croatia at 2:26. Afroudakis tried a backhander from six metres soon after only to be blocked. Maro Jokovic made the most of a foul outside five with five seconds remaining, scoring for an 8-6 advantage. In the fourth, Afroudakis shot from the top on extra, but Obradovic on extra had it out to two again. Vlachopoulos nailed his third from the top on extra for 9-8, the Sandro Sukno sent in one of the fastest shots seen from outside for 10-8. Emmanouil Mylonakis took a beautiful cross pass and scored for 9-10 at 1:42. The 2486 paying spectators were in raptures as Greece went to a timeout and came in for the equaliser through post man Christodoulos Kolomvos, who steered in a pass from Fountoulis with just 27 seconds left in the match. By now three Greeks and two Croatians were fouled from the match. Croatia had the ball stolen on its attack and this sent the match to a penalty shootout. Croatia was without Andro Buslje and Paulo Obradovic for the shootout. Greece had Konstantinos Genidounias, Kyriakos Pontikeas and Evangelos Delakas sidelined. Greece had come back for a shootout, like in the quarterfinal with Australia. Croatia had the clean sheet in shooting and it was, sadly, Fountoulis, the man who has given so much to Greece in Kazan, including 14 goals, who missed the second shot in the rotation. Croatia was through and, with it, an Olympic qualification spot for Rio de Janeiro.


CRO vs GRE ©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

FLASH QUOTES:

Josip Pavic (CRO) — Goalkeeper
''This is what we wanted to do this summer. Take two medals and qualify for the 2016 Olympics. We succeeded and are extremely happy. From tomorrow onwards we'll start thinking about the final game. We played a tough game. We led most of the time, but couldn't beat Greece 'KO', because they're a great team. Unfortunately it went to penalties, but we had prepared these.''
Theodoros Vlachos (GRE) — Head Coach
“Not a good finish. Just one penalty away from historical moment for Greece water polo. This is life. We came to play the semifinals. I was very, very satisfied the way we played the tournament and we had a new game today we don’t normally play, the semifinal of the World Championship, but we found the solutions to finish equal.” On two consecutive shootouts after beating Australia in the quarterfinals: “Both teams, Australia and Greece, also Croatia and Greece deserved to be winners. The last game was more luck with better shots. You need to be lucky with the goalkeeper. This difficult finale not good for us, but good for Croatia.”
Christos Afroudakis (GRE) — Captain
“The sport is like this. You must be lucky in pursuit of penalties. In the beginning we were not so focused and nervous.”

Match 42: 17:00, HUNGARY 13 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 9

Classification 5-8 Semifinal 

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

Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Sergey Naumov (RUS).
Extra Man: HUN: 2/5. USA: 2/10.
Pens: Nil:

Teams: 

HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras (1), Balazs Erdelyi (1), Marton Vamos, Norbert Hosnyanszky (2), Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Daniel Varga (2), Denes Varga (3), Krisztian Bedo, Balazs Harai (4), Attila Decker. Head Coach: Tibor Benedek.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Merrill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido (1), Josh Samuels (1), Tony Azevedo (3), Alex Bowen, Bret Bonnani (3), Jesse Smith, John Mann (1), McQuin Baron. Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic.
Match Report:
Hungary, not used to fronting for early games at the sharp end of the tournament, made sure of a fifth-place berth against Montenegro with a solid showing against USA. The big story of the opening stanza was the centre-forward efforts of Balazs Harai, scoring three goals as Hungary went 5-2 to up early in the second quarter. The big two-metre man Harai flicked in a rebound for 1-0, scored a backhand for 4-2 and then turned at three metres and scored for 5-2. Daniel Varga rocketed in two goals and Denes Varga, one of the leading scorers, broke a five-quarter drought to score Hungary’s 7-4 goal in the last minute before halftime. Bret Bonanni, the highest goal-scorer at last year’s FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan, scored at 3-2 and 6-4, continuing the multi-goal theme. USA was in touch of Hungary but, while the Magyars made their goals look easy, the north Americans had to work hard. Luca Cupido opened the second half with a bouncer from six metres and Bonanni netted on the next USA attack for 6-7. USA gained many defensive rewards, denying Hungary hot opportunities. Denes Varga caught the defence unawares with a sharp shot off the hand at top left for 8-6 at 2:40. Harai scored his third from exceptional play in front of goal off a cross pass for 9-6. Norbert Hosnyanszky from deep left and Azevedo from seven metres started the final quarter. It went to 11-7 through Denes Varga on extra, scoring his third for the match and 17th for the championship. Hosnyanszky surprised everyone, including his defender from very deep right, scoring off the right on an acute angle most coaches would decry. Azevedo for his third and Norbert Madaras for only his second of the tournament, progressed the score to 13-8. John Mann finally gained some reward for tireless work in front of goal, scoring his seventh in Kazan for 9-13, the final score.


HUN vs USA ©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

FLASH QUOTES:

Tibor Benedek (HUN) — Head Coach
“I think it is better. When the US came back to one goal difference, we restarted the game (7-6 in third quarter). We shot better. From two days ago the difference was our action goals, making seven. In Hungary we always do nice actions goals. They came today, but not two days ago (quarterfinal against Italy).”
Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach“I am proud of my guys. This is the third tournament in a row and we are running out of energy. If you don’t have energy and power, you don’t have control. You need to be fresh. It is not easy to play. We are more than satisfied with our goals this year. We qualified to the Olympic Games, played good in the tournament at Bergamo (World League Super Final). We have one year in front of us to prepare well.”
Jackson Kimbell (USA)“We wanted to go to the fifth play-off and finish on a high note. It’s better than 7-8. Our goal was solid team defence and offence, put shots on cage and make them block, not go over and stop their counter attack. We wanted to win five-man and six-man game; I don’t think we did that. Don’t give up natural goals or at centre.”

Match 41: 15:30, MONTENEGRO 11 AUSTRALIA 8
Classification 5-8 Semifinal
Quarters: 4-1, 1-1, 4-4, 2-2
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).
Extra Man: MNE: 2/6. AUS: 3/12.
Pens: 2/3.
Teams:
MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan (1), Vjekoslav Paskovic (1), Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan (2), Aleksandar Radovic (2), Mladan Janovic (4), Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic (1), Nikola Murisic, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Head Coach: Ranko Perovic.
AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell (2), George Ford, John Cotterill (2), Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, Aiden Roach (1), Aaron Younger (2), Joel Swift, Mitchell Emery, Rhys Howden, Tyler Martin (1), Joel Dennerley. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.


MNS vs AUS ©Andrea Staccioli Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto
Match report:
Montenegro had the stronger motivation from the beginning and used a great start to earn a play-off for fifth position on Saturday. Montenegro and the Brguljan brothers set the tone of the match with a terrific start that caught the Aussie Sharks unawares. They still looked shell-shocked from losing a penalty shootout against Greece two nights ago. It was Aleksandar Radovic who set the ball rolling with two long missiles either side of an Aidan Roach extra-man goal. Then Darko and Drasko Brguljan scored for 4-1 by the break. Darko scored again on the first attack of the second after Vjekoslav Paskovic won the sprint, denying Australian skipper Rhys Howden his 12th straight win and damaging his ranking as the top sprinter in Kazan. Aussie head coach Elvis Fatovic (CRO) switched his goalkeepers and it took four long minutes before the next goal came, from John Cotterill on extra at 3:05, the only other goal of the period. Richard Campbell, who has been having a quiet tournament, slotted two long shots on extra man for 4-5. Radovic had a chance on penalty, but Stanton-French blocked it. Mladan Janovic lobbed on counter and Aaron Younger scored the first of two goals in just over a minute, split by an Aleksandar Ivovic penalty conversion for 6-7. Younger’s second, and 17th for the tournament, was a rocket from eight metres off a cross pass, bouncing above the goalkeeper’s left arm. Janovic converted extra at 2:07 and Paskovic fired a chance shot to the bottom left when undefended and it popped up under Stanton-French’s arm into the goal for 9-6 at 0:47 to close the period’s scoring. Cotterill scored from the bottom left cross cage and Janovic responded next attack with a five-metre shot for his third of the match and 10th of the tournament. Two minutes later Tyler Martin accepted a centre forward pass and hit the goalkeeper with the shot, flicking in the rebound for 10-8 at 2:54. Both teams lost the ball on attack and then Montenegro gained a penalty, which Janovic converted for 11-8 to secure victory. 
FLASH QUOTES:
Drasko Brguljan (MNE) “It’s not normal for us to start so fast as we were 4-0 down against Croatia. I think it was a very good match. We and Australia lost in the quarterfinals and it’s always very difficult. Australia led (in the quarters) and a last-minute goal sent them to penalties and lost. Australia is a very strong team and at the Olympic Games I hope we will not be in the group with them. “
James Stanton-French (AUS) — Goalkeeper
“The motivation was OK. We were struggling with the little things we had previously talked about, coming back on defence, the five-metre fouls and execution of fouls. We are getting a never-say-dies reputation. We get three behind and get back into it. The little things were wrong and we got punished for them. For the next game (play-off for seventh) we are not playing for a medal, but we have a reputation (to maintain) the way we want to be seen. We’ll give it everything we’ve got and finish the tournament with a win.”

Match 40: 12:10, CANADA 12 BRAZIL 10 in penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens: 5-3)
Classification 9-10
Quarters: 2-2, 1-1, 2-3,2-1. Pens: 5-3
Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ).
Extra Man: CAN: 1/9. BRA: 1/8.
Pens: CAN: 1/1. BRA: 1/1.
Teams:
CANADA: Robin Randall, Con Kudaba (3), Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (2), Justin Boyd (2), David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham, Matt Halajian, John Conway (3), George Torakis, Jarrod McElroy (2), Dusan Aleksic. Head Coach: Alexander Beslin.
BRAZIL: Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes, Ives Gonzalez, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes (1), Adrian Delgado (3), Felipe Silva, Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone (2), Gustavo Guimaraes (2), Josip Vrlic (2). Head Coach: Ratko Rudic (CRO).
Match Report:
Canada came from two goals down to level the match with Brazil at 7-7 and go on to win a penalty shootout. The flawless display from the penalty line proved enough to end what was a long, hot summer for Brazil with so many tournaments. There was nothing in the match in the first half and the third also went goal for goal with Adrian Delgado scoring five seconds from the final break for 6-4 only to have Canada take a timeout and goalkeeper Robin Randall firing the ball the length of the pitch to Nicolas Constantin-Bicari to score on the buzzer. Justin Boyd levelled at 6-6 and Jarrod McElroy at 7-7 by 3:27 with plenty of action until the final minute. In that minute there was drama aplenty — firstly when after a timeout Canada fired the ball off the torso of the goalkeeper over the back line with 11 seconds left, both referees missed the contact and Brazil surged forward. Perrone took a 5m shot with just seconds left and he was pushed on the shot by a defender, but it was missed also. Brazilian head coach Ratko Rudic saw it and protested loudly, however, the match went to a penalty shootout. Guilherme Gomes was the unlucky shooter to have his shot blocked by Randall with everyone else scoring until 12-10. For Canada it was one placing off its finest hour, eighth in Rome in 2009. It was Brazil’s best finish at this level, two places higher than 12th in 1998 and 1986. Not surprisingly, former Spanish international Felipe Perrone ended his team’s highest scorer in Kazan with 13 goals, closely followed by former Croatian Josip Vrlic, the big centre forward, who scored 12. Perrone scored in the shootout, but these do not count towards the tournament’s highest goal-scorer competition. Canada’s best scorer in a team where the goals were well spread, was John Conway with 10, two of which came from the penalty line. He also scored the opening goal of the shootout.
FLASH QUOTES:
Alexander Beslin (CAN) — Head Coach“The only thing I can say is that today we played Brazil and Kazakhstan (referring to the Kazakh referee). The interesting part is that in the first period we had a chance to finish the game we had so many counter attacks and chances and everything. To come from two goals down was excellent.” On being one place lower than Canada’s best at World Championships: “Definitely not satisfied as our goal was top eight. Being ninth is a small step backwards.”
Vinicius Antonelli (BRA) — Goalkeeper“It’s very hard for me as I am the smallest goalkeeper in the championship, perhaps in the world (he laughs). To get the right side is hard. Twice I go right, but the ball slid under. The other goalkeeper he defended the first shot. It’s a little bit technique and a lot luck. I had hoped to help my team-mates. However, when we were two goals up we gave them presents. When the team (down) gets some scores they go more excited to the penalty shots.”

Match 39: 10:50, KAZAKHSTAN 11 SOUTH AFRICA 7

Classification 11-12

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

Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN).

Extra Man: KAZ: 3/11. RSA: 1/7.

Pens: RSA: 2/2.

Teams:

KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (1), Aleksandr Axenov (7), Roman Pilipenko, Vladimir Ushakov, Alexey Shmider (1), Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov (1), Yevgeniy Medvedev (1), Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich, Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.

SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux, Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock, Joao De Carvalho (2), Dayne Jagga, Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux (3), Nicholas Molyneux (2), Wesley Bohata, Julian Lewis. Head Coach: Paul Martin.


RSA vs KAZ ©Andrea Staccioli Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Match report:

Kazakhstan is on an upward trend at World Championships with its 11th place win over South Africa equalling its best finish — 11th in Perth in 1998. In fact, Kazakhstan has improved one position in each of the last four editions starting with 14th in 2009. A busy first quarter and three goals to sharpshooter Alexandr Axenov, gave it a buffer that was trimmed in the second quarter. The third saw the swing go back to Kazakhstan and Axenov’s fifth goal in the fourth period, followed by left-hander and captain Sergey Gubarev’s goal, handed a 9-5 advantage at 6:32. Axenov blasted from the top for his sixth at 2:08 and seventh at 1:15 and South Africa’s fate was determined. Axenov, who started the match with 15 goals, the equal highest of the championship, took his tally to an almost unbeatable 22. The two teams clashed in the group stage with Kazakhstan winning 14-3, so it was a huge improvement by the African qualifier. It was South Africa’s highest finish at a World Championship, beating its best of 13th in Rome in 2009. South African captain Pierre Le Roux scored three and ended as his team’s top scorer with seven goals, five of them penalty conversions, including two today. South Africa scored twice in the final minute with Joao de Carvalho form in front and Nicholas Molyneux with his second from a 10m lob.
FLASH QUOTES:

Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach
“This was much better compared to the last time we played them (14-3). Our target for development was to get better game by game. Our game plan was to make sure he (Axenov) didn’t score. We tried too much on defence and made the wrong decisions. Man for man we have competed here , but (lack of) experience told. We are as physical as any team around, just inexperienced. It was our best result (at a World Championship) so I am very happy with that. Some scores might not reflect that, but we were competitive for two quarters in each game. We made the big guys play.”



Croatia tops Greece on penalties, meets Serbia in final - Kazan day 12

The 12th day of water polo action at the 2015 world championships in Kazan started off with Kazakhstan equalling their best result at world championships stage by finishing 11th after knocking off South Africa 11-7. Team top scorer Alexandr Axenov took off for a tournament game-high 7 goals making a push to become the tournament highest goal-scorer with a total of 22. Although Kazakhstan led most of the game South Africa stayed close for three quarters but, unable to stop Axenov from scoring, had to settle for the loss in the final period. Regardless, finishing 12th also marks the best result at world championships for South Africa, the previous being 14th (1998 and 2007).

Canada came close to their best result (8th) at world championships by claiming the 9th position at the 2015 edition after edging Americas rivals Brazil on a penalty shootout 12-10 in an exciting battle. A took a while for the fire to be ignited but when that happened in the second half the game between the two familiar opponents saw an exciting battle for 9th place being contested. It was Brazil who looked to close out the quarter by gaining a 2-goal lead as Adria Delgado scored his 2nd of 3 goals from the left wing on man-up after some good passing by the Brazilians but after a beautiful full-length pass by Canada goalie Robin Randall in the last seconds, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari catched and scored to get Canada back to within 1: 5-6. Scoring proved difficult in the first half of the final period due to turnovers and several saves by Randall who more and more stepped up. Canada let Brazil pay the price on the other end when Justin Boyd broke the deadlock after nearly 3 minutes scoring a nice outside shot, only to see Brazil top scorer Delgado scoring on a quick reply not even 20 seconds later. Canada started their quest for the important equaliser and finally got it 2 minutes later after Brazil centre back Felipe Silva was excluded and Jarrod McElroy hit when time expired. In the final minutes both teams got their shots at what could have been the winning goal but especially Brazil let down on their man-ups missing 2 straight. Canada did with just 16 seconds remaining before Felipe Perrone took the final shot of regulation but, heavily guarded, could not beat Canada goalie Randall. In the shootout the strong-looking Randall wasted no time in stepping up once more. He saved Brazil's very first attempt, by Guilherme Gomes, and as all others went in, it was Nicolas Constantin-Bicari who decided the outcome by scoring the last one of the series as Canada won 12-10 and took 9th place while Brazil had to settle for 10th, still their best ever result at world championships.

The second pair of the games saw the 5th-8th place classification semifinals being contested. First up were Montenegro and Australia, meeting each other for the second time after their 5-5 draw in the group stage. The Montenegrins wasted little time in grabbing control of the game as they fired away from outside and as Australia goalkeeper Joel Dennerley did not played his best game, had success early on. Aleksandar Radovic hit twice nicely and after Drasko Brguljan scored on man-up in the second period Montenegro was up 5-1. For the Aussie Sharks, not looking quite the team from the first half of the tournament, Aiden Roach scored a nice one from the left wing to get Australia back to trailing 5-2 at half-time. In the third period signs of a Sharks comeback appeared as Richie Campbell started contributing. The talented shooter, quiet this tournamen so far, scored twice in a row identical goals from outside as now Australia got back to 5-4. Not much later Montenegro got awarded a penalty shot, but Aleksandar Radovic hit the upright bar of goalie James Stanton who got in after the first period replacing the unlucky Joel Dennerley. Two attacks later Montenegro did had success when Mladjan Janovic finished a counter attack with subtle lob. And Montenegro continued as centre forward Filip Klikovac beautifully drew a penalty, converted by Aleksandar Ivovic. Tournament standout Aaron Younger struck back scoring from way out as Australia came back to trailing just a single goal (7-6) with 2.30 remaining in the third period. The game basically went back and forth at this stage as the next goal was scored by Mladjan Janovic who shot around 2 defenders on man-up to restore Montenegro's 2-goal lead. There things got worse for Australia. First a goal by Tyler Martin was disallowed as his defender Janovic was excluded during the drive, the subsequent man-up led to a turnover and then Vjekoslav Paskovic scored a goal left side near corner surprising James Stanton who'd thought to have that side covered. So after three quarters, suddenly Montenegro was up 9-6. The game hopped on the final period without any highlights before, after an extra man where Darko Brguljan lost handle of the bal, Australia struck in the counter attack with Jarrod Gilchrist scoring from the left side. Montenegro's response, once more, did not took long. Mladjan Janovic hit of a free throw to once more restore order. Despite Australia struggling more on the offensive end they did score when Tyler Martin tipped in his own rebound in between two Montenegrin defenders to get the Sharks back to 10-8, but with 2 minutes remaining, time became an issue. Especially when two attacks later Mladjan Janovic continued his stellar play drawing a penalty and scoring it. With the score at 11-8 the final minute was announced. Australia missed a man-up and by then the match looked well played as Montenegro could use their time. And so despite tying the Montenegrins for three quarters, losing the first one 4-1 and falling behind 5-1 in the second term proved to cost Australia the game, eventually losing by 3.

Next up were Hungary and USA determing who will play Montenegro for 5th place. Both teams experienced tough losses in the quarterfinal with especially Hungary heart-broken after falling to Italy. It was Balazs Harai who quickly got the Hungarians up in front, but Tony Azevedo on his second try of a free throw succeeded for the 1-1 score. Hungary then went up 3-1 after Daniel Varga scored cross cage from the right side and Balazs Erdelyi, a player in the American college NCAA competition for 4 years, tipped in the ball after a nice drive, just enough over the goal-line before USA goalkeeper McQuin Baron grabbed it back. Goals were exchanged again as Bret Bonanni hit but Harai scored his 2nd of the game on a nice backhand with under a minute remaining in the first quarter for the 4-2 lead for the dethroned champion. In the second quarter a deadlock marked the first minutes and was finally broken by Hungary's Balazs Harai scoring a nice turnaround centre-forward goal. But after Josh Samuels struck back for USA, it was Denes Varga who joined the group of scorers ending a drought of almost an entire game netto time with a nice shot from outside around his defender. The Magyars continued to seek control but got surprised by Bret Bonanni who caught goalkeeper Attila Decker by surprise in the near corner to get USA back trailing 2 goals: 6-4. But before the first half was concluded, Hungary struck back. After nice passing Daniel Varga catched and shot from outside to have the Magyars going into the major break leading 7-4.
In the second quarter each team committed a turnover before Luca Cupido scored for Team USA reducing the deficit back to two: 7-5. And when Bret Bonanni hit nicely from the left wing on man-up in the following attack for the Americans, the score was now back to the closest margin. Several minutes went by again with teams having hard time to finish set plays. USA did earned exclusions but could not convert twice. The score got back to two for Hungary by the goal of the game as Denes Varga suddenly shot, guarded by Alex Bowen, from 7 metres out, to skip it into the roof of the goal. And Hungary pushed forward as standout Harai scored another one on a nce feed from Marton Vamos from the right side. Now USA had again to fight back from a 3-goal deficit as Hungary had established a 9-6 lead going into the final period. The match for 5th place seemed even further away for the Americans quickly into the 4th quarter as Norbert Hosnyanszky surprised USA goalie Baron in the near corner to extend the lead to 10-6. Tony Azevedo stepped up for USA shooting past Attila Decker on a quick catch-and-shoot goal to reduce the deficit with 5 minutes remaining. But Denes Varga was there to make things worse for USA scoring his 17th goal of the tournament nicely as only he's capable of. From the left wing on extra man Varga quasi-nonchalant scored cross cage for the 11-7 score as over 4 minutes remained. The exclamation point came from Hosnyanszky who fired off from the right wing as time expired to surprise Baron over the head. Hungary led 12-7 and with the game just 2.50 away from its end, the outcome looked decided. Azevedo added his 3rd goal by scoring on man-up after a timeout but by the walk he made back to the bench, also knew the game was played. The scoring wasn't over over however. In the very next attack veteran lefthander Norbert Madaras got on the board for just his 2nd goal of the tournament after catching and shooting from outside before John Mann hit on a nice drive at centre forward to raise the score to 13-9 with over a minute left. Both teams played out the clock in the final minute and with the score unchanged Hungary will play for 5th place facing Montenegro on Saturday while USA meets Australia for 7th.

Semifinals

After a slow start, the 3-minute deadlock was broken by Croatian starting centre forward Luka Loncar who made a nice turn at his position to score. Greece got an extra man two attacks later but couldn't finish as Emmanouil Mylonakis saw his shot being saved by next season's team-mate at Olympiacis, Josip Pavic. On the other end Sandro Sukno showed off his shooting skills. Slowly threathening he beautifully scored under the crossbar on man-up for the 2-0 lead deep into the quarter. Greece finally had success. Centre forward Konstantinos Mourikis made the nice drive, earned a penalty, which was scored by Ioannis Fountoulis. Croatia's first chance to extend the lead was well defended by Greece on man down but a minute later, it was Luka Bukic who ended up on the right side and at the end of the period, scored cross cage to put his team up 3-1 at the end of the quarter. The second period saw Croatia establishing its defence that caused Greece trouble even reaching their ever-dangerous centre forwards. The slow-pacing, physical defence had its success, especially after Paulo Obradovic took Greece captain Christos Afroudakis to the centre forward for the fierce bank-handed goal and 4-2 lead. Greece responded in the following attack. The Greek offence got set, got their positions and Angelos Vlachopoulos had time, and saw his attempt, deflected, going past Pavic midway through the second period. Croatia in this phase though looked the the upper side and it didn't took long for them to restorde their 3-goal lead. Petar Muslim was given too much time on the left wing on man-up and made the Greek team pay for it by scoring turning up the score to 5-2 with 4 minutes to play in the half. The break-through for Greece was up at hand though. In the following possession they finally reached Konstantinos Mourikis at the centre-forward position with room to turn as he scored straight away and got Greece back to 5-3. And there was more. Christodoulos Kolomvos got Greece another extra man posession not much later and Fountoulis was at the end of it scoring from his left wing: 5-4. That score didn't changed until the end of the half despite Croatia earning a man-up with 7 seconds remaining, which couldn't be finished as Damir Buric' tip-in was blocked.
At the beginning of the third session things didn't looked too different, and Croatia struck first again. Luka Loncar, like in the first half, scored. This time being the final station on a nice man-up play to put the score to 6-4, almost halfway through the quarter already. But like the goal ignited Greece's hunger to come back, it was Kolomvos who drew another exclusion in the following attack and the man-up was again well played leading an open Angelos Vlachopoulos who delivered. Coming close? Well, not too much for Croatia. After earning a man-up, Petar Muslim continued his stellar play this tournament on the left wing scoring one his trademark goals around the defender. However, the Croatians couldn't enjoy their 2-goal lead too long as in the following posession in a phase where exclusions were flying around, Greece captain Christos Afroudakis stood up on offence scoring nicely from outside on man-up to get the Greek back within one: 7-6. And with over a minute left in the quarter, the game slowly got onto an expected close final. But with a 2-goal lead for Croatia restored. Maro Jokovic fired one home of a free throw for Croatia as now the reigning Olympic champion led 8-6 with just eight minutes to be played. But Greece wasn't to back down now. On one of their many extra mans (double digits by then) Alexandros Gounas nicely hit around his defender on the left corner. By this time however getting a stop on the other end became an issue for Greece. Paulo Obradovic scored his 2nd of the game from right wing on man-up just 30 seconds later to get Croatia back up on a 2-goal difference, again. And that was with just over 5 minutes remaining in the match. More than enough time, one would reckon. It proved so. Croatia missed a man-up via Luka Bukic and on the other end, Vlachopoulos didn't miss so that the score was brought back to 9-8. Still however the exclusions were flying around, and after a Croatian miss by Muslim, it was Fran Paskvalin who drew another kickout that was finished by Sandro Sukno incredibly. He threathned long, in one rhythm only to shoot, no-look, and score above the Greek goalie Flegkas' head for the 10-8 score. Like one would expected Greece got back once more. Afroudakis threw a quick pass to Emmanouil Mylonakis who didn't hesitated and scored to get the 2005 world championships bronze medal winning nation back to trailing 10-9 with under a minute remaining. In the next attack Croatia was finally denied and now Greece found temselves earning another exclusion on the centre-forward position with a timeout left and 35 seconds to go. The timeout was taken and Greece did it. After good passing, Kolomvos scored from the post with just 27 seconds on the clock for the equaliser, at last. Croatia took a timeout, put in 2 centre forwards but no exclusion could be drawn in the tense final seconds, despite 2 attempts of reaching either Paskvalin or Buric so that a shootout was next up with the 10-10 score, to decide the thriller. In the penalty series it was Croatian goalie and 2012 FINA world player of the year Josip Pavic who decided things. Knowing 2016 Olympic Games qualification was at stake, he denied Ioannis Fountoulis scoring and that proved enough as his team-mates all did score so that Andelo Setka had the honour of netting the winning penalty shot as celebrations were ignited and Croatia qualified for the 2015 world championships final and 2016 Olympics.

Italy got off to a man-up straight away in their first attack but couldn't start the scoring. Who did was Andrija Prlainovic who furociously scored on another extra man to get Serbia up 0-1. It got better when a fierce and ready-looking defence by Serbia denied Italy another goal after centre back Nikola Jaksic was excluded. But in the counter attack Milos Cuk came free and could score easily to get Serbia even leading 0-2 with 4.29 to play in the first period. That intensity was the key in the opening period for Serbia who ran another quick counter attack in which Stefan Mitrovic drove nicely and got open in front of Italy goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti to score for 0-3. Things got worse for the Italians as another exclusion was called against them, and after the Serbia man-up looked denied, Dusan Mandic got the ball and blasted a rocket in the near corner for the incredible 0-4 score with 3 minutes remaining. Italy couldn't change it in the second period. Serbia played an extremely tightened defence but were also quick on the counter attacks. That got Stefan Mitrovic and Zivko Gocic in front of Tempesti and both scored to extend the lead to 5 and 4 goals, as Alex Giorgetti and Francesco di Fulvio saw shots from outside, in case of Giorgetti on man-up, finally getting behind Serbian goalie Branislav Mitrovic, who got the start in favour of Gojko Pijetlovic. Serbia kept drawing exclusion and at the end of the first half, even two times in a row. The second time, it was a goal as youngster Nikola Jaksic got the pass on the post for the tip in as the Serbs continued to stun the crowd at the Water Polo Arena in Kazan by now leading 2-7 with a minute remaining in the first half. A turnover by the European champion was not taken properly by Andrea Fondelli for Italy so turned into a free throw for Serbia. Dusko Pijetlovic took it, passed onto the driving Mitrovic who scored another goal as now the Dejan Savic coached side closed the first half by leading a stunning 2-8.

In the third quarter it was Italy who struck first in their attempt to close in on the Serbs. Andrea Fondelli got the ball after an offensive foul on Prlainovic in the previous posession and scored cross cage. But it didn't last long... Dusko Pijetlovic got open in the next attack just enough to receive a perfect pass and blast it behind Tempesti to restore the 6-goal difference. An almost identical goal was scored in the very next attack, for Italy, as Fabio Baraldi catched and shoot to score and get Italy back to trailing 4-9. In the remainder Italy finally got a hold to the many exclusions but kept having trouble with finishing of their man-ups. But as the personal fouls started to be called slowly but surely more in the direction of the Serbs, especially in the transition, the chances kept coming. Overcoming the Serbian defence, also on man-down, still proved a burden. Even three more man-up in the final minutes of the third period were denied, but also in set plays the Italians could not force a way of getting to the Serbian goal. The scenario looked to continue in the final session. Here Italy got theirself an extra man but fierce Serbian defence held them from scoring. On the other end Milan Aleksic got time on the 6-on-5 posession and shot the ball deep left past Tempesti for the 4-10 score and, with 6 minutes remaining, an even possible decision. It didn't meant the scoring was over, though. An Italian attack that was almost over got promoted into a goal by Andrea Fondelli who lobbed way over Mitrovic to score and get the Alessandro Campagna coach side to trailing 5-10 with 4.45 to go. It took the Italians until the 2.30 mark before another goal be scored. After Filip Filipovic was excluded, again on the transition, Stefano Luongo finished from the left wing and got the score up to 6-10. But time was running out. And after the two more Serbina attacks, after Tempesti had to tip a Milos Cuk shot from way out, the believe on the Italian side looked virtually gone. The final minute turned into a formality, with eather side knowing the outcome. Celebrations started among the Serbian fans in the stadium and on the Serbian bench as the Dejan Savic coached side avanced to the final and will try to play for the first world championships gold medal since the memorable 2009 edition in Rome where they defeated Spain on penalties.

Zivko Gocic (SRB) - Captain
''We played very, very good. I think the key was in that in the first two quarters we scored three or four goals from set plays. We knew the Italians would be tactically well prepared and that if we would go on to a man-up/man-down game, it would be good for them. But we managed to score the, let's say, normal-play goals and got up 0-4 and 2-8. That was the key.'' On Croatia in the final: ''Believe me, this will be a totally different match, because we are from the same school. But to get the gold medal you have to win every match and now we need just one more.'' 

Dejan Savic (SRB) — Head Coach
“It will be a great final, the two best teams in this championship. Today we started strong and produced a very good game in the first two periods. It was easy to make the result to the end. We are happy and congratulations on one more step to our goal.

Alex Giorgetti (ITA)
“I suppose it was a battle, a fight. Today Italy may have shown fear of Serbia. We had anger against Hungary with fire in our eyes. We are a young team and we don’t have any maturity. To have a great team you have to work a lot more. It was a catastrophe. In a semifinal it’s important not to see 8-2. Incredible. I was very angry, sad. So, I am one of the oldest players, also it is my fourth championship. I have to support my friends, play for third place and the bronze medal, also the Olympic Games qualification. We have to stand up and make a great match.”


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Semifinal round

Thursday, 6 August (men)

Kazakhstan (L M33) vs. South Africa (L M34) 11-7 (4-2, 1-2, 2-1, 4-2) - M39 (11th/12th place classification)
Kazakhstan scorers: Alexandr Axenov 7, Sergey Gubarev, Alexey Shmider, Rustam Ukumanov, Yevgeniy Medvedev.

South Africa scorers: Pierre le Roux 3, Joao de Carvalho 2, Nicholas Molyneux 2. 



Canada (W M33) vs. Brazil (W M34) 12-10 (2-2, 1-1, 2-3, 2-1; penalties: 5-3) - M40 (9th/10th place classification)
Canada scorers: Constantin Kudaba 2, John Conway 2, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Justin Boyd, Jarrod McElroy.

Brazil scorers: Adria Delgado 3, Josip Vrlic 2, Felipe Perrone, Gustavo Guimaraes.



Montenegro (L M35) vs. Australia (L M36) 11-8 (4-1, 1-1, 4-4, 2-2) - M41
Montenegro scorers: Mladjan Janovic 4, Darko Brguljan 2, Aleksandar Radovic 2, Drasko Brguljan, Vjekoslav Paskovic, Aleksandar Ivovic.

Australia scorers: Richie Campbell 2, Johno Cotterill 2, Aaron Younger 2, Aiden Roach, Tyler Martin.



Hungary (L M37) vs. USA (L M38) 13-9 (4-2, 3-2, 2-2, 4-3) - M42
Hungary scorers: Balazs Harai 4, Denes Varga 3, Norbert Hosnyanszky 2, Norbert Madaras, Balazs Erdelyi.

USA scorers: Tony Azevedo 3, Bret Bonanni 3, Luca Cupido, Josh Samuels, John Mann.



Croatia (W M35) vs. Greece (W M36) 15-13 (3-1, 2-3, 3-2, 2-4; penalties: 5-3) - M43
Croatia scorers: Luka Loncar 2, Petar Muslim 2, Paulo Obradovic 2, Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic.

Greece scorers: Angelos Vlachopoulos 3, Ioannis Fountoulis 2, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Christos Afroudakis, Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas.

Italy (W M37) vs. Serbia (W M38) 6-10 (0-4, 2-4, 2-1, 2-1) - M44
Italy scorers: Andrea Fondelli 2, Francesco di Fulvio, Alex Giorgetti, Stefano Luongo, Fabio Baraldi.

Serbia scorers: Stefan Mitrovic 3, Dusan Mandic, Zivko Gocic, Milos Cuk, Dusko Pijetlovic, Milan Aleksic, Nikola Jaksic, Andrija Prlainovic.



Final round

Friday, 7 August (women)
14.00: Spain (L W41) vs. Russia (L W42) - W45 (7th/8th place classification)
15.30: China (W W41) vs. Greece (W W42) - W46 (5th/6th place classification)

20.30: Australia (L W43) vs. Italy (L W44) - W47 (3rd/4th place classification)
22.00: USA (W W43) vs. Netherlands (W W44) - W48 (1st/2nd place classification)

Final round

Saturday, 8 August (men)

14.00: Australia (L M41) vs. USA (L M42) - M45 (7th/8th place classification)
15.30: Montenegro (W M41) vs. Hungary (W M42) - M46 (5th/6th place classification)

20.30: Greece (L M43) vs. Italy (L M44) - M47 (3rd/4th place classification)
22.00: Croatia (W M43) vs. Serbia (W M44) - M48 (1st/2nd place classification)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

*****



USA on verge of historic water polo clean sweep
Olympic, World Cup and World League champion United States of America is one win away from the clean sweep of women’s water polo crowns after beating Australia 8-6 in the first medal semifinal today.
USA will face Netherlands, who beat Italy 10-9 in the other semifinal where Italy forced a shootout after being 1-5 down at halftime and scoring the only four goals of the final two periods. In the shootout, both teams scored three from five in the first rotation and Netherlands won through on the fourth sudden death shot, when Giulia Emmolo had her shot blocked by the right hand of Dutch goalkeeper Laura Aarts.
In the classification round 5-8 semifinals, China held off Spain 10-9 after being 10-7 ahead with five minutes remaining. Greece scored with a second remaining against Russia to force a shootout, which it won 4-3 for a 16-15 victory.
Hungary bowed out in a disappointing ninth position, defeating Brazil 22-7.
In the classification match 11-12, Canada beat Kazakhstan 20-4, improving on the 17-4 score in their group match on day two.
August 7 Schedule
Classification 7-8
14:00, ESP v RUS
Classification 5-6
15:30, CHN v GRE
Classification 3-4 (Bronze medal)
20:30, AUS v ITA
Classification 1-2 (Gold medal)
22:00, USA v NED

Match 44: 22:00, ITALY 9 NETHERLANDS 10 in sudden death penalty shootout (FT: 5-5. Pens: 3-3. SD: 1-2)
Classification 1-4 Semifinal
Quarters: 0-2, 1-3, 1-0, 3-0. Pens: 4-5
Referees: Sergey Naumov (RUS), Nenad Peris (CRO).
Extra Man: ITA: 1/11. NED: 0/6.
Pens:  ITA: 0/1.
Teams:
ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi (2), Rosarie Aiello (1), Tania di Mario (2), Roberta Bianconi (1), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.
NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Catharina van der Sloot (3), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (4), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (2), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.


ITA vs NED ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia

Match Report:
Italy scored four unanswered goals in the second half to force a 5-5 draw and go to a penalty shootout, which it lost 4-5 in sudden death. The first-half heroics of Maud Megens meant the Dutch will go to their first final since their last appearance after four consecutive in 1994. Netherlands held sway for most of the first half, keeping the Italians scoreless until the last half minute. Leading the charge for the Dutch was 19-year-old Megens scoring four goals, including all three Dutch scores in the second quarter. Her centre-forward backhand, climbing high out of the water, was sensational. Then, with just eight seconds on the clock, her fourth crossed the line from outside seven metres. Her first came on counter and the second was after extra-man attack from the top. She was born for the big matches, having scored three in the quarterfinal against Russia. Italy had the first big opportunity of the match when Roberta Bianconi took a penalty shot; her blast hit the cross. Federica Radicchi netted Italy’s sole goal of the half, from seven metres, clipping a player and spinning into goal. Almost apologetically, she laughed. There was lots of effort for no reward in the third period until Arianna Garibotti sent one into the bottom right from about eight metres at 1:33 for 2-5. The game had come alive. The defensive record of both teams on man-down defence was flawless by the final break. With the Dutch off the boil, Radicchi took the opportunity to arrow one in from top left for 3-5 at 6:33. The closest Netherlands came to a good shot was just before 11pm when Megens hit the crossbar from centre forward. Then the unthinkable happened as on extra the ball zipped across to the far post where unguarded Elisa Queirolo accepted and scored at 3:52 for 4-5. The stunned Dutch watched in horror as Rosaria Aiello snapped in a centre-forward backhand at 2:34 while being lightly guarded. It was 5-5 and the stadium had awoken, although Netherlands still appeared a little sleepy.  Italy was pressuring the Dutch into long shots. Italy called a timeout with two seconds left after a Dutch shot and Tania di Mario’s attempt at a deflect was too high and the match went to a shootout. Netherlands was kept scoreless in the second half and gold-medal-final dreams were dimming. In the shootout, both teams missed two shots and it went to sudden death. Both Lieke Klaassen and di Mario netted. Then Catharina van der Sloot converted. Giulia Emmolo, who missed in the first rotation, had her attempt blocked by the right hand of Laura Aarts and the Dutch were through to the final.
FLASH QUOTES:
Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach''Our first two quarters were simply phenomenal. But in the second half the basic problem was to score. I believe that if we had done that in the third, we could have decided the game by then, but instead, playing a smart team as Italy, it hurts you in the end. But the girls have showed great resilience and as we had prepared possible penalties very well, we knew that even in a shootout we had very good chances to win. Even this morning I got a tape of the penalty series Russia-Italy at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, so we were aware of what was coming by the time the shootout started. Now USA in the final. A very, very good team. But we will be prepared. My team is gaining confidence every match this tournament so far and we'll see how good we are on Friday.''
Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach“We were no good in the first half of the game and we didn’t start faster like other games. In the second half I liked the energy of my team and arrived at the last quarter in a more interesting position. The penalty shootout is a lottery. I just want to see a glass full and not half empty.”

Match 43: 20:30, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 8 AUSTRALIA 6
Classification 1-4 Semifinal

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

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: USA: 0/4. AUS: 2/6.
Pens: AUS: 0/1.

Teams:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (1), Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (2), Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul, Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (1), Kami Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith (1), Keesja Gofers (1), Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster, Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (1), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.


USA vs AUS ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia

Match Report:
USA, who snatched a buzzer-beating goal for a 5-5 score at halftime, went on to beat Australia by two goals. A defensive structure adjustment at halftime served USA well to earn a gold-medal final shot. The first quarter saw USA open the scoring through Kami Craig at centre forward, followed by two goals from the Aussie Stingers — Keesja Gofers on extra and Holly Lincoln-Smith with a centre-forward backhand. Madeline Musselman effectively used a five-metre foul to net the equaliser at 1:44. Nicola Zagame scored off a high pass into two metres to open the second quarter followed more than a minute later by USA captain Maggie Steffens off a cross pass to the right. Makenzie Fischer drove down the left and scored into the bottom left to give USA a 4-3 lead at 5:07. At 3:41, Ash Southern swept in the ball from centre forward and slightly off centre, an unusual position for the big outside shooter. Glencora McGhie gave Australia the 5-4 advantage with a score from top right just inside three minutes. Australia used a timeout at 1:36, but the USA defence forced the Stingers well out and USA spelled at 0:10. The ploy was successful as Rachel Fattal scored her 15th goal of the championship from nine metres, skipping into the right side on the halftime buzzer for 5-5. The pressure was on in the third quarter and only one goal came, that from Steffens, receiving a long angled pass to the left post, catching on her back and scoring for 6-5. Fattal scored from the top at the start of the fourth and Australia struggled in the following minutes to get any traction. USA found it hard to penetrate as well until at 2:48 Mel Seidemann sent in a screamer. It hit the upright, bounced into the back of the head of Lea Yanitsas and into goal for 8-5 at 2:48. Australia had a chance on penalty, but Zoe Arancini’s shot was blocked by Ashleigh Johnson. Arancini made amends soon after with a conversion on extra for 8-6 at 1:10. Southern had a big shot with 20 seconds left but Johnson was there to make sure USA went to the final.

FLASH QUOTES:
Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head CoachOn what led to the win: “Our defence in the second half. We made some adjustments at halftime as we were out of sorts in the first half. All credit to Australia for this. For us to hold them to one goal in the second half is fantastic.” On the pressure of being a favourite for the title: “Pressure is a privilege, you must be doing something right. You have to put yourself in a position to be successful. We lost to Italy and I think they are playing the best in the tournament. We know it will be extremely hard (final) and Holland is just getting better. It will be a tough final.” 
Rachel Fattal (USA) — Two GoalsI think we played very good in defence We talked about it before the game and being able to use our counter and set up our offence.” On knowing Australia so well: “It’s good to know who we play, their tendencies and such. It’s good and bad. We don’t want to become too comfortable. I love playing them because they always give us a good game.”
Bronwen Knox (AUS) — Captain.
In the second half we made some individual mistakes. We worked hard on defence and then individual areas let us down. There were also missed opportunities in attack.” On the word from the coach before the match: “We were looking for desperation in defence. Gradually our lapses gave them goals, some easy goals, especially the one just before halftime. It was annoying.”



Match 42: 17:00, GREECE 16 RUSSIA 15 in penalty shootout (FT: 12-12, Pens: 4-3)

Classification 5-8 Semifinal 


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

Referees Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Gyorgy Kun (HUN).
Extra Man: GRE:  1/7. RUS: 3/17.
Pens: Nil:

Teams
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (2), Stefania Charalampidi (2), Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou (2), Alkisti Avramidou (2), Alexandra Asimaki (1), Antigoni Roumpesi (4), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou (1), Eleni Xenaki (1), Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (3), Elvina Karimova (1), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (4), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (1), Anna Timofeeva (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (5), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.


RUS vs GRE ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia

Match Report:
In an incredible game of consecutive goals and turnarounds, Greece plundered the match from Russia, firstly forcing the tie and then winning the shootout. Greece had all the answers in the opening seven minutes, leading 4-0. Then a sensational minute came for Russia with three goals, including two in the last 18 seconds with one on the buzzer. The match had changed and not just that period, but in the next when the Russian sickle cut deep with the first three goals for a 6-4 turnaround. Greece had the better of the next stanza, scoring three of the four straddling the halftime break to level the match at 7-7. Evgeniya Ivanova, who scored the 7-5 goal, then put away consecutive scores for 9-7. Greece dragged it back to 8-9 by the close of the third and then Russia drilled three goals for what seemed an unassailable 12-8 advantage by 4:47. Ivanova converted extra for the 12th. Then Greece decided to have a run of fun with goals from Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, captain Antigoni Roumpesi, centre forward Eleni Xenaki and the all-important equaliser on extra, one second from time by Alkisti Avramidou. The stadium fell silent as a shootout loomed. Greece shot first and Christine Tsoukala bounced the second shot into the bar. Russia went to 15-14 ahead after the third rotation, but while Greece scored its final two shots, Russia had both blocked for Greece to emerge the victor.
FLASH QUOTES

Stefania Charalampidi (GRE) — Two Goals“To tell the truth we have been preparing for this match for some time. (After shooting to a 4-0 lead) we started making mistakes. Our coach told us to keep our heads high. Even in the fourth (when four down) we were not scared. Our coach said three minutes is so much time to make the goals. We kept screaming to each other ‘We have got this, we have got this’.”
Alexandra Asimaki (GRE) — Centre Forward“We have won! We wanted to win and finish fifth rather than last. It is a really good thing we win, however, all the best games are in the final four. It was not our best game, but at 4-0 we started well. We played the last minute as if we were in the final four, even like this.”
Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain“In the first quarter when the was a four-goal differential, we started to play and score. When we had a four-goal advantage (at the end) and lost we were sad. We wanted to win this to prove we are good. In the shootout we hoped up until the end to win. We all know the shootout is a lottery where anything can happen, but we still believed we could win.”
Match 41: 15:30, SPAIN 9 CHINA 10
Classification 5-8 Semifinal

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

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Daniel Flahive (AUS).
Extra Man: ESP: 5/14. CHN: 2/8.
Pens: CHN: 0/1.

Teams:
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (1), Clara Espar, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (3), Roser Tarrago (1), Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez (2), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei (1), Dunhan Xiong (1), Guannan Niu, Yating Sun, Donglun Song (4), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (4), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).


ESP vs CHN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia
Match report:
China consigned outgoing champion Spain to the play-off for seventh with a clinical display, bereft of too much emotion. The plan was there to play with “a little anger” as head coach Rick Azevedo (USA) said afterwards. This is what China did, taking the early lead, surrendering it at 4-5 late in the second quarter and regaining it midway through the third, never to relinquish it. From 5-6, China scored three quick goals for 8-7 with the youngest player (sitting up and claiming the eighth goal. China was well served by Zihan Zhao, a revelation at this tournament. She scored the first two goals, the fifth and the seventh, while team-mate Donglun Song equalled here efforts with the third, fourth and last two, which came at the top of the fourth for 10-7. Her third was exceptional, tipping on a high pass over her head at two metres. It was a match of multiple scorers with Spain’s Judith Forca scoring the last three in just over a quarter. Spain had chances in the final two minutes to equalise, but China was cool and defended for victory.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach“We wanted to get top four at this tournament. We have a young team and came here to learn. We know we are good enough for top four. My 18 year-old (Xiohan Mei) got a great outside shot and we’re really looking good for Rio (Olympic Games). I had special tactics to play against Spain today and they 95 percent followed that.  I told them to play with a little bit of anger today, especially after our (quarterfinal shootout) loss to Australia.  The young ones stepped up and the defenders did a great job. The youngers ones have to play as good as the four veterans.”
Zihan Zhao (CHN) — Four Goals and 16 for Tournament“I want every game to my best and score many goals. I have only been playing water for four years and I love it. I don’t think too much, just go and play the game. I love scoring goals.”  On the best moment at the tournament: “Australia,” she said referring to the climactic encounter. 
Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach“We didn’t play very well today and made many mistakes on defence. We ewren’t very good.  China played the centre well and we were expecting that. Now we just have to get seventh position.”


Match 40: 12:10, HUNGARY 22 BRAZIL 7

Classification 9-10

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

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Dion Willis (RSA).
Extra Man: HUN: 3/6. BRA 0/5.
Pens: HUN: 1/1.

Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal, Dora Kisteleki, Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi, Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka, Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini, Amanda Oliveira, Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten (CAN).


HUN vs BRA ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia 
Match Report:
Hungary did what was required to claim ninth place and prove to the players that they were capable of a top-eight finish and good enough to mix it with the best. Brazil struggled against the desire of Hungary to show people back home that they are worth following and that they have the capability of bouncing back at upcoming championships. Brazil went several long periods without goals and had trouble containing the counter-attack game of Hungary. Rita Keszthelyi hammered home five goals with Dora Kisteleki and Barbara Bujke lifting their scores as well. Keszthelyi staked her claim for the highest goal-scorer award, leaving Kazan with 21 goals. Bujka was second best with 14. On the other side of the ledger, Izabella Chiappini netted twice and leaves with a tally of 17, the second best so far. Hungary’s ninth place is a long way down from titles in 2005 and 1994 and seven places off its podium finish in Barcelona in 2013. Ninth place in 2011 was previously the lowest finish. For Brazil, heading into the Rio Olympics as host, 10th equalled its best performances from 2007, 2001 and 1998. It
has played every edition except the first in 1986.
FLASH QUOTES
Orsolya Takacs (HUN) — Captain“We are very disappointed as we worked a lot during the year. I don’t know what didn’t work. Physically we were right, mentally maybe not. We have to work on it from September for the European Championships (Belgrade in January) and then the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for Rio. There si a very high level here and USA is the best physically and mentally and everything, but also the first eight are very good. There is a little difference of one or two goals in the teams.”

Match 39: 10:50, CANADA 20 KAZAKHSTAN 4
Classification 11-12
Quarters: 4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 6-0

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Cory Williams (NZL).
Extra Man: CAN: 1/5. KAZ: 2/8.
Pens: CAN: 1/1. KAZ: 0/1.

Teams: 
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens (5), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier (3), Carmen Eggens (4), Christine Robinson (2), Stephanie Valin (2), Dominique Perreault (1), Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva (1), Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic (CRO).


CAN vs KAZ ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia

Match report:
Spurred on by a five-goal haul to Monika Eggens, Canada ripped through Kazakhstan with some handsome quarter margins. Canada came into the play-off with a +10 scoring differential so could be considered unlucky not to finish higher, but three-goal losses to both Greece and Hungary consigned it to this classification. Canada and Kazakhstan clashed in their group with Canada making it a 17-4 game, suggesting that today the margin needed to be bigger for its esteem and depart Kazan on a good winning note. Monika Eggens temporarily went top of the tournament-scoring list with 16 as her team’s best finisher. For Canada it was the worst performance at a World Championship, having contested every edition and finishing no worse than eighth in the past two and having finished on the podium four times. Kazakhstan, in finishing 12th, was one place down the ladder from two years ago and better than four editions stretching back to 2003. Its best performance and only one in single figure, was eighth in 2001. Anastassiya Mirshina finished her team’s best scorer with 13.

FLASH QUOTES:
Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach“Before the game I asked the players, do you want to play for Canada, for me, for your team-mates? Do you believe in yourself? What do you want? Find the right solution. I think we played together, we were talking in the pool, so it was good communication.”
Miroslav Trumbic (CRO) — Kazakhstan Head Coach“The first half was good water polo with good players. The second half was different as Canada was far away from us. This showed how strong are the others that they were not playing for one to eight. After the New Zealand game (4-14) it was really a catastrophe to lose in this manner. Finally, we played very bad. The final result was very bad, so I am not satisfied. I will go home to Split for a holiday.”

USA, Netherlands in the final - Kazan day 11

Canada has concluded the 2015 World Championships by cruising past Kazakhstan 20-4 to finish in 11th place. The result marks Canada's worst finish at world championships. On the positive note, the tournament was finished with an easy win topping the previous result between the two teams, on day 2 of the championships, when Canada triumphed 17-4. Like then the small Kazakhstan ladies could also not cope with the bigger, physical Canadian women on Wednesday morning. It led to a struggle on offence for Kazakhstan who saw Canada racing away for the easy victory on either turnover by the Asian represenatives or shot that could easily be saved. Monika Eggens used the big win to make a legitimate shot at finishing the tournament's top goal-scorers ranking top 3 having finished with 16 goals. Sister Carmen Eggens added her part going 4 for 4.

The following match saw Hungary grabbing 9th place concluding their 2015 world championships with a runout 22-7 win over Brazil. The Magyar side's final ranking shows the inconsistency of the team who also finished 9th at the 2011 world championships but made it to 3rd in Barcelona 2 years ago before now falling to 9th again. Story of the day was the active Rita Keszthelyi who was obviously making a push to claim the tournament's top goal-scorer trophy which she is likely to get after swimming away to a game-high 5 goals to finish with a total of 21. Not only Keszthelyi was strikingly active, so were her team-mates who looked determine to push the score to at least 20 pressing hard on the Brazilian girls before running out on the quick counterattacks throughout the match. It led to Dora Czigany, Barbara Bujka and Dora Kisteleki adding 4 goals each to the victory.

The dissapointment for the defending champion is not over, yet. Spain lost the 5th-8th place classification semifinal against China by just a single goal (9-10) and will now play for 7th place on Friday. The Chinese team got away from Spain in the third period after a well-balanced first half. Finally in the third period China could establish a 2-goal lead that would set the tone for a second half in which China got up to 2, and even 3 goals in the 4th quarter, while Spain fought hard to get back and overcome that deficit which proved to be too hard in the end. After one of the standouts of the tournament for China, Donglun Sun, got China up 7-10 from outside with 5 minutes to play, Spainish head coach Miki Oca tried to ignite a rally for the little comeback in the final minutes. It led to several kickouts for China on defence but only on the third ocassion could Spain score, through lefty Judith Forca. Her next attempt was saved by China goalkeeper Jun Yang, who looked good yet another time, but had to concede one more goal. Again Forca was successful on man-up but time became an other opponent as just 1.40 were remaining in the match. As the China defence tightened and worked, Spain couldn't even force anymore but instead saw centre forward Paula Leiton being excluded. China's Weiwei Zhang missed but in the final minute China held on despite shots from Forca and Roser Tarrago, which were both saved. Now the Rick Azevedo coached side will play for 5th place on Friday while Spain awaits either Greece or Russia for 7th place.

A close match was on display in Kazan in the fourth encounter on Wednesday. Here home team Russia overcame an early 4-0 deficit but ultimately fell to Greece on penalties 16-15. A bitter loss, the Russian ladies fought hard to overcome their slow start and looked to succeed as they grabbed the lead in the second period on an incredible 0-6 run. It typed the back-and-forth game this was as came back nicely in the third period after some tactical instruction from head coach Georgios Morfesis. The zone defence by the Greek troubled Russia who were kept away far from goal while the Greek offence started to work as the game got closer and closer. Tied at 7-7, it was Russia's Evgeniya Ivanova who scored twice in row getting the home team up 7-9. Greece responded through young Margerita Plevritou from outside, but the Russian ladies pushed through in early stages of the final period. Evgeniiya Abdriziakova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva and Ivanova again scored straight to get Russia leading 8-12 with just under 5 minutes remaining in what looked to have become a certain win. Perhaps they thought so themselves as Greece could start a late comeback in the 4 remaining minutes. There a variety of goals not only displayed the different options of the Greek attack, from an outside shot by veteran Antigoni Roumpesi to a strong centre-forward goal by back-up Eleni Xenaki got the score to just 11-12 with still 2 minutes to go. Chances on either side could not be converted. Up until the very last seconds... Ivanova got excluded and Alkisti Avramidou saved the day for Greece tying the score with just a single second on the clock. Prokofyeva tried a desperate long-range final attempt but that was saved easily so a penalty shootout was to determine the winner. Here, Greece veteran Christina Tsoukala was the first to miss hitting the upright on her attempt but Russia could not cheer just yet as they eventualy missed the final two attempts of the first series, including the decisive last one by Tatiana Zubkova, saved by Eleni Kouvdou as Greece upset the home team and home crowd and will now play for 5th place facing China on Friday.

Semifinals

USA was the first to make it to the final of the 2015 World Championships, their 5th in team history, after beating Australia 8-6 in the semifinal on Wednesday. A balanced attack and strong team defence, established more and more as the game went on, forced a turnaround, domination of the score in the second half and an eventual victory over the Aussie Stingers for the Americans.

The game got off to an expected balanced start, despite Australia drawing multiple kickouts but only scoring once on extra man as Keesje Gofers converted. On the other end centre forward Kami Craig made quick work to score and after Maddie Musselman did later in the quarter, the teams were tied 2-2 at quarter time. It continued in the second period as Nicola Zagame tipped in a nice man-up on the post for Australia while USA had trouble coping with the Stingers' left-side zone defence. The Americans however tried to compensate by swimming their counter attacks even more fierce and had success by drawing exclusion and first, Maggie Steffens scoring from the right wing to tie the score 3-3 halfway through the 2nd session. And they even got up on another counter as Mackenzie Fischer drove down the left wing and finished for Team USA. Austrlia's response didn't last long as Ash Southern got the to the centre-forward position and swinged one at USA goalie Ashleigh Johnson for the equaliser. As back and forth as the game went it was Australia who got up in front again as Glencora McGhie got too much space fromthe USA zone defence, to hit from outside with over 2 minutes remaining in the first half. The shots for USA weren't falling in the final minutes hitting the post ones and missing a couple of others while the American defence starting to work better leaving the Australia centre forwards without a pass to receive while outside shots weren't much taken by the Aussies before USA ran a set play in the final seconds to see Rachel Fattal score at the buzzer to level the score at 5-5 at half-time.

The third period saw both organisation being established even better. Goals became harder to score and it was Maggie Steffens who broke the deadlock by driving and receiving the pass for the goal to get her team leading 6-5 halfway through the third quarter. The Aussies meanwhile kept having trouble even getting decent shots of against the active American defence. A man-up finally drawn after 5 minutes led to a turnover as Rowie Webster's posession was stripped by the returning USA player onto the pitch. A second extra man was missed by Ash Southern whose shot smuttered in the defensive blocks but USA couldn't convert in the following posession on man-up which led to a turnover, also due to fierce defending. And with both teams unable to score in the final minutes, the teams went into the final 8 minutes with a 6-5 score in favour of USA. That period was kicked off beautifully by Rachel Fattal who fired home a long-range shot from the left side in the very first posession as Team USA took a 7-5 lead. An important advantage as the minutes ticked away with Australia kept having trouble coming close to the goal of goalie Johnson. Instead the shots from outside, often well-deflected, were an easy target to save. A big blow followed with under 3 minutes remaining as Melissa Seidemann fired a shot from way out at the end of the 30 seconds attacking time which went in via Aussie goalie Lea Yanitsas as USA now led 8-5. Australia head coach Greg McFadden took a timeout and run a set play that got the Aussies a penalty shot but Zoe Arancini's attempt was saved by Johnson. The American goalkeeper continued her impressive play in the following posession denying Gemma Beadsworth scoring from the left side. Arancini eventually got Johnson to capatalise though scoring on man-up from the left wing after quick passing. Time however ran out on the Aussies who saw USA playing out the clock. And when standout Johnson saved a late Ash Southern attempt, the victory and finals berth for USA was secured. Opponent for the Adam Krikorian coached side will be either Italy or the Netherlands, who will play the second semifinal.

Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach
On what led to the win: “Our defence in the second half. We made some adjustments at halftime as we were out of sorts in the first half. All credit to Australia for this. For us to hold them to one goal in the second half is fantastic.” On the pressure of being a favourite for the title: “Pressure is a privilege, you must be doing something right. You have to put yourself in a position to be successful. We lost to Italy and I think they are playing the best in the tournament. We know it will be extremely hard (final) and Holland is just getting better. It will be a tough final.”

Rachel Fattal (USA) — Two Goals
I think we played very good in defence We talked about it before the game and being able to use our counter and set up our offence.” On knowing Australia so well: “It’s good to know who we play, their tendencies and such. It’s good and bad. We don’t want to become too comfortable. I love playing them because they always give us a good game.”

Bronwen Knox (AUS) — Captain
“In the second half we made some individual mistakes. We worked hard on defence and then individual areas let us down. There were also missed opportunities in attack.” On the word from the coach before the match: “We were looking for desperation in defence. Gradually our lapses gave them goals, some easy goals, especially the one just before halftime. It was annoying.”

The next semifinal up saw Italy taking on the Netherlands. In the first quarter the balance of the match became quickly visible. The Dutch ran a defence that proved a hard nut to crack for Italy who only saw a handful of extra-man situations being the best possibilities to score but were denied all times by young debuting Netherlands goalkeeper Laura Aarts. On the other end the Netherlands came out swimming fast counter attacks and through two opportunities scored twice as Sabrina van der Sloot and Maud Megens got on the scoreboard for the 0-2 lead at quarter time. The offensive problems continued in the second period for Italy. The active Dutch zone defence did let some room in the '2nd line' but several Italian shots from outside were either saved by goalie Aarts, hit the crossbar or simply missed target. As the Netherlands on offence was also running into the usual well-organised Italian defence, it took 5 minutes to break the deadlock. It was done by Maud Megens who finished a man-up after she had drawn it herself. And Megens continued her stellar play by scoring a back-handed centre-forward goal after a quick drive with over a minute remaining in the first half. Italy finally came on the board with half a minute to be played in the 2nd quarter as Federica Radicchi saw a deflected shot from outside getting past Aarts. But there was Megens again. The standout of the first half didn't hasitate on a free throw and blew it past Italian goalkeeper Gorlero, her 3rd goal already, for the 1-5 score at half-time, as the Netherlands looked well underway to writing history as a possible finals berth would be the first at world championships since the 1998 edition in Perth where the Dutch finished 2nd.

The scenario looked to be continued in the third period. Both defences were well established and made life hard for the opposing teams. Italy got two more man-ups but were denied by the active Dutch defence again. The deadlock this time lasted for almost the entire quarter before Arianna Garibotti scored from outside for the 2-5 score. But a further comeback was denied. A minute later, Garibotti saw her shot flying past the Dutch goal to let down another chance for the Setterosa on man-up. With the score at 2-5 before the final period started, Italy's chances of an upset got smaller and smaller. A surge could be expected of the Fabio Conti coached side and came in the final period. The Italian women started to swim their counter attacks faster, played more physical and tightened the defence, for as much as possible. It led to an early goal by Ferica Radicchi who blasted an outside shot as Italy came back to 3-5 with 6 minutes to play. The Netherlands struggled on the other end on set plays. A turnaround could be in the making and certainly got more form a minute later as an exclusion for Yasemin Smit was quickly finished off by Elisa Querilo as now the deficit for the Italians was just a single goal: 4-5 with over 3 minutes to go. What was occuring got confirmed now as the momentum was in Italy's hands and got rewarded by Rosaria Aiello after a wasted man-up for Italy scoring a centre-forward goal to tie the teams at 5-5. A thrilling finish was up at hand as just 2.30 minutes were to be played. Either teams got their shots to glory but several outside shots could be saved or flew past the goals. Italy got the best oppertunity drawing an extra man but could not score either as the score was leveled 5-5 at the end of regulation so a shootout was to decide this thriller.

The shootout was nail-biting on itself. Both Italian goalies rose to the ocassion as shots by Dagmar Genee and standout Maud Megens were saved. But as young Dutch goalkeeper Laura Aarts, in just her 3nd major international start, came up big as well by denying Emmolo and Radicchi the scoring. Aarts went on to even decide the shootout when the sudden-death phase entered. Here Lieke Klaassen and Sabrina van der Sloot hit for the Netherlands, and captain Di Mario did for Italy before lefty Emmolo had to take another shot. And again Aarts saved it, ending the series and winning the match for the Dutch side who advances to the final for the first time since 1998, playing USA on Friday.

Arno Havenga (NED) - Head Coach
''Our first two quarters were simply phenomenal. But in the second half the basic problem was te score. I believe that if we had done that in the third, we could have decided the game by then but instead, playing a smart team as Italy, it hurts you in the end. But the girls have showed great resillience. And as we had prepared possible penalties very well, we knew that even in a shootout we had very good chances to win. Even this morning I got a tape of the penalty series Russia-Italy at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, so we were aware of what was coming by the time the shootout started. Now USA in the final. A very, very good team. But we will be prepared. My team is gaining confidence every match this tournament so far and we'll see how good we are on Friday.''

“We were no good in the first half of the game and we didn’t start faster like other games. In the second half I liked the energy of my team and arrived at the last quarter in a more interesting position. The penalty shootout is a lottery. I just want to see a glass full and not half empty.”


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Semifinal round

Wednesday, 5 August (women)

Canada (L W33) vs. Kazakhstan (L W34) 20-4 (4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 6-0) - W39 (11th/12th place classification)
Canada scorers: Monika Eggens 5, Carmen Eggens 4, Shae Fournier 3, Christine Robinson 2, Stephanie Valin 2, Krystina Alogbo, Emma Wright, Joelle Bekhazi, Dominique Perreault.

Kazakhstan scorers: Anastassiya Mirshina 2, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova.



Hungary (W W33) vs. Brazil (W W34) 22-7 (5-2, 6-2, 6-0, 5-3)  - W40 (9th/10th place classification)
Hungary scorers: Rita Keszthelyi 5, Dora Czigany 4, Barbara Bujka 4, Dora Kisteleki 4, Dora Antal 2, Gabriella Szücs, Orsolya Takacs, Krisztina Garda.

Brazil scorers: Marina Zablith 2, Izabella Chiappini 2, Amanda Oliveira, Melani Dias, Gabriela Mantellato.



Spain (L W35) vs. China (L W36) 9-10 (3-3, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2) - W41
Spain scorers: Judith Forca 3, Laura Lopez 2, Anna Espar, Jennifer Pareja, Roser Tarrago, Maica Garcia.

China scorers: Donglun Sun 4, Zihan Zhao 4, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong.



Greece (L W37) vs. Russia (L W38) 16-15 (4-3, 1-4, 3-2, 4-3; penalties: 4-3) - W42
Greece scorers: Antigoni Roumpesi 3, Christina Tsoukala 2, Stefania Charalampidi, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou.

Russia scorers: Evgeniya Ivanova 4, Ekaterina Lisunova 3, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 2, Elvina Karimova, Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva.



USA (W W35) vs. Australia (W W36) 8-6 (2-2, 3-3, 1-0, 2-1) - W43
USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 2, Maggie Steffens 2, Maddie Musselman, Melissa Seidemann, Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig.

Australia scorers: Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Glencora McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Nicola Zagame.

Italy (W W37) vs. Netherlands (W W38) 9-10 (0-2, 1-3, 1-0, 3-0; penalties: 4-5) - W44
Italy scorers: Federica Radicchi 2, Arianna Garibotti, Elisa Queirolo, Rosaria Aiello.

Netherlands scorers: Maud Megens 4, Sabrina van der Sloot.




Semifinal round

Thursday, 6 August (men)

10.50: Kazakhstan (L M33) vs. South Africa (L M34) - M39 (11th/12th place classification)
12.10: Canada (W M33) vs. Brazil (W M34) - M40 (9th/10th place classification)

15.30: Montenegro (L M35) vs. Australia (L M36) - M41
17.00: Hungary (L M37) vs. USA (L M38) - M42
20.30: Croatia (W M35) vs. Greece (W M36) - M43
22.00: Italy (W M37) vs. Serbia (W M38) - M44

Final round

Friday, 7 August (women)

14.00: Spain (L W41) vs. Russia (L W42) - W45 (7th/8th place classification)
15.30: China (W W41) vs. Greece (W W42) - W46 (5th/6th place classification)

20.30: Australia (L W43) vs. Italy (L W44) - W47 (3rd/4th place classification)
22.00: USA (W W43) vs. Netherlands (W W44) - W48 (1st/2nd place classification)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

Maica García: "Hemos hecho un mal partido"


05/08/2015 - ZONA MIXTA.— Hoy, Maica ha hecho de tripas corazón para dar la cara tras el partido y explicar con naturalidad la derrota ante China, una actitud responsable y profesional: "Ha sido un partido complicado. Cuesta levantarse cuando sabes que estás fuera de las medallas. Ha sido un mal partido con muchos errores por nuestra parte. Estábamos preparadas para este partido, no pensando en la derrota ante EEUU. Hemos entrenado todo el verano para Kazan y lo hemos dejado todo en el agua".
R.G.-S. (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). 

España cae con China y jugará por la 7ª plaza


05/08/2015 - España ha perdido por 9—10 (3—3, 2—1, 2—4 y 2—2), frente una China muy correosa que, al igual que ante Australia con la que cayeron a penalties, ha jugado su partido. Era un encuentro difícil, por las plazas 5º a 8ª del Mundial de Kazan 2015, y había que ganarlo sí o sí. Pero no pudo ser en un día realmente aciago para nuestra delegación aquí en Kazan. Ahora esperamos rival por el séptimo puesto. Foto: EFE
España comenzó el partido titubeante ante una China muy dinámica que se adelantó 0-1 de penalty y que sentó las bases para ir a por el partido. Las de Miki Oca no se amilanaron y reaccionaron con gol de Maica para empatar el encuentro, pero la velocidad de China le permitió buscar las mejores opciones de lanzamiento lateral y castigó a las nuestras (2-3). Todavía tuvimos tiempo de empatar un primer tiempo loco y lleno de alternativas por ambos bandos.
Enel segundo tiempo España fijó más y mejor su defensa de boya y ello le permitió remontar una desventaja gracias a la eficacia ofensiva de Jennifer Pareja, primero, y Laura López, después. Por vez primera después de 12 minutos sin dominar el marcador, las españolas se ponían por delante al descanso (5-4).
Ya en la reanudación, la defensa adelantada de China provocó un cortocirtuito en las nuestras, que no encontraban portería. A eso se sumaba la eficacia en superioridad de las asiáticas, que abrieron brecha con un contundente 0-3 para poner un inquietante score de 6-8. A Maica, además, le sacaban un chut a bocajarro y la cosa, a dos minutos del final del tercer cuarto, se iba complicando más y más. Menos mal que entre el tiempo de Oca y la zurda seca de Judith Forca ponían algo más de sentido al partido (7-8).
Quedaban ocho minutos en los que había que remontar. Y esto, en un Mundial, no es cosa fácil por la inercia de los partidos y el potencial de los rivales, que también juegan. China siguió fiel a su planteamiento, mientras que España tenía que hacer algo más para darle la vuelta a la situación.Un discutible palmeo de Song que se le escapó a Ester y no traspasó del todo la línea de gol fue dado por válido (7-9). Las soluciones empezaban a ser urgentes.
A cinco minutos y en uno más, un trallazo central de fuera de Song ponía el 7-10 en contra. Estábamos perdiendo el partido. Forca nos mantenía con valentía con dos de más (8-10) y con otro gol decisivo (9-10) pero el tiempo pasaba veloz (1.30 para el final). Cada jugada era una final para España, pero el reloj iba dictando sentencia a cada segundo...
FICHA TÉCNICA:
http://waterpolo.sportresult.com/pdf/WCH2015/W41.pdf
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). 

España—China, cuando nunca hay quinto malo


04/08/2015 - España, actual campeona de Europa y del Mundo, tendré este miércoles un partido raro, en una hora diferente a la que acostumbra (14,30h, una más en Kazan) y con un objetivo muy distinto al de los últimos tres años, la quinta plaza. La calidad y el talento de este equipo está fuera de toda duda, falta saber cómo va a gestionar mentalmente el grupo ante un durísimo rival como es China el golpe mortal asestado por Estados Unidos en cuartos de final. Como no hay quinto malo, hallémoslo.
Si España viene de un partido triste ante Estados Unidos, China viene de perder en los penalties ante Australia en un partido agónico en el que fue dominando el marcador pero el oficio de las aussies se acabó imponiendo a unas orientales que, pese a su efectividad y corpulencia, no acabaron de creerse que podían ganar el partido. Desgaste similar entre ambos equipos y España que tendrá que vestirse de España para volver a ese juedo dinámico, de ayudas y resolutivo que tanto se admira y que tanta gloria nos ha dado. Go, Spain!
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). 

******

Greece edges Australia on penalties - Kazan day 10

China has avoided a last-place finish at the 2015 World Championships by knocking off Argentina 16-9 in the classification match for 15th place on Tuesday morning. Thanks to a strong start and 5-0 lead the Chinese men could hold on to the lead, despite a little comeback by Argentina, carried by shooter German Yañez who scored 5 goals, as the deficit proved too much to overcome for debutants who now finish last. It wasn't until late in the first quarter after China had already scored 5 times before Argentina got on the board, by no other than German Yañez. The Spanish club Mediterrani player not only opened the score for his team but also ignited a phase in the game where goals were flying around and Argentina started to find its rhythm. The defence however was the achilles heel for the Argentines as they could not stop China from scoring either. That marked the decision in the game. The advantage for the Chinese could be consolidated throughout the second and third period which proved enough to seal the victory and 15th place finish.

Japan secured 13th place as they defeated home team Russia 9-13 in the second match on display in the Water Polo Arena in Kazan on Tuesday. The quick Japanese players looked ready to give it a final shot and walked away in the second period where several sharp counter attacks punished Russia turnovers on offence. That continued in the third period where Japan even extended its advantage to 4 goals. Meanwhile Russia, despite being cheered on by plenty of crowd, kept being bothered by their turnovers as well as the active Japanese defence that made up for the disadvantage the Japanese team has agains the strong Russians. It led to an almost status quo in the final period where both teams knew the outcome of the match was determined. Although Japan kept swimming, the difference in the score remained the same as 4 goals were exchanged and Japan finished 13th, being back at the world championships since finishing 11th in Shanghai during the 2011 worlds. 

The first of two semifinals for the 9th-12th place classification was up next as Canada used a dominant 5-0 run in the second period to turn around a 1-2 quarter-time deficit into a 9-7 win. As the game got more physical in the second half and especially final period, Kazakhstan came closer thanks to two straight goals by lefthander Sergey Gubarev but with two minutes remaining in the match, Canada managed to stop the Kazakhstan goal scoring there, so that the win could be ensured. It means Canada will play Brazil for 9th place on Thursday, while Kazakhstan meets South Africa to determine who finishes 11th.

Brazil ran away from South Africa in the second half of their meeting on Tuesday to post a 16-5 victory and advance to the 9th place classification match on Thursday. A scoring festival-like 10-goal opening quarter kicked off the game straight into second gear before a more quiet second period restored the balance. Brazil could set up their defence and saw South Africa having trouble finishing their shots. Meanwhile on the other side, especially in the second half, the Brazilians could counter their way to a large victory. Centre forward Josip Vrlic led the scoring netting 5 shots while captain Felipe Perrone added 4. Now familiar foe Canada is up next in the battle for 9th place.

Semifinals

Croatia was the first team to make it to the semifinals. One of the tournament favourites, the Croatian side dominated Montenegro in the first half en route to a convincing 10-4 victory. The Montenegrins, having a tough tournament with three major players absent, tried for a hard-nose approach but did not succeed. Croatia, despite having Andelo Setka receiving a blow from Predrag Jokic as part of a scuffle between the two and being treated poolside, did not got into the battle with their opponents and kept their composure. The small bench of Montenegro only went smaller after losing Vjekoslav Paskovic and late in the first half a frustrated red-carded Drasko Brguljan so that in the second half the leading side did not had to the limit in order to secure their spot in the semifinals. Petar Muslim finished top scorer showing his range of outside shooting for a team-hight three goals. Montenegro centre forward Filip Klikovac had a particularly successful match for his team netting 3 as well. Now Croatia awaits either Australia or Greece in the semifinals on Thursday.

Andelo Setka (CRO) — Injured eye just before halftime.
“I’m OK now. This is not water polo (pointing to his injured left eye). I received a fist like a boxer.” On scoring a goal soon after returning to the pool: “Maybe there was more power because of it (the injury). This was a tough game. We were better. We showed that in the pool. Not in one moment were we equal.”

Ranko Perovic (MNE) — Head Coach
“I expected a tougher game. They went to-three goals ahead in the beginning and we made too many mistakes on extra man. Croatia is the better team at the moment than Montenegro.”

Milos Scepanovic (MNE) - Goalkeeper
''We tried to go tough at Croatia's very difficult offence by hard press, but had problems with early exclusions and losing some players to three major fouls. But I have to say, in the end Croatia deserved this victory.'' On the question of feeling this tournament as an disappointment: ''Of course. We always have the desire to play for the medals and that will not happen here. The final conclusion is that here we could not manage to reach the level we wanted with this team, knowing we miss three important players. Now we have to think about how to move forward.''

Greece will be Croatia's opponent in the semifinal earning a berth for the first time since their 2005 Montreal bronze medal. A tense back-and-forth game got to penalties before just one save by standout goalie Konstantinos Flegkas proved enough to seal the victory. A bitter defeat for Australia who on two ocassions looked well underway to finishing on top in what would have been their first semifinals apearance at world championships since Perth 1998. Especially in the final period where two straight goals, by Aiden Roach and excelling Aaron Younger got the Aussie Sharks leading 5-6 with just under 2 minutes remaining. The Greek however did not lost their composure, and with over a minute remaining, tied through a nice shot by Konstantinos Genidounias. As defensive the game was in the first half, as spectacular was the finish with Nathan Power again making a strong case fot the Aussies to take it. He tipped in a nice assist by Aiden Roach with just 0.38 on the clock for the 6-7 lead. But Greece's ultimate answer came. Sharks captain Rhys Howden was excluded with 14 seconds remaining and the following extra man was played out beautifully until top shooter Ioannis Fountoulis shot it home from the left wing. Time left? Just 4 seconds. Too little for Australia's Younger to pull off a surprise shot as the thriller went onto a shootout. Here Greek goalie Flegkas came up huge straight away denying Younger his attempt and as all following attempts of the series were scored, it was Greece's Alexandros Gounas who kept his cool and shot Greece to the semifinals of a world championship, after a fairly long time not having been able to make it that far.

Konstantinos Genidounias (GRE) — Two goals
On scoring one before this match and two in the quarterfinal: “Other guys are important. Some who are usually the protagonists aren’t and others have to step up. I got the passes from my team-mates and did what I had to do. There are a million emotions — want to win, sitting on the bench is 10 times harder than being in the game. The game is over, now we move on to the next game.”

Elvis Fatovic (CRO) — Head Coach
“Too often this happens to teams. I think it is just part of the experience to finish off games. We had an amazing tournament, good defence and good attack actually. But we must learn how to close the game.”

Richard Campbell (AUS)
“A shootout makes it worse. We shouldn’t let in goals near the end. Come to that it’s more gut-wrenching. We stuck to our game plan. We’ve been in situations like that several times before. We’re used to that and we kept our cool. We just couldn’t get it over the line. The best part tonight was commitment, sticking to the game plan and our defence was solid.”

Christos Afroudakis (GRE) - Captain
''It was a game of many emotions, because the score changed several times. I felt like we had the control of the game but then led it slip and onfortunately again at the end. Luckily we stayed patience in the final attack. In the penalty shootout we had the bit of luck necessary but also an excellent goalkeeper. Today also I was more satisfied with our defence opposed to our group stage where we received too many goals. Good defence will be they for a good result. It gives you power and confidence, also as a team.''

The next quarterfinal produced a stunner as Italy upset defending champion Hungary 7-8 thanks to a strong comeback in the second half after what appeared to be a relatively controlled first half by the favourite Magyars. The defensive organisation had to work top-level to kept the Italians from scoring but held the offensive production of the Alessandro Campagna coached side under control. The game went on quite levelled and for the Hungarians even well as they got up 5-3 in the third period. However there the game looked to be shifting. Standouts Pietro Figlioli and Stefano Luongo scored two straight goals for Italy to tie 5-5 at the end of the third and they were also the first to strike in the final period. Another rising star, Francesco di Fulvio netted another beautiful shot to get his team up 5-6 kicking off a back-and-forth tense final phase of the game. In reply it was centre forward Balazs Harai who finished off a man-up but Nicholas Presciutti did the same for Italy less than a minute later. The big blow came from Stefano Luongo on another one of his easy-looking but deadly sharp shots. He scored 'on extra' with 3.40 remaining. That blow didn't looked to be the final one as Norbert Hosnyansky made his mark on the game in the following posession scoring, also from man-up, to get Hungary back with in one: 7-8. The remaining 3 minutes were extreme. The usual calm Hungarians on offence were less effective than they'd used to be and saw time ticking away. But as Italy couldn't score either, the game stayed close and tense. The defending champions got a nice opportunity after Figlioli received his 3rd major foul but Martin Szivos' shot was saved. It didn't stop there. The Magyars even got another opportunity but Balazs Harai converted a turnover with 14 seconds remaining and that was enough time for the Italians to play out the clock and start celebrating a huge victory and semifinal berth that probably wasn't expected at all times during this tournament. They survived a game that saw just 1 of the 13 goals not being scored from extra man and upset the defending champions.

Pietro Figlioli (ITA)
“It’s not often any team beats Hungary. To us as water polo heads Hungary is steeped in history. It’s the second time this summer we have beaten them, at the Vodafone Cup (in Hungary) and here. It’s always a satisfying moment. Hungary has an aura, but it isn’t indestructible. Titles don’t matter anything, as I know from trying to be a repeating champion, everyone wants to kill you. The future was decided here today. We had more control up front, higher percentage and the more attacks we put up the harder it was for them to defend.” Figlioli gave his first post-match interview in Italian, the second in Spanish and the third in English.

Alex Giorgetti (ITA)
“We knew we were going to win. We saw Hungary in training yesterday and they had fear. We felt we were world champion and them not. Hungary was good in the first but then we came up as we had heart. We had good defence and excellent extra-man (attack).”

Balazs Erdelyi (HUN)
''The first three quarters were good for us. We got up 5-3. By the end of the third period Italy tied the game and in the final stages they scored two goals and we just one so they could win. That was the key. There defensive-wise we didn't do so well and on offence missed many opportunities, such as me hitting the bar. And those small differences matter in the end.''

2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Quarterfinal round

Tuesday, 4 August (men)

China (L M25) vs. Argentina (L M26) 16-9 (6-2, 3-4, 4-2, 3-1) - M31 (15th/16th place classification)
China scorers: Tao Dong 4, Li Li 2, Chufeng Zhang 2, Nianxiang Liang 2, Feihu Tan, Zhangxin Hu, Wenhui Lu, Lun Li, Zekai Xie, Jinghao Chen.

Argentina scorers: German Yañez 5, Ramiro Veich 2, Ivan Carabantes 2.


Russia (W M25) vs. Japan (W M26) 9-13 (4-3, 1-3, 2-5, 2-2) - M32 (13th/14th place classification)
Russia scorers: Igor Bychkov 3, Alexey Bugaychuk 2, Konstantin Stepanyuk 2, Artem Ashaev, Ivan Nagaev.

Japan scorers: Keigo Okawa 3, Atsushi Arai 2, Atsuto Iida 2, Yusuke Shimizu 2, Koji Takei 2, Seiya Adachi, Shota Hazui.


Canada (L M27) vs. Kazakhstan (L M29) 9-7 (1-2, 5-0, 2-3, 1-2) - M33
Canada scorers: John Conway 4, Jarrod McElroy 2, Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Kevin Graham.

Kazakhstan scorers: Alexandr Axenov 3, Sergey Gubarev 2, Roman Pilipenko, Branko Pekovich.


Brazil (L M28) vs. South Africa (L M30) 16-5 (7-3, 2-2, 3-0, 4-0) - M34
Brazil scorers: Josip Vrlic 5, Felipe Perrone 4, Adria Delgado 2, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes, Bernardo Gomes, Bernardo Rocha, Gustavo Guimaraes.

South Africa scorers: Etienne le Roux, Devon Card, Dayne Jagga, Pierre le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux.


Croatia (1A) vs. Montenegro (W M29) 10-4 (1-0, 3-0, 3-3, 3-1) - M35
Croatia scorers: Petar Muslim 3, Luka Bukic 2, Antonio Petkovic, Sandro Sukno, Fran Paskvalin, Andelo Setka, Paulo Obradovic.

Montenegro scorers: Filip Klikovac 3, Darko Brguljan.


Greece (1B) vs. Australia (W M30) 12-11 (1-0, 1-3, 3-1, 2-3; penalties: 5-4) - M36
Greece scorers: Konstantinos Genidounias 2, Ioannis Fountoulis 2, Christos Afroudakis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas.

Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 3, Aiden Roach 2, Nathan Power, Joel Swift. 

Hungary (1C) vs. Italy (W M27) 7-8 (2-2, 2-1, 1-2, 2-3) - M37
Hungary scorers: Daniel Varga 3, Balazs Erdelyi, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Denes Varga, Balazs Harai.

Italy scorers: Francesco di Fulvio 2, Stefano Luongo 2, Pietro Figlioli, Alex Giorgetti, Nicholas Presciutti, Fabio Baraldi.

Serbia (1D) vs. USA (W M28) 12-7 (4-2, 3-3, 2-1, 3-1) - M38
Serbia scorers: Dusko Pijetlovic 4, Dusan Mandic 2, Slobodan Nikic 2, Zivko Gocic, Milan Aleksic, Filip Filipovic, Andrija Prlainovic.

USA scorers: Bret Bonanni 2, Luca Cupido, Josh Samuels, Tony Azevedo, Alex Bowen, Jesse Smith.


Semifinal round

Wednesday, 5 August (women)

10.50: Canada (L W33) vs. Kazakhstan (L W34) - W39 (11th/12th place classification)
12.10: Hungary (W W33) vs. Brazil (W W34) - W40 (9th/10th place classification)

15.30: Spain (L W35) vs. China (L W36) - W41
17.00: Greece (L W37) vs. Russia (L W38) - W42
20.15: USA (W W35) vs. Australia (W W36) - W43
21.45: Italy (W W37) vs. Netherlands (W W38) - W44

Semifinal round

Thursday, 6 August (men)

10.50: Kazakhstan (L M33) vs. South Africa (L M34) - M39 (11th/12th place classification)
12.10: Canada (W M33) vs. Brazil (W M34) - M40 (9th/10th place classification)

15.30: Montenegro (L M35) vs. Australia (L M36) - M41
17.00: Hungary (L M37) vs. USA (L M38) - M42
20.15: Croatia (W M35) vs. Greece (W M36) - M43
21.45: Italy (W M37) vs. Serbia (W M38) - M44

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.


Croatia-Greece and Italy-Serbia semifinals in men’s water polo
Olympic champion Croatia will play Greece and 2011 World champion Italy will take on World Cup and World League champion Serbia in Thursday’s medal semifinals following fifth-day men’s water polo competition.

In the 1-8 quarterfinals, Croatia was the first team into the semifinal, defeating Montenegro 10-4 in a heated, high-fouling match. It was Croatia’s sixth straight World Championship semifinal.

Greece gained a goal four seconds from time to tie Australia 7-7 and subsequently win the penalty shootout 5-4 for a 12-11 victory and a date with Croatia.

Italy came from 5-3 down in the third period to go two ahead and eventually beat reigning champion Hungary 8-7 and another thriller.

World Cup and World League champion Serbia held off United States of America 12-7 built on a 7-5 halftime lead.

In the classification round 9-12 semifinals, Canada beat Kazakhstan 9-7 and Brazil sent off South Africa 16-5.

Departing the tournament were four teams — Japan claiming 13th spot from Russia 13-9 and China taking 15th place from Argentina 16-9.


August 6 Schedule

Classification 11-12

10:50, KAZ v RSA

Classification 9-10

12:10, CAN v BRA

Classification 5-8 Semifinals

15:30, MNE v AUS

17:00, HUN v USA

Classification 1-4 Semifinals


20:30, CRO v GRE

22:00, ITA v SRB
Match 37: 21:30, SERBIA 12 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 7
Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal
Quarters: 4-2, 3-3, 2-1, 3-1
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Nenad Peris (CRO).
Extra Man: SRB: 4/7. USA: 4/12.
Pens: USA: 0/1.
Teams:
SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic (2), Zivko Gocic (1), Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk, Dusko Pijetlovic (4), Slobodan Nikic (2), Milan Aleksic (1), Nikola Jaksic, Filip Filipovic (1), Andrija Prlainovic (1), Stefan Mitrovic, Branislav Mitrovic. Head coach: Dejan Savic.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Merrill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido (1), Josh Samuels (1), Tony Azevedo (1), Alex Bowen (1), Bret Bonanni (2), Jesse Smith (1), John Mann, McQuin Baron. Head coach: Dejan Udovicic.
Match Report:
Serbia will play Italy in the semifinals after having to come from two down to beat a determined USA who came out charging with consecutive goals from Bret Bonanni and Josh Samuels before Serbia could get its bearings. Stung by the insult and backed by the crowd that was totally behind the Serbians, they unleashed a barrage of goals from Milan Aleksic on extra; Andrija Prlainovic with a deflect from the top; Dusko Pijetlovic from centre forward and Dusan Mandic from top right for 4-2. Serbia was back in the game. USA took the lead in the second quarter and traded goals from 4-3 to 7-5 when Filip Filipovic lobbed Merrill Moses on counter. Luca Cupido grabbed a goal for the USA for 7-6 and Serbian head coach Dejan Savic thought it time to switch his goalkeepers, bringing in Branislav Mitrovic and giving Gojko Pijetlovic a break. He proved enough of a deterrent for Bonanni, who sent his penalty shot on bounce into the crossbar at 5:08 at a crucial moment in the match. On the counter, some swift passing was finished off by Dusko Pijetlovic from in front and the game slid further Serbia’s way. Captain Zivko Gocic closed the third period with a snap shot from deep right off his right arm and across cage. Alex Bowen scored one of the shots of the tournament from a 5m throw out the top right. He swung his arm around in a low loop, flicking his wrist and the ball was sent skidding to the right-hand upright and smashing across to the left upright and into goal before anyone noticed for 9-7. Dusko Pijetlovic made sure of a three-goal margin, dragging down a cross-cage pass that USA protested. However, the referee signalled he was behind the line of the ball and Serbia was happy at 4:14. Serbia was even happier when Mandic swam the length of the pool on counter and bounced the ball past Moses at 2:45 for 11-7. Mandic was the youngest player at the 2012 London Olympics, collecting bronze with Serbia and then went and attended the World Youth Championships in Perth, Australia later that year. Nikic slid across cage and accepted a pass to score for 12-7 at 0:04.
FLASH QUOTES:
Dusan Mandic (SRB) — Two Goals''In the beginning we were a bit confused in defence. I think this a result of our three-day break as group winner. We lacked some rhythm. USA got up 2-0, but after a few minutes we gathered and fixed the problems on defence. Compared to Barcelona 2013 we made one step forward. Now Italy in the semifinals. I expect a tough game, a lot of swimming and great duels. Italy is a great opponent, but I believe in every one of my team-mates.''
Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach“I’m proud of my guys. It’s not easy to play Serbia. You have to show enormous amounts of experience for that level of the game. We are totally not experienced enough for the big game. There were so many missed opportunities to level the game, we missed and were punished very quickly. This competition, right now, Serbia is in front of everyone. It was unfortunate that we had to cross over with them.”
Alex Bowen (USA)“Disappointed. We worked hard all summer and we came up short. It really sucks. We made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t capitalise on their mistakes, but they capitalised on ours.”

Match 37: 20:10, HUNGARY 7 ITALY 8

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal 


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

Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: HUN: 7/13. ITA: 7/15.
Pens: Nil.

Teams:
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras, Balazs Erdelyi (1), Marton Vamos, Norbert Hosnyanszky (1), Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Daniel Varga (3), Denes Varga (1), Krisztian Bedo, Balazs Harai (1), Attila Decker. Head coach: Tibor Benedek.
ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio (2), Alessandro Velotto, Pietro Figlioli (1), Alex Giorgetti (1), Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo, Nicholas Presciutti (1), Niccolo Gitto, Stefano Luongo (2), Matteo Aicardi, Fabio Baraldi (1), Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.

Match Report:
World champion Hungary bowed out of medal contention thanks to a 5-3 second half by Italy, the 2011 World champion. In a fantastic statistic, all bar one of the goals was scored on extra-man attack, showing just how tight the defence was and how hard it was to gain action goals. Denes Varga scored the first goal at 6:02 for his 14th of the championship and four minutes later Balasz Erdelyi made it 2-0 for Hungary. Italy was not keen on the deficit and Alex Georgetti and Fabio Baraldi equalised as quarter time loomed. Daniel Varga started his purple patch with the 3-2 lead early in the second quarter, but Francesco di Fulvio scored from the top on extra for 3-3. Daniel Varga squeezed one in bottom left on extra for 4-3 at 3:42. There was no goal until 2:45 of the third period when Daniel Varga scored from the top right on extra — a two-goal margin. Italy redressed the imbalance, firstly through Pietro Figlioli on extra from top right. Hungary called a timeout with no success on the scoresheet. Stefano Luongo scored his fifth goal of the tournament from the top to close out the third period for 5-5. It took less than two minutes of the fourth period for Italy to gain the lead through the effervescent di Fulvio on extra. Centre forward Baraldi make it two for the match , doubling his tally for the championship, off the near post on extra for 6-6 at 5:35. Nicholas Presciutti finished off some fine cross-pool passing for Italy’s seventh goal. The eighth came from Luongo from seven metres into the bottom right. Norbert Hosnyanszky pulled one back on extra from the outside and at 3:01 it was still anyone’s match. Hungary went to a timeout at 1:18 after stealing the ball from the centre forward. The shot from Marton Szivos was blocked and it was a corner. Hungary moved the ball but had it stolen and Italy took a timeout at 11 seconds. Szivos was excluded straight after and Italy held the ball for what some would say was a major upset.
FLASH QUOTES:

Pietro Figlioli (ITA)“It’s not often any team beats Hungary. To us as water polo heads Hungary is steeped in history. It’s the second time this summer we have beaten them, at the Vodafone Cup (in Hungary) and here. It’s always a satisfying moment. Hungary has an aura, but it isn’t indestructible. Titles don’t matter anything, as I know from trying to be a repeating champion, everyone wants to kill you. The future was decided here today. We had more control up front, higher percentage and the more attacks we put up the harder it was for them to defend.” Figlioli gave his first post-match interview in Italian, the second in Spanish and the third in English.

Alex Giorgetti (ITA)“We knew we were going to win. We saw Hungary in training yesterday and they had fear. We felt we were world champion and them not. Hungary was good in the first but then we came up as we had heart. We had good defence and excellent extra-man (attack).”

Balazs Erdelyi (HUN)''The first three quarters were good for us. We got up 5-3. By the end of the third period Italy tied the game and in the final stages they scored two goals and we just one so they could win. That was the key.  Defensive-wise we didn't do so well and on offence missed many opportunities, such as me hitting the bar. And those small differences matter in the end.''

Match 36: 18:50, GREECE 12 AUSTRALIA 11 in penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens: 5-4)

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal 

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

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).
Extra Man: GRE: 5/10. AUS: 3/8.
Pens: GRE: 1/1.

Teams: 
GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Mylonakis (1), Georgios Dervisis, Konstantinos Genidounias (2), Ioannis Fountoulis (3), Kyriakos Pontiekas, Christos Afroudakis (2), Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos (1), Alexandros Gounas (2), Angelos Vlacholopoulos (1), Stefanos Galanpoulos. Head coach: Theodoros Vlachos.
AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell, George Ford, John Cotterill, Nathan Power (1), Jarrod Gilchrist (1), Aiden Roach (3), Aaron Younger (3), Joel Swift (2), Mitchell Emery, Rhys Howden (1), Tyler Martin, Joel Dennerley. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic.

Match report:
For the second night in a row Australia faced a penalty shootout. The women won over China but tonight, Greece men had the better of Australia’s men, clincher a 7-7 draw at the death and completing the assassination in the shootout. So tight was the match that the opening quarter did not yield a goal until Christos Afroudakis breached the defence with the skinniest of shots, shaving Aaron Younger’s face at 1:10. Younger scored from the top on extra to start the second period with his shot deflecting off a defender and then bouncing off the water to completely fool the Greek goalkeeper. Ioannis Fountoulis drilled his 11th shot of the tournament off the bar on extra for 2-1 at 6:16. From an Aussie Sharks timeout, Aidan Roach accepted a cross pass to deep left on extra for the equaliser at 2:41. Younger took Australia clear on extra, creasing the underneath of the bar for at 1:31. Christodoulos Kolomvos drew a penalty at 0:05 and Afroudakis hit the wood after Aussie delaying tactics proved fruitful. Joel Swift scored from two metres to open the second half and give Australia a two-goal advantage. Kolomvos replied on the next attack on extra after a cross pass to the far post from point blank for 3-4. Konstantinos Genidounias lifted Greek spirits with two quick goals, the second on extra at 1:22 for the 5-4 lead heading into the last period. Alexandros Gouanas, had scored just one goal all tournament so hit form when it mattered most. The first three minutes of the period produced excellent defence from both teams with Australia gaining two rebounds off its shots. Both teams forced long shots covered by the goalkeepers. Roach scored his second off a rebound for 5-5 and Younger fired in from five metres for the 6-5 lead. Genidounias scored a second for Greece off the near post on extra for 6-6 at 1:07. Roach rocketed a pass across the face of goal to Nathan Power on the far post to convert for 7-6 at 0:38. Greece had the last full attack and gained an exclusion. Fountoulis, lightly guarded on the deep left took a pass and bounced it in at 0:04 for the 7-7 score and a shootout.
Sadly for Australia, Younger, such the champion in normal time, missed the first penalty attempt while everyone else scored, giving Greece the shootout 5-4 and the match 12-11 and, more importantly the semifinal spot.

FLASH QUOTES
Christos Afroudakis (GRE) — Captain
''It was a game of many emotions, because the score changed several times. I felt like we had the control of the game, but then led it slip and unfortunately again at the end. Luckily we stayed patient in the final attack and could draw the exclusion and tie the game. In the penalty shootout we had the bit of luck necessary, but also an excellent goalkeeper. Today also I was more satisfied with our defence opposed to our group stage where we received too many goals. Good defence will be the key for a good result. It gives you power and confidence, also as a team.''

Konstantinos Genidounias (GRE) — Two goals

On scoring one before this match and two in the quarterfinal: “Other guys are important. Some who are usually the protagonists aren’t and others have to step up. I got the passes from my team-mates and did what I had to do. There are a million emotions — want to win, sitting on the bench is 10 times harder than being in the game. The game is over, now we move on to the next game.”

Elvis Fatovic (CRO) — Head Coach
“Too often this happens to teams. I think it is just part of the experience to finish off games. We had an amazing tournament, good defence and good attack actually. But we must learn how to close the game.”

Richard Campbell (AUS)
“A shootout makes it worse. We shouldn’t let in goals near the end. Come to that it’s more gut-wrenching. We stuck to our game plan. We’ve been in situations like that several times before. We’re used to that and we kept our cool. We just couldn’t get it over the line. The best part tonight was commitment, sticking to the game plan and our defence was solid.”

Match 35: 17:30, CROATIA 10 MONTENEGRO 4

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal 

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


Referees: Radoslaw Koryzna (POL), Massimiliano Caputi

Extra Man: CRO: 3/13. MNE: 0/11.

Pens: Nil.

Teams:

CROATIA: Josip Pavic, Damir Buric, Antonio Petkovic (1), Luka Loncar, Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic (2), Petar Muslim (3), Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno (1), Fran Paskvalin (1), Andelo Setka (1), Paulo Obradovic (1), Marko Bijac. Head coach: Ivica Tucak.

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan, Vjekoslav Paskovic, Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan (1), Aleksandar Radovic, Mladan Janovic, Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic, Nikola Murisic, Filip Klikovac (3), Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic.


CRO vs MNE ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Match Report:
Olympic champion Croatia became the first team through to the semifinals with a big margin over Montenegro. This was one hotly contested match with the referees fully in the picture with two double exclusions; Montenegrin Vjekoslav Paskovic fouled out on three majors at 4:20 in the second quarter; Andelo Setka (CRO) leaving the pool with blood from a face wound and the all important four unanswered goals by Croatia. And that was just the first half with the foul count 6-7. Croatia’s first goal came on extra through Antonio Petkovic. The second, at the top of the next quarter was also from extra by Petar Muslim. Paskovic gained his second and third majors in quick succession. Luka Bukic scored Croatia’s third on extra from deep left and Fran Paskvalin found himself loose on the left to receive a pass from his centre forward to score for 4-0 at 1:20. Then, with 10 seconds remaining a scuffle saw Setka leave with an injury. Muslim pushed the score to 5-0 on the first attack of the third period before Montenegro struck twice through Darko Brguljan with a superb turn and shot down the left, followed by Filip Klikovac with a sweep back off the far-post position. Montenegro took a timeout and Drasko Brguljan allegedly vent his frustration on the advertising hoarding and was red-carded. He failed to leave the pool deck and sat back on the team bench. Head Coach Ranko Perovic was yellow-carded for not removing and he eventually departed. Bukic converted the extra-man chance for 6-2. Klikovac scored his second from the near post, this time on extra but soon after Paulo Obradovic shot from the top for 7-3 to head into the final quarter 7-3 ahead. Setka made it back into the water with his injury bandaged, just before the final break. The final eight minutes passed without too much rancor. Aleksandar Radovic became the third Montenegrin not to see out the match, going for a third major inside the final four minutes. Klikovac scored his third with a turn from centre forward at 2:04 for 9-4. Sandro Sukno drove the final nail in the coffin with a power bounce from deep left on action at 0:41.

FLASH QUOTES:

Andelo Setka (CRO) — Injured eye just before halftime.
“I’m OK now. This is not water polo (pointing to his injured left eye). I received a fist like a boxer.” On scoring a goal soon after returning to the pool: “Maybe there was more power because of it (the injury). This was a tough game. We were better. We showed that in the pool. Not in one moment were we equal.”
Ranko Perovic (MNE) — Head Coach
“I expected a tougher game. They went to-three goals ahead in the beginning and we made too many mistakes on extra man. Croatia is the better team at the moment than Montenegro.”
Milos Scepanovic (MNE) -— Goalkeeper
''We tried to go tough at Croatia's very difficult offence by hard press, but had problems with early exclusions and losing some players to three major fouls. But I have to say, in the end Croatia deserved this victory.'' On the question of feeling this tournament is a disappointment: ''Of course. We always have the desire to play for the medals and that will not happen here. The final conclusion is that we could not manage to reach the level we wanted with this team, knowing we miss three important players. Now we have to think about how to move forward.''

Match 34: 13:30, BRAZIL 16 SOUTH AFRICA 5
Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Quarters: 7-3, 2-2, 3-0, 4-0
Referees: Shi Wei Ni (CHN), Hatem Gaber (EGY).
Extra Man: BRA:
Pens: RSA: 1/1.
Teams:
BRAZIL: Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella (1), Guilherme Gomes (1), Ives Gonzalez, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes (1), Adrian Delgado (2), Felipe Silva, Bernardo Rocha (1), Felipe Perrone (4), Gustavo Guimaraes (1), Josip Vrlic (3). Head Coach: Ratko Rudic

SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux (1), Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst (1), Nicholas Hock, Joao De Carvalho, Dayne Jagga (1), Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux (1), Nicholas Molyneux (1), Wesley Bohata, Julian Lewis. Head Coach: Paul Martin.


BRA vs RSA ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Brazil did what it needed to get to the ninth-place play-off with Canada on Thursday. With captain Felipe Perrone  netting four goals — two on extra-man attack and two on counter — Brazil knew it had the arsenal to fend off South Africa, who started the better of the two. In fact, South Africa led 1-0 and 2-1 before Brazil struck and ended the quarter with an incredible high 7-3 margin. South Africa was behind just 3-4 at one stage and 5-8 midway through the second quarter before any chance of winning was extinguished. When 18-year-old Dayne Jagga scored his third goal of the tournament for 8-5, it was to be South Africa’s last goal, being kept out of the picture for the last 20 minutes. South Africa will have to look for one last win against Kazakhstan and wrest 11th position.
FLASH QUOTES:

Ratko Rudic (CRO) — Brazil Head Coach
“This game we didn’t enter very seriously and at the beginning (we let in) some goals in defence. We started to play better. South Africa had the ball for long periods. We will now prepared for Canada (ninth place classification). This is very important.” On the intensity in the match: “It was a very hard game and we have been a very long time away from home. This is our fourth big tournament and with the Pan Ams we couldn’t have possibility of training, keeping shape and this is the consequence of this. The team needs more.” On both Canada and Brazil being in the same position of a heavy schedules this year: “ Canada has the advantage because it did not play World League so has had more rest. We will try and give our best.”
Felipe Perrone (BRA) — Captain
“It’s been an amazing year with many important rounds leading up to the Olympic Games. Here we were not fighting for the title. It’s important we are always trying to do our best. To finish 9-10 would be the best result in Brazilian history, which makes us proud. For many it is our first World Championship and we have a dream, so we have to work a lot.”

Match 33: 12:10, CANADA 9 KAZAKHSTAN 7
Classification 9-12 Semifinal

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

Referees: Stanko Ivanovski (MNE), German Moller (ARG).

Extra Man: CAN: 4/7. KAZ: 1/10.

Pens: CAN: 1/1.

Teams:

CANADA: Robin Randall, Con Kudaba, Oliver Vikalo (1), Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (1), Justin Boyd, David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham (1), Matt Halajian, John Conway (4), George Torakis, Jerry McElroy (2), Dusan Aleksic. Head coach: Alexander Beslin.

KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (2), Aleksandr Axenov (3), Roman Pilipenko (1), Vladimir Ushakov, Alexey Shmider, Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov, Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich (1), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.

CAN vs KAZ ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Match Report:
Canada surged into the play-off for ninth place with a near flawless second quarter. Trailing in the first period, Canada strung together five unanswered goals in the second eight minutes  and then struggled for conversions for the rest of the match. However, that 6-2 margin proved crucial and, try as it might, Kazakhstan could not bridge the gap. Excellent efforts from Alexandr Axenov with three goals — increasing his tournament tally to 15 — and two late scores from captain Sergey Gubarev — 11 for the championship — brought it to two goals after Canada increased the lead through Jerry McElroy at the top of the fourth. John Conway, with just four goals heading into today’s match, scored three of his four goals in the second quarter. Canada will need to regroup strength and stamina quickly for the play-off.

FLASH QUOTES:

Alexander Beslin (CAN) — Head Coach
“We followed the game plan, but only from the second quarter. They gained a lot of confidence and this was reflected in the third period (won 3-2 by Kazakhstan). We ran out of gas in the middle of the fourth period. There was a lot of shooting in the first quarter to no effect.”

Ravil Manafov (KAZ)
“It was not what we wanted. We could have played better, but we were preparing (targeting) for this game. There were many positive moments.”

Match 32: 10:50, RUSSIA 9 JAPAN 13

Classification 13-14

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

Referees: Gyorgy Kun (HUN), Masoud Rezvani (IRI).

Extra Man: RUS: 1/6. JPN: 3/8.

Pens:  RUS: 2/2. JPN: 0/2.

Teams: 
RUSSIA: Anton Antonov, Alexey Bugaychuk (2), Artem Odintsov, Igor Bychkov (3), Albert Zinnatullin, Artem Ashaev (1), Vladislav Timakov, Ivan Nagaev (1), Konstantin Stepaniuk (2), Dmitrii Kholod, Sergey Lisunov, Lev Magomalev, Victor Ivanov. Head coach: Erkin Shagaev.

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (1), Atsushi Arai (2), Mitsuaki Shiga, Akira Yanase, Atsuto Iida (2), Yusuke Shimizu (2), Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei (2), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa (3), Shota Hazui (1), Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto.


RUS vs JPN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Match report:
Japan had the better of Russia throughout and proved why it is such an exciting team and probably deserves something better than 13th place, two down from the positions it filled in 2003 and 2001, its previous showings at this level. It did not go all Japan’s way as Russia led 4-2 with 10 seconds remaining of the first quarter, only to allow one through from Seiya Adachi, Japan’s youngest player. Japan levelled at four and five midway through the second quarter before stretching the lead to 8-5 two minutes into the third.  This became 10-6 and 11-7 by the final break. Russia closed the match with a penalty goal for 9-13. Russia looked good at times with some swift executions of goal, but the team looked tired in the second half and Japan jumped on the opportunity to swim — what it does best. Russia’s Alexey Bugaychuk scored twice to finish the tournament as his team’s top scorer with seven goals. Igor Bychkov scored three for the match. Japan’s Koji Takei netted two for 11 from the championship in a team where all field players scored and the totals were spread. Russia finished seventh in Melbourne in 2007, its last visit to the World Championships. For Japan, the last appearance was 11th in 2011.

FLASH QUOTES:

Koji Takei (JPN) — Top Scorer
“We came from a very strong group with Serbia, Montenegro and Australia, but playing in tough games is very good for experience. We had fun today, but our main aim is the Olympic Qualification Tournament in December so then we have this experience and hardness.” On the best point of the match: “We prepared and were determined. We noticed the Russian players were tired in the second half so we swam them hard.”
Seiya Adachi (JPN)
“As the youngest player on the team I wanted to contribute and see to what extent I could improve.” On the best part fo the championship for him: “A chance to play world number one Serbia and match up with Filip Filipovic and drive on him.”

Match 31: 09:30, CHINA 16 ARGENTINA 9

Classification 15-16

Quarters: 6-2, 3-4, 4-2, 3-1

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Tadao Tahara (JPN)

Extra Man: CHN: 5/7. ARG: 3/8.

Pens: Nil

Teams: 
CHINA: Honghui Wu, Feihu Tan (1), Zhangxin Hu (1), Tao Dong (4), Wenhui Lu (1), Li Li (2), Zhongxian Chen, Lun Li (1), Zekai Xie (1), Jinghao Chen (1), Chufeng Zhang (2), Nianxiang Liang (2), Zhiwei Liang. Head coach: Paolo Malara (ITA).
ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich (2), Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni, Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes (2), Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi, German Yanez (5), Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso.

Match report:
China went on the rampage with some fast, cohesive play that including fantastic ball skills on extra-man attack in particular. The speed of the Chinese completely caught Argentina unawares at the start, racing to a 5-0 lead in just over five minutes. Argentina pulled it back to 6-3 at the start of the second quarter and 7-5 with three minutes left. At 9-6 by halftime the match had become more competitive, or as Chinese head coach Paolo Malara (ITA) said: “At 5-1, 7-3 the players think the match is finished.” Argentina brought it back to 9-7 through captain Ivan Carabantes with a backhand goal from seven metres, shooting cross cage. This brought the match alive and scared China into action, finishing the period 13-8. China went to sleep almost in the first five minutes of the final period before scoring three goals to Argentina’s one. For China, Tao Dong scored four goals, finishing the tournament with 10 and Argentina’s German Yanez, who missed much of the previous match on suspension, smashed home five goals  for a team high of 12. It was unusual seeing a team of China’s talent playing for 15th spot and it has plenty of work to do before the Asian Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in China this December.


    CHN vs ARG ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
FLASH QUOTES:
Paolo Malara (ITA) — China Head Coach
“We had excellent contra attack. Globally I am happy with the work and mind except for the match against Croatia (1-17). We have a young team and we played good water polo at these championships. I am happy if the players believe in themselves and continue this into the future. I hope we arrive strong for the (Asian) Olympic Qualification Tournament.”
Ivan Carabantes (ARG) — Captain
“Starting slowly was a problem all tournament. For us this was a very tough game. It’s a thing we have to understand and improve on. We don’t have much rotation (from the bench). This level is impossible to play well all the time in all matches. We talked before the game about concentration. This was a wonderful experience. Our goal was to play every minute 100 percent with body and mind. We knew we were playing different teams and we have to understand to change the mind, play physically and (adjust to) referees. We have to learn and we have to maintain this type of play and improve every time. Thanks to the organisers; they have been very kind to us.”

Match 37: 21:30, ITALY 9 GREECE 6
Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal

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

Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).

Extra Man: ITA: 1/10. GRE: 2/6.

Pens:  ITA: 1/1.

Teams:

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (2), Elisa Queirolo, Federica Radicchi (1), Rosarie Aiello, Tania di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (2), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi (3), Christina Kotsia (1), Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki (1), Antigoni Roumpesi, Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou, Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match Report:

Italy qualified for the semifinals and booked a clash with Netherlands after a rousing victory over Greece. After the drama of the previous three matches, this seemed more sedate. Italy looked the stronger team from the start, but the scoreboard ticked over only once in the first quarter and that to veteran Tania di Mario (36), a survivor from the 2004 Olympic-winning team. Greece levelled at the start of the second period only to have di Mario convert a penalty, Arianna Garibotti to drill one from the top and Roberta Bianconi from eight metres to give Italy a 4-1 advantage. Stefania Charalampidi and Triantafyllia Manolioudaki pulled it back to 3-4 by the close of business in the first half. Di Mario netted her third and Christina Kotsia sent one into the bottom right for 5-4. Federica Radicchi from seven metres and Bianconi from the top on extra gave Italy a respectable 7-4 margin at 2:35. Charalampidi with her second on extra brought it back to two just before the final break. Charalampidi repeated the dose for 6-7 at the top of the final quarter, closely followed by di Mario’s fourth — from well outside — for 8-6. More pain came for Greece when Garibotti scored from deep left on the next attack for 9-6 at 6:03. As the minutes ticked away, Greece’s chances slipped as well. There was no goal for the rest of the match.

FLASH QUOTES:

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach

“I’m happy with the result, not so happy with how we played. We made different mistakes and on six on five. My players feel so much this game. Every year we play Greece in some important match. Now we have the important games of the World Championships. Congratulations to Greece because every times they are a strong team.”

Georgios Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach

“It was not good this game. We didn’t find solutions in offence. We didn’t have the patience and Italy was better. I think we had a good tournament up until now. I’ll have to make sure we continue to get the highest we can in this tournament.” On the main point for the loss:  “We had no clear mind on offence.”
Match 36: 20:10, AUSTRALIA 12 CHINA 10 in penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens:  5-3)
Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal

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

Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra Man: AUS: 0/7. CHN: 3/9.

Pens: AUS: 1/1. CHN: 1/1.

Teams:

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling (1), Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox (1), Rowena Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (1), Bronte Halligan (1), Nicola Zagame, Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (1), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (2), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (2), Weiwei Zhang (1), Xinyan Wang (1), Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.


AUS vs CHN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match Report:

The match was tight from the start and Australia played catch-up to 2-2 before a Zihan Zhao penalty gave China the lead at the first break. A dour second quarter yielded just the one goal, to China, via a rocket pass forward to the arm of Donglun Song for 4-2 at 6:43. The next goal came on the first attack of the third period from Ash Southern sitting on the eight-metre mark. No rejoicing as yet for the Aussie Stingers as Guannan Niu, the 12-goal scorer from China, struck on extra to give her team a two-goal margin again. Captain Bronwen Knox accepted a cross pass and turned it into a goal for 4-5 and Bronte Halligan, daughter of a famous Australian sportsman, delivered the equaliser from deep right. Zhang Weiwei took back the lead for China on extra and on the next attack Rowie Webster converted a penalty at 2:04 for 6-6. Song converted extra-man attack at 4:51 when Australia had two players ejected. Head Coach Greg McFadden gained a yellow card, like his opposite had earlier.  Glencora McGhie scored from deep right 15 seconds later for 7-7 at 4:36. It was the fifth time the Stingers had caught China. Australia had two good opportunities but China’s blocking worked wonders. Australia took a timeout at 0:54, but that shot was stopped by goalkeeper Jun Yang. Now it was time for China to have a break and set the play with just 25 seconds remaining.  The long shot on time was stopped by Lea Yanitsas and the match went to a penalty shootout.

Australia scored all five shots while China’s sole blemish was Niu’s effort, blocked by Yanitsas in the third rotation. The final blast came from Arancini to claim the semifinal berth.

FLASH QUOTES:

Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach

I was pretty disappointed in our performance. Credit to China, they played fantastic. Our extra-man defence was terrible. Our extra-man offence was terrible.” On the shootout: “You’re never confident. It’s a lottery. It’s terrible to lose a game like that.” On scoring all five goals in a shootout under his tenure: “Probably not. All the girls stepped up — Bronte Halligan and Zoe Arancini, it was gutsy to take the last shot and she blew it away.

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach

It was a good game. We played Australia seven times this year and the first was a nine-goal loss. Today we tied so that’s progress. We made a couple of mistakes in the third period that I am not happy with.” On the shootout: “Both teams are good shooters so when it gets to a shootout, just let’s get the ball wet.

Match 38: 18:50, RUSSIA 9 NETHERLANDS 10

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal

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

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra Man: RUS: 2/14. NED: 2/9

Pens: NED: 1/1.

Teams:

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (2), Elvina Karimova (3), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (1), Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (3), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (2), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis (1), Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (3), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (3), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.


RUS vs NED ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match report:

It’s amazing what a crowd can do to lift a team. Netherlands led by four and Russia came back to level at 7-7 midway through the third, only to fall at the final hurdle. Netherlands opened the fastest way possible, on the first attack and then to 3-0 before Russia could respond at 1:20. However, Maud Megens, with just four goals from four games, lobbed from centre forward for her second of the period, four seconds from the break. It moved to 5-1 and 6-2 by midway through the second quarter and the match looked lost for Russia. However, the fighting spirit and the huge support from adoring fans slapping blow-up sticks, gave heart to the youngsters in the pool and Elvina Karimova and star captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva, a junior world champion captain from some years ago in Siberia, both scored on counter attacks for 4-6. Dutch captain Yasemin Smit and Prokofyeva both scored on extra-man attacks to close the half at 5-7. Russia had the momentum and Evgeniya Ivanova, who scored Russia’s second goal, lobbed from centre forward on the first attack of the third period. Then Karimova nailed a shot off a long cross pass just after extra-man attack for the equaliser at 5:30. Where were the Dutch? Not gone just yet. Klaassen converted extra at 1:55 for 8-7 and her third of the match and 12th for the tournament, and the margin was held until the final break. Megens was to the fore again with the open score of the final period on counter and with a lob that television replays show was a fingernail above the outstretched fingers of Russian goalkeeper Anna Karnaukh. Karimova gained her third with a missile from the top at 5:00 for 8-9 much to the joy of the capacity crowd. Van Der Sloot converted a penalty at 4:44 and the margin was two again. Russia gained an ejection late in the match and Ivanova converted at 1:11 for 9-10. The match was on a knife’s edge. Netherlands took a timeout and the Russian drop defence of three in goal made it hard on extra. In the end the defenders blocked the ball and Russia had a chance to level. The ball went wide and it was Megens who stole the ball from a Russian’s hand, controlling until the final buzzer.

FLASH QUOTES:

Yasemin Smit (NED) — Captain

''One of Russia's weapons is their counter attack. We controlled that greatly in the first half, but let it slip in the third quarter. And when they scored a couple of goals out of that, the nerves on offence started to grow, allowing even more until the point that we could settle down and be more patient in attack. I felt that from that point on we were the better team again.''

Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain

What are emotions when you lose. Total frustration. Firstly frustration at my play and how I couldn’t help the team and could have done better. We tried to fight until the end.” On being four goals down and coming back to level: “We displayed our wares so in spite of the game being lost we struggled to the end and didn’t want to be defeated.”

Match 35: 17:30, SPAIN 5 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 8

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinal

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

Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).

Extra Man: ESP: 2/10. USA: 2/9.

Pens: USA: 1/1.

Teams:

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Paula Leiton (1), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja, Clara Espar, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (1), Roser Tarrago, Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (1), Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (2), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist (1), Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.


USA vs ESP ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match Report:

This was an intriguing match between the Olympic champion USA, who also holds the World Cup, World League and Pan Games crowns, and Spain, the World and European champion. One had to be consigned to the round of 5-8 and unfortunately for Spain the dream of retaining its title was cut short. USA started strongly with Kiley Neushul scoring on the first drive down the pool and late in the period Kaleigh Gilchrist receiving a cross pass on counter. It went to 3-0 via a Rachel Fattal score after extra before Anna Espar responded on extra. Maggie Steffens took it to 4-1 on penalty and Neushul tapped one in off the far-post position after extra. Judith Forca redressed the imbalance with a lob out of the setting sun at 0:11 to close the half. This set Spain on a scoring path, lifting the team so that international newcomer Paula Leiton scored from in front on extra and Anna Espar netted a second with a wonderful centre-forward play down the left post, sneaking the ball past USA goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson for 4-5. Spain had its two specialist centre forwards on the bench at the time. Kami Craig finished a lot of passing just after the extra period from the left post for 6-4, which was the final score of the third period. Maica Garcia had a chequered quarter, scoring from deep left on extra for 5-6 at 5:48 to excite the crowd. Then in less than a minute USA blew the match apart with Fattal and Courtney Mathewson converting extra-man plays for 8-5 by 4:26. Then Garcia was ejected from the game on three majors, almost putting a seal on the USA win. Earlier, Spain had two extra-man chances and Roser Tarrago had the goal at her mercy and failed to shoot. At 1:07 she shot, but only after a baulk and it was covered. USA went to a timeout with the luxury of a three-goal margin and from there the game fizzled.


FLASH QUOTES:

Courtney Mathewson (USA)

We tried to get their centre forwards in trouble and this proved successful (Maica Garcia was fouled out). We tried to disrupt their game plan. We came out attacking as if we had nothing to lose. Our goal is to get better with every game. We are improving.” On both Spanish centre forwards being rested on the bench at one stage: “It changed the dynamic and we adjusted defensively.

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

Nothing. USA was better than us. We lost a quarterfinal. They were pressing us and we try to find a solution. USA di very well, they scored some good goals, gained exclusions and scored on counter attack. They played very well.

Match 34: 13:30, KAZAKHSTAN 5 BRAZIL 10
Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Quarters: 1-2, 0-4, 2-4, 2-0
Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Shi Wei Ni (CHN).
Extra Man: KAZ: 2/10. BRA: 3/6.
Pens: BRA: 1/1.
Teams:
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk (1), Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (3), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith (1), Mariana Duarte (1), Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (3), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias (2), Viviane Bahia (1), Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato (1), Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

KAZ vs BRA ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match report:
It was Brazil all the way to a play-off with Hungary for ninth place on Wednesday. Brazil went 2-0 up, let in one goal and then kept Kazakhstan scoreless for 14 minutes when Anastassiya Mirshina netted her ninth goal of the tournament for 2-8. The game was already lost and Brazil made sure of the victory by the final break, leading 10-3. Mirshina came back with another to start the fourth at a time when Brazilian head coach Pat Oaten (CAN) was demanding more of his team, which is the host for next year’s Olympic Games. Mirshina made it three for the day with a penalty conversion for 5-10 at 4:49. The best part for Kazakhstan was that it kept Brazil scoreless for the period. Izabella Chiappini was instrumental in the win with three goals, including a nice long arrow shot from the top to lift her tournament tally to 15.
FLASH QUOTES:
Pat Oaten (CAN) — Head Coach
“We played well from the first to third quarters, stuck to the game plan. We are making baby steps. We know Hungary will come out and play hard press against us. Hungary got a little bit of bad luck here. Hungary is a good team and it has a good coach. I think people will say by the Olympics Games we deserve to be there.”
Izabella Chiappini (BRA) —  15 goals in Tournament

“It was really important to win to play off for ninth and let people see we’re at a better level. Today defence won us the game. We’re now becoming a team. We’re really tired now, but it will be good for us to go to the Olympics to do a good job.I’m really excited to play Hungary (for ninth) and have a really good game.”
Match 33: 12:10, CANADA 7 HUNGARY 10
Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Quarters: 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 1-4
Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Cory Williams (NZL).
Extra Man: CAN: 3/8. HUN: 4/8.
Pens: Nil.
Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo, Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (2), Monika Eggens (1), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson (1), Stephanie Valin (1), Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal, Dora Kisteleki (2), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (4), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka (2), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
Match Report:
A two-goal burst in 41 seconds at the top of the fourth period proved the difference between these two teams. Canada had to come back four times to level at one, two, three and six. The 6-6 score came from Emma Wright at 1:15 in the third period giving hope to Canada that had been playing up and down in Kazan. Today it played solidly, but it could not contain the excellent finishing skills of Hungarian star Rita Keszthelyi, who scored two in the second quarter, one in the third and another in the fourth. Those two goals in quick succession gave Hungary the impetus to strike again, this time through Anna Iiles after an extra-man play. Wright netted again, on extra, sending in a left-hander to the top right on extra for 7-9 at 3:08. Another leftie, Barbara Bujke, went on counter and scored to take Hungary to 10-7 and what proved enough to go to the semifinals. Heated scenes were in the water and on pool deck at the end of the match with Canadian captain Krystina Alogbo storming from the pool.
FLASH QUOTES:
Andras Meresz (HUN) — Head Coach
“I’m happy because the girls knew it was not just a goal for ninth place. It was very important for the girls mentally. It was just a game for the Magyars. Canada’s team and style is the power game. They are taller and heavier. The wrestling game was a tie. The game we won.”
Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach
“It was not the way we wanted to end the game, players losing their tempers. You must respect the opponent and your team-mates and play fair until the end of the game,” alluding to the fracas on the side of the pool at the end of the match. On the best part for her team: “Desire was really there. We were doing mistakes all over the tournament, but losing the ball on the perimeter when two goals down and that becomes three… This kind of error is about losing concentration. Finishing 11th or 12th is the worst result for water polo women in Canada. It’s time to think about the programming, coaching staff, players, training facilities; we need to analyse all this and hope to take a good decision to move forward.”
Dominique Perrault (CAN)
“It’s not the position we expected to be in. We were ready to play, but now we have to look forward to next March for the (Olympic Games) Qualification Tournament. We could be seeing them at the qualifiers.” On what was good for Canada: “We were aggressive and helping each other. That was what was asked of us.”

Match 32: 10:50, NEW ZEALAND 7 FRANCE 6

Classification 13-14

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

Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Stephane Roy (CAN).

Extra Man: NZL: 1/5. FRA: 1/8.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison (1), Danielle Lewis (1), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry (1), Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance (1), Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles (2), Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot (2), Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet (1), Geraldine Mahieu (1), Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy (2), Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.


NZL vs JPN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match report:

New Zealand finished the tournament with two wins, taking out a close match with France in which the scores were level  at every number to six. New Zealand scored the killer blow through captain Jasmine Myles with a nine-metre lob at 1:45 in the final quarter, which the Kiwis won 2-0. New Zealand held out the powerful-shooting French captain Louise Guillet, who only netted once for a tournament tally of 13. Myles finished her team’s equal top scorer with Danielle Lewis on seven. In fact, only one field player did not score for the Kiwis. The match was enthralling for its closeness and intent from both teams. Despite two wins, it was a place down for New Zealand after four straight 12th places going back to 2001. Its best performance in the years with much fewer teams, was seventh in Perth in 1991. France’s best was ninth out of nine, also in 1991. Its last visit to the Worlds was in 2003 where it fended 15th and its best in 1994 in Rome where it finished 11th.
FLASH QUOTES:

Jasmine Myles (NZL) — Captain

It was really different after playing South Africa (in crossovers). France was a lot stronger, faster and grabby. We kept our cool and stayed level-headed. We went in to win so it was good.” On the tournament: “We had a tough pool with Spain, the world champions, and Canada. We had hoped to win over Kazakhstan, but we didn’t. It was good to finish the tournament on a high.

Geraldine Mahieu (FRA) — Centre Forward

It was so frustrating that we lost. We wanted to win because we know we can play much better. It was because of mentality, tiredness that we did not play well. We started fighting and not playing the game.” On the tournament: “We were here to learn to play and we faced top teams like Hungary, China and Russia in our group.” On the best part of the tournament: “Against China we won a period 2-1. Just a little winning!

Match 31: 09:30, SOUTH AFRICA 7 JAPAN 14

Classification 15-16 

Quarters: 0-2, 0-2, 3-7, 4-3

Referees: Peter De Jong (NED), German Moller (ARG).

Extra Man: RSA: 2/8. JPN: 1/3.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfeld (1), Megan Schooling (1), Amica Hallendorff (1), Kimberly Kay (1), Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon (1), Kelsey White (2), Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe.

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue (2), Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata (1), Ayaka Takahashi (2), Yumi Nakano (4), Mitsuki Hashiguchi (2), Kana Hosoya (1), Tsubasa Mori (2), Marina Tokumoto (1), Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.


RSA vs JPN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Match report:

Japan and South Africa bowed out of competition with Japan collecting its first win by keeping South Africa scoreless in the first half. Japan used counter attack and centre-forward play to tick over the scoreboard. South Africa scored three in the third period — at 1-4, 2-6 and 3-11 — but poor passing led to many Japanese counter-attack goals. Japan enjoyed   making sure all players went home with at least one goal and the productive quarter showed its skills and speed were equal to the best teams. The 7-3 period was probably the highest scoring of all matches in Kazan. South Africa actually won the last period 4-3, which was testament to a do-or-die effort despite the hurdles it faced all tournament. Japan’s Yumi Nakano top-scored with four to give her 10 for the tournament. South Africa’s Ruby Versfeld was her team’s best with five.

FLASH QUOTES:

Tsubasa Mori (JPN) — Captain


This was a must-win game. There centre forwards were much bigger than us so we had to keep swimming and make the most of our counter-attack game. I was pleased with our defensive tactics and kept pressing. There was also pressure on our defence during the tournament that that fatigued us. We have to improve on our shooting conversion.” On the Asian Olympic qualification tournament in December: “We have China and Kazakhstan as our biggest opposition. We need to use the same tactics as Kazan — press and counter attack. We also need to refine our skills.

Brad Rowe (RSA) —Head Coach

It was a bridge too far. I had three on the bench and one for the entire tournament. We were the most under-trained team here (lack of funding and geographical spread of players). We were mentally drained; mentally and physically tired. We were running on empty. You can only get thumped so many times before you give up.

Kelsey White (RSA) — Captain

We didn’t start well and our lack of fitness and awareness showed in this game. We were quickly five-six goals behind. We were not fit enough. In the end we did some really good shots and finishing (last quarter which RSA won 4-3). We ere all trying to do something and our passing was not accurate. Even when so tired we have to learn to still make passes and correct decisions.” On the tournament: “It was great experience to play the top teams. Playing those calibre of teams is also a great honour. We have six new players and it’s opened their eyes to what can be. We will go home now and work on all those things.

LAS GUERRERAS, DESTRONADAS POR UNA GRAN USA

03/08/2015 - España no podrá revalidar el trono conquistado a fuerza de sacrificio en Barcelona 2013. No es que haya abdicado del trono, es que Estados Unidos fue mejor y nos hizo abdicar con un 5—8 (0—2, 2—3, 2—1 y 1—2) final que a todos nos deja con una enorme amargura, pero con el aplauso para las trece guerreras. El destino juntó a dos grandes y uno tenía que perder. Fue España, que volverá pronto a los Juegos Olímpicos en busca de la medalla de oro en Río. De eso no nos cabe duda a nadie aquí.
Comenzó el partido con balón para las nuestras -Jenny es un seguro de vida en esta suerte- y con los nervios lógicos de un partido de cuartos de final entre dos de las mejores potencias del mundo. España no afinaba en ataque y veía como en poco más de 3 minutos las estadounidenses se marchaban con dos goles de Neushul y Gilchrist (0-2) ¿Preocupante? Bueno, quedaba mucho partido, nada menos que tres cuartos, pero con un rival como EEUU cualquier diferencia de tres goles es muy peligrosa.
La defensa estadounidense sacando a la boya de la zona les dio resultado a las americanas, que además aprovechaban un contragolpe para poner un 0-3 por mediación de Fattal, un apellido que esperábamos que no fuera premonitorio. Tardamos 11 minutos en perforar la portería de Asjleigh Johnson, con una defensa numantina de las americanas. Fue Anni Espar en uno más(1-3), pero Estados Unidos construyó su ataque desde la defensa y castigó dos veces más la portería de Laura Ester, una de ellas con penalti ejecutado por su capitana Maggie Steffens.
MALAS NOTICIAS
El 2-5 al descanso era un mal síntoma, ampliado además con la noticia de las dos faltas acumuladas por nuestra boya titular Maica García. Pero si algo tiene este equipo es que no se desamima. La benjamina del torneo Paula Leitón asumió, demandada por Miki Oca, una gigantesca responsabilidad. Y como buena alumna, se sacó una expulsión y remató en dos metros un gol (3-5) que nos metía en el partido, sobre todo después e que Anni Espar se sacara una genialidad en 2 metros y con dos americanas encima (4-5). La decoración había cambiado radicalmente.
Craig puso el 4-6 en uno más a medio minuto de la conclusión del tercer cuarto. Krikorian pidió tiempo para abrir brecha y Oca respondió, a balón recuperado, con otro para una última jugada de ataque con doble boya. No funcionó: 4-6 y 8 minutos para jugarse la vida aquí en Kazan. Cada ataque era un mundo y cada defensa una odisea. Apareció Maica (5-6) pero respondió Fattal, su segundo de la tarde, para hacernos mucho daño.
Con 5-7 y a 5 minutos del final las estrategias acaban siendo decisiones, oportunas o no de las jugadoras. Sacamos muchas faltas pero non acertamos en las superioridades. Y eso en waterpolo es definitivo. USA, además, hizo sangre con el 5-8 de Mathewson. Nos estábamos yendo del Mundial de una forma cruel. Tanto que los últimos 3 minutos fueron realmente intrascendentes.Tras un tiempo muerto feo de EEUU a poco más de un minuto (absolutamente antideportivo), nada había que hacer. Ya habíamos firmado la capitulación...
FICHA TÉCNICA:
http://waterpolo.sportresult.com/pdf/WCH2015/W35.pdf
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). 




USA beats defending champion - Kazan day 9

Japan finishes the 2015 World Championships in 15th place. In the classification match on Monday morning in Kazan South Africa was beaten 7-15 to claim the penultimate place in the final rankings. Japan held South Africa scoreless in the first half as the African representatives had trouble finishing their chances. In an eleven-goal third quarter the South Africans managed to come on the board but saw Japan walking away even further. Goals were exchanged in the final period to raise the score even more but Japan's win and 15th place finish was ensured by then.
In the next game it was New Zealand who topped France after a close finish 7-6 to take 13th place. A nice completed run of two wins to conclude the tournament is what the New Zealand side can take home with them. And the victory over France was hard-fought. Two consecutive goals scored in the final period by the Kiwis actually turned around the score as France for three quarters looked to be underway to victory, despite the game going back and forth. In a tense final two possessions for the French the defence by New Zealand hung on and avoided a penalty shootout but instead could celebrate the win and the 13th place finish.

Hungary won a physical game over Canada 7-10 to now be playing for 9th place. Canada, now going for their worst World Championships result, actually held on quite nicely in the first half. Hungary had trouble imposing their playing style which allowed Canada to score their goals and stay close to their favourite but uninspired opponents. Thins went different in the final period, though, with score tied at 6-6. Hungary now came out in a different intensity, tightening their defence and decided the game by scoring thrice in a row. Standout once for the Magyar women was Rita Keszthelyi who scored 4 goal and looks a serious contender for the tournament top goal-scorer title. Now Hungary awaits Brazil for 9th place while Canada meets Kazakhstan to play for 11th place on Wednesday.

Brazil walked away to a controlled 5-10 win over Kazakhstan in the final match of the early session on Monday in Kazan. Thanks to simply more firing power from outside it was Brazil who grabbed hold of the contest in the second period scoring four unanswered goals as the young and little Kazakhstan side was held scoreless for the quarter. That dominance continued in the third session where Brazil could establish a decisive 7-goal advantage that even allowed them remain without a goal in the final period but still win by 5: 5-10. Izabella Chiappini once more topped Brazil's scorers list netting 3 while Anastassiya Mirshina did the same for Kazakhstan.

Quarterfinals

The highly anticipated quarterfinals of the 2015 World Championships got underway in the evening session on Monday with perhaps the biggest match-up on paper as defending champion Spain took on reigning World Cup, World League and Olympic champion USA. A world title for the Americans however last happened in 2009 in Rome, but very well could be achieved here in Kazan. Team USA put up a convinving performance, virtually shutting down the talented Spain offence in the first half to win the top match-up 5-8 and qualify for the semifinals. Key in the win, as basically always in the big games, was the defence by Team USA. Their zone shut down the passes to ever-dangerous centre forward Maica Garcia from Spain and in the first half Spain simply did not had an answer for it. Around the big break things changed for Spain when head coach Miki Oca came out with different tactics which included more movement and dynamic play which resulted in some goals as Spain suddenly looked for the comeback. But it was right there, the score at 4-5, when USA came up big in response as Kami Craig scored one for the big blow to end the third period leading 4-6. In the fourth, Maica Garcia, having a tough game, managed to score on an man-up from the left wing to put Spain back to trailing just a single goal but Rachel Fattal replied just 20 seconds later and when veteran Courtney Mathewson scored a trademark goal from the left wing on extra man with 4.26 remaining, USA looked to have decied the outcome. Spain's resistance was broken and in the final minutes no goals were scored so that in the final minute the USA bench could already start cheering on the big win over the defending champion moving on to the semifinals in the quest for a first world championships gold medal since 2009.

Netherlands caused somewhat of an upset in the second semifinal by eliminating hosts Russia for the medals. In a convincing display in the first half, the Dutch held on in the final stages of the game to beat Russia 9-10 and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1998. The home team's main weapon, its lightening quick counter attack, was put to a hold in the first two quarters as a well-organised Netherlands defence but also offensive plan showed patience and vision. It even led to 1-4 and 2-6 scores before after the big break Russia could finally force the Dutch to more sloppy play on offence. Their earlier shooting at times was punished quickly by the Russian ladies who swam away to a comeback up until the point where Elvira Karimova levelled the score at 7-7 midway through the third quarter. At was there that the Dutch side finally managed to settle down in attack regaining the control they had throughout the first half while Russia struggled in their set play on offence. The game still got into a tense final though as the Netherlands took a two-goal lead twice in the third and final period but Russia responded, the second time through Evgeniya Ivanova who scored with just over a minute remaining reducing Russia's decifict back to single margin: 9-10. The Dutch got an excellent shot to seal the deal but could not convert as Yasemin Smit's attempt was blocked and Russia looked to have their final shot for the equaliser. Goalie Anna Karnaukh however threw the ball at teammate Anna Timofeeva who was surprised by Dutch standout Maud Megens turning around and anticipating the pass which was eventually intercepted leading to an exclusion for Timofeeva as she blocked Megen's way to a counter attack. The Netherlands played out the clock and started celebrating their almost historical semifinal berth also knowing they met the goal set before the tournament. Now the winner of Italy-Greece awaits on Wednesday.

Yasemin Smit (NED) - Captain
''One of Russia's weapons is their counter attack. We controlled that greatly in the first half but let it slip in the third quarter. And when they scored a couple of goals out of that, the nerves on offence started to grow, allowing even more. Until the point that we could settle down and be more patient in attack. I felt that from that point on we were the better team again.'' 

Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain
“What are emotions when you lose. Total frustration. Firstly frustration at my play and how I couldn’t help the team and could have done better. We tried to fight until the end.” On being four goals down and coming back to level: “We displayed our wares so in spite of the game being lost we struggled to the end and didn’t want to be defeated.”


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Quarterfinal round


Monday, 3 August (women)


South Africa (L W25) vs. Japan (L W26) 7-15 (0-2, 0-2, 3-8, 4-3) - W31 (15th/16th place classification)
South Africa scorers: Kelsey White 2, Ruby Versfeld, Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Deborah O'Hanlon.

Japan scorers: Yumi Nakano 4, Chiaki Sakanoue 2, Ayaka Takahashi 2, Mitsuki Hashiguchi 2, Tsubasa Mori 2, Moe Nakata, KanaHosoya, Marina Tokumoto.



New Zealand (W W25) vs. France (W W26) 7-6 (1-2, 3-2, 1-2, 2-0) - W32 (13th/14th place classification)
New Zealand scorers: Jasmine Myles 2, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis, Sarah Landry, Caitlin Lopes da Silva, Liana Dance.

France scorers: Estelle Millot 2, Marion Tardy 2, Louise Guillet, Geraldine Mahieu. 



Canada (L W27) vs. Hungary (L W29) 7-10 (1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 1-4)
 - W33
Canada scorers: Emma Wright 2, Monika Eggens, Joelle Bekhazi, Carmen Eggens, Christine Robinson, Stephanie Valin.

Hungary scorers: Rita Keszthelyi 4, Dora Kisteleki 2, Barbara Bujka 2, Gabriella Szücs, Anna Illes. 



Kazakhstan (L W28) vs. Brazil 5-10 (1-2, 0-4, 2-4, 2-0) (L W30) - W34
Kazakhstan scorers: Anastassiya Mirshina 3, Anna Turova, Oxana Saichuk.

Brazil scorers: Izabella Chiappini 3, Melani Dias 2, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Amanda Oliveira, Viviane Bahia, Gabriela Mantellato.



Spain (1A) vs. USA (W W29) 5-8 (0-2, 2-3, 2-1, 1-2) - W35
Spain scorers: Anni Espar 2, Paula Leiton, Judith Forca, Maica Garcia.

USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 2, Kiley Neushul 2, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Kami Craig.

Russia (1D) vs. Netherlands (W W28) 9-10 (1-4, 4-3, 2-1, 2-2) - W38
Russia scorers: Evgeniya Ivanova 3, Elvina Karimova 3, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 2, Ekaterina Lisunova.

Netherlands scorers: Maud Megens 3, Lieke Klaassen 3, Sabrina van der Sloot 2, Yasemin Smit, Marloes Nijhuis.



Australia (1B) vs. China (W W30) 12-10 (2-3, 0-1, 4-2, 1-1; penalties: 5-3) - W36
Australia scorers: Hannah Buckling, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster, Glennie McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern, Bronte Halligan.

China scorers: Donglun Song 2, Zihan Zhao 2, Guannan Niu, Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang.



21.30: Italy (1C) vs. Greece (W W27) - W37

Quarterfinal round

Tuesday, 4 August (men)

09.30: China (L M25) vs. Argentina (L M26) - M31 (15th/16th place classification)
10.50: Russia (W M25) vs. Japan (W M26) - M32 (13th/14th place classification)
12.10: Canada (L M27) vs. Kazakhstan (L M29) - M33
13.30: Brazil (L M28) vs. South Africa (L M30) - M34

17.30: Croatia (1A) vs. Montenegro (W M29) - M35
18.50: Greece (1B) vs. Australia (W M30) - M36
20.10: Hungary (1C) vs. Italy (W M27) - M37
21.30: Serbia (1D) vs. USA (W M28) - M38

Semifinal round

Wednesday, 5 August (women)


10.50: L W33 vs. L W34 - W39 (11th/12th place classification)
12.10: W W33 vs. W W34 - W40 (9th/10th place classification)

15.30: Spain (L W35) vs. China (L W36) - W41
17.00: L W37 vs. Russia (L W38) - W42
20.15: USA (W W35) vs. Australia (W W36) - W43
21.45: W W37 vs. Netherlands (W W38) - W44

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.


16,30 ESPAÑA—USA, EL PARTIDO DE LOS PARTIDOS


16,30 ESPAÑA-USA, EL PARTIDO DE LOS PARTIDOS

03/08/2015 - Conviene recordar que hace no muchos años veíamos a USA, Australia, Italia, Hungría... como molinos de viento para Don Quijote de la Mancha: gigantes con afiladas aspas. Hoy, un España—Estados Unidos es el más grande de los encuentros, el partido de los partidos, el que convierte a los ganadores en leyenda y a los perdedores en un valle de lágrimas. Son los cuartos de final del Mundial KAZAN2015 y uno de los dos equipos, lamentanblemente, se quedará fuera. 16,30h. DIRECTO TELEDEPORTE
Parece toda una contradicción que uno de los dos tenga que jugar del 5º al 8º pero la victoria de Italia en la primera fase ante las estadounidenses trastocó todo el cuadro. A España jno le importa, es el actual campeón del Mundo, ya ganamos a Estados Unidos en cuartos de final de los Mundiales de Barcelona 2013 y hoy estamos preparados para la gran batalla deportiva.
las chicas de Miki Oca han tenido tres días de entreno, vídeos y detalles técnicos y tácticos para preparar el partido del año, la frontera entre las medallas y el desirerto más absoluto. De jugar del glamour de la tarde con las gradas llenas a jugar por la mañana y con las gradas semivacías. Esta tarde, a las 17,30 -hora local- 16,30 en España televisiado en directo por Teledeporte, el gran partido del año: España-Estados Unidos. Go, Spain!
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). Foto: España, ante el gran partido de esta tarde en Kazan / Rfen

*******


Estados Unidos, rival de España en cuartos

Estados Unidos, rival de España en cuartos

01/08/2015 - La selección española ya conoce a qué rival se enfrentará el lunes a las 16.30h en los cuartos de final del Mundial de Kazan. Será Estados Unidos, que esta tarde ha vencido cómodamente a Hungría (12—7) en el enfrentamiento de ronda preliminar al que se vieron abocadas tras acabar las norteamericanas segundas del Grupo C y el combinado magiar 3º del D. De esta forma, España se verá las caras con un equipo que llega en plena forma a pesar de haber caído ante Italia en la fase de grupos.
Vencían ya por un claro 7-2 al descanso las estadounidenses, que han logrado ampliar la distancia hasta los ocho goles de diferencia al término del tercer periodo (11-3). Han maquillado el marcador las húngaras al final (12-7), pero aún así se ven abocadas a luchar por la novena plaza. Rachel Fattal, con cuatro tantos, ha sido la jugadora más afinada en el ataque norteamericano.
De esta forma, España y USA se volverán a medir en un gran acontecimiento internacional desde la final de los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres, cuando las estadounidenses ganaron por 8-5 y se hicieron con el oro. Ahí empezó el ciclo triunfal de las nuestras, que llegan mucho más maduras a esta cita. Sin duda, uno de los mejores partidos de waterpolo femenino a nivel internacional que se puede ver en el planeta.
FICHA DEL USA-HUNGRÍA:
Comunicación RFEN. Foto: Imagen de un choque de Estados Unidos / @waterpolistacom



Italy, USA, Montenegro, Australia into quarterfinals - Kazan day 8

Host team Russia will play to finish the 2015 World Championships in 13th place after they topped China on penalties 11-14 in the classification semifinal match on Sunday in Kazan. In control for most of the match China managed to comeback in the final period and ultimately tied the game with just a second on the game clock as Tao Dong scored his third of the game on man-up for the 10-10 score, silencing the crowd inside the Water Polo Arena. For the subsequent penalty shootout Russia head coach Erkin Shagaev changed goalkeepers and that move proved to be a good, if not decisive one. Back-up goalie Victor Ivanov saved two penalties from China while his team-mates remained 'perfect' so that after Alexey Bugaychuk scored the team's 4th attempt, the series was already over and Russia came out winning 11-14. Now the home side faces Japan who proved to have the better of Argentina, for 13th place. The Japanese side came out firing and quickly established a 0-4 lead at quarter time before Argentina managed to get onto the board in the second period. After losing top shooter German Yañez to a red card for allegedly kicking, Japan could swim their way to a large victory against the slower Argentine team. Koji Takei highlighted the second half with a pair of beautiful goals for a total of 4. First he scored from 8 metres out with a deadly sharp attempt, and a few minutes later, seemingly nonchalent used a nice threathening move to mislead the Argentine goalie easily scoring quickly after that. Next up is home team Russia for 13th place on Tuesday while Argentina and China will play to avoid finishing the championships last.

Italy were the first to qualify for the quarterfinals out of the crossover round on Sunday as a tight defence held Canada to scoring just 2 goals in a 2-8 win. Right from the start it was clear that both teams' game plans were focused on the defensive part especially. For Canada continueing their defensive intensity from the past 2 games in Kazan, for Italy what we usually see from them. As a result goals were hard to make and few of them were on display in the match-up. But Italy had the better of the game simply because of snatching goals every now and then when opportunities, small or big, arose. It led to a 0-2 lead at quarter time and control of the game in the remainder. Canada had to work extremely hard and although making life hard for the Italians, conceded important goals from the Italians who slowly but surely walked away. The resistance looked broken in the final period where fatigue also started to take its toll and the Alessandro Campagna coached side could secure the victory by scoring three more, unanswered, goals. Now for Italy a huge quarterfinal awaits as defending champions Hungary will be the next opponents. For Canada the race to finish in 9th place starts on Tuesday.

Alessandro Campagna (ITA) - Head Coach
“No match is easy. It was not easy against Russia (won 9-6) or Greece when we lost (10-11). We are a young team; there are seven players for the first time at a World Championships. There was too much emotion early in the tournament. The players need to play strong matches, mentally and try hard.” On playing Hungary in the quarterfinals: “What we have done in the past (in Kazan) is zero. Hungary is a great team, world champion. We have to prepare tactics, psychology and we must win.”

Alex Giorgetti (ITA) - Two Goals
“We made a great match. Canada was good and fast and played well with the physical aspect. The referees perhaps leaned to the lesser team, but the final result was right. Our defence was very strong. Defence is the most important part of things.”

Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (CAN) - Centre Forward
 ''It was a good game with a lot of intensity. The main difference was that Italy were simply better at key moments. I don't think we're that far from this team but with their experience and plays at the key moments, they were better today. Personally it was a tough game. Italy's defence dropped back a lot so it was hard for me to get some balls. I think their game plan was to shut me down.''

Robin Randall (CAN) - Goalkeeper
“When you only score two goals there must be a problem on offence. The guys had plenty of energy and worked their a**** off. There were a few mis-cues and that hurt, but we had a lot of heat and played the whole way through.”

USA also clinched a quarterfinals berth by controlling their match against Brazil throughout and win 3-7. Just 9 exclusion and 1 penalty called for by the referees, the game was going up and down with very few moments of break. It meant a lot of swimming as both defences looked to be well organised, especially the one of Team USA. The North Americans struck first scoring twice in the first quarter and managed to keep up their defensive intensity with goalkeeper Merrill Moses as vocal point and standout saving 80% of the shots fired at him. It caused Brazil trouble all game long. The next two goals for USA were scored by Bret Bonanni, including 1 penalty shot, as in the third quarter the Dejan Udovicic coached side got up 1-4 before Gustavo Guimaraes looked to put some believe back into his team by scoring the 2-4 goal with 4.42 to go in that period. But the USA defence did not allowed any more slipping afterwards holding Brazil scoreless for the next 10 minutes in which an active John Mann scored twice in a row to decide the outcome. Felipe Perrone's nice hit with just 2.20 on the clock only decided the final score. USA will now meet Serbia in the quarterfinals, a special match for USA head coach Dejan Udovicic who faces his longtime former team while Brazil will be playing for 9th place starting Tuesday.

Merrill Moses (USA) - Goalkeeper
''Our coaching staff had a great tactical plan. We played strong team defence, the team listened to my defensive calls. We knew that we would win this game with defence. Of course we know them well having played each other a couple of times in the last month, but kudos to my coaching staff. This team's going to do something special. We're a team to watch out for.''

Felipe Perrone (BRA) — Captain
“We played World League and Pan Americans and now here. It was a good game, but we missed a lot of shots. It is an important step to the Olympics (2016 Rio). USA was very, very tough and they worked a lot. If we beat South Africa in two days it will be the best result in Brazil’s history. We are trying to do the best we can as fast as we can.”

Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach
“The level was not the highest tonight. We are in the same situation. It is our first competition since a month (Pan Ams) and we are exhausted. We were the worst team. We found the courage and strain in the last quarter.”

Montenegro will also be present in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. They overcome a sloppy first half and 4-2 deficit against Kazakhstan to win 8-12. Tied 5-5 at half-time it looked as if the Kazakhstan side could be on the way to making the game a close one. But the favourite Montenegrins managed to turn things around in the third period by mainly raising the intensity. And as fatigue or a lack of it started to play a role for Kazakhstan it was Montenegro who took over and secured the seemingly comfortable 4-goal win. Things will be different on Tuesday when preliminary round group winner Croatia awaits in the quarters.

Drasko Brguljan (MNE)
''In the first half we had offensive problems. We were not finishing counter attacks and they (Kazakhstan) did score a couple of goals. But in the end we played much better in defence and that is very important to us as we have lost offensive power missing three important players (Nikola Janovic, Antonio Petrovic and Sasa Misic). And as we also swam much, much faster in the second half, we knew that they were probably get tired in the end. Now Croatia in the quarterfinals. Maybe that's even good for us. Croatia's game is much more like ours. I think it suits us better than Australia or Kazakhstan for instance. And we know each other very well. But obviously we will come in more tired and our rotation is smaller than theirs since we have three very young players who don't play so much. But we will have to find a way and I hope we can take that one more step and get into the semifinals.'' 

Sergey Drozdov (KAZ) — Head Coach
“I’m not happy with the result. We played a good game, but in the third quarter the players were tired and made a lot of defensive mistakes that gave the game to Montenegro. Also we hit the crossbar many times. Montenegro is a very strong team and there was a lot of wrestling. We played just eight-nine players. We are making progress in this tournament (over the four matches).”

Australia completed the group of quarterfinalists of the 2015 World Championships after overpowering South Africa 1-17 in the final match on Sunday in Kazan. Right from the start it was obvious that this would be a far from levelled battle. South Africa had trouble getting shots off and saw Australia countering their way to comfortable leads as head coach Elvis Fatovic gave every player enough playing minutes. Likely the Australian minds were already in the quarterfinals where Greece awaits on Tuesday.


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)


Sunday, 2 August (men)

13th-16th place classification semifinals

China (A4) vs. Russia (B4) 11-14 (1-2, 4-4, 2-1, 3-3; penalties: 1-4) - M25
China scorers: Feihu Tan 4, Tao Dong 3, Wenhui Lu, Li Li, Chufeng Zhang.

Russia scorers: Artem Odintsov 2, Konstantin Stepanyuk 2, Dmitrii Kholod 2, Sergey Lisunov 2, Vladislav Timakov, Ivan Nagaev.



Argentina (4C) vs. Japan (4D) 6-14 (0-4, 2-2, 2-4, 2-4) - M26
Argentina scorers: Ivan Carabantes 3, Franco DeMarchi 3.

Japan scorers: Koji Takei 4, Mitsuaki Shiga 2, Atsuto Ilda 2, Seiya Adachi, Akira Yanase, Yusuke Shimizu, Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa, Shota Hazui.



Round of last 16

Canada (2A) vs. Italy (3B) 2-8 (0-2, 1-1, 1-2, 0-3) - M27
Canada scorers: Constantin Kudaba, George Torakis.

Italy scorers: Alex Giorgetti 2, Niccolo Gitto 2, Alessandro Velotto, Pietro Figlioli, Matteo Aicardi, Fabio Baraldi.

Brazil (3A) vs. USA (2B) 3-7 (0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-3) - M28
Brazil scorers: Bernardo Gomes, Felipe Perrone, Gustavo Guimaraes.

USA scorers: John Mann 3, Luca Cupido 2, Bret Bonanni 2.



Kazakhstan (2C) vs. Montenegro (3D) 8-12 (3-2, 2-3, 1-5, 2-2) - M29
Kazakhstan scorers: Sergey Gubarev 3, Alexandr Axenov 2, Rustam Ukumanov 2, Vladimir Ushakov.

Montenegro scorers: Darko Brguljan 3, Mladjan Janovic 3, Aleksandar Radovic 2, Aleksandar Ivovic 2, Vjekoslav Paskovic, Predrag Jokic.



South Africa (3C) vs. Australia (2D) 1-17 (1-5, 0-6, 0-2, 0-4) - M30
South Africa scorer: Etienne le Roux.

Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 4, Aiden Roach 3, Mitch Emery 3, Jarrod Gilchrist 2, Tyler Martin 2, Richie Campbell, George Ford, Joel Swift.



Quarterfinal round

Monday, 3 August (women)

09.30: South Africa (L W25) vs. Japan (L W26) - W31 (15th/16th place classification)
10.50: New Zealand (W W25) vs. France (W W26) - W32 (13th/14th place classification)
12.10: Canada (L W27) vs. Hungary (L W29) - W33
13.30: Kazakhstan (L W28) vs. Brazil (L W30) - W34

17.30: Spain (1A) vs. USA (W W29) - W35
18.50: Russia (1D) vs. Netherlands (W W28) - W38
20.10: Australia (1B) vs. China (W W30) - W36
21.30: Italy (1C) vs. Greece (W W27) - W37

Quarterfinal round


Tuesday, 4 August (men)

09.30: China (L M25) vs. L M26 - M31 (15th/16th place classification)
10.50: Russia (W M25) vs. W M26 - M32 (13th/14th place classification)
12.10: Canada (L M27) vs. Kazakhstan (L M29) - M33
13.30: Brazil (L M28) vs. South Africa (L M30) - M34

17.30: Croatia (1A) vs. Montenegro (W M29) - M35
18.50: Greece (1B) vs. Australia (W M30) - M36
20.10: Hungary (1C) vs. Italy (W M27) - M37
21.30: Serbia (1D) vs. USA (W M28) - M38

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

Greece, Netherlands, USA, China complete quarterfinals - Kazan day 7

New Zealand will play for a 13th place finish at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan after having won the semifinal against South Africa with a convincing score of 11-3 on Saturday. In the win the Kiwis managed to keep South Africa scoreless in the entire first half. In the final period, when fatigue let the number of turnovers rise for the Africans, the winners could walk away to their first triumph of the tournament. Now on Monday the classification match for 13th place will determine their ranking at the 2015 worlds. For South Africa, the same wille be on the programma, only for 15th/16th place. The New Zealand women will play for France for 13th place after the French came back from 3-0 deficit to beat Japan 6-9. Carried by top scorer Louise Guillet, who netted 5 on Saturday, the French overcame a slow start and grabbed control of the game agains the physically infernior Japanese side in the second period. That already proved decisive as the squad could consolidate in the remainder, despite Japan trying hard for the equaliser in the final eight minutes. The young French side is now up for a possible nice 13th place ranking, playing New Zealand on Monday. Japan will try to avoid finishing last in Monday's match-up with South Africa.

The first match-up in the crossover round saw Greece qualifying for the quarterfinals, where they will meet Italy, after overcoming Canada in the second half on Saturday. The Canadians looked ready to play in the game's first two quarters keeping up with Greece up to the 4-4 score at half-time. The difference then was made by Greece who got their stops on defence and finally saw the shots starting to fall. As centre forward Alexandra Asimaki, targeting by Canada and mainly focusing on defence, and veteran Alkisti Avramidou remained scoreless, several youngsters of the talented Greece side stepped up, with Stefania Charalampidi finishing as top scorer with 3. The Greek women grabbed hold of the game in the third period scoring a pair of unanswered goals which put them in the driver's seat, especially after Manolioudaki netted the 4-7 goal with over 6 minutes remaining in the game. In the second half Canada eventually went scoreless for 21 minutes before Joelle Bekhazi decided the final score with over a minute left to play. The Georgios Morfesis coached side is now up for a daunting task in facing Italy in the quarterfinals while Canada will go on to play for 5th place.

The second side to make it into the quarterfinals was the Netherlands who overrun Kazakhstan 1-21 in a blowout win whose highlight came late in the fourth quarter when the Kazakh squad finally managed to score, much to the delightment of the crowd. The Dutch side now faces home team in Russia in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Arno Havenga (NED) - Head Coach
''This was basically a game we had to play. I could practice some minor tactical details but mainly told the girls to go have fun, try not to concede a goal and avoid injuries. We're already busy analysing Russia and will continue to work towards that big game.''

Also in the quarterfinals are USA who put up a convincing performance by dominating Hungary for three quarters in a 12-7 win on Saturday in Kazan. Superior in both defence and attack the American women quickly jumped out to 3-1 lead at quarter time and extended it in the next two periods silencing the crowd at the Water Polo Arena. A comfortable 11-3 lead going into the final period it was Hungary who stormed back scoring four consecutive goals but knew a complete turnaround was out of reach. USA now faces Spain in the quarterfinal on Monday while Hungary takes on Canada in their quest to finish at least in 8th place.

Maggie Steffens (USA) - Captain
''We want to come in to this match with a lot of heart since from this game onwards, it's do or die. The tournament ends with the next game, is how we look at it. In the fourth quarter our defence let up a little bit, but we were also trying to play a different sort of game, being a bit more protective. But that can also get you into trouble so moving forward we got to adjust that a bit. Now Spain in the quarterfinals but I think it's not a rematch (of Barcelona 2013). It's two years later and a completely new team and you got to go into it that way.''

Courtney Mathewson (USA) - Three Goals
“We knew it was do or die game after finishing second in our bracket. We know we have to win every game from here. We definitely have things to work on. We have a chance in two days to get better.” On playing in heavy rain: “The rain was a shock, but we train in outdoor pools all year so it was not too big a factor.”

Andras Meresz (HUN) -  Head Coach
“The US are very, very strong at World Championships; they lost to Italy and they know they must play to get into the best eight. Against Hungary the USA always plays press and that style is not good for my team. It was awful for us.”

The final team that made it to the quarterfinals was China who did not played its best water polo, allowing Brazil to come close in the second half, but eventually hung on to beat the young opponents 8-10. China goalkeeper Jun Yang put up a solid performance in the first half but as the game went on was more and more thrown off by the lob shots that went in from Brazil. The Pat Oaten coached side gave it their all even scoring more lobs but in the end got troubled by their errors not allowing them to make the final jump in the score to a possible tie or more. With 3.26 to go left-hander Zihan Zhao delivered the dagger scoring for China who got up 7-10. Amanda Oliveira did score with over a minute left but two turnovers before had limited Brazil's chances of an upset as China now advances to play Australia in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Rick Azevedo (USA) - China Head Coach
''It was not a very good game; an ugly game. Brazil came with a very good game plan, jamming us. I’ve got to give credit to Brazil, also coming back to a one-goal game. Our goalie (Jun Yang) did not have a good game tonight. Perhaps it was all the lobs that threw her off. Ugly or not, a win’s a win, so now we get ready for Australia (in the quarterfinals).''

Pat Oaten (CAN) - Brazil Head Coach
''I don’t think anyone expected a great game, however, we are improving game by game. We have got to get into pressure situations and convert. When we make an error it seems a big error. We’ve got to cut down on the errors.''
2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Saturday, 1 August (women)

13th-16th place classification semifinals
New Zealand (A4) vs. South Africa (B4) 11-3 (2-0, 2-0, 4-3, 3-0) - W25
New Zealand scorers: Jasmine Myles 3, Danielle Lewis 2, Kirsten Hudson 2, Nicole Lewis, Miranda Chase, Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance.

South Africa scorers: Kieren Paley, Kimberly Kay, Kelsey White.



Japan (C4) vs. France (D4) 6-9 (3-2, 1-4, 1-1, 1-2) - W26
Japan scorers: Yumi Nakano 2, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Kana Hosoya, Kotori Suzuki.

France scorers: Louise Guillet 5, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier, Geraldine Mahieu, Marion Tardy.



Round of last 16Canada (A2) vs. Greece (B3) 5-8 (3-3, 1-1, 0-2, 1-2) - W27
Canada scorers: Stephanie Valin 2, Emma Wright, Joelle Bekhazi, Christine Robinson.

Greece scorers: Stefania Charalampidi 3, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki 2, Christina Kotsia, Antigoni Roumpesi, Eleftheria Plevritou.

Kazakhstan (A3) vs. Netherlands (B2) 1-21 (0-4, 0-7, 0-6, 1-4) - W28
Kazakhstan scorer: Anastassiya Mirshina.

Netherlands scorers: Yasemin Smit 5, Isabella van Toorn 4, Maud Megens 3, Dagmar Genee 2, Marloes Nijhuis 2, Vivian Sevenich 2, Sabrina van der Sloot, Amarens Genee, Lieke Klaassen. 



USA (C2) vs. Hungary (D3) 12-7 (3-1, 4-1, 4-1, 1-4) - W29
USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 4, Maggie Steffens 3, Courtney Mathewson 3, Melissa Seidemann, Ashley Grossman.

Hungary scorers: Rita Keszthelyi 3, Dora Czigany 2, Dora Antal, Kata Menczinger.



Brazil (C3) vs. China (D2) 8-10 (1-2, 1-3, 4-3, 2-2) - W30
Brazil scorers: Izabella Chiappini 5, Mariana Duarte, Amanda Oliveira, Melani Dias.

China scorers: Guannan Niu 2, Zihan Zhao 2, Donglun Song 2, Yating Sun, Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang. 



Sunday, 2 August (men)

10.50: China (A4) vs. Russia (B4) - M25
12.10: Argentina (4C) vs. Japan (4D) - M26
13.30: Canada (2A) vs. Italy (3B) - M27

17.30: Brazil (3A) vs. USA (2B) - M28
18.50: Kazakhstan (2C) vs. Montenegro (3D) - M29
20.10: South Africa (3C) vs. Australia (2D) - M30

Quarterfinal round

Monday, 3 August (women)


09.30: South Africa (L W25) vs. Japan (L W26) - W31 (15th/16th place classification)
10.50: New Zealand (W W25) vs. France (W W26) - W32 (13th/14th place classification)
12.10: Canada (L W27) vs. Hungary (L W29) - W33
13.30: Kazakhstan (L W28) vs. Brazil (L W30) - W34

17.30: Spain (1A) vs. USA (W W29) - W35
18.50: Russia (1D) vs. Netherlands (W W28) - W38
20.10: Australia (1B) vs. China (W W30) - W36
21.30: Italy (1C) vs. Greece (W W27) - W37

N.b.: time mentioned is local time
.

*****

Serbia overcomes strong Australia for quarterfinals berth - Kazan day 6

In the rainy early morning of day 6 of competition at the Water Polo Arena in Kazan it was the squad from Kazakhstan who took 2nd place in group C thanks to a 3-14 win over South Africa, who finish 3rd. With Alexandr Axenov on fire scoring a total 5 goals for the winners, Kazakhstan enjoyed an early lead and could walk away quickly. They will now face the highly competitive group D number three in the crossover round on Sunday. For South Africa an even more daunting task awaits by meeting with that group's second placed side, to be determined later on Friday.
Hungary as expected secured their quarterfinal spot in the day's second game by dominating Argentina. Behind Denes Varga's 5 goals the Hungarian easily ran away quickly to post their biggest world championships victory beating the debuting Argentinians 21-4. After three easy games the Magyars can now prepare for the play-off phase of the tournament. Half-hour friendly matches with Serbia and Croatia in the coming days should have the defending champions ready for the big games to come.

The day's third game promised to be an interesting one and exactly turned out to be. A terrific defence performance by Australia caused tournament favourites Serbia trouble for three quarters with the Aussie Sharks even leading most of the match in what looked to be the first major upset of the tournament. Both teams stayed close in the first half with goals back and forth but as a reward for the their strong outing, Australia even pulled away in the third period. The Serbs looked vulnerable as Aaron Younger scored twice in a row (the 3rd and 4th consecutive Australia goal) in the second half of the third period to lift his team up to a 6-8 lead with just eight minutes to play. Serbia needed a lift and had just a couple of minutes left to turn things around. A familiar situation for the Dejan Savic coached side in games versus Australia who proved to be such a tough opponent to Serbia, especially after the appointment of Elvis Fatovic as head coach who has definitely lifted the defensive capabilities of the Sharks team. That defence however was tested to the maximum in the final period where Serbia came out different. More mobile on defence and especially quicker in the transition and breakaways, which caused Australia trouble straight away. And after goals by Milan Aleksic (man up) and Stefan Mitrovic to tie the game, the momentum looked to be shifting. Right there Serbia pushed through. They looked to have found the answer to the Australian defence and struck twice more to complete the turnaround. Captain Zivko Gocic was left open and shot one home before Filip Filipovic did the same over a minute later, from six metres out. So that Serbia grabbed a 10-8 lead with 3.26 to go. In the remainder an Aaron Younger attempt on extra man was saved before Joel Swift finished a beautifully executed extra man-play for the 10-9 score with 1.30 remaining. In between though Australia would have counted another goal to be scored, if not for the substituted goalie Branislav Mitrovic to tip a certain goal by Younger out of his goal as the goal was dissallowed while replay on the big screen in the Water Polo Arena showed it indeed was to be allowed. But play went on and after Swift's goal the Aussies would have the final 1,5 minute of the game to surge for the equaliser. They didn't succeed as Johno Cotterill's shot came off the post and the Serbian defence held on to gain an important and hard-fought win. Their unbeaten run in the group has them sure of the quarterfinals joining Hungary as the first two sides to have qualified for the final eight.

Filip Filipovic (SRB)
''In the first three quarters we weren't afraid that there was even a possibility we could loss, but realised that by the end of the third quarter. We had to move more in defence and get into attack more aggressively which we did in the final period. Once again we displayed our winners mentality and I'm very happy we could win like this in the third game of the championship. Now we will have some days off and we'll see in the quarterfinals whether this was of any good to us or not.''

Elvis Fatovic (AUS) - Head Coach
“I’m proud of my team, the way they played They are a much more experienced team. It’s hard playing Montenegro and Serbia (in the group). They should be stronger. I think we proved in one game that anything is possible. That’s our plan.”

Joel Dennerley (AUS) - Goalkeeper
“It was a good effort definitely by the boys. Serbia is very good but on their attack we channeled the ball and they played pressure zone. Our counter defence was strong and our defence between players on man down was quite solid.”

The last match of the early session saw Montenegro clinching third place in group D by beating Japan 10-16. The Montenegrins, sloppy in the first period, walked away in the second and third quarter and decided the match-up there. Aleksandar Ivovic and Aleksandar Radovic led the current worlds runners-up each scoring four goals as the Montenegrins overpowered Japan on their way to the 6-goal win. Koji Takei led the Japanese scoring 4 goals as well. They'll now play for a maximum 12th place finish having been placed 4th in the group.

In the start of the evening session it was Croatia who secured another quarterfinals spot by rolling past China. A one-sided encounter saw the favourite Croatians clinching their third straight victory to join Hungary and Serbia in the group of final eight as group winner. Maro Jokovic, Petar Muslim and Paulo Obradovic led the scoring for the reigning Olympic champions netting 3 shots each. They'll now have three days off to prepare for the next phase of the championship. For China the race for 12th place classification begins on Sunday.

Maro Jokovic (CRO)
''We're satisfied with the first place in the group being directly qualified for the quarterfinals. But we're still finding ourselves and have a lot to improve on. Looking back we had a tricky game against Brazil and are yet to play a big game. But now we will have three days off to prepare for the quarterfinals. And as we have left all injuries behind us, I'm sure things this second part of the championships will only go uphill.''

Paolo Malara (ITA) - China Head Coach
“After losing to Canada (2-8) it was important for us to lift for the future. We need to work hard mentally. Croatia is one of the best teams in the world. It is not possible that we play this way. No good for me, for China or my players.''

Greece completed their tough but successful group stage by clinching the win in group B after a 15-11 win over home team Russia. Once again the Greek side showcased their offensive capability which made them controlling the match more or less from the beginning. Russia had more difficulties finding the opponent's net and in defence could simply not stop the varied Greek attack. For three quarters it was Greece who was on top as they secured the win before losening in the final period which allowed Russia to cut the deficit a bit to the eventual 4-goal difference. Ioannis Fountoulis once again was crowned top scorer netting 4 shots while centre-forward Konstantinos Mourikis added 3 for the winners. Russia, despite their talented roster being placed last in the group, were led by left-hander Ivan Nagaev who scored 3 goals. 

Theodoros Vlachos (GRE) - Head Coach
''I believe we did a very good job in our group. There were strong games and good refereeing. We want to go as far as possible in this tournament. Both teams do not know each other and the match was strong and difficult.” On Greece not being at this level for some years: “Not since the bronze medal in Montreal (2005). This year or next year we hope to make something happen. The situation in Greece is very difficult and if we can make something here it would be fantastic and make people at home proud of us.”

Ioannis Fountoulis (GRE) - Four Goals
''We're satisfied to top this group despite a tough draw. After a great win over Italy, we didn't do well in the game against USA, but we took the victory, which we needed. And today playing Russia we showed great offensive potential. But in defence we should be very unhappy with our performance. We received maybe the most goals not only in the group, but in the tournament. And that is something that make us think a lot because in the latter stages every goal will be important. It's not so much that we don't do well in man-down, but we are too passive in defence. We need to move more and help each other better, especially during set plays.''

Erkin Shagaev (RUS) - Head Coach
''The Greek team is a higher level to us; that was noticeable today. The start was not good and we must score (early). We need to play more games of this level. The best thing was that they didn’t give up and kept fighting like previous games. We need to improve and skills, physical condition and experience.''

Canada continued their defensive intensity they brought from the previous game against China into the 2nd-place decider vs. Brazil on Friday. It was on display as Canada came out fired up and held their Brazilian opponents scoreless for the entire first quarter while on the offensive end simply outplaying Brazil for the early 0-3 lead at quarter time. That advantage had the Canadians already in the driver's seat after eight minutes of play. In the remainder of the Brazil came through more and more but could not overcome the 3-goal difference. On the right moments the Canada defence managed to stop them and therewith paved the way for the solid-looking victory. The win means Canada takes 2nd place in group A and will face the loser of Italy-USA, Friday's final match in Kazan, on Sunday.

Aleksandar Beslin (CAN) - Head Coach
''It’s still not the result we want to be. We had a really good buildup. Three weeks ago we lost to Brazil (by two goals). In Toronto there was so much pressure at the Pan American Games. There was some hesitation in Toronto but it was a big relief this evening. It is the step up we would like. Our man up was not so good and our man down was oscillating. However, the structures flowed very well. Defence was the key to the victory.''

Justin Boyd (CAN) - Two Goals
''We've really locked down our defence. It was something we wanted to work on and turn around this tournament. And conceding just two goals against China was pretty incredible, especially considering the number of goals we got from them in the previous two World League meetings. Today we made some changes for Brazil and we did really well. Although we did let a few more goals, in situations where we really needed to stop them, we did. Whether those were team stops or individual plays and that was huge for us. Whoever we will play in the elimination round, USA or Italy, they're well rounded teams so our defence will have to be well rounded.'' 

Ratko Rudic (CRO) - Brazil Head Coach
''We prepared well for this game. I was really close to the referee. I saw different from what the referee saw. I was really close to the game. Everything started a little wrong for us. Probably we came here after two strong competitions — the World League and the Pan Americans. We prepared as well as possible. I was preparing the game plan, but we didn’t apply the game plan. A lack of concentration; our shooting was not good; so many mistakes on defence; players were not mentally ready for the game. You cannot keep a high level all the time. It will be useful for us to analyse and make corrections. Brazil has potential. We must play more and more and with confidence.''

Friday's final match saw a determined USA team beating Italy 11-9 to take 2nd place in the group setting up an crossover round meeting with Brazil on Sunday. The Americans looked well prepared facing the favourite Italian side who weren't up to their usual form and struggled in stopping the young Team USA from scoring goals; their usual stronghold. Despite a standout performance from young Francesco di Fulvio (4 goals) the Italians saw USA taking the lead in the second period and consolidate that by getting stops on the right moment and benefiting from Italian defensive errors on the other end. And even after Stefano Luongo scored his only goal of the game early in the 4th quarter to bring Italy back to trailing just 9-8, the Americans showed resillience and, after a 3-minute deadlock, countered their way to a 10-8 lead before Alex Roelse made it 11-8 blasting home a free throw at the end of the 30-seconds with just 1.24 remaining. That sealed the deal for Team USA who only conceded one more goal by Di Fulvio but knew they will up for a recent Pan American Games final re-match in facing Brazil in the 2nd round on Sunday.

John Mann (USA) --- Centre Forward
''We played defence the whole time, but especially at the end of the game. That was a problem in the last game where we couldn't close out. Today we scored when we needed to, we executed when we needed to and we played defence when we needed to. And that was definitely the key. Now we're onto the next round expecting a battle, like always, against Brazil.''

Tony Azevedo (USA) — Captain
''We played very well and Italy is a great team. It proved that we should have beaten Greece (lost 10-11) and finished first in the bracket. Every game is like an Olympic game. We would dream of winning a medal here, but our focus is the Olympic Games (in Rio). We now meet Brazil on Sunday. We did what we needed to do and finish the job (beating Brazil in the final at the Pan Americans in Toronto recently) to qualify for the Olympic Games. Brazil is a lot more hungry this time.''


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Schedule and results day 6

Friday, 31 July (men)

South Africa vs. Kazakhstan 3-14 (0-4, 1-3, 1-5, 1-2)
South Africa scorers: Joao de Carvalho, Dayne Jagga, Nicholas Molyneux.

Kazakhstan scorers: Alexandr Axenov 5, Sergey Gubarev 3, Branko Pekovich 2, Vladimir Ushakov, Alexey Shmider, Rustam Ukumanov, Ravil Manafov.


Hungary vs. Argentina 21-4 (6-2, 3-1, 6-1, 6-0)
Hungary scorers: Denes Varga 5, Marton Vamos 4, Marton Szivos 3, Balazs Erdelyi 2, Norbert Hosnyanszky 2, Balazs Harai 2, Norbert Madaras, Daniel Angyal, Daniel Varga.

Argentina scorers: Emanuel Lopez 2, Franco Demarchi, German Yañez.


Serbia vs. Australia 10-9 (3-2, 2-2, 1-4, 4-1)
Serbia scorers: Milan Aleksic 2, Filip Filipovic 2, Stefan Mitrovic 2, Zivko Gocic, Milos Cuk, Dusko Pijetlovic, Slobodan Nikic.

Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 3, Joel Swift 2, Johno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Rhys Howden, Tyler Martin.

Japan vs. Montenegro 10-16 (2-3, 2-5, 2-5, 4-3)
Japan scorers: Koji Takei 4, Akira Yanase 3, Mitsuaki Shiga, Yusuke Shimizu, Yuki Kadono.

Montenegro scorers: Aleksandar Ivovic 4, Aleksandar Radovic 4, Vjekoslav Paskovic 3, Nikola Murisic 2, Drasko Brguljan, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic.


Croatia vs. China 17-1 (4-1, 5-0, 7-0, 1-0)
Croatia scorers: Maro Jokovic 3, Petar Muslim 3, Paulo Obradovic 3, Damir Buric 2, Antonio Petkovic 2, Luka Loncar 2, Sandro Sukno 2.

China scorer: Chufeng Zhang.


Greece vs. Russia 15-11 (5-2, 3-2, 5-3, 2-4)
Greece scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 4, Konstantinos Mourikis 3, Alexandros Gounas 2, Angelos Vlachopoulos 2, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Christos Afroudakis, Evangelos Delakas, Christodoulos Kolomvos.

Russia scorers: Ivan Nagaev 3, Sergey Lisunov 2, Alexey Bugaychuk 2, Artem Odintsov, Igor Bychkov, Konstantin Stepanyuk, Dmitrii Kholod.


Brazil vs. Canada 6-10 (0-3, 3-3, 2-3, 1-1)
Brazil scorers: Felipe Silva 2, Guilherme Gomes, Bernardo Gomes, Felipe Perrone, Josip Vrlic.

Canada scorers: Justin Boyd 2, Jerrod McElroy 2, Constantin Kudaba, Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, John Conway.


USA vs. Italy 11-9 (4-4, 3-2, 2-1, 2-2)
USA scorers: Nikola Vavic 3, Tony Azevedo 2, Bret Bonanni 2, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Josh Samuels.

Italy scorers: Francesco di Fulvio 4, Alex Giorgetti 2, Pietro Figlioli, Stefano Luongo, Matteo Aicardi.


Saturday, 1 August (women)

13th-16th place classification
10.50: New Zealand (A4) vs. South Africa (B4) - W25
12.10: Japan (C4) vs. France (D4) - W26

Round of last 16
13.30: Canada (A2) vs. Greece (B3) - W27

17.30: Kazakhstan (A3) vs. Netherlands (B2) - W28
18.50: USA (C2) vs. Hungary (D3) - W29
20.10: Brazil (C3) vs. China (D2) - W30

Sunday, 2 August (men)

10.50: China (A4) vs. Russia (B4) - M25 
12.10: Argentina (4C) vs. Japan (4D) - M26 
13.30: Canada (2A) vs. Italy (3B) - M27 

17.30: Brazil (3A) vs. USA (2B) - M28 
18.50: Kazakhstan (2C) vs. Montenegro (3D) - M29 
20.10: South Africa (3C) vs. Australia (2D) - M30

N.b.: time mentioned is local time


*****


Italy, Spain, Russia, Australia into quarterfinals - Kazan 2015 day 5

The Italian women are the first to have qualified for the 2015 World Championships quarterfinals following a 6-15 win over Brazil in the final round of group play on Thursday in Kazan. Their big 10-9 win over USA in game 2 had the Fabio Conti coached side in the driver's seat for a quarterfinals berth which was confirmed on Thursday as Brazil was unable to make life hard for the Italians. A quick 0-3 lead at quarter time was extended in an even more dominant 1-5 run in the 2nd period to the eventual 9-goal victory. Federica Radicchi and Roberta Bianconi led the Italian squad in scoring as they posted 3 goals each. Amanda Oliveira topped all scorers with 4. Brazil finished third in group C after their win over Japan in game 2 on Tuesday. That means they'll cross with group D's number 2 in the elimination round on Saturday. 
Second place in the group was taken by USA who held Japan scoreless for the first half in Thursday's second game en route to a 2-17 blowout win. Maggie Steffens led all scorers with 4 goals as the American women now take on group D's number three in the elimination round, which will be Hungary. The Magyars rolled past France 18-3, behind centre forward Barbara Bujka's 6 goals securing 3rd place in the group. The French stayed close in the second period but had to allow Hungary to walk away in the second half where a one-sided contest was decided with an eventual 16-goal victory.

Spain was the second side to qualify for the quarterfinals by winning the group. Their major contender Canada, had trouble containing the Spanish offence and had to settle for the 6-12 loss finishing 2nd in group A. The varied Spanish offence, led by centre forward Maica Garcia who kept causing the Canada defence trouble, found various answers to the Canadian defence and after a good start (1-5) and winning 2nd period (2-4) were pretty much sure of the win close after half-time leading 3-9. The reigning world champions' strong first-half showing allowed them to consolidate after the big break as they controlled throughout and ensure themselves of qualifying for the quarterfinals in their quest to repeat 2013 Barcelona's success.
In that group A it was Kazakhstan who was placed third thanks to a 14-4 win over New Zealand in the first match of the evening session in Kazan. The Kazakh women held their opponents scoreless for the entire first half while on offence running away quickly. Standout in that period for the winners was Aizhan Akilbayeva who finished with a total of 6 goals. In the final period the hard-working Kiwis suddenly got themselves a couple of goals too, especially with Danielle Lewis who caught fire for a minute or two eventually scoring 3 of New Zealand's 4 goals, but the winner by then was already determined. Kazakhstan will now await the 2nd ranked side from group B, determined later on Thursday. For New Zealand a match-up with the bottom ranked side from group B will be the next step, on Saturday.

The battle for the top spot in group D provided a real thriller, anti-climax for the neutral fan and even home crowd, but in the end Russia came out victorious. They will end up winning group D and qualify for the quarterfinals, thanks to a tense 9-9 draw with China. For the Chinese women, two consecutive goals scored in the final period, as a response to a pair by Russia earlier the quarter, proved not enough as they'll now face Brazil in the elimination round on Saturday for a spot in the quarters. Russia head coach Mikhail Nakoryakov took a controversial timeout with just 3 seconds remaining as he saw that his team's counter attack was not going to work out, but not later realised the three seconds were too little for any plan to be worked out so that the game finished with an anti-climax in which Russia couldn't even get a shot of. But the draw eventually works for them as they top the group and are in the quarterfinals.

The last team to join the quarterfinalists from the group stage was Australia who held off the Netherlands in a tough match-up: 8-6. A great start, highlighted by Bronwen Knox scoring the game's opening goal in her 300th match for the Stingers, had Australia up 4-1 before the Dutch side slowly but surely came back into the game, and the scoring. Up to the point that the Arno Havenga coached squad was just trailing 5-4. But right there Australia was sharp enough to strike on a counter attack and from that point on seemingly in control extended the score and played out the game. A deserved victory, Australia wins group B and advances to the quarterfinals, to be played on Monday. For the Dutch an elimination round match-up with Kazakhstan on Saturday is up next.

Greece secured third place in group B in Thursday's final match in Kazan by rolling past South Africa. An active Alexandra Asimaki worked on her tournament total by scoring a game-high 5 goals for the winners. For Greece the elimination round and Canada await on Saturday for a spot in the quarterfinals.


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Schedule and results day 5


Thursday, 30 July (women)


Brazil vs. Italy 6-15 (0-3, 1-5, 3-3, 2-4)
Brazil scorers: Amanda Oliveira 4, Izabella Chiappini, Melani Dias.

Italy scorers: Federica Radicchi 3, Roberta Bianconi 3, Elisa Queirolo 2, Giulia Emmolo 2, Arianna Garibotti, Rosaria Aiello, Tania di Mario, Laura Barzon, Teresa Frassinetti.

Japan vs. USA 2-17 (0-4, 0-4, 1-6, 1-3)
Japan scorer: Yumi Nakano.

USA scorers: Maggie Steffens 4, Ashley Grossman 3, Kami Craig 3, Madeline Musselman 2, Makenzie Fischer 2, Rachel Fattal, Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul.



Hungary vs. France 18-3 (5-1, 1-1, 7-0, 5-1)
Hungary scorers: Barbara Bujka 6, Rita Keszthelyi 5, Dora Kisteleki 3, Ildiko Toth 2, Dora Antal, Anna Illes.

France scorers: Louise Guillet 2.



Canada vs. Spain 6-12 (1-5, 2-4, 2-2, 1-1)
Canada scorers: Monika Eggens 2, Krystina Alogbo, Emma Wright, Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens.

Spain scorers: Jennifer Pareja 3, Anna Espar 2, Pilar Peña 2, Juditch Forca 2, Maica Garcia 2, Clara Espar.



Kazakhstan vs. New Zealand 14-4 (3-0, 4-0, 4-1, 3-3)
Kazakhstan scorers: Aizhan Akilbayeva 6, Anastassiya Mirshina 2, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Assem Mussarova.

New Zealand scorers: Danielle Lewis 3, Caitlin Lopes da Silva.



Russia vs. China 9-9 (3-2, 1-2, 3-2, 2-3)
Russia scorers: Ekaterina Prokofyeva 3, Elvina Karimova 3, Ekaterina Zubacheva, Ekaterina Lisunova, Evgeniya Ivanova.

China scorers: Guannan Niu 4, Yating Sun 2, Donglun Song 2, Zihan Zhao.



Australia vs. Netherlands 8-6 (2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 1-2)
Australia scorers: Ashleigh Southern 2, Nicola Zagame 2, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster, Glencora McGhie, Bronte Halligan.

Netherlands scorers: Vivian Sevenich 2, Yasemin Smit, Sabrina van der Sloot, Nomi Stomphorst, Lieke Klaassen.



South Africa vs. Greece 4-20 (1-5, 1-6, 1-4, 1-5)
South Africa scorers: Ruby Versfeld 2, Kelsey White 2.

Greece scorers: Alexandra Asimaki 5, Eleftheria Plevritou 3, Stefania Charalampidi 2, Eleni Xenaki 2, Christina Tsoukala, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Antigoni Roumpesi, Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki.

Schedule day 6


Friday, 31 July (men)

09.30: South Africa vs. Kazakhstan
10.50: Hungary vs. Argentina
12.10: Serbia vs. Australia
13.30: Japan vs. Montenegro

17.30: Croatia vs. China
18.50: Greece vs. Russia
20.10: Brazil vs. Canada
21.30: USA vs. Italy

Saturday, 1 August (women)

13th-16th place classification

10.50: New Zealand (A4) vs. South Africa (B4) - W25
12.10: Japan (C4) vs. France (D4) - W26

Round of last 16
13.30: Canada (A2) vs. Greece (B3) - W27

17.30: Kazakhstan (A3) vs. Netherlands (B2) - W28
18.50: USA (C2) vs. Hungary (D3) - W29
20.10: Brazil (C3) vs. China (D2) - W30

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.


Peña: "Un triunfo que nos da mucha seguridad"

Peña:

30/07/2015 - Hablamos en Zona Mixta con Pili Peña, uno de los 13 baluartes del equipo español que, tras la importante victoria ante Canadá, afirmó que "vamos pasito a pasito pero es verdad que este triunfo nos da mucha seguridad. Hay que seguir apretando porque queda Mundial". Ahora, 72 horas sin partido oficial: "Estamos acostumbradas a jugar más seguido, pero también es bueno para tener más tiempo para estudiar al equipo contrario, y si podemos entranar con algún equipo puntero, mejor". Foto: EFE
Respecto a las jóvenes que han entrado este año en la selección, Peña -ya curtida en JJOO, Mundiales, Europeos, Copa del Europa,.. es "increíble tenerlas en el equipo, se han adaptado muy bien y nosotros también las ayudamos mucho".
R.G.-S. (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). Foto:Servicio especial para RFEN. Pili Peña, en un lanzamiento de hoy frente a Canadá / EFE/ALBERTO ESTÉVEZ. Prohibida su reproducción.

Miki Oca: "¿Canadá? Lo tomamos como una final"


Miki Oca:

30/07/2015 - Si algo tiene Miki Oca es que a la cualidad de líder natural de un grupo le añade unos conocimientos profundos de sus jugadoras y de sus rivales. Por eso el éxito no tardó en toparse con él, arrastrando al waterpolo femenino español a una época que no queremos que se acabe nunca. Y para ello hay que intentar ganar a Canadá, "un partido muy importante ue vamos a tomar como una final, porque el primero pasa a cuartos y se evita unos octavos muy complicados ante Grecia".
También nos comentó que "sabíamos que sería el partido más duro del grupo. Ellas siempre optan a estar en los puestos de arriba. Es un equipo de jugadoras físicamente muy fuertes, de mucho tamaño y mucho peso, por lo cual hay que hacer un trabajo de muchas ayudas, colaboración y movimiento para evitar que ellas saquen partido de esta lucha uno contra uno".
Respecto a los partidos ya jugados ante Kazashtan y Nueva Zelanda, Miki nos dice que "siempre se puede mejorar, hemos incorporado jugadoras nuevas que van cogiendo esos mecanismos de competición necesarios. Las jóvenes están dando un bien nivel como el resto del equipo y cuando entran con las rotaciones el equipo no baja el ritmo".
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). Foto: Miki Oca espera a una Canadá muy compleja / RFEN


KAZAN: España bate a Canadá y ya está en cuartos


KAZAN: España bate a Canadá y ya está en cuartos

30/07/2015 - España ha vuelto a demostrar que no baja el pistón y se ha impuesto a Canadá en la lucha por el liderato del Grupo A. Las jugadoras de Miki Oca han cuajado un gran encuentro (6—12), que han podido sentenciar con dos primeros cuartos de mucho nivel (3—9). Gracias al triunfo (unidos a los ya logrados contra Kazajistán y Nueva Zelanda) las nuestras se clasifican directamente para cuartos, donde se verán las caras contra Estados Unidos o Hungría el lunes día 3 a las 16.30h.
Grandísima inicio de nuestras Guerreras Acuáticas, que han salido con la intención clara de solventar cuanto antes la contienda y no dar opciones a una buena selección como es Canadá (sexta en la Superfinal de la Liga Mundial). Maica sorprendía con un disparo lejano a la portera canadiense y poco después Pili Peña hacía el 0-2. Se llevaban más de 4’ minutos disputados y la defensa española ponía el cerrojo hasta que Eggens lograba el primero para las norteamiercanas (1-2). Tres goles seguidos de las nuestras (Judith sobre la bocina, Maica de reverso y Jenni de tiro picado) dejaban bien encaminada el choque al final del primer periodo (1-5).
Han seguido muy entonadas y mentalizadas con esa primera plaza del grupo las jugadores españolas, que han inaugurado los segundos ocho minutos mediante un tanto de Jenni Pareja en uno de más. Algobo, que ha realizado un marcaje muy agresivo sobre Maica durante el encuentro, ha reducido distancias (2-6). Pero de nuevo un parcial de 0-3 (2-9) ha enfriado los ánimos canadienses. El tanto de Fournier ha dejado el resultado al descanso en 3-9.

FINAL TRANQUILO CON VISTAS A HUNGRÍA O USA
El ritmo del encuentro ha decrecido bastante en el tercer periodo, algo que favorecía a una España que venía de cuajar dos espléndidos primeros cuartos. Monica Eggens ponía a su selección a cinco goles (4-9), pero un trallazo lejano de Clara Espar volvía a dejar los seis. Tras las dianas de nuevo de Monica Eggens y de Anni Espar (su primera en el partido) el choque se encaminaba a los últimos ocho minutos con el marcador 5-11
Poco se ha movido el resultado en el último periodo, con un combinado nacional que se podía permitir el lujo de rotar jugadoras pensando ya en el encuentro de cuartos de final. Después de un penalti fallado por Jenni , Wright batía a Laura ester para hacer el 6-11. Anni Espar, de nuevo una de las destacadas, se encargaba de cerrar el marcador con el 6-12 en uno de más.
FICHA DEL PARTIDO:
Resultado: 6-12
Árbitros: Kun (Hungría) y Koganov (Azerbaiyán)
Canadá: Gaudreault, Algobo (1), Monton, Wright (1), M. Eggens (2), McKee, Bekhazi, Fournier (1), C. Eggens (1), Robinson, Valin, Perreault y Colterjohn. Entrenador: Johanne Begin.
España: Ester, Bach, A. Espar (1), Leiton, Ortiz, Pareja (3), C. Espar (2), Peña (2), Forca (2), Tarragó, García (2), López y Herrera. Entrenador: Miki Oca.
Comunicación RFEN. Foto: Servicio especial para RFEN: Mati Ortiz, en un lance del partido de esta mañana vs. Canadá/ EFE/ALBERTO ESTÉVEZ. Prohibida su reproducción

*****



Greece turnaround stuns USA - Kazan 2015 day 4


It was a great start of the day. A match that had everything, from great goals to illegal time-outs, debatable calls, drama, and ultimately a turnaround by Greece that got them a valuable 11-10 win over USA. A result widely celebrate by the entire Greek team. And not for no reason. Within the final four minutes they had manage to turn around a game in which the score was never in favour of the Greek, into another valuable win in group B. And with exactly the same final score as their victory over Italy on day 2. A bitter pil to swallow for the US team who played a great game for three quarters, even thought their win was as close as it could get when Alex Roelse scored on man-up with four minutes remaining in the game giving the Americans an 8-10 lead. Things changed there however. Emmanouil Mylonakis scored twice in a row, once an action shot when he got too much time, the second time on a counter attack, and things got worse for the USA in the final minutes. Two man-up possessions could not be converted and with 0.31 remaining centre-back Evangelos Delakas scored the winning goal on a counter attack, much to the delight of the crowd and even more the Greek team. They are now leading group B having secured a second victory and look well underway to the quarterfinals. USA lost their first game and will close out group play facing Italy on Friday for 2nd place in the group.



Emmanouil Mylonakis (GRE): 'It was a bad game for us today. We were not focused on our defence, at all. But we played like animals in the final minutes and that gave us the win. Now we look forward to play Russia in front of many specatators with hopefully not as much stress as we had today.'



In Wednesday's second game in Kazan it was Kazakhstan who recorded their first win by holding off Argentina. The debutants saw themselves being outplayed right in the opening quarter and never really got over their 5-2 deficit at quarter time. The experienced Kazakhstan side even walked away in the third period, led by Alexandr Axenov and Branko Pekovich who scored four goals each, as they are now likely to finish 2nd in group C behind favourites Hungary.

Hungary will finish first in the group as expected and did not have to put in too much work in the penultimate match of the early session on Wednesday. South Africa gave it their best but were defeated 4-17. Denes Varga used the big win to add a game-high 5 goals to his tournament total. 



The final match of the early session saw Australia and Montenegro drawing level although for the Aussie Sharks the point is likely to be felt as a loss of 1. Thanks to their defensive tactics the Aussies were able to turn things around in the fourth period only to see Mladjan Janovic tie things up with just 30 seconds remaining on a sweet lob off a free throw in an ultimate attempt to get something out of the game. And it did. It made up for a poor offensive performance which included just 5-for-24 shooting although Australia performed likewise going 5 for 26. It was Aaron Younger who carried the side on the offensive end, especially in their turnaround in the fourth quarter where the former Jug Dubrovnik player scored two of the team's three goals as a 2-4 deficit was turned into a 5-4 lead with still just under six minutes remaining. But as Montenegro kept having trouble with the Australian defence it looked as if the Aussie win would become a fact. Not before Janovic decided otherwise by putting a lob over Australia goalkeeper James Stanton securing the draw and at least a point out of the tough contest for the Montenegrins.



The evening session was kicked off with a fairly easy win for Serbia over Japan: 19-9. After a slow start with sloppy play the Serbs got to themselves from the second period onwards and started walking away from Japan. Centre forwards Slobodan Nikic and Dusko Pijetlovic were active on offence combining for 10 goals in the win. Now on Friday the final but important group stage match against Australia awaits. Koji Takei and team-mate Keigo Okawa displayed their shooting skills by still managed to score 3 goals each for Japan.



The home side Russia was up the next match as they faced favourites Italy who needed a win after their opening day loss to Greece. The Alessandro Campagna coached squad went right to work and simply showed to have the better of the home team, despite fierce cheering from the crowd. The young Russians played well but simply lack experience compared to most of the Italian players who, despite their young age, were not to be disturbed by the fact that they played the hosts and actually dominated throughout the second period. A slow start of the game saw a 0-5 run by the Italians virtually deciding the outcome already. In the remainder Russia kept trying but had to work way harder for their goals then the responses by Italy came. In the final period Russia through hits by Vladislav Timakov and Ivan Nagaev came to within a 2-goal margin but that was about it. Alessandro Velotto made an end to all illusions as he put in a rebound, being the 8th scorer for the Italians, for the final score of 6-9 with just 10 seconds remaining. The crowd left disappointed and the team knows they'll have one chance of avoiding last place which means playing a good result in a win over favourites Greece on Friday. A daunting task. For Italy the group stage will be concluded by playing USA for 2nd place the same day.



Canada gained confidence ahead of their likely-to-be decisive match-up for 2nd place in group A as they displayed a defensive domination over China who were held scoreless in the entire first half and managed to just score 2 goals in a 2-8 win for the Canadians. Their game plan in this must-win situation was based on great defence and that's just what was worked out. China had trouble even executing their set play as a tight Canadian defence led to a solid 8 goals on offence, more than enough for the win on Wednesday at the Water Polo Arena in Kazan. 



Kevin Graham (CAN): 'We're very satisfied with this performance, obviously especially on the defensive end. Holding an opponent at a World Championships to scoring just 2 goals speaks well for a team's defence and we wanted to stress that after allowing Croatia to score 12 goals in our opening game. The plan was to re-establish our defence this game which should carry us through the tournament. We want to have real pressure when we press but be also very mobile when we help. Today we did that and of course a team like Brazil will be difficult to keep at scoring just a couple of goals but we certainly want to keep them to as few as possible.'



In Wednesday's final game it was Croatia who came out with a win over Brazil but that got close in the final minutes. And as Croatia looked very much in control the first three periods, the game was almost given away to a resillient Brazil side in the final minutes. In fact, with the score 10-9 and a final possession for Croatia, the clock was not played out completely so it left Brazil with a timeout and even man-up with 11 seconds on the clock. Their ultimate chance for a possible stunning equaliser though could not be made as Jonas Crivella blew it by shooting in the right side of the goal. And as Bernardo Gomes' attempt from distance in Brazil's previous attack was saved by Josip Pavic, the Croatians held on for the close win but looked not too satisfied. Nevertheless they lead group A now having gained a second straight win and therewith secured the top spot in group A as well as qualification for the quarterfinals. For Brazil an all-important match-up with Canada on Friday will decided who finishes 2nd in the group.







2015 FINA World Championships

Kazan (RUS)



Schedule and results day 4



Wednesday, 29 July (men)



Greece vs. USA 11-10 (3-3, 1-3, 4-3, 3-1)

Greece scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 4, Emmanouil Mylonakis 3, Konstantinos Mourikis 2, Evangelos Delakas, Angelos Vlachopoulos.



USA scorers: Josh Samuels 2, Tony Azevedo 2, John Mann 2, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido, Alex Bowen, Bret Bonanni.



Kazakhstan vs. Argentina 15-7 (5-2, 3-3, 5-1, 2-1)

Kazakhstan scorers: Alexandr Axenov 4, Branko Pekovich 4, Alexey Shmider 3, Sergey Gubarev 2, Roman Pilipenko, Murat Shakenov.



Argentina scorers: German Yañez 3, Tomas Bulgheroni 2, Ramiro Veich, Ivan Carabantes.






South Africa vs. Hungary 4-17 (1-5, 0-3, 2-4, 1-5)
South Africa scorers: Nicholas Molyneux 2, Nicholas Hock, Dayne Jagga.

Hungary scorers: Denes Varga 5, Balazs Erdelyi 3, Balazs Harai 3, Marton Vamos 2, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Krisztian Bedo.


Australia vs. Montenegro 5-5 (0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 3-1)
Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 3, John Cotterill, Aidan Roach.

Montenegro scorers: Mladjan Janovic 2, Drasko Brguljan, Darko Brguljan, Aleksandar Ivovic.


Serbia vs. Japan 19-9 (2-1, 6-2, 5-3, 6-3)
Serbia scorers: Slobodan Nikic 6, Dusko Pijetlovic 4, Andrija Prlainovic 3, Stefan Mitrovic 2, Dusan Mandic, Sava Randjelovic, Milos Cuk, Nikola Jaksic.

Japan scorers: Koji Takei 3, Keigo Okawa 3, Seiya Adachi, Atsushi Arai, Yuki Kadono.


Russia vs. Italy 6-9 (1-1, 0-5, 3-1, 2-2)
Russia scorers: Dmitrii Kholod 3, Vladislav Timakov, Ivan Nagaev, Sergey Lisunov.

Italy scorers: Alex Giorgetti 2, Francesco di Fulvio, Alessandro Velotto, Pietro Figlioli, Massimo Giacoppo, Niccolo' Gitto, Stefano Luongo, Matteo Aicardi.


China vs. Canada 2-8 (0-3, 0-3, 1-1, 1-1)
China scorer: Feihu Tan 2.

Canada scorers: Jerrod McElroy 3, Constantin Kudaba 2, Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Justin Boyd.


Croatia vs. Brazil 10-9 (4-2, 4-2, 1-2, 1-3)
Croatia scorers: Sandro Sukno 3, Paulo Obradovic 2, Damir Buric, Luka Loncar, Luka Bukic, Andro Buslje, Fran Paskvalin.

Brazil scorers: Jonas Crivella 2, Felipe Perrone 2, Josip Vrlic 2, Ives Gonzelez, Bernardo Gomes, Adria Delgado.


Schedule day 5

Thursday, 30 July (women)

09.30: Brazil vs. Italy
10.50: Japan vs. USA
12.10: Hungary vs. France
13.30: Canada vs. Spain

17.30: Kazakhstan vs. New Zealand
18.50: Russia vs. China
20.10: Australia vs. Netherlands
21.30: South Africa vs. Greece

Schedule day 6

Friday, 31 July (men)

09.30: South Africa vs. Kazakhstan
10.50: Hungary vs. Argentina
12.10: Serbia vs. Australia
13.30: Japan vs. Montenegro

17.30: Croatia vs. China
18.50: Greece vs. Russia
20.10: Brazil vs. Canada
21.30: USA vs. Italy

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.


Match 21: 17:30, Group A, CROATIA 17 CHINA 1
Quarters: 4-1, 5-0, 7-0, 1-0
Referees: Daniel Flahive (AUS), Masoud Rezvani (IRI).
Extra Man: CRO: 3/11. CHN: 0/5.
Pens: CHN: 0/1.
Teams:
CROATIA: Josip Pavic, Damir Buric (2), Antonio Petkovic (2), Luka Loncar (2), Maro Jokovic (3), Luka Bukic, Petar Muslim (3), Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno (2), Fran Paskvalin, Andelo Setka, Paulo Obradovic (3), Marko Bijac. Head coach: Ivica Tucak.
CHINA: Honghui Wu, Feihu Tan, Zhangxin Hu, Tao Dong, Wenhui Lu, Li Li, Zhongxian Chen, Lun Li, Zekai Xie, Jinghao Chen, Chufeng Zhang (1), Nianxiang Liang, Zhiwei Liang. Head coach: Paolo Malara.
Match Report:
Croatia made a statement when it thrashed China with a display of speed and efficiency that produced the biggest goal streak of the tournament. It started with a burst of three goals, was punctuated by a fantastic Chinese angled pass to the far post for captain Chufeng Zhang to bat in and that was it. Croatia just went on the rampage, shutting China out for the rest of the match. The only respite for China was the final quarter. Croatia went for the throat at every occasion and showed why many people have said that it’s the team to beat in Kazan.
FLASH QUOTES:
Maro Jokovic (CRO)
''We're satisfied with the first place in the group being directly qualified for the quarterfinals. But we're still finding ourselves and have a lot to improve on. Looking back we had a tricky game against Brazil and are yet to play a big game. But now we will have three days off to prepare for the quarterfinals. And as we have left all injuries behind us, I'm sure things this second part of the championships will only go uphill.''
Paolo Malara (ITA) — China Head Coach
“After losing to Canada (2-8) it was important for us to lift for the future. We need to work hard mentally. Croatia is one of the best teams in the world. It is not possible that we play this way. No good for me, for China or my players.”

Match 20: 13:30, Group D, JAPAN 10 MONTENEGRO 15
Quarters: 2-3, 2-5, 2-5, 4-2
Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Massimiliano Caputi (ITA).
Extra Man: 
Pens: JPN: 2/3. MNE: 3/3.
Teams:
JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi, Atsushi Arai, Mitsuaki Shiga (1), Akira Yanase (3), Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu (1), Yuki Kadono (1), Koji Takei (4), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa, Shota Hazui, Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto.
MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan (1), Vjekoslav Paskovic (3), Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan, Aleksandar Radovic (4), Mladan Janovic, Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic (4), Nikola Murisic (2), Filip Klikovac (1), Predrag Jokic (1), Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic.


JPN vs MNE ©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia
Match report:
Both teams entertained in a match that Montenegro dominated and Japan kept firing back with goals from time to time, exploding in the final quarter when all was lost. The close start expanded to a 7-2 margin in favour of Montenegro before closing the half at 8-4. A three-goal burst at the top of the third left the crowd in no doubt about the eventual winner. There were three penalty goals early in the match and three others in the later part with Montenegro scoring three and Japan claiming two from three. All players relished turning at centre and the referees accommodated them. Japan’s extra burst in the final quarter lifted the match and its scoring to double figures. Japan’s first two goals were scored by dynamo Koji Takei and the last two as well. In fact, Montenegro was shut out of the final four minutes while Japan scored three goals.

Match 19: 12:10, Group D, SERBIA 10 AUSTRALIA 9
Quarters: 3-2, 2-2, 1-4, 4-1
Referees: Radoslaw Koryzna (POL), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: SRB: 2/7. AUS: 2/5
Pens:
Teams:
SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic, Zivko Gocic (1), Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk (1), Dusko Pijetlovic (1), Slobodan Nikic (1), Milan Aleksic (2), Nikola Janovic, Filip Filipovic (2), Andrija Prlainovic, Stefan Mitrovic (2), Branislav Mitrovic. Head coach: Dejan Savic.
AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell, George Ford, John Cotterill (1), Nathan Power (1), Jarrod Gilchrist, Aiden Roach, Aaron Younger (3), Joel Swift (2), Emery Mitchell, Rhys Howden (1), Tyler Martin (1), Joel Dennerley. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic

AUS vs SRB 
©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia 
Match Report:
Serbia won a topsy-turvy encounter, leading 3-1 early and then blowing a 6-4 advantage to go behind by two goals. Serbian experienced floated to the top at the start of the fourth period and the game — a real thriller — ended in the “natural order”. The Aussie Sharks opened proceedings through captain Rhys Howden, then Serbia struck back with three goals in the next four minutes through Slobodan Nikic, Milos Cuk and Dusko Pijetlovic. Nathan Power fumbled with the ball at centre forward, but still managed to score for 3-2.
Aaron Younger levelled the match on the first attack of the second quarter from five metres and then goals were traded until Milan Aleksic gave Serbia the 5-4 lead going into the halftime break. Stefan Mitrovic gave Serbia a two-goal advantage to start the third, but then the unthinkable happen as the multi-champion team had to watch as Australia fired in four unanswered goals by the aggressive Sharks, coming from centre forward on extra (Joel Swift), a five-metre lob (John Cotterill), a drive deep left (Younger) and then a nine-metre shot (Younger, for his third). To cap it, Serbia blew a four on none counter with superb Australian defence. Serbia nearly grabbed one back after a timeout with an Aleksic shot channelled to goalkeeper Joel Dennerley. Australia was two clear against the multiple World League champion that dominated with World League, European and World Cup success last year. It did not take Serbia too long to catch up — less than three minutes — through Aleksic on extra and then Mitrovic on a pinpoint pass to the far post. Serbian captain Zivko Gocic regained the lead with strike from the top on action at 4:18. The imbalance had been redressed. Australia had some poor luck when a shot that seemingly crossed the line was not awarded and then a Younger shot off a free throw from well outside was disallowed so the referee could eject the Serbian, much to the despair of the Australian bench. Swift made no mistake with his extra-man attempt from point blank at 1:36 for 9-10 and something head coach Elvis Fatovic said to the referee earned a yellow card. Cotterill hit the crossbar with a long lob and Serbia nearly lost the ball in the rebound. Serbia’s shot at the other end was astray and Australia had the last 13 seconds, gained an exclusion at 0:01, but the shot was blocked. What an excellent encounter!
FLASH QUOTES:
Elvis Fatovic (AUS) — Head Coach
“I’m proud of my team, the way they played They are a much more experienced team. It’s hard playing Montenegro and Serbia (in the group). They should be stronger. I think we proved in one game that anything is possible. That’s our plan.”
Joel Dennerley (AUS) — Goalkeeper
“It was a good effort definitely by the boys. Serbia is very good but on their attack we channeled the ball and they played pressure zone. Our counter defence was strong and our defence between players on man down was quite solid.”
Joel Swift (AUS) — Centre Forward
“It’s disappointing to lose but it’s still a good result. We’ve been building together for a few years now and everyone’s on the same page. A lot of us played younger age groups together and I think most of the team has played together for four or five years now, so there’s a lot of spirit and everyone knows the nuances of the things we can do and we know we’re always in a match.”

Match 18: 10:50, Group C, HUNGARY 21 ARGENTINA 4
Quarters: 6-2, 3-1, 6-1, 6-0
Referees: Sergey Naumov (RUS), Peter De Jong (NED).
Extra Man: HUN: 7/11. ARG: 0/5.
Pens: Nil
Teams:
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras (1), Balazs Erdelyi (2), Marton Vamos (4), Norbert Hosnyanszky (2), Daniel Angyal (1), Marton Szivos (3), Daniel Varga (1), Denes Varga (5), Krisztian Bedo, Balazs Harai (2), Attila Decker. Head coach: Tibor Benedek.
ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich, Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez (2), Tomas Bulgheroni, Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes, Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi (1), German Yanez (1), Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso.


HUN vs ARG 
©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia
Match report:
Hungary breezed through to the quarterfinals with a third big victory of the week. Sharpening skills for the later rounds with little serious pressure may not be the best preparation for the critical part of the tournament, but the world champions made the most of their time in the water. Argentina actually opened the scoring in the first minute through a sweeping backhand by big centre forward Emanuel Lopez. Hungary took it to 5-1 and 6-2 at the break before advancing to a comfortable 9-3 at halftime. Hungary closed the gate for Argentina in the second half — not before allowing one goal to slip through from Lopez on a cross pass at centre forward — as Denes Varga collected the last three goals in a wonderful display of accurate passing, inter-personal communication and finishing prowess. The champion is ready to tangle with the best in the coming week.
FLASH QUOTES:
Tibor Benedek (HUN) — Head Coach
On playing three “easy” matches in the group stage: “I’m happy with the way we’re playing but the start of the championships for us will be in three days. We will play some friendly half-hour matches with Croatia and Serbia in the coming days and these will be more similar to the three group games.”
Ivan Carabantes (ARG) — Captain
“First of all it was an honour to play with them. It must have been fun for Hungarian water polo. It was a very emotional game for us. We prepared the best we could — 100 percent body and mind. They are really talented players like the Varga brothers. We played well for the first two quarters, but in the second half the difference in levels appeared and the match opened for them.” On the best part of the match for Argentina: “Our soul. We have to learn a lot, as this is our first time at World Championships. It was a pleasure to train and play this type of game.”

Match 17: 09:30, Group C, SOUTH AFRICA 3 KAZAKHSTAN 14
Quarters: 0-4, 1-3, 1-5, 1-2
Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Hatem Gaber (EGY).
Extra Man: RSA: 2/9. RSA: 4/9
Pens: Nil
Teams:
SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux, Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock, Joao De Carvalho (1), Dayne Jagga (1), Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux (1), Wesley Bohata, Julian Lewis. Head coach: Paul Martin.
KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (3), Aleksandr Axenov (5), Roman Pilipenko, Vladimir Ushakov (1), Alexey Shmider (1), Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov (1), Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov (1), Branko Pekovich (2), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.

RSA vs KAZ ©Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia
Match report:
Kazakhstan leapfrogged South Africa into second place in the group with a dominant performance that showed no mercy to a lackluster South Africa. South African head coach Paul Martin was stunned about his team’s inability to rise to the occasion and it looked it. South Africa won the EU Nations Cup in Odense, Denmark earlier this year, but by the coach’s admission, it was a terrible performance. Kazakhstan, inspired by the brilliant play of  Alexandr Axenov, who scored five goals, was never in doubt and the first three goals from three attacks set the seal on the match. It rose to 6-0 in the second period before Nicholas Molyneux fired in from six metres, but by then halftime loomed and Axenov converted extra for his third and a comfortable lead at the long break. Axenov delivered twice more in the third and South African youngster Dayne Jagga (18) scored his second goal of the tournament from centre forward, justifying his USA college scholarship, which he starts in September. Kazakhstan Sergey Gubarev scored a pair in the final quarter, one on extra and the other with the biggest counter attack of the week. For South Africa it was a day to forget and for Kazakhstan, second spot will be celebrated.
FLASH QUOTES:
Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach

“We played like amateurs in a professional environment. We’ve worked hard to get rid of that stigma. They (Kazakhstan) dominated how we had to play the game. When we got our structures right we forced them into long shots. The fact they got the ball into centre was unacceptable. We created six-on-five opportunities but our finishing was unacceptable. We were our own worst enemies; we showed no fight. One bad game and that was it. It was not through lack of opportunities (that we lost).”


Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia make quarterfinals

 Kazan, August 2.— Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia have won through to the quarterfinals of men’s water polo following fourth-day competition.

In the first of the critical matches, Italy made sure of victory, getting the better of Canada 8-2 after a slow start. Then United States of America held out Brazil 7-3 in a spirited American continental rumble that only broke out with two John Mann goals early in the fourth quarter. Montenegro had a tough nut to crack in Kazakhstan before pulling away in the third period and on to a 12-8 win. In the final match of the day, Australia defeated South Africa 17-1 in the Southern Hemisphere clash.

Earlier in the day, in the bracket 13-16, Russia and Japan have won through to Tuesday’s classification for 13th. Russia needed a penalty shootout to shake off China after finishing the match at 10-10. Russia scored four straight while China had two shots blocked. Russia led by two goals late in the match only for China’s Tao Dong scoring twice, the second just one second from time. Japan had little trouble in fending off Argentina 14-6 in a match that had a red card for each team awarded.


August 4 Schedule: 

Classification 15-16

31. 09:30, CHN v ARG

Classification 13-14

32. 10:50, RUS v JPN

Classification 9-12 Semifinals

33. 12:10, CAN v KAZ

34. 13:30, BRA v RSA

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinals

35. 17:30, CRO v MNE

38. 18:50, GRE v AUS

36. 20:10, HUN v ITA

37. 21:30, SRB v USA



Match 30: 20:10, SOUTH AFRICA 1 AUSTRALIA 17
Quarters: 1-5, 0-6, 0-2, 0-4

Referees: Shi Wei Ni (CHN), German Moller (ARG).

Extra Man: RSA: 0/1. AUS: 4/5.

Pens: AUS: 1/1.

Teams:

SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux (1), Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock, Joao De Carvalho, Dayne Jagga, Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux, Wesley Bohata, Julian Lewis. Head Coach: Paul Martin.

AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell (1), George Ford (2), John Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist (2), Aiden Roach (2), Aaron Younger (4), Joel Swift(1), Mitchell Emery (3), Rhys Howden, Tyler Martin (2), Joel Dennerley. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.

Match Report:

Australia played as it intends to play against Greece in the quarterfinals on Tuesday — fast, hard and with plenty of accurate shooting. Head coach Elvis Fatovic (CRO) applied the pressure from the start and did not let up until after halftime. He used all his bench from the earliest minutes and they did not disappoint. South Africa looked better than its previous outing and worked tirelessly, but the Aussie Sharks have been well drilled and are hoping to progress to the medal rounds. Aaron Younger took his tally for the week to 12 with four goals and Mitchell Emery liked the long swims that finished with goals, doing it twice while landing another in his first scores of the tournament. South Africa’s lone success with Etienne Le Roux’s 1-3 score two seconds after the extra-man play. Nicholas Molyneux could have delivered a second, on penalty, for 2-10, but he hit the post.

FLASH QUOTES:

Aaron Younger (CRO) – Four Goals

We had to keep our intensity up ahead of the quarterfinal with Greece. We can be an on and off team, so we had to take it in the first and go from there. Sure, there are more things to tweak and we have to shift our game around to suit our strengths. We’re really good to go (against Greece).

Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach

It was a lot better and we went through some good passages of play. We went out to try and cut down their counter attack. When we did, we set up to defend and it looked good. There were only two goals (against) in the third period and no goal until the final four minutes of the last when they threw in four. It showed the difference between a team that throws the ball around for fun as opposed to a team with funded systems. We play physically at times, but tonight we were bullied. It was a better performance than the Kazakhstan game. Against Kazakhstan we went in with the mindset of creating an upset. Tonight it was not to be an individual, but work for the team.

Match 29: 18:50, KAZAKHSTAN 8 MONTENEGRO 12

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

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Daniel Flahive (AUS).

Extra Man: KAZ: 1/4. MNE: 3/9.

Pens: MNE: 1/1.

Teams:

KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (3), Aleksandr Axenov (2), Roman Pilipenko, Vladimir Ushakov (1), Alexey Shmider, Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov (2), Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich, Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan, Vjekoslav Paskovic (1), Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan (3), Aleksandar Radovic (2), Mladan Janovic (3), Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic (2), Nikola Murisic, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic (1), Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic.

Match report:

Montenegro booked a quarterfinal clash with Olympic champion Croatia on Tuesday with a belated showing against Kazakhstan, which at one time had a two-goal lead. Kazakhstan opened with two shots from the top (captain Sergey Gubarev) and with a seven-metre lob Alexandr Axenov and Montenegro responded with strikes from Aleksandar Radovic and Mladan Janovic. The parochial crowd went ballistic when Gubarev sent in a long shot to the bottom right for 3-2 and the quarter lead. Axenov increased the intensity in the temporary stadium with the 4-2 goal at 2:56 in the second period. Then Montenegro dulled the crowd’s enthusiasm with a close-in conversion of extra by Darko Brguljan; a penalty goal from Janovic and a short drive from captain Predrag Jokic for 5-4 at 0:15. A pop pass in the last seconds high into centre forward was plucked from the air by Rustam Ukumanov to score for 5-5 and an excellent halftime scoreline, if you are from Kazakhstan. Radovic and Gubarev traded goals at the top of the third period and then Montenegro decided to get serious with thoughts of a possible medal-round match on the horizon. Darko Brguljan on extra, Aleksandar Ivovic on a short drive; Brguljan again on extra and Janovic with a spectacular show of control from the five-metre mark, turning his man, moving forward and shooting for 10-6 just seconds from the final break. Kazakhstan kept the dream alive through Vladimir Ushakov on extra early in the fourth period and then a four-on-three counter finished by Ukumanov for 8-10 at 4:34. Ivovic exploded the hopes of many when his eight-metre rocket nearly tore a hole in the netting at 4:06 for 11-8. The final goal came from Montenegro with Vjekoslav Paskovic catching and scoring from a cross pass at two metres, 18 seconds from time.

FLASH QUOTES:

Drasko Brguljan (MNE)

''In the first half we had offensive problems. We were not finishing counter attacks and they (Kazakhstan) did score a couple of goals. But in the end we played much better in defence and that is very important to us as we have lost offensive power, missing three important players (Nikola Janovic, Antonio Petrovic and Sasa Misic). And as we also swam much, much faster in the second half we knew that they were probably getting tired in the end. Now Croatia in the quarterfinals. Maybe that's even good for us. Croatia's game is much more like ours. I think it suits us better than Australia or Kazakhstan for instance. And we know each other very well. But obviously we will come in more tired and our rotation is smaller than theirs since we have three very young players who don't play so much. But we will have to find a way and I hope we can take that one more step and get into the semifinals.''

Sergey Drozdov (KAZ) — Head Coach

I’m not happy with the result. We played a good game, but in the third quarter the players were tired and made a lot of defensive mistakes that gave the game to Montenegro. Also we hit the crossbar many times. Montenegro is a very strong team and there was a lot of wrestling. We played just eight-nine players. We are making progress in this tournament (over the four matches).


Match 28: 17:30, BRAZIL 3 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 7

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

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra Man: BRA: 0/4. USA: 1/5.

Pens: USA: 1/1.

Teams:

BRAZIL: Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes, Ives Gonzalez, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes (1), Adrian Delgado, Felipe Silva, Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone (1), Gustavo Guimaraes (1), Josip Vrlic. Head coach: Ratko Rudic (CRO).

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Merrill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido (2), Josh Samuels, Tony Azevedo, Alex Bowen, Bret Bonnani (2), Jesse Smith, John Mann (3), McQuin Baron. Head coach: Dejan Udovicic (USA).

Match Report:

In what was an extremely tight and sometimes heated match between two teams who know each other well having played against or seen each other at Intercontinental Tournament, World League Super Final and Pan Am Games this year alone. They now what it takes to win. Luca Cupido (USA) scored twice early in the match down the left side and then it was more than eight minutes later before another goal came, courtesy of Brazil’s Bernardo Gomes on counter attack. Bret Bonnani replied on the next attack with a five-metre shot that was protested by the defender for moving too far forward, allegedly. Bonnani scored his second on penalty at 5:12 in the third with Brazil coming back quickly thanks to a Gustavo Guimaraes shot down the left for 2-4. Both teams took timeouts to no effect as they looked tired from too many attacks with no benefits. One of the survivors from the London Olympics, John Mann, converted a cross-pass to the near post on extra for 5-2 at the start of the final period. He followed up on the next attack with a trademark centre –forward shot from the four-metre line. All of a sudden the match had blown out to 6-2. Felipe Perrone narrowed it with a blast from deep left at 2:20. Soon after mayhem hit the pool when Brazilian head coach Ratko Rudic (CRO) protested a something and he received a yellow card for advancing down the pool. Both assistant coaches marched down and one was red-carded. With less than 20 seconds remaining, Tony Azevedo stole the ball at five metres and fired it down the pool to Mann at the five-metre line, who turned and scored for 7-3 at 0:17. Despite a Brazilian timeout, that was the final score.

FLASH QUOTES:

Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach

The level was not the highest tonight. We are in the same situation. It is our first competition since a month (Pan Ams) and we are exhausted. We were the worst team. We found the courage and strain in the last quarter.

Merrill Moses (USA) — Goalkeeper

''Our coaching staff had a great tactical plan. We played strong team defence; the team listened to my defensive calls. We knew that we would win this game with defence. Of course we know them well having played each other a couple of times in the last month, but kudos to my coaching staff. This team's going to do something special. We're a team to watch out for.''

Felipe Perrone (BRA) — Captain

We played World League and Pan Americans and now here. It was a good game, but we missed a lot of shots. It is an important step to the Olympics (2016 Rio). USA was very, very tough and they worked a lot. If we beat South Africa in two days it will be the best result in Brazil’s history. We are trying to do the best we can as fast as we can.
Match 27: 13:30, CANADA 2 ITALY 8
Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 1-2, 0-3, 
Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Francesc Buch (ESP).
Extra Man: CAN: 1/9. ITA: 3/8.
Pens: CAN: 0/2.
Teams:
CANADA: Robin Randall, Con Kudaba (1), Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Justin Boyd, David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham, Matt Halajian, John Conway, George Torakis (1), Jerry McElroy, Dusan Aleksic. Head coach: Alexander Beslin.
ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio, Alessandro Velotto (1), Pietro Figlioli (1), Alex Giorgetti (2), Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo, Nicholas Presciutti, Niccolo Gitto (2), Stefano Luongo, Matteo Aicardi (1), Fabio Baraldi (1), Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.


CAN vs ITA  ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto 

Match report:
Italy dispensed with Canada 8-2 and immediately had thoughts of its quarterfinal opponent, world champion Hungary.  Not that Canada was a walk in the park as the opening quarters suggest. However, Italy managed to get systems working and scored twice either side of the final break to have a confidence-building 7-2 lead heading into the final five minutes. Italy took opportunities when presented and scored twice from its centre forwards with backhands. Canada missed two penalty attempts, the first early in the second quarter that could have been 1-2 and then at 4:56 in the last when five behind. All credit to Canada for playing hard and accepting the challenge in a match where Italy was expected to win.
FLASH QUOTES:
Alessandro Campagna (ITA) — Head Coach
“No match is easy. It was not easy against Russia (won 9-6) or Greece when we lost (10-11). We are a young team; there are seven players for the first time at a World Championships. There was too much emotion early in the tournament. The players need to play strong matches, mentally and try hard.” On playing Hungary in the quarterfinals: “What we have done in the past (in Kazan) is zero. Hungary is a great team, world champion. We have to prepare tactics, psychology and we must win.”
Alex Giorgetti (ITA) “We made a great match. Canada was good and fast and played well with the physical aspect. The referees perhaps leaned to the lesser team, but the final result was right. Our defence was very strong. Defence is the most important part of things.
Robin Randall (CAN) — Goalkeeper
“When you only score two goals there must be a problem on offence. The guys had plenty of energy and worked their a***s off. There were a few mis-cues and that hurt, but we had a lot of heat and played the whole way through.”
Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (CAN)
''It was a good game with a lot of intensity. The main difference was that Italy were simply better at key moments. I don't think we're that far from this team, but with their experience and plays at the key moments, they were better today. Personally it was a tough game. Italy's defence dropped back a lot, so it was hard for me to get some balls. I think their game plan was to shut me down.''

Match 26: 12:10, ARGENTINA 6 JAPAN 14
Quarters: 0-4, 2-2, 2-4, 2-4
Referees: Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ), Hatem Gabor (EGY).
Extra Man: ARG: 1/7. JPN: 3/9.
Pens: Nil
Teams:
ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich, Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni, Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes (3), Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi (3), German Yanez, Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso.
JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (1), Atsushi Arai, Mitsuaki Shiga (2), Akira Yanase (1), Atsuto Iida (2), Yusuke Shimizu (1), Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei (4), Kenya Yasuda (1), Keigo Okawa (1), Shota Hazui (1), Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto.


ARG vs JPN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto 

Match Report:
Probably the most exciting team at the championships, Japan, brought plenty of fresh play to the clash with Argentina. Japan has speed, panache and everlasting stamina. Japan finished fourth in a tough group that contained Serbia, Montenegro and Australia. Japan’s skills have been evident even against such tough opposition. There was control all over the pool and the exclusion of Argentina’s top goal-scorer, German Yanez (7), did help Japan and robbed the match of a star player. Later in the match a second red card was issued when Japan’s Keigo Okawa was sent for allegedly elbowing an opponent. This came at 3:27 when Japan appeared to call a timeout. However, the exclusion was given and Argentina took the timeout instead. By now the match was fully in favour of Japan at 9-3.  The skills of Koji Takei were also evident, especially with his nine-metre shot at the start of the fourth period. His next goal was soon after from six metres. For Japan, honed by three matches in a tough group, it was not too hard and sets it up for a play-off against Russia in front of what will be a hostile crowd.
FLASH QUOTES:
Yusuke Shimizu (JPN) — Captain
“Unfortunately we came from the same group as Serbia, Montenegro and Australia so find ourselves in this bracket. But we have shown our ability and strengths and will use these against Russia in two days’ time.” On rising to the occasion today: “This was, of course, a must-win match. We played them in the World League earlier this year and were ready for them. Our goal is to qualify for Rio (Olympics) as the Asian champion (qualification tournament in December).”
Nahuel Alfonzo (ARG) — Head Coach
“We couldn’t stop the Japanese contra attack. We lost a very good player (German Yanez) in the first quarter and the possibility of not winning increased a lot. The referee said it was for kicking. The second quarter was the best for us. We controlled the attack and made only two mistakes and tied the period with them.”

Match 25: 10:50, CHINA 11 RUSSIA 14 in penalty shootout (FT: 10-10. Pens: 1-4)

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

Referees: Stanko Ivanovski (MNE), Masoud Rezvani (IRI).

Extra Man: CHN: 3/7. RUS: 6/10.

Pens: RUS: 1/1.

Teams:

CHINA: Honghui Wu, Feihu Tan (4), Zhangxin Hu, Tao Dong (3), Wenhui Lu (1), Li Li (2), Zhongxian Chen, Lun Li, Zekai Xie, Jinghao Chen, Chufeng Zhang (1), Nianxiang Liang, Zhiwei Liang. Head coach: Paolo Malara.

RUSSIA: Anton Antonov, Alexey Bugaychuk (1), Artem Odintsov (2), Igor Bychkov, Albert Zinnatullin, Artem Ashaev, Vladislav Timakov (1), Ivan Nagaev (2), Konstantin Stepaniuk (3), Dmitrii Kholod (3), Sergey Lisunov (2), Lev Magomalev, Victor Ivanov. Head coach: Erkin Shagaev.


CHN vs RUS ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto 

Match report:

What a spectacular match to start the day. The host team, which attracted a huge crowd, was playing so well and was never headed all match. Russia even held a two-goal advantage from 2:18 until 1:31. Then Tao Dong made his presence known and tore the heart out of Russian players and spectators alike. He had the last three shots in the match, scoring from a five-metre shot that hit goalkeeper Anton Antov’s arm and spun back across the line. He took a shot that rebounded for China in the last half minute and then scored a goal on extra man from the top with just one second remaining to force the penalty shootout at 10-10.  Russia led 4-1 early in the second quarter, but it was that two-goal margin at the end that seemed the best. The shootout had the near-capacity crowd roused and Russia did not disappoint with four straight goals. Russia switched goalkeepers for the shootout, bringing in Victor Ivanov. His immense presence proved what was needed and he blocked Dong’s shot — China’s second attempt — and then that of captain Chufeng Zhang. Alexey Bugaychuk made sure of victory. China played excellently and the best goal of the day came from veteran Feihi Tan who gained the ball on his line, swam up the right side of the pool, moved across to centre forward, always keeping his defender at bay, surged into four metres and then shot past Antonov for 8-8 at 6:04 in the final period. It was the second time China had levelled — 7-7 just two seconds from three-quarter time when Tan was also the magician, scoring from halfway with the ball being deflected into goal by a defender. It was a great way to start the day’s programme.

FLASH QUOTES:

Erkin Shagaev (CHN) — Head Coach

It was one of those games where the inexperience of my players showed. Russia must play more of these tough matches. Russia has been absent too long from top international competition not to feel its effects.

Paolo Malara (ITA) — China Head Coach

China played very good. It was important to play this match and was very similar against Brazil. We lose (against China), but 10-10 and 9-9 with Brazil. It was important for me for the future. I am happy after the blackout against Croatia (1-17).

*****



Netherlands, Italy, Russia gain big wins - Kazan 2015 day 3


The opening match of day 3 of the 2015 World Championships delivered a thriller straight away. A big match-up in group B it was the Netherlands who got the important win as they edged Greece 10-9. Thanks to heroics of back-up goalie Laura Aarts, who stopped a late penalty by Christina Tsoukala and smothered a close shot by Stefania Charalampidi in the following possession, the Dutch managd to secure the hard-fought victory. Their patience and stamina did turned around the game in the third quarter from a 6-7 score into a 9-7 lead going into the final period. Greece scored twice to cut the deficit back to just 1 as standout Sabrina van der Sloot scored one for the Dutch who held on in the hectic final phase. Van der Sloot finshed the game as top scorer netting 4.
The next match was rather more one-sided affair. Favourites Australia held South Africa to score just once as they rolled to a 19-1 victory, ahead of their big meeting with the Netherlands for the top spot in the group on Thursday. Ashleigh Southern led all scorerd with 5 in the win.

Like the Netherlands also Italy gained an important win on Tuesday in Kazan. In an excellent performance reigning Olympic champions USA were beaten 10-9. And it was not that the Italians had the great start. Rachel Fattal was on target right from the beginning for USA scoring two straight goals (of her total 5) in the opening period for the 1-2 lead. Then Italy replied by netting three straight taking a 4-2 lead going into the second period. There the lead for the Fabio Conti coached side was extended to three goals. That lasted for the first half as Italy looked well underway to a nice victory before USA got back in the third session. Here Roberta Bianconi even got her team up 7-4 but Kiley Neushul and Fattal (2x) even tied the game with just under 3 minutes to go in the third. The decision then followed. Italy once more bounced back as standout Bianconi hit for the 8-7 lead into the final period where Tania di Mario, who had a quiet game shot home a trademark-goal in the near corner, followed by Italy's leftie Giulia Emmolo scoring as the 2012 European champions all of a sudden led 10-7. And with 2.50 to play in the game, that would prove a daunting task for USA to overcome. Nevertheless they tried and still scored two goals in the remainder. But as the final one came just with 4 seconds on the clock, after sloppy defensive play by the Italians, came too late. 

Brazil gained an important win in their quest to avoid last place in group C as they defeated Japan 11-8 behind 5 goals from Izabella Chiappini. The Pat Oaten coached side had the better of the inexperienced Japanese for most of the game as they could play out the clock from when 40 seconds were remaining to close out a tough contest as winners. Yumi Nakano scored a team-high 3 for Japan.

The evening session started with a 4-13 loss for France to China. A game with two faces, really. In the first half France actually got along with the favourites Chinese quite nicely in a phase of the game where goals proved hard to be scored. But France stayed close and the 2-2 score at half-time surely wasn't predicted on Chinese side before the match. Things however were rather different after the big break. China turned it up and started to pull away quikcly. An 2-11 run in the third and fourth period restored order from Chinese perspective as they went on to dominate France and cruise to a 9-goal victory.

Hosts Russia were up next in a packed Water Polo Arena as they joined China on top of group D thanks to a hard-fought 11-13 win over rivals Hungary. Carried by the fanatic crowd, the Russian ladies stormed back in the final period going for a 1-5 run that turned things around and ultimately got them the victory. Hungary now remains pointless in 3rd place of the group after two rounds of play and have to secure that 3rd spot on Thursday against France. If it wasn't for the final period Hungary would have won the match with seemingly ease. The Magyar women had the better start and saw a nervous Russian side unable to overcome their early 2-goal deficit. In the third period Russia struck first by tieing the match at 6-6 through Ekaterina Prokefyeva but Hungary looked not to be denied. Three straight goals later their order was restored as they led 9-6 midway through the 3rd quarter. After goals were exchanged the teams got ready for a tense final period with a 10-8 score. Here things started to change. After the home team pulled back to 10-9 it was Ildiko Toth who responded for Hungary for the 11-9 score with 6.35 remaining. The final answer by Russia went on to be the decisive one, though. In the next 5 minutes the game was turned around by 4 straight goals for the home team, well cheered on by the home crowd, as they saw their team actually gaining the victory. Ekaterina Lisunova delivered the exclamation point, or rather two as she scored the game's final two goals securing Russia's important victory. They will now face China a big head-to-head meeting on Thursday for the group win and direct qualification to the quarterfinals.

Defending world champions Spain had no trouble overcoming New Zealand in the penultimate match of the Tuesday in Kazan. Behind Roser Tarrago's 6 goals the Spanish women steam-rolled to a 23-2 victory over the Kiwis. With their 2nd win in group A now under their belt, on Thursday a probable clash with Canada for first place in the group awaits. 


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Schedule and results day 3


Tuesday, 28 July (women)

Netherlands vs. Greece 10-9 (2-3, 2-2, 5-2, 1-2) 
Netherlands scorers: Sabrina van der Sloot 4, Yasemin Smit 3, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Lieke Klaassen. 

Greece scorers: Antigoni Roumpesi 2, Margarita Plevritou 2, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi, Christina Kotsia, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou.

Australia vs. South Africa 19-1 (6-0, 3-1, 7-0, 3-0)
Australia scorers: Ash Southern 5, Holly Lincoln-Smith 3, Keesja Gofers 3, Gemma Beadsworth 2, Hannah Buckling 2, Rowie Webster, Glennie McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Nicola Zagame.

South Africa scorer: Ruby Versfeld.



Italy vs. USA 10-9 (4-2, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2)
Italy scorers: Roberta Bianconi 4, Giulia Emmolo 3, Arianna Garibotti, Elisa Queirolo, Tania di Mario.

USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 5, Kiley Neushul 2, Melissa Seidemann, Makenzie Fischer.



Brazil vs. Japan 11-8 (4-2, 2-1, 4-3, 1-2)
Brazil scorers: Izabella Chiappini 5, Melani Dias 3, Amanda Oliveira, Luiza Carvalho, Gabriela Mantellato.

Japan scorers: Yumi Nakano 3, Yuri Kazama 2, Shino Magariyama, Ayaka Takahashi, Kotori Suzuki.



France vs. China 4-13 (1-2, 1-0, 1-6, 1-5)
France scorers: Louise Guillet 2, Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre.

China scorers: Guannan Niu 6, Zihan Zhao 3, Dunhan Xiong 2, Xiaohan Mei, Donglun Song.



Hungary vs. Russia 11-13 (3-1, 3-4, 4-3, 1-5)
Hungary scorers: Rita Keszthelyi 3, Dora Czigany 2, Barbara Bujka 2, Dora Antal, Dora Kisteleki, Orsolya Takacs, Ildiko Toth.

Russia scorers: Ekaterina Lisunova 3, Elvina Karimova 2, Evgeniia Abdriziakova 2, Evgeniya Tankeeva 2, Ekaterina Prokofyeva, Anastasia Simanovich, Anna Timofeeva, Nadezhda Iarondaikina.



Spain vs. New Zealand 23-2 (3-0, 7-1, 5-1, 8-0)
Spain scorers: Roser Tarrago 6, Laura Lopez 4, Judith Forca 3, Paulo Leiton 2, Jennifer Pareja 2, Clara Espar 2, Maica Garcia 2, Marta Bach, Anna Espar.

New Zealand scorers: Danielle Lewis, Caitlin Lopes da Silva.



21.30: Canada vs. Kazakhstan

Schedule day 4


Wednesday, 29 July (men)


09.30: Greece vs. USA
10.50: Kazakhstan vs. Argentina
12.10: South Africa vs. Hungary
13.30: Australia vs. Montenegro

17.30: Serbia vs. Japan
18.50: Russia vs. Italy
20.10: China vs. Canada
21.30: Croatia vs. Brazil

Schedule day 5

Thursday, 30 July (women)

09.30: Brazil vs. Italy
10.50: Japan vs. USA
12.10: Hungary vs. France
13.30: Canada vs. Spain

17.30: Kazakhstan vs. New Zealand
18.50: Russia vs. China
20.10: Australia vs. Netherlands
21.30: South Africa vs. Greece

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.



Spain, Australia, Italy and host Russia through to quarterfinals of women’s water polo competition
Spain, Australia, Italy and Russia have won their respective groups and qualified for automatic entry to the quarterfinals from third-day action of women’s water polo competition.
In Group A, Spain beat Canada 12-6 in the all-important decider while Kazakhstan finished third thanks to six goals from Aizan Akilbayeva for a 14-4 margin over New Zealand.
In Group B, Australia headed off Netherlands  8-6 to win the group and Greece made short work of South Africa 20-4 for its first win and third place.
In Group C, Italy bounced Brazil 15-6 for top slot while Olympic champion United States of America downed winless Japan 17-2 for second spot.
In Group D, Russia and China fought out a 9-9 draw giving Russia the group win on goal differential and Hungary had a first win against France — 18-3.
Final Points:
Group A: Spain 6, Canada 4, Kazakhstan 2, New Zealand 0.
Group B: Australia 6, Netherlands 4, Greece 2, South Africa 0.
Group C: Italy 6, USA 4, Brazil 2, Japan 0.
Group D: Russia 5, China 5, Hungary 2, France 0.

Match 24: 21:30, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA 4 GREECE 20
Quarters: 1-5, 1-6, 1-4, 1-5
Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Shi Wei Ni (CHN).
Extra Man: RSA: 0/3. GRE: 3/5.
Pens: RSA: 1/1. GRE: 0/1.
Teams:
SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield (2), Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White (2), Alexandre Gascoigne. Head Coach: Bradley Rowe.
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Stefania Charalampidi (2), Christina Kotsia (2), Margarita Plevritou (1), Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (5), Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Ioanna Charalampidi (1), Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eliftheria Plevritou (3), Eleni Xenaki (2), Chrysoula Diamantopolou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Match report:
Greece gained what it wanted most in Kazan and that was to win a match. The first came at the expense of South Africa following one-goal losses to Australia and Netherlands. Greece put itself back into championship reckoning and possibly regain the world crown it lost in Barcelona two years ago. Greece was obviously rampant, but even though it opened the scoring, South Africa responded 15 seconds later and the match had not progressed 45 seconds. South Africa worked hard on defence and took what opportunities it could glean on offence, scoring in each of the quarters. Captain Kelsey White and Ruby Versfeld netted two each while Greece’s best was centre forward Alexandra Asimaki with five, all from centre forward. In fact, Greece’s 11 field players all scored at least once. South Africa came to Kazan with only 11 players and when here one player fell down the stairs and broke an ankle.
FLASH QUOTES:
Georgios Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach
“It was a game where we wanted to keep the rhythm. We want to maintain and improve for the game against Canada in two days time. We have had a lot of bad luck (referring to the two one-goal losses). I believe in my team and now the focus is on Canada.”
Brad Rowe (RSA) — Head Coach
L“We had a lot of fun. We even got some structures right. Playing without three on the bench is not easy. An extra player could make 20 against only 15 against. We were still playing in the final quarter.”

Match 23: 20:10, Group A, AUSTRALIA 8 NETHERLANDS 5
Quarters: 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 1-1
Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Boris Margeta (AUS).
Extra Man: AUS: 1/8. NED: 5/11.
Pens:  AUS: 1/1
Teams:
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox (1), Rowena Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern (2), Bronte Halligan (1), Nicola Zagame (2), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit, Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (1), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich (1), Maud Megens (1), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.
Match Report:
Australia took the fourth quarterfinal berth with a brilliant, hard-fought victory over Netherlands, which decided the group. Aussie Stingers captain Bronwen Knox, playing her 300th international since 2005, scored the opening goal from right in front of the cage. The next goal came more than six minutes later when Nicola Zagame gave Australia a 2-0 lead at 0:12 with a drive down the left. Rowie Webster, named the Most Valuable Player at last year’s FINA World Cup, sent in a screamer from outside for 3-0 to start the second period. Lieke Klaassen brought Netherlands into the match a minute later. Nearly five minutes later Ash Southern took it back to a three-goal margin from the penalty line. Catharina Van Der Sloot netted for 4-2 in the last half minute after exclusion time had expired. Vivian Sevenich scored from the near-post position on extra to open the third period, followed by Southern on counter for 5-3. Maud Megens drew the match to one on a fast extra-man play at 3:02. At 0:42, Zagame took it to 6-4 on counter and with two seconds left Bronte Halligan accepted a counter-attack pass from Zoe Arancini who had lost the ball on counter and regained for 7-4. Netherlands skipper Yasemin Smit converted extra for 7-5, but Glencora McGhie did the same at the other end for what became an invincible 8-5 at 3:58. Nomi Stomphorst completed the scoring on extra at 0:02 for 8-6.

FLASH QUOTES:
Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach
“There was a bit of emotion with Bron’s 300th game and it was good to see her get the first goal, then she got fouled out. Bron’s been fantastic and we love her as a player and we love her as a team member. We wanted to really cut down their options in their attack and in their counter attack especially and we worked really hard at that. To our credit we ended up scoring the counter-attack goals ourselves, which shows how much hard work they’ve put in fitness wise. I thought that was the best we’ve played for a while.”
Rowena Webster (AUS)
“We had six different girls score in good, hard-fought water polo. I’m proud of the girls. A shout out to Bronnie (captain Bronwen Webster) on her 300th (international).”
Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach
Losing to a top team such as Australia is no drama, but obviously we had hoped for more. It was clear that their physical style troubled us and we have to analyse why we couldn't get passed that in this game. In the first period we were not as mobile and quick as we wanted and after three counter-attack goals against us, the difference was already made.”

Match 20: 18:50, Group B, RUSSIA 9 CHINA 9
Quarters: 3-2, 1-2, 3-2, 2-3
Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Joseph Peila (USA).
Extra Man: RUS: 1/8. CHN: 0/6.
Pens: RUS: 0/2. CHN: 1/2.
Teams:
RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (3), Elvina Karimova (3), Ekaterina Zubacheva (1), Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (1), Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.
CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (4), Yating Sun (2), Donglun Song (2), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (1), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.
Match report: 
China came from two behind to gain a draw with Russia, but Russia took the group with a better goal differential, leaving China to play Brazil in the preliminary round. Russia held the quarter-time lead thanks to two goals from captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva, including one from over halfway. Then she hit the wood on penalty halfway through the second quarter. Ekaterina Lisunova took it to 4-2 but she too had trouble on penalty, having her shot blocked by Chinese goalkeeper Jun Yang. Guannan Niu scored at 47 seconds and seven seconds from halftime to level the match at four. Donglun Song gave China the first lead in the third period, but Evgeniya Ivanova converted extra, sending the hysterical crowd into a bigger frenzy than before. It was China’s turn to have a penalty blocked — by Anastasia Verkhoglyadova. Elvina Karimova scored her second for 6-5 and Niu replied a minute later for 6-6. Ekaterina Zubacheva assured Russia of the lead heading into the fourth period with a shot from seven metres with two seconds left. Song levelled with a close-in shot off a cross pass to start the final quarter. Prokofyeva from eight metres and Karimova from deep right after a man-up situation, took Russia out to 9-8. Sun replied from two metres and with three minutes left Russia had a 9-8 advantage. Niu redressed the imbalance, slipping the ball through Russia’s two-man-drop defence on extra at 2:32. Russia took a loose shot on the next attack that went wide. China gave to ball to Niu who shot to the left of the post. Russia lost the ball with a bad pass across cage and China took a timeout at 0:39. China shot to no effect and Russia went on attack for 10, head coach Mikhail Nakoryakov surprisingly not taking a timeout. The final shot was blocked by goalkeeper Yang, but Russia regained after the coach said he called a timeout and had a break with three seconds left. Russia, never got the shot away, ending in a thrilling draw.
FLASH QUOTES:
Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain
“Better a tie than a loss. We’re not very satisfied with the way we played. We could have had a better result.” On what was best Russia: “Maybe the third period.”
Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach
“I like how our team is shaping up, going out with no fear, confident. We have nine girls who have never been to the World Championships before. We’re growing with every game. We will probably be the team no one wants to play. With more games we will do well.” On finishing second in the group: “Better to play Brazil again than sit in a room.”
Jun Yang (CHN) — Goalkeeper
“I am so excited, but I was also nervous. The girls played very well. We needed to help more on defence. We played wonderful, but we will play much better (in Kazan). Our offence was better than our defence.”

Match 22: 17:30, Group B, KAZAKHSTAN 14 NEW ZEALAND 4
Quarters: 3-0, 4-0, 4-1, 3-3
Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Tadao Tahara (JPN).
Extra Man: KAZ: 2/10. NZL: 1/6
Pens: KAZ 1/1. NZL: 0/1.
Teams:
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva (1), Aizhan Akilbayeva (6), Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova (1), Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova (1), Oxana Saichuk (1), Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova (1), Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis (3), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance, Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles, Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.
Match Report:
Kazakhstan took third spot in the group with a fantastic victory over New Zealand. Kazakhstan was inspired by the building crowd for the following Russia-China encounter and turned on all the tricks and quality water polo. New Zealand had little answer as its synchro swimming team gave voice from the athletes’ stand. The Kiwis were kept scorless in the first half and it wasn’t until Danielle Lewis broke the drought at the start of the third that they looked better equipped. Lewis scored twice more in the fourth after accepting a pass from halfway in the air and converting. Half a minute later she scored from centre forward and then team-mate Caitlin Lopes De Silva made it three in a row. But it was a six-goal haul from Aizhan Akilbayeva that had New Zealand reeling. One shot Kazakhstan used to excellent effect was the lob, catching Brooke Millar out four times.
FLASH QUOTES:
Miroslav Trumbic (KAZ) — Head Coach
“I am very satisfied with the win, particularly how they played. We finally did it (after two losses). We were more proficient. It’s not like Canada and Spain — no comparison. Today we played one good game. This was our target to take third place and it was good watching how they played.”
Attila Biro (NZL) — Head Coach
“The first two quarters killed us with missed opportunities and a penalty (miss). Maybe it was the atmosphere, stage fright. After the first half the game was finished. We tried to take it back, but… I thought Kazakhstan was much better. Danielle Lewis played well, but this is a team sport so it was not enough.”


Match 21: 13:30, Group A, CANADA 6 SPAIN 12
Quarters: 1-5, 2-4, 2-2, 1-1
Referees: Gyorgy Kun (HUN), Mark Koganov (AZE).
Extra Man: CAN: 4/9. ESP: 5/10.
Pens: ESP: 1/2.
Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens (2), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi, Shae Fournier (1), Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson, Stephanie Valin, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (3), Clara Espar (1), Pilar Pena (2), Judith Forca (2), Roser Tarrago, Maica Garcia (2), Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
Match report:
This was a match that Spain had been looking at for some time and preparing to beat Canada and take the group.  In beating Canada, Spain became the second group winner and assured of a three-day rest before the quarterfinals. Canada will need to go via the preliminary round to have any chance of making the quarters and beyond. The world champion Spanish had the near perfect game and the leading exponents, especially in centre forward Maica Garcia who worked her magic from start to finish, scoring and gaining any ejections. Then captain Jennifer Pareja led the rest of the scorers as they made sure that victory was imminent. The 5-1 opening quarter was a tasty recipe for success. Defence was the key, forcing Canada to many fruitless forays into Spain’s territory. This was a world champion team at its best, finishing the group stage in style.


CAN vs ESP ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia

FLASH QUOTES:
Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach
“We expected a very, very hard game. Our defence worked very well and we opened a big hole between them and us. It was very good defence in the first and second quarters and it gave us the start for a good result. I am very satisfied. We have been preparing for this game for a very long time. It was the most important game in the group.”

Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach
“We had a very good preparation; the girls were ready mentally, they had a good warm-up and a good meeting this morning. The spirit was perfect. They were a little bit afraid on attack and defence and that gives the win to the other team. We were slow to execute on attack. We were too passive and needed to be more aggressive. That was missing. We needed to be more mobile. Our goal is to qualify for Rio (Olympics) so this is one more step. We have to learn to play better together as a team.”

Match 19: 12:10, Group A, HUNGARY 18 FRANCE 3
Quarters: 5-1, 1-1, 7-0, 5-1
Referees: German Moller (ARG), Stanko Ivanovski (MNE).
Extra Man: HUN: 4/8. FRA: 1/7.
Pens: Nil.
Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki (3), Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (5), Ildiko Toth (2), Barbara Bujka (6), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet (2), Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova (1), Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.
Match Report:
Hungary set itself up for the preliminary round with a strong victory over France. Hungary used many combinations with Rita Keszthelyi scoring three of her five in the opening quarter. France chimed in at 4-1, 6-2 and 14-3, the last two by captain Louise Guillet. Barbara Bujke top-scored with six goals, four from centre forward and two on extra-man attack.

HUN vs FRA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia

FLASH QUOTES:
Barbara Bujke (HUN) — six goals
“Finally we win a game. It was important after the two other games. Today we defended very well and had a good attack. We played our game and preparing for the next games. France and USA are very different (opponents).” On her dominance at centre forward and four goals from that position: “Perhaps they are less strong. Also my team-mates gave me good passes.”
Filippos Sakellis (FRA) — Head Coach
“It’s good experience to play high-class opponents. We kept our tempo of the game and we adjusted to the speed of thinking of Hungary. We prepare for the future. It is important that we want to participate more frequently in these major events. It was Barcelona in 2003 that we last competed at the World Championships. Slowly, slowly we take small steps and really return to this level. The second quarter we played very well.”

Match 18: 10:50, Group B, JAPAN 2 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 17
Quarters: 0-4, 0-4, 1-6, 1-3
Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).
Extra Man: JPN: 0/4. USA: 2/5.
Pens: Nil
Teams:
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano (2), Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (2), Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (1), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (4), Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (1), Ashley Grossman (3), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (2), Kami Craig (3), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.


JPN vs USA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia

Match report:
Olympic champion USA secured second spot in the group and will have to go through the elimination round to advance later in the week. USA had no trouble with Japan, as expected, and managed to keep a clean sheet until Yumi Nakano slipped in a shot from wide right against Samantha Hill at 1:14 in the third period when USA had already amassed 14 goals. Nakano enjoyed it so much, the plucky left-hander drove and shot from the top for 2-14 at 4:46 in the fourth period — consecutive goals! The USA barrage saw goals coming from all areas of the pool, including several excellent centre-forward goals from Kami Craig. Maggie Steffens opened with two goals and collected two more, which were both off cross passes. USA needed to regroup after the shock loss to Italy and this it did well by proving that the derailment was only temporary.
FLASH QUOTES:
Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach
“It was just another game for experience. We have to feel the World Championship experience. It’s important for such a young group and helps us a bit for the big match against Hungary (preliminary round).” On not having a three-day break, which group winners enjoy: “It’s good for us as we need to play. I still wish we had won (the group). It’s a good thing to play a tough match against one of the most talented teams in the world. It’s a gold-medal game to get into the quarters.”
Yumi Nakano (JPN) — two-goal scorer
On playing the Olympic champion: “We really felt much better in the water. Scoring two goal was a personal satisfaction, but team-wise we still need the ability to play against bigger-sized players.”


Match 17: 09:30, Group B, BRAZIL 6 ITALY 15
Quarters: 0-3, 1-5, 3-3, 2-4
Referees: Cory Williams (NZL), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ).
Extra Man: BRA: 0/4. ITA: 0/6.
Pens: ITA: 1/1.
Teams:
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith (1), Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas (1), Izabella Chiappini (1), Amanda Oliveira (4), Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias (1), Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.
ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (2), Federica Radicchi (3), Rosarie Aiello (1), Tania di Mario (1), Roberta Bianconi (3), Giulia Emmolo (2), Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti (1), Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.


BRA vs ITA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match Report:
Italy was far too good for Brazil and finished top of its group with three victories. Italy went to 4-0 up early in the second quarter and from there on in controlled the match in every aspect. Italy made space too often for Brazil to counter. The superior ball work and outside shooting of Italy was critical and sets the team up well for the knockout phases. Amanda Oliviera was the chief responder for Brazil with her team’s first four goals up until 4-8 midway through the third period. For Brazil, finishing the group with one win, it was another lesson on the harsh route to Rio 2016. Surprisingly, neither team converted an extra-man opportunity.
FLASH QUOTES:
Giulia Gorlero (ITA) — Goalkeeper
“It was very good, I think, but now we are starting the World Championships for real. We will have three days for rest and work for the finals group.” On if the three days’ rest is good: “Yes for rest but for the game not. It gives us a chance to regain our energy.” On the best thing about the match: “Roberta (Bianconi).”
Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil Head Coach
“Till the players are not scared to play against teams in the top level, we have trouble. When the stress is off they are not scared to shoot OK. Until we get used to these situations we are in trouble. Now we play China or Russia. We have to come to play or get killed. The girls are not used to the pressure situations. They have not been in enough situations with they need to convert.”

KAZAN: Sin contemplaciones ante Nueva Zelanda


KAZAN: Sin contemplaciones ante Nueva Zelanda

28/07/2015 - España ha ganado sin contemplaciones a Nueva Zelanda en el segundo partido del Grupo B Preliminar de los Campeonatos del Mundo KAZAN2015 por 23—2, con parciales de 3—0, 7—1, 5—1 y 8—0. Las jugadoras de Miki Oca, con esta rotunda victoria, se meten de lleno en el Mundial tras un comienzo un tanto titubeante frente a la selección de Kazakhistan. Ahora, todos los pensamientos se centran en Canadá, gran rival del grupo por la primera plaza.
Desde el minuto 3, ya no hubo partido. España salió enchufaba construyendo la estrategia desde la defensa y sin dar opción alguna al rival. Si bien es verdad que costó arrancar en la faceta ofensiva (3-0) en el primer cuarto, ya en el descanso se l,lagaba a un inapelable 10-1 con aportaciones de todo el equipo. Incluso se estrenaron Paula Leitón -con un gran revés- y Judith Forca. También en la portería gozó de minutos Patricia Herrera, ya que el staff técnico quiere tener a las 13 jugadoras perfectamente motivadas y engrasadas ante retos mayores como el de Canadá.
FICHA TÉCNICA:
http://waterpolo.sportresult.com/pdf/WCH2015/W15.pdf
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN 2015). Foto: Servicio especial para RFEN. España salió enchufada ante Canadá / EFE/ALBERTO ESTÉVEZ. Prohibida su reproducción

Pili Peña, 6 Mundiales y "buenas sensaciones"


Pili Peña, 6 Mundiales y

28/07/2015 - Pili Peña es de esas jugadoras que no hacen mucho ruido, pero que todo el mundo querría tener en su equipo. Lista como el hambre, jugona, talentosa, resolutiva, compañera, lo tiene todo y por eso está triunfando en este deporte. Además "todo el mundo me felicita para recordarme lo veterana que soy por mis seis Mundiales consecutivos". Pues eso, Piluka, ¡felicidades!
Respecto al partido de esta noche en Kazan (Rusia), nos dijo que "queríamos tener buenas sensaciones y por el resultado (23-2 Nueva Zelanda) se ve que hemos hecho un gran partido, estamos contentas. Estamos pensando en la defensa que vamps a hacer conytra Canadá y la verdad es que nos ha salido impecable en ese aspecto"
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial KAZAN2015). Foto: Pili Peña (ESP)


*****





Greece edges Italy for big start - Kazan 2015 - day 2

The first day of men's water polo action at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan kicked off on Monday morning with reigning Olympic champions Croatia posting a solid win over Canada. Especially in the first half the Canadian defence simply led too much space in the corners allowing Croatia to reach its centre-forwards Fran Paskvalin and Luka Loncar easily, with several penalty shots and direct goals as a result. The intensity level dropped in the second half which slowly passed by but Croatia's win was already ensured at that point. Top scorers for the group favourites were Loncar, Luka Bukic, Petar Muslim and Paulo Obradovic who scored two goals each. Canada's John Conway netted a game-high 3 shots. 
The second game provided a real thriller in an important match-up for both teams. Brazil and China drew level but consider the strong group will not be happy with the result. Both sides had their chances but especially in the game's final stages, it looked as if Brazil had the better shot at victory virtually shutting down China's last attacks. But the fatigue bothered the Ratko Rudic' coached side and ultimately prevented them from winning. Chinese goalie Honghui Wu did so too by stopping two Brazilian penalty shots including Felipe Perrone's 2nd attempt with just over a minute remaining and the score already locked at 9-9. It saved a point but both teams will know now the matches against favourites Croatia and Canada will be even more important in the race to stay in the tournament.

One of the top games of the day saw Greece and Italy squarring off in Monday's third match-up. And it did became a thriller. Both teams worked very well as the game was close all the way. And even at the point that it wasn't, when Greece took an 8-5 lead, Italy was right there for the little comeback to tie the contest once more. In the final period it was back and forth. The winning goal however was scored relatively early. Greece's Christos Afroudakis netted a penalty shot, drawn by centre-forward Konstantinos Mourikis with still 3 minutes remaining. But two more man-up posessions for Italy were not converted by Alex Giorgetti and Andrea Fondelli respectively so Greece could hold on to the big victory which means a strong hold for the top spot in the group and direct qualification to the quarterfinals. Although with still USA and Russia to face in this group, nothing is certain.

The evening session started with Hungary dominating Kazakhstan. After the Kazakhstan good start to their match-up at the previous world championships in Barcelona, reigning world champions Hungary this time were not to be surprised. Keeping Kazakhstan scoreless the entire first half Hungary cruised to a 14-5 victory. Balazs Harai led all scorers with 4.
By then the Water Polo Arena was filling with spectators ready for the next game which featured USA and home side Russia. An anticipated contest, it took some minutes for the teams to shake off the nerves and finding rhythm. But after that a great battle unfolded. Russia managed to impose their slow style of play to the usual dynamic Americans who saw just captain Tony Azevedo having an active opening quarter scoring USA's first two goals. But the game went and stayed slow after that. The difference however looked to be made in the shooting. Russia got them enough but recorded a 6-for-20 shooting performance (20%) with usual top scorer Konstantin Stepanyuk going 1-for-7. That way USA goalie Merill Moses, saving 14 of the 20 shots fired at him, could gain confidence while on the other end Luca Cupido came up big in the second half. His three goals included what turned out to be the winner as he scored on man-up with 3.51 to go in the game for the 7-5 lead. Stepanyuk replied not long after finally scoring, from the left wing, but in the final phase the US defence held on. And Russia's turnover in their final full possession did not helped either. USA could play out the clock leaving just 6 seconds for a final Russian attempt. That proved not enough as USA gained an important victory in the tough group B.

The next big anticipated showdown followed at the Arena, not half as full as the game before, with Serbia and Montenegro kicking off their 2015 World Championships campaign. The game started off slowly with both teams shaking off their acclimatisation having trained at the competition pool just once before this match. But in the second period it was Serbia who struck first. Three consecutive goals had them leading 6-3 in seemingly comfortable fashion. But Montenegro was far from done. As both teams know each other so well, surprises are hard to make and comebacks have been needed to make by either Serbia or Montenegro in previous encounters. The 2013 world championships runners-up quickly cutting the gap to 7-6 midway through the third quarter in what could become a close finish. Things turned out different though. Serbia stayed patience and quickly responed as Dusan Mandic scored to bring the Serbian lead back to two: 8-6. And when Andrija Prlainovic got himself on the board finishing a counter attack and man-up, things were back to the 2nd-period-situation all of a sudden. The difference was made there however. Mladjan Janovic made sure the gap was reduced to two by the end of the third quarter scoring one at the end of the period but then a Filip Filipovic scored penalty and nice tip-in from youngster Nikola Jaksic on the post on man-up had things already decided with still 6 minutes to go. In the remainder only Darko Brguljan managed to score a goal but both teams clearly settled for the result as favourites Serbia gained a big win to gain confidence in their quest for a top-spot finish in the group and direct quarterfinal qualification.

Slobodan Nikic (Serbia) - ''An important win today, despite a setback in the third period. We played as a team and that will be important if we want to win a gold medal here. Usually we have problems with the start in the big games and when we do manage to start off well we have a huge chance of winning, like we did today. This start of the tournament against Montenegro, which is always something special, brought some extra pressure. Also since we just had 1 practice in the pool before this game, but I felt after we jumped into the water, everyone was ready to play. This arena is one of the best I've experienced my entire career. Excellent conditions to play in and for us a relief to achieve this result in the opening match against an opponent like Montenegro.''
 


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Day 2 results


Monday, 27 July (men)

Croatia vs. Canada 12-7 (4-2, 6-2, 1-0, 1-3)
Croatia scorers: Luka Loncar 2, Luka Bukic 2, Petar Muslim 2, Paulo Obradovic 2, Damir Buric, Antonio Petkovic, Sandro Sukno, Fran Paskvalin.

Canada scorers: John Conway 3, Constantin Kudaba, Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Kevin Graham.



Brazil vs. China 9-9 (3-4, 2-1, 3-4, 1-0)
Brazil scorers: Felipe Perrone 4, Gustavo Guimaraes 2, Josip Vrlic 2, Guilherme Gomes.

China scorers: Tao Dong 3, Chufeng Zhang 3, Nianxiang Liang 2, Jinghao Chen.




Brazil's Felipe Perrone.

Greece vs. Italy 11-10 (4-4, 2-1, 3-2, 2-3)
Greece scorers: Christos Afroudakis 3, Ioannis Fountoulis 2, Konstantinos Mourikis 2, Konstantinos Genidounias, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlachopoulos.

Italy scorers: Pietro Figlioli 2, Alex Giorgetti 2, Stefano Luongo 2, Matteo Aicardi 2, Massimo Giacoppo, Fabio Baraldi.


Greece's Christos Afroudakis.

South Africa vs. Argentina 10-6 (6-2, 1-2, 1-1, 2-1)
South Africa scorers: Etienne le Roux 3, Pierre le Roux 3, Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock, Joao de Carvalho.

Argentina scorers: German Yañez 3, Ramiro Veich 2, Tomas Bulgheroni.



Hungary vs. Kazakhstan 14-5 (4-0, 3-0, 5-2, 2-3)
Hungary scorers: Balazs Harai 4, Denes Varga 3, Krisztian Bedo 2, Norbert Hosnyanszky 2, Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Daniel Varga.

Kazakhstan scorers: Vladimir Ushakov 2, Sergey Gubarev, Alexandr Axenov, Rustam Ukamanov.



USA vs. Russia 7-6 (3-1, 1-2, 2-2, 1-1)
USA scorers: Luca Cupido 3, Tony Azevedo 3, John Mann.

Russia scorers: Alexey Bugaychuk 3, Artem Odintsov, Ivan Nagaev, Konstantin Stepanyuk.



Serbia vs. Montenegro 11-8 (2-1, 4-2, 3-4, 2-1)
Serbia scorers: Filip Filipovic 3, Dusan Mandic 2, Milan Aleksic 2, Milos Cuk, Nikola Jaksic, Andrija Prlainovic, Stefan Mitrovic.

Montenegro scorers: Drasko Brguljan 2, Darko Brguljan 2, Mladjan Janovic 2, Vjekoslav Paskovic, Nikola Murisic.

21.30: Japan vs. Australia

Schedule day 4

Wednesday, 29 July (men)

09.30: Greece vs. USA
10.50: Kazakhstan vs. Argentina
12.10: South Africa vs. Hungary
13.30: Australia vs. Montenegro

17.30: Serbia vs. Japan
18.50: Russia vs. Italy
20.10: China vs. Canada
21.30: Croatia vs. Brazil

N.b.: times mentioned are local time



“Animal” Greece snares USA eagle on second day of men’s water polo competition
Greece was the big winner in second day men’s water polo competition, coming from two goals down to beat United States of America 11-10.
The win took Greece to the top of Group B and showed why its “animal” spirit proved worthy of that position. USA held the lead all match and was 10-8 up with less than three minutes remaining only to watch haplessly as Greece landed the last three goals with 31 seconds spare.
After the match, Ioannis Mylonakis likened his team to animals in the final minutes. In the other group match, Italy came out firing then went to sleep in its 9-6 win over Russia. Italy won the second period 5-0.
In Group A, Canada kept China scoreless in the first half and went on to win 8-2 for second spot. Croatia maintained top spot with a 10-9 victory over Brazil.
In Group C, Hungary downed South Africa 17-4 and Kazakhstan outlasted Argentina 15-7.
In Group D, Australia and Montenegro battled to a 5-5 draw with Montenegro controlling for much of the match before a three-goal burst took the Aussie Sharks one ahead, only to see that five-minute lead lost 22 seconds from time. Serbia beat Japan 19-9 in a most entertaining encounter.
Points after day two:
Group A: Croatia 4, Canada 2, Brazil 1, China 1.
Group B: Greece 4, USA 2, Italy 2, Russia 0.
Group C: Hungary 4, South Africa 2, Kazakhstan 2, Argentina 0.
Group D: Serbia 4, Australia 3, Montenegro 1, Japan 0.
Match 16: 21:30, Group A, CROATIA 10 BRAZIL 9
Quarters: 4-2, 4-2, 1-2, 1-3
Referees: Daniel Flahive (AUS), Mark Koganov (AZE), Extra Man: CRO:
Pens: BRA: 1/1. 
Teams:
CROATIA: Josip Pavic, Damir Buric (1), Antonio Petkovic, Luka Loncar (1), Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic (1), Petar Muslim, Andro Buslje (1), Sandro Sukno (3), Fran Paskvalin (1), Andelo Setka, Paulo Obradovic (2), Marko Bijac. Head coach: Ivica Tucak.

BRAZIL: Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella (2), Guilherme Gomes, Ives Gonzalez (1), Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes (1), Adrian Delgado (1), Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone (2), Gustavo Guimaraes, Josip Vrlic (2). Head coach: Ratko Rudic.


CRO vs BRA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia

Match report:
Croatia had control from start to finish, although Brazil made sure that accolade was hard won. Croatia was dominant in the first half and Brazil in the second but it fell short of a draw. Croatia opened with the first two goals but Brazil levelled. However, Croatia took a two-goal lead into the second quarter and doubled the score by halftime. Brazil was not fazed by the Croatians and guided by the great Ratko Rudic, continued to be a thorn in the side of the Olympic champion. Brazil won the third period, making for an interesting final period, keeping the dwindling crowd enthralled. The first goal went to Brazil to narrow the match to two. Josip Vrlic made an easy task of a powerful backhand from two metres. The match was seemingly put beyond Brazil’s reach when Obradovic scored off extra-man attack at 3:10 for 10-7. However, once again, Brazil was a thorn with Adrian Delgado squeezing one in from the deep right on extra and then Vrlic on the next attack from the deep left. Game on at 10-9! Guilherme Gomes had a shot blocked just inside the last minute and Croatia had two attacks for no result. Then Loncar grabbed the head of a Brazilian and was excluded, giving Brazil a timeout at 0:11. The shot came from Crivella but it was smacked away by the defence and Croatia survived with the win.
Match 15: 20:10, Group A, CHINA 2 CANADA 8
Quarters: 0-3, 0-3, 1-1, 1-1
Referees: Stanko Ivanoski (MNE), Gyorgy Kun (HUN).
Extra Man: CHN: 1/5. CAN: 1/5.
Pens: CAN: 1/1.
Teams:
CHINA: Honghui Wu, Feihu Tan (2), Zhangxin Hu, Tao Dong, Wenhui Lu, Li Li, Zhongxian Chen, Lun Li, Zekai Xie, Jinghao Chen, Chufeng Zhang, Nianxiang Liang, Zhiwei Liang. Head coach: Paolo Malara.
CANADA: Robin Randall, Constantin Kudaba (2), Oliver Vikalo (1), Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (1), Justin Boyd (1), David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham, Matt Halajian, John Conway, George Torakis, Jerry McElroy (3), Dusan Aleksic. Head coach: Alexander Beslin.
Match Report:
It’s all about control and Canada showed it in spades with an excellent first half that left China wondering what it had to do to break through for a debut goal. In fact both teams were bewildered about the inability to score for nearly the first six minutes. Then Canada found the formula and started applying it with Constantin Kudaba and Jerry McElroy scoring twice in just over 90 seconds. Canada crossed the line three more times in the first  five minutes of the second quarter and then both teams threw up a forest of arms, restricting any scoring. Canada, however, had a clean sheet. McElroy converted a penalty for his third when 5-0 and earlier Nicolas Constantin-Bicari scored a majestic centre-forward goal, rising high, then swiveling before unleashing his shot. The second half was all about defence as well with a goal apiece the best result in the third period and the first goal of the fourth coming at 1:53 through Constantin Kudaba and straight after Feihu Tan, who plays in Italy, drove left to score for 2-8, the final score of the match.

CHN vs CAN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
FLASH QUOTES:
Alex Beslin (CAN) — Head Coach
“It was a big difference from playing Croatia (lost 7-12). This is our goal to look forward and get further into the competition. Our defence was great, restricting China to two goals. Our man-down defence was also great. We still have to fix some things in offence.”
Robin Randall (CAN) — Goalkeeper
“Incredible defence. Every person blocked and Jerry (McElroy gained a hat-trick (three goals). It was fantastic defence.. We had a lot of energy before the game and we have to carry that forward to our clash with Brazil (on Friday).”
Kevin Graham (CAN)
“We're very satisfied with this performance, obviously especially on the defensive end. Holding an opponent at a World Championships to scoring just two goals speaks well for a team's defence and we wanted to stress that after allowing Croatia to score 12 goals in our opening game. The plan was to re-establish our defence this game, which should carry us through the tournament. We want to have real pressure when we press, but be also very mobile when we help. Today we did that and, of course, a team like Brazil will be difficult to keep at scoring just a couple of goals, but we certainly want to keep them to as few as possible.”
Paolo Malara (ITA) — China Head Coach
“We were not in the match. The first period was very good but then Canada went 4-0 and then 5-0 and 6-0. We played, step by step, better. Second, third and fourth was very good. The first was not very good. I asked them for a reaction on contra attack, but…”

Match 15: 18:50, Group B, RUSSIA 6 ITALY 9
Quarters: 1-1, 0-5, 3-1, 2-2
Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).
Extra Man: RUS: 2/9. ITA: 4/9.
Pens: RUS: 1/1. ITA: 0/1.
Teams:
RUSSIA: Anton Antonov, Alexey Bugaychuk, Artem Odintsov, Igor Bychkov, Albert Zinnatullin, Artem Ashaev, Vladislav Timakov (1), Ivan Nagaev (1), Konstantin Stepaniuk, Dmitrii Kholod (3), Sergey Lisunov (1), Lev Magomalev, Victor Ivanov. Head coach: Erkin Shagaev.
ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio (1), Alessandro Velotto (1), Pietro Figlioli (1), Alex Giorgetti (2), Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo (1), Nicholas Presciutti, Niccolo Gitto (1), Stefano Luongo (1), Matteo Aicardi (1), Fabio Baraldi, Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.



RUS vs ITA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match report:
You cannot allow a team to slip five goals against you in a quarter and expect to survive. After a tight opening quarter, Italy let loose against Russia with five unanswered goals in the second quarter to leave 6-1 at halftime and have a subdued packed near-capacity house in this fantastic temporary arena, contemplate what could have been during the halftime break. Head coach Erkin Shagaev, a man who knows what adversity is and how to overcome it with Olympic gold in 1980 with the USSR, inspired his team during those five minutes. The third period belonged to Russia and must have pleased the Russian Sports Minister who made the trek from Moscow. Italy missed a penalty attempt and then Dmitri Kholod, who scored his team’s first goal, netted from deep left off a cross pass. Sergey Lisunov nailed an extra-man attempt from one metre in front off a cross pass and the match had lifted to 3-6. Stefano Luongo silenced the crowd with a blast from nine metres, but Kholod slotted his third from deep left for 4-7 going into the final break. Russia was back in the match. However hard Russia tried to breach the Italian defence, it could not but then neither could Italy do the same at the other end. The time ticked down and then the breakthrough came when Russia took a timeout and the extra-man play went over the 20 seconds but still netted a goal through Vladislav Timokov for 5-7 at 2:52. Italy then punished Russia on extra with Alex Giorgetti scoring from the top at 2:16. Russia had two chances on the one extra-man attack to no avail. Italy just had to play for time but lost the ball and gave up a controversial penalty at the other end, which Ivan Nagaev converted for 6-8 at 1:02. Italy shot and gained a corner and then an extra-man situation. The ball slid across for Alessandro Velotto to score for a 9-6 victory.


FLASH QUOTES:
Alessandro Campagna (ITA) — Head Coach
"I am satisfied about the game, especially for the first two-quarters. We played excellent. At the end the result was clear. We had no doubts about our victory. It is always difficult to outplay the competitor, but this time we controlled the game. Our aim is to arrive at the top. I don't know if it will be the first place but we want the best for our team. We are a young team, but our dream is to get to the semifinal or final. We'll try."
Pietro Figlioli (ITA)
“In the first two quarters when 6-1 up we demonstrated that there was no competition whatsoever. We controlled the game in front, middle and back. We fell into our vortex, so to speak, and lost control on attack, rushing passes to centre forward. It’s one of our biggest weaknesses. When we play controlled water polo we can contend with any team.”
Dmitrii Kholod (RUS)
"I feel very bitter. We have lost two matches. We understood initially that the Italians have the top team, prepared ourselves to give them a fight but we could to do that only at some points of the game. At first, we were losing (1-6) but we managed to bring the score down. We would like you to understand that 95% of our guys are newcomers, they have no experience of playing at world championships. And this, surely, plays a role." 
Match 14: 17:30, Group B, SERBIA 19 JAPAN 9
Quarters: 2-1, 6-2, 5-3, 6-3
Referees:  Masoud Rezvani (IRI), Stephane Roy (CAN).
Extra Man: SRB: 6/10. JPN: 4/8.
Pens: JPN: 1/1.
Teams:
SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic (1), Sava Randelovic (1), Milos Cuk (1), Dusko Pijetlovic (4), Slobodan Nikic (6), Milan Aleksic, Nikola Janovic (1), Filip Filipovic, Andrija Prlainovic (3), Stefan Mitrovic (2), Branislav Mitrovic. Head coach: Dejan Savic.
JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (1), Atsushi Arai (1), Mitsuaki Shiga, Akira Yanase, Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu, Yuki Kadono (1), Koji Takei (3), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa (3), Shota Hazui, Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto.


SRB vs JPN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match Report:
Serbia was never in trouble, but had to be on its mettle against a forceful Japan keen to upset as much as possible. The speedy Japanese were sharp on attack, trying everything and coming up with goals, almost at will. Japan opened the scoring and Serbia had the lead by quarter time, stretching that to 6-1 as Slobodan Nikic scored three goals. Japan kept chipping in goals as the margin became five at halftime and seven by three-quarter time. With Koji Takei in excellent form, Japan scored three of the five goals late in the second quarter. Takei and Keigo Okawa scored two of the first three at the start of the final quarter, lifting the match to 14-8. Then Serbia said “enough is enough” and scored five of the next six with Nikic claiming his fifth and sixth from point blank. It was a most entertaining match from two different styles played at their best.
FLASH QUOTES:
Jivko Gocic (SRB) 
"On the face of it, Japan appears to be not an easy rival. They are small, fast, nimble, so that it was difficult to play with them. It was a nice training before we can play with more serious competitors. We expect to get good results, so we should not relax with any kind of rivals."
Match 13: 13:30, Group A, AUSTRALIA 5 MONTENEGRO 5
Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 3-1
Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Sergey Naumov (RUS).
Extra Man: AUS: 1/6. MNE: 2/4.
Pens: MNE: 1/1.
Teams:
AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell, George Ford, John Cotterill (1), Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, Aiden Roach (1), Aaron Younger (3), Joel Swift, Emery Mitchell, Rhys Howden, Tyler Martin, Joel Dennerley. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic.
MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan (1), Vjekoslav Paskovic, Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan (1), Aleksandar Radovic, Mladan Janovic (2), Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic (1), Nikola Murisic, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic.
Match report:
This was a match between two teams hell bent on defence. Such tight defence was allowed by the referees and the major foul count was low. There were few gaps in which to move and the strong defensive tactics meant fewer meaningful shots. Goalkeepers were plucking balls from the air that lacked the normal intensity and were channeled to their bodies. Montenegro’s goals came from extra-man attacks and a penalty. Australia’s two goals in the middle two periods were from well outside. Montenegro looked the more potent in front of the goal and several long passes found their mark but the smothering defence interfered with the finishing. This was not a pretty match, but that was the nature of the game, where victory was more important than the spectacle. Montenegro led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before Aaron Younger scored his second from six metres on the first attack of the final period to close the gap to 3-4. Aidan Roach levelled on the next Aussie Shark attack from a counter attack. All of a sudden, the match had opened up. Younger struck again on extra-man attack for the 5-4 lead, making it three goals from three trips up the pool. For five minutes there was no score but then Mladan Janovic worked hard for the foul outside five metres, gained it and then lobbed James Stanton-French for 5-5 at 0:22. The Sharks went on the attack and gained and exclusion when a player threw the ball away (nowadays it is a penalty). Australia protested but the referees let the game continue and Australia failed to take a shot in the final six seconds, accepting the draw. A relatively dour match ended in excitement.
FLASH QUOTES
Predrag Jokic (MNE)

"Till now it has been the least effective match at this championship. The reason is that both teams were counting on defensive play and were constantly looking back at their goals. A team as good as the Australians would never let you make mistakes without any further consequences. We were the leaders of the game, most of the time we controlled the game but we let through three goals in three minutes. How did it happen? I can't understand that."
Nathan Power (AUS)
I like to think I’m using my full power at this championship. I’m satisfied with the game today. We played a really, really good defensive game and we like to believe that defense is our main focus.  Although we didn’t get to win today, unfortunately they were able to score at the very end, I thought the way we were able to grind it out with one of the top teams in our sport was a very, very positive sign of us moving forward in this tournament.” 

Match 12: 12:10, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA 4 HUNGARY 17
Quarters: 1-4, 0-4, 2-4, 1-5
Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Peter De Jong (NED).
Extra Man: RSA:  0/3. HUN: 3/10.
Pens: RSA: 1/1.
Teams:
SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux, Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock (1), Joao De Carvalho, Dayne Jagga (1), Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux (2), Wesley Bolata, Julian Lewis. Head coach: Paul Martin.
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras, Balazs Erdelyi (3), Marton Vamos (2), Norbert Hosnyanszky (1), Daniel Angyal (1), Marton Szivos (1), Daniel Varga, Denes Varga (5), Krisztian Bedo (1), Balazs Harai (3), Attila Decker. Head coach: Tibor Benedek.
Match Report:
Hungary cruised to a comfortable victory against an energetic South Africa, determined to make an impact on the match. Solid South African defence and some off-target shots (channeled by the defence) kept the scoring low for the normally goal-hungry Hungarians. South African Number 13 Julian Lewis revelled in the occasion with nine saves in 22 minutes in the water, giving confidence to his team on attack. Denes Varga was at his belligerent best, showcasing his excellent skills with one particular slow drive that gained enough space to receive and lob.  He finished with five goals. Balazs Harai enjoyed some space at centre forward and Norbert Hosnyanszky would have hoped for more success from his rocket shots. Nicholas Molyneux scored twice with 18-year-old Dayne Jagga’s centre-forward strike in the fourth especially rousing. After the match he raced off to get a photo with the Hungarian goalkeeper to savour the moment. Hungary slipped further away in the final period with two counter-attack goals that South Africa was hoping would not happen, in the mix.
FLASH QUOTES:
Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach“We placed a lot of effort on our defensive structures. Defence has to come first with plenty of blocking to help the goalkeepers. Unlike in the past we’ve now got guys who can attack. The fact that they can drop and set up the structure helps. Defence comes from proper attack. The team goal was no counter-attack goals. It was a hell of a lot different from the past. They only scored three on extra. This is one of the better performances against the world’s best-ranked teams. It’s not often we score four goals against a top side.”

Match 11: 10:50, Group B, KAZAKHSTAN 15 ARGENTINA 7
Quarters:  5-2, 3-3, 5-1, 2-1
Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Hatem Gaber (EGY).
Extra Man: KAZ: 5/13. ARG: 3/11/
Pens: Nil
Teams:
KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (2), Aleksandr Axenov (4), Roman Pilipenko (1), Vladimir Ushakov, Alexey Shmider (3), Murat Shakenov (1), Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov, Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich (4), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.
ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich (1), Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni (2), Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes (1), Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi, German Yanez (3), Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso.
Match report:
Kazakhstan rose to the occasion, thanks to the vocal crowd that was obviously behind its Russian neighbour. Kazakhstan went 4-0 ahead and the margin was trimmed to two and then three on four occasions before the sword fell and the goal started coming for the more experienced team. Argentine German Yanez, who plies his trade in Spain, scored at the death of the second quarter and again with the last goal of the third in his three-goal effort, but otherwise it was a barren scoresheet for the South Americans. Branko Pekovich scored twice early in the third and either side of the last break to lead his team. Two of his goals were from centre-forward drags into the bottom corner off cross passes.
FLASH QUOTES:
Sergey Drozdov (KAZ) — Head Coach
We started well and then in the second quarter we had a little rest. After that we found our right plays and our defence was good. We tried to make some tactical experiments on extra man so that was good. However, we need to make more of our defence, especially when a goal up.

Match 10: 09:30, Group B, GREECE 11 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10
Quarters: 3-3, 1-3, 4-3, 3-1
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB), Extra Man: GRE: 2/10. USA: 5/13.
Pens: Nil
Teams:
GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Mylonakis (3), Georgios Dervisis, Konstantinos Genidounias, Ioannis Fountoulis (4), Kyriakos Pontiekas, Christos Afroudakis, Evangelos Delakas (1), Konstantinos Mourikis (2), Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlacholopoulos (1), Stefanos Galanpoulos. Head coach: Theodoros Vlachos
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Merill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse (1), Luca Cupido (1), Josh Samuels (2), Tony Azevedo (2), Alex Bowen (1), Bret Bonani (1), Jesse Smith, John Mann (2), McQuin Baron. Head coach: Dejan Udovicic.
Match Report:USA promised so much and failed to deliver the killer blow against Greece, going down fighting against a Greek onslaught that was spearheaded by the wily Emmanouil Mylonakis. It was Mylonakis who scored on extra to narrow the match to 9-10 at 2:43 and it was he who equalised a minute later, also on extra. With the match in the balance, it was left to Evangelos Delakas to squeeze in a shot from deep left to seal the match at 0:31. USA was hugely unlucky not to have gone three goals ahead when 8-6 ahead midway through the third period. The centre forward had his head almost removed from his shoulders but it went unseen by the referees and Angelos Vlachopoulos scored at the other end while controversy reigned poolside. Then more controversy as USA veteran captain Tony Azevedo drew a five-metre foul and scored the goal. Greece complained vehemently and the referees conferred but decided the goal stood. USA had the two-goal margin it seemingly deserved. Then Ioannis Fountoulos became the man of the moment for Greece, scoring his fourth goal on extra, from deep left on the buzzer for 8-9. Dutch convert Alex Roelse netted for his new country for the 10-8 score and the rest was history. Greece levelled at three, four and 10 and both head coaches took yellow cards in the heated event. There was earlier controversy when Greek head coach Theodoros Vlachos called his second timeout of the second period. After some time it was decided that USA would get the ball, as per the rules, but USA head coach Dejan Udovicic thought it should have been a penalty. Because the call was made when in possession of the ball, there was no penalty awarded.
FLASH QUOTES:Ioannis Mylonakis (GRE) — four goals
“It was a bad game for us today. We were not focused on our defence, at all. But we played like animals in the final minutes and that gave us the win. Now we look forward to play Russia in front of many spectators with hopefully not as much stress as we had today.”
Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach
“I don’t know how but we succeeded to beat ourselves. Instead of scoring three on contra and expand out lead to plus three, we gave them the opportunity to return back. We are a young team and learning, so from this game we will take a lot.”
Tony Azevedo's (USA) comments after the match:
"Greece is a very good team, and we made really bad mistakes at the end of the game. We could have been up three goals with 2 minutes left instead we gave them a go - and made two bad mistakes at the end. Our team is very upset. This is a learning lesson. But we are still in this tournament, we have Italy next game and we will learn."


*****



Australia hangs on to beat Greece - Kazan 2015 day 1

The 2015 World Championships water polo went underway on Sunday in the Kazan Water Polo Arena with Canada beating New Zealand 15-6. After a difficult start New Zealand got back into the game in the second quarter but saw Canada walking away in the second half to post a 9-goal victory as start of their tournament. Monika Eggens and Shae Fournier led all scorers with 3 each. Reigning world champions Spain followed fellow group A competitors Canada by starting off with a win. Kazakhstan was quickly put behind as the Spanish cruised to a comfortable 7-14 victory. Captain Jennifer Pareja was on target scoring a game-high 5 goals. 
Australia in the first top match-up of the day came out victorious over 2011 world champions Greece. But it was a close call. The Stingers had trouble containing Greece centre-forward Alexandra Asimaki who drew multiple penalty shots for Greece, part of the 4 goals that scored her team-mate Christina Tsoukala. However the most important shot attempt by Tsoukala, to tie the game with under 30 seconds remaining, was saved by the Aussie goalie Lea Yanitsas who finally had an answer for Tsoukala's skip shots, when it counted the most. Just before it was Nicole Zagame who had put Australia up with what proved to be the winning goals on a quick counter-attack. Zagame also finished as top scorer of her team being the only player to score more than once: 2 goals. In the final match of the first session the Netherlands cruised past South Africa. A one-sided affair finished with a final score of 1-22. Lieke Klaassen, top scorer of the 2013 world championships, took off where she had left by scoring 6 goals.

The first match of the evening session saw another one-sided course as favourites USA dominated Brazil who were left without a goal in the first half in a 2-13 loss. The Adam Krikorian coached side took the foot off the gas pedal in the second half but their win was never in danger. Last year's FINA World Player of the Year Maggie Steffens finished with a game-high 3 goals for the winners. Russia also gained a win in their opening match. In front of 3,000 enthusiastic spectators at the Water Polo Arena the Russian team defeated France 16-5. Especially in the second half the home team proved simply too strong for newcomers France. Elvina Karimova and Ekaterina Prokofyeva led Russia scoring 3 goals apiece, Louise Guillet produced the same offensive performance for France. The penultimate game of the opening day saw Italy having no trouble overcoming Japan despite a slow start. At the end of the first period the Italian women already led 0-5 and that proved to be just a start as the Fabio Conti coached side noted  a 3-15 victory to kick off their tournament. Chiara Tabani and Arianna Garibotti led all scorers with 3 each.

The day's final match was a back-and-forth thriller, ultimately decided by China who benefited from two mistakes by Hungarian goalie Flora Bolonyai as they stunned Hungary 8-9. After the start was a for a sharp-looking China it was Hungary who fought back and slowly but surely looked to grab control. At that point China hung on a real dogfight unfolded. A physical contest, China kept answering Hungary's goals and in the final period scored the winning goal. Standout lefty Zihan Zhao saw the Hungarian goalkeeper being too far out looking to intercept a possible pass to the centre-forward as she lopped from 8 metres out and got China the valuable victory. 


2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Schedule and results


Sunday, 26 July (women)

Canada vs. New Zealand 15-6 (5-1, 2-3, 4-2, 4-0)
Canada scorers: Monika Eggens 3, Shae Fournier 3, Christine Robinson 2, Stephanie Valin 2, Krystina Alogbo, Katrina Monton, Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi, Carmen Eggens.

New Zealand scorers: Jasmine Myles 2, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Landry, Liana Dance, Kirsten Hudson.



Kazakhstan vs. Spain 7-14 (0-4, 2-5, 1-1, 4-4)
Kazakhstan scorers: Anastassiya Mirshina 3, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Kamila Zakirova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk.

Spain scorers: Jennifer Pareja 5, Roser Tarrago 3, Anna Espar 2, Clara Espar 2, Maica Garcia 2.



Australia vs. Greece 8-7 (2-1, 1-3, 2-1, 3-2)
Australia scorers: Nicole Zagame 2, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Rowie Webster, Glennie McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Ash Southern.

Greece scorers: Christina Tsoukala 4, Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi, Eleftheria Plevritou.


Australia head coach Greg McFadden.

South Africa vs. Netherlands 1-22 (1-6, 0-5, 0-3, 0-8)
South Africa scorer: Ruby Versfeld.

Netherlands scorers: Lieke Klaassen 6, Sabrina van der Sloot 4, Yasemin Smit 3, Marloes Nijhuis 2, Vivian Sevenich 2, Leonie van der Molen 2, Amarens Genee, Maud Megens, Isabella van Toorn.



Brazil vs. USA 2-13 (0-6, 0-3, 1-2, 1-2)
Brazil scorers: Izabella Chiappini, Amanda Oliveira.

USA scorers: Maggie Steffens 3, Rachel Fattal 2, Kiley Neushul 2, Makenzie Fischer 2, Madeline Musselman, Courtney Mathewson, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Kami Craig.



Russia vs. France 16-5 (5-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-1)
Russia scorers: Elvina Karimova 3, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 3, Ekaterina Lisunova 2, Evgeniya Ivanova 2, Nadezhda Iarondaikina 2, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich, Anna Timofeeva.

France scorers: Louise Guillet 3, Estelle Millot, Marion Tardy.



Japan vs. Italy 3-15 (0-5, 1-3, 2-2, 0-5)
Japan scorers: Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama, Tsubasa Mori.

Italy scorers: Chiara Tabani 3, Arianna Garibotti 3, Elisa Queirolo 2, Roberta Bianconi 2, Laura Barzon 2, Rosaria Aiello, Tania di Mario, Giulia Emmolo.



Hungary vs. China 8-9 (1-4, 4-1, 2-1, 1-3)
Hungary scorers: Dora Antal 2, Dora Czigany, Dora Kisteleki, Gabriella Szücs, Orsolya Takacs, Rita Keszthelyi, Ildiko Toth.

China scorers: Zihan Zhao 4, Donglun Song 2, Xinyan Wang 2, Jing Zhang.



Schedule women's day 2

Tuesday, 28 July (women)

09.30: Netherlands vs. Greece
10.50: Australia vs. South Africa
12.10: Italy vs. USA
13.30: Brazil vs. Japan

17.30: France vs. China
18.50: Hungary vs. Russia
20.10: Spain vs. New Zealand
21.30: Canada vs. Kazakhstan

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

Italy upsets USA in second-day women’s action

The second day of women’s preliminary water polo competition was highlighted by a magnificent Italian 10-9 victory over Olympic champion United States of America.

The Group C encounter promised much and delivered a lot. Olympic, World Cup and World League champion United States of America was three times in the position of being three goals down. It was USA’s first competition loss this year and the only other defeat was friendly in Rome in March to — Italy.
In the other group clash, Brazil’s Izabella Chiappini scored five goals as her team downed Japan 11-8.

In Group A, defending champion Spain spread the load among the team, beating New Zealand 23-2. Rosa Tarrago helped herself to six goals. Canada closed the night’s proceedings, beating Kazakhstan 17-4 with an 8-0 final period.

In Group B, Netherlands had to come from behind to beat Greece 10-9 and Australia cruised home against South Africa 19-1 with Ash Southern top-scoring with five.

In Group D, China surged away from 2-2 at halftime to beat France 13-4, thanks to a six-goal haul from Guannan Niu. Russia upstaged Hungary with four unbeaten goals at the end to turn from two goals down to a 13-11 victory, much to the delight of the packed house.

Points after day two:

Group A: Canada 4, Spain 4, Kazakhstan 0, New Zealand 0.

Group B: Netherlands 4, Australia 4, Greece 0, South Africa 0.

Group C: Italy 4, USA 2, Brazil 2, Japan 0.

Group D: China 4, Russia 4, Hungary 0, France 0.
Match 16: 21:30, Group A, CANADA 17 KAZAKHSTAN 4
Quarters: 4-1, 2-1, 3-2, 8-0.
Referees: Gyorgy Kun (HUN), Shi Wei Ni (CHN), Extra Man: CAN: 1/2. KAZ: 0/4.
Pens: CAN: 1/1. KAZ: 1/1.
Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (3), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright, Monika Eggens (5), Kelly McKee (2), Joelle Bekhazi (3), Shae Fournier (1), Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson (2), Stephanie Valin, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova (1), Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga (1), Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.

Match report:

Canada was made to work for its victory and stout Kazakh defence made goals hard to come by. While won all the quarters, Kazakhstan was determined to get its attack working, succeeding with two scores in the third, the second and fourth of the match, coming from Kamila Zakirova from a 5m shot two seconds from the last break. Anastassiya Mirshina kept the Kazakh flag flying with goals in the first two periods with the second on one of the biggest counter-attacks seen at a world championship and the first from the penalty line. It was the third period where Canada seemed to take control, especially after Joelle Bekhazi converted a penalty and captain Krystina Alogbo scored on an easy counter attack for 9-3. Zakirova, narrowed the margin two minutes later. In the final period, Canada’s confidence soared with Christine Robinson from well outside; Alogbo with a centre-forward backhand; Monika Eggens on counter attack, from seven metres and again from a similar distance, had the match at 14-4. Monika Eggens continued the mudslide with a hopeful foul fake that fooled her opponent and yielded her fourth straight goal at 2:30.  Kelly McKee, a newcomer on the senior international scene, scored her second for 16-4 at 1:21, and Robinson lobbed from centre forward with three seconds left.

FLASH QUOTES:

Monika Eggens (CAN) — Five goals
We had a hard time finding our rhythm. I think we had to find the way to play together and execute our plans. Hopefully it will prepare us for the next game.” On scoring four goals in the final period: “I just found myself in open positions and my team-mates set me up with good passes.
Match 15: 20:10, Group A, SPAIN 23 NEW ZEALAND 2
Quarters: 3-0, 7-1, 5-1, 8-0.
Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Fabio Toffoli (BRA).
Extra Man: ESP: 10/18. NZL: 2/13.
Pens: ESP: 2/2.
Teams:
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach (1), Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton (2), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (2), Clara Espar (2), Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (3), Roser Tarrago (6), Maria Garcia (2), Laura Lopez (4), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis (1), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance, Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles, Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.
Match Report:
Defending world champion Spain was slow off the mark at 3-0 by the first quarter, but hit stride with long shots and on extra to have the game fully in its grasp by halftime, 10-1 ahead. Spain set alight the afterburners  in the final period with eight goals. Roser Tarrago had a wonderful night with six goals from all over the field, including a late penalty strike. New Zealand put in the effort, but experience was the difference between the teams. New Zealand’s goals came at 8-1 and 11-2.
MATCH QUOTES:
Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach
“The team was positive, especially with changing players very well and that was good. They maintained the rhythm from the beginning to the end.”
Emily Cox (NZL) — Assistant Coach
“It was a great start and the team was full of enthusiasm. We were ready for the game. The little things slipped and Spain came through. They are the defending champions. They all got water time, which was great; plenty of pool time, which was valuable experience for the younger girls on the team.”
Match 14, Group D, HUNGARY 11 RUSSIA 13
Quarters: 3-1, 3-4, 4-3, 1-5
Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Joseph Peila (USA), Extra Man: HUN: 2/10. RUS: 6/12.
Pens: RUS: 1/1
Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany (2), Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki (1), Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs (1), Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi (3), Ildiko Toth (1), Barbara Bujka (2), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (2), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich (1), Ekaterina Lisunova (3), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (2), Anna Timofeeva (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (2), Nadezhda Iarondaikina (1), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.


Victorious RUS vs HUN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match report:
Scoring 5-1 in the final quarter after being behind all match is what champions are made of. Forget that the packed stadium only had eyes and ears for the host nation. The young Russians in the water were set to sparkle. It just took time to ignite. Russia was in for the long haul and stayed composed throughout as Hungary led by three goals at one stage and always kept Russia at bay. Watched by Russian swimming legend Vladimir Salnikov, someone who knows how to stay the distance, the Russians found the necessary spark to go the extra few metres with the most goals. When Russia levelled for the first time at 6-6 on the first attack of the third period, Hungary responded with three straight for 9-6. This became 10-7 before Elvina Karimova scored on extra from point blank for 10-8. It still looked like Hungary’s match. Goals were exchanged at the start of the fourth and Hungarian head coach Andras Meresz gained a yellow card soon after. Then the Russian juggernaut hit top gear and Karimova on counter; Evgeniya Ivanova on extra; Lisunova from 7m for the go-ahead goal and Lisunova again from deep left had the match in Russia’s favour at 13-11 by 1:03. The match was over and Russia had done the huge crowd proud. For Hungary it will a harrowing and microscopic investigation as to why it twice lost matches here in Kazan after leading by two goals in the final quarter.

FLASH QUOTES: 
Mikhail Nakoryakov (RUS) — Head Coach
Our defence and the supporters helped us along and they supported us right until the end. Our best period was the fourth when we were two down and then scored four (unanswered) goals.
Andras Meresz (HUN) — Head Coach
“I’m not happy. I thought that after the third period, where we played very well, we had the game won. Right now I don’t understand what happened to my players in the fourth period.
Orsolya Takacs (HUN) — Captain
I have no idea (about the fourth quarter) as we had won the game in the third and lost it in the fourth.  It was mentally probably or technical probably. I don’t think so. We will check again. We have to go further into the game but this is the way it is and something we have to solve.
Match 13, Group D, FRANCE 4 CHINA 13

Quarters: 1-2, 1-0, 1-6, 1-5, Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Peter De Jong (NED).

Extra Man: FRA: 1/11. CHN: 1/10.

Pens: CHN: 1/1.

Teams:

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier (1), Aurore Sacre (1), Louise Guillet (2), Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei (1), Dunhan Xiong (2), Guannan Niu (6), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (1), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (3), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.


FRA vs CHN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match Report:

They say matches are won in the third quarter and this was definitely the case. After a stilted first half the match burst into an explosion of goals and frenetic activity, leaving China 8-3 ahead by the final break. While Zihan Zhao started the break with her third strike for 4-3 early in the third, it was relative newcomer Guannan Niu who kindled the fire with three straight goals from well outside for the 8-3 margin, the last coming five seconds from time. It was such a contrast where one of the best teams in the world was held by a nation that had not attended a FINA World Championship since 2003 in Barcelona when it finished 15th — its fourth appearance since 1991. The Chinese onslaught continued to 10-3 with Niu claiming the 10th with a vicious bouncer from deep left. When Dunhan Xiong scored for 11-3, two players clashed and the result was that France’s Geraldine Mahieu and China’s Donglun Song were red-carded, probably having to miss their next matches. Niu struck twice more — for her fifth and sixth goals — with bouncers to drag the score out to 13-4, much to the chagrin of French head coach Filippos Sakellis.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rick Azevedo (USA) — Head Coach of China

“It didn’t look very pretty to start off with. We had a good game against Hungary and we knew we were going to win. In the first half we had four wide open shots that did not hit the mark or skipped over. The French did a good job on defence. Our defence was very good all game. At halftime I told the girls to calm down and take a deep breath and start over. Then we played more to our style.”
Match 12, Group C, BRAZIL 11 JAPAN 8
Quarters:  4-2, 2-1, 4-3, 1-2, Referees: Stephane Roy (CAN), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ).

Extra Man: BRA: 3/8. JPN: 0/4
Pens: BRA: 1/1. JPN: 1/1.

Teams:
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (5), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho (1), Melani Dias (3), Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato (1), Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama (2), Shino Magariyama (1), Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi (1), Yumi Nakano (3), Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki (1), Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.
Match report:

Battling in the tough group with Italy and USA, Brazil secured its first victory in Kazan in what was a scrappy match with close defence at both ends upsetting set plays. Brazil had the advantage at quarter time and lifted further in the next two periods before settling in the fourth at 11-6. Japan had not yet succumbed and replied twice more with a counter-attack drive from Kotori Suzuki and outside shot from Yuri Kazama that dribbled across the line after hitting the goalkeeper’s arm. Izabella Chiappini showed her brilliant presence on counter and from the penalty line. Her skills are well needed as Brazil is without two of its starting line-up, injured in the recent World League Super Final — Mirella Coutinho and Marina Canetti.

FLASH QUOTE:
Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil  Head Coach
"I like the way the team started off. I know we can play better than that, but we are down two starters (injured players not in Kazan). This is a great opportunity for the team to grow. I was disappointed the way we played against the USA the other day. They are a great team. I told the girls it is a long process (to Rio 2015) and there will be a lot more heartaches than happiness in this process.
Izabella Chiappini (BRA) — Five goals
"We didn't play well in defence today, but we have been great offensively. Our opponents didn't make use of a lot of opportunities, so that's why you can say that we were a bit lucky."
Hideo Kato (JPN) — Head Coach
"Girls bit too nervous before the match. Today they lacked aggression in order to gain the upper hand over the rival. Not throwing the ball, lacked precision in the programmes. Young players are afraid to take the initiative. That was not enough to win."
Match 11, Group C, ITALY 10 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 9

Quarters: 4-2, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2, Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Cory Williams (NZL).

Extra Man: ITA: 2/7. USA: 0/8.

Pens: USA: 1/1.

Teams:
ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello, Tania di Mario (1), Roberta Bianconi (4), Giulia Emmolo (3), Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (5), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul (2), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (1), Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.


ITA vs USA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Match Report:
It is not often that the USA finds itself three goals down in a match, let alone lose one at this level. USA was three down at the halfway mark and again early in the third period before Italy strung together some excellent attacks and made it 10-7 inside the final three minutes. Italy had the control and the courage to make the big shots, none better than veteran star Tania Di Mario’s screamer for 9-7 at the top of the final period. It went top right from the left-hand-catch position. Roberta Bianconi nailed four goals for Italy in a crisp performance. USA’s Femme Fatale was Rachel Fattal, but even her five goals could not get USA into the match when it counted. She took USA to a 2-1 lead, scored at 7-6 and 7-7 in the third and pushed in a rebound for 10-8 when the match was already decided.  Makenzie Fischer made the most of a penalty call with four seconds left that flattered USA. As one commentator said (Italian, of course): “Italy will be world champion.” On the strength of today’s match, that could well be a possibility come late next week.
Giulia Emmolo (ITA)

"We had a very special state of mind for this game because we were competing with the Olympic champions. I think it is great motivation and good teamwork that helped us achieve this result. We will move forward like that step by step, especially considering that psychologically we are now perfectly ready."
Match 10, Group B, NETHERLANDS 10 GREECE 9

Quarters: 2-3, 2-2, 5-2, 1-2, Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).

Extra Man: NED: 1/7. GRE: 3/8

Pens: NED: 1/1. GRE: 0/1.

Teams:
NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (3), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (4), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst (1), Marloes Nijhuis (1), Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens, Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Stefania Charalampidi (1), Christina Kotsia (1), Margarita Plevritou (2), Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi (2), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou, (1) Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match Report:


A 5-2 third period and a blocked penalty shot inside the final three minutes gave the Netherlands a one-goal win over Greece. Greece held sway for much of the match and it was not until 2:12 remaining in the third period that the Dutch took the lead for the first time. Netherlands was behind 3-1, and 5-3 in the first half and drew the match at 1-1, 3-3, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 before scoring the go-ahead goal. It was Catharina Van Der Sloot who scored her team’s eighth, ninth and 10th goals that carried to team to 10-8, an unstoppable margin. Her second of the trio was from the penalty line and her third, and fourth of the match, from deep left through a narrow channel. Eleftheria Plevritou, one of the identical twins, had a chance to level the match at 2:36 but Greek goalkeeper Laura Aarts rose to the right and smacked the ball away. An unusual mistake by veteran Antigoni Roumpesi in the dying seconds after a timeout, proved the seal on the match for the Netherlands.

FLASH QUOTE:

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

We started with high tension and had no structure at all. During the third quarter we arrived at our normal level of the last weeks and months. The team is really fit and in the third period it was a good moment when we changed the game (from one down to two ahead).”


Group B, AUSTRALIA 19 SOUTH AFRICA 1

Quarters: 6-0, 3-1, 7-0, 3-0, Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN).

Extra Man: AUS: 4/7. RSA: 0/0

Pens: AUS: 2/2.

Teams:
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (2), Hannah Buckling (2), Holly Lincoln-Smith (3), Keesja Gofers (3), Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (5), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield (1), Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White, Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe.

Match report:

The Aussie Stingers made sure of their second win, giving South Africa little room to move. When South Africa did get a chance it was an absolute delight with centre forward Ruby Versfeld sliding to the left post, rolling on her back and accepting the pass to steer the ball past the Aussie goalkeeper. It was not so wonderful at the other end as one of the best teams in the world was relentless, honing its attack and using every opportunity to further the scoreboard. Centre forward Holly Lincoln-Smith and big shooter Ash Southern fine-tuned their actions for the coming matches. Southern made the most of a wayward pass to halfway from the South African goalkeeper, stealing the ball and bouncing it into goal from 13 metres. For South Africa it was a second big loss following the opening day’s 22-1 loss to Netherlands.

FLASH QUOTE:

Ash Southern (AUS) — Five-goal scorer

It was fun, it was nice to come out and try to build each game because we started a bit slow against the Greeks and I think we had a bit of a point to prove today, We went back to basics. We needed to sharpen up our passing; we needed to put our shots away and all of that individual stuff that needs to be good. I think we did that.
The Aussies' patience paid off
Game 8, Group D: Japan vs. Australia 4-10 (0-2, 2-2, 1-3, 1-3)
Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Hatem Gaber (EGY)

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi 1, Atsushi Arai, Mitsuaki Shiga 1, Akira Yanase, Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu, Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei 1, Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa 1, Shota Hazui, Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto

AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell 3, George Ford, John Cotterill 1, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist 1, Aiden Roach, Aaron Younger 2, Joel Swift 1, Emery Mitchell, Rhys Howden 2, Tyler Martin, Joel Dennerley. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic

Extramen:
Japan: 4 for 13
Australia: 5 for 8

Penalties:
Japan: none
Australia: 1 for 1

This game was about patience: the Aussies were clearly the better side, however, they have to wait for their moments to widen the gap as the Japanese fought bravely, their fast counters were threatening and the Aussies knew well that any laziness, let alone mistake would open the door for their rivals’ comeback.
But Elvis Fatovic is a good teacher, the Croatian boss taught them discipline and that brought its fruits again. In the middle of the second they were 1-4 up but deep in the third it was 3-5 only, however, they didn’t rush and Richard Campbell’s and Rhys Howden’s action goals came just in time. Indeed, the latter was netted 7 second before the last break and this 3-7 lead seemed substantial enough for a calmer finishing period. The Japanese took some risks but struggled to beat the Australian defence, at the end they lost by 6. That’s bad news for them as they face a mountain to climb in the following two rounds against Serbia and Montenegro.
Serbia demonstrated its strength again

Game 7, Group D: Serbia vs. Montenegro 11-8 (2-1, 4-2, 3-4, 2-1)
Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU)

SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic 2, Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk 1, Dusko Pijetlovic, Slobodan Nikic, Milan Aleksic 2, Nikola Jaksic 1, Filip Filipovic 3, Andrija Prlainovic 1, Stefan Mitrovic 1, Branislav Mitrovic. Head coach: Dejan Savic

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan 2, Vjekoslav Paskovic 1, Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan 2, Aleksandar Radovic, Mladan Janovic 2, Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic, Nikola Murisic 1, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic
Extramen:
Serbia: 5 for 9
Montenegro: 1 for 9

Penalties:
Serbia: 1 for 1
Montenegro: none

SRB vs MNE ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Two years ago the Serbs suffered a shocking defeat from fellow Montenegrins in the quarters, marking the end of their incredible run (Serbia reached the semis of each major international event since 1999). Last year, at the Europeans the Serbs was facing another blow but produced a miraculous come-back and went on to win the title.
This time they met on the opening day – and despite the game offered almost everything what’s usual in the battle of these two superpowers, tremendous physical fight, huge blasts, great saves, still, it lacked the real excitement as the Serbs ruled the match for most of the time. The second period was decisive when they had a 4-0 rush for 6-2 – after that the Montenegrins tried desperately, thanks to some magnificent shots they could even come as close as two goals at 7-5 and later at 9-7 towards the end of the third. But the Serbs always had the right answers, Filip Filipovic’s third goal in the fourth widened the gap again and Nikola Jaksic’s fine put-away in a 6 on 5 virtually ended the contest with six minutes from time.

Dejan Savic, head coach (SRB)
“We have a good game, we played well, managed to score a little bit more goals than usual in our game, that was the key for our win.”

Ranko Perovic, head coach (MNE)
“Serbia is a better team, no doubt. We tried to bring our best to the pool, with three newcomers in our line-up, we have a good third period but in the fourth we could see again that the Serbs are the best now.”

Cupido and Russia: not a love affairGame 4, Group B: United States vs. Russia 7-6 (3-1, 1-2, 2-2, 1-1)
Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Daniel Flahive (AUS)

USA: Merill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido 3, Josh Samuels, Tony Azevedo 3, Alex Bowen, Bret Bonani, Jesse Smith, John Mann 1, McQuin Baron. Head coach: Dejan Udovicic

RUSSIA: Anton Antonov, Alexey Bugaychuk 3, Artem Odintsov 1, Igor Bychkov, Albert Zinnatullin, Artem Ashaev, Vladislav Timakov, Ivan Nagaev 1, Konstantin Stepaniuk 1, Dmitrii Kholod, Sergey Lisunov, Lev Magomalev, Victor Ivanov. Head coach: Erkin Shagaev

Extramen:
USA: 3 for 10
Russia: 0 for 4

Penalties:
USA: 1 for 1
Russia: none


USA vs RUS ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Russia was drawn into the death group: USA, Greece and Italy would have been enough in the good old days to talk about a tough challenge, when the men’s water polo belonged to the elite. However, in recent years the Russians couldn’t even make the World Championships, this was their first appearance since 2007. And taking a look at the opponents, perhaps the young US team seemed to be beatable, despite their recent successes, the PanAms title and the bronze in the World League Super Final (beating Hungary in the QF).
It turned out to be a close call – but the Americans were still the better side. The US had a strong start, led 3-1 and kept the match under firm control. But the home side came alive after a couple of magnificent shots from the distance – still, Luka Cupido also netted an action goal with 3 seconds before the middle break. A penalty gave the US a 5-3 lead deep into the third, but again, big blasts from Ivan Nagaev and Artem Odintsov brought the Russians to equal. However, there came Cupido again, this time his shot found the back of the net with 7 seconds to go.
The capacity crowd was desperate to see some more wonders from the Russians, but a missed 6 on 5 at 6-5 was a setback and Cupido stroke again, this time from a man-up with 3:51 to go. However, this was decisive in this afternoon. Though Konstantin Stepaniuk pulled one back at 2:26, the remaining time wasn’t enough to save the game to a draw. As the next two hurdles look even harder to clear, one might agree with a neutral player who labelled the Russians’ task as the ‘Die Hard challenge’.

Dejan Udovicic, head coach (USA)
“We controlled the game for most of the time. We could keep the high level in our defence from the Pan American Games, this is satisfying, and we have to go on like this.”

Erkin Shagaev, head coach (RUS)
“I would say we played well. The reason we lost was the lack of international experience. In recent years the American played three times more than our team, and for sure twice as much in this year. We need more of these kind of games, this is the only way to improve.”
Strong start from the title-holder

Game 6, Group C: Hungary vs. Kazakhstan 14-5 (4-0, 3-0, 5-2, 2-3)
Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Cory Williams (NZL)

HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras, Balazs Erdelyi, Marton Vamos, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Daniel Varga, Denes Varga, Krisztian Bedo, Balazs Harai, Attila Decker. Head coach: Tibor Benedek

KAZAKHSTAN:
 Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev, Aleksandr Axenov, Roman Filipenko, Vladimir Ushakov, Alexey Shmider, Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov, Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovic, Valeriy Shmelov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov

Extramen:
Hungary: 5 for 13
Kazakhstan: 3 for 12

Penalties:
Hungary: none
Kazakhstan: 1 for 1


HUN vs KAZ ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Two years ago they met in the eightfinals, Hungary won that game but after a terrible start, they trailed 2-4 after eight minutes, only to win the middle two periods 13-2. Then they corrected all mistakes and went on to clinch the title. Now they didn’t commit the same mistake – they simply swept away the Kazakhs. Their defence worked pretty well, denied three man-ups in the first eight minutes while in offense they showed some brilliance early on and led 4-0. It didn’t change after either, in the middle of the third the title-holders were 11-0 up and the growing crowd – just as on the previous day, before Russia’s game – started to cheer for a goal from the trailing team. Soon they got what they wanted, a penalty was needed to break the Kazakh silence, while the fans got loud as Rustam Ukumanov sent home the ball. The Hungarians’ concentration faded a bit towards the end, still, they offered a convincing performance as a start.

The Le Roux brothers win the game for South Africa

Game 5, Group C: South Africa vs. Brazil 10-6 (6-2, 1-2, 1-1, 2-1)
Referees: Rezvani Masoud (IRI), Sergey Naumov (RUS)

SOUTH AFRICA:
 Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux 3, Devon Card 1, Ignardus Badenhorst 1, Nicholas Hock 1, Joao De Carvalho 1, Dayne Jagga, Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux 3, Nicholas Molyneux, Wesley Bolata, Julian Lewis. Head coach: Paul Martin

ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich 2, Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni 1, Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes, Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi, German Yanez 3, Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso
Extramen:
South Africa: 4 for 6
Argentina: 2 for 13

Penalties:
South Africa: 3 for 3
Argentina: none


RSA vs ARG ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Though the South African team had a brilliant start, scored the first four goals of the game and went 6-1 ahead in the first period, later they had to go through a minor scare in the fourth. The Argentinians didn’t collapse after the disastrous first period, they regrouped themselves and started to climb back. When German Yanez’s 5m shot found the back of the net at the beginning of the last period and the gap was narrowed to two goals at 8-6, it seemed an even game. However, Yanez’s next attempt was saved and Pierre La Roux scored his third from the following attack and that killed the Argentinians momentum. The last goal came from the La Roux family, this time Etienne converted a fast counter, securing South Africa’s win and possible qualification as well as ensuring a family tie since the brothers finished the match with three goals apiece.
Greece upsets Italy in action- and tension-packed fightGame 3, Group B: Greece vs. Italy 11-10 (4-4, 2-1, 3-2, 2-3)
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Gyorgy Kun (HUN)

GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Georgios Dervisis, Konstantinos Genidounias, Ioannis Fountoulis, Kyriakos Pontiekas, Christos Afroudakis, Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlacholopoulos, Stefanos Galanpoulos. Head coach: Theodoros Vlachos

ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio, Alessandro Velotto, Pietro Figlioli, Alex Giorgetti, Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo, Nicholas Presciutti, Niccolo Gitto, Stefano Luongo, Matteo Aicardi, Fabio Baraldi, Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna
Extramen:
Greece: 5 for 10
Italy: 5 for 13

Penalties:
Greece: 1 for 2
Italy: 1 for 1


ITA vs GRE ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
When Matteo Aicardi netted Italy’s opening goal from the first attack, few would have thought that this would be the last time the azzuris were ahead. The Greeks answered with three straight goals and from this point it became a chasing game. The Italians caught them up at 4-4, at the end of the action-packed first period but at half-time the Greeks led 6-5, despite a missed penalty.
Deep into the third they went 8-5 up as they managed to put away two extras, but a 6 on 5 and a lucky rebound helped the Settebello in climbing back to 8-7. Again, Fountoulis was on target in extra so the fourth started with Greece being 9-7 up. The next Greek man-up was missed, then the Italians hit two in 42 seconds – and it was tied again at 9-9, with five minutes to go. Konstantinos Mourikis converted a 6 on 4, Stefano Luongo replied from an extra, then came a penalty on the next Greek attack. Christos Afroudakis didn’t make any mistake – Greece led 11-10 but three minutes still remained. It was enough for two more Italian 6 on 5s, but the first was missed, the second was blocked (8 seconds from time) and the Greeks could celebrate a bit surprising but nonetheless well-deserved win.


Wu saves a penalty and a point for China
Game 2, Group A: Brazil vs. China 9-9 (3-4, 2-1, 3-4, 1-0)
Referees: Stanko Ivanovski (MNE), Vojin Putnikovic (SRB)

BRAZIL:
 Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes 1, Ives Gonzalez, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes, Adrian Delgado, Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone 4, Gustavo Guimaraes 2, Josip Vrlic 2. Head coach: Ratko Rudic

CHINA: Wu Honghui, Tan Feihu, Hu Zhangxin, Dong Tao 3, Lu Wenhui, Li Li, Chen Zhongxian, Li Lun, Xie Zekai, Chen Jinghao 1, Zhang Chufeng 3, Liang Nianxiang 2, Liang Zhiwei. Head coach: Paolo Malara


CHN vs BRA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Extramen
Brazil: 3 for 6
China: 2 for 9

Penalties:
Brazil: 1 for 3
China: 1 for 1

It doesn’t take much time to witness the first thriller of the men’s tourney – ending in the first draw of the championships. Earlier in this year the Brazilians beat the Chinese on three occasions in the World League, twice in the Intercontinental tournament (prelims: 12-9, semis: 14-12) and once in the Super Final (prelims: 15-7).
However, this time the Chinese did a great job and were on equal terms with their rivals. Naturally, it was a huge tactical battle of the masterminds sitting at the respective benches, Croatian magician Ratko Rudic on one side and Italian maestro, Paolo Malara on the other.
Brazil led for a while in the first, but the Chinese scored three connecting goals to rush ahead 3-5 early in the second. But Brazil managed to hit back and equalised before the middle break, and could have gone even further but Gustavo Guimaraes’s penalty was stopped by Wu Honghui. The third was thrilling, again, China went in front, led 6-8 but two extra-man goals from the Brazilians in 80 seconds levelled the score again. But thanks to Dong Tao’s fine shot from a 6 on 5 China retook the lead with 18 seconds before the last break.
Brazil’s new centre, former Croatian international Josip Vrlic delivered a brilliant action goal for 9-9, then China missed a crucial men-up and another one with less than three minutes till the end. Only 74 seconds remained when Brazil got the golden chance: a penalty shot. But Wu came up with another wonder, he caught Felipe Perrone’s ball as well, saving a point for his team – while Perrone could feel terrible: he was the best of his team, netted four goals, but he missed the most important shot of the match…

Canada blown by the 2:19min Croatian whirlwind

Game 1, Group A: Croatia vs. Canada 12-7 (4-2, 6-2, 1-0, 1-3)
Referees: Radoslaw Korzyna (POL), German Moller (ARG)

CROATIA: Josip Pavic, Damir Buric 1, Antonio Petkovic 1, Luka Loncar 2, Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic 2, Petar Muslim 2, Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno 1, Fran Paskvalin 1, Andelo Setka, Paulo Obradovic 2, Marko Bijac. Head coach: Ivica Tucak

CANADA: Robin Randall, Con Kubada 1, Oliver Vikalo 1, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari 1, Justin Boyd, David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham 1, Matt Halajian, John Conway 3, George Torakis, Jerry McElroy, Dusan Aleksic. Head coach: Alexander Beslin
Extramen
Croatia: 0 for 3
Canada: 2 for 4

Penalties:
Croatia: 1 for 2
Canada: none


CRO vs CAN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia

The Canadians fought bravely but in the second part of the second period the Croats crushed them, scoring four goals in a span of 2:19 minutes. And it was four connecting action goals which did the damage. Until then it was a close call, standing 6-4 in the middle of the second, then came the whirlwind which blew the Canadians away. A change in the goal helped the North Americans a bit, Robin Randall conceded only two goals in 16 minutes, but being 4-10 down there was no way back. And we can add that Josip Pavic, at the other and, posted a series of great stops, offering a 68% saving percentage, enough to guarantee a smooth win.

A lob from 12 metres won the game for China

The opening day of the women's tournament saw two fantastic fights, decided by a single goal: Australia edged out Greece and China staged an amazing finish against Hungary. The rest of the contests were rather one-sided.





Game 8, Group D: Hungary vs. China 8-9 (1-4, 4-1, 2-1, 1-3)
Referees: Daniel Flahive (AUS), Nenad Peris (CRO)

HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany 1, Dora Antal 2, Dora Kisteleki 1, Gabriella Szucs 1, Orsolya Takacs 1, Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi 1, Ildiko Toth 1, Barbara Bujka, Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head coach: Andras Meresz

CHINA: Yang Jun, Tian Jianing, Mei Xiaohan, Xiong Dunhan, Sun Yating, Song Donglun 2, Zhang Cong, Zhao Zihan 4, Zhang Weiwei, Wang Xinyan 2, Zhang Jing 1, Peng Lin. Head coach: Rick Azevedo

Extramen:
Hungary: 1 for 3
China: 3 for 10

Penalties:
Hungary: 2 for 2
China: 1 for 2

Just twenty days ago these two sides clashed in a friendly where the Hungarians, playing at home, were superiors in the entire game and won 11-5. Then they led 5-1 after eight minutes. This time only a missed penalty prevented the Chinese from gaining a 5-1 lead. But they staged a really strong opening period, with two quick man-up goals, a converted penalty and another one from a 6 on 5 put them well ahead (1-4). In the second they had another man-up for a 1-5 lead but couldn’t create any chance and that cost them a lot. The Hungarians started to find their rhythm both in defence and in attack and with three connecting action goals they levelled the score with 2:40 to go in the second. The closing minute before the middle break was eventful, the Chinese made good use of a Hungarian error in the back but the Hungarians equalised again from a penalty, called just before the buzzer went off.
In the third the Hungarians took the lead for the first time but the Chinese could level the score from a counter – however, their 6 on 5 didn’t click as well as in the first period, missed three in a row. And again, the Hungarians scored in the very last second, courtesy of Dora Czigany’s sneaking shot from six metres for a 7-6 lead.
And amidst tremendous fight it was doubled through a smart man-up play with five minutes remaining on the clock. But the two-goal lead disappeared quickly after Song Donglun’s fine one-timer and Zhao Zihan’s nice lob. First the Chinese then the Hungarians missed a 6 on 5, then Zihan noticed that the Hungarian goalie moved out to look for a possible centre feed and his 12m lob went in with 39 seconds remaining – and this turned out to be a spectacular game-winner.

Andras Meresz, head coach (HUN)
“Even though the number of exclusions showed a huge difference, I wanted the girls to stick to our hard pressing game till the end. However, they got a bit tired towards the end and didn’t mark the Chinese best shooter than forgot to press before the first lob. The second one came out of the blue, however losing a game by conceding a lob almost from the half-way mark is part of women’s water polo.”

Rick Azevedo, head coach (CHN)
“The two teams trained together a lot in the summer, we know each other, we are really aware of what to expect in the various situations. Today we scored a couple of goals in the beginning while the Hungarians didn’t score from chance they used to. They came back, though, but at the end my young leftie’s smart lobs brought as a great win.

Italy downs Japan in two periodsGame 6, Group C: Japan vs. Italy 3-15 (0-5, 1-3, 2-2, 0-5)
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Mark Koganov (AZE)

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue 1, Yuri Kazama 1, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano, Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori 1, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head coach: Hideo Katoh

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani 3, Arianna Garibotti 3, Elisa Queirolo 2, Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello 1, Tania di Mario 1, Roberta Bianconi 2, Giulia Emmolo 1, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon 2, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head coach: Fabio Conti
Extramen:
Japan: 0 for 3
Italy: 4 for 4

Penalties:
Japan: 0 for 2
Italy: 1 for 1

ITA vs JPN ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Just as in the other games today played between a big gun and a weaker side, two periods were enough to decide the outcome. The Italians put away two 6 on 5s in two minutes and after Giulia Gorlero stopped a penalty they rushed away: three goals in 2:38 minutes gave them a 0-5 lead. Soon they went 1-8 up by half-time and got some relaxing moments in the third which saw two goals apiece. Then they geared up once more and produced another 0-5 downing in the last eight minutes. 

Russia stages a great start
Game 7, Group D: Russia vs. France 16-5 (5-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-1)
Referees: Peter De Jong (NED), Stephane Roy (CAN)

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova 1, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 3, Elvina Karimova 3, Ekaterina Zubacheva 1, Anastasia Simanovich 1, Ekaterina Lisunova 2, Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva 1, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova 2, Nadezhda Iarondaikina 2, Anna Karnaukh. Head coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot 1, Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet 3, Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy 1, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head coach: Filippos Sakelli
Extramen:
Russia: 1 for 8
France: 0 for 5

Penalties:
Russia: 1 for 1
France: none

RUS vs FRA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
Russia did a clean job, to the joy of the spectators. It was almost capacity crowd in the Water Polo Arena and the host team guaranteed not only the satisfaction but the entertainment as well. With their sparkling attacking game they quickly broke the French side: it was a fine variety of fast counters, position game and swiftly created 6 on 5s. Of course, sometimes the system didn’t work absolutely properly but on an opening day of a tournament it’s not required at all. What mattered that the Russian win was never in danger as they held a four goals-per period scoring average.
No headaches for the US
Game 5, Group C: Brazil vs. United States 2-13 (0-6, 0-3, 1-2, 1-2)
Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ)

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini 1, Amanda Oliveira 1, Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head coach: Patrick Oaten

USA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman 1, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal 2, Maggie Steffens 3, Courtney Mathewson 1, Kiley Neushul 2, Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist 1, Makenzie Fischer 2, Kami Craig 1, Ashleigh Johnson. Head coach: Adam Krikorian.
Extramen:
Brazil: 0 for 5
USA: 3 for 4

Penalties:
Brazil: none
USA: 1 for 1


BRA vs USA ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
The Water Polo Arena went wild – though only in the second half of the game when the crowd, getting larger as the Russian’s game commenced, started to cheer for Brazil. Next year’s Olympic hosts found it hard to score against the reigning Olympic champions, they trailed 0-9 at half-time. The US team played really its hard pressing game and was ruthless in attacks, they simply outpowered the Brazilians. However, after 18:04 minutes it happened: the South Americans found the back of the net at 0-11, to the joy of the fans who could happily applaud the second goal later in the fourth. In the meantime the American girls didn’t push the pedal that much, netted only four goals in the second half.
The Dutch hammer strikes hard
Game 4, Group B: South Africa vs. Netherlands 1-22 (1-6, 0-5, 0-3, 0-8)
Referees: German Moller (ARG), Ursula Wengenroth (SUI)
SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield 1, Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White, Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe
NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Miloushka Smit 3, Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot 4, Amarens Genee 1, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis 2, Vivian Sevenich 2, Maud Megens 1, Isabella van Toorn 1, Lieke Klaassen 6, Leonie van der Molen 2, Debby Willemsz. Head coach: Arno Havenga
Extramen:
South Africa: 0 f 3
Netherlands: 5 for 10

As it was expected, this encounter turned out to be a rather one-sided contest. The only surprise came in the beginning when the South Africans managed to score from the centre as the Dutch goalie, Laura Aarts rushed out to grab the ball but Ruby Versfield could lob it into the empty net. It happened after two minutes – in the remaining 26 only the Dutch scored, in fact, they seemed to be able to net a goal whenever they wanted. Still, some fine defending from the South Africans, especially in the third period kept the Dutch on three goals, however, their superiority did some damage again in the last quarter. Lieke Klaasen came up as the best scorer of the game with a session-high 6 hits.
The Aussies bettered the Greeks in a thrilling finish
Game 3, Group B: Australia vs. Greece 8-7 (2-1, 1-3, 2-1, 3-2)
Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Sergey Naumov (RUS)

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth 1, Hannah Buckling 1, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster 1, Glennie McGhie 1, Zoe Arancini 1, Ash Southern, Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame 2, Kelsey Wakefield. Head coach: Greg McFadden
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala 4, Stefania Charalampidi, Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki 1, Antigoni Roumpesi 1, Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eliftheria Plevritou 1, Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopolou. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis
Extramen:
Australia: 4 for 8
Greece: 1 for 5
Penalties:
Australia: none
Greece: 3 for 4

AUS vs GRE ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
The Aussies had the better start in the first highlighted game of the opening day. They jumped to a 3-1 lead early in the second period, but two quick goals from the Greeks – both from penalties, courtesy of Alexandra Asimaki’s efforts in the centre – pushed the match to a different direction. The next minutes saw the Australians struggling to create any chance as the Greeks’ zonal defence worked pretty well. Antigoni Roumpesi’s fine shot 28 seconds before the buzzer even put the Greeks ahead by half-time. And their journey continued in the third, another penalty shot at 5:18 gave them a 3-5 lead.
Goddess Fortuna stepped in to help the Aussies, a shot from an extra got a wicked deflection and the ball fell in from the heights. This brought them back to the game, soon they got the equaliser, this time it was a clean finish from another extra by Rowie Webster for 5-5.
The final period was a thriller, the Aussies took the lead three times, the Greek levelled the score twice, at 7-6 Christina Tsoukala’s penalty was saved by Lea Yanitsas, however, after the corner-throw Tsoukala’s fine bouncing shot from the distance found the back of the net for 7-7. With just a minute to go, a great defending move earned the ball for the Aussies in the field and it resulted an easy one-on-one put-away for Nicola Zagame. Greece still had the chance to save a point but they couldn’t set up a clear shooting chance though they had two connecting 6 on 5s in the last 42 seconds.

Greg McFadden, head coach (AUS)
“In the first quarter we played pretty good though were a bit unlucky. In the second we tried to do too much by ourselves, we didn’t play as a team we couldn’t create any good chance as we didn’t leave enough space for our centre-forward. We talked about that in half-time, it’s got a little bit better then but this is in issue we have concentrate on next time

Spain rolls over Kazakhstan in the first half
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva 1, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova 1, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova 1, Oxana Saichuk 1, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina 3, Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head coach: Miroslav Trumbic
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar 2, Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja 5, Clara Espar 2, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca, Roser Tarrago 3, Maria Garcia 2, Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head coach: Miguel Oca

Extraman:
Kazakhstan: 3 for 9
Spain: 2 for 8

Penatlies:
Kazakhstan: none
Spain: 1 for 1


ESP vs KAZ ©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia
The title-holder Spanish team began its campaign in style, leaving no chance for the Kazakhs to create any hot moment in this sunny morning. With three new members in their line-up (compared to Barcelona 2013), the Spaniards produced their highly effective game at both ends of the pool. In the middle of the second period they were 6-0 up and soon they earned an 8-1 advantage. This was the point where they laid back a bit and started to save energy as the tournament – their campaign to retain their crown – is quite long. The gap they built by half-time (9-2) remained the same at the end as the second half brought five goals apiece. Jennifer Pareja was outstanding in the match, the captain netted 5 goals.
Canada opens its campaign with a dominant performance
Game 1, Group A: Canada vs. New Zealand 15-6 (5-1, 2-3, 4-2, 4-0)
Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN)
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo 1, Katrina Monton 1, Emma Wright, Monika Eggens 3, Kelly McKee 1, Joelle Bekhazi 1, Shae Fournier 3, Carmen Eggens 1, Christine Robinson 2, Stephanie Valin 2, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head coach: Johanne Begin
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis 1, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis, Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry 1, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva, Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance 1, Kirsten Hudson 1, Jasmine Myles 2, Katherine Curnow. Head coach: Attila Biro

Extraman:
Canada: 3 for 6
New Zealand: 3 for 6

Penalties:
Canada: 2 for 2
New Zealand: none

It took 30 seconds to score the first goal of the championships, it was a fine action shot from the centre from Canada’s Christine Robinson – which also signalled the start of the Northern American’s march. A penalty and an extra-player goal followed shortly for a 3-0 lead, New Zealand got on the score-board after 6:42 minutes but in a span of 41 seconds two more action goals virtually settled the game by the end of the first period (5-1).
The New Zealanders had a better period in the second, cutting the margin to three goals at 7-4 and again deep in the third at 8-5, however, the remaining 12 minutes saw a 7-1 thrashing from the Canadians. The winning side posted a fine shooting percentage (15 for 33, 45%) in their opening game, as well as a fine team effort with eight players netting the goals.



Jennifer: "Hay que seguir mejorando cositas"


Jennifer:

26/07/2015 - ZONA MIXTA.— Jennifer Pareja, la capitana de la Selección española que ha arrancado en este Mundial con 5 goles, nos ha dicho en Zona Mixta que "el primer partido siempre cuesta un poco, hay que sacarse los nervios y era lo que teníamos que hacer. Hay que seguir mejorando cositas. Hay chicas que es su primer Mundial y siempre cuesta. Kazakhstan tiene un nivel inferior pero van al límite y hay que ir superando estas situaciones. Lo importante era ganar el partido, que era el objetivo".
Por su parte, Roser Tarragó afirmó que "veníamos a poner tono y a meternos de lleno en el Mundial. Hay detalles a arreglar, pero hemos ganado. El primer partido nos ha servido a todas, en especial a las jóvenes. Hemos empezado muy bien, pero nos ha faltado algo de ritmo".
R.G.-S. (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial a KAZAN). FOTO: Jennifer Pareja (ESP), máxima goleadora del partido con 5 dianas / RFEN

KAZAN: España, debut y objetivo cumplido (7—14)



KAZAN: España, debut y objetivo cumplido (7-14)

26/07/2015 - España ha debutado con victoria en los Ctos. del Mundo FINA KAZAN2015 batiendo a Kazakhstan, que ejercía de local, por 7—14 (0—4, 2—5, 1—1 y 4—4) en un partido sin historia donde desde el primer balón robado por Jennifer Pareja la superioridad ha sido una constante. Las jugadoras dirigidas por Miki Oca no han tenido problemas en entrar en juego ante una selección con recursos realmente más limitados y con un ritmo de juego muy inferior.
El partido sirvió para dar minutos a las debutantes Paula Leitón y Clara Espar. Esta última, con dos contragolpes perfectamente ejecutados desde la izquierda hizo dos goles casi seguidos, sus primeros en un Mundial absoluto. El 0-4 inicial del primer periodo hizo que se desajustara un tanto la defensa española, dada la superioridad, y que las discípulas de Miroslav Trumbic anotaran su primer tanto a los 13 minutos, para repetir con un segundo dos jugadas después, obra de Mirshina.
El 2-9 al descanso decantó la balanza aunque España intentó lo más difícil en estos casos, que es mantener la concentración en todo momento, sean cuales sean las condiciones del rival. Aportó Maica en ataque y también la capitana Jennifer Pareja, que para sus compañeras siempre está en todas partes, por eso es la gran referencia en este equipo.
Insulso tercer parcial con un escueto 0-1 -Maica García en la posición de boya hasta que, en el último segundo y desde el centro del campo, Mirshina ponía el surrealista 1-1 para un marcador parcial de 3-10. Misma tónica en el último cuarto (4-4) con bastantes errores de concentración y desajustes defensivos lógicos en un debut pero con el objetivo cumplido en espera ya de Nueva Zelanda.
FICHA TÉCNICA:
http://waterpolo.sportresult.com/pdf/WCH2015/W02.pdf
Rodrigo Gil-Sabio (Comunicación RFEN. Env. Especial a KAZAN2015). Foto: Servicio especial para RFEN / EFE/ ANATOLY MALTSEV. Prohibida su reproducción


Día3: Arrancan nuestras campeonas del Mundo


Día3: Arrancan nuestras campeonas del Mundo

25/07/2015 . Defienden título y están deseando empezar a jugar aquí en Kazan. Hablamos de la Selección española femenina de Waterpolo, que debuta este domingo en Rusia por la mañana ante Kazajistan. También tenemos la Preliminar de Dúo Técnico a primera hora con Ona Carbonell—Clara Camacho y a mediodía —también sincro— la Preliminar de Libre Combinada, sin olvidar la Preliminar de trampolín de 1 metro femenino con Rocío Velázquez. Y, ya por la tarde, la final de Dúo Técnico. Día intenso.
El partido se emitirá en España en diferido a las 10.45 horas por Teledeporte.
Comunicación RFEN. Foto: La Selección española de Waterpolo, a punto de debutar en Kazan 2015 / RFEN

Nuestras Guerreras Acuáticas, rumbo a Kazan


Nuestras Guerreras Acuáticas, rumbo a Kazan
23/07/2015 - Después de que hayan arrancado ya las expediciones de sincronizada, aguas abiertas y saltos, hoy ha sido el turno de nuestras chicas de waterpolo, que han embarcado rumbo a Moscú, donde harán escala antes de tomar el vuelo a Kazan, sede de los Campeonatos Mundiales de Natación que darán comienzo mañana mismo con la celebración de la ceremonia inaugural.
Las vigentes campeonas mundiales inician desde ya la defensa del título, algo muy complicado a tenor del gran nivel que han mostrado otras selecciones aspirantes también a hacerse con las medallas. Nuestras guerreras acuáticas han partido desde el Aeropuerto del Prat de Barcelona con los sueños y la ilusión, nunca mejor dicho, por las nubes.
Comunicación RFEN.

CONVOCATORIA CTOS. DEL MUNDO KAZAN 2015


CONVOCATORIA CTOS. DEL MUNDO KAZAN 2015
21/07/2015 - El Área de Waterpolo RFEN ha dado a conocer la Convocatoria oficial para los Campeonatos del Mundo FINA Kazan 2015. Las elegidas por el staff técnico para disputar el campeonato son las siguientes: Anna Espar, Laura Ester, Judith Forca, Maica García, Mati Ortiz, Jenni Pareja y Pili Peña (CN Sabadell Astralpool), Marta Bach, Laura López y Roser Tarragó (CN Mataró La Sirena), Patricia Herrera (CN Madrid Moscardó), Paula Leiton (CN Terrassa) y Clara Espar (CE Mediterrani).
Acompañarán al seleccionador Miki Oca sus técnicos ayudantes habituales Jordi Valls (FCN) y Claudio Camarena (FMN), el médico Albert Estiarte y el fisioterapeuta Óscar Muncunill.
Las jugadoras entrenadas por Miki Oca, vigentes campeonas del Mundo y de Europa además de subcampeonas olímpicas, empezarán la defensa del título el domingo día 26 frente a Kazajistán (10.50 hora local) y se desplazarán a la ciudad rusa este mismo jueves.
Comunicación RFEN. Fuente: Área de Waterpolo RFEN