Youth Water Polo (W), Day 7: USA World champion, Canada and Hungary complete podium

World Youth Water Polo Championships

USA was crowned World champion after defeating Canada in a tight 5-4 on the closing day of the FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships at Madrid's swimming centre M-86. USA suffered a lot to defeat Canada, a very powerful team in defense during the whole championship. Even if the Canadians were always behind in the scoreboard with 2-goal differences (2-0 / 4-2), they managed to draw the match level in the final quarter, but a counterattack three minutes before the end by Aria Fischer left the score unchanged in 5-4.

In the very last minute, USA rushed to the final shot and Canada went desperately in search for the tie, but Matthews didn’t succeed and didn’t score the decisive goal. The American team played with time in their favour, and with just 24 seconds left, and their rival’s possession, managed to resist until they got a well-deserved gold medal.



In the bronze medal match, Hungary got the third place on the podium after beating the Hellenic squad in a very intense match between two European teams that know very well each other. The powerful start of the Greeks (4-0) was counteracted by the Hungarians until the concluding 7-7 tie. In the penalties round, Hungary took the lead with a 4-3 score. A great joy for the Hungarian players, whereas the grief was clearly visible on the Greek side.



The new World Women's Youth champions in Madrid - credit: USA Water Polo


Italy got the fifth place of the Championships after edging the Netherlands. Both teams played at a very even level during the first half, and it was in the third quarter when the Italians took the lead until reaching a 5-8 score which would prove to be decisive, partly thanks to Domintilla Picozzi’s goals (4). The final score was 8-11.

On the other hand, the host country, Spain, which was hopeful of getting one of the medals, had to content with the seventh place after defeating China – as it had already happened during the qualifying stage–with a 1-7 score. This time the Spanish team played with a very closed defense and, although they didn’t attack with their usual level of success, they finished the World Championships with a victory.



HUN vs GRE, bronze medal match - credit: RFEN / Quintín García


FLASH QUOTES:

David Paradelo (USA coach):
“The final has been very tough. I feel very happy and proud of my team, and of the victory we have conquered here in Madrid. I lack any more words right now."

Chiara Ranalli (Italy):
“We are very happy and excited with this fifth place. We want to stress that the organisation of the Championships has been truly excellent.”

Juan Carlos Sanchón (Spain coach):
“Mentally speaking, it has been a tough match, and our defense was the key, with China scoring just one goal. As the host country, the balance is two-fold: on the one hand, the final result is not the one we expected; on the other hand, the work we’ve done. The girls have given their best in the pool, and there is nothing to reproach them.”


Game statistics of Day 7:

Game 45, 7th and 8th places: CHINA 1-7 SPAIN
Quarters: 0-2, 1-2, 0-1, 0-2

Referees: Natacha Florestano (BRA) and Gideon Reemnet (NED)

Teams:
China: Xueying Wang, Ying Zhai, Yanan Bi, Zewen Deng, Chenying Li, Xiaohan Mei, Yiwen Lu (1), Jing Zhang, Dunhan Xiong, Yini Cai, Huan Wang and Jingying Wu. Head coach: Wenhua Li.
Spain: Ana Sabugal, Paula Crespi, Anna Gual (2), Carla Abellán, Carla Tohá, Irene González (2), Marina Cordobés (1), Hana Vilanova, Judith Forca (1), Amanda Triviño (1), Marta Mota, Julia Tazueco and Inmaculada Bello. Head coach: Juan Carlos Sanchón.

Action goals: CHN (1) / ESP (7)
Man up goals: CHN (0/8) / ESP (0/8)
Penalty goals: CHN (0/0) / ESP (2/2)


Game 46, fifth and sixth places: NETHERLANDS 8-11 ITALY
Quarters: 2-2, 2-3, 1-3, 3-3

Referees: Svetlana Dreval (RUS) and Nicholas Hodgers (AUS)

Teams:
Netherlands: Laura Aarts, Bieigitte Sleeking (3), Aan Femke, Maartje Keuning, Lizette Rozeboom (1), Brigit Mulder, Maud Koopman (1), Kitty Joustra (1), Ilse Koolhaas, Anouk Bergsma, Bente Rogge (2) and Jalou Vanhelsuwe. Head coach: Jan Vos.
Italy: Divina Nigro, Giusy Citino, Martina Gottardo, Silvia Avegno (1), Chiara Ranalli, Maddalena Fisco (2), Domittila Picozzi (4), Luna di Claudio, Arianna Gragnolati (2), Carlotta Nencha (1), Elena Altamura, Carolina Ioannou (1) and Maria Maiorino. Head coach: Paolo Zizza.

Action goals: NED (4) / ITA (11)
Man up goals: NED (4/12) / ITA (0/6)
Penalty goals: NED (0/0) / ITA (0/1)


Game 47, bronze medal match: GREECE 10-11 HUNGARY (after penalty)
Quarters: 4-0, 2-5, 0-1, 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 3-4

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA) and Fabio Collantoni (ITA)

Teams:
Greece: Eirini Patra, Eleftheria Plevritou (4), Ioanna Chidirioti, Nikoleta Eleftheriadou (2), Vasiliki Plevridou, Eleni Xenaki (3), Michaela Vasiliki Kalogerakou, Maria Patra, Maria Sora, Maria Eleni Nimidi, Virginia Niarchakou (1) and Ioanna Stamatopolou. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Hungary: Gabor Kincso, Dorottya Szilagyi, Csenge Toth (1), Greta Gurisatti (2), Brigitta Horvath (4), Tamara Farkas, Dora Leimeter (1), Szonja Kuna (1), Orsolya Hertzka (1), Viktoria Varga, Zsusanna Mate and Alexandra Kiss. Head coach: Mattyas Petrovics.

Action goals: GRE (6) / HUN (11)
Man up goals: GRE (4/9) / HUN (0/4)
Penalty goals: GRE (0/0) / HUN (0/0)


Game 48, gold medal match: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 5-4 CANADA
Quarters: 2-0, 1-2, 1-1, 1-1

Referees: Marcela Mauss (GER) and Juan C. Colominas (ESP)

Teams:
USA: Carlee kapana, Christiana Manzella, Haley Wan, Mary Brooks, Jordan Raney, Devin Grab, Aria Fischer (4), Makenzie Fischer (1), Brianna Daboub and Maddeline Mussleman. Head coach: Ethan Damato.
Canada: Ymane Hage, Taylor Vijh, Amy Yute, Emma Wright (1), Joëlle Nacouzi, Axelle Crevier (1), Hayley McKelvey (1), Sarah Myers, Kelly Matthews (1), Kindred Paul and Kyra Christmas. Head coach: David Paradelo.

Action goals: USA (4) / CAN (4)
Man up goals: USA (1/9) / CAN (0/7)
Penalty goals: USA (0/0) / CAN (0/0)


Courtesy of Rodrigo Gil-Sabio, RFEN