Super Final 2011 (Women): USA and Russia win groups ahead of World League quarter-finals
TIANJIN, China (June 16) - Reigning champion United States of America and world No 4 Russia have topped the groups after on day-three action at the FINA Women’s World League Super Final in Tianjin tonight. Playing before another large crowd at the Tianjin Olympic Centre Swimming & Diving Pool, the USA slipped into top place after a shock 11-10 sudden-death, penalty-shootout victory by Greece.
It was a rare win for the Greeks over the USA and the game was a rare event in itself with USA winning the first period 4-0, Greece winning the second 4-0 and the USA throwing three consecutive goals after Greece went 5-4 ahead. Greece closed normal time with the only two goals of the final quarter. Both teams converted three shots in the regular rotation but it came down to sudden death where Stavroula ANTONAKOU scored but goalkeeper Eleni KOUVDOU blocked Kelly RULON’s attempt.
Greek captain Kyriaki LIOSI praised her goalkeeper. “She was very good and caught everything. We didn’t start very well.” On what was said at quarter time: “We must be strong. We must solve the problems and we must score. We did that.”
Super Final 2011 (Women): USA impressive in 8-5 win over China
TIANJIN, China (June 15) - Reigning champion United States of America looked impressive against world No 3 China on day-two action at the FINA Women’s World League Super Final in Tianjin tonight. Playing in the impressive Tianjin Olympic Centre Swimming & Diving Pool in front of 700 people, USA took a 4-2 halftime lead to 8-3 against a jaded-looking China.
Chinese head coach Juan JANE GIRALT said the tournament was tough “with the best eight teams in the world here”. “To play up approximately with the USA and Australia we need to play normal. The solutions are technical. Perhaps I am not selling my ideas very well. We are not creating opportunities very well.”
For USA mastermind Adam KRIKORIAN it was a margin he did not expect. “To beat a team like that by four goals means it must have been an aberration (by them).” He was pleased with his defence — “the five-man defence and the half-court defence”. “Our goalkeeper (Tumuaialii ANAE) played well and I think we were a little too passive once ahead.