WPWL Women's Super Final, Day 1: Canada starts with difficult win against the Netherlands

World League

With the top eight teams from the world, the FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final 2015 kicked off on June 9 at the Oriental Sports Center, venue of the 2011 FINA World Championships, in Shanghai.

According to FINA rules, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, the United States and hosts China qualified for the Super Final out of 16 teams in the World League in 2015.

On Day 1, Canada set the thrilling tone of the FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final 2015 with the opening games by edging the Netherlands 15-14 through penalty shootout.

Game 1: NETHERLANDS 14 - CANADA 15  / Quarters:3-0, 1-3, 2-3, 3-3, Penalty shootout 5-6

NETHERLANDS: Aarts Laura, Smit Miloushka (Captain, 5), Genee Dagmar (1), Van der sloot Gatharina (1), Genee Amarens (1),Stomphorst Nomi (1), Nijhuis Marloes (2), Sevenicch Vivian, Megens Maud (2), Van toom Isabella, Klaassen Lieke (1), Van der molen Lenie, Willemsz Debby. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo , Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (2), Monika Eggens (3), Mckee Kelly, Joelle Bekhazi (4), Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens, Christine Robinson (1), Stephanie Valin (5), Dominique Perrault, Claire Wright. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

Game report:
Netherlands started high with a 4:1 lead at the beginning of the second period, but the team was soon catched up by the Canadians in the third quarter. Canada came from behind to a 7-6 and then tied 9:9 after four quarters. In the penalty shootout, Canadian girls showed steady shooting skills by winning 6:5 for the victory 15:14.

Flash quotes:
Johanne Begin (CAN) - Head Coach:

It is a good start for us in this tournament, especially as this is the first game. It sets the tone! I am not only happy with the victory, but happier with the way my team played. It is important to set the tone of the game for us. We built a great team spirit and good frame of mind. There is a long way to go to the World Championships in Kazan because we will compete in the Pan America Games in July before. So one thing after another.

Arno Havenga (NED) - Head Coach:

Our players are not in their best shape, we all know that. We just used it to get competition experience to prepare for Kazan worlds. Today we started very well and we were in a good form in the first half. But in the second half, we made a few mistakes on defense, which cost us a few goals. The loss means nothing as we finish this game, and focus to preparing the next one. We can do better tomorrow.

Opening Ceremony at the Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai- Photo credit: Gao Yuchen

Game 2: USA 16 - BRAZIL 3 / Quarters: 4-1, 5-0, 4-0, 3-2.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hill Samanstha, Madeline Musselman (2), Melissa Seidemann (2), Fattal Rachel (1),
Caroline Clark (1), Margaret Steffens (Captain, 2), Courtney Mathewson (2), Kiley Neushul (1), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist (2), Makenzie Fischer (2), Kameryn Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Viviane Bahia, Marina Zablith, Marina Canetti (1), Lucianne Baroncass, Izabella Chiappini (1), Amanda Oliviera, Luiza Carvalho, Melanie Dias, Flavia Fernandes (1), Mirella Coutinho, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

Game report:
London Olympic champion and defending champion USA looked formidable and turned the game into shooting excercise against Brazil. The USA soon took the lead 4-1 after the first quarter, and blocked Brazil in the next two periods by scoring 9 goals to 13:1. 10 American players scored and six of them made it double. Marina Canetti and Flavia Femandes shot twice in the last period for Brazil.

Flash quotes:
Adam Krikorian, USA Head Coach:

We are happy with the way we played. We were a little bit nervous in the first quarter, and we played much better after that. We don't count victroy, but we need to improve, just like the other teams. We are far from unbeatable. The Super Final is great for all the teams to prepare for the Kazan worlds, with great facilities, great teams. I am sure all the eight teams will be better after the tournament. We will play the Pan America Games on July 7-14, and then we go to Madrid training camp with team Spain for about six days. Our schedule is tight. We just need to focus on the games and play well.

Patrick Oaten, BRAZIL Head Coach:

We are stronger in offence right now, trying to get the gang of center and forward and shooting. We are facing the US, a very defensive team, so we are strgguling with their sides and dence pressure. We made a lot of mistakes today. As the host team of 2016 Olympic Games, we still have a long process. We have some good games, and we have some bad games. We'd better learn how to deal with the losses. We will go back to Brazil, and then Pan America Games in Toronto, and to Kazan. It is very tough, but we need to play a lot more games to gain experience. 

Game 3:AUSTRALIA 8 - RUSSIA 4 / Quarters: 3-3, 2-0, 1-0, 2-1.

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Chloe Barr, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Isobel Bishop, Bronwen Knox (Captain, 1), Keesja Gofers (1), Giencora McGhie (2), Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern, Bronte Halligan (1), Nicola Zagame (3), Kelsey Wakendfield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Maria Borisova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova, Kseniia Ivanchishina, Ekaterina Tankeeva (1), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anna Tofeeva, Anna Bogdanova, Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Nadezhda Iarondaykina (1), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Nikhail Nakoriakov

Game report:
Russia enjoyed an early lead in the first quarter, from 2:0 to 3:3. Australia then started to wake up and frozen Russia in the next two periods by earning 6:3 after third quarter and then 8:4 at last. Zagame Nicola is the most valuable player as she shot three goals for Australia.

Flash quotes:
Greg McFadden - AUS, Head Coach,

We did not start well, but after that we have been very strong. Our girls did very well. We played better than the international tournament in Kunshan last year. For the Kazan worlds, we worked very hard. We will try to find different combination and get everyone at the same pace when we get back to home, and prepare for the world championships.

Nikhail Nakoriakov - RUS, Head Coach

We use this game, Super Final, to prepare for the world championships.

Game 4: ITALY 11 - CHINA 6 / Quarters: 2-2, 2-2, 5-2, 2-1

ITA vs CHN - Photo credit: Gao Yuchen

ITALY: Giulia Goriero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (3), Federica Radicchi (1), Elisa Queirolo,, Rosaria Aiello (1), Tania Di Mario (Captain, 3), Roberta Bianconi, Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pameri (2), Aleksandra Cotti (1), Teresa Frassinelti, Laura Teani. Head Coach, Fabio Conti.

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

Game report:
Habitual collapse coast the hosts team China away from the victory. China played one half of good game and one half of mistakes, losing to Italy 6-11. China tied 3:3 with 1:57 left of the second quarter. However, Italy opened the gap by adding 5 goals in the third quarter while Chinese players made some mistakes on passing and counter attacks. 

Flash quotes:
Fabio Conti - (ITA) Head Coach

In the Super Final, all the games are difficult to play. In my mind, the team of China is good and strong. We won over China in Kunshan tournament last year. But Super Final is a different game. Every team is in the warming process for the worlds. Our girls are not physically strong as other teams, we have to work on more with our mind and philosophy.

Ricardo Azevedo - CHN Head Coach

We played good in the first half, 3:4, just one goal behind. As I told our girls if you do not give up the counter attack, you will win the game. We gave up 4 counter attacks. But it is OK that our benches are very young, some are 17, 18, 19 years old. We only have two 27-year-old, two 24-year-old, then the rest are under 20. They made some mistakes just because they are young. We just need to keep working, and all these games are positive that you can learn from it, until the Olympic Games. We will struggle for a while with the young players. They have no experience and we have to wait. It is a pity that my left-handed Zhao Zihan did not score a goal. She is 19. She usually scores in the games for the last one year. Today Zhao had three chances, but all missed the gate. And other scorers never came out. Maybe they are tired and need to rest.