World Cup 2014 (W): Champions take centre stage on Day 2

Water Polo World Cup

USA vs AUS - credit: Russell McKinnon

Defending champion United States of America and world and European champion Spain are unbeaten after day two of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup at the Ugra State University Sports Complex.

USA began strongly in the Group B match and maintained a distance against perennial rival Australia before winning 8-6. Spain looked impressive against China in Group A, winning 12-5 after being 7-3 up early in the third quarter. China looked drained after its wonderful upset of Russia the previous night. The lesser lights took stage and South Africa scored three centre-forward goals against Hungary in the 25-3 loss. It was Hungary’s first win in Group B. In the final encounter of the day, Russia beat Singapore 35-2 In a Group A match-up.

Game reports

Match 5: 15:00, Group A, SPAIN 12 CHINA 5
Quarters: 2-1, 4-2, 4-2, 2-0

Referees: Gabriella Varkonyi (HUN), Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN)
Extra Man: ESP: 1/5. CHN: 4/11
Pens: ESP: 1/1

SPAIN: Patricia Herrera, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (3), Beatriz Ortiz (2), Matilde Ortiz (1), Helena Lloret, Clara Espar, Lorena Miranda (1), Mar Pastor, Roser Tarrago (2), Paula Chillida (2), Laura Vicente (1), Maria Sanchez. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.
CHINA: Jun Yang, Jing Zhang (1), Ping Liu, Yujun Sun (2), Huili Chen, Yating Sun (1), Donglun Song, Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (1), Jianing Tian, Xinyan Wang, Guannan Niu, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.

ESP vs CHN - credit: Russell McKinnon
ESP vs CHN - credit: Russell McKinnon

Spain gained a second consecutive win and now will face Russia to claim group supremacy on Thursday. Spain was all over a tired-looking China who lacked punch after a fantastic victory over Russia the night before. Spain had the better of the first half and went to 5-12 before China came into the match, much like the night before against Russia. It seemed that the Tuesday match took it out of the Chinese who struggled early and found it hard getting clean ball to the centre forwards. Roser Tarrago started as she left off with Tuesday’s seven goals, scoring the opener on the first attack. Anna Espar made it 2-0 soon after and inside the final minute of the quarter, Zihan Zhao converted extra-man attack. Anna Espar, Matilde Ortiz and Beatriz Ortiz quickly had the match at 5-1. China struck back twice in the last three minutes of the period to Tarrago’s one for 6-3. Anna Espar scored her third soon after the extra-man period had expired in the first minute of the second half. Chinese captain Yujun Sun from the top and Jing Zhang with a doughnut shot over the goalkeeper’s head on extra, brought the match to 7-5 by 4:29. Paula Chillida (ESP) drove to centre forward, spun on to her back, received the pass and scored for 8-5. Lorena Miranda steered a quick pass back behind her into goal for 9-5 on the next Spanish attack. It became worse for China when Beatriz Ortiz was left unattended on the deep right and a pass to her secured the 10th goal — three devastating attacks and a frustrated Rick Azevedo (USA) — the China head coach. The final extra-man attempt failed to help, as well. The final quarter produced no relief for China with few potent attacks. Luck was against it when both Spanish goals came off rebounds to free players. China now needs to regroup, beat Singapore on Thursday and finish second in the group.

Match 6: 16:30, Group B, HUNGARY 25 SOUTH AFRICA 3
Quarters: 6-2, 4-1, 8-0, 7-0

Referees: Marcela Mauss (GER), Hong Boon Tan (SIN)
Extra Man: HUN: 8/11. RSA: 0/3.
Pens: HUN: 3/3.

HUNGARY: Orsolya Kaso, Dora Czigany (2), Dora Antal (4), Hannah Kisteleki (2), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs (2), Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (5), Barbara Bujka (6), Anita Hevesi (1), Kata Menczinger (1), Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Attila Janos Kelemen.
SOUTH AFRICA: Anke Jacobs, Amica Hallendorf, Kieren Paley (1), Kim Rosslee, Carly Wessels, Samantha Shead, Chloe Bradley, Lee-Ann Keet (1), Christy Rawstrom (1), Megan Parkes, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White, Rebecca Thomas. Head Coach: Brad Rowe.

HUN vs RSA - credit: Russell McKinnon
HUN vs RSA - credit: Russell McKinnon

Hungary gained its first win of the tournament with an easy march over South Africa. Playing without Ildiko Toth, who had a leg injury, Hungary strode through the match with plenty of counter-attack goals and swift passing on extra-man advantage. South Africa was adept at centre forward where its three goals came by three different players. South Africa also managed to make many steals, but it was the faster Hungarians, keen to make up for the loss to Australia on day one, who had the edge. Stand-in Hungarian coach Attila Janos Kelemen used his bench to excellent effect. Andras Meresz was stood down for a match after being red-carded the night before.

Quarters: 2-0, 3-2, 2-2, 1-2

Referees: Alexey Krapivin (RUS), Jaume Teixido (ESP)
Extra Man: USA: 5/6.  AUS: 3/10
Pens: Nil

USA: Samantha Hill, Alys Williams, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (2), Caroline Clark, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul, Jillian Kraus (1), Kaleigh Gilchrist (2), Annike Dries, Kameryn Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Jayde Appel (1), Hannah Buckling, Bronte Colenso (1), Isobel Bishop, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster (3), Glencora McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern, Morgan Baxter, Keesja Gofers (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

USA vs AUS - credit: Russell McKinnon

USA maintained its clean sheet and kept its World Cup defence on target with a well-constructed victory over Australia. USA had the answers while some Australian executions failed to come off. However, at 2-0 down there was no panicking, even when USA went 5-2 ahead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Rowena Webster made the difference for Australia, scoring the 3-2 goal in the second and then both Australia’s goals in the third as the game narrowed to 6-4. Rachel Fattal took her tournament tally to six goals, 14 seconds from time with a long shot that was deflected off a defender. Bronte Colenso narrowed it again two minutes into the final quarter, but Melissa Seidemann responded quickly for 8-5. It took nearly three minutes for the Aussie Stingers to reply through Keesja Gofers — trying to emulate her sister Taniele Gofers, who won a World Cup gold in 2006 — and there was still time, but both teams closed shop and USA was home with the second win.

Match 8: 19:30, Group A, RUSSIA 35 SINGAPORE 2
Quarters: 9-1, 9-0, 9-0, 8-1

Referees: Keiichi Orikasa (JPN), Joao Cardenuto (BRA)
Extra Man: RUS:  4/4. SIN: 1/3.
Pens: RUS: 1/2. SIN: 1/1

RUSSIA: Evgeniia Novoksenova, Maria Bersneva (2), Ekaterina Prokofyeva (3), Elvina Karimova (9), Valeriia Kolmakova (3), Olga Koryakina (1), Nadezhda Iarondaykina (4), Maria Borisova (1), Anna Kravchenko (2), Anna Grineva (3), Evgeniya Ivanova (3), Daria Ryzhkova (4), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoriakov.
SINGAPORE: Seet Low, Ting Koh, Su-Lynn Tan, Enci Kan, Adelyn Yew (1), Angeline Teo, Ser Han Neo, Lynette Tan, Yiwen Ng, Denise Chen, En Yuan Loke, Cheng Ong (1), Eunice Fu. Head Coach: Luo Nan.

RUS vs SIN - credit: Russell McKinnon

On live television, this was going to be a hard ask for Singapore. It was just an outing for Russia ahead of tougher matches and the quarter-time scores show the vast difference in experience and skills. Russia used its bench and everyone had a scoring chance, especially in the first quarter when seven players made the sheet for the home crowd. The rout continued in the second quarter with Daria Ryzhkova scoring a consecutive three goals and Elvina Karimova netting two more for four in the half. She amassed eight goals in the match while many others produced probably some of their best international scoring. Singapore’s two goals came for 1-1 in the first minute via Adelyn Yew and the second at 34-2 through penalty by Cheng Ong.

Leading Scorers:

Elvina Karimova (RUS) - 11
Roser Tarrago (ESP) - 9
Beatriz Ortiz (ESP) - 7
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN) - 7
Nadezhda Iarondaykina (RUS) - 7