China, Australia and the USA dominated their games with full control while Spain shrugged off strong challenges from Italy but managed to triumph the FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final here in Shanghai on Friday.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, China will play World League 2015 winners USA and Australia will meet Spain. Canada will face Russia, while Italy will play Olympic hosts Brazil in the games of the last four places.
Game 13: CHINA 13 CANADA 8
Quarters: 4-2, 2-1, 4-1, 3-4
CHINA: Yang Jun, Ma Huanhuan (3), Mei Xiaohan, Xiong Dunhan, Niu Guannan (3), Sun Yating (Captain, 4), Song Doonglun (1), Zhang Cong (1), Zhao Zihan, Zhang Weiwei, Wang Xinyan, Zhang Jing (1), Peng Lin.
Head coach: Ricardo Azevedo
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (Captain, 1), Axelle Creview, Emma Wright, Monika Eggens, Kelly McMee, Joelle Bekhazi (2), Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (1), Hayley MeKelvey, Kelly Matthews, Kindred Paul, Shae Fournier (3), Claire Wright.
Head coach: David Faradelo
China took control of the game and improved the accuracy of its shots, building an early lead as Niu Guannan and Zhang Cong scored 2-0 by Extra Man Goals within three minutes of the first quarter. The hosts team also made use of the Extra Man Goals by collecting 3 points out of 7, while the Canadians only scored 1 out of 7. Sun Yating, captain of China, was the top scorer of the game with 4 goals.
Ricardo Azevedo (CHN): "We know each other's team very well. Today we changed our tactics a little bit by stepping back a little bit. I guess we surprised them and we led the first period. Our defense played better and better after each game but we do need to work more on protecting the ball. Our goalie Yang Jun, captain Sun Yating, Ma Huanhuan and everyone improved during the Super Final. Ma, who competed in two Olympic Games, came back after a two-and-a-half year rest and she scored 3 goals during this game. That's good for her and for our team."
David Faradelo (CAN): "The Chinese team played a very good game and we cab give them credit for it. They took control and kept it throughout the game. We couldn't come back. We are here for progression and we hoped to finish in the top four. But now it is impossible."
Game 14: ITALY 5 SPAIN 8
Quarter: 2-4, 0-1, 1-1, 2-2
ITALY: Gorlero Giulia, Tabani Chiara (1), Garibotti Arianna, Laura Barzon (1), Federica Radicchi, Rossaria Alello, Di Mario Tania (1), Bianconi Roberta, Emmolo Giulia Enrica, Francesca Pomeri, Cotti Aleksandra (1), Frassinetti Teresa (1), Teani Laura.
Head Coach: Fabio Conti
SPAIN: Pareicia Herrera, Ester Ramos Laura, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Beatriz Ortiz (2), Matilde Ortiz, Paula Crespi, Clara Espar, Pilar Pena (Captain), Judith Forca (1), Roser Tarrago (2), Maica Garcia, Irene Gonzalez, Elena Sanchez, Paula Leiton，Laura Lopez (1), Fernandez Patricia
Head coach: Miguel Oca
Spain started aggressively to lead 4-2 in the first quater and played a defensive game, producing 11 exclusion fouls and 2 penalties during the whole game.
Fabio Cont (ITA): "A very, very difficult game! It cost us a lot of energy and power. My girls were very tired today. It was the part of the game that we dealt with the different attacks and various situations. We only made mistakes in the shot because we are in the right physical conditions. We were getting better after each game and that is my expectation from the Super Final. It was the most important thing that my girls fought until the last second. That meant the mentality was good. The only thing we need to improve is physical condition to put more energy. We just finished our national League championships on May 22, and had one week rest. We just had five days of training before we arrived in China. After the Super Final we have seven weeks. We are on the right track of preparation."
Miguel Oca (ESP): "We played a very good game, as Italy is a very strong team. I was satisfied with our defense. Italy didn't defend well. Our girls all play in different clubs when they are in Spain. We formed our national team and trained together just three days before coming here to the Super Final. We have to get the chance to do a good job. There are ten water polo teams in the first level Spanish national leagues, and 8 teams in the second level league. The league season starts from October to May the next year."
Game 15: AUSTRALIA 11 BRAZIL 2
Quarters: 3-0, 5-0, 3-0, 0-2
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (2), Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith (1), Keesja Gofers (1), Bronwen Knox (Captain, 1), Rowie Webster, Glencora Mcghie, Bronte Halligan (1), Ashleigh Southern (1), Isobel Biship (3), Nicola Zagame, Kelsey Wakefield.
Head coach: Greg McFadden
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marinate Zablith（Captain), Camila Pedrosa (1), Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (1), Amanda Oliveira, Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Mariana Duarte, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro.
Head coach: Patrick Oaten
Australia dominated the game from the beginning to the end (3-0, 5-0, 3-0, 0-2), blocking most of the shooting opportunites from Brazil except in the last quarter when Camila Pedrosa and Izebella Chiappini fired goals for Brazil. Isobel Bishop was the top scorer of the game with 3 goals.
Greg McFadden (AUS): "Our defense was very good except in the last quarter. We should block all the shots and made the game finishing 11-0, but we missed two at last by mistakes. Defense is always very important in the game, no matter which team we play with. Tomorrow, we will meet Spain. It will be a difficult game."
Patrick Oaten (BRA): "The defense was fine with us today as we were playing the strong Australian team, we tried to push them as much as we could. But we need to do better in offense with more shots and creating more shooting opportunities. We try to move on and learn after each game."
Game 16 : RUSSIA 7 USA 14
Quarters: 2-4, 2-4, 0-4, 3-2
RUSSIA: Anna Ustyukhina, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Nadezhda Glyzina (1), Maria Borisova (1), Olga Gorbunova (2), Svetlaha Kuzina, Anastasia Simanovich (1), Anna Timofeeva, Evgeniya Soboleva, Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Anna Grineva, Anna Karnaukh.
Head coach: Alexander Gaidukov
USA: Samanth Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann (2), Rachel Fattal (1), Caroline Clark (1), Margaret Steffens (Captain, 2), Courtney Mathewson (2), Kiley Neushul (1), Aria Fischer (2), Kaleigh Gilchrist (1), Makenzie Fisher (2), Kameryn Craig, Ashleigh Johnson.
Head coach: Adam Krikorian
USA showed depth of strong personal capability that saw 9 players hit the net when they claimed victory over Russia 14-7. The unbeaten USA started high as they led all the way through the last quarter 4-2, 4-2, 4-0 while Russia made some mistakes in the defense and surged back to fire 3 goals in the last quarter.
Andrei Belofastov (RUS, Assistant coach): "Our team game was OK but we made some mistakes as we missed a lot of easy goals. A little mistakes maked the difference. The last quarter we played very good with 3 goals. We played much better than the previous three days, but tomorrow is another day. It was a very good tactic game, so the mistakes told us what to do next."
Adam Krikorian (USA): "We were fortunate today especially in the first half. We were fortunate to get something which could easily gone the opposite. The last three minutes of the first half were very important for us that we earned 3 goals from 5-8 and enlarged the gap with Russia. Then we had a good third quarter. I am happy that we don't have to rely on one main scorer but many scorers who can shot from different angles."