FINA WOMEN’S WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINAL
- June 4-9, 2019
- Venue: Duna Arena, Budapest, Hungary
- Time: UTC+2; 6 hours ahead of ET
- Live Streaming: All matches will stream live on FINA TV, subscription required
- Tournament Central
- Tournament Preview
The United States women’s national water polo team kept itself atop Group B with a crushing 15-4 win over regional rivals Canada on Wednesday. The Americans wrap group play against Russia on Thursday. Italy, meanwhile, edged out the Netherlands 8-7, firmly planting itself in the Group A lead with six points. The Italians have a contest against 0-2 China left on the slate.
In other action, Australia downed China to gain its first three points of the competition in Group A, while Russia moved to 2-0 with a 14-9 win over Hungary in Group B.
Reminder: the preliminary rounds only determine seeding for the quarterfinals, as all 8 teams will advance to the knockout stages.
Day 2 Results
- Australia def. China 10-8
- United States def. Canada 15-4
- Italy def. Netherlands 8-7
- Russia def. Hungary 14-9
Standings after Wednesday:
Australia def. China 10-8
Zihan Zhao put in three goals for China, while Jing Zhang added two.
Webster (6:06) and Halligan (3:23) put Australia up 2-0 in the opening period, but Zhang (2:47) and Xiao Chen (1:04) responded to level the score.
Buckling came through with two goals (6:27, 4:23) in the second to make it 4-2. Zhang (3:00) cut the margin to one heading into halftime.
Both teams managed three goals in the third period although China briefly earned the advantage, tying the score at 4 and 5 before taking the lead at 6-5 on a Zhao score (3:48). Keesja Gofers (2:23) and Halligan (1:29) put Australia back on top at 7-6.
In the fourth quarter, Zhao leveled the game at 7 (6:26), but the Aussies pulled away with three straight scores to put the game away. Zoe Arancini (5:46), Webster (3:55) and Buckling (2:25) did the honors. China did not give up, however, as Zihan notched the final goal with two seconds left.
“Most of the game we were setting the pace,” Australia coach Predrag Mihailovic said. “It was our task to control the game’s flow. China has been on the chase, which showed their good motivation and mood to play. In the end, we managed to make the game faster, which was one of the major components for the eventual win. There were some bad mistakes in the way we played defensively, so we shall draw conclusions and learn the lesson at this early stage of the competition.
Italy def. Netherlands 8-7
A three-goal third period was the difference in a tight battle between the 2016 Olympic silver medalists from Italy and the 2018 World League Super Final runnerup from the Netherlands.
The Dutch led 4-3 at half time, but were outscored 5-3 the rest of the way to close out an 8-7 victory on Wednesday.
Arianna Garibotti and Elisa Queirolo dropped in three goals apiece to pace the Italian charge. For her part, goalkeeper Giulia Gorlero made 10 saves (out of 17 shots).
It took nearly six minutes before the first goal went on the scoreboard with Queirolo breaking the ice for Italy (2:17). Maartje Keuning followed less than 20 seconds later to knot up the score (1:59) and Brigitte Sleeking put the Dutch ahead 2-1 with just 14 ticks left in the opening stanza.
The teams tied at 2 and 3, before the Netherlands built a two-goal lead at 5-3 with goals by Megens (0:31 in the second) and Sevenich (6:52 in the third). Roberta Bianconi (3:29) and Garibotti (2:41, 0:39) turned the tables and put the Italians on top 6-5.
Megens nailed a penalty shot to start the fourth quarter (7:38), tying the game for the fifth time. Queirolo countered with two more scores for the Italians (5:51, 5:07), putting them on top for good. Sevenich kept hope alive for the Dutch, with a goal with two minutes left (1:56). A shot by Iris Wolves was saved and a last second effort by Megens was left begging to cap the game.
“After a good start we somehow changed our game, our philosophy, our rhythm and this led to the loss of the match,” Dutch coach Arno Havenga said. “We stayed in the game till the very last minutes. We needed a goal, we wanted to tie the game, but unfortunately we did not succeed. We have to analyze our game now. I do not think we have to change our play in general, because so far we have already had some good results. The opponents are all good, we have to recover, stand up and start up again.”
Standings after Wednesday:
United States def. Canada 15-4
After a slim victory on Tuesday, the Americans wasted no time establishing dominance on Wednesday against their neighbors from Canada and never let up en route to a crushing 15-4 win.
Team USA hung six goals on its foes in the opening stanza care of Maggie Steffens (7:22), Maddie Musselman (5:29), Kaleigh Gilchrist (3:40), Alys Williams (2:54), Rachel Fattal (1:58) and Aria Fischer (1:24).
Shae Fournier netted two goals (7:16, 5:09) to get the Canadians on the board in the second quarter, but the USA managed three scores to up the advantage to 9-2 at the half.
Steffens made it 11-2 with two goals early in the third period (7:42, 6:32). Monika Eggens countered for Canada (5:20). The teams then traded four goals leading to a 13-4 score at the end of the stanza.
Stephanie Haralabidis (penalty 7:00) and Musselman (2:45) were the lone scorers in the final quarter, closing out the 15-4 win for the five-time defending Super Final champs.
All told, Musselman led all scorers with four goals, while Steffens added a hat trick. Haralabidis and Aria Fischer chipped in two goals apiece for the Americans.
Fournier and Eggens put in two goals each for Canada.
Team USA goalkeeper Amanda Longan saved 10 of the 14 shots she faced. Canada’s Jessica Gaudreault boasted a 43 percent save percentage (3 of 7), while Clara Vulpisi saved just one of the 12 shots she faced.
“I think it was a hard game, Canada played very aggressively against us, but we were really focused during the whole match and we could be proud of our teamwork,” Longan said. “In the first and in the last quarters we were outstanding in both offense and defense, however, in the middle part of the match we made some annoying errors. We will analyze them later in the evening. It is always sweet to beat Canada because they are also a very competitive team and always fight till the end.”
Russia def. Hungary
Russia’s Ekaterina Prokofyeva put in four goals, beginning with the opener at 5:47 in the first quarter, while Maria Bersneva added a hat trick as Russia took the early lead and never relinquished it on Wednesday. Anna Kamaukh made good on 57 percent of her save chances (12 of 21) in goal to keep Hungary at bay.
Dorottya Szilagyi led six Hungarian scorers with a hat trick. The team made good on both of its penalty shots. In goal, Edina Gangl save nine of the 23 shots she faced.
Four different players – Prokofyeva (5:47), Anastasia Simanovich (3:30), Bersneva (1:45) and Alena Servhantova (1:04) – netted goals for Russia in the opening quarter as the team went up 4-3.
Russia broke away with a 3-1 advantage in goals in the second period and then outscored Hungary 7-5 down the stretch. Evgeniia Soboleva (5:59), Tatiana Tolkunova (3:06) and Bersneva (1:54) helped the Russians pull ahead 7-4 in the second stanza.
Prokofyeva (6:54, 0:43) boosted the Russian advantage to five at 9-4. Dora Toth-csabai countered for Hungary (0:29), but the team could not stop Russia’s offensive onslaught. Despite trailing by seven (13-6) with 3:18 to play, the Hungarians were not deterred. Rebecca Parkes (2:20), Szilagyi (penalty 1:37) and Anilo Gyongyossy (0:52) gave the team three of the final four goals in the match.
“Today we have been more competitive than in the previous game,” Russian coach Andrey Belofastov said. “Our defense worked well, as well as our offensive combinations have found their ways to the opponent’s net. I am pretty satisfied with the way we realized extra man chances, we made some good steals which engineered a number of our counter-attacks. The Hungarian side played in front of a really supportive crowd, which helped them to revive at the end and was like one more player on the field of play.”
Thursday, June 6
15:00 Russia vs. USA
16:45 Netherlands vs. Australia
18:30 Canada vs. Hungary
20:15 China vs. Italy