Water Polo Reports - Women, Day 2

Kazan 2015 - WP

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.

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.


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.

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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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."


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.

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.

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.


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).”


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.

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.


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.