Spain went two from two with a solid 14-8 Group B victory over Greece.

Spain will be at the Tokyo Olympics, while Greece will be watching from home. Spain appeared to have more desire and the fact that it took six more shots than Greece was a telling factor. Greece could have taken more advantage of its extra-man-attack chances, netting just six from 11 compared to Spain’s excellent five from seven.

The 5-2 opening quarter in favour of Spain provided the tempo for the match and it seemed inevitable that score would be a handsome margin. Bea Ortiz opened the scoring with a shot into the bottom right and followed up with a counter-attack goal for 4-2. Maica Garcia scored on extra-man attack and from centre forward off a high cross pass either side of the first break as Spain lifted to 6-3. Captain Christina Tsoukala had two Greek goals by 5-3 and added her third at 12-7 when the match was well and truly gone.

The best chance for Greece was at 9-6 midway through the third period and even 10-6 down at the final break was not insurmountable. However, Spain was not going to let up the pressure and scored an Anna Espar penalty goal and an brilliant centre-forward effort from Paula Leiton when she had three defenders smothering her.

Spain’s ability to allow anyone to shoot provided dividends with seven individual shooters, which will please head coach Miki Oca, especially heading into the all-important group decider with USA.

Greece will be exasperated at not gaining a win in the hardest two matches and will now regroup for the final group clash with Kazakhstan.

Full match statistics —

United States of America did what it does best and that’s winning matches — beating Kazakhstan 20-2 after a 15-2 halftime scoreline. It’s USA’s second victory and on Wednesday it will play Spain for the Group B supremacy.

Stephanie Haralabidis (USA) was in scintillating form with five goals, including a pair in the opening quarter, two in the second and one in the final period.

The first-quarter 9-0 margin said it all and the second was a repeat, although Kazakhstan managed its two goals in this period. Darya Roga needed a VAR decision before her shot from the right side of the pool was awarded. Earlier Darya Muravyeva scored a brilliant backhand centre-forward goal, although she appeared to be holding the hand of Melissa Seidemann high in the air in the process.

The third period was unusual for USA and the tournament as it produced just the one goal — to Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) — and that was from the penalty line. It would be true to say that Kazakhstan played its best water polo in the middle half.

If USA had a blemish it was the saved penalty attempt in the dying minutes when Aria Fischer saw her low shot tipped over the bar by Alexandra Zharkimbayeva. Paige Hauschild scored the last goal through penalty, meaning five from six from the line. USA might not be impressed with its six from 11 attempts conversion of extra-man attack, but the win was well deserved and placed it in a position to finish top spot in the group.

Madeline Musselman scored three of the first five goals, showing her worth to Team USA.

Full match statistics —