WPWL 2010 (Women): Perennial rivals face off in gold-medal game
World champion and reigning World League champion United States of America will play World Cup champion Australia for gold at the women’s water polo FINA World League Super Finals at La Jolla, California tomorrow. The four-time champion North Americans put paid to Greece’s hopes of a second crown, winning 9-7 while Australia came back from 4-2 down at halftime and twice gave up three-goal leads to beat Russia 8-7. The USA beat Greece 11-9 in the rounds and went out to 5-1 by halftime but allowed Greeec to win the final quarter 4-2 in a confident showing that augurs well for the final. It meant the USA was in its sixth final in seven attempts. Australia has four medals from the Super Finals but has played just the one gold-medal game, losing to the USA in Montreal three years ago.
WPWL 2010 (Women): Australia, Greece, Russia and USA advance to semifinals
Australia will play 2008 champion Russia while four-times winner United States of America will clash with 2005 winner Greece in the semifinals of the women’s water polo FINA World League Super Finals at La Jolla, California tomorrow. The teams earned the honour after the quarter-final round on day four of the six-day event at the La Jolla High School aquatic complex. Amazingly, all semifinalists are from Group B. The Greeks earned the opening spot when they surrendered 6-1 and 10-4 leads to allow Hungary back into the game, forcing a penalty shootout with a 4-1 final quarter. The Hungarians struggled to convert, missing three times with the last miss from captain Rita DRAVUCZ skipping wide to give Greece victory. The World Cup champion Aussie Stingers earned the second berth with a solid effort against the Olympic champion Netherlands — 10-7 — in a game where goalkeeper Victoria BROWN dominated with 17 saves. Russia dragged down the third spot, defeating China 10-6 after earlier leading 4-1. The host nation USA won a tense encounter with close rival Canada — 7-4 — especially as Canada led 3-0 after the first quarter. This is the seventh version of the women’s FINA World League with all six titles owned by three of the semifinalists.