Perth 2012, Day 6 (Women): Hungary and Greece to battle for gold on Sunday

World Youth Water Polo Championships

HUN - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 7, 2012 PERTH - Hungary will play Greece for the gold medal of the women’s FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on Sunday. Both won handsomely through the semifinals with Hungary seeing off pre-tournament favourite Russia 14-11 and Greece dissecting United States of America 8-3. In the latter match, USA could not score in nearly the last three quarters as Greece proved the more clinical.

Hungary played its best match of the week, working together as a team. Hungary led 10-5 at halftime and 12-8 at the final break, fending off the faster-finishing Russia. Both teams have a rest day on Saturday before playing in the main stadium in front of more than a 1000 expected spectators. There was a thrilling semifinal clash in the round of 5-8 with New Zealand clinching an equaliser before full time for 10-10 and then scoring in the second period of extra time to defeat Brazil 11-10.

The Kiwis will face Canada in Saturday’s fifth-place match, as the Canadians thumped Australia 16-7 after only being one goal up at halftime. Italy, from whom so much was promised at the start of the tournament, sent off Czech Republic 24-6 in the 9-10 classification. South Africa gained a second win and 11th classification by downing Uzbekistan 10-4. This evening, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9, all games played at the indoor pool will be streamed live on FINAtv.

Day 6 Matches Reports



Classification 11th & 12th
Quarters: 2-1, 4-0, 2-3, 2-0
Referees: Nicola Johnson (AUS), Anlong Meng (CHN)
Extra Man: RSA 3/6, UZB 0/5
Pens: RSA 1/1, UZB 0/1
SOUTH AFRICA: Alexandra Gascoigne, Nicole Haird (1), Carly Wessels (2), Nicole McKenzie (2), Shelley Oosthuizen, Kim Rosslee (3), Kelly-Lauren Gasson, Lindsay Killeen (1), Thembelihle Mkhize, Chloe Bradley, Tayla Webb (1), Meaghan Oosthuizen, Bianca Van Ellewee. Head Coach: Paul Martin.
UZBEKISTAN: Elena Dukhanova, Nellya Dadabaeva, Ekaterina Palkina, Eseniya Piftor (1), Ziyeda Teshabaeva, Elina Kalimullina, Ekaterina Morozova, Regina Shaydullina, Liliya Umarova (2) , Valeriya Kozlovskaya (1), Anastasiya Osipenko, Maftuna Pulatova, Aleksandra Dokuchaeva. Head Coach: Boris Rustamov.

In the women’s classification game for 11th and 12th positions on day 6, South Africa defeated Uzbekistan 10-4. The match got off to a slow start, with goals from both teams coming almost at the end of the first period. Uzbekistan had a few good chances to increase its lead but could not convert. Nicole Haird (RSA) then netted right before the end of the first quarter for 2-1.

In the second quarter, the match picked up pace, courtesy of Nicole McKenzie, Tayla Webb and Kim Rosslee scoring for South Africa. It was a big improvement for the team, as it seemed to have learned valuable lessons from its Thursday 11-6 loss to Czech Republic. Uzbekistan pushed hard, but ended the quarter goalless.

The Uzbeks attempted to make a comeback, scoring three goals in the third period, but it did not stop South Africa from increasing its lead to 8-4 before the last quarter. It was a disappointing end for the Uzbeks as they ended the last quarter of the match with no goals. South Africa picked up two more to finish the competition in 11th place.

It was South Africa’s second win of the week following its opening 9-1 victory over Zimbabwe. Uzbekistan left the tournament with one win in the event’s first match, 8-6 over Indonesia.

South African goalkeeper Bianca Van Ellewee said her team did not play hard enough. “It was a very slow game. Maybe we weren’t in the right mindset. However, a win is a win.”

Game 40: 10:20, CZECH REPUBLIC 6 ITALY 24
Classification 9th & 10th
Quarters: 3-5, 1-8, 1-7, 1-4
Referees: Carl Burt (CAN), Dion Willis (RSA)
Extra Man: CZE 3/5, ITA 4/6
Pens: CZE 1/1
CZECH REPUBLIC: Barbora Pavlikova, Nikola Busauerova (1), Aneta Sornova, Tereza Halova (1), Karolina Vavurkova, Karolina Kopencova, Karolina Hlavata (2), Leona Brozova (1), Linda Chladkova, Karolina Parabkova, Rozalie Fugnerova, Barbora Hlavata (1), Anezka Sesulkova. Head Coach: Michal Broz.
ITALY: Fabiana Sparano, Giulia Viacava, Giusy Citino (2), Agnese D'Amico (2), Francesca Bonino, Sara Dario (3), Giuditta Galardi (4), Chiara Tabani (4), Arianna Gragnolati (4), Claudia Marletta (2), Roberta Grillo (3), Carla Carrega, Federica Lavi. Head Coach: Paolo Zizza.

CZE vs ITA - credit: Anthony Pearse

Italy bounced back from a slow start to over-run Uzbekistan 24-6 for ninth place in the women’s competition. Italy expected to make the medal round but found itself playing in the 9-12 classifications after losing a crunch second-round match to Russia 10-6. Italy struck resistance in the opening quarter with Czech Republic valiantly trying to stay in the game, scoring three goals. Arianna Gragnolati scored her second to close the quarter and a 5-3 advantage.

The second quarter was a procession with Italy taking control, nullifying the Czech attack until the final 16 seconds when Czech scoring machine Karolina Hlavata, who had 20 goals before the match, drilled her second shot from the 8m mark into the top left. Giuditta Galardi, a scorer of 14 goals before today’s match, responded with her third of the quarter 12 seconds later for 13-4 at halftime. Galardi made it four to start the second half. Gragnolati, Sara Dario and Roberta Grillo picked up their third goals each as the score moved to 17-4.

There was relief for the Czechs as Nikola Busauerova converted a penalty foul drawn by Karolina Hlavata. Gragnolati brought up her 18th goal for the tournament and fourth of the match on counter just before the three-quarter buzzer and a 20-5 lead. The Czechs offered more resistance and a Tereza Halova goal in the final quarter but could not stop the Italians leaving the tournament with a monster 24-6 win.

Italian Head coach Paolo Zizza expressed his disappointment in finishing ninth in the competition. "I am not happy with the ninth position as our team is much stronger."

Goal-scorer Tereza Halova (CZE) said her team will take back plenty of good experiences from Perth.

“Overall it has been a great success for Czech water polo. We wanted to show that that we were not the worst team. It was our first world championship so we really look forward to furthering our careers in the sport.”

On the Italians, she said: “They are much stronger than us. They were just so much more powerful.”

Game 41: 11:40, AUSTRALIA 7 CANADA 16
Round 5-8 semifinal
Quarters: 2-4, 3-2, 1-4, 1-6
Referees: Michail Kouretas (GRE), Michael Brooks (NZL)
Extra Man: AUS 2/11, CAN 8/14
Pens: CAN 1/1
AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Ainsley Masek, Belinda Symons, Montana Perkins, Madeleine Quinn (2), Shannan Martin, Fiona Walsh, Lenke Dauda-Board, Maddison Schmid (1), Chloe Barr (1), Kassia Ralston (1), Jessica Zimmerman (2), Stephanie Calaizis. Head Coach: Aleksandar Osadchuk.
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Hayley McKelvey (3), Rae Lekness (5), Rachel Krieger, Dankia Kotylak, Nikolina Mihalijovic (1), Taylor Molde, Cara Robinson (1), Kyra Christmas (1), Emma Wright (4), Kindred Paul, Alexa Tielman (1), Claire Wright. Head Coach: Nishant Demani.

AUS vs CAN - credit: Anthony Pearse

Canada progressed to the 5th-6th play-off with a convincing 16-7 win over Australia at Challenge Stadium. Its extra-man play was too powerful as Australia struggled to a 2 from 11 and 8 from 14 against extra-man statistic. Canada had a scorcher of a start with Rae Lekness converting a 5m penalty after just 20 seconds. Australia rebounded through goals to Jessica Zimmerman and Maddi Schmid, before Cara Robinson and Kyra Christmas (CAN) slotted home from long range to hand Canada the early advantage.

The Canadians continued their high intensity, pressuring the Australian attack and forcing numerous unforced errors, before sweeping down the pool to unnerve the Aussie defence. Nikolina Mihaijlovic converted from extra-man with a minute left on the clock to hand Canada a 4-2 lead at quarter time. It was a much tighter affair in the second term, with both defences forcing a large number of long-range attempts.

Canada scored its fifth through Lekness to extend the lead to three, only for Australia to peg back the margin with goals to Chloe Barr and Kassia Ralston. Lekness continued to be a thorn in the side for Australia, whizzing another outside shot past Lilian Hedges, before Zimmerman sent in a rocket from downtown Perth to make it 6-5 at halftime. The Canadians exploded in the third, with Lekness, Hayley McKelvey (2) and Emma Wright all scoring. It proved to be a winning move as Australia continued to struggle in the attacking third — its extra-man attack crumbling under pressure.

Australia found some inspiration through Madeleine Quinn, who scored two second-half goals, but Canada’s prowess in front of the cage was too much. Lekness ended the game with five goals while Wright and McKelvey pitched in with four and three respectively. Lekness, who spent five minutes searching the pool for her mouthguard after the match, said

“We kind of came together as a team and played the Canada style. We were relentless. It’s good to beat Australia at (its) home but the best thing was playing real solid water polo.”

Game 42: 13:00, NEW ZEALAND 11 BRAZIL 10 in extra time (FT: 10-10)
Round 5-8 semifinal
Quarters: 1-3, 2-6, 4-2, 4-2, 0-0, 1-0
Referees: Rob Hammond (ZIM), Karol Dvoracek (CZE)
Extra Man: NZL 4/14, BRA 3/10
Pens: NZL 1/1, BRA 1/1
NEW ZEALAND: Elisabeth Andree Wiltens, Ricci Ferigo, Jaymee Graham (1), Rebecca Parkes (3), Simone Couree-Campbell, Lisa Tuke (1), Chelsea Geary (1), Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (3), Abigail Cunninghame, Renuka Mahadevan, Miranda Chase (1), Kate Enoka (1), Courtney Miller. Head Coach: Richard Claridge.
BRAZIL: Victoria Chamorro, Diana Abla (3), Tabata Dalio, Adhara Santoro (2), Luiza Moraes (1), Mariana Duarte (1), Roberta Hernandez, Izabella Chiappini (2), Bruna Torres, Heloisa Warren, Mirella Coutinho (1), Viviane Bahia, Raquel Aroyo de So. Head Coach: Antonio Canetti.

NZL vs BRA - credit: Anthony Pearse

New Zealand scored a scintillating 11-10 (FT: 10-10) extra-time victory over Brazil, leapfrogging into Saturday’s 5-6 classification women’s encounter against Canada. The group semifinal match appeared headed Brazil’s way with a pair of 3-1 quarter scores and even had an 8-6 three-quarter-time lead. However, the nocturnal Kiwis came out of hibernation with a pair of 4-2 quarters to snatch extra time and eventually score the winning goal 1:13 from time, averting a penalty shootout.

Both teams did their homework and kept the other’s leading scorer quiet for the first half but they snuck through for goals in the second half. Izabella Chiappini (BRA) had 28 goals before the match and Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (NZL) 13.

New Zealand opened the scoring through Rebecca Parkes with a brilliant stretch to flick the ball just across the line after the goalkeeper advanced, missing the ball. It took more than four minutes to bring up and Brazil was still not in the game entering the sixth minute. Then Luiza Moraes sparked a surge of activity in front of the Kiwi goal, scoring from 8m, followed 30 seconds later by Adhara Santoro on counter and Mirella Coutinho on extra-man attack at 0:44 for 3-1 at the break.

Miranda Chase converted extra to give New Zealand a filip halfway through the second quarter. It then became a repeat of the first period as Brazil rifled in three goals with two from the powerful centre forward Diana Abla to switch ends at 6-2.

The second half started better for New Zealand with Kate Enoka converting extra-man attack in the first half minute. Izabella Chiappini, one of the standout players, scored on counter, ending a first-half drought for this prolific scorer. Parkes scored her second off a cross pass at two metres on extra for 7-4. Three minutes later she was at it again when she swatted in a rebound from one metre for 7-5. Chiappini sent in a penalty goal 19 seconds later but Caitlin Lopes Da Silva screamed in a goal from 8m to close the scoring at 8-6.

It was frantic in the final spell as Chelsea Geary (NZL) brought the game to within one from centre forward, but Mariana Duarte pushed in a stranded ball in front of goal for 9-7 at 5:29. Both teams took timeouts but did not score from the set plays. Parkes drew a penalty and Da Silva converted, followed 20 seconds later by Lisa Tuke with a lob off the far post from deep right to level at 9-9 with 94 seconds remaining.

Celebrations were short-lived as Diana Abla backhanded in the ball from centre forward for what could have been the win. However, New Zealand applied the pressure in the final minute, earned an exclusion, took a timeout and set Da Silva for the shot, which she netted from the top with two seconds on the clock, forcing the game to extra time.

Brazil hit the wood twice, had three shots dragged down by Kiwi goalkeeper Courtney Miller while New Zealand had two shots that never made the goal in the first period of extra time. Both teams took a timeout in the second period with Chiappini collecting her third major foul, giving the Kiwis a huge boost. On the ensuing play on extra, New Zealand did not score within the 20-second exclusion time but seven seconds later Da Silva fired from 10m and scored off the right post, which was good enough to advance to the 5-6 classification match.

Easily the best in the pool today, Rebecca Parkes (NZL) said she was feeling such a mix of emotions after such a tough game.

“I’m real stoked, just so excited… I’m tired. I think we stuck to our game plan pretty well. We haven’t had our proper game, I wouldn’t say, in this tournament, but that definitely was our game plan. After that goal went through at the end, I just felt relief.”

On the strong defence her and team-mate Caitlin Lopes De Silva received she said: “Getting turnovers, I was so nervous to keep going, I wanted to get out of the water at times, but when we got that last goal at the end, just the excitement was incredible.”

When asked what the coach’s instructions were going into overtime, she said it was important for the girls to stick to their game. “[He said] just stick to our game, we saw 11 (Mirella Coutinho) and 8 (Izabella Chiappini) their top players on two [fouls] but our coach said don’t try to get them kicked out, we need to stick to our game rather than to keep going for them.”

On the mistake at the end of the game that saw her excluded from play, Parkes said she was scared she had lost the game for the Kiwis. “I was pretty scared that they were going to score that goal, and I would have felt really down.” On playing Canada for fifth: “We’ve played them so many times, and they’ve beaten us, but I think it’s our turn to win. Now we know how they play.”

A dejected Marina Roge (BRA) said: "It wasn't a good day for us to play and we could have done much better in the game. We expect to play a good game tomorrow (Australia for 7th & 8th)."

Game 43: 14:20, HUNGARY 14 RUSSIA 11
Round 1-4 semifinal
Quarters: 4-1, 6-4, 2-3, 2-3
Referees: Stefano Riccitelli (ITA), Nenad Golijanin (SRB)
Extra Man: HUN 4/5, RUS 3/10
Pens: HUN 1/1
HUNGARY: Anna Horvath, Anna Krisztina Illes (3), Diana Ziegler, Greta Gurisatti (3), Ibolya Kitti Miskolczi (3), Vivien Kovesdi (1), Alexa Anett Gemes (2), Krisztina Garda, Diana Sikter (1), Nikolett Kele, Brigitta Horvath (1), Orsolya Hajor, Vanda Zsanett Doroszlai. Head Coach: Attila Mihok.
RUSSIA: Alina Litovchenko, Olga Kiseleva, Anastasia Simanovich (5), Elvina Karimova (1), Natalia Perfilyeva (2), Alina Tuchina, Tatiana Zubkova (1), Daria Ryzhkova (1), Ksenia Balay, Liubov Zubkova, Nadezhda Yarondaykina (1), Yana Degtereva, Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Head Coach: Alexandr Naritca.
Hungary has defeated a devastated Russia in the women’s semifinal 14-11 to progress through to the gold-medal match against Greece on Sunday.

HUN vs RUS - credit: Anthony Pearse

The deciding factor was Hungary’s 4 from 5 extra-man conversion rate compared to Russia’s inaccurate 3 from 10. A slow start for Russia saw Hungary convert four easy goals in the first term, before Anastasia Simanovich scored her first of five to get her team on the board. Although Russia’s offence was much stronger in the second quarter, Hungary kicked away even further to lead 10-5 at the main break.

Greta Gurisatti and Anna Illes both scored doubles to give Hungary the upper hand. The third period saw Russia gain some momentum with Simanovich, Natalia Perfilyeva and Daria Ryzhkova all helping to reduce the margin.

The final period was much the same, with Simanovich – three goals – leading a Russian revival but it was a case of too little too late as Hungary held on for the three-goal win. Gurisatti, Illes and Ibolya Miskolczi all ended with triples while Alexa Gemes pitched in with two.

Hungarian star Illes said she was “very happy and very proud of my team”. “It was just the best. We were a team, a very good team.”

On whether it was the perfect match, Illes said: “I don’t think so because we made mistakes and we need to work on them for the final. But we will be better on Sunday.”

On what the team will do between now and the gold-medal final: “We will see the (Hungarian) boys play tonight and we will sleep and eat and train and eat…”

Round 1-4 semifinal
Quarters: 2-1, 1-5, 0-2, 0-0
Referees: Axel Bender (GER), Alessandro Severo (ITA)
Extra Man: USA 0/4, GRE 1/4
Pens: Nil
USA: Gabrielle Stone, Mackenzie Barr, Melissa Bergesen (2), Mary Brooks, Makenzie Fischer, Devin Grab (1), Danijela Jackovich, Emily Loughlin, Madison McLaren, Stephanie Mutafyan, Cassidy Papa, Alys Williams, Carlee Kapana. Head Coach: Kyle Kopp.
GREECE: Chrysoula Diamantopoulou, Alkistis Christina Benekou (2), Eleftheria Plevritou (2), Ioli Angelike Benekou, Eleni Xenaki, Ionna Charalampidi, Aikaterini Zantou, Margarita Plevritou (2), Christina Kotsia (1), Stefania Charalampidi (1), Marina Florou, Stamatina Kontogianni, Stefania Terefou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

USA vs GRE - credit: Anthony Pearse

Greece blew United States of America away with a blistering second quarter to advance to the gold-medal match against Hungary on Sunday. The 8-3 win came as Greece took charge in the last three quarters. United States looked to have the better of the chances during the opening quarter with a slender 2-1 lead. Goals either side of quarter time to Melissa Bergesen (USA) prompted a Greek turnaround.

Four goals in three minutes changed the complexion of the match in Greece’s favour, with a two-goal deficit turning quickly to a two-goal lead. USA, appearing rattled through the second term, was relieved to head for the break at 3-6, such was the irresistible play of the Greeks.

Greece continued to be in full flow during the third quarter. It comfortably warded off USA at the defensive end of the pool forcing it deep into the shot clock. With synergy in attack, Alkistis Benekou and Eleftheria Plevritou (GRE) added a second to their personal tallies, Greece 8-3 ahead at the final break. Clinically, Greece shut down the last term. USA looked bereft of ideas by the end, as it could not muster a score from early in the second period.

Greece’s coach Georgios Morfesis is one game away from consecutive World Championship golds after leading the senior team to victory in Shanghai last year.

“We are getting better and better. With this win it proves how strong Greek women’s water polo is, at a very high level. As well as the senior women our young girls are also good. The future belongs to them. I’m very proud of our team and a big thank you must go to the Greek Swimming Federation because they paid everything for us to come and play,” Morfesis said.

USA coach Kyle Kopp conceded that it just wasn’t his team’s day as it attempts to grab the bronze against Russia on Sunday. “I think we lost to a good team. I think they applied their game plan a lot better than we played ours. I think we could have played better,” Kopp said.