Water Polo Women, Day 6: USA 12 NED 11
In what could loosely be termed a rematch of the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold-medal final, United States of America had the better of Netherlands in the second round of 5-8 semifinal, winning 12-11. In Beijing it was the Dutch who won by a goal — 9-8 — and Danielle De Bruijn was the queen of the pool with seven goals.
Today it was one of her countrywomen who stood up and tried to get the women in orange across the line. Lieke Klaassen netted four goals as the Dutch came back from 9-7 down at three-quarter time then from 11-8 and 12-9 down to nearly clinch a draw and possible extra time. This lifted her well clear of the pack with 22 for the championship.
From Beijing, Netherlands had four gold medallists — goalkeeper Ilse van der Meijden, captain Yasmin Smit, Biurakn Hakhverdian and Iefke van Belkum — and USA two silver medallists — goalkeeper Elizabeth Armstrong, and Kameryn Craig.
Centre forward Craig had the match and the goal at her mercy with 48 seconds left on the clock, turning at two metres and bouncing the ball into the cross bar, only for the Dutch to go to a timeout and try to net at the other end. It was not to be and USA gained some sort of retribution for the hot summer’s day in Beijing.
The lead changed three times in the first half but once USA went 5-4 ahead through Jillian Kraus, it kept at least one goal between the two recent Olympic gold-medallist teams.
Match 38: 17:00, Semifinal Round 5-8, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 NETHERLANDS 11
Quarters: 2-2, 3-4, 2-3, 4-3
Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Daniel Flahive (AUS).
Extra Man: USA: 3/4 (3/8). NED: 2/3 (2/7).
Pens: USA: 1/1.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth Armstrong, Lauren Silver, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal, Caroline Clark, Margaret Steffens (2), Courtney Mathewson (2), Kiley Neushal (2), Jillian Kraus (1), Kelly Rulon, Annika Dries (2), Kameryn Craig (2), Tumuaialii Anae. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
NETHERLANDS: Ilse van der Meijden, Yasemin Smit (2), Marloes Nijhuis, Biurakn Hakhverdian (1), Sabrina van der Sloot (1), Nomi Stomphorst (1), Iefke van Belkum (1), Vivian Sevenich, Carolina Slagter, Dagmar Genee, Lieke Klaassen (4), Leonie van der Molen (1), Anne Heinis. Head Coach: Mauro Maugeri.
Maggie Steffens (USA):
“2012 was a great year for us, but now it’s 2013 and it’s completely different. Unfortunately we are not able to fight for medals, but the fifth place now is our goal and we are going to fight hard for it.”
Jillian Kraus (USA):
“It was a tight game and we are satisfied with the victory because the Netherlands are a very good team. We are still very motivated in this tournament even if we don’t play the semifinals. We’ll try to finish the competition well.”
Marloes Nijhuis (NED):
“I’m very unhappy, the team is disappointed because we made many mistakes. Now we expect to play a good match against Canada. And we won’t make the same mistakes.”
Lieke Klaassen (NED):
“I don´t care if I´m the top scorer at this championship (22 goals). I just want my team to win. It´s a shame we play for seventh place, because we are really a good team. We just didn’t play well.”
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