Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Greece will play Russia for the gold medal here in Volos: the host side won a tremendous battle against the Netherlands (7-6) while the Russians scored spectacular goals while upending Spain (9-6).

 

The semi-final night saw 2,200 people gathering around the pool, inside the complex on the stands or on any neighbouring buildings offering a viewing platform, including the adjacent football stadium. The home fans created fantastic atmosphere, even at the end of the first SF when they warmly applauded the Russian team which came from behind to beat Spain. The decisive goals in the fourth period belonged to the very finest ones scored in this tournament.

One of Russia's eight action goals: a fine lob from Tolkunova - Credit: Apostolos Zacharakis

The battle between the Netherlands and Greece was even more thrilling, the Dutch had the better start but the home side managed to go even thanks to its outstanding player Eleni Xenaki who netted three goals from the centre despite guarded heavily. After sheer excitements the Greeks managed to prevail by a single goal, just like they did against the US in the quarters.

That was the third one... Eleni Xenaki in action and it was impossible to stop her...

The Americans bounced back and won the North American derby against Canada to set up their last match against Hungary to be played for the 5th place. The Magyars overcame Italy thanks to their man-down defence as they killed 13 Italian 6 on 5s on (on 15 attempts). Italy lost its second low-scoring contest in two days, after going down against Russia (5-4 in the QF), this time it ended 4-3 (to Hungary).

Contrary to the game in the prelims, China beat Australia this time and clinched the 9th place, while New Zealand beat Serbia with ease to finish 11th.

Schedule for Saturday

11.00 For places 7/8: Canada v Italy

12.20 For places 5/6: United States v Hungary

18.40 Bronze medal match: Netherlands v Spain

20.00 World Championship final: Greece v Russia