Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Auckland, December 15.— Spain, United States of America, China and Italy have earned quarterfinal shots after preliminary-round play on the fourth day of the FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.

Spain defeated Australia 14-7, USA shut out Germany 21-0, China defeated Canada 12-9 and Italy closed the evening’s entertainment with a 15-9 win over host New Zealand.

In the first match of the day, Mexico bowed out with 15th place after losing a play-off match to Japan, 24-6.

The tournament, like the youth men's event some months ago, is being played with just 11 of the 13-player rosters, with 25 seconds possession time and 15 seconds exclusion periods. This makes for a much faster style of game with more shots and plenty of goals. However, following this tournament, FINA is not expected to continue with experimental rules.

Live streaming of all matches is via:


Friday programme:

Match 32:  09.30am, RSA -JPN (13th & 14th)

Match 33: 10.50am, AUS-GER

Match 34: 12.10pm, NZL-CAN

Match 35: 04.00pm, RUS-W29

Match 36: 05.20pm, NED-W30

Match 37: 06.40pm, GRE-ESP

Match 38: 08.00pm, HUN-ITA


Match reports:

Match 26, 2.40pm, JAPAN 24 MEXICO 6

Classification — loser 15th

Quarters: 5-2, 7-2, 7-1, 5-1

Referees: Daniel Daners (URU), Dasch Barber (RSA)

Extra Man: JPN:  1/2. MEX: 1/6.

Penalties: JPN: 1/1. MEX: 1/1


JAPAN: Riho Sakamoto, Akari Inaba (2), Ann Innoue (3), Asuka Watada (2), Chiaki Terakata (3), Haruna Nonomura (4), Maiko Hashida (3), Ayano Yamamoto (3), Yuka Matsuura (2), Kaho Iwano (2), Yuka Kawatashiro. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.

MEXICO: Lizli Patino, Diana Rojas (1), Lucia Carballo (2), Sofia Carrillo (1), Maria Mendez (1), Mariana Vargas (1), Alejandia Bareno, Beatrice Fragoso, Monique Anderson, Joceline Alatorre, Julia Lara. Head Coach: Fausto Yazquez.


Japan stayed in the competition with a comfortable victory over Mexico. Both teams supplied spectators with plenty of action and Mexico even had its moments in front of the Japanese goal. Unfortunately for Mexico, it bows out with 15th place while Japan gets a shot at 13th place against South Africa on Friday. Japan was fast everywhere in the pool, scoring many goals on counter and with quick hands across cage. For Mexico it was an introduction to this level of the game and something it can build on in the future. Japan deserves to go further in the tournament and can be expected to play at the same supercharged speed on Friday. Ironically for Mexico it was the only game it struggled on extra-man plays, gaining just one from six. On the plus side it scored more action goals than usual.


Picture: Russell McKinnon

Match 27, 4.00pm, SPAIN 14 AUSTRALIA 7

Preliminary Round

Quarters: 3-1, 4-2, 3-2, 4-2

Referees: Marcela Mauss (GER), Raffaele Colombo (ITA)

Extra Man: ESP:  1/4. AUS: 3/7.

Penalties: Nil.


SPAIN: Sandra Domene, Paula Crespi (2), Paula Leiton (1), Mireia Guiral (1), Alejandra Aznar (7), Blanca Goset (1), Elia Montoya, Carmen Barringo, Alba Bonamusa (2), Sofia Diaz, Paula Rutgers. Head Coach: Jordi Valls.

AUSTRALIA: Gabriella Palm, Emma Jones, Kiara Holden, Matilda Kearns, Brooke Dickie, Alice Williams, Meghan Ridge, Danielle Morrissey, Sofie Pontre, Hayley Collins, Bridget Johnston. Head Coach: Predrag Mihailovic.


When one player gets to dominate so much it makes it hard to win. Spain’s Alejandra Aznar was given too much space and ultimately no credit as she was left to plunder goals at will, especially in the second quarter where she nabbed four to go with the two from the first period when Spain went 7-2 up. Aznar had six of seven — that’s some achievement. She was shut down in the second half, scoring just once, but at 7-3 by halftime, Aznar and Spain had done the trick. Australia tried to come back into the match to no avail. The power of the Spanish team, so quick to jump on poor Australian passes to the hole position, was shown when Olympian Paula Leiton muscled her way to goal for 12-7 late in the match. Australia’s shooting was soft and passes to the centre forward were pressured on just went wide — easy prey for Spain.


Picture: Russell McKinnon


Preliminary Round

Quarters: 5-0, 6-0, 6-0, 4-0

Referees: Gabriella Varkonyi (HUN), Kazuzo Moribayashi (JPN).

Extra Man: USA: 6/9.  GER: 0/1.

Penalties: USA: 1/2.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Heidi Ritner, Alexis Liebowitz (3), Jewel Roemer (3), Valeria Ayala (1), Paige Hauschild (2), Bayley Weber (4), Madeline Johnston, Sarah Klass (2), Aria Fischer (1), Ryann Neushul (4), Thea Walsh. Head Coach: Marcelo Leonardi.

GERMANY: Liese Lotte Hurrelmann, Nicole Vunder, Meike Weber, Lara Kostruba, Ira Deike, Sophia Eggert, Franziska Dregger, Aylin Fry, Theresa Podsiadly, Nadine Hartwig, Leonie Prinz. Head Coach: Milos Sekulic.


USA eased into the quarterfinals and will play Russia in what should be a blockbuster of a match on Friday. Germany struggled to get the ball in hand in front of goal and failed to have a shot in the second quarter. True, USA pressed hard and forced Germany into errors. These are tactics that might be used in subsequent matches. Germany had 10 shots in the match and used up time by dumping the ball on 30 occasions. Germany slips into the round of 9-12 and will play Australia on Friday.


Picture: Russell McKinnon

Match 30, 6.40pm, CHINA 12 CANADA 9

Preliminary Round

Quarters: 4-2, 2-1, 4-2, 2-4

Referees: Oriol Jaumandreau (ESP), Michael Brooks (NZL).

Extra Man: CHN:  1/4. CAN: 3/5

Penalties: CHN: 1/1.


CHINA: Jingying Wu, Yanan Bi, Sanfeng Nong (3), Dunhan Xiong (2), Shiyun Wang, Wen Su (1), Rui Xu (2), Qingwei Wang (2), Xinyan Meng (2), Jiawen Li, Yuting Xie. Head Coach: Dali Gong.

CANADA: Ana Maria Vulpisi, Tyanna Supreme, Nina Ceklic, Yasmine Rachid (2), Joelle Nacovski (1), Emily Aikema (1), Adrien Van Dyke (1), Verica Bakoc (1), Viktoria Orlova (2), Chayma Hlanadif (1), Katherine Campbell. Head Coach: Andrew Robinson.


China will face Netherlands in the quarterfinals after a clinical match against a determined Canada. China had more finesse, drove strongly, had more accurate shots and used the ball better. The opening quarter lead was thanks mainly to Sanfeng Nong’s three strikes. Canada managed to contain the Chinese attack for much of the second quarter but gave away a penalty goal just before halftime.  The margin went to 7-3, 8-4 and eventually to 10-5 with China set to swim away. However, Canada produced some of its best water polo of the championship, claiming the last three goals in just over two minutes. Canada will now go to the round of 9-12.


Picture: Russell McKinnon

Match 28, 8.00pm, NEW ZEALAND 9 ITALY 15

Preliminary Round

Quarters: 2-4, 5-5, 1-2, 1-3

Referees: Amber Drury (USA), Ziliang Chen (CHN).

Extra Man:  NZL: 1/7.  ITA: 3/10.

Penalties: NZL: 1/1. ITA: 2/2.


NEW ZEALAND: Antonia Young, Emmerson Houghton (2), Malia Josephson, Jessica Marsden (1), Nadia Pavlovich, Caitlin Parker-Allen, Morgan McDowall (2), Emily Nicholson (1), Bernadette Doyle (2), Liana Dance (1), Alisha Winstanley. Head Coach: Davor Carevic.

ITALY: Caterina Banchelli, Agnese Cocchiere (2), Claudia Presta (2), Giulia Cuzzupe (1), Giulia Millo (2), Domitilla Picozzi (1), Elisa Quattrini (1), Lucrezia Cergol (2), Elena Altamura (3), Sara Ingannamorte. Head Coach: Paolo Cizza.


This was a match of excitement, especially with the large home crowd urging the young Kiwis along. The enthusiasm was there up in the stands and also in the water. Italy was always going to be a tough ask and this it proved, even though the Kiwis led 2-0 soon after the start. Italy soon starting rolling and looked comfortable at quarter time. The second period was supreme with New Zealand drawing level at four and five. Italy had the better of the quarter and stretched out 8-6 and 9-7. That became 11-7 in the third with New Zealand pulling one back. One of those was a penalty goal and Italy gained another penalty strike on the first attack of the final quarter. The Italian defence was strong, as was New Zealand’s. Italy went to 14-8 when Elena Altamura scored her third. The Kiwis gained a penalty attempt and Bernadette Doyle converted for 14-9. New Zealand will play Canada for the right to go to the 9-10 play-off. A final Italian strike by Lucrezia Cergol in the dying seconds sealed the match.


Picture: Russell McKinnon