The fifth day of the 4th FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships in Belgrade (SRB) has justified the high expectations around it. It was the day that caused happiness among the teams in Spain, Greece, Italy, and Australia. These four national squads have qualified for the semi-finals and they will play in the next two days to decide on the new champion.
The biggest surprise of the tournament so far has happened this Friday, when the Italians managed to keep out of the medal race one of the biggest favorites in the tournament, the team of USA.
The semi-finals will then oppose Spain vs Greece and Italy vs Australia.
Finals 15th place: Serbia v Argentina 18:8
Quarters: 4:1, 4:1, 4.2, 6:4
A consolation win for the host team of these Championships who was expecting more. Ana Milicevic was the star of the match by netting five goals.
Finals 13th place: Brazil v South Africa 10:7
Quarters: 3:3, 2:1, 3:2, 2:1
At the beginning of the last quarter, South Africa reduced a lead of the Brazilian team to only 8:7 and provoked uncertainty concerning the outcome of the game. However, in last three minutes, MVP Kemiliy Ferreira Leao, with two goals, solved the dilemma about the winner and the 13th place of the World Championships.
Semifinals 9 – 12 place: Uzbekistan v New Zealand 2:10
Quarters: 0:4, 0:3, 0:0, 2:3
Another good game for New Zealand. Uzbekistan was a much weaker team, incapable of presenting any solution for stronger and more aggressive opponents. New Zealand goalkeeper Bridget Layburn was brilliant with nine saves out of nine shots on her goal! Morgan Mc Dowall was the best scorer with four goals.
semifinals 9 – 12 place: Canada v Kazakhstan 16:7
Quarters: 3:1, 3:0, 4:2, 6:4
There was no dilemma about the winner. From the very beginning, the quality of the Canadians was obvious. Three minutes before the end, Canada had even a 10-goal lead. Apryl Gonzales and Valeria Rojas were dominant in the attack. Kazakhstan can be pleased with the placement among the top 12 teams.
Quarterfinals – quarterfinal 1: Spain v Hungary 13:10
Quarters: 4:2. 5:2, 2:5, 2:1
Extraordinary game! The Hungarians did not give it up, even in situations when Spain had a huge lead (11:4 in the third minute of the third quarter)! In just five minutes, Petovari and her teammates made the rarely seen consecutive series of 5:0. Spain retained the decisive lead to final victory with goals by Mireia Guiral and Andree Arias.
Quarterfinals – quarterfinal 2: Greece v Russia 10:6
Quarters: 2:0, 4:2, 3:1, 1:3
With three goals in a row in the final minutes of a match, Russia manages to “soften” the defeat. Greece was much better, with a decisive lead of 10:3 with only two minutes before the end. Greek goalie Emmanouela Archontaki was well supported by Anna Ioulia Kontoni, while Russian players couldn’t do much to oppose the Hellenic strength. A fully deserved triumph for Greece.
Quarterfinals – quarterfinal 3: USA v Italy 6:7
Quarters: 1:1, 1:4, 2:1, 2:1
The biggest surprise of the World Youth Championships in Belgrade, so far! Italy played extraordinarily in the second quarter. Goalkeeper Caterina Banchelli was the dominant advantage of the Italian team before the end of the second quarter when Italy led 5:2.
After four minutes of playing in the third quarter, the Italian lead even increased to 6:2! Americans then tried everything to overcome the situation. By the end of the third quarter, the USA scored two goals. In the first five minutes of the final quarter, Abrielle Hill and Honnie Vandeweghe-O’Shea managed to score to 6:6. It was 3.11 minutes to the end. In a very exciting finish, Lucrezia Cergol scores a goal for Italy only 43 seconds before the end.
The subsequent attack of the American side was disorganised, they lost the ball and Italians could keep the advantage until the final whistle.
Quarterfinals – quarterfinal 4: Netherlands v Australia 6:8
Quarters: 3:3, 2:2, 1:2, 0:1
The great victory of Australia! Also, a very bad day for the Netherlands, whose players missed even two penalty shots and couldn’t score any goals from six extrawomen situations. In a very balanced match, Australian kept control of the game all the time.
The Dutch have repeatedly had a one-goal lead, but players of Australian coach Damjanovic always managed to overcome the advantage. At the end of the third quarter, Abby Andrews took Australia to lead (7:6), which was boosted by Jamie Oberman at 2.40 until the end. There was no change anymore. Goalkeeper of Australia, Lily Hawton was decisive in front of her goal.