No lead in Group A, World champion Greece tops Group B

London 2012 Water Polo

GRE vs KAZ - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See Trieste (April 18) - Action-packed games took place on the fourth day of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Trieste (ITA), where world-class teams battle to secure the last four London berths. In Group B, Greece had an easy win over Kazakhstan, whose squad yet produced a solid performance, for a total score of 16-8. This game marked the Greeks' third victory in-a-row, the only squad to do so in this group. In the following match, Canada had little trouble holding at bay Brazil, winning 11-4.

In Group A, victories were much more hard-fought between the four contenders, whose squads considerably heightened the level of competition. Russia faced pressure from Spain, eventually defeating their strong opponent 12-11. The last game of the day between Italy and Hungary saw the home squad defeating the strong contender in a tight 11-9. With one loss and one win each so far, all Group A teams currently have two points, with no leader. 


Match reports:

Game 9: 16.00, Group B, GREECE 16 KAZAKHSTAN 8
(4-3, 6-1; 5-2, 1-2)
Referees: Dunli Cao (CHN), Alexey Krapivin (RUS).
Teams:
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (2), Antiopi Melidoni, Ilektra Psouni (1), Kyriaki Liosi (1), Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki (4), Antigoni Roumpesi (2), Angeliki Gerolymou (2), Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (2), Stavroula Antonakou (1), Georgia Lara (1), Chrysoula Diamantopoulo. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
KAZAKHSTAN: Galina Rytova, Lyudmila Chegodayeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova, Darya Vassilyeva, Anna Zubkova, Natalya Alexandrova (1), Yekaterina Gariyeva (2), Assel Yakayeva (1), Marina Gritsenko (3), Alexandra Rozhentseva (1), Kamila Marina, Kristina Krassikova. Head Coach: Andrey Sazykin.


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


An unexpectedly balanced first quarter, when the Asian players answered almost all goals from the Hellenics (4-3 for the Greeks), was followed by a second period with the Greeks storming the field at ease, with six goals for and just one against. The score at half time was 10-4. The third quarter developed on the same track and ended with a 5-2 split in favour of Greece. In the last period, the team of Kazakhstan showed a great temperament, confirmed their progress and managed to prevail 2-1.

The Greek goals were scored by nine different players: Asimaki emerged as the game best scorer with four goals. Gritsenko (KAZ) was the second best scorer with three goals. With this win, Greece jumped on top of Group B, with six points. Turova (KAZ) was excluded for three major fouls at 7:37 in the second period. Superiorities: Greece 3/6 + a penalty converted and one saved; Kazakhstan 2/7. Rytova (KAZ) saved on Avramidou at 0:22 of the fourth quarter. Diamantopoulou (GRE) replaced Kouvdou at the start of the last period.


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


Game 10: 17.20, Group B, BRAZIL 4 CANADA 11
(1-2, 2-4; 0-3,1- 4)
Referees: Radu Matache (ROU), Brian Littlejohn (GBR).
Teams:
BRAZIL: Manuela Canetti, Cecilia Canetti (1), Marina Zablith (1), Marina Canetti (1), Luciane Maia, Isabella Chiappini, Melani Palaro Dias, Luiza Carvalho, Viviane Bahia, Flavia Vigna (1), Mirella Coutinho, Diana Abla, Camila Gomes. Head Coach: Roberto Chiappini.
CANADA: Rachel Riddell, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emily Jean Csikos (2), Joelle Bekhazi (1), Carmen Camille Eggens (1), Rosanna Tomiuk (1), Dominique Perreault (2), Monika Catharina Eggens (1), Christine Robinson, Tara Campbell (2), Marina Radu, Serena Bredin. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.


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


Canada’coach Patrick Oaten used this game as an opportunity to employ in the field those players who usually have to set on the bench for most of the time. The Canadian had always the edge and the quiet control of the operation. They won the first quarter by one goal, the second by two goals, the third and the fourth by three goals. For its part the Brazilian side, whose backbone is formed by the three Canetti sisters and by Zablith, tried its best to provide some effective opposition, managing to score four goals in the match.

In the third quarter Cecilia Canetti (BRA) at 4:50 and Coutihno (BRA) at 6:30 were excluded for three major fouls. Superiorities: Brazil 0/1 + a penalty converted; Canada 3/9 + a penalty saved. Gomes (BRA) saved a penalty on Carmen Eggens at 4:30 in the fourth period. Gomes (BRA) and Brendin (CAN) replaced respectively Manuela Canetti and Riddell at the start of the fourth period.


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


Game 11: 18.40, Group A, RUSSIA 12 SPAIN 11
(3-2, 3-3; 3-4, 3-2)
Referees: Hans Klopper (NED), Marie Claude Deslieres (CAN).
Teams:
RUSSIA: Maria Kovtunosakaya, Nadezhda Fedotova (2), Ekaterina Prokofyeava (3), Sofya Konkh, Alexandra Antonova, Olga Belova (1), Ekaterina Lisunova (1), Evgeniia Khokhriakova (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva, Olga Baliaeva (1), Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Diana Antonova, Anna Karnaukh. Coach: Alexander Kabanov.
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Roser Tarragò (1), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (1), Lorena Mirando, Pilar Pena, Andrea Blas (2), Ona Meseguer (1), Maria Carmen Garcia (3), Laura Lopez (1), Ana Copado. Coach: Miguel Oca.

With three goals per quarter, Russia won the tightest and most exciting match of the tournament so far. Both teams battled bravely and would have deserved victory or, at least, not being defeated. The last and winning goal was scored by Russia’s Ekaterina Lisunova with less than three seconds to the end.


RUS vs ESP - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
RUS vs ESP - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See


In the first quarter, the Russians prevailed 3-2. The second quarter was more exciting, with both teams trading goals: 3-3 was the score at the end of the period. Spain’s center Maria Carmen Garcia prompted two penalties: Pareja threw both, converting the first and missing the second (saved by Russian goalie). In the same period, Garcia scored two spectacular goals. In the third quarter, Tarrago (ESP) missed a penalty on 9-8. Before going into the last quarter, the score was 9-9. In the fourth quarter, both teams traded goals, with Garcia scoring her third, until Lisunova netted the winning goal for Russia. Garcia (ESP) was the best player of the game and, with Prokofyeava (RUS), the game top scorer with three goals.

Excluded for three major fouls: Khokhriakova (RUS) at 2:34 of the third period and Konukh (RUS) at 6:02 of the fourth period. Superiorities: Russia 3/6 + a penalty missed; Spain 5/9 + a penalty converted and two missed. Spain’s coach Oca was given a yellow card for protests at 5:28 of the third quarter. Karnaukh (RUS) saved a penalty on Pareja (ESP) at 0:25 of the second quarter; Tarrago (ESP) hit the bar on penalty at 5:40 in the third quarter, on 9-8. Ester (ESP) saved a penalty on Antonova (RUS) at 5:38 of the fourth quarter, on 10-10.
 
Goal highlights:
In the first quarter, Fedotova (RUS) and Blas (ESP) both in superiority. At 2.10, Fedotova scored again; at 1:17, Prokofyeava (RUS) followed up; at 0:45, Pareja (ESP) on penalty narrowed the gap to one goal. In the second quarter, Pareja (ESP) missed a penalty; at 7:24, Khokhriakova (RUS); at 6:07, Garcia (ESP) from 2-metres; at 3:49, Prokofyeava (RUS) and then Garcia again at 3:09; at 1:32, Belova (RUS) on extra-man. In the third period, Balieva (RUS) netted on a lob shot from 2-metres; at 6:41, Prokofyeava (RUS) shoot from the long distance and netted her third goal; at 5:07, Tarrago (ESP); Blas (ESP) scored her second goal on a direct throw; at 3:19, Espar (ESP) scored to tie 8-8; at 2:35, Russia up again with one goal by Ivanova on extra man; at 1.34, Meseguer tied for Spain again. In the last period, Russia’s Ivanova and Spain’s Lopez traded goals (10-10); at 2:22, Antonova (RUS) missed a penalty (Ester saved); at 1.34, Garcia netted her third goal form 2-metres and put Spain in the lead by one goal; at 0:29, left-handed Antonova equalised for Russia; with just 0:03 seconds from the end, Lisunova scored the winning goal for Russia on a direct throw from nearly midfield.


RUS vs ESP - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
RUS vs ESP - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See


Game 12: 20.00, Group A, ITALY 11 HUNGARY 9
(1-3, 4-2; 4-4, 2-0)
Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Denis Carvalho (BRA).
Teams:
ITALY: Elena Gigli, Simona Abbate (1), Elisa Casanova, Rosaria Aiello, Martina Savioli, Allegra Lapi, Tania Di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (3), Giulia Emmolo (1), Giulia Rambaldi (1), Aleksandra Cotti (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Giulia Gorlero. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Csabai, Dora Antal (1), Hanna Kisteleki (1), Gabriella Szucs (3), Orsolya Takacs, Rita Dravucz, Rita Keszthelyi (2), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Buika (1), Dora Czigany (1), Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Krisztina Meresz.

At the end of the third period, Italy and Hungary were on a tie 9-9. This spectacular and tight game was resolved in the last quarter by two unanswered goals of the Italians Cotti and Emmolo. For his part, Italy’s goalie Gigli, with some great saves, denied the Hungarians any chance for a new tie. All four teams in Group A now stand at 2 points (each with one win and one loss).


ITA vs HUN - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
ITA vs HUN - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See


There were no exclusion for major fouls. Superiorities: Italy 2/9 + a penalty missed; Hungary 4/6 + a penalty missed. Gigli (ITA) saved a penalty on Szucs at 6:19 of the third quarter, on 8-8. Bianconi (ITA) hit the post on penalty at 7:31 of the third quarter, on 9-8. Italy’s coach Conti received a yellow card for protest at 2:37 of the fourth quarter.

Goal highlights:
In the first, quarter, Buika (1) and Szucs (2) scored three straight, unanswered, goals to give Hungary a comfortable lead before Italy could narrow the gap with one goal from Abbate, at 14 seconds from the end of the period. In the second period, Rambaldi (ITA) scored the first goal of the period and the second for Italy on a blaze from the long distance (2-3); at 3:23, Kisteleki (HUN) blazed from the distance on a direct throw (2-4); at 2:43, Italy’s Di Mario netted a super goal with an impromptu and swift throw from the long distance (3-4); at 1:56, Di Mario scored again on breakaway action and tied 4-4 for Italy, getting the home crowd wild; at 1:28, Hungary up again with Antal on superiority (4-5); at one second from the end of the period, on a spectacular direct throw from outside, Di Mario scored her third goal, prompting a new tie, at 5-5. In the third period, the two #8, Bianconi (ITA) and Keszthelyi (HUN), exchanged goals (6-6) but at 5:35, Czigany scored again for Hungary (6-7); at 4:48, Bianconi (ITA) scored her second goal to tie again at 7-7; at 4:38, Szucs’ third goal put Hungary up one goal again (7-8); at 2:08, Di Mario netted her third goal and tied once more for Italy (8—8); Gigli saved a penalty on Kisteleki; at 1:20, Bianconi completed a hat-trick and gave Italy a new lead (9-8); at 0:30, on a penalty throw, Bianconi missed a penalty (hit the post); at 0:04, Keszthelyi equalised on superiority. In the last quarter, at 4:47, a fantastic lob shot from 2-metres on the left by Cotti put Italy up one goal again (10-9); at 2.56, left-handed Emmolo blazed from the long distance giving Italy a  decisive 2-goal lead (11-9).


ITA vs HUN - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See
ITA vs HUN - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&See