Super Final 2012 (Women): Australia, Russia and USA remain unchallenged

World League

CHINA, Changshu (May 30) - Australia, Russia and the United States continued their dominance with two victories each after day 2 of the 2012 FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final in Changshu (CHN) while the home squad registered a clean win (15-4) over Germany. China and Greece continue to look strong, each winning one game. Canada, Germany and Italy are still in the race despite their two losses.

Match reports:
Game 5, USA 8 - GREECE 4
(2-0, 2-1, 3-2, 1-1)
Referees: Cristina Taccini, Daniel Flahive
USA: Elizabeth Armstrong, Heather Petri, Melissa Seidemann, Brenda Villa (captain), Lauren Wengerl, Margaret Steffens, Courtney Mathewson, Jessica Steffens, Elsie Windes, Kelly Rulon, Annika Dries, Kameryn Craig, Tumuaialii Anae. Head coach: Adam Krikorian.
GREECE: Kouvdou Eleni, Tsoukala Christina Chrysoula, Kotsia Christina, Psouni Ilektra Maria, Charalampidi Stefania, Avramidou Alkisti, Asimaki Avramidou (captain), Charalampidi Ioanna, Plevritou Eleftheria, Triantaf Manolioudaki, Plevritou Margarita, Koutogianni Stamatina, Diamantopoulou Vasiliki. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis.

U.S. captain Brenda Villa was the best Scorer of the day with four successful shots, including one from a penalty shootout at 1:43 in the first quarter. It was Kameryn Craig who opened the Greek gate at 4:20. She also scored a goal at 0.06 in the third quarter, bringing the U.S. lead to 7.  Greece could not do much against the defending champions. In the second period, team captain Avramidou Asimaki scored Greece's first goal at 4:15. Teammates Stefania Charalampidi and Christina Tsoukala added two more for Greece in the third period. Tsoukala's second successful attempt in the last period was not enough for the Greek team, having to settle with a total score of 4-8.

U.S. team Head coach, Adam Krikorian, said on the victory: "I have two different feelings. I'm happy with their play of defence but we lack offence and intelligence. I expected more on the offence, we made bad decisions and missed many shots. We could be better on that. In fact, I thought yesterday our offence was better than today. Greece, though it is a young team, is still good."

Greece's Head coach Georgios Morfesis commented on the loss: "The USA is the best team in the world. Half of our players are young. We could not find a solution to attack but I think the results 4-8 is all right for us. Last year's world champions was another team. Our young players need a lot of work and experience."

USA vs GRE - credit: Han Yuqing
USA vs GRE - credit: Han Yuqing

Game 6, CHINA 15 - GERMANY 4
(2-1, 4-0, 5-0, 4-3)
Referees: Dreval Svetlana, Dykman Mikhail
CHINA: Yang Jun, Teng Fei, Zhu Yajing, Sun Yujun, He Jin, Sun Yating, Song Donglun, Gao Ao, Wang Yi, Ma Huanhuan (captain), Sun Huizi, Zhang Lei, Wang Ying. Head coach: Juan Jane Giralt.
GERMANY: Bianca Ahrens, Jasmin Krieter, Tatjana Steinhauer, Carolin Seifert, Claudia Blomenkamp, Anja Seifert, Monika Kruszona, Claudia Kern, Kim Illinger, Jenny Stiefel, Carmen Gelse (captain), Bianca Seifert, Jana Lueg. Head coach: Rene Reimann.
After a wavering game against the six-time World League champions USA the day before, China renewed with confidence, beating Germany 15-4. Wang Yi, Teng Fei and Zhang Lei scored three goals each to the delight of the home crowd. Wang opened the score at 2:53 in the first period. Lei increased China's lead by scoring twice within the same minute in the second quarter while Teng netted three shots in the third and fourth quarter, sealing China's victory. Only in the last quarter were the Germans able to slightly reduce the gap, with three goals by Carolin Seifert, Claudia Blomenkamp and Claudia Kern.

Juan Jane Giralt, China's Head coach, said post-game: "Winning is not the most important thing for us. Our players should understand how to play a better and clearer game every time. I understand that sometimes the players are very tired during the match, but I have to push them hardly. The reason why we are more eager to shoot today than yesterday? Because the Americans are the world champions while playing against Germany is not the same thing. Our performance depends on the opponent sometimes."

Germany's Head coach Rene Reimann said on his team's loss: "China is very strong. Our defence in the beginning was good, but not consistent throughout the game."

CHN vs GER - credit: Han Yuqing
CHN vs GER - credit: Han Yuqing

Game 7, AUSTRALIA 12 - ITALY 2
(3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-1)
Referees: Emanuel Taylan, Anlong Meng
Australia: Victoria Brown, Gemma Beadswork, Sophie Smith, H. L. Smith, Jane Moran, Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster, Kate Gynther (captain), Glencora Rippon, Ashleigh Southen, Melissa Rippon, Nicola Zagame. Head coach: Greg Mcfadden.
Italy: Federica Eugenia Lavi, Ursula Gitto, Martina Verducci, Giulia Viacava, Alessia Millo, Laura Repetto, Giovanna Pellegrino, Claudia Marletta, Valeria Grazia Palmieri, Carla Carrega, Giusy Citino, Francesca Pomeri (captain), Sara Dario. Head coach: Paolo Zizza.

Australia comfortably dominated the operations with eight different playing firing three successful shots in each period. Sophie Smith scored the first goal at 0:36 in the opening quarter, adding one more in the second period. Australia's team captain Kate Gynther netted one shot in the second, third and last quarter. The remaining goals came from teammates Gemma Beadswork, Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster, Ashleigh Southen and Nicola Zagame. Italy could not do much against the experienced Australians, scoring once in the second and last period: Sara Dario was first at 7:06 and Alessia Millo's late attempt at just 0.01 second before the game ended gave Italy a total score of 2.
Italian coach Paolo Zizza said on his team's performance: "It was a good match, very good defence, not so good in the offence. we have to improve."

Australia's Head coach Greg Mcfadden said on the victory: "I'm disappointed that we didn't made good attacks. We lost a lot of opportunities. Our defence, though, is very good, I'm happy with that. There were a lot of rushed opportunities. Our girls were not patient enough and had poor options."

AUS vs ITA - credit: Han Yuqing
AUS vs ITA - credit: Han Yuqing

Game 8, RUSSIA 10 - CANADA 7
(2-2, 2-2, 2-1, 4-2)
Referees, Denis Danelon, Michail Birakis
Canada: Serena Bredin, Kelly McKee Blair, Katrina Monton, Alexia Tielmann, Stephanie Valin, Sophie Baron, Joelle Bekhazi (captain),Hanna Yelizarova, Joannie Morisseau, Monika Eggens, Carmen Eggens, Dominique Perreault, Emma Wright. Head coach: Justin Oliveira.
Russia: Maria Kovtunovskaia, Nadezhda Fedotova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva, Sofya Konukh (captain), Alexandra Antonova, Victoria Kurochkina, Ekaterina Lisunova, Marina Kalyagina, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Olga Belova, Evgeniya Ivanova, Diana Antonova, Ksenia Krimer. Head coach Alexander Kabanov.

The last game of the day was unexpectedly close with both teams finishing on a tie in the first half. The Russians eventually prevailed despite a consistent offence from the Canadians. In the last period, Russia's Nadezhda Fedotova threw a fast shot to set a four-goal advantage for her team (9-5) at 4:11. The remaining goals came from teammates Ekaterina Lisunova, Olga Belova and Evgeniya Ivanova. Canada remained strong until the very end with two successful shots by Dominique Perreault and Joelle Bekhazi at 1:00 and 0.08.
Canada's Head coach Justin Oliveira said after the game: "I'm very happy with my girls today. We didn't play very well yesterday, but today the team came out strong and pressed the opponents. They played extremely well and they communicated a lot which is excellent. Our defence was excellent today."

RUS vs CAN - credit: Han Yuqing
RUS vs CAN - credit: Han Yuqing