Game 19 (W): 12:10, Group D, SOUTH AFRICA 9 CUBA 9

Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo Games Reports

Quarters: 3-3, 1-1, 1-1, 4-4

Referees: Gideon REEMNET (NED), Kazuhiko MAKITA (JPN)

Extra Man:  RSA: 3/4. CUB: 2/5

SOUTH AFRICA: Leigh MAARSCHALK, Kimberly SCHMIDT, Kimberly KAY, Shelley FAULMANN, Megan SCHOOLING, Laura BARRETT, Christine BARRETTO (2), Lee Anne KEET (1), Delaine CHRISTIAN, Sarah HARRIS (5), Nicolette POULOS, Kelsey WHITE, Jemma DENDY YOUNG (1). Head Coach: Brad ROWE.
CUBA: Mairelis ZUNZUNEGUI, Daniela ESCALONA, Yeliana BRAVO (3), Hirovis HERNANDEZ (3), Danay GUTIERREZ (1), Mayelin BERNAL (1), Yanet LOPEZ (1), Yadira OMS, Dayana MORALES, Yordanka PUJOL, Lisbeth SANTANA, Neldys TRUFFIN, Arisney RAMOS. Head Coach: Francisco VEITIA.

This was the game that South Africa lost, losing a two-goal margin in the last three minutes to allow Cuba to gain a draw and advance to the top 12. South Africa needed the win and outscored Cuba 4-1 in a two-minute spurt in the middle of the final quarter. The HARRIS-inspired attack saw the captain score three of those goals to go with two she gained earlier. But South Africa gave up a penalty, which GUTIERREZ converted at 2:42. BRAVO had the easiest of turns to score at two metres for 9-9 and still the game had 2:13 to go. It was then that South Africa exploded, taking a wishful shot from Johannesburg just when it needed to be calm and attack conservatively. Then in the dying seconds, goalkeeper MAARSCHALK failed to pass the ball to her breaking players. Instead her late pass was intercepted and the Cubans gained a deserved draw. Even at this stage when the group win would not be decided until the evening in the match between China and Italy, Cuba had the better goal differentials against both teams so would take third place. Sadly for South Africa, it is now consigned to the play-offs for 13-16 and the hope of securing a higher world ranking than the 16th place in Rome two years ago. Cuba began the game with a lightning three goals before South Africa awoke and levelled by quarter time. Then it was trading goals time. HERNANDEZ, inspirational with three goals, hit the post with a penalty attempt in the third period but scored on the next attack. Cuba proved in its two previous games it deserves to be in the top 12 while South Africa improved too late.