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Wide-open battles for quarterfinals in Funchal

Only one team managed to cement the 1st place in its group and secure the quarterfinals after two days of the Women’s U20 World Championships in Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese archipelago Madeira.

The Russians will take the 1st place in Group C if they don’t let South Africa surprise them on Day 3.

In the other three groups, the battles for spots at the top are wide open. Group A is very balanced, even three teams are in a hunt for the 1st place.

World Women’s U20 Championships, Day 2

Group A

Hungary – USA 7:8 (2:2, 2:2, 2:3, 1:1)

Hungary: Armai 2, Valyi 2, Rybanska 1, Muzsnay 1, Farago 1.
USA: Roemer 3, Neushul 3, Johnson 1, Flynn 1.

Japan – Australia 10:11 (1:2, 3:1, 3:4, 3:4)

Japan: Kawaguchi 3, Iwano 3, Nishiyama 1, Ura 1, Danno 1, Hashida 1.
Australia: Swadling 4 C. Andrews 4, Thomas 2, Fasala 1.

A day before the end of the preliminary stage, all teams in this very balanced group, but Japan, have real chances to finish 1st.

The Team USA, after yesterday’s draw with Japan, narrowly beat Hungary 8:7. The Hungarians opened the match with a 2:0 lead, but the Americans answered with four goals and turned around the deficit to a 4:2 advantage. Hungary managed to equalize a few times, at 4:4, 6:6 and 7:7. USA’s Jewel Roemer converted an extra player with 46 remaining on the clock to secure an 8:7 victory for her team. Hungary had a chance to level the score in a thrilling finish, but Muzsanay hit the post 22 seconds from the end.

An encounter between Japan and Australia offered a lot of twists and turns. Before the last period, the sides were tied (7:7). Japan took an 8:7 lead. Australia responded with two quick goals and went in front again (9:8). The Asians equalised (9:9). However, the ”Aussies” went 11:9 up a minute and a half from the last buzzer. Japan managed to cut the deficit, but Australia kept both points.

Tomorrow, Hungary will play against Japan, while Australia and the USA will face off in the second match.

1 USA 2 – 3
2 Hungary 2 – 2
3 Australia 2 – 2
4 Japan 2 – 1

Group B

Spain – Kazakhstan 22:5 (7:1, 3:1, 4:2, 8:1)

Spain: Zurita 5, Velayos 4, Diez 3, Ruiz 2, Boix 2, Arrones 1, Espinagosa 1, Rosell 1, Alvarez 1.
Kazakhstan: Yeremina 3, Kydyrbekova 1, Khritankova 1.

Brazil – Netherlands 7:19 (2:3, 2:7, 1:3, 2:6)

Brazil: Dias 2, Leao 2, Al. Amaral 1, Belorio 1, Quesada 1.
Netherlands: Van de Kraats 6, Schaap 5, Stertefeld 3, Voorvelt 2, Rogge 1, Broek 1, Wiliemsen 1.

As expected, Spain and the Netherlands, which shared the points yesterday, recorded convincing wins today. Tomorrow, Spain will face Brazil, while the Netherlands will play against Kazakhstan.

If the third day doesn’t bring surprises, Spain and the Netherlands will finish the tournament with 5 points each. In the case of a tie, the ranking is determined based on the result against the next highest-ranked team. In this case, the 1st place will be won by a team which has a better result against the 3rd-placed side. Brazil will probably finish third. So, Spain needs a 13-goals win over Brazil to reach the 1st place

1 Spain 2 – 3 (+17)
2 Netherlands 2 – 3 (+12)
3 Brazil 2 – 2
4 Kazakhstan 2 – 0

Group C

Russia – Italy 14:11 (5:2, 3:3, 4:2, 2:3)

Russia: Pystina 5, Yaplatina 3, Diachenko 2, Chagochkina 2, Popova 1, Tolkunova 1.
Italy: Bettini 3, Cocchiere 2, GIustini 2, Repetto 2, Borg 1, Cergol 1.

South Africa – Portugal 13:5 (3:0, 3:2, 4:1, 3:2)

South Africa: Tancrel 5, Muller 3, Wedderburn 3, Motau 1, Faustmann 1.
Portugal: Lousa 4, Machado 1.

Russia defeated Italy in the derby of this group and secured the first place. The Russians might drop down if they lose to South Africa tomorrow, but that would be a huge surprise

The winner in the derby was decided in the middle of the game. Italy and Russia were tied (6:6) two minutes before halftime. After that, the Russians scored three goals in a row and jumped to a 9:6 lead early in the third period. The Italians didn’t manage to catch Russia in the remaining time.

The best scorer was Margaryta Pystina with 5 goals. Dafne Bettini led the Italian team with 3 goals. Today’s encounter was her first game in Funchal. Bettini, Sofia Giustini and goalkeeper Caterina Bencheli missed yesterday’s match against South Africa. The three arrived in Funchal a few hours before the match against Russia, because they played at the European U17 Championships in Volos (Greece), which was ended on Sunday. Italy won the bronze medal in Volos.

1 Russia 2 – 4
2 Italy 2 – 2
3 South Africa 2 – 2
4 Portugal 2 – 0

Group D

Greece – Canada 16:9 (6:2, 5:1, 4:2, 1:4)

Greece: Elliniadi 6, Myriokefalitaki 4, Kontoni 2, Kantidou 2, Mastrokalou 1, Ninou 1.
Canada: Bakoc 3, McDowell 1, Morrant 1, Guevremont 1, Gonzalez 1, Carroll 1, Donald 1.

China – New Zealand 13:7 (4:2, 5:1, 3:1, 1:3)

China: Xinyan 4, Qingwei 3, Xiao 2, Shiyun 1, Wen 1, Rui 1, Bozhou 1.
New Zealand: Milicich 3, Houghton 3, Alsemgeest 1.

Greece and China have made no mistake so far. The Greeks and the Chinese collected 4 points during the first two days. Therefore, they will battle for the 1st place in tomorrow’s encounter.

1 Greece 2 – 4 (+13)
2 China 2 – 4 (+9)
3 Canada 2 – 0 (-10)
4 New Zealand 2 – 0 (-12)

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