Greece, Italy, Hungary, and the Netherlands advanced to the semifinals of the women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Trieste.
The four teams convincingly defeated their respective rivals in today’s quarterfinals.
The fourth day of the tournament was very similar to the first one. It was easy to predict the outcome because there is a significant difference in quality between the semifinalists and the teams that will battle for the places 5th-8th.
Greece advanced to the semifinals by beating Slovakia (22:3), Hungary was better than France (20:7), Italy defeated Israel (15:6). The Netherlands secured its spot in the semifinals after a 19:6 victory over Kazakhstan.
Today, the top four teams were warming up for tomorrow’s semifinal day, which is the most important day of the qualifications. The winners of the semifinal encounters will take the remaining two tickets for the Tokyo Olympics.
Greece and the Netherlands will face off in the first semifinal match. After that, Italy and Hungary will play each other.
Slovakia – Greece 3:22 (1:4, 0:5, 2:7, 0:6)
Slovakia: Kovacikova 1, Kackova 1, Katlovska 1.
Greece: Tsoukala 6, V. Plevritou 4, Myriokefalitaki 4, Xenaki 3, Eleftheriadou 2, Tricha 1, Kotsia 1,E. Plevritou 1.
The Greeks continued their winning streak. Greece is the only team that recorded four wins in as many games in Trieste. But these victories won’t be worth much if Greece doesn’t reach the final match.
Greece rushed to a 9:1 lead by halftime. Slovakia opened the third quarter with a goal for 2:9, but then came a 5:0 series by the Greeks (14:2). The Slovaks their last goal scored 47 seconds before the last break (3:14). Greece didn’t slow down and produced an 8:0 series in the last nine minutes.
France – Hungary 7:20 (2:4, 1:3, 2:5, 2:8)
France: Guillet 2, Dhalluin 2, Vernoux 2, Bouloukbachi 1.
Hungary:Keszthelyi 5, Illes 3, Gurisatti 2, Szilagyi 2, Leimeter 2, Rybanska 2, Garda 2, Valyi 1, Szucs 1
Hungary had a few ups and downs during the quarterfinal match. The Hungarians, led by Rita Keszthelyi (who scored three goals in the first four minutes), easily built a 4:0 lead, but the French halved the distance before the middle break. The second quarter was very similar to the first, and the Hungarians had a 7:3 advantage at halftime. France fought hard, but they couldn’t endanger Hungary’s big advantage. Three minutes before the end, France found the net for the 7th time (7:16). The Hungarians finished the match in style – scoring four goals in the last three minutes.
Italy – Israel 15:6 (3:0, 3:1, 7:1, 2:4)
Italy: Marletta 4, Chiappini 2, Garibotti 2, Avegno 2, Viacava 1, Guistini 1, Queirolo 1, Tabani 1, Palmieri 1.
Israel: Bogachenko 2, Hochberg 2, Yaacobi 1, Sasover 1.
Italy was saving energy for tomorrow’s semifinal match against Hungary and didn’t chase a big winning margin in the match against Israel. After a 6:1 first half, the Italians played very well in the third period to jump to a 13:2 lead. The hosts slowed down in the final eight minutes and let Israel, a debutant at an intercontinental competition, reduce the gap.
Netherlands – Kazakhstan 19:6 (5:1, 4:2, 4:0, 6:3)
Netherlands: Van de Kraats 6, Van der Sloot 3, Megens 2, Wolves 2, Rogge 2, Sleeking 2, Genee 1, Stomphorst 1.
Kazakhstan: Turova 2, Akilbayeva 1, Yeremina 1, Roga 1, Muravyeva 1.
Of course, there was no doubt that the Dutch would storm past the Asian team. Only the margin of the win was in question. The Dutch showed no mercy to Kazakhstan. The Netherlands scored an opening goal, but the Kazakhs equalized immediately. Still, the Dutch easily jumped to a 7:1 advantage and was increasing the advantage step-by-step. They conceded three goals in the final quarter, but with six scored they achieved a comfortable 19:6 victory., Simone van de Kraats was the best player, with six goals
Quarterfinals (January 22)
Netherlands – Kazakhstan 19:6
France – Hungary 7:20
Italy – Israel 15:6
Slovakia – Greece 3:22
Semifinals (January 23)
Semifinals 5th – 8th places: Kazakhstan – Slovakia (14:00), France – Israel (16.00)
Semifinals 1th – 4th places: Netherlands – Greece (18:00), Hungary – Italy (20:00)
Matches for the final ranking (January 24)
For 7th place (14:00), for 5th place (16:00), for 3rd place (18:00), FINAL (20:00).