The Women’s World Cup in Rotterdam has concluded its first phase with a couple of tightly contested games that ended with just one goal separating the winners from the losers.
The Netherlands and Hungary battled it out for the top spot in their group, with the Netherlands putting on an impressive attacking display to secure a 12-11 victory. Despite the loss, Hungary will have another chance to defeat the Dutch as both teams move on into the 1st-4th ranking group in Athens next week.
In another closely fought match this evening, the USA held off Italy to claim a narrow 14-13 win over the Setterosa. Maddie Musselman and Maggie Steffens were instrumental in the victory, each scoring five goals for the United States. Both teams will also progress to the 1st-4th group in Athens, while European Champions Spain will need to finish in the top two of the 5th-8th group next week to secure a spot in the World Cup Finals in Long Beach later this year.
Earlier in the day, Greece overpowered the Aussie Stingers to claim a 10-7 victory, while Spain had a dominant 15-7 win over China. All four teams will now fight it out for the remaining two World Cup final berths.
Standings after Rotterdam
- Netherlands – 3 – 9pts
- Hungary – 3 – 6pts
- Greece – 3 – 3pts
- Australia – 3 – 0pts
- United States – 3 – 7pts
- Italy – 3 – 6pts
- Spain – 3 – 5pts
- China – 3 – 0pts
This month, there are two World Cup tournaments; one in Rotterdam (11th-13th April) and one in Athens (19th-21st April). In the first tournament in Rotterdam, the eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays three games in a round-robin format. Then, at the second tournament in Athens, the top two teams from groups A (Netherlands and Hungary) and B (United States and Italy) from Rotterdam will play each other in a new group to determine 1st-4th place rankings. The third- and fourth-place teams in Rotterdam’s groups are put into a new group and play round-robin games for fifth through eighth place. After both tournaments in April, the top six teams from Division 1 and the top two teams from Division 2 will move on to the World Cup finals (June 23–25). The finals tournament in Long Beach will be set up like the Men’s Champions League Final Eight, with quarterfinals, semifinals, and medal matches. It’s worth noting, the last-placed teams from Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2 in the next edition. The winners of Division 2 will be promoted to a higher rank.
This month, there are two World Cup tournaments; one in Rotterdam (11th-13th April) and one in Athens (19th-21st April).
In the first tournament in Rotterdam, the eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays three games in a round-robin format.
Then, at the second tournament in Athens, the top two teams from groups A (Netherlands and Hungary) and B (United States and Italy) from Rotterdam will play each other in a new group to determine 1st-4th place rankings. The third- and fourth-place teams in Rotterdam’s groups are put into a new group and play round-robin games for fifth through eighth place.
After both tournaments in April, the top six teams from Division 1 and the top two teams from Division 2 will move on to the World Cup finals (June 23–25).
The finals tournament in Long Beach will be set up like the Men’s Champions League Final Eight, with quarterfinals, semifinals, and medal matches.
It’s worth noting, the last-placed teams from Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2 in the next edition. The winners of Division 2 will be promoted to a higher rank.
View this post on Instagram
Day 3, Women’s World Cup 2023 Rotterdam – Group A
Netherlands 12 – 11 Hungary (2-2, 4-2, 3-4, 3-3)
Netherlands: L. Aarts, I. Wolves, B. Sleeking, S. Van der Sloot, M. Schaap 1, S. Van de Kraats 2, B. Rogge, V. Sevenich 2, R. Voorvelt, L. Rogge 5, L. Moolhuijzen 2, N. Ten Broek, B. Van den Dobbelsteen
Hungary: A. Magyari, D. Szilagyi 1, K. Hajdu, G. Gurisatti 2, G. Mahieu 1, R. Parkes 3, Z. Mate, R. Keszthelyi 2, D. Leimeter, V. Baksa, K. Farago 1, K. Garda 1, B. Neszmely
The Netherlands emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter against Hungary, securing the top spot in Group A with a 12-11 win in Rotterdam.
While the margin of victory was slim, the Dutch were the superior team, with Lieke Rogge leading the charge with an impressive five-goal performance in only her third appearance for the senior national team. Additionally, Vivian Sevenich, Lola Moolhuijzen, and Simone Van de Kraats all chipped in with two goals each.
Despite the loss, Hungary put up a valiant fight and kept the game exciting until the final quarter. However, their defensce was their Achilles heel, with too many costly errors that ultimately led to their defeat. The only shining moment on defence for Hungary was Alda Magyari’s fantastic penalty save. On the offensive side, Rebecca Parkes was the standout player, scoring three spectacular goals at centre.
While the outcome of the match was insignificant, as both teams had already secured their spots in the World Cup finals, the Dutch can take pride in their flawless record, having won all three of their group stage matches. Eva Doudesis will be eager to continue his team’s winning ways as he returns to his home city of Athens next week.
The match got off to an exciting start, with both teams level at 2-2 after eight minutes of play. Rebecca Parkes and Greta Gurisatti put Hungary ahead with impressive goals, but the Netherlands responded with their sharp attack, with Simone Van de Kraats scoring two powerful goals.
View this post on Instagram
In the second quarter, Lieke Rogge and Krisztina Garda added to their teams’ tallies with precise strikes from the top. Despite missing a penalty, the Dutch remained confident, with Sabrina Sevenich and Maxie Schaap both finding the back of the net to give their team a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Hungary came out strong in the second half, quickly levelling the score with goals from Gurisatti and Rita Keszthelyi. The two teams continued to trade goals, with both centre-forwards finding the back of the net, and the Netherlands holding a slim lead of 9-8 at the end of the quarter.
In the final quarter, the Dutch quickly gained the upper hand, with Lieke Rogge finding the back of the net for her third and fourth goals of the game. Hungary fought back with power plays from Rebecca Parkes and Dorottya Szilagyi, but it was not enough to overcome the Dutch. A late goal from Parkes made for a tense finish, but the Netherlands held on for a well-deserved victory and a rousing ovation from the crowd.
Day 3, Women’s World Cup 2023 Rotterdam – Group B
United States 14 – 13 Italy (5-1, 3-5, 4-3, 2-3)
United States: A. Johnson, M. Mussleman 5, T. Prentice, R. Fattal 2, J. Bonaguidi, M. Steffens 5, E. Ausmus 1, A. Stryker, D. Mammolito, R. Gazzaniga, A. Cohen, J. Raney 1, A. Longan
Italy: A. Condorelli, C. Tabani, G. Galardi 2, S. Avegno 2, G. Citino, D. Bettini 2, D. Picozzi 4, L. Di Claudio, A. Cocchiere 2, C. Marletta 1, V. Gant, G. Viacava, C. Banchelli
Five goals each for Maggie Steffens and Maddie Musselman led the United States to a narrow but deserved win over Italy (14-13).
Two of America’s most key players really turned up when they were needed today for their side, which features a number of rookies who are still incredibly inexperienced.
The game itself had a bit of an edge, which ultimately spilled over into the last quarter. Carlo Silipo and his assistant were dismissed in the tense closing moments of the game. Italy might have grabbed a late equalizer at the end, but the American defense held strong. At the beginning of the game, it looked like the win would be an easy one for the Americans, but Italy completely turned the game around in the second period, making for an exciting last game in Rotterdam.
Ultimately, the defeat does not cost the Italians anything more than their clean record. They, alongside the USA, will progress to the 1st-4th group in Athens. Team USA were qualified for the World Cup finals irrespective of the results at these tournaments as the technical hosts.
The USA enjoyed a really prolific first period in front of goal, picking holes in the Italian defense and then exploiting them. From the start, the Italians were on the back foot, trailing 5-1.
The USA put on an impressive offensive display during the first period, expertly finding gaps in the Italian defense to score five goals and take a commanding 5-1 lead. While both teams were awarded penalties early on, it was Team USA’s Jordan Raney who successfully converted hers, while Claudia Marletta saw her shot denied by a superb acrobatic save from Amanda Longan.
View this post on Instagram
Despite Dafne Bettini’s fantastic long-range effort for Italy, the USA dominated the scoring, with Maggie Steffens netting an impressive hat-trick before turning provider to set up Maddie Musselman for an easy goal at the back post.
However, the momentum shifted in the second period as Italy started to convert their chances. Goals from Galardi and Cocchiere put the Italians back in contention, while Longan will have been disappointed to have let in shots from Picozzi and Marletta to make it a tight 6-5 game. At one point, Italy even managed to level the scores, but a well-struck shot from Maddie during a 6 on 5 put the USA back on top at the halfway mark, leading 8-7.
The Americans did well to stem the tide of Italy’s comeback efforts in the third period, with strikes from Fattal, Musselman, and Steffens restoring their lead to 11-8. However, the SIS Roma duo of Galardi and Cocchiere brought Italy back within one goal, and Longan will once again have been disappointed to concede. But with just 17 seconds left in the quarter, Musselman managed to find a way through (12-11).
Two more goals for the United States increased the Americans’ lead to three goals (14-11), but Italy did not give up; two goals in the final two minutes put pressure back on the United States. In the final moments of the game, there were scuffles in the pool, and both of Italy’s coaches were shown red cards. A late 7 on 6 chance passed the Italians by.
Read more about the World Cup