Water polo Women: Day 4: RUS 22 RSA 3
Russia was the first team to win through to the quarterfinals of the women’s competition, beating South Africa 22-3. Playing in the quarterfinal qualification round, Russia’s all-round firepower and lightning-fast counter attacks proved hard to contain for South Africa who must have enjoyed certain aspects of the match.
While Russia was polishing its counter, cross passing and outside shooting skills, South Africa worked hard on defensive play, shutting down many potential threats.
One, in particular, was when Russian captain Evgeniya Ivanova, who is one the standout players in Barcelona, swam the length of the pool only to have South African goalkeeper Anke Jacobs rise high and with two arms smack it back down her throat.
Olga Beliaeva is fast rising as one of the better scorers in the championship, netting five goals for a total of 12. Her hard work in the hole position is reaping many rewards, especially scoring from the post position on extra.
Ekaterina Prokofyeva netted four times for 14 this week. It could have been 15 if she had converted a penalty shot in the final quarter, instead hitting the upright.
Despite the ease of the win, the Russians were ecstatic to make it through to the round of eight, especially with such efficient movements on extra-man plays.
The final play of the match saw South Africa take a timeout and the move the ball through four hands with the goal being shot, sadly, just after the final buzzer.
South Africa will now fly home on Sunday with four losses, the closest being a 13-7 margin with New Zealand.
Match 25: 09:30, Quarterfinal Qualification, RUSSIA 22 SOUTH AFRICA 3
Quarters: 5-0, 7-2, 6-1, 4-0
Referees: Shi Wei Ni (CHN), Gabor Vogel (HUN)
Extra Man: RUS:5/8. RSA: 2/5
Pens: RUS: 1/2.
RUSSIA: Anna Ustyukhina, Diana Antonova (2), Ekaterina Prokofyeva (4), Elvina Karimova (3), Alexandra Antonova (1), Olga Belova (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva (2), Anna Grineva (1), Anna Timofeeva (1), Olga Beliaeva (5), Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Ekaterina Zelentsova (1), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.
SOUTH AFRICA: Anke Jacobs, Kimberley Schmidt, Kieren Paley (1), Christ Rawstrom, Megan Schooling, Taryn Schooling, Kimberley Kay, Lee-Anne Keet (1), Delaine Christian, Marcelle Keet (1), Lindsay Killeen, Kelsey White, Thembelihle Mkhize. Head Coach: Brad Rowe.
Evgeniya Ivanova (RUS Captain):
“It was a good game for us; we did the result we expected. This match was a kind of preparation for the quarter-finals. Everything was perfect, tactically, technically and physically. However, we have to reduce the number of expulsions for the next match.”
Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS):
“This game was quite easy for us because the level of South Africa is still too low. We will fight until the end of this Championship hoping to reach the final.”
Kelsey White (RUS):
“Despite the bad result, we have done a lot of positive things in this Championship. We are a very young team, and we are satisfied with the competition we have done because we have improved a lot since Shanghai.”
Christy Rawstron (RUS):
“We did the best we could, but still we can do better. We used this Championship to develop our technique.”
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