Hungary and the Netherlands top favourites in advance of quarter finals

London 2012 Water Polo

HUN vs ESP - credit: Guido Cantini/Sea&SeeTrieste (April 19) - Hungary and the Netherlands top their respective group, A and B, after an intense Day 5, the last of the Preliminary Round, at the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Trieste (ITA). The two European squads advance to the quarter finals as top favourites to secure one of the four remaining Olympic spots and will face different opponents on Day 6: the Magyars will play against Kazakhstan and are assured of a comfortable victory while the Dutch will have a tougher game against host Italy, last of its Group but still an established threat.  

In Group B, Kazakhstan and Brazil finished their game on a tie (7-7) while the showdown between Olympic champion Netherlands and World number 1 Greece ended up with a clear victory for the Dutch squad, 13-6. In Group A, the wins were once more very close with Hungary defeating Spain 10-9 and Russia eclipsing locals 15-13.

Match reports:

Game 13: 16.00, Group B, KAZAKHSTAN 7 BRAZIL 7
(3-1, 1-2; 3-3, 1-1 )
Referees: Brian Littlejohn (GBR), Gabor Vogel (HUN).
Teams:
KAZAKHSTAN: Galina Rytova, Lyudmila Chegodayeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva (1), Anna Turova, Darya  Vassilyeva, Anna Zubkova (1), Natalya Alexandrova (1), Yekaterina Gariyeva (1), Assel Yakayeva, Marina Gritsenko (2), Alexandra Rozhentseva (1), Kamila Marina, Kristina Krassikova. Head Coach: Andrey Sazykin.
BRAZIL: Manuela Canetti, Cecilia Canetti (1), Marina Zablith (2), Marina Canetti (2), Luciane Maia, Isabella Chiappini, Melani Palaro Dias, Luiza Carvalho, Viviane Bahia, Flavia Vigna, Mirella Coutinho (2), Diana Abla, Camila Gomes. Head Coach: Roberto Chiappini.


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

An unexpected tie was the outcome of the first game of the day between the last two teams of Group B, both at zero points so far. Now they both have one point but only Kazakhstan has a place booked in the quarter final thanks to a better goal difference (with the first of the Group B). For the young Brazilian team, three players scored two goals each: Marina Zablith, Manuela Canetti and Cecilia Canetti. Gritsenko was the only double scorer for Kazakhstan.


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


Game 14, 17.20, Group B, GREECE 6 NETHERLANDS 13
(2-3, 1-3; 1-4, 2-3)
Referees: Denis Carvalho (BRA), Radu Matache (ROU).
Teams:
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Antiopi Melidoni, Ilektra Psouni, Kyriaki Liosi (1), Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Angeliki Gerolymou (2), Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Stavroula Antonakou, Georgia Lara (1), Chrysoula Diamantopoulo. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
NETHERLANDS: Ilse Van der Meijden, Yasemin Smit (1), Mieke Cabout (3), Biurakn Hakhverdian (1), Sabrina Van der Sloot (1), Nomi Stomphorst, Iefke Van Belkum (2), Robbin Remers (1), Vivian Sevenich (1), Nienke Vermeer (1), Lieke  Klaassen (2), Hariet Cabout, Anne Heinis. Head Coach: Mauro Maugeri.


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


The Greek team was a bad photocopy of that admired in the previous games. The players of coach Morfesis appeared to be out of focus; exactly the opposite of the Dutch players coached by Maugeri. A match that should have been tight and uncertain until the end was instead one whose outcome became predictable after the first quarter. The Dutch team took soon command of the operations and the Dutch players kept firmly the reins of the match in their hands until the end. Certainly today the Hellenic team was disappointing but they will have the opportunity to seize the Olympic qualification tomorrow. The game ended on 6-13, with the Dutch team up seven goals up. Superiorities: Greece 0/5 + one penalty converted, The Netherlands 5/7.

Goal highlights:
First quarter: 5:26 Roumpesi (GRE); 3: Vermeer (NED); 2:35 Hakhverdian (NED); Gerolymou (GRE) on penalty; 0:33 Klaassen (NED). Score at the end of the period: 2-3. Second quarter: 4:41 Smit (NED); 4:05 Van der Sloot (NED); 3:14 Van Belkum (NED); Lara (GRE). Score at the end of the period: 1-3. Third quarter: 5:59 Gerolymou (GRE); 5:15 Remers (NED); 3:50 Mieke Cabout (NED); 2:16 Sevenich (NED); 0:07 on the last second Van Belkum (NED), scored a missile from nearly midfield. Score: 4-10. Fourth quarter: 7:46 Tsoukala (GRE), 7:31 and 6:40 Mieke Cabout (NED); 6:22 Liosi (GRE); 0:36 Klaassen (NED).


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

Game 15: 18.40, Group A, HUNGARY 10 SPAIN 9
(2-0, 3-2; 2-5, 3-2)
Referees: J. Teixido (ESP), Mario Bianchi (ITA).
Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Csabai, Dora Antal (1), Hanna Kisteleki, Gabriella Szucs (4), Orsolya Takacs, Rita Dravucz, Rita Keszthelyi (1), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Buika (1), Dora Czigany (3), Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangi. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Roser Tarrago (3), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja, Lorena Mirando, Pilar Pena (3), Andrea Blas, Ona Meseguer (1), Maria Carmen Garcia, Laura Lopez, Ana Copado. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.


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


Solid Hungary and agile Spain staged a hard-fought game in the attempt to clinch the first spot of the Group A standings. The Magyars took soon command with two unanswered goals from Czigany in the first period. In the second period, Spain reacted with two goals but Hungary managed to increase its lead by one more goal. The reaction of Spain continued through the third period, with the Spaniards scoring five times against two only of the Magyars. The teams went into the last period on a tie (7-7). At the start of the fourth quarter, both teams scored one goal, for a new tie (8-8). Then, Hungary scored twice: Szucs’ scored her fourth goal and Czigany converted a penalty to give Hungary a 2-goal lead (8-10). Soon after, Spain’s forward Pena reduced the gap to one goal scoring also her third goal. The game ended at 10-9 for the Magyars.

Spain's Bach at 2:10 and Lopez at 4:00 were excluded for three major fouls  in the fourth quarter. Superiorities: Hungary 7/11 + a penalty converted; Spain 5/12. Bolonyai (HUN) replaced Gangi at the beginning of the fourth period. Hungary’s coach Meresz received a yellow card for protests at 4:13 of the fourth quarter.
 
Goal highlights:
First quarter: 6:01 and 2:54 Czigany (HUN). Second: 4:54 Espar (ESP); 4:19 Szucs (HUN); 4:05 Tarrago (ESP); 3:39 Szucs (HUN); 0.04 Buika (HUN). Third quarter: 6:20 Meseguer (ESP); 5:05 Szucs; 4:13 Pena (ESP); 3:14 and 1:16 Tarrago (ESP); 0:43 Espar (ESP); 0:19 Antal (HUN); 7-7, score at the end of the period. Fourth quarter: 7:34 Pena (ESP); 7:02 Keszthelyi (HUN); 5:39 Szucs (HUN); Czigany (HUN) scored her third goal on penalty and gave Hungary a 2-goal lead; 3:28 Pena (ESP).


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

Game 16: 20.00, Group A, RUSSIA 15 ITALY 13
(3-4, 6-3; 4-4, 2-2)
Referees: Cory Williams (NZL), Marie Claude Deslieres (CAN).
Teams:
RUSSIA: Maria Kovtunosakaya, Nadezhda Fedotova (3),  Ekaterina Prokofyeava (1), Sofya Konukh (2), Alexandra Antonova (1), Olga Belova, Ekaterina Lisunova (2), Evgeniia Khokhriakova, Ekaterina Tankeeva (2), Olga Baliaeva (2), Evgeniya Ivanova (2),  Diana Antonova, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Alexander Kabanov.
ITALY: Elena Gigli, Simona Abbate (1), Elisa Casanova (1), Rosaria Aiello, Martina Savioli, Allegra Lapi, Tania Di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (2), Giulia Emmolo (3), Giulia Rambaldi (1),  Aleksandra Cotti (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Giulia Gorlero. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

Russia’s physical superiority had the better over the agile Italian team. The game was tense. It was not a great day for goalies: indeed forwards were more effective than defenders, which explains the high score. Italy won the first quarter and tied the third and the fourth. However, they lost badly the second quarter, at the end of which they were penalised by a 2-goal gap that would be decisive in the end.


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

The first quarter ended with Italy up one goal, at 3-4. Di Mario converted two penalties, Abbate scored one goal on an direct throw and Cotti on a blaze from the distance. The goals for Russia were signed by Tankeeva, Baliaeva and Fedotova. In the second quarter, Russia played perfectly and their supremacy was devastating: after an opening goal of Russia’s captain Konukh, the Italians scored twice; then, the Russians managed five consecutive goals; Italy scored the last goal of the period, which ended 9-7 for the Russian team. The third and the fourth quarter were tied respectively at 4-4 and 2-2. The final score was 15-13. It was the second defeat for the Italian team after that with Spain.

Alexandra Antonova (RUS) was excluded for three major fouls at 1:10 of the third quarter; Rambaldi (ITA) at 1:10, Konukh (RUS) at 1:47, Abbate (ITA) at 3:02; Bianconi (ITA) at 3:35 and Prokofyeava (RUS) at 6:26 of the fourth quarter. Superiorities: Russia 6/9 + one penalty converted; Italy 5/13 + 2 penalties converted.

Goals highlights:
First quarter: 5:06 Di Mario (ITA) converted a penalty; 4:41 Tankeeva (RUS); 3:52 Di Mario (ITA) on penalty; 3:29 Baliaeva (RUS); 2:10 Abbate (ITA) on a direct throw; 1:08 Cotti (ITA); 0:29 Fedotova (RUS). Score at the end of the period 3-4. Second quarter: 6:00 Russia’s captain Konukh tied at 4-4; 4:05 Italy’s left-handed Emmolo put Italy up one goal again; 3:23 Rambaldi followed up scoring with swift throw from the distance to give the home team a 2-goal lead which lasted only 26 seconds; at 2:57 Konukhs scored her second goal (5-6); 2:34 Lisunova (RUS) ties; 2:22 Fedotova (RUS) scored her second goal to give Russia its first lead in the game, at 7-6; 1:20 Baliaeva increased the lead scoring also her second goal (8-6); 0:31 Antonova scored one more goal for Russia; 0:04 Emmolo scored her second goal too. At half time, Russia is two goal ahead: 9-7. Third quarter: 7:09 Tankeeva was left alone in front of Gigli and scored easily the tenth goal for Russia; 6:40 Di Mario shoot to score from the distance; 6:17 Ivanova (RUS); 5:25 Bianconi (ITA); 4:50 Fedotova scored her third goal; 4: Italy’s centre Casanova netted with a fantastic back shot (12-10); 0:57 Emmolo scored her second goal soon answered, at 0:33, by Ivanova (RUS). Fourth quarter: 7:10 Bianconi (ITA) netted from the distance; 6:26 Prokofyeava (RUS) scored on penalty (14-12); 3:23 Di Mario shoot from the long distance to increase her goal tally in the game to four goals; 2:55 Lisunova (R) scored her second goal.

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