The Netherlands will head to the World Cup Finals in Long Beach as the highest ranked team in the tournament, after defeating their hosts-to-be in their last game in Athens.
Eva Doudesis’ team showed excellent quality and character to overcome the United States by a single goal today (9-8). It’s a rare thing to see the United States lose, but having lost to Spain in Rotterdam, it’s now two defeats in as many weeks.
It wasn’t all bad for the English speaking teams in Athens though, with Australia showing their mettle against China with a 12-7 win. The Stinger return down under with two victories from their final two games in this competition.
The last two games of this stage of the competition takes place this afternoon, with a re-run of the European Championships final from Split (Spain vs Greece), and the Green, White and Red derby between Italy and Hungary.
Day 2, Women’s World Cup 2023 Athens– Group A
United States 8 – 9 Netherlands (2-3, 2-4, 3-2, 1-0)
United States: A. Johnson, M. Musselman 3, T. Prentice, K. Gilchrist, J. Bonaguidi 3, E. Ausmus 2, A. Stryker, D. Mammolito, R. Gazzaniga, A. Cohen, J. Raney
Netherlands: L. Aarts, I. Wolves, B. Sleeking 2, S. Van der Sloot 1, M. Keuning, M. Van der Weijden 1, B. Rogge 3, V. Sevenich, K. Joustra, L. Rogge 2, F. Bosveld, N. Ten Broek, S. Buis
The Netherlands have handed the United States a second defeat in two weeks, taking a narrow 9-8 win in Athens.
In a cagey but highly entertaining affair, the Netherlands put in a stunning attacking display in the first half to put them in a strong position. They faltered in the second half, but just about held off the American charge to take a momentous win against the reigning Olympic and World Champions.
Both teams really pushed each other to the limit, but a jaw-dropping attacking display from the Dutch, converting 5 from 6 extra-player moves, helped them build the advantage they needed, with the USA unable to keep pace.
Although both teams had notable absentees (Steffens, Fattal, Van de Kraats), new stars shone in the match, with Maddie Musselman and Julia Bonaguidi scoring three goals each for the United States, and the Rogge sisters accounting for seven of the Netherlands’ nine goals, with Bente contributing four, and Lieke striking three.
This victory marks the Netherlands’ first win over the United States since 2019 and is a significant triumph for the Dutch team.
It’s the Netherlands’ first victory over the United States since winning gold at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
There was a tense opening period between two great powerhouses of women’s water polo. So evenly matched were the teams, that the only real breakthroughs were on their powerplay chances; Bonaguidi and Musselman for the USA, and two scores from both sides by Bente Rogge. Brigitte Sleeking’s magnificent near-side shot was the dividing line between the teams (3-2).
The Dutch pressed ahead in the second, with an avalanche of extra-player scores; Van der Sloot, Sleeking and Van der Weijden all converted with class to put the Oranges in an excellent position, leading by four-scores. The United States needed 18-year-old Julia Bonaguidi to complete a first half hat-trick to keep them within three scores at the break (7-4).
There were signs of a little bit of a wobble from the Dutch in the third period, with Team USA bridging the gap and bringing the contest back to a two-goal game (9-7).
A tense game soon became even more tense, with neither side able to assert themselves for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. With the Netherlands unable to kill the game, the American’s found the next score via Emily Ausmus. However, despite the best efforts of Team USA, the Dutch defence held firm to secure a big win against the Olympic and World Champions.
Day 2, Women’s World Cup 2023 Athens– Group B
China 7 – 12 Australia (2-2, 3-4, 2-2, 0-4)
China: W. Dong, Q. Zhong, J. Yan, D. Xiong, Y. Zhai, S. Wang, Z. Deng 2, H. Wang 1, S. Yan, S. Nong, X. Chen, J. Zhang 4, X. Du
Australia: G. Palm, P. Casey 1, T. Fasala, B. Halligan 1, B. Leeson-Smith 1, A. Andrews 3, C. Andrews 1, A. Ridge 3, Z. Arancini 1, B. McClean, S. Hearn, E. Armit 1, G. Longman
Australia’s World Cup campaign concluded with a well-earned 12-7 victory over China.
The Stingers outlasted the Chinese in the second half, maintaining a 4-0 shutout in the fourth quarter.
Amy Ridge and Abby Andrews each scored three goals as the team from the Southern Hemisphere won its second consecutive game in the tournament. Australia did not qualify for the World Cup Final, but the Stingers will be pleased to end a difficult two weeks with two impressive performances.
Australia will be pleased with their defensive effort today, with key steals (7), blocks (4), and only conceding two goals on man-down. Gabi Palm made herself big in the Stingers net, with eleven saves.
China will be disappointed with this particular match; this would have been a game that they would have targeted to take a positive result from. They didn’t function well in attack, and their power-plays were not at the level of some of their previous games this week. The Asian side has gone winless in the World Cup, losing all six of their matches; they have also gone five matches without a win against Australia.
It was Amy Ridge against Jing Zhang in the first period, with both players netting braces to keep their sides level (2-2). Early strikes from the perimeter by Abby Andrews and Zoe Arancini gave the Stingers a two-score lead in the second half, but after numerous attempts to hold off the Chinese, Charis Pavlidis’ team eventually managed to cut the deficit to one goal at half-time (6-5).
The beginning of the second half was a time of consolidation for the Aussie Stingers, with China threatening and twice equalising at 6-6, and then 7-7. Amy Ridge’s hat-trick goal, however, maintained Australia’s one goal lead heading into the last quarter – which proved to be very one-sided.
A quick score from Charlize Andrews inside the first twenty seconds of the fourth quarter gave Paul Oberman’s team the all-important two-goal lead, and the Stingers were nearly home when they reached double-digits (10-7) courtesy of Pascal Casey’s conversion. The Chinese ran out of steam in the end, and the Stingers powered through with two more scores via two of their Tokyo Olympians – Elle Armit and Abby Andrews.
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