Classification 1-8 Quarter-finals — Budapest


Netherlands took this match by the scruff of the neck from the start and even though Greece started first, the Dutch were 3-1 up by the quarter and never relinquished the lead. It was a dominant performance, full of confidence and skill. Greece struggled to maintain any momentum and struggled even more to pull back goals as Netherlands kept responding. Netherlands went to 4-1 in the second quarter, was 7-3 up before Greece pulled another back. It was Maria Patra who scored twice for 7-4 and 9-6 down, but still within striking distance by the final break. It came to within two and then the Dutch slammed in three and the quarter-final was done and dusted.

Match heroes
Lola Moolhuijzen was named the best in pool, again, scoring four goals from six attempts, making her the most dangerous player. Laura Aarts made 10 saves in the Dutch goal while at the other end, Ioanna Stamatopoulou also dragged down 10 shots.

Turning point
The 4-1 start was the most prominent moment of the match and the three-goal flourish to seal the match in the final quarter was also most impressive.

Stats don’t lie
Both teams went three from eight on extra-man attack but, Netherlands scoring percentage was far better and the final score showed this.

Bottom line
Netherlands deserves to be in the top four. It looked the better team while Greece still has an opportunity to recover and star in the round 5-8.

What they said
Evangelos Doudesis (NED) — Head Coach
“We should move a little bit more in attack. In the second half, Greece had some chances in the centre position, so we should do a little bit better, but it was OK. We will play the winner of the Hungary vs. Australia game. These two teams have very good physical attributes, but we are talking about right now the semifinal at the world championship, so there is no excuse.”
Bente Rogge (NED) — Goal Scorer
“The key for the success was our preparation for this game. We knew what we could expect from the Greek team. From the start we had a plan, and everybody kept her own play for that. We played well. I am very excited about the sem-final.”
Alexia Anna Kammenou (GRE) — Head Coach
“We didn’t play well in defence; we lost our concentration, which was typical of us in the previous matches. In offence we were too fast; we did not keep the time. These things were too much. That was the most important game for this young team, but we played with a more experienced team. We have to be patient, we have to make more preparation for a game like this; we need time. Congratulations to the Netherlands; they deserve the victory, played well in the whole game. For us, the only thing is to reach the best position in the next days.”
Ioanna Chydirioti (GRE) — Athlete
“The game was not good for us, because they played really fast and controlled the game. We made some mistakes in the wrong part of the game and we were punished. The next game is a new game, a new day, a new coach, so we try to do our best with keeping our chins up. We have to be focused and we will see.”


Hungary rewarded its vocal fans with a stunning 7-6 victory over Australia in the fourth quarter-final. It was the tables turned as Australia beat Hungary for bronze at Gwangju 2019. Australia made the running in the first quarter 3-2; Hungary scored the only goal of the second, nailed a further two in the third for 5-3 and then the Aussie Stingers narrowed it to one at the start; Hungary responded; Australia replied and Hungarian captain Rita Keszthelyi scored her third goal from centre forward at 1:15. Two goals was too far for Australia, or was it? Bronte Halligan levelled with 19 seconds to go, but, in reality it was too late and Hungary advanced and Australia will have to settle for a shot at fifth position.

Match heroes
It was Keszthelyi who demanded the attention. He stood up for her team and did what was needed and score a triple against a more physical opponent. Halligan was the best for the Stingers, scoring her first on extra-man attack and the second from the penalty line, a position that Australia has struggled with in Hungary.

Turning points
Hungary keeping Australia scoreless the entire middle of the match and a few minutes either side. By going to 5-3, it became hard work for the Oceanian side.

Stats don’t lie
Hungary secured three from 10 on extra-man attack and Australia three from eight. Gabi Palm made a magnificent 16 saves in the Aussie goal while Hungary’s Alda Magyari stopped nine.

Bottom line
Hungary deserves the semifinal spot and Australia deserves praise for its excellent start and brilliant comeback. However, the middle was a period it will wish to forget.

What they said
Attila Biro (HUN) — Head Coach
“I think we took control of the game after we conceded two centre-action goals. I was not calculating this lurch, but after that we changed our defence and then Alda (Magyari) did a great job in our goal. The game was so physical, and it was mirrored by the result. I think today we didn't beat them in water polo, but we took the upper hand in strength and fighting.”
Natasa Rybanska (HUN) — Goal Scorer
“It was very tiring, the whole match. From outside it was much easier to enjoy the game than from inside. It was a life-or-death experience. The fans really helped us. The whole atmosphere was really beautiful. I am very, very grateful for the Hungarian supporters. I am really happy about the victory. We didn’t really think about the semifinal yet; all our focus was on this match. Now we take some rest and start to focus on the Netherlands.”
Paul Oberman (AUS) — Head Coach
“I think we played very well. We played good defence, but unfortunately did not score enough goals. All congratulations to Hungary; they were better than us today. The atmosphere was so fantastic and it gave a good experience for the girls, because sometimes we play in our homeland only for 50 people, so play for 6000… yes, it is fantastic. I am so proud of our girls. We did a good job even if they are not professional players and the resources we had in Australia with that, we did the best we can. We just have to rise from this loss and continue our work.”
Tilly Kearns (AUS) — Goal Scorer
“We new it was going to be a tough game with Hungary. We prepared for this game the best we could, but yes, they were really aggressive at offence and it showed in the scoreline. Honestly, I loved it to play in an atmosphere like this; it makes me want to play harder. I loved the crowd even if they were not going for me. It was intimidating, but it was really exciting, too. The loss is a hard thing; we have to support each other at this time.”