Canada and the Netherlands make good start

London 2012 Water Polo

BRA vs NED - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See Trieste (April 15) - On the first day only two games from Group B were played. The outcome of both was widely predictable, with Canada and the Netherlands easily prevailing over Kazakhstan and Brazil, respectively. A sober opening ceremony took place half an hour before the beginning of the first match in the beautiful complex “Bruno Bianchi”.

FINA Bureau member and Water Polo Technical Committee Liaison Dimitris Diathesopoulos delivered the inaugural speech. He also brought the salute of the FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione to participants, organisers, public and media. Gianni Lonzi, Chairman of FINA TWPC, supervised all operations to make sure that the tournament develops under the best possible conditions.

Match reports:

Game 1: 18.00, Group B, CANADA 15 KAZAKHSTAN 4
(3-2, 3-2; 5-0, 4-0)
Referee: Brian LITTLEJOHN (GBR), Jaume TEIXIDO (ESP).
CANADA: Rachel Riddell, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton (2), Emily Jean Csikos (2), Joelle Bekhazi (1), Carmen Camille Eggens, Rosanna Tomiuk, Dominique Perreault, Monika Catharina Eggens (2), Christine Robinson (4), Tara Campbell (1), Marina Radu (2), Serena Bredin. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.
KAZAKHSTAN: Galina Rytova, Lyudmila Chegodayeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova (1), Darya Vassilyeva (1), Anna Zubkova, Natalya Alexandrova (1), Yekaterina Gariyeva, Assel Yakayeva, Marina Gritsenko (1), Alexandra Rozhentseva, Kamila Marina, Kristina Krassikova. Head Coach: Andrey Sazykin.

Canada buried Kazakhstan under an avalanche of goals. The Asians stayed in the game until half time when they were just two goals down (6-4 for Canada). The second half of the game was a monologue of the North Americans who scored nine consecutive, unanswered goals: five in the third period and four in the last one. The Canadian team reasserted their top level standing and made it clear that they firmly want to qualify for the next Olympics. The team's most recent medal accomplishments at world level were in 2009, a double silver medal performance, at the FINA World League Super Final and a 13th place finish at the FINA World Championships in Rome.

Canada’s number 10 Christine Robinson was the match most prolific scorer, with four goals: two in the first period and two in the third one. Robinson, a veteran of the team, made the national team for the first time in 2004. Speed, power and determination are her best quality. Canada converted four superiorities out of five, Kazakhstan just one out of eight.

CAN vs KAZ - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
CAN vs KAZ - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See

First period: Csikos (CAN) scores the opening goal on extra-man soon after the start. Gritsenko (KAZ) answers also on x-man too less than a minute later (1-1). Turova (KAZ) follows up on action at mid time (1-2). Robinson (CAN) ties a few seconds later also with an action goal and the and follows up with a second goal from the distance (3 -2).

Second period: Campbell (CAN), unattended, scores an easy lob shot on action from two metres after receiving an assist from Alogbo (4-2). Monton (CAN) scores again for Canada after two minutes on superiority (5-2). Vassilyeva (KAZ) scores on action, Radu (CAN) answers (5-4). Alexandrova (KAZ) scores the fourth goal for Kazakhstan. At half time, Canada leads 6-4.

Third period: After 27 seconds inside the third period, Robinson scores her third goal, again from the distance. One second later, Robinson scores her fourth goal, on action, this time from two metres: 8-4 for Canada, game over. Alogbo scores her first on action at half time (9-4). Radu scores her second shooting from the outside (10-4). Monika Eggens scores Canada’s eleventh goal on action less than a minute from the end of the period (11-4).

Fourth period: Bekhazi (CAN) scores one more for Canada (12-4). Csikos’ second goal comes at three minutes from the end. Monton scores her second too on a back shot from 2-meters (14-4). Monika Eggens seals the match with her second goal at just one second to the end.

BRA vs NED - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
BRA vs NED - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See

Game 2: 19.20, Group B, BRAZIL 4 NETHERLANDS 23
(1-6, 1-6; 1-4, 1-7)
Referee: Cory WILLIAMS (NZL), Dunli CAO (CHN)
BRAZIL: Manuela Canetti, Cecilia Canetti (2), Marina Zablith, Marina Canetti, Luciane Maia, Isabella Chiappini, Melani Palaro Dias, Luiza Carvalho (1), Viviane Bahia, Flavia Vigna, Mirella Coutinho (1), Diana Abla, Camila Gomes. Head Coach: Roberto Chiappino.
THE NETHERLANDS: Ilse Van der Meijden, Yasemin Smit (3), Mieke Cabout (3), Biurakn Hakhverdian (2), Catharina Hendrica Van der Sloot (1), Nomi Stomphorst (1), Iefke Van Belkum (4), Robbin Remers (3), Vivian Sevenich (2), Nienke Vermeer (2), Lieke Maria Klaassen (1), Hariet Cabout (1), Anne Heinis. Head Coach: Mauro Maugeri.

Inspired by super classy Iefke Van Belkum, the Dutch team displayed an overwhelming superiority. With the identical score of 6-1 in the first two quarters, the Netherlands secured an easy victory over Brazil. The rest of the game was pure academy, with the Oranges capable of scoring 11 more goals, for a total of 23. Brazil managed only one goal per quarter, totalling four. Van Belkum top scored the games with four goals while three others of her compatriots – Smit, Mieke Cabout and Remers - managed three goals each. Cecilia Canetti scored twice for Brazil. Brazil converted two superiorities out of seven, missed a penalty and converted a second one; the Netherlands converted five out of five superiorities. Van Der Meijden (NED) saved a penalty on Chiappini at 1:58 of the third quarter. Gomes (BRA) replaced Manuela Canetti in the second half of the game.

BRA vs NED - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
BRA vs NED - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See