Historic victory for Greece over Russia in women’s water polo

Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo

altGreece created history in beating Russia for the first time at a FINA World Championship in women’s water polo competition at the Natatorium today.

A penalty goal to Antigoni ROUMPESI just inside the final minute broke the deadlock for a 6-5 success that repeated the previous victory over Russia, in Kirishi, Russia, at the 2005 FINA World League Super Final. Since then there have been several draws, including at the European Championships but today’s victory was momentous.

The win secured Group C success with three narrow losses for Greece while Russia’s international woes this year continue. In Tianjin, China, last month, Italy gained a 21-20 margin over Russia in the FINA World League Super Final quarter-finals, eventually finishing fifth.

Spain sent off Brazil 12-4 in their clash to decide third place, with Spanish captain Blanca GIL scoring five goals, three from the penalty line and, surprisingly, missing her first penalty attempt.

In Group D, Italy took the crown with a nail-biting 10-9 victory over China in a match where Simons ABBATE scored three goals. China hit back with a 3-1 final quarter but it was not enough to avoid the second round.

In the decider for third and fourth position, Cuba pulled back two late goals to draw level at 9-9. Cuba’s better goal differential against group winner Italy put it into third spot. 

Greece - Credit: Giorgio Scala

The all-important Group A matchup between Olympic champion Netherlands and Hungary ended in a 9-all draw, enough for the Dutch to take second place in the group. World champion United States of America beat Kazakhstan 14-4 to win the group.

In Group B, Canada played a Commonwealth battle with New Zealand, winning the match 11-4 and the group with three straight victories. Australia used the clash with Uzbekistan as a chance to improve its standard of play, winning 27-2 after a tight 3-1 opening quarter.

The third day of men’s games will be played on Friday.