Perth 2012, Day 3 (Women): USA, Greece, Australia and Canada win through to quarterfinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA vs USA - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 4, 2012 PERTH - United States of America, Greece, Australia and Canada have won their groups of the women’s competition at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium. They earn the day off tomorrow and next front for Thursday’s quarterfinals. USA became the first group winner in Group C, despite losing 9-10 to Italy today. Two previous wins earned four points and Italy lifted to four. Hungary defeated India 38-2 leaving the top three teams equal on points.

In the first tiebreak, USA and Hungary finished with +1 when taking into account the goals scored in the three games between the trio, and Italy had -2. In the next tiebreak, USA won the match between against Hungary 8-6 for the group win. Italy proved the better team throughout with more experience and sharper reactions, especially on extra-man attack. To the USA’s credit, it turned a three-quarter 8-5 deficit into 8-8 midway through the final quarter, only to have two quick extra-man goals scored against. A consolation goal came 17 seconds from time.

In Group A, Australia won through as the best of the quartet, defeating Uzbekistan 18-1 in one of the feature matches in the indoor pool. Earlier, as the mercury soared to 39C beside the outdoor pool, the Czech Republic secured second spot with an 18-2 margin over the plucky Indonesia, whose best finishing position would be 13th come Thursday.

Group B finished with Canada needing a seven-goal victory over New Zealand in the final round match in the outdoor pool following the men’s game. Canada easily took out the group after drawing with Brazil on Monday. In the tiebreak it went to who had the better game against the Kiwis and Brazil only managed a 13-10 margin. Canada earns the break and Brazil will play Uzbekistan in the second round while New Zealand will face the Czech Republic.

Group D was a simple affair with Greece taking top spot with a 17-1 win over South Africa and Russia claiming second spot against fourth-ranked Zimbabwe 35-0. Elvina Karimova reveled in the first quarter particularly, netting seven goals en route to a game and tournament-high 12.

Day 4 Match Reports


Game 17: 9:00, Group C, ITALY 10 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 9
Quarters: 2-2, 3-1, 3-2, 2-4
Referees: Matan Schwarts (ISR), Nicola Johnson (AUS)
Extra Man: ITA 4/14, USA 1/6
Pens: ITA 1/1, USA 2/2
ITALY: Fabiana Sparano, Giulia Viacava, Giusy Citino, Agnese D'Amico, Francesca Bonino, Sara Dario (3), Giuditta Galardi (2), Chiara Tabani (2), Arianna Gragnolati (1), Claudia Marletta (2), Roberta Grillo, Carla Carrega, Federica Lavi. Head Coach: Paolo Zizza.
USA: Gabrielle Stone, Mackenzie Barr (1), Melissa Bergesen (1), Mary Brooks, Makenzie Fischer (3), Devin Grab, Danijela Jackovich (1), Emily Loughlin, Madison McLaren, Stephanie Mutafyan (2), Cassidy Papa, Alys Williams (1), Carlee Kapana. Head Coach: Kyle Kopp.

USA vs ITA - credit: Anthony Pearse

Italy resisted a late United States charge for a 10-9 victory but it was not enough to win Group C. Italy, USA and Hungary all finished on four points, with Italy missing out on the first tiebreak of goal differential between the three. It then came down to the result between the two of the other pair and USA beat Hungary 8-6 on Monday.

The first quarter was typical of the match where the teams played a similar style, defended well and generally made shots that stopped on the line, hit the wood or were channeled to the goalkeeper. Italy opened through Giuditta Galardi on extra and it took the USA three and a half minutes later to equalise through Stephanie Mutafyan from the top. Goals were swapped, also from the top in the last minute for 2-2 at the quarter break.

The second quarter went Italy’s way with Claudia Marletta scoring twice, the first from the deep-left-hand-catch position after extra-man attack and the second on penalty. Her penalty followed a penalty strike by the USA’s Devin Grab. Italy called a timeout in the dying seconds of the half and converted the extra-man goal on the buzzer from Chiara Tabani — her second — for 5-3.

Italy stretched he margin to three goals in the third period, scoring off extra-man (Sara Dario), centre forward (Galardi) and from a melee in front of goal (Arianna Cragnolati). USA had brought the game to 5-4 through Melissa Bergesen and to 6-5 from the penalty line (Grab), but Italy looked the better team on attack. USA had several shots from the deep wing that proved ineffective.

The final quarter brought plenty of excitement when the USA scored three straight for 8-8 with nearly four minutes remaining. Grab netted her third from 7m, Alys Williams converted extra-man attack and Mutafyan fired in on counter from 4m.

USA paid the penalty for exclusion with Dario scoring her second and third goals inside a minute for 10-8. USA, then Italy went to a timeout for no success on the board. USA’s Mackenzie Barr converted extra with 17 seconds left. USA pressured Italy and gained the turnover but with six seconds left and at the wrong end of the pool, Grab’s  shot would not earn the equaliser.

Italian Head coach Paolo Zizza said of the game: “We played very well. During the last period we were very tired and it took a toll on our performance, but we are happy with the win and are looking forward to the next game.”

USA Head coach Kyle Kopp was not unhappy with the way his charges played. “They played with a lot of heart and character and kept battling to come back and then go down late in the game. This is their first international competition and only their third game. They could have easily quit but they didn’t."

On the hesitancy on extra-man attack and not passing to the free person early, he said: “That’s because they are not in fulltime training. They’re a young group and haven’t had much time together to work on extra-man in training sessions.”

Game 18: 10:20, Group C, INDIA 2 HUNGARY 38
Quarters: 1-7, 1-9, 0-8, 0-14
Referees: Emanuel Taylan (TUR), Natalya Rustamova (UZB)
Extra Man: IND 0/4, HUN 8/12
Pens: HUN 1/1
INDIA: Vismaya Vijayakumaran, Sreekutti Jaya (1), Manasi Ravindra Gawde, Priya Chandran, Ambili Archa Anil Kumar (1), Puja Nandu Kose, Rajeshree Raju Gugale, Divya Vijayakumari, Swapnali Vijay Suryavanshi, Kalutri Mitra, Monica Peniel Moses, Aishwarya Krishna Murthy, Srabanti Das. Head Coach: Tarak Nath Shaw.
HUNGARY: Anna Horvath, Annan Krisztina Illes (1), Diana Ziegler (2), Greta Gurisatti, Ibolya Kitti Miskolczi (1), Vivien Kovesdi (6), Alexa Anett Gemes (6), Krisztina Garda (2), Diana Sikter (7), Nicolet Kele (1), Brigitta Horvath (6), Rosily Hajor (6), Vanda Sanest Doroszlai. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

IND vs HUN - credit: Anthony Pearse

Hungary completed the three-way tie in Group C with a 38-2 win over winless India, which has now suffered its third big defeat. Hungary clinically used the ball and did not totally rely on counter, instead playing sound water polo, honing skills for the next stage of matches.

In the fourth period, Hungary did press but to India’s credit it managed to get the ball up the pool more often than previous games. Twice India converted long-range shots but it was never going to be more than a few goals to go with the two from the previous matches.

Hungary also tried long shots, either into the top corners or by bouncing or sliding, which proved too hard for Indian goalkeeper Vismaya Vijayakumaran to get a hand on. The final quarter was where Hungary turned on the speed and excellence in preparation for the rest of the week.

India is fast learning what it takes to play against the world’s best and will take this information home to build on for future world trips. Hungary spread the scoring around but centre forwards were not truly tested. For the record, Diana Sikter scored seven goals while four others blasted in six each.

Hungarian Head coach Andras Meresz said the clash with India was important. “It was an interesting game as we have never played India before. It was the first time. Because we finished second in our group, we must play strong today because tomorrow we play South Africa and then we will (probably) play Australia (in the second phase).”

Hungary’s Ibolya Miskolczi said it was all about swimming fast. Yesterday (against USA, lost 8-6) was a a very bad match but today we had to swim very fast. Try to get the ball and swim fast.” On the three games so far and finishing second in the group, she said: “Not very good.”

India’s Head coach Tarak Shaw is already looking towards the future. “We are happy with our performance as this is our first appearance at a world championship, but we have lots to improve. The girls will use this as a learning and training experience for the future.”

Game 19: 11:40, Group D, SOUTH AFRICA 1 GREECE 17
Quarters: 0-8, 0-2, 0-4,1-3
Referees: Edmundo Rodrigues (BRA), Karol Dvoracek (CZE)
Extra Man: RSA 0/6, GRE 5/7
Pens: GRE 0/1
SOUTH AFRICA: Alexandra Gascoigne, Nicole Haird, Carly Wessels, Nicole McKenzie, Shelley Oosthuizen, Kim Rosslee (1), Kelly-Lauren Gasson, Lindsay Killeen, Thembelihle Mkhize, Chloe Bradley, Tayla Webb, Meaghan Oosthuizen, Bianca Van Ellewee. Head Coach: Paul Martin.
GREECE: Chrysoula Diamantopoulou, Alkistis Christina Benekou (2), Eleftheria Plevritou (3), Ioli Angelike Benekou, Eleni Xenaki (1), Ionna Charalampidi (1), Aikaterini Zantou (4), Margarita Plevritou (2), Christina Kotsia, Stefania Charalampidi (2), Marina Florou (1), Stamatina Kontogianni, Stefania Terefou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

RSA vs GRE - credit: Anthony Pearse

Greece swept aside South Africa 17-1, concentrating on systems ahead of the finals, and in the process captured top spot in Group D. Greece was never troubled and used the match to practise some of the tactics it should have done well before coming to Perth. However, the team only fully came together in time to catch the plane.

After an 8-0 start, Greece found the South African resistance strong in the second period and scored only its second goal 37 seconds from halftime. The last two quarters were again a chance to use the full team while South African struggled hard on defence and managed to breach the defence inside the final minute of the match via a Kim Rosslee shot.

Stefania Charalampidi, who plays college water polo in the United States, said Greece went out strong against South Greece to feel the water. “Our coach then used different systems so we can prepare for the stronger games. We have to get ourselves ready.”

On the poor preparation for the tournament, she said: “Three of us play in the US and when we went back (to Greece) for five days of training, there was only seven of us as the others were playing for their European clubs.”

South Africa Head coach Paul Martin said his team started “very poorly, but improved closer to the end of the game”. “We tried to close them off defensively, but we didn’t succeed.”

Game 20: 13:00, Group D, RUSSIA 35 ZIMBABWE 0
Quarters: 11-0, 8-0, 6-0, 10-0
Referees: Michael Brooks (NZL), Andreas Legawa (INA)
Extra Man: RUS 5/5, ZIM 0/6
Pens: ZIM 0/1
RUSSIA: Alina Litovchenko, Olga Kiseleva (1), Anastasia Simanovich (3), Elvina Karimova (12), Natalia Perfilyeva (3), Alina Tuchina, Tatiana Zubkova (2), Daria Ryzhkova (2), Ksenia Balay (2), Liubov Zubkova (5), Nadezhda Yarondaykina (3), Yana Degtereva (2), Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Head Coach: Alexandr Naritca.
ZIMBABWE: Jordyn Clipston, Roxanne Shepherd, Natasha Lawson, Heidi McWade, Amilee Fury, Jessica Smith, Sarah Gentleman, Savannah Stead, Kelsey Hunter, Brittany Lightfoot, Joanna Beare, Sinead Cockcroft, Jessica Harris. Head Coach: Laura Barrett.

RUS vs ZIM - credit: Anthony Pearse

Russia booked a crunch clash with Italy by finishing second in Group D with a crushing 35-0 victory over Zimbabwe. After 11-0 at the quarter, it was nothing more than a training run for Russia with more thoughts on their mind than the immediate encounter with the Zimbabweans.

Elvina Karimova scored seven of those first-quarter strikes and added five more in the second half for a game-high and women’s tournament-high 12. Liubov Zubkova was second best in the scoring department with five. Russia looks good and well honed for the second round, using all their skills from passing, stealing, countering and shooting.

Zimbabwe was unlucky to strike the nation who won this age group three years ago but must have learnt from the experience for what will be its championship starting on Wednesday. Zimbabwe will play India in a match where the winner will go to Thursday’s play-off for the 13th & 14th classifications. The loser will take 15th spot.

Russian Head coach Alexandr Naritca laments the result of Wednesday’s game against Italy in the second round.

“One of the best teams in the world will be out of the competition, not playing for one to eight. It will be a very interesting game, one of the best games of the tournament.”

Game 22: 14:20, Group A, INDONESIA 2 CZECH REPUBLIC 18
Quarters: 1-5, 0-6, 1-3, 0-4
Referees: Risto Damcevski (FYROM), Anlong Meng (CHN)
Extra Man: INA 0/5, CZE 3/9
Pens: CZE 1/1
INDONESIA: Ayudya Suidarwanty Pratiwi, Sarah Manzilina, Starlet Viersa Utami, Dewi Ratih, Chyntia Pradjipta Putri (1), Dwi Anggela Olsen Tiger, Erica Fernanda (1), Ariel Dyah Cininta Siwabessy, Glindra Patricia Legawa, Febrika Indirawati, Veriza Adera Pratiwi, Amanda Raudania Santoso, Aldila Putri Santoso. Head Coach: Shuli Cai.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Barbora Pavlikova, Nikola Busauerova (2), Aneta Sornova (1), Tereza Halova (3), Karolina Vavurkova, Karolina Kopencova, Karolina Hlavata (8), Leona Brozova, Linda Chladkova (1), Karolina Parabkova, Rozalie Fugnerova, Barbora Hlavata (3), Anezka Sesulkova. Head Coach: Michal Broz.

INA vs CZE - credit: Anthony Pearse

The Czech Republic comfortably beat Indonesia 18-2 in the women’s group A clash under Perth’s sweltering sun, with temperatures reaching 39 degrees. Czech Republic remained dominant throughout the game with its strong defence and even stronger offensive plays. Its strength and speed were too much for the delicate Indonesians.

Czech Republic’s Karolina Hlavata was able to find the net eight times throughout the game, with one goal in the first quarter, three in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth, while Indonesia’s Erica Fernanda and Chyntia Pradjipta Putri scored just one goal each throughout the game.

Czech Republic finished second in the group and will play New Zealand on Wednesday. Indonesia finished fourth in the group with no wins in the first four days of the championships. It will have a rest day on Wednesday before playing the winner of India and Zimbabwe, in a classification game for 13th and 14th place on Thursday.

Czech goalkeeper Anezka Sesulkova says despite Indonesia’s attempts, they have stronger players and scorers. “We played very strong. They [Indonesia] tried to score, but we were better. We have stronger scorers.”

When asked whom they’d rather play in Wednesday’s clash, she said New Zealand. “We played Canada over the holidays and it was very hard, very physical and difficult for us, so we want to play New Zealand. We can beat New Zealand.”

When asked how they felt about Perth’s soaring temperatures, she said “we’re in the pool, so it’s not the heat, it’s the sun that gets to us. It shines and we just can’t see.”

Indonesian captain Ariel Dyah Cininta Siwabessy said of Thursday’s classification clash: “We expect to meet Zimbabwe and we will fight until the end of time. Whatever the result, we will still be fighting.”

On the tournament, she said: “We played very well against Uzbekistan and playing Australia was a good experience, the first time we have played them.”

Game 21: 18:30, Group A, AUSTRALIA 18 UZBEKISTAN 1
Quarters: 3-0, 4-0, 8-0, 3-1
Referees: Gabor Vogel (HUN), Dion Willis (RSA)
Extra Man: AUS ¾, UZB 0/5
Pens: AUS 2/2
AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Ainsley Masek, Belinda Symons (1), Montana Perkins (2), Madeleine Quinn (2), Shannan Martin (2), Fiona Walsh (1), Lenke Dauda-Board, Maddison Schmid (2), Chloe Barr (3), Kassia Ralston (1), Jessica Zimmerman (4), Stephanie Calaizis. Head Coach: Aleksandar Osadchuk.
UZBEKISTAN: Elena Dukhanova, Nellya Dadabaeva, Ekaterina Palkina, Eseniya Piftor, Ziyeda Teshabaeva, Elina Kalimullina, Ekaterina Morozova, Regina Shaydullina (1), Liliya Umarova, Valeriya Kozlovskaya, Anastasiya Osipenko, Maftuna Pulatova, Aleksandra Dokuchaeva. Head Coach: Boris Rustamov.

AUS vs UZB - credit: Anthony Pearse

Australia defeated Uzbekistan 18-1 in their day-four Group A clash at Challenge Stadium. The Aussie girls were not able to inflict the same damage as their opening 22-2 and 27-2 victories on days two and three, but the end result was just as dominant.

After a slow opening where neither team was able to gain the ascendancy, the Australians slowly warmed to the task with local Perth girls Jessica Zimmerman and Madeleine Quinn opening the scoring. Chloe Barr then made it 3-0 at the first break with a well-executed 5m penalty. Uzbekistan showed great tenacity to hold out the Australians for most of the quarter and its stubbornness continued in the second with Australia unable to break the line.

Goalkeeper Elena Dukhanova made two key saves to deny Belinda Symons and Shannan Martin, while Barr hit the crossbar and had two lob shots pull up on the line. Australia eventually found their mark late in the half with Zimmerman netting her second and Martin, Maddi Schmid and Montana Perkins all converting to give Australia a 7-0 lead at halftime.

A centre-forward goal to Symonds and a neat conversion from Kassia Ralston early in the third then allowed Australia to break the shackles. Six goals in the space of three and a half minutes together with a well-oiled defence saw the home team extend their lead to 15-0 at three-quarter time. Barr then added her second and third goals, before Zimmerman nailed her fourth to give Australia the 18-1 win.

In what was one of the moments of the tournament, 11-year-old sensation Regina Shaydullina was able to score Uzbekistan’s first and only goal. The whole crowd was behind her as she slotted a neat lob to the left hand of Aussie keeper Stephanie Calaizis just minutes from time.

Shaydullina and her coach Boris Rustamov were over the moon with the goal and said it was a great experience. “We are very happy with (Regina’s) goal and Perth is a wonderful place.”

Game 24: 20:00, Group B, CANADA 14 NEW ZEALAND 7
Quarters: (3-2, 6-2, 2-0, 3-3)
Referees: Amber Drury (USA), Stefano Riccitelli (ITA)
Extra Man: 
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Hayley McKelvey, Rae Lekness (3), Rachel Krieger (1), Dankia Kotylak (3), Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, Taylor Molde, Cara Robinson, Kyra Christmas, Emma Wright (2), Kindred Paul (2), Alexa Tielman (2), Claire Wright, Nikolina Mihajlovic (1). Head Coach: Nishant Demani.
NEW ZEALAND: Elisabeth Andree Wiltens, Ricci Ferigo, Jaymee Graham, Rebecca Parkes (2), Simone Couree-Campbell, Lisa Tuke (1), Chelsea Geary, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (2), Abigail Cunninghame, Renuka Mahadevan, Miranda Chase, Kate Enoka (2), Courtney Miller. Head Coach: Richard Claridge.

CAN vs NZL - credit: Anthony Pearse

In the final women’s match of Day 4, Canada has defeated New Zealand 14-7, putting them in first place for Group B. With both sides scoring in the opening minutes the game looked like it was going to be fairly even throughout. Canada started well but was unable to penetrate New Zealand’s strong wall of defence in the goals. It wasn’t until an extraman situation that Canada began to find the back of the net. A yellow card was issued to the entire New Zealand team for “foul simulation” and a penalty shot got them their second goal.

Momentum built up, as the goals began to flow. The second term saw Canada go from strength to strength, with their loud communication echoing through the stands. They limited New Zealand to just two goals in the second term, but scored six for themselves, two of which were from Simone Couree-Campbell, who scored three for the match. For a margin of 9-4 going into the second half.

Third period saw just one goal from Canada and none from New Zealand. Rae Lekness (CAN) scored her second and third goal in the fourth and New Zealand’s Rebecca Parkes scored one and Caitlin Lopes Da Silva two, before a red card was issued to Parkes for misconduct, ejecting her from the pool.

Canadian Head coach Nishant Demani said it was extremely important to win the game to regain momentum after a slow start against Brazil (they drew 9-9 on Monday). “It’s important to play our style, our game after the little slump. The girls responded well to instructions and played with high energy,” Demani said.

When asked about his team’s vocal communication he said it’s something they always strive for. “It’s something we’ve spoken about, we always ask for positive energy, they are great athletes, tough and hard, but still show good sportsmanship.”

Canada will now have a rest day on Wednesday after finishing first in their group before a tough quarterfinal against either Italy or Russia on Thursday.

“It’s important to rest. It’s important to win your bracket. We want to send a message that we are here to win, we want to hit that podium.”

New Zealand Head coach Richard Claridge was disappointed in his team’s efforts, saying his side lost to Canada in New Zealand pre-tournament by just two goals.

“We started off well, made a couple of changes but they didn’t go to plan. When the game broke apart we couldn’t get a hold of it.” “We’ll have a debrief tonight and remind the girls we’re better than that and that we can perform. We have to turn up a different team,” Claridge said.

New Zealand will go head to head with Czech Republic on Wednesday.