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Water Polo Women, Day 5: Spain inflicts more pain on USA as Olympic champion bows out of medals
For the second day in a row, Spanish water polo teams have bundled United States of America out of medal contention at the Bernat Picornell Pool. On Sunday, the men defeated USA 10-6 in a quarterfinal qualifier and tonight in a rematch of the 2012 London Olympic Games final, it was Spain’s turn to turn the tables on the USA, winning 9-6, vastly different from the USA’s 8-5 victory a year ago.
With half of Barcelona seemingly in the stands, they cheered on Jennifer Pareja and her team to what was an historic victory as Spain has never beaten USA in a major championship — drawing two and losing five.
Pareja scored her four goals in the first half as she helped her team to a 4-2 opening quarter, 5-4 at halftime and 6-5 at the final break. For more than a minute near the end the score was 8-5 ironically but that became a match-winning 9-5 and a late USA goal went in silence.
Spain will now meet Hungary in one semifinal while the other semifinal will be between Olympic bronze medallist Australia and the swift Russia.
Russia started the day’s proceedings with a 17-9 margin over Canada in which Ekaterina Prokofyeva captain Evgeniya Ivanova scored four each. Russia led 8-3 at halftime.
Australia won the second quarterfinal 9-5 over outgoing world champion Greece with goals being spread around by both teams. The Aussie Stingers led 4-2 at halftime and drew the third period 2-2.
The Hungary-Netherlands match was a statistical nightmare for the Dutch as Hungary won its 50th World Championship encounter — a record — by 11-7. Hungary led 7-1 at halftime in what was an obviously dominating display. Rita Keszthelyi scored four goals by halftime.
Wednesday semifinal round:
Round of 5-8:
15.30 Game 37 CAN v GRE
17.00 Game 38 NED v USA
Round of 1-4:
20.15 Game 39 RUS v AUS
21.45 Game 40 HUN v ESP