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Water Polo Women: Day 3: CAN 8 GRE 8
Canada produced a mid-morning delight with an 8-8 draw against world champion Greece to secure second place in Group C after three days of competition.
Greece needed the win as a draw was never going to be enough as the second tie-break rule states that the leading team shall be the one with the better goal difference against the top team. Canada lost to group winner United States 10-8 but Greece lost 12-8.
It was always going to be the case for Greece that it needed the win and it started strongly with three goals, two to Christina Tsoukala. At 3-0, Greece looked the team to beat.
Canada saw it that way too and proceeded to wipe the deficit. Canada grabbed two back by quarter time and went on to 4-3 ahead, two minutes into the first quarter. It could have been more if Joelle Bekhazi had converted a penalty attempt at 3-1. The 4-3 goal came from the potentially dangerous Monika Eggens.
Greece regained the ascendancy with a centre-forward goal (Alexandra Asimaki), lob goal (16-year-old youth world champion Eleftheria Plevritou) and from the top (Ilektra Psouni) to close the half at 6-4.
Greece crumbled in the critical third period with Monika Eggens scoring twice more and, sadly, Bekhazi missing a second penalty shot. However, she redeemed herself quickly with a counter-attack goal. Canada had the edge at the break.
Alkisti Avramidou and Asimaki took Greece 8-7 ahead with 2:20 remaining.
Unflustered, Canada called a timeout and the ball moved around until after the extra supremacy for Monika Eggens to try her hand at a fourth goal, which she delivered for the 8-8 draw,
Match 18: 10:50, Group C, CANADA 8 GREECE 8
Quarters: 2-3, 2-3, 3-0, 1-2
Referees: Manol Taylan (TUR), Nenad Peris
Extra Man: CAN: 0/3. GRE: 1/3
Pens: CAN: 0/2
CANADA: Michele Relton, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton (1), Emma Wright, Monika Eggens (4), Sophie Baron La Salle, Joelle Bekhazi (2), Dominique Perrault, Carmen Eggens, Christine Robinson, Stephanie Valin, Marina Radu, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Guy Baker.
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Vasiliki Diamanopoulou, Ilektra Psouni, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (2), Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Christina Kotsia, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou (1), Alkistis Benekou, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Alexandra Asimaki (GRE):
“Although Canada scored just at the end of the match, we are satisfied. The most important match is always the following one. Probably we will face Italy and I am confident we can beat them.”
Eleni Kouvdou (GRE):
“Despite the result, we haven’t lost anything, but I have to confess that when our opponents scored right at the end of the match it hurts. Canada has a difficult cross-game.”
Monika Eggens (CAN):
“It was a team effort. We are very excited because we needed the tie. My task is to score goals, so I am happy of my last one. This first round was good because we tried new things. The next match is important, but it doesn’t matter which team we will play.”
Christine Robinson (CAN):
“We’re happy with the draw because it gives us second place in the group. In the first half, we were three goals down and we managed to come back into the game. It is because we changed our tactics in the second half, we decided to focus more on our game than on Greece’s tactics, that were to slow down the pace of the match. I don’t have any preference for the next game, we are ambitious in this tournament and our main objective is to reach a medal, like many other teams.”