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.
Water Polo Women, Day 6: GRE 12 CAN 8
Shanghai world champion Greece defeated Canada 12-8 in the round of 5-8 semifinals, bettering the 8-8 draw in the rounds on day three and a draw in a pre-worlds tournament.
Greece made its intentions known in the opening quarter when Canadian goalkeeper Michele Relton saw too many balls pass her head as her team’s defence was poorly set.
Water Polo Men, Day 5: ITA 4 ESP 3
Memories of the 1992 Olympic gold-medal match were rekindled when Italy beat Spain4-3 in the quarterfinal clash at Bernat Picornell Pool. The final day of the water polo competition was played here and Italy needed many periods of extra time to overcome Spain.
Italy did not need extra time tonight but could only score once in the second half for the low-scoring victory that sent it into the semifinals against Montenegro.
Hungary-Croatia and Montenegro-Italy set for men’s semifinals
Hungary will play Olympic champion Croatia and Montenegro will face Italy in Thursday’s semifinals of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool. It was a day of drama in the quarterfinals today as each team had to battle for the right to contest the semifinals.
Hungary came through the opening match, turning a 3-2 halftime lead to 5-3 at the final break and 9-3 at full time, thanks to a better extra-man scoring statistic.
Water Polo Men, Day 5: MNE 9 SRB 8
The unthinkable happened when World League champion and Olympic bronze medallist Serbia was outplayed by neighbour Montenegro 9-8, scoring 70 seconds from time to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
For Serbia, silver medallist at Shanghai two years ago and winner in Rome two years before that, it will be a rare trip to the round of 5-8, not having played outside the top four since independence from Montenegro in time for the 2007 World Championships.
Water Polo Men: Day 5: CRO 7 AUS 6 in extra time (FT: 5-5. ET: 2-1)
The Aussie Sharks prowled, snapped at Olympic champion Croatia and nearly celebrated with a feast before losing a thrilling 7-6 extra-time, quarterfinal at Bernat Picornell Pool this evening. Croatia clawed back into the game after being 4-2 and 5-3 down against Australia early in the final quarter to level the match at 5-5 and force extra time.
It might not have gone to extra time had Australia’s championship highest goal scorer Richard Campbell not hit the right upright on extra-man attack with 18 seconds left from two metres.
Water Polo Men, Day 5: HUN 9 GRE 3
Hungary shut down the Greece extra-man attack and swam away with the first quarterfinal 9-3 at Bernat Picornell Pool. The normally reliable Greek man-up play was not to be seen as it converted just two from 15 chances. It must be said that Hungary was pressured heavily as well, but the five-from-13 catch was what killed Greece’s chances to progress to the medal round.
Gaining superiority is what the game is all about and Hungary firstly and then Greece gained the eye of the referees too often and it became a revolving door to the corner of the pool.
Water Polo Women: Day 5: ESP 9 USA 6
It was the Olympic final all over again. This time the script had changed and Spain won instead of United States of America. Four times USA came within one goal of Spain, but that was it. Spain won 9-6 — a six-goal turnaround from the London Olympics just a year ago.There was no Maggie Steffens five-goal haul but there was a Jennifer Pareja four-goal procession in the first half as Spain turned at 4-2, levelled the third quarter 1-1 and won the last 3-1. This was all about Spain, five times the bridesmaid and twice finishing level with USA in major competition, but never winning before tonight.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: Spain inflicts more pain on USA as Olympic champion bows out of medals
For the second day in a row, Spanish water polo teams have bundled United States of America out of medal contention at the Bernat Picornell Pool. On Sunday, the men defeated USA 10-6 in a quarterfinal qualifier and tonight in a rematch of the 2012 London Olympic Games final, it was Spain’s turn to turn the tables on the USA, winning 9-6, vastly different from the USA’s 8-5 victory a year ago.
With half of Barcelona seemingly in the stands, they cheered on Jennifer Pareja and her team to what was an historic victory as Spain has never beaten USA in a major championship — drawing two and losing five.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: HUN 11 NED 7
Shooting efficiency proved the killer punch as Hungary produced a stunning 7-1 opening half and finished 11-7 over Netherlands in the third quarterfinal at Bernat Picornell Pool this evening. Hungary became the second top-four team to make the semifinals after Australia earlier beat Greece.
The statistics say it all with Hungary shooting at 44 per cent with its 25 attempts. Netherlands, looking so nervous as the whistling of accurately fired yellow balls whipped past their heads on a regular basis, could manage just 21.9 percent from 32 shots. The Dutch could not say they didn’t have their chances.
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