USA, Spain Win, Set Up Rematch of 2017 Women’s WP World Championship Final

World Aquatics Championships – Women’s Water Polo

It will be a rematch of the 2017 World Championships when the USA and Spain meet on Friday after both garnered semifinals victories on Wednesday.

The USA will be seeking its third straight World title and sixth overall (2017, 2015, 2009, 2007, 2003), while Spain is looking for its first since 2013.

Australia and Hungary will meet in the bronze medal match with each seeking its first medal since 2013, when the Aussies earned silver and the Hungarians took bronze.

Russia and Italy will vie for fifth place after classification wins on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Canada nailed down ninth place and China grabbed 11th place with wins over Kazakhstan and New Zealand respectively.

Wednesday’s Top Scorers

5 Emma Wright, Canada vs. Kazakhstan, 7/24
5 Joelle Bekhazi, Canada vs. Kazakhstan, 7/24
4 Morgan McDowall, New Zealand vs. China, 7/24
4 Kelly McKee, Canada vs. Kazakhstan, 7/24
4 Silvia Avegno, Italy vs. Netherlands, 7/24
4 Roser Tarrago I Aymerich, Spain vs. Hungary, 7/24
4 Judith Forca Ariza, Spain vs. Hungary, 7/24
4 Dora Leimeter, Hungary vs. Spain, 7/24
3 Bernadette Doyle, New Zealand vs. China, 7/24
3 Jing Zhang, China vs. New Zealand, 7/24
3 Krystina Alogbo, Canada vs. Kazakhstan, 7/24
3 Kyra Christmas, Canada vs. Kazakhstan, 7/24
3 Maria Bernsneva, Russia vs. Greece, 7/24
3 Elvina Karimova, Russia vs. Greece, 7/24
3 Maud Megens, Netherlands vs. Italy, 7/24

Wednesday Results

July 24. Matchup Result
Semifinals USA vs. Australia USA 7-2
Semifinals Spain vs. Hungary Spain 16-10
5th through 8th Classification Greece vs. Russia Russia 13-4
5th through 8th Classification Netherlands vs. Italy Italy 10-5
9th Place Canada vs. Kazakhstan Canada 24-7
11th Place China vs. New Zealand China 14-12

Wednesday Recaps


The United States and Spain have both made their way through the tournament undefeated (5-0) to set up a rematch of the 2017 World Championship title game, which the Americans won 13-6.

On Wednesday, the USA downed Australia 7-2, while Spain topped Hungary 16-10 to set up the rematch.

The Americans cruised to a 6-0 lead over the first 19 minutes of the game with Stephanie Haralabidis and Makenzie Fischer putting in two goals apiece.

Australia got on the board with a Rowie Webster extra-player shot with 4:22 to go in the third. It would be another eight minutes before either team found the back of the net again, as the Aussies put in an action shot by Bronte Halligan with 2:04 left in the game to end the drought. The teams combined for 17 saves, blocks or misses in the stretch. Alys Williams wrapped up the game at 7-2 for the United States with an extra-player goal with 53 seconds to play.

Fischer, Haralabidis and Williams each scored two goals to lead the USA, which made just 7 of 24 shots, including 3 of 10 extra-player tries. Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson saved 14 of the 16 shots she faced in the game (88 percent).

Halligan and Webster each scored for Australia, which made just 2 of 26 shots (8 percent). Goalkeeper Gabriella Palm registered 9 saves (of 16 shots faced).

Spain and Hungary split the first four goals of the game, before the Spaniards pulled away with a 3-1 run to end the first quarter. Roser Tarrago I Aymerich scored three times in the first eight minutes with a penalty and two action shots as Spain went up 5-3.

An extra-player goal by Paula Leiton Arrones made it a four-goal lead for Spain at 10-6 with 2:05 to play in the first half.

Judith Forca Ariza put in an action shot, while Beatriz Ortiz Munoz added a 6-meter direct shot in a free throw situation to push Spain up 14-9 with 1:49 to go in the third quarter. The Spaniards added two more extra-player goals in the first three minutes of the final stanza to make it 16-9. Hungary would get one more goal, an action shot from Dora Leimeter with 3:02 left, but it was too little too late.

Tarrago I Aymerich and Forca Ariza each scored four times to lead Spain, while five other players scored. Spain hit 16 of its 34 shots, including 6 of 10 extra-player tries and all three penalty attempts.

Hungary was led by Leimeter’s four goals, while Greta Gurisatti added two scores and four other players chipped in one goal apiece. Hungary made 10 of 27 shots, including 3 of 12 extra-player tries and its lone penalty.

5th through 8th Place Classification Games

Russia and Italy claimed spots in the fifth place match with classification wins on Wednesday, while Greece and the Netherlands will now vie for seventh place.

Russia scored the first three goals of the game, led 4-1 at the half and boasted an 8-2 advantage with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter. Maria Bernsneva and Evgeniya Soboleva each put in two goals to lead the Russians to the advantage.

Up 8-3 with eight minutes to play, Russia rattled off four straight goals, including a counter attack and an extra-player goal by Elvina Karimova, to boost the lead to nine at 12-3. Eleftheria Plevritou gave Greece its fourth goal with 3:35 to play in the game, but Evgeniya Ivanova countered for Russia with 19 seconds left to cap the 13-4 win.

Bersneva and Karimova each turned in a hat trick for Russia, while Soboleva and Daria Ryzhkova added two goals apiece. Russia put in 13 of 36 shots, including 3 of 6 extra-player opportunities. Goalkeeper Anna Karnaukh saved 12 of 16 shots she faced (75 percent), while Evgeniia Golovina saved both shots she faced.

Plevritou scored two of Greece’s four goals, while Alkisti Avramidou and Alexandra Asimaki also found the back of the net. Greece made just 4 of 30 shots, including 3 of 6 extra-player tries.

Six different players scored as Italy built a 6-3 lead over the first 12 minutes of the game. Maud Megens countered with two goals for the Netherlands.

Silvia Avegno made it a four-goal lead (7-3)  for Italy with a center shot just 45 seconds in to the second half. Megens answered with an extra-player shot at the 3:39 mark, but the Dutch would get no closer.

Italy closed out the game on a 3-1 run, scoring on a driving situation by Elisa Queirrolo (0:39, 3rd), an action shot by Izabella Chiappini (7:06) and finally a penalty by Avegno (2:09) to cap the 10-5 victory.

Avegno scored four of Italy’s 10 goals. The Italians made 10 of 31 shots, including 1 of 7 extra-player tries and 2 of 3 penalties. Goalkeeper Giulia Gorlero saved 71 percent of the shots she faced (12 of 17).

Megens paced the Dutch with three goals as her team made just 5 of 30 shots, including 3 of 11 extra-player tries and its lone penalty. Goalie Joanne Koenders saved 52 percent of the shots she faced (11 of 21).

9th Place

Canada broke open the game with Kazakhstan with a 10-2 run to end the first half at 12-4 en route to a 24-7 victory.

Joelle Bekhazi scored five goals in the first half, including three counter attacks, while Emma Wright added three scores in the first 16 minutes of play.

Monika Eggens and Kyra Christmas added action shot goals to up the Canadian lead to 10 (14-4) two minutes into the second half. Kazakhstan would get no closer than nine the rest of the way as Canada boasted a 12-3 scoring advantage in the second half. Kelly McKee poured it on in the final stanza with four goals in a two minute stretch (3:47, 2:58, 2:17 and 1:37).

Wright and Bekhazi led all scorers with five goals apiece for Canada, followed by McKee (4), while Krystina Alogbo and Christmas turned in hat tricks.  Canada scored on 24 of its 42 shots, including 5 of 7 extra-player tries and its lone penalty.

Darya Roga and Anastassiya Mirshina put in two goals each to lead Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs made 7 of 33 shots, including just 1 of 7 extra-player tries and both its penalties.

11th Place

New Zealand outscored China 6-3 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overcome the 11-6 margin China built over the first 24 minutes of the 14-12 victory.

China led 7-4 at the half and poured on four more goals (to New Zealand’s two) in the third quarter. Extra-player shots by Huan Wang (5:23) and Xiaohan Mei (0:02) and an action shot by Jing Zhang (1:58) put China up 11-6 after three quarters.

Down 12-6 after an action shot by Dunhan Xiong with 6:39 to play, New Zealand began its rally. Bernadette Doyle put in an center shot and an action shot to make it 12-8. Down five again at 14-9 with 2:22 to go, the Kiwis rattled off three straight goals, action shots by Morgan McDowall (1:50) and Emmerson Houghton (0:52) and a penalty by Houghton (0:07) to narrow the gap, before coming up just short.

Jing Zhang led China with three goals, while Xinyan Wang,  Xiong and Danyi Zhang added two goals apiece. China hit 14 of its 31 shots, including 3 of 7 extra-player tries and both of its two penalties.

McDowall and Houghton led New Zealand with four goals apiece, while Doyle chipped in a hat trick. The Kiwis made 12 of 28 shots, including 3 of 7 extra-player tries and two penalties.

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