Game 18 (W): 10:50, Group C, GREECE 6 RUSSIA 5
Quarters: 2-2, 1-1, 1-1, 2-1
Referees: Sergio BORRELL, Gyorgy JUHASZ (HUN)
Extra Man: GRE: 1/4. RUS: 2/5
GREECE: Eleni KOUVDOU, Christina TSOUKALA, Antiopi MELIDONI, Ilektra Maria PSOUNI, Kyriaki LIOSI, Alkisti AVRAMIDOU, Alexandra ASIMAKI (1), Antigoni ROUMPESI (2), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (1), Triantafylla MANOLIOUDAKI, Stavroula ANTONAKOU (2), Georgia LARA, Eleni GOULA. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.
RUSSIA: Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA, Nadezhda FEDOTOVA, Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA, Sofia KONUKH (1), Alexandra ANTONOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA, Ekaterina LISUNOVA (1), Evgenia SOBOLEVA (2), Ekaterina TANKEEVA, Olga BELYAEVA (1), Evgenia IVANOVA, Yulia GAUFLER, Anna KANAUKH. Head Coach: Alexander KABANOV.
Greece pulled off the first major upset of the tournament with a last-minute victory over Russia, a team that inexplicably lost to Italy in a prolonged penalty shootout at the recent FINA World League Super Final in Tianjin. There, Russia had to be content with fifth place when expected to fill a medal-final berth. All is not lost for Russia but it must now play the second round while Greece has the luxury of a few days off and a chance to prepare for the quarter-finals. While Greece opened the scoring, it was Russia who led the way with BELYAEVA on extra and SOBOLEVA from the top firing into the top left who took the lead. GEROLYMOU converted a penalty to close the first period. LISUNOVA gained Russia’s only counter-attack goal, scoring off a cross pass. ANTONAKOU drew level on extra. Captain KONUKH opened the second half with a long angled shot. Five minutes later ANTONAKOU played a similar shot for Greece. SOBOLEVA broke the deadlock at 3:11 in the fourth period with a shot from deep right on extra. With the game ticking away, ASIMAKI scored on extra at 1:34 and then on the next Greek attack drew a penalty on SOBOLEVA for ROUMPESI to settle the game 59 seconds from time. IVANOVA was left to satisfy Russia’s hunger for at least a point when BELYAEVA drew an exclusion foul but her shot hit the crossbar, leaving Greece to go to a timeout with six seconds remaining. The ball was passed back to the goalkeeper and the game was over with Greece gaining an historic victory.