Game 16 (W): 21:00, Group D, CHINA 19 CUBA 6

Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo Games Reports

Quarters: 6-2, 4-0, 5-2, 4-2

Referees: Alan BALFANBAYEV (KAZ), Osvaldo GONZALEZ (PUR)

Extra Man: CHN:  6/9. CUB: 2/2

Pens: CHN: ½. CUB: 1/2

CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (1), LIU Ping, SUN Yujun (2), HE Jin (1), SUN Yating (2), SONG Donglun (1), CHEN Yuan (2), WANG Yi (4), MA Huanhuan (2), SUN Huizi (2), ZHANG Lei (1), WANG Ying. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.
CUBA: Mairelis ZUNZUNEGUI, Daniela ESCALONA, Yeliana BRAVO, Hirovis HERNANDEZ (2), Danay GUTIERREZ (2), Mayelin BERNAL, Yanet LOPEZ (1), Yadira OMS, Dayana MORALES (1), Yordanka PUJOL, Lisbeth SANTANA, Neldys TRUFFIN, Arisney RAMOS. Head Coach: Francisco VEITIA.

This game was not about the score, as we all knew China would win, but it was about the gutsy Cuban defence and, in particular, goalkeeper ZUNZUNEGUI. She was exceptional and in scintillating form. The diminutive, 25-year-old goalkeeper with previous World Championship experience, continually stared down the Chinese and, when one on one with them, kept her eyes open and focused on the ball. She stopped about 10 shots by halfway but it could well have been 100 as the mainly Chinese crowd warmed to her fantastic play. In fact, by fulltime she had 14 saves to her credit. It was the one-on-ones where she excelled and before halftime China hesitated several times, deciding not to shoot when a strong possibility normally. It was not just the goalkeeper but GUTIERREZ opened the scoring with a skinny shot into the bottom left, stunning the assembly. Midway through the quarter it was 4-2 after HERNANDEZ made sure of a penalty shot. When SUN Huizi pulled up the 8-2 scoreline nearly halfway through the second quarter, Cuba was not out of the game. Cuba restricted the Chinese onslaught and ZUNZUNEGUI blocked a penalty shot by SONG, heightening the excitement. Just before halftime Cuba earned another penalty attempt but GUTIERREZ had her shot blocked by WANG Ying. China moved to 13-2 but LOPEZ and GUTIERREZ scored extra-man goals either side of a SUN Huizi rocket for 14-4. HERNANDEZ and MORALES both scored in the final quarter where ZUNZUNEGUI was at her awesome best with several more saves. Chinese head coach JANE GIRALT used his bench wisely and 10 players made the scoresheet.