Water Polo Women: Day 4: ESP 18 NZL 6
Spain scored its fourth consecutive victory over New Zealand at World Championship level, winning their quarterfinal qualification match 18-6. Spain was never in doubt as the Olympic silver medallist showed why standing on that podium in London last year was so special and a world title is what it really wants.
Spain was aided by six converted penalty goals as centre forwards gained the better of their opponents. New Zealand gained one so it became the match with the highest number of penalty attempts in Barcelona, men or women.
New Zealand was stubborn enough to keep at the attack until it worked, finding success with extra-man attack on three occasions. Two goals in the second quarter was a highlight but losing second goal-scorer Danielle Lewis late in the period on three major fouls was a low light.
It was probably the highest fouling match of the championship with 16 major fouls each with three Spanish players and two Kiwis sidelined.
Spanish captain Jennifer Pareja led by example with two of the three opening goals and three more later in the match. Roser Tarrago scored two penalty goals in her four strikes and Maica Garcia enjoyed two goals on extra, centimetres from the goal.
New Zealand now departs the championship and Spain is looking to win its next three matches to do the host city proud.
Match 28: 13:30, Quarterfinal Qualification, SPAIN 18 NEW ZEALAND 6
Quarters: 5-1, 4-2, 3-2, 6-1
Referees: Ian Melliar (RSA), Nenad Golijanin (SRB).
Extra Man: ESP: 2/6. NZL: 1/5
Pens: ESP: 6/6. NZL: 1/1.
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar, Roser Tarrago (4), Matilda Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (5), Lorena Miranda, Pilar Pena (2), Andrea Blas (2), Ona Meseguer, Maica Garcia (2), Laura Lopez (3), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Emily Cox, Kelly Mason, Nicole Lewis, Alexandra Boyd, Lynlee Smith, Sarah Landry, Danielle Lewis (1), Lauren Sieprath (1), Casie Bowry, Kirsten Hudson (2), Alexandra Myles (2), Ianetta Hutchinson. Head Coach: Attila Biro.
Jennifer Pareja (ESP):
“We played our game to win today and stay in the championship. The next game against the USA will be different than at the last Olympic Games. We have to play the perfect game against the USA and our defence will be the key to success. We are attacking very well. We have been attacking very well in the tournament. We are in a great moment and ready to beat the USA. We’ll need all the support of our fans.”
Laura Ester (ESP):
“We are looking forward to the match on Monday and we are ready for the challenge against the USA. I hope that our fans will push us to the victory here in Barcelona.”
Miki Oca (ESP Head coach):
“The Olympics are one year ago and both teams have developed since then. We are ready for the quarterfinals; any opponent would have been tough at this stage, not only the USA. They are strong in every aspect. We need to play a great defence and must keep cool in the attack.”
Brooke Millar (NZL) :
“We recognise Spain is a very good team but we are sad because the championship has concluded for us. It was a great experience.”
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