The highlight of the Day 2 of the World Championships women’s tournament in Gwangju was an encounter between Olympic and World champion the USA team and the Netherlands, the European champion.
USA celebrated a 12:9 win and cemented the first place in Group A.
Besides the USA, Spain, Russia, Hungary, and Italy have collected 4 points each. But, only the USA and Spain have already secured their spots in the quarterfinals.
Russia and Hungary will fight for the 1st place in Group B. Everything is open in Group D.
There were a lot of interesting games today. The home team’s fans could be satisfied because South Korea women team scored the 1st goal in the history of the FINA World Championships.
USA – Netherlands 12:9 (3:2, 1:2, 4:3, 4:2)
USA: Musselman 3, Gilchrist 3, Steffens 2, Seidemann 1, Fattal 1, Neushul 1, Fischer 1.
Netherlands:Keuning 2, Megens 1, Genee 1, Van der Sloot 1, Wolves 1, Stomphorst 1, Rogge 1, Van de Kraast 1.
South Africa – New Zealand 4:17 (0:6, 0:2, 2:6, 2:3)
South Africa: Hallendorff 2, Gerber 1.
New Zealand: Doyle 4, McDowall 4, Houghton 3, Nicholson 2, McKenty 1, Tobin 1, Howarth 1, Enoka 1.
The gap between the USA and the Netherlands was three goals after the final whistle, but it was a very close battle.
The first half of the match USA – Netherlands offered a lot of twists and turns. The Dutch were leading two times in the first period (1:0 and 2:1). However, after the first eight minutes, the USA was in front (3:2). In the middle of the second period, the Netherlands went ahead again (4:3), but at halftime, the rivals were tied (4:4). After a middle break, the USA continued its series and built a 2-goal lead (6:4 and 7:5).
The Dutch equalized from a penalty. Van der Sloot found the back of the net for 7:7 two minutes before the end of the 3rd. In the following six minutes, the Americans broke the big opponent. They produced a 3:0 run and jumped to a 10:7 lead in the 28th minute. The Netherlands came back, with two goals in a row for 9:10 (2:39 remaining on the clock).
Maddie Musselman netted her 3rd goal this evening from a nice action for 11:9 (minute and a half before the end) and that was crucial. The Americans managed to defend their net in the Dutch’s next possession. Then they earned an extra player attack 36 seconds from the end. Rachel Fattal converted a man-up 17 seconds before the final buzzer and set the final score 12:9.
New Zealand convincingly defeated South Africa and clinched the third place in the group, which means that the “Kiwis” will play in the cross-over matches, while South Africa will continue competition in the group for places 13-16. New Zealand earned a 10:0 lead before South Africa scored its first goal in Gwangju, in the 3rd minute of the third quarter. New Zealand slowed down in the rest of the match
1 USA 2 – 4
2 Netherlands 2 – 2
3 New Zealand 2 – 2
4 South Africa 2- 0
South Korea – Russia 1:30 (0:7, 0:9, 0:8, 1:6)
South Korea: Kyung 1.
Russia: Prokofyeva 3, Karimova 3, Tolkunova 3, Gorbunova 3, Serzhantova 3, Simanovich 3, Timofeeva 3, Soboleva 3, Ivanova 3, Ryzhkova 3.
Canada – Hungary 14:15 (2:3, 4:5, 3:5, 5:2)
Canada: E. Wright 3, Fournier 3, Alogbo 2, Lemay-Lavoie 2, Eggens 1, McKee 1, Bekhazi 1, Christmas 1.
Hungary: Keszthelyi 7, Gyongyossy 2, Szilagyi 1, Parkes 1, Rybanska 1, Leimeter 1, Toth-Csabai 1, Valyi 1.
Unlike Hungary, which beat South Korea 64:0, Russia wasn’t so merciless to the home team. Russia defeated South Korea 30:1, but the highlight of the match was the first goal of the Korean female water polo team. In the middle of the fourth period, Daesul Kyung found the net (the result was 1:28) and became the first Korean woman who scored a goal in the history of the World Championships. Home players, coaches, and fans were very happy after this goal which gave the young Korean players self-confidence.
Ten players of the Russian team scored 3 goals each.
On Thursday, Russia will face Hungary in the match which will decide the group winner.
Hungary defeated Canada in a pretty balanced game today. The Hungarians have a 4-goal lead already in the 14th minute (8:4). But, Canada was able to come back and reduce the gap to 1 (13:14) 4.20 minutes from the end. Two minutes later, Rita Keszthelyi, who played excellently today, scored her 7th goal in the match to give Hungary a 15:13 lead. The Canadians didn’t give up, but a consolation goal came too late. McKee converted a man-up for 14:15 with 27 seconds remaining on the clock. After that, the Hungarians kept the ball and the victory.
1 Hungary 2 – 4
2 Russia 2 – 4
3 Canada 2 – 0
4 South Korea 2 – 0
Cuba – Greece 4:20 (0:5, 3:6, 0:5, 1:4)
Cuba: Carrasco Leyva 2, Grau Quintero 1, Fria Tellez 1.
Greece: Avramidou 6, Xenaki 3, Tsoukala 2, Benekou 2, Elefthariadou 2, Ninou 2, Plevritou 2, Asimaki 1.
Spain – Kazakhstan 18:6 (3:1, 7:3, 3:1, 5:1)
Spain: Ortiz 3, Forca 3, Gonzalez 3, Leiton 2, C. Espar 2, Tarrago 2, A. Espar 1, Pena 1, Garcia 1.
Kazakhstan: Zeremina 2, Mirshina 2, Akilbayeva 1, Myrzabekova 1.
Greece recovered from a shocking 4:14 defeat to Spain in the 1st round, by earning a big win over Cuba. The Greeks had an 11:0 lead deep into the second quarter, but Cuba „woke up“ and netted three goals in a row by the end of the first half. Greece let the Cubans just one goal in the third and the fourth period. Led by Alexandra Avramidou, the Greeks cruised to a 20:4 win.
After a big and important win over Greece in the first round, Spain continued to play very well. The Spaniards downed Kazakhstan 18:6 and opened the doors of the quarterfinals.
1 Spain 2 – 4
2 Greece 2 – 2
3 Kazakhstan 2 – 2
4 Cuba 2 – 0
Australia – China 14:12 (4:4, 5:3, 3:3, 2:2)
Australia: Webster 3, Gofers 3, Buckling 2, Ridge 2, Arancini 1, Mihailovic 1, Halligan 1, Knox 1.
China: Zhao 4, H. Wang 3, Niu 2, Chen 1, J. Zhang 1, Xiong 1.
Japan – Italy 7:9 (2:3, 2:3, 1:1, 2:2)
Japan: Arima 3, Inaba 2, Noro 1, Suzuki 1.
Italy: Bianconi 5, Aiello 2, Emmolo 1, Tabani 1,
Australia collected first points in Gwangju after a very exciting match with China. The „Aussie Stingers“ controlled the game, but their advantage was never larger than 3 goals during the first three quarters. China was climbing back from time to time. The Asians managed to equalize late in the first quarter (4:4) and twice in the 3rd period (9:9 and 10:10). After China’s 10th goal, the Aussies shut out the opponent for 6 minutes, while they netted four straight goals and earned a 14:10 lead, which proved vital in their win. The Chinese scored two goals in the remaining time.
The Italians didn’t let Japan surprise them, but „Setterosa“ had to fight hard to overcame the opponent, which is playing better and better from season to season. The Italians took an early 2:0 lead, but the Japanese equalized quickly (2:2). Italy responded with three goals in a row to built a 5:2 advantage three and a half minutes before the end of the second period. Japan came close twice (4:5 and 5:6), but it couldn’t equalize. Early in the fourth period, Italy. led by Roberta Biancone (5 goals), earned a new 3-goal lead (8:5) and Japan couldn’t come back anymore.
The Italians keep the first place in the group, but they still can’t be relaxed. In the last round, Italy will play against China. If the Chinese defeat Italy (which isn’t impossible) and Australia beat Japan, the goal-difference will be decisive in the battle for the 1st place and the quarterfinals.
1 Italy 2 – 4
2 Australia 2 – 2
3 China 2 – 2
4 Japan 2 – 0