WP Juniors 2011 (W), Day 5: Series of thrillers, three games went to extra-time

FINA World Junior Water Polo Championships

CHN - credit: mc59.comTRIESTE, Italy (September 15) - Day five produced the water polo we love: all but two games were decided only in the dying minutes of the fourth quarters and three of the day’s contests went to extra-time (and one was decided in a penalty-shootout).

Hungary, Spain and Russia all came from behind, working hard to overcome two-three-goal deficits to reach the semifinals, while the Australians had an easier ride against the young Greek team.


Hungary–United States 9-8
Quarters: 0-1, 3-4, 2-0, 3-3; ET: 0-0, 1-0

Hungary: BOLONYAI Flora, CZIGANY Dora 1, ANTAL Dora 3, KISTELEKI Hanna 1, ILLES Anna, KESZTHELYI Rita 1, KOVÉR-KIS Reka, PENGŐ Nikoletta, PARDI Petra 1, KOCSIS Laura, SOMHEGYI Noemi 2, MOLNAR Timea, SZABO Ivett.

USA: HILL Samantha, MARTIN Brooke 1, GREENWOOD Emily 1, GROSSMAN Ashley, DODSON Kaley, FATTAL Rachel 1, MENDOZA Kelly 1, O’DONNELL Colleen 1, OSCHNER Dana, NEUSHUL Kiley 2, ROSENTHAL Madleine, SARDO Dominique 1, BALDONI Kate.

Extra player:
Hungary: 3 for 7
USA: 3 for 16

Hungary: 1 for 1
USA: none

Referees: TACCINI Cristina (ITA), STAVROPOULOS Nikolaos (GRE)

A game even boys would be proud of. Enormous physical battle for each position but all contacts were tough and not unsports(wo)men-like. Hungary intendedly went for a hard pressing game as they didn’t want to see the US players shooting free and undisturbed – instead they organised their man-down defence quite well. The number is telling: the US could convert only 3 of their 16 extra player opportunities.
The battle was on right from the very beginning, no easy chance were to be created. Neushul opend the scoring from a counter, O’Donnell added another one in the second period and this two-goal cushion was well kept until half-time (3-5).
Hungary entered the game in the third period by further tightening its defence and working hard for the goals in front. Czigany’s rocket-like shot from the distance and Somhegyi’s magnificent back-handed shot levelled the score as the Hungarians denied four American 6 on 5 in a row. It was a bit out of the blue when the US scored two quick goals from two one-on-ones for 5-7, but the Hungarians regrouped themselves, buried an extra, then another wonderful centre action from Somhegyi brought them to equal terms again (7-7). They withstood another two US extras and with 2:39 to go they took the lead for the first time (8-7), thanks to Antal’s great shot. The remaining time saw sheer excitement, the Americans missed another 6 on 5 but when they got the very last chance they finally managed to built on it, Sardo found the back of the net from their 15th extraman with 13 seconds remaining on the clock (8-8).
The first three minutes of the extratime went goalless, the US shooters lost their confidence and couldn’t make any serious attempt on their next extra. In the second part Hungary earned a 6 on 5 and although they could not create any opportunity, Antal let the ball fly from 9 metres with 5 seconds on the shotclock and it bounced in from the right post. This decided the game as the Americans could not set up any situation to score in the remaining 90 seconds.

Greece–Australia 5-10

Quarters: 1-1, 1-5, 2-1, 1-3

Greece: DIAMANTOPOULOU Chrsysoula, BENEKOU Alkistis, DIAMANTOPOULOU Vasiliki, PLEVRITOU Eleftheria, PLEVRITOU Margarita, CHARALAMPIDI Ioanna 2, ZANTOU Aikaterini 1, TSOUKALA Christina, KOTSIA Christina 2, CHARALAMPIDI Stefania, BENEKOU Ioli Angeliki, GARYFALLOU Ioulia, TEREFOU Stefania.

Australia: WAKEFIELD Kelsey, SCOTT Emily 1, VENOSTA Genevieve, GRAHAME Emma, BISHOP Isobel 1, BUCKLING Hanna, SCHMID Maddison 2, BROWN Eliesha, ARANCINI Zoe 2, SOUTHERN Ashleigh 3, APPEL Jayde 1, KING Olivia, DAVIES Michaela.

Extra player:
Greece: 3 for 8
Australia: 1 for 5

Penalties: none

Referees: BENDER Alex (GER), TERPENKA Doriel (CAN)

The quest for gold of the Greek “family” – the team has three pairs of sisters including two twins in its line-up – ended in the quarterfinals. Their women water polo enjoyed some great days recently, as the senior team won the world title in Shanghai and the youth team earned the European crown in the age-group event. Ten members of the triumphant youth side were also picked for this event but in the quarterfinals the younger girls seemed to be too nervous and too light-weighted against the Australians. Luck weren’t on their side either as they conceded two goals with the ball being deflected on a defender’s arm, both happened in crucial moments (from 1-4 to 1-5 and from 2-6 to 2-7). They tried to climb back and scored two in the last minutes of the third quarter but they couldn’t get any further. Instead, the Aussies’ missile-like shots ended the contest early in the fourth period to make the score 4-10 within minutes.

Spain–Netherlands 11-9
Quarters: 2-2, 3-5, 3-1, 3-1

Spain: HERRERA Patricia, ESPAR Anni 1, LLORET Helena 3, ESCODA Lidia, GORRIA Teresa, VICENTE Laura, BLAS Andrea 2, MIRANDA Lorena 3, BACH Marta, TARRAGO Rouser 2, CHILLIDA Paula, LLISTERI Mar, PEREZ Cristina.

Netherlands: SLOBBE Michelle, DONGELMANS Melissa 1, STOMPHORST Nomi, VAN DER SLOOT Chatarina, CABOUT Marloes, KLAASSEN Lieke 3, REMERS Robbin 1, NYHUIS Marloes 1, SMITS Liselotte 2, SEVENICH Vivian, GENEE Amarens 1, MEGENS Maud, WILLEMSZ Debby.

Extra player:
Spain: 6 for 11
Netherlands: 2 for 6

Penalties: none

Referees: DRURY Amber (USA), FEKETE Balazs (HUN)

The Spanish came from behind to reach the semifinal with a well-disciplined, patient and tactical game. The Dutch were ahead until their distance shots were powerful and finely placed but as the time went ahead their attempts were becoming less and less dangerous. Still, the outcome was only decided in the final quarter – though the feeling was always there which side was the better this day. At a point – with 33 seconds to go in the second period – the Netherlands were 7-4 up but a late goal by Miranda kept the Spaniards in visible distance.
The Spanish zonal defence started to work really smoothly in the following two periods – they simply drowned the Dutch attacks, the blocking arms covered the “incoming ways” well and prevented the opponent from feeding the centre-forward – in the meantime, the Spanish managed to put the ball into the centre and they converted the ensuing extras with rather high percentage: 3 for 3 they made in the third period and added two more in the last. The decisive momentum was when the Spanish scored two goals in the span of 41 seconds at the beginning of the fourth period to jump to 10-8 from 8-8 and this was too much for the Dutch as their attacks weakened further on....

Russia–Italy 7-6
Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 1-0, 2-1; ET: 1-1, 0-0. Penalties: 2-1


Italy: TEANI Laura, BARZON Laura 1, MILLO Alessia, EMMOLO Giulia 2, QUEIROLO Elisa, POMERI Francesca 1, DARIO Sara, TABANI Chiara, PALMERI Valeria, VERDE Medea, GIACHI Gloria 1, LASCIALANDA Letizia 1, SPARANO Loredana.

Extra player:
Russia: 1 for 4
Italy: 0 for 11

Penalties (regular and extra-time):
Russia: none
Italy: 2 for 3

Referees: RAKOVIC Ivanka (SRB), TEULE Jose Maria (ESP)

Unless the other games of the day, good defending and rather poor attacking marked the last of the quarterfinals. Neither side had the necessary weapons to do bigger harm to the other, at some stage you had the feeling that any goal scored was a bit accidental... Italy had a rather lacklustre performance in extras, missing all ten in the regular time. Despite of this, they somehow built a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second period, but the Russians battled themselves back though the road was tough as the Italians managed to block the Russians‘ play getting rolling. Still, they were caught up at 3-3, after Queirolo missed even a penalty. The real drama came just afterwards: the Russians denied the Italians’ 6 on 5 for the tenth time and started to launch their attack when the excluded player, Zelentsova re-entered the field despite having three personal fouls – red flag was raised at the jury table in due time so it was a costly mistake of the Russian bench, and Emmolo converted the penalty. Still, the Russians had the answer, Nukhova’s netted a fine slipping shot (4-4) so extra time commenced again. Risky defending took its toll on the Russians as Giachi was left alone on the wing and she scored – but Simonovich blasted one in from the distance on the next attack for 5-5. Second three minutes... Russia didn’t create any chance but Italy... Quierolo managed to left her guard behind, got the ball, managed to lob it over the out-rushing goalie... The ball touched the cross-bar gently and plopped down with centimetres in front of the goal-line... Since Karnaukh managed to make a save upon the last attempt for Italy – denying the 11th extraman... – the winner was determined in the penalty shootout.
Queirolo missed the opening penalty (just as she did in the regular time), Antonova converted Russia’s first. Barzon’s five-metre was well-saved by Karnaukh, but Teani also denied Simonovich. Emmolo couldn’t pass the goalie either, nor could Karimova. Pomeri was the first among the Italians who could score but that was not enough. Belova netted the fourth Russian penalty and when Verde hit the left post it was all over – the Russians celebrated widely while the Italians burst into tears: in fact they trailed only once in the game, at the penalty shootout...

For places 9-12

Uzbekistan–Germany 11-10
Quarters: 3-3, 3-3, 2-3, 3-1

Uzbekistan: DUKHANOVA Elena, DAGABAEVA Diana 1, SARANCHA Aleksandra 4, PIFTOV Eseniya, IVANOVA Eugeniya 3, NIGMATULLINA Rufina 1, MOROZOVA Ekaterina 1, DAGABAEVA Nellya, UMARORA Liliya, ZINUROVA Adelina, HAMITOVA Guzelya, PLYUSOVA Anna 1, DJUMALIEVA Angelina.


Extra player:
Uzbekistan: 5 for 11
Germany: 5 for 13

Penalties: none

Referees: CAO Dunli (CHN), BERVOETS Anton (NED)

Though the team of Uzbekistan seemed to be the underdog, they started the encounter determined and concentrated and within 80 seconds they gained a 2-0 lead. The Germans woke up a bit late but managed to tie the first period and also had the answers after 3-4, scoring three in a row. But their rivals weren’t done and Sarancha – who scored a goal in each quarter – brought them back to level with 16 seconds before the break. Twists and turns followed, the lead were changing constantly, the Germans went ahead (6-7), the Uzbeks replied with two (8-7) but Seyfert’s netted two until the buzzer (8-9). And the Germans were still ahead with 4 minutes to go, but Zinnurova equalised from a double extra (10-10). The Germans missed a 6 on 5, and later, with 1:27 to go Plyusova put the Uzbeks ahead. The Germans got a last chance but Dukhanova produces a great save in a man-up in the dying seconds.

P. R. China–Canada 7-11

Quarters: 1-2, 3-3, 2-3, 1-3


Canada: COLTER John Nicola, McKEE Kelly 5, LEKNESS Rae, STEEMKAMER Rebekka, AMOROSA Amanda 1, PATERSON Julia 2, TAYLOR Shelby, ROBINSON Cara, FITZGIBBON Fiona, YELIZAROVA Hanna 2, MASE Kirstn, WRIGHT Emma 1, GAUDREAULT Jessica.

Extra player:
China: 1 for 5
Canada: 4 for 8

China: 1 for 1
Canada: 2 for 2

Referees: VARLOW Megan (AUS), TAN Hong Boon (SIN)

Both teams made a good job but the Canadians were the superior side in most fields of the game. They were more organised and created more chances, however, the Chinese fought hard and gave them a tough challenge. The North Americans could dismantle the opponent’s great wall only deep into the fourth quarter but with two connecting goals in 45 seconds decided the outcome.

For places 13-14

South Africa–Brazil 9-10
Quarters: 1-3, 2-3, 4-2, 1-0; ET: 0-1, 1-1

South Africa: THOMAS Rebecca, DENDY YOUNG Lara, RAWSTRON Christy, BARRETT Nicola 2, TRAUBE Kylie, SCHOOLING Tarryn 4, TONKIN Caley 1, STEVENS Kelly, CHRISTIAN Delaine, PARKES Megan, GAMIET Mymoneah, BHANETHI Zikhona, MEYER Michaela 2.

Brazil: GOMES Camila, GOZANI Gabriela, ABLA Diana, CHIAPPINI Izabella 1, BAHIA Viviane, TORRES Bruna, DIAS Melani, SANTORO Adhara, GUIMARAES Talitha, VELOSO Tatiana 1, COUTINHO Mirella 5, DIAS Gabriela 3, CHAMORRO Victoria.

Extra player:
South Africa: 1 for 2
Brazil: 1 for 2

South Africa: 0 for 6
Brazil: 4 for 11

Referees: SADIKOV Akbar (UZB), DETKO Tad (GBR)

The Brazilians almost gave away this win despite leading 6-2 in the second quarter and 7-3 in the middle of the third. The South Africans battled hard and after Chiappini had missed a penalty at 7-6 they levelled the score with Meyer’s fine shot. However, another penalty – converted by Coutinho this time – put the Brazilians forward again (7-8). Barrett’s goal opened the fourth quarter (8-8) and the following seven minutes were not enough to find a goal at either sides so the contest went on the first extra time of the championships. This time the Brazilians did not let the game slip out of their hand, Dias scored one in the first three minutes, Coutinho added another one in the second (she had 5 goals altogether!) for 10-8, Schooling pulled one back with a minute to go and the South Africans had a last chance in the dying seconds but were unable to set up any good shooting opportunity.

For places 15-16

Mexico–Indonesia 6-5
Quarters: 2-2, 1-1, 1-1, 2-1

Mexico: DUARTE Karina, ESCUTIA Raquel, GONZALES Joana, BUSTAMANTE Diana, TORRES Lizeth, ALVAREZ Doris, LOPEZ Edith, GALLEGOS Jarmin, AMARILLAS Maria Jose.

Indonesia: IMRON Ernanati, ANGGRAENI Maya, RUSNERI Nova, EKA Melviani, PUTRI FEBBY Familia, ALI Kezzie, TJANDRA Felicia, KADIR Hudadiah, RASYID Inez Febrianti, SIW ABESSY Ariel Dyah, UTORO Annisa Nadhilan, KARTINI Lilik, RAIDA Rani.

Extra player:
Mexico: 0 for 11
Indonesia: 2 for 2

Mexico: 0 for 2
Indonesia: none


On their final appearance these two sides found a team in their class – and produced an exciting though not high-level contest for the 15th place. Mexico seemed to be the more powerful and skilled team but they simply failed to deliver in the basic elements of the game. Missed 11 extras and could not convert two penalties – that also contributed their hard times against their enthusiastic rivals. After the second penalty-miss Putri put the Indonesians ahead (4-5), but Torres’ immediate answer brought back the Mexicans and Lopez scored their winner with one minute to go.