Perth 2012, Day 4 (Women): Italy tumbled out by Russia ahead of quarterfinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA vs RUS - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 5, 2012 PERTH - Italy will not be shooting for gold at the FINA Youth World Water Polo Championships, having fallen to Russia 10-6 in a crucial second-round women’s match at a Challenge Stadium today. The match was well viewed in light drizzle following a 39C day, as it pitted two of the best teams in the world at this level. However, the score differential could have been higher such was the dominance of the Russian team that won this age group in 2009.

Russia seemed unstoppable with the exceptional Elvina Karimova on fire, scoring her team’s first four goals en route to six to bring her tournament tally to 26 from four matches. Russia moved from 6-4 at halftime to 9-5 by the final break and steered out the game to move into Thursday’s quarterfinals and a clash with Canada.

The other matches were not so dramatic, although India failed to arrive in time for its match with Zimbabwe with the latter winning by a 5-0 forfeit. It meant India is out of the competition with 15th and last place while Zimbabwe earns a shot at Indonesia for 13th place on Thursday. Later in the afternoon, India did get a game, and against Zimbabwe, to make the trip to Perth worthwhile, but the result was meaningless.

In the other second-round matches that earned quarterfinal encounters, New Zealand earned a shot at United States by beating Czech Republic 18-6; Brazil thumped Uzbekistan 20-4 thanks to eight Izabella Chiappini goals to set up a clash with Greece and Hungary defeated South Africa 16-3 to play Australia.

Day 4 Match Reports


Game 26: 15:40, INDIA 0 ZIMBABWE 5

Quarters: 3-6, 0-4, 2-3, 1-5
Referees: Michail Kouretas (GRE), Nicola Johnson (AUS)
Extra Man: CZE 2/9, NZL 5/9
Pens: NZL 1/1
CZECH REPUBLIC: Barbora Pavlikova, Nikola Busauerova (3), Aneta Sornova, Tereza Halova, Karolina Vavurkova, Karolina Kopencova, Karolina Hlavata (3), Leona Brozova, Linda Chladkova, Karolina Parabkova, Rozalie Fugnerova, Barbora Hlavata, Anezka Sesulkova. Head Coach: Michal Broz.
NEW ZEALAND: Elisabeth Andree Wiltens, Ricci Ferigo (5), Jaymee Graham, Rebecca Parkes (3), Simone Couree-Campbell (1), Lisa Tuke (1), Chelsea Geary, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (6), Abigail Cunninghame, Renuka Mahadevan, Miranda Chase (1), Kate Enoka (1), Courtney Miller. Head Coach: Richard Claridge.

CZE vs NZL - credit: Anthony Pearse

In the first women’s game of day 5, New Zealand defeated Czech Republic 18–6, allowing the team to move into the top eight. New Zealand dominated the first quarter of the game with accurate passing and scored five goals while Czech Republic managed with only three. There were several good opportunities for the Czechs to score but they failed to convert those chances into goals.

In the second term, New Zealand extended its lead, scoring another four goals. Czech Republic attempted a comeback with a few long shots but missed every opportunity. 

Czech Republic was awarded a yellow card for time wasting at the beginning of third period. Karolina Hlavata (CZE) scored her third goal, a second before the quarter ended. Czech Republic missed a few other close chances with the ball hitting the goalpost twice. In the last quarter of the match, New Zealand finished strongly with five goals. Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (NZL) ended the match with six goals.

Six-star hero Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (NZL) said her team had a “different mentality” after a poor showing against Canada the night before. “We didn’t make the mistakes. Even though it was messy in parts we rose above and were able to convert opportunities.”

On making the top eight, she said: “We’re ready to unleash our excitement. We haven’t done that yet. We can step up and show what we are made of. We will play the USA and we know how they play and have played against them before.”

Barbora Hlavata (CZE) said it was a hard match. “We don’t have enough power like New Zealand. We only have a few players who can play the whole match.” On the upcoming games in the classification series 9-12, she said: “I think we play South Africa next. We are stronger and we can beat them.”

New Zealand faces USA in a quarterfinal match while Czech Republic moves into the classification round of 9-12.

Game 28: 11:40, UZBEKISTAN 4 BRAZIL 20

Quarters: 1-7, 2-0, 1-6, 2-5
Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Diego Garibaldi (ARG)
Extra Man: UZB 1/6, BRA 6/12
Pens: BRA 0/1
UZBEKISTAN: Elena Dukhanova, Nellya Dadabaeva (1), Ekaterina Palkina, Eseniya Piftor, Ziyeda Teshabaeva, Elina Kalimullina, Ekaterina Morozova, Regina Shaydullina, Liliya Umarova (1), Valeriya Kozlovskaya, Anastasiya Osipenko (2), Maftuna Pulatova, Aleksandra Dokuchaeva. Head Coach: Boris Rustamov.
BRAZIL: Victoria Chamorro, Diana Abla (4), Tabata Dalio, Adhara Lavatori (3), Luiza Saback (1), Mariana Roge (2), Roberta Hernandez, Izabella Chiappini (8), Bruna Couri, Heloisa Warren, Mirella Coutinho (1), Viviane Bahia (1), Raquel Pinho. Head Coach: Antonio Canetti.

UZB vs BRA - credit: Anthony Pearse

The tournament’s leading women’s scorer, Brazilian Izabella Chiappini, added eight goals to her tally for 23 as she led her country to a 20-4 second-round victory. More important for Brazil, the victory earned a place in the quarterfinals and the daunting task of taking on unbeaten Greece, one of the tournament favourites.

Chiappini’s skills, speed and shooting prowess are the key to Brazil’s progression and will be sorely needed if Brazil wishes to reach the medal round. She scored three in the opening 7-1 onslaught and another hat-trick in the final quarter. Her other two came in the third period.

The match was not always one-sided with Uzbekistan slowing the Brazilian charge in the second period for 2-1 against. But Brazil lifted a notch in the third for a 6-1 surge before closing with a 5-2 final period.

Brazil was dominant on extra-man attack with six conversions for a 50 percent average. Uzbekistan gained just one from six attacks. Diana Abla (BRA) scored four as she also proved a thorn in Uzbekistan’s side. The best for Uzbekistan was Anastasiya Osipenko with goals in the third and fourth quarters. Uzbekistan is now consigned to the round of 9-12.

When asked about the game, goalkeeper Elena Dukhanova (UZB) said: “It was a very good game for our first championships, being a very young team and our opponents Brazil are very strong. We had some good shots and good chances and maybe for the next championships, we will play better.”

Game 29: 13:00, HUNGARY 16 SOUTH AFRICA 3
Quarters: 3-0, 5-0, 5-2, 3-1
Referees: Amber Drury (USA), Alexey Krapivin (RUS)
Extra Man: HUN 2/9, RSA 0/3
Pens: HUN 1/1
HUNGARY: Anna Horvath, Annan Krisztina Illes (3), Diana Ziegler (4), Greta Gurisatti (1), Ibolya Kitti Miskolczi, Vivien Kovesdi (1), Alexa Anett Gemes (1), Krisztina Garda, Diana Sikter (1), Nikolett Kele (2), Brigitta Horvath (1), Orsolya Hajor (2), Vanda Zsanett Doroszlai. Head Coach: Attila Mihok.
SOUTH AFRICA: Alexandra Gascoigne, Nicole Haird (1), Carly Wessels, Nicole McKenzie (1), 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.

HUN vs RSA - credit: Anthony Pearse

Hungary beat South Africa 16-3 in a game in which South Africa’s was kept scoreless the first half. After an initial penalty goal by Hungary’s Annan Krisztina Illes, two more came before the siren ended the first quarter.

An even stronger second half by the Hungarians gave them a solid 8-0 lead as South Africa struggled to make anything happen with shots at goals missed either over the top or too wide. The South African defence proved to be no match for the Hungarians as Annan Krisztina Illes and Diana Ziegler both shone, netting two each in the third quarter.

South Africa fought back with Nicole McKenzie scoring first, lifting her team. Kim Rosslee Followed with another to bring the score to 14-2 at the end of the third. Both teams brought a solid defence to the last quarter with South Africa desperate to make something happen.

Hungary’s Vivien Kovesdi netted her first goal while Nikolett Kele gained her second, but it was Nicole Haird (RSA), who stood out making a spectacular shot from 4m that was seemingly caught by the goalkeeper, then slipped through her hands and into the goal.

Hungary Head coach Attila Mihok said he was looking ahead to Thursday’s quarterfinal.

“Tomorrow we can win but we lost a match to the USA so it will be a hard fight. This evening we will have a special practice to prepare. It is impossible to change our play (game plan). It is very important for them to understand to play exactly the way I tell them.”

South Africa’s star goal-scorer Haird said: “We tried hard and played a good game. We set a target and we managed to reach it.”

Game 30: 14:20, ITALY 6 RUSSIA 10
Quarters: 2-4, 2-2,
Referees: Axel Bender (GER), Emanuel Taylan (TUR)
Extra Man: ITA 1/10, RUS 5/10
Pens: ITA 1/1
ITALY: Fabiana Sparano, Giulia Viacava, Giusy Citino, Agnese D'Amico, Francesca Bonino, Sara Dario (1), Giuditta Galardi (2), Chiara Tabani, Arianna Gragnolati, Claudia Marletta (3), Roberta Grillo, Carla Carrega, Federica Lavi. Head Coach: Paolo Zizza.
RUSSIA: Alina Litovchenko, Olga Kiseleva, Anastasia Simanovich (2), Elvina Karimova (6), Natalia Perfilyeva (2), Alina Tuchina, Tatiana Zubkova, Daria Ryzhkova, Ksenia Balay, Liubov Zubkova, Nadezhda Yarondaykina, Yana Degtereva, Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Head Coach: Alexandr Naritca.

ITA vs RUS - credit: Anthony Pearse

Russia threw down the gauntlet with an emphatic 10-6 second-round victory over Italy, exiling the Italians to 9th-12th zone of the competition. The fact that two of the best teams in the world clashed in this match was amazing and one team knew that their world championship hopes would be in tatters. Sadly for Italy, it must now contemplate what could have been.

Russia had the better of the first quarter or, more precisely, Elvina Karimova (RUS) had a dream start, scoring all four goals. They came from centre forward and on extra-man attack. Italy kept in the game through Giuditta Galardi at two metres and Claudia Marletta converted extra.

The second period was something neither coach wanted with easy shots going wide, over the top, hitting wood and occasionally into the goalkeeper. Russia must have missed at least five and Italy three.

Goals were traded with Marletta scoring off a penalty to narrow to 4-3, Natalia Perfilyeva on extra, Sara Dario from six metres and Karimova with the neatest of lobs from 5m off a cross pass for 6-4. All these goals came inside three minutes in the second half of the period. For Karimova the six goals lifted her to the tournament’s best with 26, two more than Brazil’s Izabella Chiappini.

The tide turned further against Italy in the third period, scoring just once through Galardi while Russians Perfilyeva scored her 12th of the tournament, Karimova converted extra from close in and Anastasia Simanovich drilled a shot from 7m for 9-5.

Hope sprung back in the game for Italy when Marletta sent in a goal from outside. Despite many shots, nothing pierced either goal until Simanovich scored her second from two metres for 10-6 at 3:06, the final score.

Elvina Karimova (RUS), who scored six goals, said: “It was a very difficult but important game for us to win as the winner of this game will advance to the quarterfinals.”