Spain fires in Trieste (ITA) and triumphs over Italy

London 2012 Water Polo

Trieste (April 22) - Confirming their progress, Spain, indeed the best team in Trieste - in spite of two losses in the Preliminary Round (against Russia and Hungary) - clinched a clear cut victory over Italy in the last match of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. While the Italians appeared out of focus and confused, the Spaniards managed to keep their concentration and motivation, fully deserving the final success.

Russia won over Hungary for the third place 18-13. The Netherlands narrowly beat Greece after extra-times (11-10) to be fifth while Canada crushed Kazakhstan (17-2) to take the seventh place. Italy’s Tania Di Mario was the top scorer of the tournament with 22 goals. Curiously, no Spanish player ranked among the Top Ten scorers. Paradoxically, this is also a sign of strength within the greatly balanced Spanish side.

Match reports:

Game 25: 08.30, Place 7th and 8th, KAZAKHSTAN 2 CANADA 17
(0-5, 0-5; 1-2, 1-5)
Referees: Donlu Cao (CHN), Hans Klopper (NED).
KAZAKHSTAN: Galina Rytova, Lyudmila Chegodayeva, Aizhan Akilbayev, Anna Turova (1), Darya   Vassilyeva (1), Anna Zubkova, Natalya Alexandrova, Yekaterina Gariyeva, Assel Yakayeva, Marina Gritsenko, Alexandra Rozhentseva , Kamila Marina, Kristina Krassikova. Head Coach: Andrey Sazykin.
CANADA: Rachel Riddell, Krystina Alogbo (4), Katrina Monton, Emily Jean Csikos (2), Joelle Bekhazi (1), Carmen Camille Eggens (1), Rosanna Tomiuk, Dominique Perreault (1), Monika Catharina Eggens (3), Christine Robinson (2), Tara Campbell (1), Marina Radu (2), Serena Bredin. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

Canada won easily a quiet game, good for the seventh place. The Canadians scored five goals in each of the first two periods, as well as in the last one; just two in the third period. The Kazakhs managed to score only two goals in the entire game. Extra-men: Kazakhstan 2/11, Canada 4/4.

KAZ vs CAN - credit Guido Cantini/Sea&See

Goal highlights:
First quarter: 4:11 Alogbo (CAN); 3:17 Csikos (CAN); 1:45 Alogbo (CAN); 0:50 Robinson (CAN); 0:03 M. C. Eggens (CAN). (0-5). Second quarter: 7:34 Robinson (CAN); 5:03 M.C. Eggens (CAN); 3:40 Bekhazi (CAN); 3:09 M. C. Eggens (CAN); 2:03 C. C. Eggens (CAN). (0-5). Third quarter: 7:32 Csikos (CAN); 4:37 Turova (KAZ); 1:29 Alogbo (CAN). (1-2). Fourth quarter: 7:37, 6:41 Radu (CAN); 5:01 Perreault (CAN); 2:58 Alogbo (CAN); 0:29 Campbell (CAN); 0:10 Vassilyeva (KAZ). (1-5).

Game 26: 10.00, Place 5th and 6th, GREECE 10 NETHERLANDS 11

(1-2, 2-4; 5-4, 1-1; 0-1, 1-1)
Referees: Marie Claude Deslieres (CAN), Adil Aimbetov (KAZ).
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (3), Antiopi Melidoni,  Ilektra Psouni (1), Kyriaki Liosi, Alkisti Avramidou  (1), Alexandra Asimaki (1), Antigoni Roumpesi (3), Angeliki Gerolymou, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Stavroula Antonakou, Georgia Lara, Chrysoula Diamantopoulo. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
NETHERLANDS: Ilse Van der Meijden, Yasemin Smit (3), Mieke Cabout (3), Biurakn Hakhverdian (1), Sabrina Van der Sloot, Nomi Stomphorst (1), Iefke Van Belkum (1), Robbin Remers, Vivian Sevenich (1), Nienke Vermeer (1), Lieke Maria Klaassen, Hariet Cabout, Anne Heinis. Head Coach: Mauro Maugeri.

Greece and the Netherlands could have aimed for an Olympic medal at London, but fate decided differently. So these two elite teams had to meet, instead, for a place on the last day of the Olympic Qualification Tournament. Extra times were needed to resolve the tie, at 9-9, which resulted after the regular times. The Olympic champions of Beijing 2008 edged out the World Champions of Shanghai 2011 by one goal and got the fifth place. Extra-men: Greece 2/3 + 2 penalties converted; Netherlands 3/5. Heinis (NED) replaced  Van Der Meijden a t the start of the fourth period.

NED vs GRE - credit Guido Cantini/Sea&See

Goal highlights:
First quarter: 6:34 Tsoukala (GRE) on penalty; 4:32 and 1:37 Mieke Cabout (NED). (1-2). Second quarter: 4:49 Avramidou (GRE); 4:24 Stomphorst (NED); 4:04 Tsoukala (GRE); 2:44 and 1:33 Smit (NED); 0:26 M. Cabout (NED). (2-4). Third quarter: 4:52 Psouni (GRE); 4:13 Asimaki (GRE); 3:12 Van Belkum (NED); 2:41 Tsoukala (GRE); 1:18 Manolioudaki (GRE); 0:32 Roumpesi (GRE); 0:17 Vermeer (NED). (5-4). Fourth quarter: 7:02 Roumpesi (GRE); 6:55 Sevenich (NED). (1-1).
First Extra Time: 0:44 Hakhverdian (NED) on extra-man. At 0:59 the Dutch goalie Van der Meijden was excluded (for 20 seconds). (0-1). Second Extra Time: 2:33 Smit (NED); 1:44 Roumpesi (GRE). (1-1).

Game 27: 11.30, Place 3rd and 4th, HUNGARY 13 RUSSIA 18

(4-5, 4-5; 3-5, 2-3)
Referees: Mario Bianchi (ITA), Jaume Teixido (ESP).
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Csabai, Dora Antal (4), Hanna Kisteleki (1),  Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs (1), Rita Dravucz (1), Rita Keszthelyi (3), Ildiko Toth (2), Barbara Buika, Dora Czigany, Kata Menczinger (1), Edina Gangi. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
RUSSIA: Maria Kovtunosakaya, Nadezhda Fedotova , Ekaterina Prokofyeava (1), Sofya Konukh (2), Alexandra Antonova (1), Olga Belova (1), Ekaterina Lisunova, Evgeniia Khokhriakova (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva (3), Olga Beliaeva  (3),  Evgeniya Ivanova (4), Diana Antonova (2), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Alexander Kabanov.

With five goals in each of the first three periods and three in the last period, Russia secured a comfortable victory over Hungary. The Russians were always ahead and in no way the Hungarians have succeeded  to challenge their superiority. Ivanova (RUS) and Antal (HUN) were the top scorers with four goals each. This win earns Russia the third place in the tournament (Hungary is fourth ). Excluded for three major fouls: Belova (RUS) at 5:57 of the second quarter and Khokhriakova (RUS) at 5:36 of the third period. Extra-men: Hungary 8/14, including one penalty converted; Russia 6/11. For Hungary, Bolonyai replaced Gangi at the start of the third quarter but  for just half period.

HUN vs RUS - credit Guido Cantini/Sea&See

Goal highlights:
First quarter: 7:44 Tankeeva (RUS); 6:27 Takazs (HUN); 5:20 Tankeeva (RUS); 4:45 Ivanova (RUS); 3:06 Dravucz (HUN); 2:32 Antal (HUN); 1:40 Konukh (RUS); 1:26 Antal (HUN); 0:05 D. Antonova (RUS). (4-5).
Second quarter: 7:32 Toth (HUN); 7:01 Prokofyeava (RUS); 6:27 Belova (RUS); 4:33 Tankeeva (RUS); 4:04 Keszthelyi (HUN); 3:50 Beliaeva (RUS); 1:41 Menczinger (HUN); 1:23 D. Antonova (RUS); 1:02 Toth (HUN). (4-5). Third quarter: 7:14 Khokhriakova (RUS); 6.25 Ivanova (RUS); 5:36 A. Antonova (RUS); 5:07 Kisteleki (HUN); 4:46 Ivanova (RUS); 4:30 Antal (HUN); 3:24 Beliaeva (RUS); 2:20 Keszthelyi (HUN). (3-5). Fourth quarter: 6:18 Keszthelyi (HUN); 5:53 Konukh (RUS); 5:34 Ivanova (RUS); 3:21 Antal (HUN); 1:59 Beliaeva (RUS). (2-3).

Game 28: 13.05, Final, SPAIN 9 ITALY 5
(2-1, 4-1; 1-3, 2 – 0)
Referees: Denis Carvalho (BRA), Cory Williams (NZL).
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Roser Tarrago (1), Matilde Ortiz (2), Jennifer Pareja, Lorena Miranda, Pilar Pena, Andrea Blas, Ona Meseguer (1), Maria Carmen Garcia (3), Laura Lopez (1), Ana Copado. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
ITALY: Elena Gigli, Simona Abbate (1), Elisa Casanova, Rosaria Aiello, Martina Savioli, Allegra Lapi, Tania Di Mario (2), Roberta Bianconi (1), Giulia Emmolo (1), Giulia Rambaldi, Aleksandra Cotti, Teresa Frassinetti, Giulia Gorlero. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

The Spanish side defeated Italy by four goals and won the tournament. It was the second win for the Spanish over the Italians, after that achieved in their first match of the tournament, when Spain won 10-9 over the home squad. Coach Oca’s team deserved the first place as they were indeed  the most brilliant team in Trieste, with some great players, a harmonic and well-organised style of play and perhaps the best centre around; Maria Carmen Garcia was the top scorer of the game with three goals. Italy won just the third period while Spain had the lead in the remaining three quarters. The Italians scored two goals on penalties (out of five). Excluded for three major fouls: Pena (ESP) at 5:19 of the third quarter, Bach (ESP) at 3:35 and Lopez (ESP) at 7:54 of the fourth quarter. Extra-men: Spain 5/6; Italy 2/11 including two penalties converted. Gigli (ITA) replaced Gorlero at the beginning of the third quarter between the posts.

ESP vs ITA - credit Guido Cantini/Sea&See

Goal highlights:
First quarter: 5:45 Garcia (ESP); 2:31 Espar (ESP); 2:09 Di Mario (ITA) on penalty. (2-1). Second quarter: 7:35 Garcia (ESP); 5:31 Ortiz (ESP); 3:32 Garcia (ESP); 3:20 Bianconi (ITA) on penalty; 3:05 Tarrago (ESP). (4-1). Third quarter: 7:34 Meseguer (ESP); 5:42 Di Mario (ITA); 2:37 Emmolo (ITA); 1:17 Abbate (ITA). (1-3). Fourth quarter: 7:22 Lopez (ESP); 4:47 Ortiz (ESP). (2-0).

Team standings:


Top Scorers:
DI MARIO Tania (ITA) 22
CABOUT Mieke (NED) 19
TSOUKALA Christina (GRE) 18
ASIMAKI Alexandra (GRE) 16
ALOGBO Kristina (CAN) 15
IVANOVA Evgeniya (RUS) 14
GEROLYMOU Angeliki (GRE) 14
SMIT Yasmin (NED) 13
CSIKOS Emily Jean (CAN) 12
TARRAGO Roser (ESP) 11
ROUMPESI Antigoni (GRE) 11
PENA Pilar (ESP) 10
GARCIA Maria Carmen (ESP) 10
SZUCS Gabriella (HUN) 10
BUIKA Barbara (HUN) 10
ANTAL Dora (HUN) 10
BIANCONI Roberta (ITA) 10