Water Polo Women, Day 1: USA 12 GRE 8
Olympic champion United States of America — also holder of the FINA World Cup — proved too strong for world champion Greece, who fell away in the final quarter. Led by experienced star Antigoni Roumpesi, Greece shot away to a 2-0 lead only for USA to have a 3-2 advantage midway through the second quarter.
By halftime, Greece earned a 4-4 draw and goals were switched until 6-6 with Roumpesi scoring her third halfway through the third. Then USA went into overdrive with two goals before the final break and the first in the fourth. Greece’s lack of international experience since winning gold in Shanghai two years ago, was telling. USA’s persistence and frequency at the dais shone through even with relative newcomers blending with the old-stagers.
Five consecutive goals from 6-6 to 11-6 had USA well ahead before Christina Tsoukala scored either side of a Maggie Steffens goal for 12-8. It was Steffens’ third goal of the period.
Match 5: 13:30, Group C, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 GREECE 8
Quarters: 1-2, 3-2, 4-2, 4-2
Referees: Sergio Borrell (ESP), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL)
Extra Man: USA: 1/1. GRE: 2/5
Pens: USA: 1/1.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth Armstrong, Lauren Silver, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (1), Caroline Clark (1), Margaret Steffens (3), Courtney Mathewson (2), Kiley Neushal (2), Jillian Kraus, Kelly Rulon (2), Annika Dries, Kameryn Craig (1), Tumuaialii Anae. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (3), Vasiliki Diamanopoulou, Ilektra Psouni, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou (2), Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi (3), Christina Kotsia, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou, Alkistis Benekou, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Margaret Steffens (USA):
“It was a very physical game and the competition is fine. I love Barcelona and the atmosphere is incredible in this city. Each game is long and we have to stay focused. Greece was great. Every game is difficult. We have to focus, the team is together and we are having fun.”
Ilektra Maria Psouni (GRE):
“This competition was good; we lost but we are looking forward to the other matches.”
Eleftheria Plevritou (GRE):
“We played quite well, but we can improve, because we really did a lot of mistakes. After the second quarter we suffered because we felt tired, and from that point the match started to go worse and worse for us.“
Christina Tsoukala (GRE):
“This match has been very tough because our rival is maybe the best one. At the start of the match we were better, but at a certain point the American (USA) team got a big lead. From now on we will take every match step by step.”
Alkisti Avramidou (GRE):
“We are a young team. We are going to fix mistakes before the next match.”
Alexandra Asimaki (GRE):
“I think we were a bit tired on the third part. USA had lots of opportunities because it is the Olympic champion. We are going to improve.”
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