There were no surprises on the opening day of the women’s water polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Trieste.
Four favorites recorded big wins. A total of 96 goals were scored today.
Host Italy cruised to a win over France (19:6), and the Netherlands beat Slovakia (22:2) in Group A
In Group B, Hungary scored even 27 goals beating Israel (27:2), while Greece defeated Kazakhstan (13:5).
France – Italy 6:19 (1:5, 0:5, 2:3, 3:6)
France: Dhalluin 2, Bouloukbachi 2, Vernoux 1, Radosavljevic 1.
Italy: Palmieri 5, Aiello 3, Chiappini 2, Bianconi 2,Tabani 1, Garibotti 1, Avegno 1, Queirolo 1, Marletta 1, Giustini 1, Viacava 1
Netherlands – Slovakia 22:2 (6:0, 4:0, 8:0,3:2)
Netherlands: Keuning 6, Megens 4, Sevenich 3, Van de Kraats 3, Stomphorst 2, Genee 2, Wolves 1, Sleeking 1.
Slovakia: Kackova 1, Sedlakova 1.
Almost eleven months ago, France and Italy faced off in the last official match between female national teams before the lockdown. It was the game of the World League. Italy, the visiting team, recorded a 13:8 victory in the World League match played in France in late February. Today, the “Setterossa” needed nine minutes to build a 5-goal lead (6:1), while they had a 10:1 advantage at halftime. The third period was relatively balanced, but Italy dominated the final eight minutes. Each of the 11 field players of the home team scored at least a goal. Valeria Palmieri netted five.
It seemed that the Netherlands would keep a clean sheet in the match with Slovakia. After the third quarter, the Dutch team led 18:0. The young team of Slovakia (seven girls are 19-year-old or younger) conceded 18 goals in the first 24 minutes, while they had only 14 attempts to score in the first three quarters. Finally, Slovakia got on the scoreboard in the first minute of the fourth quarter – Karin Kackova found the net after a counter-attack. The Dutch responded with two goals for 20:1. Two minutes before the end, the Slovaks managed to score one more goal, also from a counter-attack, but Dagmar Genee closed the match with her second goal for the final score. Maartje Keuning was the best scorer. She netted six goals from as many shots.
Hungary – Israel 27:2 (7:2, 3:0, 9:0, 8:0)
Hungary: Szilagyi 4, Valyi 3, Gurisatti 3, Parkes 3, Illes 2, Keszthelyi 5, Leimeter 2, Gyongyossy 1, Rybanska 2, Garda 2.
Israel: Yaacobi 1, Futorian 1.
Greece – Kazakhstan 13:5 (4:1, 4:1, 3:2, 2:1)
Greece: Tsoukala 7, Eleftheriadou 2, E. Plevritou 2, V. Plevritou 1, Myriokefalitaki 1.
Kazakhstan: Khritankova 2, Akilbayeva 1, Yeremina 1, Roga 1.
Even five goals were scored in the opening three minutes of the match Hungary-Israel. The Israelis trailed 2:3 in the third minute. But, the underdog didn’t find the net after that. On the other side, Hungary didn’t slow down until the last buzzer. The Hungarians scored two goals in the last 45 seconds of the game. As usual, Rita Keszthelyi was atop of the scorers’ list with five goals.
Kazakhstan scored the first goal in the second match of Group B. However, Greece responded with seven goals in a row to jump a 7:1 lead. At halftime, the Greeks had an 8:2 advantage. They didn’t waste energy in the second half, so Kazakhstan avoided a bigger defeat. The Greeks’ captain Christina Tsoukala scored seven goals today with an excellent shot percentage (7/8).
January 20: Hungary – Kazakhstan (14:00), Greece – Israel (16:00), Netherlands – Italy (18:00), France – Slovakia (20:00).