Water Polo Women: Day 3: HUN 18 KAZ 7
Hungary secured Group D with a third straight win, fending off Kazakhstan 18-7 It was a dominant effort by a team expected to go far into the championship and the 8-1 opening quarter set the tone for the match.
To Kazakhstan’s credit it managed to score twice late in the second quarter and captain Assel Jakayeva and Aizhan Akilbayeva kept the scoring humming along, finishing with four and three goals respectively.
Hungarian head coach Andras Meresz used the match as a chance to give all his squad championship match practice.
By sitting the stars on the bench it allowed for a closer match and benefitted both teams ahead on the next stage of the championship.
At one stage the referees missed a corner throw call to the screams of the crowd. Meresz sorted that out. He ordered goalkeeper Orsolya Kaso to throw the ball back over the line so the referees had to call a corner throw for Kazakhstan. That’s sportsmanship of the highest order.
Hungary has earned a clash with Great Britain in the quarterfinal qualification on Saturday and on current form should be good enough to make the top eight.
Kazakhstan should play Canada on Saturday.
Match 19: 12:10, Group D, HUNGARY 18 KAZAKHSTAN 7
Quarters: 8-1, 4-2, 3-2, 3-2
Referees: Cory Williams (NZL), Axel Bender (GER).
Extra Man: HUN: 2/4. KAZ: 1/4
Pens: HUN: 2/2
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Anna Illes (2), Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki (1), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs (2), Ibolya Miskolczi (2), Rita Keszthelyi (2), Ildiko Toth(1), Barbara Bujka (3), Krisztina Garda (1), Kata Menczinger (2), Orsolya Kaso. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkova, Natalya Shepelina, Aizhan Akilbayeva (3), Anna Turova, Anastassiya Mirshina, Anna Zubkova, Natalya Alexandrova, Yekaterina Glushkova, Assel Jakayeva (4), Marina Gritsenko, Alexandra Rozhentseva, Assem Mussarova, Kristina Krassikova. Head Coach: Andrey Sasykin.
Orsolya Takacs (HUN Captain):
“We have done a good job so far in the competition and I am satisfied with the level we play. I am quite confident for the rest of the tournament and I hope we’ll go very far.”
Ibolya Kitti Miskolczi (HUN):
“This result was vital to achieve the first place of our group. Today we played well. I consider the USA the strongest team and we hope to meet them in the final.”
Krisztina Garda (HUN):
“It was a good game but the next matches will be more important. We won against Great Britain in the past so in the next round I want to play against them. This first round has been a very good warm-up.”
Andras Meresz (HUN Head Coach):
“We are satisfied with the way we played in the first phase, especially given we arrived a few days before the start of the championships and we had only two training sessions. Today wasn’t a training match; we have to respect all the teams. We played well in the first half and I could initiate a rotation of players. The next game against Great Britain won’t be as easy as many people might think, they showed in the last Olympic Games they were a strong team. I hope we’ll go as far as possible in this competition.”
Natalya Alexandrova (KAZ):
“We didn´t have enough strength to beat Hungary. We only played at the same level for two quarters. We did our best, though. Anyway, the next game will be the most important one because our main aim is to reach the quarter-finals. We are now focused on Canada.”
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