WP World Cup 2014 (W), Day 3: USA and Spain win groups ahead of quarter-finals

Water Polo World Cup

HUN vs USA - credit: Russell McKinnon

United States of America and Spain  have won their groups on day three of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup at the Ugra State University Sports Complex. Group B was settled early when defending champion United States of America delivered a second defeat of the week to Hungary. With three wins, USA won and in the second match, Australia defeated South Africa 20-2 for second spot.

Group A went to Spain even though it lost to Russia 7-6 in the showcase match of the day. In a quality match where all the best players from Spain and Russia stepped up, there could be only one winner and that was the host nation, coming from 6-5 down with 5:28 left on the clock. It forced a three-way tie in the group and after the officials deliberated, Spain still won the group with a +6 goal differential to Russia’s 0. China beat Russia on day one so China was second and Russia third. The match before, China gained second place with a 22-1 victory over Singapore.

Match Reports:

Match 9: 15:00, Group B, HUNGARY 10 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 15
Quarters: 2-4, 1-3, 4-5, 3-3

Referees:  Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN), Keiichi Orikasa (JPN)
Extra Man: HUN: 2/7. USA: 4/12.
Pens: HUN: 2/2. USA: 1/1

HUNGARY: Orsolya Kaso, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal, Hannah Kisteleki (5), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs (1), Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi (2), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka, Anita Hevesi, Kata Menczinger (1), Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.
USA: Samantha Hill, Alys Williams, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (2), Caroline Clark, Maggie Steffens (3), Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (2), Jillian Kraus, Kaleigh Gilchrist (1), Annike Dries (2), Kameryn Craig (3), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

HUN vs USA - credit: Russell McKinnon
HUN vs USA - credit: Russell McKinnon

United States of America made it three straight wins with a controlled and quality effort against Hungary, who ended in third place in the group. Hungary may have opened the scoring, but the USA was soon on top with two snappy goals inside the first two minutes. Dora Kisteleki scored on counter and the match promised much at 2-2. Mel Seidemann responded from the top and nearly three minutes later Rachel Fattal also scored on counter for a healthy 4-2 margin at the quarter. USA then powered away with three goals in 76 seconds for a 7-2 margin early in the second quarter. To Hungary’s credit, it staunched the flow of USA goals and added a third through Rita Keszthelyi from the penalty line. That was 5:13 and no more goals were to come until 6:32 in the third when Maggie Steffens scored her second for 8-3. The score progressed to 8-5 and 10-6 before USA took the game to a six-goal margin when Kaleigh Gilchrist lobbed the goalie. Kisteleki kept Hungary within striking distance with the next four goals for her country, but at 14-10 at 2:05, the cause was lost. Dora Antal spent some time out of the water nursing ice to her face, but returned later in the match.

Match 10: 16:30, Group B, AUSTRALIA 20 SOUTH AFRICA 2
Quarters: 4-0, 5-1, 5-0, 6-1

Referees: Yaqi (Wang CHN), Hong Boon Tan (SIN)
Extra Man: AUS: 4/9. RSA: 1/2
Pen:  AUS: 1/1.

AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Jayde Appel (2), Hannah Buckling (2), Bronte Colenso, Isobel Bishop (1), Bronwen Knox (2), Rowie Webster, Glencora McGhie (3), Zoe Arancini (2), Ashleigh Southern (3), Morgan Baxter (3), Keesja Gofers (2), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.
SOUTH AFRICA: Anke Jacobs, Amica Hallendorf, Kieren Paley (1), Kim Rosslee, Carly Wessels (1), Samantha Shead, Chloe Bradley, Lee-Ann Keet, Christy Rawstrom, Megan Parkes, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White. Rebecca Thomas. Head Coach: Brad Rowe.

AUS vs RSA - credit: Russell McKinnon
AUS vs RSA - credit: Russell McKinnon

Australia did what was expected of it and that was to win. Australia did not need to pile in the goals to claim second spot in the group, and used all players effectively. International newcomer Morgan Baxter scored three of the Aussie Stingers’ first 10 goals with one from the penalty line. Kieren Paley grabbed South Africa’s first goal at 5-1 early in the second period. Paley was dragged from the water at 2:45 in the third period, leaving the team too short. Her head made contact with an opponent while under water and she suffered possible concussion, limiting her chances of playing the rest of the tournament. Her parents, who were in the stands, were the only supporters who travelled from South Africa. South Africa also had to play without star Kelsey White, who suffered a broken nose during an altercation against Hungary the day before. She left the pool at the six-minute mark of the first quarter and will play no further part in the tournament, requiring possible surgery when she returns to South Africa. Her absence from the pool greatly hurt the South African mix. However, she did present for the match and sat the whole time on the bench. Goalkeeper Anke Jacobs was also rested after suffering a neck injury in training in the morning. Carly Wessels netted South Africa’s second goal at 17-2 a little more than three minutes from the end. Australia eased out to 20-2.

Match 11: 18:00, Group A, CHINA 22 SINGAPORE 1
Quarters: 5-0. 7-0, 5-0, 5-1

Referees: Marcela Mauss (GER), Andrew Carney (AUS)
Extra Man: CHN: 0/2. SIN: 0/0
Pens: Nil

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jing Zhang (4), Ping Liu, Yujun Sun (2), Huili Chen (2), Yating Sun (2), Donglun Song (1), Cong Zhang (2), Zihan Zhao (1), Jianing Tian (3), Xinyan Wang (2), Guannan Niu (1), Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).
SINGAPORE: Seet Low, Ting Koh, Su-Lynn Tan, Enci Kan, Adelyn Yew, Angeline Teo, Ser Han Neo, Lynette Tan, Yiwen Ng, Denise Chen, En Yuan Loke (1), Cheng Ong, Eunice Fu. Head Coach: Luo Nan.

CHN vs SIN - credit: Russell McKinnon
CHN vs SIN - credit: Russell McKinnon

China secured second place in the group with head coach Rick Azevedo not needing to press and score at will against a team learning the ropes at the international level. New Zealand was to have been in Khanty-Mansiysk as the Oceania representative, but declined and, on rotation as is done in these cases, Asia gained the spot with Singapore answering the call. China took the opportunity to use newcomers of its own to get as much time in the water as possible as the competition now reaches the crucial stage. Singapore’s sole goal came in the final quarter, thanks to En Yuan Loke. The foul count was the lowest of the tournament with just two majors recorded.

Match 12: 19:30, Group A, RUSSIA 7 SPAIN 6
Quarters: 2-1, 1-1, 2-2, 2-2

Referees: Amber Drury (USA), Dion Willis (RSA)
Extra Man: RUS: 5/9. ESP: 0/5.
Pens: ESP: 2/3

RUSSIA: Evgeniia Novoksenova, Maria Bersneva, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (2), Elvina Karimova, Valeriia Kolmakova, Olga Koryakina, Nadezhda Iarondaykina (1), Maria Borisova (2), Anna Kravchenko (1), Anna Grineva, Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Daria Ryzhkova. Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoriakov.
SPAIN: Patricia Herrera, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (3), Beatriz Ortiz, Matilde Ortiz, Helena Lloret, Clara Espar, Lorena Miranda, Mar Pastor, Roser Tarrago (3), Paula Chillida, Laura Vicente, Maria Sanchez. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

RUS vs ESP - credit: Russell McKinnon
RUS vs ESP - credit: Russell McKinnon

Russia started strongly through Evgeniya Ivanova and Spain had the chance to equalise through penalty via Rosa Tarrago. However, she had the shot stopped and made amends some time later. Russia took a timeout with nine seconds left and Ekaterina Prokofyeva lobbed as the buzzer sounded for 2-1. Ivanova took it to 3-2 on counter with two passes across the three-metre line. Tarrago gained her second for the last scoring of the half. Maria Borisova scored from deep left on extra for 4-2, much to the pleasure of the capacity crowd. Spain then went to the penalty line twice with Tarrago, for her third and 12th for the week and Anna Espar to level at 4-4. Russia was not to be denied and Prokofyeva, already a youth world champion in this pool, sent in a low-flying missile from the top for 5-4. A Spanish timeout at 1.27 was not rewarded and Russia had the crucial numbers at the final break. Anna Espar provided more impetus to her world and European champion team-mates when she scored twice in just over half a minute, first on a short drive and then with a penalty goal, drawn by centre forward Paula Chillida. The score was 6-5 to Spain at 5:28. Borisova scored from her favourite deep-left position and more than a minute later the Russian elation returned in gusto with Anna Kravchenko steering one in off the post. Russia was 7-6 ahead and Spain’s forays down the pool were being blocked. Spain’s last chance came and went when the last-gasp shot was half-hearted. Russia regained the ball, called a timeout at 0:19, stifling any chance Spain had of a draw. Time was wasted and there was no repeat of day one when Russia gave away victory to China.

Leading Scorers:

Roser Tarrago (ESP) - 12
Elvina Karimova (RUS) - 11
Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) - 9
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN) - 9
Nadezhda Iarondaykina (RUS) - 8
Rachel Fattal (USA) - 8