2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Water Polo: Saturday, July 24 – Saturday, August 7, 2021
- Men’s Water Polo: Sunday, July, 25 – Sunday, August 8, 2021
- Where: Tatsumi International Swimming Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Full aquatics schedule
- What You Need to Know
- Stream on NBC Olympics
The 4 women’s quarterfinals matches took place today, with Spain, USA, Hungary, and Russia winning, and therefore, advancing to the semifinals.
USA vs Canada
The first match of the day was a #1 vs #4 seed match, with the #1 seed, the USA, downing Canada decisively. The Americans jumped all over Canada early, establishing a 7-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. From there, Canada was in a really tough position. The USA led 11-3 at halftime. Amazingly, there were no goals scored in the 3rd quarter, which marks a great defensive effort from Canada, however, they were unable to score any goals to close the gap. USA led 11-3 going into the 4th quarter, and outscored Canada 4-2 in the final quarter, for a final score of 16-5.
The United States’ defense had a massive effect on Canada, reducing them to just 15% shooting efficiency. 3 of Canada’s 5 goals came on extra player shots. The US defense managed to block 12 of Canada’s shots from even making it to the goalkeeper, a big part of Canada’s struggles. On top of that American goalkeepers Ashleigh Johnson and Amanda Longan combined for 17 saves on the 22 shots that came their way. That’s a 77% save percentage, which is one of the highest we’ve seen at these Olympics.
American starter Aria Fischer was only in the match for less than 14 minutes, but took 2 shots in that time, and managed to score on both.
Spain vs China
The other #1 vs #4 match was Spain vs China, where Spain (the #1 seed) came out ahead in an 11-7 decision. Spain led 5-2 at the end of the first quarter, before going up 9-5 at halftime. The Spanish team outscore China again in the 3rd quarter, 2-1, for a score of 11-6 heading into the last quarter. China actually held Spain to zero goals in the 4th quarter, but only scored 1 goal of their own, which wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Spain’s defense made things difficult for China, who were only able to shoot on 28% efficiency. Additionally, China’s goalkeeper, Yineng Shen, didn’t have her best match. Yeng saved 9 of 20 shots that came her way, for a 45% save rate.
Spain’s Judith Forca Ariza was a nuisance for the Chinse defense, putting up 7 shots and scoring 4 of them.
Netherlands vs Hungary
Hungary bested Netherlands in a tough match, knocking the Dutch team out of the tournament. The match was incredibly close throughout, with Hungary leading 4-3 at the end of the first quarter, 8-7 at halftime, and 10-9 at the end of the 3rd quarter. The match slipped away from Netherlands in the 4th quarter, however, as Hungary outscored them by 3 points, ending the match in a 14-11 decision.
If we’re looking at what ultimately pushed Hungary over the edge, it has to be shooting. The Hungarian team only took 26 shots on the match, but they shot with 54% efficiency, which was 17% higher than Netherlands. Hungarians Dora Leimeter, Anna Illes and Greta Gurisatti were phenomenal for their team, each taking 4 shots. Leimeter scored on all 4 of her shots, while Illes and Gurisatti scored on 3 of their 4 shots. Despite none of the 3 players being in the starting lineup, and playing limited minutes, they came in and scored 10 of Hungary’s 14 goals.
Hungary’s starting lineup wasn’t great offensively, only scoring 3 goals on 13 shots.
Netherlands goalkeeper Debby Willemsz had a rough outing, saving only 4 of the 17 shots that came her way, just 24%.
Russia vs Australia
Russia held off Australia in the 4th quarter to advance to the semifinals, winning the match 9-8. Russia held a 2-point lead at the end of each of the first 3 quarters, resulting in an 8-6 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Australia outscored Russia 2-1 in the 4th quarter, but they needed one more goal in order to force the regulation time tie.
Russia only took 22 shots on the match, which on its face, doesn’t look great. However, Russia put up those 22 shots with 41% efficiency, which far outpaced the Australian 25% efficiency, despite Australia taking 10 more shots.
The semifinals matches are now set. We’ll see Spain take on Hungary in the first match, while the USA will take on Russia in the 2nd match. The winner of each will meet for the Gold medal match, while the losers will play in the Bronze medal match.
Tuesday, August 3rd Match Results: