Budapest, Hungary, July 26.— Olympic and reigning world champion United States of America will shoot for a fifth FINA World Championship crown on Friday when it takes on 2013 world champion Spain in the gold-medal final at the Alfred Hajos Pool on Friday night.

USA beat Russia 14-9 in the first semifinal and Spain was never headed and equalled only once in downing Canada 12-10. 

USA was unfazed by Russia's two-goal opening in the pouring rain and the brilliance of Rachel Fattal's five goals, Maddy Musselman's four and captain Maggie Steffens' three, showcased USA's strengths and proved too powerful for Russia. Russian captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva netted three as her team can be proud of its effort.

Spain thoroughly deserved its victory, scoring first and going to a four-goal margin early in the third period as Anna Gual, who only had two goals going into the semifinal, amassed five goals. One wonders how she and Fattal perform on Friday. 

In the classification 5-8 semifinals, Italy emerged an 18-17 victor over Australia following a last-gasp goal by Bronte Halligan, which forced the match to a shootout that needed sudden death to separate the teams. Italy claimed the shootout 7-6 in which five shots failed to cross the line. Italy's Roberta Bianconi scored four goals in the  first quarter, grabbed the go-ahead goal late in the fourth period and nailed two shootout goals.

Hungary headed off Greece 10-9 in the other 5-8 semifinal, after not taking the lead until late in the third period and going three up with six unanswered goals. Hungarian captain Rita Keszthelyi netted three times in the popular victory in front of a near-capacity crowd.

In classification matches in the morning session, France took 11th place over New Zealand 9-7 and a disappointed Netherlands swam over China 14-7 for ninth position. 

Match schedule:

Match 39, 10.30, NEW ZEALAND 7 FRANCE 9
Classification 11-12

Match 40, 12:00, NETHERLANDS 14 CHINA 7
Classification 9-10

Match 41. 13:30, ITALY 18 AUSTRALIA 17 in sudden-death penalty shootout (FT: 11-11)
Round 5-8 Semifinal 

Match 42. 15:00, HUNGARY 10 GREECE 9
Round 5-8 Semifinal

Round 1-4 Semifinal

Match 44, 22.00, CANADA 10 SPAIN 12
Round 1-4 Semifinal

Friday final-day schedule:
Match 45, 12:00, AUS v GRE (Classification 7-8)
Match 46, 13:30, ITA v HUN (Classification 5-6)
Match 47, 15:0,0 RUS v CAN (Classification 1-3)
Match 48. 20:30, USA v ESP (Classification 1-2)