Water Polo Reports - Women, Day 3

Kazan 2015 - WP

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.
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.


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

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.
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


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.

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.

©Giorgio Scala for Deepbluemedia


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

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.


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.

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.


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.”