WP Juniors (W), Day 6: USA and Spain will meet in the final

FINA World Junior Water Polo Championships

Volos (Greece), 24 August - USA and Spain are the two teams fighting for the world crown in Volos, after two very solid semifinals against Greece and Russia respectively. For the home country, remains the hope of a bronze medal, after a tournament in which they only fell to the North Americans. In other results of the day, Hungary and Italy, after their wins against Australia and Great Britain, will fight for a place in the best-5. Uzbekistan finished in 11th, while the Canadians got the 9th spot of the competition.

Places 11th – 12th: UZBEKISTAN 5 - UKRAINE 4

Quarters: 0-1, 1-0, 2-1, 2-2

Teams:
Uzbekistan: DUKHAKOVA Elena, DADABAEVA Nellya  2, LARCHENKO Anastasiya, PIFTOR Eseniya, DJUMALIEVA Angelina 3, SHAYDULLINA Regina, MOROZOVA Ekaterina, NIGMATULLINA Rufina, UMAROVA Liliya, KOZLOUSKAYA Valeriya, TESHABAEVA Ziedahon, PULATOVA Maftuna, KAMILA Abdeeva

Ukraine: DVORZHETSKA Elena, BULAKH Anfisa 1, MELNYCHUK Anastasiya 1, ANDRYEYENA Mariya, TELYPKO Dina, LYSENKO Valeriia, SERHIEIEVA Viktoriia, FILIUSHKINA Anastasia, PALAMARCHUK Mariia, FEDUTENKO Kateryna 1, SHEVCHENKO Karyna, ABOIMOVA Iryna 1, GRES Anastasia

Extraplayer:
UZB: 2/5
UKR: 1/3   

Penalties:
UZB: 0/1
UKR: 0/0

Referees: Lionel RANDAL (RSA), Mr. William MACKAY (AUS)

It was the second game between the two teams in the tournament and the outcome was the same - Uzbekistan celebrated another victory against Ukraine. Despite the initial advantage (1-0) of Ukraine at the end of the first period, the squad of Uzbekistan which had Angelina Djumalieva particularly inspired (three goals), succeeded to equalize before the half time and finally to secure the victory for the 11th place of the championship.

Places 9th – 10th: NEW ZEALAND 9 - CANADA 12
Quarters: 3-2, 2-3, 1-5, 3-2

Teams:
New Zealand: MURPHY Olivia, GRAHAM Taymee 1, MAHADEVAN Renuka, LALA Nina, COUVE-CAMPBELL Simone, PARKS Rebecca 1, GEARY Chelsea 1, LOPES DA SILVA Caitlin 1, REWI-HENRY Natashia, BURNS Rachel, FERIGO Ricci 1, ENOKA Kate 4, HERRIOT Zephyr

Canada: GAUDREAULT Jessica, LEKNESS Rae Francis 1, STEENKAMER Rebekka 1, SOHI Gurpreet 3, CREVIER Roxane, MATHEWS Kelly, ROBMSON Cara 1, MCKELVEY Harley 2, WRIGHT Emma 3, KINDRED Paul, TIELMANN Alexa 1, WRIGHT Claire

Extraplayer:
NZL: 2/6
CAN: 1/5

Penalties:
NZL: 3/3
CAN: 0/1

Referees: Andrew ALLEN (GBR), Boris AKBERDIN (KAZ)

It was the second classification match of the day with the two teams fighting for the 9th position. New Zealand entered the game in better mood - 3-2 at the end of the first period -, but at half time the score was tied. The third quarter clarified the situation and gave the indication of the winner. Canada, with Kate Enoka leading the attack, succeeded to score five goals, while New Zealanders only netted one, thus assuring a decisive difference of four goals. In the last quarter, the Kiwis only managed to reduce to a three-goal difference; as a result, the North Americans celebrated their 9th-place finish.

Places 5th-8th: GREAT BRITAIN 5 - HUNGARY 13

Quarters: 3-3, 0-5, 2-2, 0-3

Teams:
Great Britain: SMITH Jade, TASKEN Lauren, GRIMES Honor, GILBERT Sophie, CHADDERTON Ella,  HESKETH Katie 2,  TAFAZOLLI Brook, NIXON Claire 3, HUCK Rosemary, DEAN Courtney, ELLIOT  Danielle, OSCROFT Rhianne, THOMPSON Kate

Hungary: HORVATH Anna, ILLES Anna Krisztina 1, Dora ANTAL 6, GURISATTI Greta 2, MISKOLCZI Ibolya Kitti 1, KOVESDI Vivien, GEMES  Alexa Anett 2, GARDA Krisztina, MILKOS Dora, ZIEGLER Diana, HORVATH Brigitta 1, POLAK Zsofia, BARNA Edina

Extraplayer:
GBR: 3/7
HUN: 2/4

Penalties:
GBR: 1/1
HUN: 2/2

Referees:   Daniella DABBAGHAIN (USA), Vyacheslav BYELYEVTSOV (UKR)

Despite Hungary’s loss from USA, the Magyars did not drop their heads and took an easy win against Great Britain. The British team succeeded to stay close for only the first period. The rest of the game was a Hungarian monologue. The Magyars arrived to half time with an advantage of five goals, and as the time passed they constantly improve the difference in their favour. Finally, it stopped at eight goals. After this victory, the team of Mihok Attila, which had Antal Dora on fire with six goals, is looking forward to tomorrow’s last game against Italy for places 5-6.

Places 5th – 8th: AUSTRALIA 3 - ITALY 7
Quarters: 0-1, 0-4, 2-1, 1-1

Teams:
Australia: DAVIES Michaela, COLENSO Brinte, CARR Emily, ZIMMERMAN Jessica, EARL Cathryn, MARTIN Shannan 1, MALLIGAN Bronte, APPEL Jayde, SCHMID Maddison, BENSON Emily 1, BARR Chloe, BAXTER Morgan 1, HEDGES Lilian

Italy: SPARANO Fabiana, DARIO Sara 2, VERDUCCI Martina 1, VIACAVA Giulia 1, MILLO Alessia, REPETTO Laura, GALARDI Giuditta, TABANI Chiara, PALMIERI Valeria 3, MARLETTA Claudia, GRILLO Roberta, POMERI Francesca, NIGRO Divina

Extraplayer:
AUS: 1/5
ITALY: 1/6

Penalties:
AUS: 0/2
ITA: 1/1

Referees: Svetlana DREVAL (RUS), Ernest INESTA (ESP)

Both teams looked really disappointed after their non-qualification for the semifinals, which were obviously part of their plans at the beginning of the tournament. However, Italy gained from the early beginning the control of the game and went to the half time with a five-goal difference. In the second part of the match, Australia seemed to wake-up, nonetheless the clock was not its ally. Despite the fact that before the end of the third period the score was 2-6, Aussies did not succeed something more and as a result the final whistle consecrated Italy as the winner.

SEMIFINALS: GREECE 3 - USA 10

Quarters: 1-2, 1-5, 1-2, 0-1

Teams:
Greece: DIAMANTOPOULOU Chrysoula, BENEKOU Alkistis 1, DIAMANTOPOULOU Vasiliki 1, CHIDIRIOTI Ioanna, PLEVRITOU Eleftheria 1, XENAKI Eleni, KALOGERAKOU Michaella, PLEVRITOU Margarita, KOTSIA Christina, SORA Maria, BENEKOU Ioli- Aggeliki, KONTOGIANNI Stamatina, TEREFU Stefania

USA: JOHNSON Ashleigh, GROSSMAN Ashley, FISCHER Makenzie 1, FATTAL Rachel  4, SCHROERER Tiera, VAVIC Monica 1, DAUBE Eike, NEUSHUL Kiley 1, DONOHOE Emily 2, BARR Makenzie, HILL Kodianne, WILLIAMS Alys 1, YOCUM Jullian

Extraplayer:
GRE: 0/4
USA: 2/5

Penalties:
GRE: 0/0
USA: 0/0

Referees: Gernot HAENTSCHEL (GER), Nikola BRASILIANO (ITA)

In the first semifinal of the day, home country Greece faced the big favourite of the tournament. The North Americans showed their quality and got a fair qualification for the final. During the first minute, the game seemed quite balanced, but the Americans, being more effective on the attack, went to the end of the first period in front (2-1). By displaying a very solid defence, USA built a safe difference of five goals (2-7) before the half time break. This advantage proved decisive and constituted a really big hit to Greece’s morale. Without much effort, the North Americans continued to control the rhythm of the match, without leaving Greece to cause any threat. The keys of success were the excellent blocks and also the amazing performance of Ashleigh Johnson under the goalposts, which stopped many of Greece’s attacks. The beginning of the last quarter found the team of Dan Klatt having a six-goal advantage and already thinking on the final. On the other hand, Greece has one day to reflect on this semifinal and to prepare for the fight against Russia for the bronze medal duel.

Dan Klatt (USA Head Coach): “We really performed well on defence. Greece is a great team, with a lot of young players, while our players are older and that was on our favour. Our keeper was on a fantastic day and she made a really great performance. Greece is a very skilled team, and we had to be extremely disciplined. The girls did a nice job from the beginning to the end”. On the gold prospect: “We should not consider ourselves as favourite. We had a great game today, but tomorrow is a complete different day. We have to play with the same passion and the same discipline”.

SEMIFINALS: SPAIN 9 - RUSSIA 8
Quarters: 3-1, 4-2, 2-2, 0-3

Teams:
Spain: FERNANDEZ HERRERA Patricia, ZUNIGA Laura Vicente, LLAQUET Anni Espar 2, GARCIA GRAUPERA Carla, AYMERICH Roser Tarrago 4, LOPEZ Irene Gonzalez, LLAQUET Clara Espar 2, MUNOZ Beatriz Ortiz, PASQUAL Marta Bach, ALVAREZ Nar Pastor, ESFORZADO Paula Chillida 1, ARIZA Judith Forca, GONZALEZ Maria Sanchez

Russia: CHAMORDO Victoria, ANTONOVA Diana 1, SIMANOVKH Anastasia 1, KARIMOVA Elvina 1, PERFILYEVA Natalia, BELOVA Olga 2, KUZINA Svetlana, RYZHKOVA Daria, PODELSHCHIKOVA Vasilisa, BOGDANOVA Anna 3, IARONDAIKINA Nade, BABYKSHINA Dinara, VERKHOGLYADOVA Anastasia

Extraplayer:
ESP: 2/4
RUS: 3/6

Penalties:
ESP: 1/1
RUS: 0/0

Referees:   Ursula WENGENROTH (SUI), Liang ZHANG (CHN)

Spain entered the second semifinal of the day with much more confidence than Russia. Being really careful on defence, the Iberians got from the very beginning of the match a two-goal difference (3-1 at the end of the first quarter). Russia’s squad on the other hand seemed very tired from yesterday’s battle against Italy and the extra time. Half time came and the comfortable advantage 7-3 for Spain put the Iberians very close to the final. The second part of the game was a copy of the first one. Spain continued to control the match and also to keep the difference safe. In the last three minutes, the game became a great thriller. The Russians, with an amazing comeback, arrived close to equalise (9-8), but a really bad pass of Chamordo before the last attack killed all Russian’s hope and gave the trigger for the Spaniards’ celebration.

Xavier Polonio (Spain’s Head Coach): “It was very difficult for us after the first day, when we lost from Greece. All the matches were really difficult. Our defence was the key for our win today. Our summer was very long after the Championships in Barcelona and Trieste. The girls are really tired so for us it is very important to play the final. It is amazing”. For the last minutes of the game where Spain seemed a little softened, he added: “We did not attack as we should and Russia pressed us a lot. But on the end, everything went well. Now we have to rest and enjoy the final. USA is the favourite but do not forget that we are the world champions and we have really intelligent players”.